Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Are They Really "Unisex" If They're Only Used On Girls?

When discussing unisex names online, I'm always surprised at how many people are shocked or sympathetic for their poor old Uncles Kelly or Courtney or Marion. It must have been so hard growing up with a girls' name! :p
I'm not going to get into how I feel about girl-names and "weakness", so bypassing that, do people not realize just how many of our established feminine names actually used to be commonplace on boys?
So, a list of feminine/unisex names that were formerly exclusively masculine, or are feminine in the U.S., but masculine in other regions:

  • Addison
  • Alexis (masculine in Europe & South America)
  • Ariel (masculine in South America)
  • Ashley
  • Aubrey 
  • Avery
  • Bailey (still masculine elsewhere*)
  • Beverly
  • Blair (still masculine elsewhere)
  • Brin/Bryn/Brynn (still masculine elsewhere)
  • Brook
  • Cameron (still masculine elsewhere)
  • Camille (still unisex in France)
  • Carol/Carroll/Karol (still masculine in Eastern Europe)
  • Charlie (still mostly masculine elsewhere)
  • Clair
  • Courtney
  • Dana
  • Elliott (still masculine elsewhere)
  • Emerson
  • Emery
  • Esme
  • Evelyn
  • Finlay/Finley (still masculine elsewhere)
  • Florence
  • Francis/Frances
  • Gale
  • Harley
  • Harlow
  • Harper
  • Hilary
  • Jamie (still mostly masculine elsewhere)
  • Jan (masculine throughout Europe)
  • Jean (masculine in France)
  • Jewel/Jewell
  • Jocelyn (still masculine in France)
  • Joyce
  • Kelly
  • Kelsey
  • Kendall
  • Kennedy
  • Kim (still masculine in Scandinavia)
  • Kristen (masculine in Scandinavia)
  • Lacy
  • Lauren
  • Laurie
  • Laverne
  • Leigh
  • Leslie
  • Lindsay
  • Lynn
  • Mackenzie (still masculine elsewhere)
  • Madison
  • Marion
  • Meredith (still masculine in Wales)
  • Morgan (still unisex elsewhere)
  • Page/Paige
  • Pearl
  • Quinn (still mostly masculine elsewhere)
  • Reece/Reese (still masculine elsewhere)
  • Remy/Remi (still masculine elsewhere)
  • Riley (still masculine elsewhere)
  • Robin (still masculine elsewhere)
  • Rory (still masculine elsewhere)
  • Sasha (still unisex throughout Europe)
  • Shannon 
  • Sharon (still unisex in Israel)
  • Shea/Shay (still mostly masculine elsewhere)
  • Shelby
  • Shelley
  • Shirley
  • Stacy
  • Sidney/Sydney (still masculine in the Netherlands)
  • Taylor
  • Teagan
  • Tracy
  • Vivian
  • Whitney

* for the purposes of brevity, "elsewhere" = "every English-speaking country apart from the U.S."

Still haven't decided if the U.S. is leading the trends, or is just crazy.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

<*insert semi-cheesy holiday title here*>

I swore I wasn't going to do a holiday-themed post, because they are everywhere, but I just couldn't resist.
So, for the season of giving, here's a compilation of names that mean "gift".
Whatever your holiday is, I hope it's a happy one!

  • Abishai (ah-bi-SHY, Hebrew)--"my Father's gift"
  • Ata (ah-tah, Arabic)
  • Csaba (CHAH-bah, Hungarian)
  • Devdan (dev-dahn, Indian [Hindi])--"gift of the gods". Variants include Debdan & Deodan.
  • Doron (doh-ROHN, Hebrew")
  • Ekrem (ek-REM, Turkish)--"most generous"
  • Gebbert (GEB-bert, German)--"brave gift"
  • Gennady (gen-AH-dee, Russian)--from Greek, "generous"
  • Isidore (IZ-a-dor or ees-ah-DOHR, Greek)--"gift from Isis"
  • Jesse (JES-see, Hebrew)
  • Mattan (mah-tahn, Hebrew)
  • Matthew (MATH-yoo, English)--from Hebrew, "gift of Yahweh". Variants include Matthias (Greek), Matteo (Italian), & Makaio (Hawaiian).
  • Shai (SHY, Hebrew)
  • Theodore (THEE-oh-dohr, Greek)--"gift of god"

  • Atiya (AH-tee-yah, Arabic)
  • Dara (DAH-rah, Slavic)
  • Dîyar (DEE-yar, Kurdish)
  • Dorothea (doh-roh-THEH-ah, Greek)--"gift of god"
  • Eudora (yoo-DOHR-ah, Greek)--"good gift"
  • Gennadiya (gen-AH-dee-yah, Russian)--from Greek, "generous"
  • Godiva (god-EYE-vah or goh-DEE-van, Anglo-Saxon)--"gift of god"
  • Heba (HEB-ah, Arabic)
  • Isidora (is-ih-DOHR-ah, ee-see-DOHR-ah, Greek)--"gift from Isis"
  • Karima (kah-ree-mah, Arabic)--"generous"
  • Lahja (LAH-hya, Finnish)
  • Pandora (pan-DOH-rah, Greek)--"all gifts"
  • Sunniva (soon-NEE-vah, Norwegian)--from Old English, "gift of the sun". Another form is Synnove (sin-NOH-veh).
  • Theodora (theh-oh-DOHR-ah, Greek)--"gift of God"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Usual Nickname, Unexpected Name--Callie

Callie is another example of a nickname that's become reasonably popular on its own. Originally a nickname for Caroline, I suspect it's another example of the R to L shift. This also helped distance it from Caroline, as it's not the most intuitive nickname in modern American English.

  • Apikalia (ah-pih-KAL-ee-ah, Hawaiian)--form of Abigail
  • Calanthia (kal-AN-thee-ah, English)--from Greek, "beautiful flower"
  • Calista (kal-IS-tah, English)--from Greek, "most beautiful"
  • Calliope (kal-EYE-oh-pee or kal-ee-OH-pay, Greek)--"beautiful voice"
  • Calogera (kah-loh-JEHR-ah, Italian)
  • Calypso (kal-IP-soh, Greek)
  • Catalina (cat-ah-LEE-nah, Spanish)--form of Katherine
  • Kalani (kal-AHN-ee, Hawaiian)
  • Kalina (kal-EEN-ah, Bulgarian)
  • Kalyani (kal-YAH-nee, Indian [Hindi])
  • Michalina (mee-kal-EE-nah, Polish)--feminine form of Michael

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Changing the spelling of a name, no matter how critics may rail against it, is really nothing new. But, while parents today change a spelling to make it "look better" or to be "more unique", in the past, spellings were often altered to make name look like it meant something better. I suspect the main culprits were those most likely to care about that sort of thing (not to mention most likely to be literate)--the clergy and the well-educated.
After all, it looks much better to say: "My daughter's name means 'pure'."
rather than: "We're not really sure where it came from. Possibly, it relates to a pagan goddess."

  • Agnes--original form: Hagne (Greek, "chaste"). Changed to resemble Latin agnos, "lamb".
  • Anthony--original form: Antonius (prob. Etruscan, meaning unknown). Changed to resemble Greek anthos, "flower".
  • Avis--original form: Aveza (Germanic, "desired"). Changed to resemble Latin avis, "bird".
  • Beatrix--original form: Viatrix (Latin, "traveller"). Changed to resemble Latin beatus, "blessed".
  • Cyrus/Kyros--original form: Kurush (prob. Persian, meaning uncertain; poss. "sun", "caregiver", or "young"). Changed to resemble Greek kyrios, "lord".
  • Heloise/Eloise--original form: Helewidis (Germanic, "healthy and wide"). Changed to resemble Greek helios, "sun"
  • Ignatius--original form: Egnatius (Etruscan, meaning unknown). Changed to resemble Latin ignis, "fire".
  • Katherine--original form: Aikaterine (Greek, meaning uncertain). Changed to resemble Greek katharos, "pure".
  • Lance--original form: Lanzo (Germanic, "land"). Changed to resemble French lance, "spear".
  • Leopold--original form: Leudbald (Germanic, "of bold people"). Changed to resemble Latin leo, "lion".
  • Oliver--original form: prob. Alfher (Germanic, "elf warrior") or Aleifr (Norse, "ancestor's descendent"). Changed to resemble Latin oliva, "olive tree".
  • Percival--original form: Peredur (Welsh, meaning unknown). Changed to resemble French percer, "to pierce".
  • Philbert--original form: Filibert (Germanic, "very bright"). Changed to resemble Greek philos, "love".
  • Rose--original form: Rohese (Germanic, "of famous kind"). Changed to resemble Latin rosa.
  • Rosamund--original form: Rosmunda (Germanic, "horse protector"). Changed to resemble Latin rosa munda, "pure rose".
  • Skyler--original form: Schuyler (Dutch, "scholar"). Changed to resemble English sky.
  • Tristan--original form: Drustan (Pictish, "little riot"). Changed to resemble Latin tristis, "sad".
  • Veronica--original form: Pheronike (Greek, "bringer of victory"). Changed to resemble Latin vera icon, "true image".
  • Winifred--original form: Gwenfrewi (Welsh, "holy reconciliation"). Changed to resemble Old English win fred, "friend of peace".

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Usual Name, Unexpected Nickname--Katherine

There are about as many different ways to form nicknames as there are cultures. While many nicknames for our most enduring classics seem out of date or boring, an imported diminutive can be fresh & fun.
The first name I'm tackling in this new series is Katherine. Kate & Katie are just as popular as ever, Kathy is so 30 years ago, Kitty is somewhere between cobwebs and vintage-cute, while Kat is indie-cool.
That's about it for the usual English nicknames, I think, so how about....

  • Cadi (KAH-dee)--Welsh
  • Caja/Kaia/Kaia (KYE-ah)--Scandinavian
  • Cato (kah-TOH)--Dutch
  • Kadri (KAH-dree)--Estonian
  • Kai (KYE)--Scandinavian
  • Kaisa (KYE-sah)--Finnish, Estonian
  • Kari (KAHR-ee)--Norwegian
  • Kasia (KAH-shah)--Polish
  • Kata (KAH-tah)--Croatian, Finnish, Hungarian
  • Katenka (kah-TEN-kah)--Russian
  • Käthe (KET-eh)--German
  • Katia/Katja/Katya (KAHT-yah)--Dutch, German, Russian, Scandinavian
  • Kay (KAY)--English
  • Nienke (NEEN-keh)--Frisian
  • Nine (NEE-nah)--Frisian
  • Rina (REE-nah)--Dutch, Italian
  • Trine (TREE-neh)--Danish

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Same Name?!--Louis

Well, I did my favorite girl-name family not too long ago, so now I'm going to do my favorite set of boy-name variants. Louis probably brings to mind one thing--royalty. There have been no less than 18 King Louis of France, and several German/HRE kings as well. It's out-of-style here in North America, but unsurprisingly, still quite popular in Europe.

