Thursday, April 19, 2012

Virtues in Other Languages

English virtue names tend to have a polarizing effect--you can find them pretty or fun... or you can just think of Puritans & Great-Aunt Prudence. Virtue- and other intangible-object names are probably the most widely-accepted type of "new" and imported names (after variants of common American/English names, of course). It's amazing how naming your daughter Love is considered cheesy at best, but Carys? Not only tolerable, but stylish.
It seems a bit hypocritical to me, but I admit, I'm guilty of those sorts of thoughts as well.

And unless noted, these names are feminine.

  • Masumi (mah-soo-mee)--Japanese

  • Subira (soo-bee-rah)--Swahili

  • Alethea (ah-LEE-thee-ah or ahl-ah-THEE-ah)--Latin
  • Minori (mee-noh-ree)--Japanese [unisex]. Masculine is Minoru (mee-noh-roo).
  • Sidika (SID-ih-kah)--Turkish

  • Imani (ee-MAHN-ee)--Swahili
  • Usko (OOS-koh)--Finnish [masculine]
  • Vera (VYEHR-ah)--Russian
  • Yori (yoh-ree)--Japanese [masculine]

  • Atifa (ah-TEE-fah)--Arabic
  • Caridad (kah-ree-DAHD)--Spanish
  • Carita (kah-REE-tah)--Swedish
  • Cemil (jem-eel)--Turkish [masculine]
  • Eun (OON)--Korean [unisex]

  • Dara (dah-rah)--Hebrew
  • Hye (hee-ay)--Korean
  • Nuha (NOO-hah)--Arabic
  • Sophia (soh-FEE-ah)--Greek
  • Tomo (toh-moh)--Japanese

  • Chesed (kheh-SEHD)--Hebrew [unisex]
  • Daya (dah-YAH)--Hindi
  • Ebele (eh-BEL-eh)--Igbo
  • Eira (AY-rah)--Norse
  • Eskarne (ehs-kahr-neh)--Basque
  • Hanan (HAN-an)--Arabic

  • Amara (ah-MAH-rah)--Igbo
  • Armo (AHR-mo)--Finnish [masculine]
  • Charis (KAH-ris)--Greek. Other forms include Charissa, Karissa, and Chariton (KAH-rih-tahn, masculine).
  • Gratian (GRAY-shan)--Latin [masculine]
  • Grazia (GRAHTS-yah)--Italian
  • Lavanya (LAHV-ahn-yah)--Hindi
  • Sulo (SOO-loh)--Finnish [masculine]
  • Zayn (ZAYN)--Arabic [masculine]. Feminine is Zayna.

  • Amal (ah-mahl)--Arabic [unisex]
  • Asha (ah-shah)--Hindi
  • Elpida (EL-pee-dah)--Greek
  • Esperanza (es-pehr-AN-zah)--Spanish
  • Espérance (es-peh-RAWNCE)--French
  • Itxaro (eet-shah-roh)--Basque
  • Nadezhda (nahd-YEZ-dah)--Russian. Other forms include Nadya/Nadia & Nadine.
  • Omid (oh-MEED)--Persian [masculine]
  • Themba (TEM-bah)--Zulu [unisex]
  • Tikva (teek-VAH)--Hebrew
  • Toivo (TOY-voh)--Finnish [masculine]
  • Ümit (OO-meet)--Turkish [masculine]. Unisex is Umut (OO-mut).

  • An (AN)--Chinese [usually masculine]
  • Aştî (ahsh-tee)--Kurdish [unisex]
  • Bariş (bar-ish)--Turkish [masculine]
  • Fedde (FED-deh)--Frisian [masculine]
  • Frida (FREE-dah)--German. Also spelled Frieda and Friede
  • Irene (eye-REEN or ee-REH-neh)--Greek 
  • Maluhia (mah-loo-hee-ah)--Hawaiian [unisex]
  • Menuha (meh-noo-khah)--Hebrew
  • Mira (MEER-ah)--Slavic. Other forms include Miruna (MEER-oo-nah), Mircea (MEER-chah, masculine),  Miran (MEER-an, unisex), and Mirek (MEER-ek, masculine).
  • Naim (nah-eem)--Arabic [masculine]. Feminine is Naima
  • Pau (POW)--Catalan [unisex]
  • Sakina (sah-kee-nah)--Arabic
  • Rauha (ROW-hah)--Finnish
  • Yasu (yah-soo)--Japanese [unisex]

  • Ahava (ah-hah-VAH)--Hebrew
  • Aroha (ar-oh-hah)--Maori
  • Carys (KAH-ris)--Welsh. Other forms are Cerys (KEHR-is), Ceri (KEHR-ee, masculine), and Caron (KAH-ron, unisex).
  • Cinta (CHEEN-tah)--Indonesian
  • Dilan (dee-LAHN)--Turkish
  • Kama (kah-mah)--Hindi [masculine]
  • Kasih (KAH-see)--Indonesian
  • Kerensa (keh-REN-sah)--Cornish
  • Libĕna (LIB-yeh-nah)--Czech. Other forms are Libuše (LIB-oo-sheh) and Luboš (LOO-bosh, masculine).
  • Lyuben (LYOO-ben)--Bulgarian [masculine]
  • Maya (mah-yah)--Nepali [multiple meanings in other languages as well]
  • Philo (FYE-loh)--Greek [masculine]
  • Prem (PREM)--Hindi [masculine]. Feminine is Prema (preh-mah).
  • Sevda (sehv-DAH)--Turkish
  • Widad (wee-DAHD)--Arabic

  • Anand (AH-nahd)--Hindi [masculine]. Feminine forms are Anandi and Ananda.
  • Añuli (ang-OO-lee)--Igbo
  • Aylen (eye-len)--Mapudungun
  • Ayo (AH-yoh)--Yoruba [unisex]
  • Chara (KAH-rah)--Greek
  • Desta (DES-tuh)--Amharic [unisex]
  • Farah (fah-rah)--Arabic [unisex]
  • Felicity (fel-IH-sih-tee)--English
  • Freyde (frye-deh or fray-deh)--Yiddish
  • Gil (GEEL)--Hebrew [masculine]. Feminine is Gilah (gee-LAH).
  • Hana (hah-nah)--Arabic
  • Harshal (har-shahl)--Hindi [masculine]
  • Kalea (kah-leh-ah)--Hawaiian [unisex]
  • Laetitia (leh-TEE-syah)--Latin
  • Levenez (leh-VAY-lehz)--Breton
  • Lykke (lewk-eh)--Danish
  • Rina (ree-NAH)--Hebrew
  • Shadi (shah-DEE)--Persian
  • Thabo (TAH-boh)--Tswana [masculine]
  • Yuki (yoo-kee)--Japanese [can also mean "snow"]
  • Zorion (soh-ree-ohn)--Basque [unisex]. Feminine is Zorione (soh-ree-oh-neh).


  1. Carys is also spelled Charis (Greek), and I've seen it spelled Karis or Karise (probably just for pronunciation's sake). I've always liked it (Charis has ancient biblical/Christian ties), but just can't sell it to my hubby. :)

  2. Oops... definitely should have read the whole post before commenting... *ahem* You got it. :)

    Also, Megumi is a common Japanese name that is also used by Japanese Christians to mean "grace."

  3. Von is a masculine Norse name that means 'hope'... makes a nice alternative to Vaughn.