Friday, September 28, 2012

Word-Names for Boys

I do rather feel sorry for the boys. Girls can pull off anything it seems--soft names, strong names, virtue-names, nature-names, mythological names, surnames, even boys' names! Boys have a much smaller selection to choose from, and parents are more criticized for thinking outside the box. The category that seems most girl-dominated is probably word-names (excluding occupational, but even those are up for gender-reassignment, it seems!), so I'm going to try to compile a decent list of nature & word-names for boys, both established and theoretical.
*in some of these cases, the name was originally a nickname/surname that just happened to coincide with an English word (e.g.--Dirk is a short form of Diederik, but also a synonym for "dagger").

  • Alder (AHL-der)
  • Ash (ASH)
  • August (AW-gust)--adj. "noble, venerable"
  • Basil (BAZ-il, BAYZ-il)
  • Bramble (BRAM-bl)--n. "thorny shrub" [usually from the Rubus genus]
  • Brant (BRANT)
  • Briar (BRYE-ar)--n. "thorny plant" [usually from the Rose genus or Rubus genus]
  • Brock (BROK)--n. "badger"
  • Brooks (BROOKS)
  • Chase (CHAYS)
  • Clay (KLAY)
  • Clement (KLEM-ent)--adj. "merciful, mild"
  • Cliff (KLIF)
  • Colt (KOHLT)
  • Coy (KOY)--adj. "quiet, shy"
  • Curt (KURT)--adj. "concise, terse"
  • Cypress (SYE-pres)
  • Dale (DAYL)--n. "valley"
  • Dell (DEL)--n. "valley"
  • Dirk (DERK)--n. "dagger"
  • Drake (DRAYK)--n. "dragon" or "male duck"
  • Earl (URL)--n. "nobleman"
  • Earnest (UR-nest)--adj. "diligent, serious"
  • Flint (FLINT)
  • Ford (FOHRD)--"river crossing"
  • Forest (FOHR-rest)
  • Gage (GAYJ)--v. "measure" or n. "security pledge"
  • Glen (GLEN)--n. "valley"
  • Grant (GRANT)--n. "gift, concession"
  • Gray/Grey (GRAY)
  • Griffin (GRIF-fin)
  • Grove (GROHV)--n. "small forest"
  • Halcyon (HAL-see-on)--adj. "calm, peaceful" [derived from the bird-name]
  • Hale (HAYL)--adj. "healthy, robust"
  • Hardy (HAR-dee)--adj. "brave, strong"
  • Hawthorn (HAW-thohrn)
  • Heath (HEETH)--n. "shrubland" [more specifically, plants of the Erica genus]
  • Jasper (JAS-per)
  • Jay (JAY)
  • Justice (JUS-tis)
  • Kale (KAYL)
  • Lake (LAYK)
  • Lance (LANTS)--n. "spear"
  • Lane (LAYN)
  • Linden (LIN-den)
  • Marten (MAR-ten) 
  • Merit (MEHR-it)
  • Merle (MURL)--n. "blackbird"
  • Moss (MOS)
  • Noble (NOH-bl)
  • Orion (oh-RYE-on)
  • Peregrine (PEHR-eh-grin)
  • Phoenix (FEE-niks)
  • Pierce (PEERS)
  • Prosper (PROS-per)--v. "to thrive, be successful"
  • Reed (REED)
  • River (RIV-er)
  • Robin (ROB-in)
  • Rowan (ROH-an)
  • Royal (ROY-al)
  • Sage (SAYJ)--n. "wise person", as well as several several species of plant
  • Sedge (SEDJ)
  • Sparrow (SPEHR-roh)
  • Sterling (STUR-ling)--a grade of silver, at least 92.5% pure
  • Stone (STOHN)
  • Talon (TAL-on)
  • Thane (THAYN)--n. "lord, royal official"
  • Trace (TRAYS)
  • Urban (UR-ban)
  • Victor (VIK-tor)
  • Wade (WAYD)
  • Ward (WAHRD)--n. "protection" or n. "person under protection"
  • Zephyr (ZEF-er)--n. "light wind" [or more specifially, the west wind]

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Same Name?!--Henry

Oh, Henry; handsome Henry. His usage may have waned for a few decades, but he's never fallen out of the top 150. With dozens of namesakes, including several royals from a few different nations, it's no surprise that he's spread throughout the Western world, and is always in style.