Original Germanic form: Chlodovech (no idea how to pronounce; not even going to try)
Latinized form: Ludovicus (loo-dov-EE-kus)

Modern forms:
  • Alaois (AH-leesh)--Irish
  • Aloysius (ah-loh-EE-see-us)--Dutch
  • Aloysius (ah-loh-IH-shus)--English
  • Aloysius (ah-LOY-zee-oos)--German
  • Alvise (ahl-VEE-zeh)--Italian
  • Clovis (KLO-vis)--Germanic
  • Koldo (KOL-doh)--Basque
  • Lajos (LAH-yosh)--Hungarian
  • Lewis (LOO-is)--English
  • Loïc (loh-EEK)--Breton
  • Lowe (LOO-veh)--Swedish. Also spelled Love.
  • Ludwig (LOOD-vik)--German
  • Luigi (LOOEE-jee)--Italian
  • Luis (loo-EES)--Spanish

Feminine forms:
  • Aloisia (ah-loh-EE-zee-ah)--German
  • Lovisa (lov-EE-sah)--Swedish
  • Louise (loo-EEZ)--French
  • Ludwika (lood-VEE-kah)--Polish
  • Luisa (LOOEE-sah or LOOEE-zah)--Spanish, Italian

Thursday, December 8, 2011

You're a God, Part D

I admit, I've having a lot of fun doing this series. Apparently, I'm not as well-taught in history & mythology nearly as well as I thought, and I'm learning quite a bit!
Today's god-names are Germanic, a family of mythology that includes Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and of course, ancient German.

  • Bragi (BRAHG-ee, Norse)--god of poetry
  • Delling (DEL-ling, Norse)--father of the day, poss. god of the dawn
  • Donar (DON-ar, Germanic)--god of thunder, healing, protector of mankind. Norse equivalent is Thor.
  • Freyr (FRAYR, Norse)--god of sunshine, rain, & fertility. Also written as Frey.
  • Odin (OH-din, Norse)--god of war, poetry, death, & wisdom (among others). Anglo-Saxon equivalent is Woden; Germanic is Wodan or Wotan.
  • Tyr (TYUR or TEERH, Norse)--god of combat & justice. Anglo-Saxon equivalent is Tiw; Germanic is Ziu.

  • Eir (AYRH, Norse)--healing goddess. Modern form is Eira.
  • Ostara (OS-tah-rah, Germanic)--poss. goddess of dawn, or goddess of spring. Anglo-Saxon form is Eostre, from which the holiday Easter gets its name.
  • Freyja (FRAY-yah, Norse)--goddess of love, war, beauty, & fertility (among others). Modern form is Freya.
  • Iðunn (ee-THUN [th like in 'that'], Norse)--goddess of youth. Modern form is Idun. Anglicized as Idunn or Ithun.
  • Saga (SAH-gah, Norse)--goddess of poetry & history. Possibly another name for major goddess Frigg.
  • Siv (SEEV, Norse)--earth goddess. Also spelled Sif.
  • Skaði (SKAH-thee [th like in 'that'], Norse)--goddess of mountains & hunting. Anglicized as Skadi or Skathi.
  • Sól (SOHL, Norse)--sun goddess. Germanic equivalent is Sunna.
  • Vár (VAHR, Norse)--goddess of oaths & promises. Also written as Vór.
  • Verðandi (ver-THAHN-dee [th like in that], Norse)--one of the three goddesses of destiny, the others being Urðr & Skuld. Anglicized as Verdandi or Verthandi.
  • Vör (VURH, Norse)--goddess of wisdom.

Names derived from deities:

  • Andor (AHN-dor)--Norwegian, "Thor's eagle"
  • Tollak (TOL-lak)--Norwegian, "Thor's play"
  • Tore (TOO-reh)--Scandinavian, "Thor's warrior". Variants include Thore & Ture.
  • Tormod (TOR-mod)--Norwegian, "Thor's mind"
  • Torsten (TOR-sten)--Norwegian, "Thor's stone". Variants include Thorsten (Swedish, Danish) & Torsti (Finnish)
  • Torvald (TOR-vald)--Scandinavian, "Thor's ruler"

  • Idonea (ih-DOHN-ee-ah)--English, from Iðunn. Variant is Idony.
  • Inga (EEN-gah)--Scandinavian, from Germanic fertility god Ing. Variants include Inka.
  • Ingrid (EEN-grid)--Scandinavian, German; "beautiful Ing". Variants include Inger (Scandinavian) & Inkeri (Finnish).
  • Thora (THOR-ah)--Scandinavian, from Thor
  • Toril (TOR-il)--Norwegian, "Thor's battle"
  • Tyra (TYE-rah or TEE-rah)--Scandinavian,  from Thor

Monday, December 5, 2011

There's a Girl-Version?

(or in rare cases, a boy-version).
Most names that you can think of likely have both an established male & female version, or are considered unisex nowadays. To modern ears, some seem more than a bit old-fashioned or contrived (Adamina? Jamesetta?), while others are readily accepted (Alexandra, Charlotte).
There are quite a few names, though, where either the female versions are established elsewhere but haven't been imported into English usage, or have been forgotten entirely.

  • Alastriona (al-as-TREE-nah)--Irish, fem. of Alastar [Alexander]
  • Auda (AW-dah)-Germanic, fem. of Otto
  • Axelle (aks-EL-leh)--French, fem. of Axel/Aksel
  • Cassia (KASH-ah or KAS-see-ah)--Latin, fem. of Cassius
  • Damiana (dah-MYAH-nah)--Italian, fem. of Damian
  • Davina (dah-VEE-nah)--Scottish, fem. of David
  • Donella (don-EL-lah)--Scottish, fem. of Donald
  • Doriane (doh-ree-AHN)--French, fem. of Dorian
  • Edmée (ed-MAY)--French, fem. of Edmund
  • Erna (ER-nah)--German, fem. of Ernest
  • Enat (EHN-at)--Irish, fem. of Aidan
  • Finsha (FIN-sha)--Irish, fem. of Finn, Finnian
  • Finnat (FYIN-naht)--Irish, fem. of Finn, Finnian
  • Kenna (KEN-nah)--Scottish, fem. of Kenneth
  • Maura (MOW-rah)--Spanish, fem. of Maurice
  • Owena (oh-WEN-ah)--Welsh, fem. of Owen
  • Petra (PEH-trah)--Greek, fem. of Peter
  • Piera (PYEHR-ah)--Italian, fem. of Peter
  • Riona (REE-on-ah)--Irish, fem. of Ryan
  • Saveria (sah-VEHR-yah)--Italian, fem. of Xavier
  • Tamsin (TAM-zin)--Scottish, fem. of Thomas
  • Yonit (yo-NEET)--Hebrew, fem. of Jonah
  • Zaharina (zah-hah-REE-nah)--Bulgarian, fem of Zachariah/Zachary

  • Agathon (ah-GATH-on)--Greek, masc. of Agatha. Swedish form is Agaton.
  • Amé (ah-may)--French, masc. of Amy/Aimée.
  • Cătălin (cah-tah-LEEN)--Romanian, masc. of Katherine
  • Clarus (CLAIR-us)--Latin, masc. of Claire/Clara. French form is Clair.
  • Laurus (LAUR-us)--Latin, masc. of Laura

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Same Name?!--Alice

This is one of my favorite name families! Like Elizabeth, Alice has some pretty surprising variants--or should I say, is, a surprising variant. The original form was the Germanic Adelheidis, and over time various syllables were cropped out in a plethora of ways.

Original Germanic form: Adelheidis (ah-del-hye-dis)
Modern English form: Alice (AL-is)

  • Adelaide (AD-el-ayd)--English
  • Adélaïde (ad-el-ah-EED)--French
  • Adelaide (ad-el-IDE-eh)--Italian
  • Adelais (AH-del-ay-ees)--Germanic
  • Aileas (AH-les or EH-les)--Scottish 
  • Ailís (AY-leesh)--Irish 
  • Aleida (AH-lye-dah)--Dutch, German
  • Alica (ah-LEE-tsah)--Slavic
  • Alicia (ah-LEE-sha or ah-LEE-syah)--English, Spanish 
  • Alida (ah-LEE-dah)--German
  • Alisa (ah-LEE-sah)--Russian 
  • Alison (AL-ih-son)--English, French
  • Alix (ah-LEEKS)--Medieval French
  • Aliz (AH-leez)--Hungarian
  • Alys (AL-is)--Welsh
  • Elke (EL-keh)--Frisian
  • Heidi (HYE-dee)--German, Scandinavian

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Names for Every Palette

With autumn vanishing, and the world turning brown and white, it seems an appropriate time to distract myself with thoughts of color.

  • Alban (AHL-ban)--German, English; from Latin, "white"
  • Arun (ah-roon)--Indian [Hindi], "reddish brown"
  • Blaine (BLAYN)--English, from Gaelic, "yellow"
  • Blake (BLAYK)--from English blæc "black" or blac "pale"
  • Bruno (BROO-noh)--German, French, Polish, Spanish; from Latin, "brown"
  • Ciar (KEER)--Irish, "black, dark"
  • Donovan (DON-o-van)--Irish, "dark brown". Anglicized from Donndubhán.
  • Fionn (FIN or FYUN)--Irish, "white". Anglicized as Finn.
  • Flynn (FLIN)--Irish, "red". Anglicized from Floinn.
  • Fulvio (FUL-vee-oh)--Italian, from Latin, "yellow"
  • Gláucio (GLOUS-yoh)--Portuguese; from Latin, "bluish grey"
  • Lloyd (LOID)--Welsh, "grey". Another variant is Floyd.
  • Gray, Grey (GRAY)--English
  • Reed, Reid (REED)--English, "red"
  • Roy (ROY)--English, Scottish; from Gaelic Ruadh, "red"

