Thursday, September 18, 2014

Vowel-Names for Boys

It occurred to me the other day that I do a lot of 'names by construction' posts for girls, but not really many for boys. So then I had to think of what I could do--besides the overplayed -aidens, and surname-y -sons & -tons, boys' names don't really have a lot of distinct patterns.
However, while vowel-y names for girls are in abundance, there aren't a lot for boys....

  • Abijah (ah-BYE-jah, [Biblical] Hebrew)
  • Adamo (ah-DAH-moh, Italian)--form of Adam. Other forms include Adão (ah-DOW, Portuguese) and Akamu (ah-kah-moo, Hawaiian)
  • Adino (ah-dee-noh, [Biblical] Hebrew)
  • Adlai (AD-lay, AD-lye, [Biblical] Hebrew)
  • Aimo (EYE-moh, Finnish)--"good, real"
  • Aldo (AHL-doh, English, Italian, Swedish)
  • Alejo (ah-LEH-hoh, Spanish)--form of Alexis. Other forms include Aleksey (Russian), Aleksi (Finnish), & Alessio (Italian)
  • Arlo (AR-loh, English)
  • Asa (AY-sah, [Biblical] Hebrew)
  • Elio (EL-yoh, Italian)--from Greek, "sun"
  • Eliseo (eh-lee-ZEH-oh, Italian; eh-lee-SEH-oh, Spanish)
  • Eloy (eh-LOY, Spanish)--from Latin, "chosen". French form is Éloi (AYL-wah). 
  • Ezio (ETS-yoh, Italian)--from Latin, "eagle"
  • Iago (ee-AH-goh, English, Portuguese; YAH-goh, Welsh)--form of Jacob. Spanish form is Yago
  • Ibai (ee-bye, Basque)--"river"
  • Ingo (EEN-goh, German)
  • Ithai (ith-EYE, [Biblical] Hebrew)--"with me". Also transliterated as Ittai or Itai.
  • Ivailo (ee-VYE-loh, Bulgarian)--prob. "wolf". Also transliterated as Ivaylo.
  • Obadiah (oh-bah-DYE-ah, [Biblical] Hebrew)
  • Obi (OH-bee, Igbo)--"heart"
  • Omri (AHM-ree, [Biblical] Hebrew)
  • Orsino (or-SEE-noh, Italian)--from Latin "bear". Another form is Orso.  
  • Otto (AH-toh, English, Danish, German, OH-toh, Swedish)--from Germanic, "wealth". Other forms include Ottone (Italian) & Udo (German). 
  • Yermolai (YEHR-moh-lye, Russian)--also transliterated as Ermolai.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Random Fact of the Day:

Unlike in modern times, in the medieval world, your name would change as you travelled from place to place. So, if your name was John, you would answer to (and even sign documents as) Juan in Spain, Johann in Germany, Gian in Italy, Jehan in French, etc.

A side effect of this is that when parents imported names from Latin (or used Latinized versions of names from other languages), they often "translated" it by chopping off the gendered ending, since English doesn't use those (sometimes replacing it with a Y, sometimes not).
Thus, there are names that could be feminine in Medieval English that we wouldn't expect--Christian (from Christianus/Christiana), Adrian (Adrianus/Adriana), Julian (Julianus/Juliana), Denis (Dionysius/Dionysia), Phillip (Philippus/Philippa), Johan (Johannes/Johanna), Cecil (Cecilius/Cecilia), and probably many others!