Original Germanic form: Heimirich (HYE-mih-rikh)
Latinized form: Henricus (HEN-rih-kus)
English form: Henry (HEN-ree)

Other forms:
  • Anraí (AHN-ree)--Irish
  • Arrigo (ahr-REE-goh)--Italian
  • Eanrig (EN-rik)--Scottish
  • Endika (en-dee-kah)--Basque
  • Enric (en-REEK)--Catalan
  • Enrico (en-REE-koh)--Italian
  • Enrique (en-REE-kay)--Spanish
  • Harris (HEHR-ris)--English (via Harry)
  • Harry (HEHR-ree)--Medieval English
  • Heikki (HAYK-kee)--Finnish
  • Heinrich (HINE-rikh)--German
  • Hendrik (HEN-drik)--Dutch
  • Henri (awn-REE)--French

Now to make things a bit tricker, there's the Germanic name Emmerich. It could be derived from Heimirich/Henry, but it could also come from Ermenrich or Amalrich. Most likely, the three similar names all got muddled into one, much like Guy/Vitus in ancient times, or Amelia/Emilia in modern English.
So, because the derivation is less clear, I've listed Emmerich's variants separately. Some linguists hold them equivalent to Henry; some don't.  
  • Amaury (ah-moh-REE)--French
  • Américo (ah-MEH-ree-koh)--Spanish, Portuguese
  • Amerigo (ah-MEHR-ih-goh)--Italian
  • Émeric (aym-REEK)--French
  • Emery (EM-er-ee)--English
  • Imre (EEM-reh)--Hungarian
  • Imrich (IM-rikh)--Slovak

Friday, September 21, 2012

Too Many Variants! (2011)

I have a feeling this won't have changed much from 2010, but what the heck? Maybe I can also try to make sense of what makes a name likely to be "creatively" spelled.
Yet again, these are the names from the boys' top 200, and girls' top 100, with 20 or more alternate spellings.
↓ indicates a name was given to fewer children than in 2010; ↑ to more.
(I used the lists compiled over at NameNerds, in case you're wondering, and of course there is a bit of subjectivity. For instance, is Caleigh "kay-lee" or "cal-lee"? It's listed with Kaylee, but I imagine that both pronunciations are in use.)


  • 59 spellings--Kayden ↓ (yup, that's 4 more spellings than last year!)
  • 54 spellings--Giovanni ↓ (up 8 spellings from last year!)
  • 47 spellings--Aiden ↑ (up 5)
  • 38 spellings--Jayden ↓ (down 8)
  • 34 spellings--Kason ↑ (up 4)
  • 31 spellings--Josiah ↑ (up 4)
  • 28 spellings--Zachary ↓ (down 3)
  • 27 spellings--Cameron ↑ (down 2), Isaac ↑ (down 4), Jaylen ↓ (up 2)
  • 26 spellings--Zayden ↑ (up 2)
  • 25 spellings--Brayden ↓ (down 1), Braylon ↑ (same), Isaiah ↑ (down 4), Nicholas ↓ (down 4)
  • 24 spellings--Malachi ↓ (up 7)
  • 23 spellings--Caleb ↓ (down 7), Grayson ↑ (up 8)
  • 22 spellings--Elijah ↓ (down 2)
  • 21 spellings--Damian ↓ (down 3)

  • 82 spellings--Arianna ↓ (down 8)
  • 74 spellings--Kaylee ↓ (down 6)
  • 69 spellings--Aaliyah ↑ (down 3)
  • 62 spellings--Makayla ↓ (down 11)
  • 58 spellings--Jocelyn ↓ (down 11), Kaelyn ↓ (down 9)
  • 57 spellings--Madelyn ↓ (down 1)
  • 41 spellings--Abigail ↓ (up 1), Aniya ↓ (up 3)
  • 40 spellings--Amaya ↑ (up 1)
  • 39 spellings--Mackenzie ↑ (down 2)
  • 37 spellings--Brianna ↓ (down 8), Liliana ↑ (down 2)Riley ↓ (down 3)
  • 36 spellings--Hailey ↓ (down 4)
  • 35 spellings--Kaitlyn ↓ (up 3)
  • 34 spellings--Alaina ↑ (down 1)
  • 31 spellings--Natalie ↓ (up 5)
  • 30 spellings--Emily ↓ (up 1), Kylie ↓ (down 1), Nevaeh ↓ (same)
  • 29 spellings--Chloe ↓ (same), Kennedy ↑ (down 4), Peyton ↓ (up 1)
  • 28 spellings--Adalyn ↑ (up 2), Amelia ↑ (down 5)
  • 27 spellings--Addison ↓ (down 4), Kaydence ↓ (down 2)
  • 26 spellings--Allison ↓ (up 9), Juliana ↓ (down 4), Reagan ↑ (down 1)
  • 25 spellings--Eliana ↑ (down 1)Lillian ↓ (down 2)
  • 24 spellings--Isabella ↓ (down 1), Olivia ↑ (up 2)
  • 22 spellings--Bailey  (same), Callie ↑ (up 2), Destiny ↓ (up 2), Madison ↓ (down 6)
  • 21 spellings--Kendall ↑ (up 9), Zoey ↑ (up 4)
  • 20 spellings--Katherine ↑ (up 1)

--It's interesting to see the commonalities with these names. They all have at least one of the following traits, usually more:
1) be vowel-heavy, especially long vowels ("ay", "eye", "ee")
2) contain the K and/or S sounds
3) have 3 or more syllables 
4) have good double-letter potential (DD, LL, SS, NN, etc)


--I'm also curious as to whether the number of alternates indicates a name's trendiness. I guess it's time for me to make some predictions, and then wait several months to see if they prove true. 