  • Ai (ah-ee)--Japanese, "indigo" [can also mean "love"]
  • Amber (AM-ber)--English--"yellow-orange". Other forms include Ambre (French) & Ambra (Italian)
  • Baila (BYE-lah or BAY-lah)--Yiddish, "white"
  • Blanche (BLANCH or BLAWNSH)--English; from French, "white". Other forms include Blanca (Spanish) & Bianca (Italian).
  • Ciara (KEER-ah)--Irish, "black, dark"
  • Azzurra (ah-DZOO-rah)--Italian, "sky-blue". English form is Azure.
  • Emerald (EM-er-ald or EM-rald)--English; from Greek, "green"
  • Garnet (GAR-net)--English, "dark red"
  • Glesni (GLES-nee)--Welsh, "blueness"
  • Gwen (GWEN)--Welsh, "white, pure"
  • Iole (YO-lay)--Greek, "violet". English form is Iola.
  • Kamala (KAH-mah-lah)--Indian [Hindi], "pale red"
  • Lavender (LAV-en-der)--English, "pale purple"
  • Livna (leev-nah)--Hebrew, "white"
  • Melanie (MEL-an-ee)--English; from Greek, "black, dark"
  • Midori (mih-doh-ree)--Japanese, "green"
  • Nila (nee-lah)--Indian [Hindi], "dark blue". Sometimes transliterated as Neela.
  • Ruby (ROO-bee)--English; from Latin, "red"
  • Saffron (SAF-fron)--English, "yellow-orange"
  • Scarlet (SKAR-let)--English
  • Sienna (see-EN-nah)--English, "orange-red"
  • Sigal (see-GAHL)--Hebrew, "violet"
  • Sini (SEE-nee)--Finnish, "blue"
  • Uaine (WAN-yeh or OO-in-yeh)--Irish, "green"
  • Violet (VYE-oh-let)--English; from Latin Viola.
  • Xanthe (ZAN-theh or ZAN-thee)--Greek, "yellow"
  • Zuriñe (soo-REEN-yeh)--Basque, "white"

  • Ailbhe (ALV-yeh)--Irish, "white". Anglicizations include Alva, Elva, Alby & Alvy.
  • Cyan (sye-AN)--English, from Greek, "green-blue"
  • Phoenix (FEE-niks)--English; from Greek, "dark red"
  • Sable (SAY-bl)--English, "black"
  • Shani (shah-nee)--Hebrew, "scarlet red"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pilgrim Baby Names

Happy American Thanksgiving!
The Puritans & other first colonists seem to have quite the reputation for crazy word-names. In honor of Thanksgiving, I decided to see how true that was. So, here are the children of the Pilgrims--some travelled on the Mayflower; most were born in the New World (and one was born on the voyage...take a guess which! :p).

  • Alexander
  • Bartholomew
  • Benjamin (x2)
  • Caleb (x2)
  • Charles
  • David 
  • Edward (x2)
  • Francis
  • George
  • Giles
  • Isaac (x3)
  • Jabez
  • Jacob
  • James
  • Jasper
  • John (x11)
  • Jonathan
  • Joseph (x6)
  • Josiah
  • Josias
  • Love
  • Myles
  • Nathaniel (x3)
  • Oceanus 
  • Peregrine
  • Resolved
  • Richard
  • Samuel (x3)
  • Stephen
  • Thomas
  • William (x2)
  • Wrestling
  • Zachariah

  • Abigail
  • Ann
  • Constance 
  • Damaris
  • Deborah
  • Desire (x2)
  • Dorcas
  • Elizabeth (x11)
  • Ellen
  • Hannah (x2)
  • Hester
  • Hope
  • Jane
  • Lora
  • Lydia 
  • Mary (x10)
  • Mercy (x2)
  • Patience
  • Priscilla (x3)
  • Rachel
  • Rebecca (x2)
  • Remember
  • Ruth (x3)
  • Sarah (x4)
  • Susanna

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Same Name?!--George

George. It's one of those names where the consensus is split pretty evenly--some think it's purely boring, stodgy old-man, and some think it's stately & timeless. George caught on pretty early because of a dragon-slaying saint, first primarily in Eastern Christianity, and then spreading to the western world during the crusades. It even became moderately used for women for a while in the 1930s & 40s. 

Original Greek form: Georgios [Γεωργιος] (gee-OR-gee-ohs)

Modern forms:
  • Deorsa (JOR-sa)--Scottish
  • Đurađ (JOOR-ahj)--Croatian, Serbian. Also spelled Djuradj or Juraj.
  • Gevorg (gev-org or kev-ork)--Armenian. Also transliterated to Kevork.
  • Giorgio (JOR-joh)--Italian
  • Gorka (GOR-kah)--Basque
  • György (DYOOR-dyeh)--Hungarian
  • Jerzy (YEHR-zheh)--Polish
  • Jordi (JOR-dee)--Catalan
  • Jorgen (YOR-gen)--Scandinavian
  • Jorge (ZHOR-zheh)--Portuguese
  • Jorge (HOR-heh)--Spanish
  • Joris (YOR-is)--Dutch
  • Jory (JOH-ree)--Cornish
  • Seoirse (SHOR-sheh)--Irish
  • Seoras (SHOR-as)--Scottish
  • Siôr (SHOR)--Welsh
  • Xurxo (SHOOR-shah)--Galician
  • Yorick (YOR-ik)--English (via Jorgen)
  • Yuriy (YOO-ree)--Russian. Also spelled Yuri.

Feminine Forms:
  • Đurđica (joor-JEE-tsah)--Croatian
  • Georgeta (jor-JET-ah)--Romanian
  • Georgette (zhor-ZHET)--French
  • Georgia (JOR-jah)--English
  • Gergana (gehr-GAHN-ah)--Bulgarian
  • Jirina (YEE-ree-nah)--Czech

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Usual Nickname, Unexpected Name--Lola

Again, not really a "usual" nickname, but the poor nickname of an outdated name. Another example of the archaic R to L shift, Lola was originally a nickname for Dolores. Thanks to a few different songs and the German film Run Lola Run, Lola has stayed out of obscurity, and is even rapidly gaining popularity in many areas. But, if you want to further distance Lola from her "sorrowful" roots (Dolores is Spanish for "pains" or "sorrows"), a few options are nice.

  • Anatola (ahn-ah-TOH-lah, Polish)
  • Bellona (bel-LO-nah, Latin)--Roman goddess of war
  • Carlota (cahr-LOH-tah, Spanish)--feminine form of Charles
  • Carola (cahr-OH-lah, German)--another feminine form of Charles
  • Finola (fin-OH-lah, Irish, Scottish)--anglicized from Fionnuala. Another form is Fionola.
  • Hannelore (HAH-nah-lor-ah, German)
  • Ilona (ee-LOH-nah, Hungarian)--form of Helen
  • Lorelei (LOH-reh-lye, German)
  • Lorena (loh-REH-nah, Spanish)--form of Lorraine
  • Lorenza (loh-REN-zah, Italian)--feminine form of Laurence
  • Paloma (pah-LOH-mah, Spanish)
  • Valora (vah-LOH-rah, Esperanto)--"valuable"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

People with People-Names

No, I haven't lost it (completely). One post has again inspired another, so I've felt the need to compile name derived from nationalities, tribes, and the like. And I found more than I expected! They make up a fairly small percent of the total "naming pool", but this type of name is in constant use--while Frank & Judith have gone out of style, Roman and Cheyenne have been rising to take their place, while others, like Sabina & Wendel, remain relatively rare.

  • Adrian (AY-dree-an, AH-dree-ahn)--From Latin, "of Hadria" [northern Italy]
  • Atticus (AT-ti-kus)--from Greek, "of Attica" [modern-day Athens]
  • Dakota (dah-KOH-tah)--from Lakota Sioux, "friends, allies" [modern-day South Dakota, Minnesota]
  • Dane (DAYN)--from Greek Danoi, meaning unknown [modern-day Denmark]
  • Dardan (DAHR-dahn)--from Illyrian Dardanii, poss. "from the pear trees" [modern-day Kosovo & Macedonia]
  • Dorian (DOHR-ee-an)--from Greek, poss. "woodlander" or "spearman" [modern-day southern Greece]
  • Finn (FIN)--from Old Norse Finnr, meaning uncertain [modern-day Finland]
  • Francis (FRAN-sis)--from Latin, "Frenchman". French/France are derived from Frank.
  • Frank (FRANK)--from Germanic, "javelin", or poss. "fierce". [orig. modern-day Netherlands & N. Germany; spread throughout Europe]
  • Lachlan (LAHKH-lan)--from Scottish, "from the lakes" [Norway]
  • Norman (NOHR-man)--from Germanic, "northman, Viking"
  • Roman (ROH-man, ROM-an, rom-AHN)--from Latin, "of Rome". 
  • Saxon (SAK-son)--from Germanic, "knife" [orig. modern-day N. Germany, also spread into Britain]
  • Scott (SKOT)--from Latin Scoti, "Gaelic speaker"
  • Wendel (WEN-del)--from Germanic Vandal, poss. "wanderer" [originally modern-day Eastern Europe]

  • Cheyenne (shy-EN)--from Dakota Sioux, "strange speakers" [modern-day Wisconsin, Colorado]
  • Daciana (dah-CHYAH-nah)--from Latin, "of Dacia" [modern-day Romania]
  • Dardana (dahr-DAH-nah)--feminine of Dardan
  • Doris (DOHR-is)--feminine of Dorian
  • Genevieve (JEN-eh-veev, zhahn-vee-ev)--from Gaulish Genovefa, "tribal woman"
  • Judith (JOO-dith, YOO-dith)--from Hebrew, "of Judea" [modern-day S. Israel & West Bank]
  • Lydia (LID-ee-ah)--from Greek, "from Lydia" [modern-day Turkey]
  • Paris (PAIR-is, PAHR-is)--from Celtic Parisii, prob. "craftsmen" [modern-day France]
  • Roxelana (roks-el-AH-nah)--From Turkish, "Russian"
  • Sabina (sah-BEE-nah)--from Latin, "of Sabine" [modern-day central Italy]
  • Saskia (SAS-kee-ah)--feminine of Saxon. Older form is Saxa.
  • Wanda (WAHN-dah)--feminine of Wendel

  • Dana (DAY-nah)--from English, "Danish person". Danish/Denmark are derived from Dane.
  • Kerry (KEHR-ree)--from Irish Gaelic, "Ciar's people" [modern day SW Ireland]

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Places with People-Names

I have to admit, I'm not generally a fan of place-names on people. I see names pretty literally, so something like "Cole's town" [Colton] or "barren field" [Leland] just doesn't make sense on a person to me. Obviously, I'm more in the minority in that matter.
But, it always make me giggle to see the argument, "Well, what about Austin, Georgia, & Chad? Plenty of people have those names!" Well, yes, they do, but in the first two cases, they were named for a person, and in the final, it's just a coincidence.

