Thursday, January 5, 2012

The 'I's Have It.

It occurred to me the other day that I is a most underused vowel. If you're watching the final round of Wheel of Fortune, no one ever picks I as their vowel. If you ask someone to start listing names that start with I, they'll probably go though Isaac, Ian, Isaiah, Isabel/Isabella, Irene, Iris, maybe even Imogen, Ivan, Ivy, or Isla. The popular list pretty much stops there, though. Admittedly, O & U are even rarer as name-starters, but from some reason, I feel I-names should be more common.

  • Iago (ee-AH-goh, Galician & Welsh)--from Hebrew James/Jacob
  • Idan (ee-dahn, Hebrew)--"era"
  • Idris (ID-ris, Welsh)
  • Ignatius (ig-NAY-shus, English)--from Latin/Etruscan. Other forms include Ignacio (ig-NAH-cee-oh, Spanish), Iñaki (een-YAH-kee, Basque), and Ignace (IN-yahs, French)
  • Iker (EE-ker, Basque)
  • Ikram (ik-rahm, Arabic)--"honor"
  • Imre (EEM-reh, Hungarian)--form of Emmerich
  • Ingo (ING-oh, German)
  • Ingram (ING-ram, English)
  • Iokua (ee-oh-KOO-ah, Hawaiian)--form of Joshua
  • Isamu (ih-sah-moo, Japanese)--"courage"
  • Ishmael (ISH-may-el, English)--from Hebrew, "God will hear".
  • Isidore (IZ-ih-dor or ees-ih-DOR, English & French)--from Greek. Also spelled Isadore, Isador, Isidor, or Izidor.
  • Iskandar (is-KAN-dar, Arabic & Indonesian)--from Greek Alexander.
  • Ivailo (ee-VYE-loh, Bulgarian)--"wolf". Also spelled Ivaylo.
  • Ivor (EE-vor or EYE-vor, English)--from Norse, "bow warrior"

  • Ianthe (ee-AN-thee or eye-AN-thee, Greek)
  • Idonea (id-OH-nee-ah, English)--from Norse Iðunn. Other versions include Idony (ID-oh-nee) and Idun (ee-DUN).
  • Idoya (ee-DOY-ah, Spanish)--Also spelled Idoia.
  • Idriya (ee-dree-ah, Hebrew)
  • Ilana (ee-lah-nah, Hebrew)
  • Ilaria (ee-LAR-ee-ah, Italian)--form of Hilary.
  • Ilkay (il-KYE, Turkish)--"new moon"
  • Ilona (EE-lon-ah or ee-LOH-nah, Hungarian)--from of Helen.
  • Imelda (ee-MEL-dah, Spanish)--from German Irmhild.
  • Indira (in-THEER-ah, Indian [Hindi])--"beauty"
  • Iolana (ee-oh-LAH-nah, Hawaiian)--"to soar"
  • Iro (EER-oh, Greek)--modern form of Hero.
  • Ismene (IS-men or ees-MAY-nay)--Greek, "knowledge"
  • Isolde (ee-ZOL-deh, German & English)--poss. from Celtic "fair to behold". Variants include Eseld, Esyllt, Iseult, Isotta, and Yseult.
  • Izumi (iz-oo-mee, Japanese)--"fountain"

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