  • Adelaide, Australia--after Queen Adelaide, wife of King William IV of England
  • Africa--coincidence: the name can be an anglicization of Gaelic Aifric,"pleasant"; the continent's name is of uncertain origin
  • Alberta, Canada--after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, and her father Prince-Consort Albert, daughter & husband, respectively, of Queen Victoria
  • Alexandria, Egypt--after Alexander the Great
  • America--after mapmaker Amerigo Vespucci, whose name is a form of Emmerich
  • Austin, Texas, USA--after Texas colonial leader Stephen F. Austin, whose surname is a form of Augustine
  • Brittany, France--after the ancient Britons, "painted people"
  • North & South Carolina, USA--after King Charles I of England
  • Chad--coincidence: the name is from Welsh Ceadda, "battle"; the country from the Kanuri word for "lake"
  • Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA--from the Dakota name for another Native American tribe, "strange speakers"
  • North & South Dakota, USA--from the name of the Native American tribe, "allies, friends"
  • Devon county, UK--after the Celtic tribe the Dumnonii, "valley dwellers"
  • Europe/Europa--after legendary Phoenician princess Europa
  • Florence, Italy--coincidence: the name is from Latin Florentius, "flourishing"; the city from Latin fluentia, "flowing"
  • Gary, Indiana, USA--after lawyer & businessman Elbert H. Gary
  • Georgia, USA--after King George II of England
  • Israel--from its Biblical founder, Israel, aka Jacob, grandson of Abraham
  • Kerry county, Ireland--after the Celtic tribe the Ciarraí, "dark", named for its founder, Ciar
  • Madison, Wisconsin, USA--after Pres. James Madison
  • Milan, Italy--coincidence: the name is from Slavic mil, "darling"; the city from Latin Mediolanum, meaning uncertain
  • Orlando, Florida, USA--after local legend Orlando Reeves, whose name is a form of Roland
  • Paris, France--after Celtic tribe the Parisii, poss. "craftsmen". It coincides with a (masculine) Greek name of unknown meaning
  • Santiago, Chile--from St. Iago, a form of Jacob/James
  • Virginia, USA--after Elizabeth I, "the Virgin Queen". It is also the feminine form of Verginius.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Usual Nickname, Unexpected Name--Jo/Joe

Joe has been such a common name for so long that it's even spawned idioms--"Joe Blow", "Average Joe", "Joe Public", etc. While Joseph is still an extremely popular name, just plain Joe has been steadily declining since the 40s. The feminine form, Jo, followed, while its usual given names--Joanna & Josephine--have had their ups and downs.

  • Jericho (JEHR-ih-koh, Hebrew)
  • Jethro (JETH-roh, Hebrew)
  • Joab (JOH-ab, Hebrew)
  • Joachim (JOH-a-kim, English)--form of Biblical Jehoiakim
  • Joash (JOH-ash, Hebrew)
  • Jolyon (JOH-lee-on, JOL-ee-on, English)--form of Julian
  • Jonas (JOH-nas, Greek)--form of Jonah
  • Joram (JOR-am, Hebrew)--form of Jehoram
  • Josiah (joh-SYE-ah, Hebrew)--alternate transcription is Josias

  • Adjoa (ahd-JOH-ah, Akan)
  • Georgette (jor-jet, French)
  • Jocasta (joh-KAS-tah, Greek)
  • Jocosa (joh-KOH-sah, English)
  • Josette (zho-SET, French)
  • Josiane (zho-see-AHN, French)
  • Marjolaine (mar-zho-lehn, French)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What's in a Nickname?

Modern American English has a pretty regular system for making nicknames (the fancy word is hypocoristics)--take the main phoneme/syllable (or at least a prominent one) and add "ee" or "a", or just leave it as is. Ex: Jackson-->Jack or Jax; Eleanor-->Ella; Madison-->Maddy. Foreign, or even archaic English, nicknames thus can seem pretty strange or unintuitive to modern American ears, but they sure can be fun!

  • Arabic: take the root consonants (3, sometimes 4), and follow this pattern--first consonant/A/second consonant/second consonant (or 3rd, if 4)/U or O/U/final consonant. 
    • Barak --> Barruuk, Maryam --> Maryuum
  • archaic English: adding '-kin' or rhyming (or both!).  
    • Robert --> Robin. Rick --> Dick. John --> Jankin --> Hankin --> Hank.
  • Australian English: adding '-az' or 'azza' if a prominent central/end R is present; add '-o' or 'ooey' to any other name. 
    • Caroline --> Caz, Cazza. Daniel --> Danno. Moses --> Moey.
  • older French: adding '-ot' for male; '-ette' or '-ine' for female. 
    • Pierre --> Pierrot. Jeanne --> Jeannette. Amanda --> Amandine.
  • even older French: adding '-on'.  
    • Alice --> Alison.
  • Hindi: adding '-u'.  
    • Anita --> Nitu.
  • Italian: adding '-ino', '-etto', or '-ello' for male; '-ina', '-etta', or '-ella' for female.  
    • Cesar --> Cesarino. Clara --> Claretta. Fiore --> Fiorella.
  • Japanese: simply dropping a syllable, and/or adding '-chan' for either sex, or sometimes '-ko' for females.
    • Koyomi --> Yomi. Kyou --> Kyou-chan. Usagi --> Usako.
  • Russian: adding '-ka', '-sha' or '-ya'. 
    • Ekaterina --> Katenka. Mikhail --> Misha. Tatiana --> Tanya
  • Scottish: adding '-an', '-agan' or '-aidh' for male; '-ag' for female. 
    • Angus -->Angaidh. Dubh -->Dubhagan. Bran --> Branan. Anne --> Annag.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Halloween! This seemed like a good time to highlight those names that are mash-ups, but work. They may inspire thoughts of pitchforks & fire for some, but they've proven the test of time (well, decades or so, anyway).
For some reason, combination-names are nearly exclusively feminine.

  • Aeronwen (eye-RON-wen, Welsh)--Aeron, "berry" + Gwen, "fair, blessed"
  • Annabella (an-nah-BEL-lah, English, Italian)
  • Annalee (an-nah-LEE, English)
  • Annalisa (ahn-nah-LEE-sah, Italian)
  • Annegret (AHN-ne-gret, German)--Anna + Margaret
  • Annelien (ahn-ne-LEEN, Dutch)--Anna + Carolien, Evelien, Angelien,  or Paulien
  • Anneliese (ah-nah-LEEZ-eh, German; an-nah-LEES, English)--Anna + Elisabeth
  • Annemarie (ah-nah-mah-REE, Dutch, German)
  • Arianwen (ahr-ee-ON-wen)--Arianell, "silver", + Gwen
  • Belphoebe (bel-FEE-bee, English)--Belle, "beautiful" + Phoebe, "bright, pure"
  • Carreen (cahr-REEN, English)--Caroline + Irene
  • Charmaine (shar-MAIN, English)--Charmion, "delight", + Lorraine
  • Christabel (KRIS-ta-bel, English)--Christine + Belle
  • Claribel (CLAIR-ih-bel, English)
  • Fioralba (fee-or-AHL-bah, Italian)--Fiore, "flower", + Alba, "dawn"
  • Hannelore (HAH-ne-lor-eh, German)--Hanna + Eleonore
  • Leanne (lee-AN, English)
  • Lilou (lee-LOO, French)--Lili + Louise
  • Lisanne (lis-AHN-neh, Dutch)--Lisa + Anne
  • Liselotte (lee-zeh-LOT-teh, German)--Lisa + Charlotte
  • Mairwen (MIRE-wen, Welsh)--Mair [Mary] + Gwen
  • Maite (MYE-teh, Portuguese)--Maria + Teresa
  • Maribel (mar-ee-BEL, Spanish)--Maria + Isabel
  • Maricela (mar-ee-SEHL-ah, Spanish)--Maria + Celia, "heaven"
  • Maricruz (MAH-ree-crooz, Spanish)--Maria + Cruz, "cross"
  • Marilène (mar-ih-LEHN, French)--Marie + Helene
  • Marilou (mair-ee-LOO, English)
  • Marisol (mahr-ee-SOHL, Spanish)--Maria + Soledad, "solitude" or Sol, "sun"
  • Marlis (MAHR-lis, German)--Mary + Elisabeth
  • Maryanne (mair-ee-AN, English)
  • Mylène (mee-LEHN, French)--Marie + Helene
  • Rosabel (ROHZ-ah-bel, English)
  • Rosangela (roh-zahn-JEL-ah, Italian)
  • Rosanna (roh-ZAN-nah, English)
  • Rosemarie (ROH-seh-mah-ree, German, Scandinavian; rohz-mah-REE, English)
  • Tegeirian (teg-EYE-ryen, Welsh)--Tegan, "pretty", + Eirian, "shining"

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Random Fact of the Day:

Although the R sound is made mainly with the lips in standard American English, in most languages and even some English dialects, the R is pronounced almost exclusively with the tongue, similar to the L. This accounts for the R to L shift in old nicknames (Mary to Molly, Sarah to Sally, for example) and the difficulty new English learners have with our Rs ("flied lice", anyone?); as well as the inability of most English speakers to roll their Rs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

X Marks the Spot

Like J & K, Xs are relatively rare in English words, and so they're memorable & eye-catching. Unlike J & K, however, it's hard to find (or adapt) acceptable names containing X. One small problem is that X's pronunciation varies greatly from language to language. But, if you don't mind correcting people, there are quite a few fun X names out there.

  • Ajax (AY-jaks, Greek)
  • Anxo (AN-shah, Galician)--form of Angel
  • Axel (AKS-el, German, Scandinavian)--form of Absolom
  • Dax (DAKS, English)--from Old English Dæcca, "day"
  • Dexter (DEKS-ster, English)
  • Felix (FEE-liks or FEHL-iks, Latin)--"lucky"
  • Ganix (JAHN-eesh, Basque)--form of John
  • Lennox (LEN-oks, Scottish)
  • Mannix (MAN-niks, Irish)--Anglicized from either Mainchin or Mag Aonghuis
  • Ximun (SHEE-mun, Basque)--form of Simon

  • Arantxa (ah-RANT-shah, Basque)
  • Axelle (aks-EL-leh, French)--feminine of Axel
  • Beatrix (BEE-ah-triks, or BEH-ah-triks, Latin)--"traveller"
  • Eudoxia (yu-DOKS-ee-ah, Greek)--"good fame" 
  • Itxaro (eet-SHAH-roh, Basque)--"hope"
  • Ixchel (ee-SHEL, Mayan)--Mayan goddess of the earth, medicine, and the moon
  • Meritxell (mur-eet-CHEL, Catalan)--"midday"
  • Polyxena (pol-ih-KSEE-ah, Greek)--"much hospitality"
  • Roxelana (roks-el-AH-nah, Turkish)
  • Ruxandra (rewks-AN-drah, Romanian)--form of Roxana, "dawn"
  • Uxia (oo-SHEE-ah, Basque)--form of Eugenia
  • Xanthe (ZAN-theh or ZAN-thee, Greek)
  • Xenia (KSEN-ya or ZEN-ee-ah, Greek)
  • Xiomara (see-oh-MAHR-ah, Spanish)
  • Xoana (shoh-AW-nah, Galician)--form of John

  • Alexis (ah-LEKS-ish, Greek)--"defender"
  • Calix (CAHL-iks, Latin)
  • Lux (LEWKS, Latin)--"light"
  • Pax (PAKS, Latin)--"peace"
  • Phoenix (FEE-niks, Greek)
  • Xuan (sooun, Vietnamese)--"spring"
  • Xue (shooeh, Chinese)--"snow" or "learning"
  • Xun (shooen, Chinese)--"fast, sudden"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Usual Nickname, Unexpected Name--Polly

Polly likely brings up mental images of black-and-white movies. It's cute, but somehow old, and maybe a bit musty. It was originally a nickname for Mary...huh?
Long story short: Mary became Molly, due to the difficulty some dialects have with the letter R. Rhyming nicknames were all the rage back in Ye Olde English (Rick-->Dick, Will-->Bill, etc), so Molly became Polly.
However, Polly's not exactly an intuitive nickname for Mary in modern English, so here're some alternatives. :)
  • Apolline (ah-pol-leen, French)--form of Apollonia. Other variants include Apolena (Czech), Polina (Russian), and Polona (Slovene). 
  • Palmira (pahl-MEE-rah, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)--"traveller"
  • Paloma (pahl-OH-mah, Spanish)--"dove"
  • Paolina (pow-LEE-nah, Italian)--feminine form of Paul, "humble"
  • Penelope (pen-EL-oh-pee, Greek)
  • Peronel (PEHR-oh-nel, English)--form of Petronilla
  • Polymnia (pol-IM-nee-ah, Greek)--"many songs". The Greek muse of dance & song.
  • Polyxena (pol-ih-KSEE-nah, Greek)--"much hospitality"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Surnames as first names is quite the trend right now, and patronymics are a big part of that--Addison, McKenzie, Jackson, etc. Although I'll never quite get over "son" names becoming so widely popular for daughters, I have to think that part of that owes to the lack of mother/daughter names, which are unheard of in most cultures. I was greatly surprised to find out that at least one fairly common boys' name is actually derived from a feminine name--Emmett! Which, of course, sent me on a quest to find other matronymic surnames.
Hey, it may not be "daughter of ____", but it's a start!

  • Anson (AN-son)--from Agnes
  • Averill (AV-er-il)--from Anglo-Saxon Eoforhild/Everhild
  • Babcock (BAB-kok)--from Barbara
  • Bell (BEL)--from Isabel (can also be an occupational name, "bellringer")
  • Dwight (DWITE)--from medieval Diot, a form of Greek Dionysia [the original form of Denise]
  • Dyson (DYE-son)--another from Dionysia 
  • Eads (EEDZ)--from Edith
  • Eason (EE-son)--another from Edith (can also be from Adam)
  • Edison (ED-ih-son)--yet another from Edith (can also be from Adam)
  • Emmett (EM-met)--from Emma
  • Evelyn (EV-el-in)--from Aveline 
  • Ibbott (IB-bot)--from Isabel
  • Madison (MAD-ih-son)--from Maude (can also be from Matthew)
  • Marion (MEHR-ee-on)--from Mary
  • Merrill (MEHR-ril)--from Muriel
  • Royce (ROIS)--from Rose
  • Ruskin (RUS-kin)--another from Rose 
  • Sinason (SEE-nah-son)--from Scandinavian Sina

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Coincident Names

While doing my International Names lists, I ran across quite a few names that occurred in different languages, but weren't from the same source--they just happened to be spelled/pronounced alike! After much deliberation (and the other posts growing way too long), I decided to give all these coincident names a separate spotlight.

  • Amit
    • ah-MEET, Hebrew, "friend"
    • ah-MIT, Indian [Hindi], "infinite"
  • Ari (ah-ree)
    • Armenian, "brave" 
    • Finnish, Icelandic; from Old Norse, "eagle"
    • Hebrew, "lion"
  • Basil 
    • BAH-sil, Arabic, "brave"
    • BAZ-il, English; from ancient Greek Basileios, "king"
  • Cian, Kian
    • Cian, Kian (KEE-ah), Irish, "ancient"
    • Kian (kee-AHN), Persian, "king"
  • Ellis (EL-lis)
    • English; from a surname form of Elijah, "My God is Yahweh"
    • Welsh; from a surname form of Elisedd, "kind"
  • Finn (FIN)
    • Irish, form of Fionn, "fair"
    • Scandinavian; from old Norse, "person from Finland"
  • Kamil (kah-meel)
    • Arabic, "perfect"
    • Czech, Polish; from Latin Camillus
  • Lev (LEHV)
    • Hebrew, "heart"
    • Russian, "lion"
  • Oran, Oren, Orrin
    • Oran, Orrin, Irish, "pale green". Anglicized from Odhrán.
    • Oren, Hebrew, "pine tree"
  • Ronan, Ronen (roh-nen)
    • Ronan, Irish, "little seal"
    • Ronen, Hebrew, "joy, song"
  • Zane, Zayn
    • Zane, English, from a surname of uncertain meaning; poss. from John, "God is gracious", or from Hebrew Zayin, "sword"
    • Zayn, Arabic, "grace" 

  • Aina
    • EYE-nah, Catalan; a form of Anna.
    • EYE-nah, Finnish & Scandinavian; a form of Aino, a figure in Finnish mythology.
    • ah-ee-nah, Japanese, "love" and "name"
  • Amelia, Emilia (uh-MEEL-yah, uh-MEE-lee-ah)
    • Amelia, Germanic, "worker, diligent"
    • Emilia, Latin, "rival, competitor"
  • Asha (ah-shah)
    • Indian [Hindi], "hope"
    • Swahili, "life"
  • Audra
    • AW-drah, English, a form of Audrey, "noble strength"
    • OW-drah, OH-drah, Lithuanian, "storm"
  • Ava 
    • AH-vah, German, "desired"
    • AY-vah, English; a form of Eve, "life"
    • AH-vah, Persian, "sound"
  • Ailla, Ayla, Isla (EYE-lah)
    • Ailla, Cornish, "most beautiful"
    • Ayla, Turkish, "moonlight"
    • Isla, Scottish, from the name of an island, meaning unknown.
  • Carys, Charis (KAR-is)
    • Carys, Welsh, "love". Another form is Cerys (KEHR-is).
    • Charis, English; from Greek, "grace". Sometimes spelled Karis.
  • Dalia (DAHL-yah, DAHL-ee-ah)
    • Hebrew, "branch"
    • Lithuanian, "luck, fate"
    • Spanish, form of Dahlia
  • Darina 
    • dah-REE-nah, Bulgarian, Macedonian; from Slavic, "gift"
    • dah-RIN-yah, Irish, "fruitful". Anglicized from Dáiríne. 
  • Daria, Darya (DAHR-yah)
    • Daria/Darya, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian; feminine form of Darius.
    • Darya, Persian, "sea"
  • Eira
    • AY-rah, Norwegian, Swedish; from old Norse, "mercy"
    • AY-rah, EYE-rah, Welsh, "snow"
  • Eliana (el-ee-AH-nah)
    • Hebrew, "God has answered"
    • Italian, Spanish; from Latin Aelianus, "of the sun"
  • Hana (HAH-nah)
    • Arabic, "happiness"
    • Croatian, Czech; from Hebrew Hannah, "grace"
    • Japanese, "flower"
  • Hania (HAH-nee-ah)
    • Arabic, "pleasant"
    • Polish; from Hebrew Hannah
  • Kala (KAH-lah)
    • Hawaiian; form of Sarah, "princess"
    • Indian [Hindi], "art form"
  • Kira (KEER-ah)
    • English; from Irish Ciara, "dark"
    • Russian, female form of Cyrus
  • Laila, Lilah, Lyla (LYE-lah)
    • Laila, Finnish, Scandinavian; form of Helga, "blessed, holy"
    • Lilah, English; from Hindi Leela, "play", or Arabic Leila, "night", or from Hebrew Lilach, "lilac"
    • Lyla, English; feminine form of Lyle, "island"
  • Lorena
    • loh-REE-nah or loh-REH-nah, English, a form of Lauren
    • loh-REH-nah, Italian, Spanish, a form of Lorraine  
  • May, Mei (MAY)
    • May, English; from the month, which is from the Roman goddess Maia.
    • Mei, Chinese, "beautiful" or "plum"
    • Mei, Japanese, "sprout" and "life" or "reliant", or "bright, wise"
  • Maia, Maja, Maya (MY-ah)
    • Maia, Basque; form of Mary/Maria
    • Maia, Greek; meaning uncertain, poss. from "mother". Other spellings are Maja & Maya.
    • Maia, Latin, "great"; Roman goddess of spring
    • Maja, Scandinavian, form of Mary/Maria
    • Maya, endonym (self-given name) of the Mayan people, meaning unknown
    • Maya, Hebrew, "water"
    • Maya, Indian [Hindi], "illusion"
    • Maya, Nepali, "love"
  • Marita (mah-REE-tah)
    • Dutch, German, Finnish, Spanish; form of Mary
    • Norwegian, Swedish; form of Margaret
  • Mary, Meri (MEHR-ee)
    • Mary, English; from Hebrew Miryam, meaning uncertain
    • Meri, Finnish, "the sea"
  • Mira (MEER-ah)
    • Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Polish, Slovene; from Slavic, "peace"
    • Indian [Hindi], "sea"
  • Naomi
    • nah-OH-mee, nay-OH-mee, nye-OH-mee, English; from Hebrew, "pleasantness"
    • nah-oh-mee, Japanese, "honest" and "beautiful" 
  • Nessa (NES-sah)
    • Hebrew, "miracle"
    • Irish, "not gentle"
  • Nia (NEE-ah)
    • Swahili, "purpose"
    • Welsh; form of Irish Niamh, "bright"
  • Orna (or-nah)
    • Hebrew, "pine tree"
    • Irish, "little green one"
  • Raisa (rah-ee-sah, RYE-sah)
    • Arabic, "leader"
    • Russian, "relaxed"
    • Yiddish, "rose"
  • Raina, Rayna, Reina, Reyna (RAY-nah)
    • Raina, Rayna, Bulgarian; form of Latin Regina, "queen" or from Slavic, "care"
    • Rayna, Reina, Yiddish, "pure"
    • Reina, Reyna, Spanish, "queen"
  • Rani (rah-nee)
    • Hebrew, "my joy"
    • Indian [Hindi], "queen
  • Rina (REE-nah)
    • Hebrew, "joy"
    • Indian [Hindi], "melted"
    • Japanese, "jasmine"
  • Rona (ROH-nah)
    • Hebrew, "song, joy"
    • Scottish, "rough island", or poss. a feminine form of Ronan, "little seal". Also spelled Rhona.
  • Rosa, Roza
    • Rosa, roh-SAH, Bulgarian, "dew"
    • Rosa, RO-sah, RO-zah; Dutch, English, German, Italian, Portuguese, Scandinavian, Spanish; from Latin "rose" or Germanic, "fame"  
    • Roza, ROH-zah, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Macedonian, Russian; from Slavic, "rose"
  • Sabeen, Sabine (sah-been)
    • Sabeen, Arabic, "follower of another religion"
    • Sabine, French, from the name of an ancient Italian tribe, meaning unknown
  • Sarita (sah-REE-tah)
    • Indian [Hindi], "flowing"
    • Spanish; form of Sarah
  • Tara 
    • TAH-rah, Indian [Hindi], "star"
    • TEHR-ah, TAR-ah, English; from Irish, "high place"
  • Vera (VEHR-ah)
    • Albanian, "summer"
    • Croatian, Dutch, English, German, Macedonian, Russian, Portuguese, Scandinavian; from Russian, "faith" or from Latin, "true"

  • Alva
    • ♂, AL-vah, Hebrew, English; from Biblical Hebrew, "his highness". Also spelled Alvah.
    • ♂♀, AL-vah, Irish, "white". Anglicized from Ailbhe.
    • ♀, AHL-vah, Norwegian, Swedish; from old Norse, "elf"
  • Ami 
    • ♀, AY-mee, English; a form of Amy, "beloved".
    • ♂, AH-mee, Hebrew, "trustworthy"
    • ♀, ah-mee, Japanese, "second" and "beautiful"
  • An, Anh, Anne (AN)
    • An, ♂♀, Chinese, "peace"
    • Anh, ♂♀, Vietnamese, "cleverness"
    • Ann/Anne, ♀, English; from Hebrew, "grace"
  • Beau, Bo
    • Beau, ♂, English; from French, "beautiful"
    • Bo, ♂♀, Chinese, "wave" or "precious"
    • Bo, ♂♀, Danish, Swedish; from old Norse, "to live"
  • Cai, Kai (KYE)
    • Cai, ♂, Chinese, "fortune"
    • Cai, ♀, Chinese, "colorful"
    • Cai/Kai, ♂♀, Scandinavian, Welsh; from the Latin Caius/Gaius.
    • Kai, ♂♀, Hawaiian, "sea"
    • Kai, ♀, Scandinavian, form of Kaja 
  • Dara (DAH-rah)
    • ♀, Bulgarian, Macedonian; from Slavic, "gift"
    • ♀, Hebrew, "wisdom"
    • ♂, Irish, "oak tree"
    • ♂♀, Khmer, "star"
    • ♂, Persian, "wealthy"
  • Eira/Ira (EYE-rah)
    • Eira, ♀, Welsh, "snow"
    • Ira, ♂, English; from Hebrew, "watchful"
  • Haizea, Isaiah (eye-ZAY-ah)
    • Haizea, ♀,  Basque, "wind"
    • Isaiah,  ♂, English; from Hebrew, "Yahweh is salvation"
  • Lee, Li (LEE)
    • Lee, ♂♀, English, "field"; sometimes spelled Leigh.
    • Li, ♂, Chinese, "strength"
    • Li, ♀, Chinese, "jasmine" or "beautiful" 
  • Maike, Meike, Micah (MYE-kah)
    • Maike, Meike, ♀, German; form of Mary/Maria
    • Micah, ♂, English, from [Biblical] Hebrew, "who is like God?"
  • Maren, Marin, Merryn
    • Maren, ♀, MAH-ren or MEHR-en,  Danish, Norwegian; form of Marina, "of the sea"
    • Marin, ♂, MAH-ren,  Croatian, French, Macedonian, Romanian; from Latin Marinus, "of the sea"
    • Merryn, ♂♀, MEHR-ren, Cornish, meaning unknown
  • Marian 
    • ♂, MAHR-yan, Czech, Hungarian, Polish; from Latin Marianus "of Mars"
    • ♀, MAIR-ee-an, English; form of Mary
  • Marit, Merit, Merritt (MEHR-it)
    • Marit, Merit, ♀, Swedish, form of Margaret, "pearl"
    • Merit, ♀, Egyptian, "beloved"
    • Merit, ♂♀, English, from the English word, or from the surname Merritt
    • Merritt, ♂, English, "boundary gate"
  • Noa, Noah (no-ah)
    • Noa, ♂ ♀ , Hawaiian, "free"
    • Noa, ♀, Japanese, "my love" or "from love"
    • Noah, ♀, Hebrew, "motion". Sometimes spelled Noa.
    • Noah, ♂, English, from Hebrew Noach, "comfort".
  • Noe (no-ay)
    • ♂, French, Portuguese, Spanish; from Hebrew, form of Noah
    •   , Hawaiian, "mist"
  • Ora (oh-ra)
    • ♂♀, English; from Latin, "to pray"
    • ♀, Hebrew, "light"
  • Paz (PAHZ)
    • ♂♀, Hebrew, "gold"
    • ♀, Spanish, "peace"
  • Reine, Ren, Wren (REN)
    • Reine, ♀, French, "queen"
    • Ren, ♂ ♀, Japanese, "lotus" or "love"
    • Wren, ♂ ♀, English
  • Su (SOO)
    • ♂♀, Chinese, "respectful"
    • ♀, Turkish, "water"
  • Yuri (yoo-ree)
    • ♀, Japanese, "lily"
    • ♂, Russian, Ukrainian; form of George, "farmer"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Same Name?!--Anna

Poor Anne is often held as the epitome of 'boring' names. And yet, she's also one of the most common contributors to compound names (e.g. Leanne, Marianne, Roseanna, Anneliese). Easy to say, with a sweet meaning, and a Biblical namesake, it's no wonder that Anna has been popular throughout the ages and all over the world.

Original Hebrew form: Channah [חַנָּ] (khah-nah)
Greek transliteration: Anna (AHN-nah)
English transliteration: Hannah (HAN-nah)

Modern versions:
  • Anaïs (ah-nah-EES)--French, Catalan
  • Aneta (ah-NET-ah)--Czech, Polish
  • Anika, Annika (AH-nee-kah)--German, Dutch, Scandinavian
  • Aniko (AW-nee-ko)--Hungarian
  • Anina (ah-NEE-nah)--German
  • Anita (ah-NEE-tah)--Spanish, Portuguese
  • Annag (AHN-nak)--Scottish
  • Annette (an-NET)--French
  • Annick (AHN-eek)--Breton
  • Anouk (ah-NOOK)--Dutch, French
  • Anu (AH-noo)--Estonian, Finnish
  • Anya (AHN-ya)--Russian
  • Hana (HAH-nah)--Croatian, Czech
  • Hania (HAHN-yah)--Polish
  • Nancy (NAN-see)--English
  • Ninon (nee-NOHN)--French
  • Ona (OH-nah)--Lithuanian

Sunday, October 9, 2011

International Names (Girls)

Yet again, my boys' list ran too long for something. So, in continuation--here's a list of girls' names used, recognizable, and mostly pronounced the same throughout the Western world. Perfect for the little future world traveller, or multi-national corporation CEO.

  • Ada (AY-dah, AH-dah)
  • Adelina (ah-deh-LEE-nah)
  • Adriana, Adrianna (ah-dree-AHN-ah, ay-dree-AN-nah)
  • Agata (ah-GAH-tah)
  • Agnes (AG-nes, ahg-NES)
  • Albina (ahl-BEE-nah)
  • Aleksandra, Alexandra (ahl-eks-AN-drah)
  • Alina (ah-LEE-nah)--Bonus! It's a name in Arabic, too!
  • Amalia (ah-MAL-yah)
  • Amanda (ah-MAN-dah, ah-MAHN-dah)
  • Amelia (ah-MEEL-yah, ah-MEH-lee-ah)
  • Ana, Anna (AH-nah, AN-nah)
  • Andrea, Andreia, Andreja (AN-dree-ah, ahn-DREH-ah)
  • Angela (AN-jel-ah, AHN-jel-ah, AHN-gel-ah)
  • Angelina (an-jel-EE-nah, ahn-GEH-lee-nah)
  • Anita (ah-NEE-tah)
  • Anne (AN, AHN-neh)
  • Anica, Anika, Anneke, Annika (AH-nik-ah)
  • Antonia (ahn-TOH-nyah)
  • Augusta (aw-GUS-tah, au-GOOS-tah)
  • Aurora (aw-RO-rah)
  • Barbara (BAHR-bar-ah)
  • Beata (beh-AH-tah)
  • Berta (BEHR-tah)
  • Carla, Karla (KAHR-lah)
  • Carmen (KAHR-men)
  • Carolina, Karolina (kah-roh-LEE-nah, cair-oh-LYE-nah)
  • Cecilia (seh-SEEL-yah, seh-SIL-yah)
  • Christina, Kristina (kris-TEE-nah)
  • Clara, Klara (KLAIR-ah, KLAH-rah)
  • Claudia, Klaudia (KLAW-dee-ah, KLOW-dee-ah)
  • Cornelia (kor-NEE-lee-ah, kor-NEH-lee-ah)
  • Dalia (DAHL-yah, DAH-lee-ah)
  • Daniela, Daniella (dan-YEL-ah, dahn-YEH-lah)
  • Daria, Darija (DAHR-ee-ah)
  • Delia (DEEL-yah, DEHL-yah)
  • Diana (dye-AN-ah, dee-AHN-ah)
  • Dorothea, Dorotea, Doroteia, Doroteja (doh-roh-THEH-ah, doh-roh-TEH-ah)
  • Elena (EE-lehn-ah, ee-LEHN-ah)
  • Eleonora (eh-leh-oh-NOR-ah)
  • Ema, Emma (EM-mah, EE-mah)
  • Emilia (em-EEL-yah)
  • Erica, Erika (EHR-ik-ah, EE-ree-kah)
  • Ester, Esther (ES-ter, es-TEHR)
  • Eva (EH-vah, AY-vah)
  • Filimena, Filomena, Philomena (fil-loh-MEE-nah, fil-oh-MEHN-ah)
  • Filipa, Filippa, Philippa (FIL-lip-ah, FEE-lip-ah)
  • Fiona (fee-OH-nah)
  • Flora (FLOHR-ah)
  • Frida (FREE-dah)
  • Gabriela, Gabriella (gah-bree-EL-ah)
  • Gloria (GLOR-ee-ah, GLOR-yah)
  • Hannah, Hanna, Hanne (HAN-nah, HAH-nah)
  • Helena (hel-EH-nah)
  • Ida (EE-dah, EYE-dah)
  • Ilona (EE-loh-nah, ee-LOH-nah)
  • Ines, Inez (ee-NES, ee-NEZ)
  • Iolanda, Jolanda, Yolanda (yoh-LAHN-dah)
  • Irene (eye-REEN, ee-REH-ne)
  • Iris (EYE-ris, EE-ris)
  • Isabela, Isabella (iz-a-BEL-lah, ee-zah-BEL-lah)
  • Isadora, Isidora (iz-ah-DOR-ah, ee-sah-DOR-ah)
  • Jana, Janna (JAN-nah, YAHN-ah)
  • Jessica, Jessika, Gessika (JES-ih-kah, YES-ee-kah)
  • Johanna, Joanna (yoh-AHN-nah, joh-AN-nah)
  • Kamila, Kamilla, Camila, Camilla (kah-MEE-lah, kah-MIL-lah)
  • Karen, Karin (KAIR-en, KAH-ren)
  • Karina, Carina (kah-REE-nah)
  • Katarina, Katerina (kaht-ah-REE-nah)
  • Laura, Lora (LOHR-ah, LOW-rah)
  • Lea, Leah, Lia (LEH-ah, LEE-ah)
  • Lidia, Lidija, Lidiya, Lydia (LID-ee-ah, LEE-dee-ah)
  • Liliana (leel-YAHN-ah)
  • Linda (LIN-dah, LEEN-dah)
  • Lisa, Lise (LEE-sah)
  • Lorena (loh-REH-nah)
  • Luna (LOO-nah)
  • Magda (MAHG-dah)
  • Magdalena (mahg-dah-LEHN-ah)
  • Maia, Maja, Maya (MYE-ah)
  • Margareta (mar-gar-EH-tah)
  • Maria, Marija, Mariya (mahr-EE-ah, MAHR-yah)
  • Mariana, Marianna (mahr-ee-AHN-nah, mahr-ee-AN-nah)
  • Marika, Marike (mah-REE-kah)
  • Marina (mah-REE-nah)
  • Marta (MAHR-tah)
  • Martina (mahr-TEE-nah)
  • Mathilda, Matilda (mah-TIL-dah, mah-TEEL-dah)
  • Melania, Melanija (mel-AHN-yah)
  • Micaela, Michaela, Mikaela (mi-KAY-lah, mee-KYE-lah)
  • Milena (mee-LEH-nah)
  • Monica, Monika (MON-ih-kah, MOH-nee-kah)
  • Nadia, Nadja, Nadya (NAHD-yah, NAH-dee-ah)
  • Natalia, Nataliya, Natalija, Natalya (nat-AHL-yah)
  • Noa (noh-ah)
  • Olga (OHL-gah, OL-gah)
  • Olimpia, Olympia (oh-LEEM-pyah)
  • Olivia (oh-LIV-ee-ah, oh-LEE-vee-ah)
  • Paula (PAWL-ah, POW-lah)
  • Petra (PEH-trah)
  • Pia (PEE-ah)
  • Rebeca, Rebecca, Rebeka, Rebekka (reh-BEK-kah, ree-BEK-kah)
  • Renata (reh-NAH-tah)
  • Rita (REE-tah)
  • Romana (roh-MAH-nah)
  • Rosa, Roza (ROH-sah, ROH-zah)
  • Sabina (sah-BEE-nah)
  • Sara, Sarah (SAIR-ah, SAH-rah)
  • Silvia, Sylvia (SIL-vee-ah, SEEL-vyah)
  • Simona (see-MOH-nah)
  • Sofia, Sofiya, Sophia (soh-FEE-ah, zoh-FEE-ah)
  • Sonia, Sonja, Sonya (SOHN-yah, SAWN-yah)
  • Susana, Susanna, Susannah, Suzana (soo-ZAN-nah)
  • Tanja, Tanya (TAHN-yah)
  • Tatiana, Tatjana (taht-YAHN-ah)
  • Tekla (TEK-lah)
  • Teodora (te-oh-DOHR-ah)
  • Teresa, Tereza, Theresa (tehr-EE-sah, tehr-EH-sah, tehr-EH-zah)
  • Ursula (UR-soo-lah, oor-SOO-lah)
  • Valentina (vah-len-TEE-nah)
  • Valeria, Valerija, Valeriya (vah-LEHR-ee-ah)
  • Vera (VEHR-ah, VEER-ah)
  • Veronica, Veronika (vehr-ON-ik-ah, vehr-oh-NEE-kah)
  • Vilma (VEEL-mah, VIL-mah)

Friday, October 7, 2011

International Names (Boys)

I admit, it may be the serious nerd in me, but I've always been fascinated by names/words that are in use in many different languages. Culture and phonetics can vary incredibly, so the fact that there are names acceptable (and pronounceable) in many disparate regions is amazing! Most of these are familiar throughout the Western world.

  • Abel (AY-bel, AH-bel, ah-BEL)
  • Adam (AD-am or ah-dahm)
  • Adrian (AY-dree-an, AH-dree-an)
  • Alan (AL-an, AH-lahn)
  • Albert (AL-bert or AHL-bert)
  • Alexander, Aleksander, Aleksandar, Aleksandr (al-ek-SAN-der)
  • Alfons, Alphonse / Alfonso, Alphonso (ahl-fons / ahl-FON-soh)
  • Andreas (ahn-DREH-ahs)
  • Anton (AN-tahn, or ahn-TAHN)
  • Arthur, Artur (AR-thur, AR-tur, ar-TOOR)
  • Bruno (BROO-noh)
  • Cai, Kai (KYE)
  • Christian, Cristian, Kristian (KRIS-tyen, krees-TYAHN)
  • Christoffer, Christopher, Kristoffer (KRIS-tof-fer)
  • Ciril, Cyril (SIHR-el, SEE-rel)
  • Constantine, Konstantin (KON-stan-teen, kon-stahn-TEEN)
  • Daniel (DAN-yel, dahn-YEL)
  • David (DAY-vid, dah-VEED)
  • Denis, Dennis, Denys, Dinis (DEN-nis, DEH-nees)
  • Dominic, Dominik (DOM-in-ik, DOH-mee-nik)
  • Donat (DON-aht)
  • Dylan (DIL-an, DEE-lahn, DUL-an)
  • Eduard, Edward (EE-doo-ard, ED-ward)
  • Elias (EE-lee-ahs, eh-LEE-ahs)
  • Emanuel, Emmanuel, Immanuel (ee-MAN-yu-el, eh-man-WEL)
  • Emil (ee-MEEL, EE-meel)
  • Eric, Erik (EHR-ik, EE-rik)
  • Felix (FEE-liks, FEH-liks)
  • Ferdinand (FEHR-dee-nand, FER-dih-nand)
  • Filip, Philip (FIL-lip, FEE-lip)
  • Frederick, Frederik, Fredrick (FRED-er-ik, freh-ehr-eek, FREED-rik)
  • Gabriel (GAY-bree-el, gah-bree-EL)
  • Hugo (HYOO-goh, HOO-goh)
  • Ian (EE-an)
  • Isidor, Isidore (IS-ih-dor, EEZ-ih-dor)
  • Ivan (EYE-van, ee-VAHN)
  • Kevin (KEV-in)
  • Leon (LEE-on, leh-ON)
  • Leopold (LEE-o-pold, leh-OH-pold)
  • Liam (LEE-am)
  • Lucas, Lukas / Luca (LOO-kahs / LOO-kah)
  • Manuel (man-ooEL, MAHN-oo-el)
  • Marcel (mahr-SEL, MAR-sel)
  • Marco, Marko (MAHR-koh)
  • Mario (MAHR-ee-oh)
  • Marius (MAHR-ee-oos)
  • Marten, Martin (MAR-tin, mahr-TEEN)
  • Noel (NOHL, no-EL)
  • Oliver (OL-ih-ver, OL-ee-ver)
  • Omar (OH-mar)
  • Oscar, Oskar (OS-kar)
  • Patrick, Patrik (PAT-rik)
  • Petar, Peter (PEE-ter, PEH-ter)
  • Rafael, Raphael (rah-fah-EL, RAH-fah-el)
  • Ralf, Ralph (RAHLF, RALF)
  • Robert (ROB-ert, ROH-bert)
  • Roman (rom-AHN, ROM-ahn, ROH-man)
  • Ruben, Reuben (REU-ben, ROO-ben)
  • Rudolf, Rudolph (ROO-dolf)
  • Salomon, Solomon (sah-loh-MON, SOL-oh-mon)
  • Samuel (SAM-yul, sahm-WEL)
  • Sebastian, Sebastjan, Sebastien (seh-BAST-yen, seh-bahs-TYEN)
  • Simon (SYE-mon, SEE-mon, ZEE-mon)
  • Stefan, Steffan, Steffen (stef-AHN, STEF-fan)
  • Teodor (TEH-oh-dor, TEE-oh-dor)
  • Thomas, Tomas (TOM-as, TOH-mas, toh-MAHS)
  • Tristan (TRIS-tan, TREES-tahn)
  • Valentin (VAL-en-teen, vah-len-TEEN)
  • Victor, Viktor (VIK-tor, VEEK-tor)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Usual Nickname; Unexpected Name--Jenny/Ginny

Jenny is an interesting case. As a quick look at the SSA's charts will show, Jennifer/Jenifer has only been around since about 1940, and was the top girls' name for a whopping 15 years--1970-1984. As a result, it feels a bit dated (despite the fact that it's still reasonably common for new babes). It's usual nickname, though, Jenny, been on the SSA lists for as long as the lists have been around! Usually nicknames only become popular as given names when the full form has become tired and boring.
The secret to Jenny's longevity? It was originally a nickname for Jane!

  • Efigenia (ef-fih-ZHEN-yah, Portuguese)--form of Iphigenia (if-ih-jen-EYE-ah, Greek)
  • Eugenia (yu-JEN-ee-ah, English, Italian, Polish)--feminine form of Eugene.
  • Geneva (jen-EE-vah, English)--either from Genevieve or the Swiss city
  • Genevieve (JEN-e-veev, English; or zhen-e-vee-ev, French)
  • Genista (jen-IS-tah, English)
  • Gennadiya (gee-NAH-dee-ah, Russian)--"noble, generous"
  • Ginevra (jin-EV-rah, Italian)--form of Guinevere 
  • Imogen (IM-o-jen, English)
  • Jeanette (jen-ETTE, English; or zhen-net, French)
  • Jessamine (JES-sah-min, English)--from an older version of Jasmine
  • Jinan (jih-NAHN, Arabic)--"garden, paradise"
  • Virginia (ver-JIN-yah, English)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

You're a God (Part III)

And now for a change of pace! Roman & Greek gods & goddesses have been part of the general culture for a while. Their names have been used for superheroes, brand names, scientific terminology, and yes, for baby names, too. Celtic mythologies, however, despite being just as old as Greek & Roman, have remained relatively untouched in modern culture. Unfortunately, this is likely because Celtic mythologies (especially continental/Gallic) merged with Roman, and the god-names were interchanged. Early Christian missionaries also attempted to "de-paganize" Celtic legends, leading to confusion over which legendary figures were gods, fairies, heroes, or mortals, and even whether they were really even part of the Celtic religions. Because of this, I've limited this list to gods with strong cultural or archaeological evidence.

  • Aengus (AYN-gus, Irish)--god of youth and love. Anglicized to Angus.
  • Aeron (EYE-ron, Welsh)--god of war 
  • Alaunus (al-AW-nus, Gallic)--god of healing & prophesy
  • Amaethon (ah-MY-thon, Welsh)--god of agriculture
  • Dylan (DUL-an, Welsh)--sea-god
  • Govannon (goh-VAN-non, Welsh)--smith-god. Irish equivalent is Goibnu.
  • Lenus (LEHN-us, Gallic)--god of healing
  • Lir (LEER, Irish)--god of the sea. Welsh equivalent is Llŷr.
  • Lugus (LOO-gus, Gallic)--god of trade, commerce, & travellers. Irish equivalent is Lugh; Welsh is Lleu.
  • Mabon (MAH-bon, Welsh)--god of youth
  • Taranis (TAHR-an-is, Gallic)--god of thunder

  • Agrona (ah-GROH-nah, Gallic)--goddess of war
  • Andraste (an-DRAHST, Brythonic)--goddess of victory
  • Brighid (BREED, Irish)--goddess of fire, poetry, & wisdom. Modern forms include Brigid (Irish), Bridget (Irish, English), Brigitta (German, Dutch), & Britta (Scandinavian)
  • Ceridwen (KEHR-id-wen, Welsh)--goddess of poetry & inspiration
  • Clíodhna (KLEE-o-nah, Irish)--goddess of beauty. Sometimes written as Clíona. Anglicized to Cleena.
  • Danu (DAN-oo, Irish)--mother-goddess of a race of ancient Irish. Modern form is Dana ("DAN-yah").
  • Epona (EP-ohn-ah or ee-POH-nah, Gallic)--goddess of horses and fertility
  • Erecura (ehr-eh-CU-rah, Gallic)--earth-goddess
  • Étaín (EH-dan or eh-DEEN, Irish)--goddess of horses. Modern Irish forms are Éadaoin and Eadan. Anglicized as Aideen.
  • Fand (FAND, Irish)--sea-goddess. Sometimes written as Fann.
  • Rhiannon (hree-AN-non, Welsh)--goddess of fertility & the moon
  • Sirona (sih-ROH-nah, Gallic)--healing-goddess

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I've Got a Bad Feelyn' About This....

I did it for '-lee' names, and now I have the urge to compile all the '-lyn' names. Hopefully this discouraging mood doesn't hit too often.

  • Madelyn
  • Kaitlyn
  • Brooklyn
  • Jocelyn
  • Evelyn
  • Kaelyn
  • Adalyn
  • Jacqueline
  • Ashlyn
  • Braelyn
  • Raelynn
  • Emmalyn
  • Aylin
  • Rylan
  • Ellen
  • Roselyn
  • Gracelyn
  • Helen
  • Shaelyn
  • Marilyn
  • Dylan
  • Taelyn
  • Aislynn
  • Sherlyn
  • Carolyn
  • Maylin
  • Irelyn
  • Angelyn
  • Fallon
  • Daylin
  • Avalyn
  • Belen
  • Jadelyn
  • Aaralyn
  • Haylen
  • Kylin
  • Marlen
  • Skylynn
  • Jacelyn
  • Magdalyn
  • Jeslyn
  • Jessalyn
  • Annalynn
  • Breelyn
  • Berlin
  • Krislyn
  • Keelyn
  • Makaylin
  • Kellyn
  • Jazalyn
  • Brilynn
  • Lynn
  • Amberlynn
  • Carlyn
  • Courtlyn
  • Yailin
  • Jolynn
  • Yazlin
  • Quinlan
  • Arlyn
  • Zaylin
  • Callan
  • Palin
  • Bailyn
  • Natalyn
  • Darlyn
  • Jerelyn
  • Joshlyn
  • Emberlynn
  • Naydelin
  • Coralyn
  • Alin
  • Kendalyn
  • Katilyn
  • Scotlyn
  • Hollyn
  • Harlyn
  • Joycelyn
  • Kristalyn
  • Kashlyn
  • Kimberlin
  • Jennalynn
  • Lakelyn
  • Danilynn
  • Evangelyn
  • Edelyn
  • Andelyn
  • Selin
  • Breslyn
  • Brecklyn
  • Mylin
  • Tylynn
  • Taralyn
  • Valyn
  • Faithlynn
  • Starlynn
  • Kathlyn
  • Shylynn
  • Merlin
  • Naylin
  • Lailyn
  • Saralyn
  • Anberlyn
  • Sharlyn
  • Maryellen
  • Blakelyn
  • Emlyn
  • Jamielynn
  • Adlyn
  • Chaselyn
  • Azalyn
  • Mialynn
  • Faylinn
  • Macelyn
  • Gracilyn
  • Summerlynn
  • Weslyn
  • Collyn
  • Aibhlinn
  • Bricelyn
  • Dioselin
  • Joylin
  • Kacelyn
  • Lauralynn
  • Joplin
  • Kiralyn
  • Hazelyn
  • Solenne
  • Chastelyn
  • Lillyn
  • Edlyn
  • Kenlyn
  • Devlynn
  • Lochlynn
  • Everlyn
  • Britlyn
  • Brynlyn
  • Keslyn
  • Ceylin
  • Dublin
  • Joellen
  • Brandilyn
  • Copelyn
  • Darilyn
  • Graelyn
  • Hopelynn
  • Kerlin
  • Mariabelen
  • Yerlin
  • Averylynn
  • Danalyn
  • Ealyn
  • Hartlyn
  • Jerusalen
  • Kamberlyn
  • Kamlyn
  • Preslyn
  • Sailyn
  • Tazlyn
  • Yarlin
  • Zoeylynn
  • Adilenne
  • Andralyn
  • Bracelynn
  • Cullen
  • Dazzlyn
  • Deslyn
  • Jarlin
  • Jonalyn
  • Kadelyn
  • Kazlyn
  • Kendralyn
  • Kinberlin
  • Maclyn
  • Mandalyn
  • Marlenne
  • Noralyn
  • Oaklyn
  • Reeselyn
  • Rocelyn
  • Savannahlynn
  • Shelbylynn
  • Tatelyn
  • Tessalyn
  • Torilynn
  • Zylynn

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Literary Siblings

There seems to be a lot of concern over whether siblings' names "fit" together. If your first daughter is Mary, is it okay to go with Moonbeam or Misty for a second? What about Madison or Maliah? Or are you stuck with Mathilda or Mabel? Whether you're in the "same style" camp, the "whatever goes" camp, or somewhere in between, I thought a survey of literary sib-sets--stylish, stodgy, or just plain strange--might be fun.
  • Josephine ('Jo'), Margaret ('Meg'), Elizabeth ('Beth'), & Amy--Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  • Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine ('Kitty'), & Lydia--Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • Elinor, Marianne, & Margaret--Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  • Wendy, John, & Michael--Peter and Wendy [aka "Peter Pan"], J. M. Barrie
  • Juniper ('Junie') & Oliver--Junie B. Jones, Denise Brunkus
  • Peter, Valentine [♀], & Andrew ('Ender')--Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
  • Beatrice ('Beezus'), Ramona, & Roberta; Howard ('Howie') & Willa Jean--Ramona series, Beverly Cleary
  • Artemis [♂], Beckett, & Myles--Artemis Fowl series, Eoin Colfer
  • Gregor, Elizabeth ('Lizzy'), & Margaret ('Boots')--The Underland Chronicles, Suzanne Collins
  • Katy, Clover, Elsie, Dorry [♂], & Joanna ('Johnnie')--What Katy Did series, Susan Coolidge
  • Simon, Jane, & Barnabas ('Barney')--The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper
  • Martha, Belinda, Peter, & Timothy ('Tiny Tim') [+ an unnamed brother & sister]--A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  • Mycroft & Sherlock--the Sherlock Holmes novels, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Louise, Marie [changed to Clara for the ballet], & Fritz--The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, E. T. A. Hoffman
  • Sophie, Lettie, & Martha--Howl's Moving Castle, Diana Wynne Jones
  • Margaret ('Meg'), Alexander ('Sandy'), Dennys, & Charles Wallace--The Time Quartet, Madeleine L'Engle
  • Jeremy ('Jem') & Jean ('Scout')--To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • Peter, Susan, Edmund, & Lucy--The Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis
  • Tommy & Annika--Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
  • Jonas, Lily, & Gabriel--The Giver, Lois Lowry 
  • Wade, Ella, & Eugenie--Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  • James ('Jem'), Walter, Anne ('Nan'), Diana, Shirley [♂], & Bertha Marilla ('Rilla'); Gerald ('Jerry'), Faith, Una, & Thomas Carlyle ('Carl')--Anne of Green Gables series, Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • William, Charlie, Percy, Fred, George, Ronald, & Ginevra ('Ginny')--Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling
  • Goneril, Regan, & Cordelia--King Lear, William Shakespeare
  • Viola & Sebastian--The Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare
  • Violet, Klaus, & Sunny--A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket
  • Jane, Michael, John, Barbara, & Annabel--Mary Poppins series, P. L. Travers
  • Henry, Jessica ('Jessie'), Violet, & Benjamin ('Benny')--The Boxcar Children, Gertrude Chandler Warner 
  • Avery & Fern--Charlotte's Web, E. B. White
  • Fritz, Ernest, Jack, and Franz [sometimes translated to Francis]--Swiss Family Robinson, Johann David Wyss