My predictions for names that will keep rising (more children + more spellings): 
Aiden, Kason, Josiah, Zayden, Grayson, Amaya, Adalyn, Olivia, Callie, Kendall, Zoey, Katherine

My predictions for names on the way out (fewer children + fewer spellings): 
Jayden, Zachary, Brayden, Nicholas, Caleb, Elijah, Damian, Arianna, Kaylee, Makayla, Jocelyn, Kaelyn, Madelyn, Brianna, Riley, Hailey, Kylie, Addison, Kaydence, Juliana, Lillian, Isabella, Madison

Now, a bit trickier--names with fewer children + more spellings. My interpretation is that these names are starting to overstay their welcome, so while some parents turn to alternate spellings in an effort to be "different", others give up the name altogether. So, these are names I think are more slowly on the way out
Kayden, Giovanni, Jaylen, Malachi, Abigail, Aniya, Kaitlyn, Natalie, Emily, Peyton, Allison, Destiny

And even more uncertain--names with more children + fewer spellings. My interpretation is that those who like "unique" names/spellings are becoming bored with them, but they've become established enough for parents who prefer traditional names/spellings. These names are becoming classics, or are at least in for the long haul
Cameron, Isaac, Isaiah, Aaliyah, Mackenzie, Liliana, Alaina, Kennedy, Amelia, Reagan, Eliana 


So, remind me to revisit this next Mother's Day! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

You're So Old....

...that no one even knows what you mean!
I have to admit, one of my biggest pet-peeves on baby-name websites is oversimplification. While the etymologies of many names are fairly concrete & easily traced, others have become lost or muddled over the millennia.
  • Aaron--the form of Aaron hasn't changed much--it's Aharon in Hebrew. But, unlike most Biblical names, it's only given to one person in the entire Bible! With no other contexts, or evolution of form, it's hard to determine its source. While it's possibly Hebrew, "mountain" or "brightness, light"; it's more likely an Egyptian import. 
  • Anthony--Although this is sometimes listed as meaning "flower", that's not quite true. The name has been around for a couple thousand years or so, but it didn't start being spelled & pronounced with "th" until a few hundred years ago, when someone decided it would be better if it looked like anthos, the Greek word for flower. Its actual origin was most likely Etruscan.
  • Camilla--the original Latin (masculine) form is Camillus, which also happens to be a word in Latin--"acolyte". Experts agree it's probably coincidental, and that the name was imported, probably from Etruscan. 
  • Carson--it was a surname first...that about all that's certain! It could be related to the Scottish name/surname Kerr, but is more likely from a French location, like Coursan or Carsan.
  • Cormac--'Mac' is Gaelic for "son of"; it's the 'Cor-' that causes problems. Possibilities include "raven" [fig. "myth, legend"], "corruption", "charioteer", or simply "Corb" [a Titan-like figure in Irish myth].
  • Eleanor--it's often listed as a variant of Helen, but is more likely from a Germanic name. One popular theory is that it comes from the Provençal phrase alia Aenor--Aenor being the mother of the first prominent Eleanor, Eleanor (Alíenor) of Aquitaine. However, records indicate she may not have been the first Eleanor/Alíenor, in which case, her name was likely a clever play on words.
  • Katherine--originally Aikaterine in Greek, it was changed to resemble katharos, "pure". Aikaterine has several possible sources: the Greek personification of skillful hands, Hekateros; the Greek goddess of magic and night, Hecate; or it could have even been imported into Greek from another culture, like Egyptian.
  • Mary--This is the form we got after the Hebrew Miryam passed through Greek, and then Latin. There have literally been whole papers written on the myriad of possible sources. The most likely Hebrew derivations include "sea of myrrh" [fig. "bitter" or "strong"], "lady of the sea", "shining sea, star of the sea", "drop of the sea", "rebellion", "beautiful one". It could also have been originally Egyptian, "beloved".
  • Monica--It's possible that the name is related to Latin "advisor" or Greek "one", but since the Monica who brought the name to the Christian world was African (St. Monica, St. Augustine's mother), it's almost certainly of Punic or Numidian origin.
  • Reilly--The English form (usually spelled Riley) is pretty easy to parse: "rye field". The Irish form, however, was shortened/Anglicized from something like Raghallach, which is not so easy to parse. It  could be from Old Norse, or it could be a relative of Kelly/Ceallach, which doesn't have a certain derivation either! Possibilities include "bright-headed", "church", "valiant", or "sociable".
  • Sabrina--The Latinized name of the Welsh Hafren river (Severn in English), no one seems to have any clue where it came from! Folklore links the river's name to a drowned girl or a nymph, but it's more likely the place-name came first. 
  • Teresa--originally Therasia in Greek, it has a few different possibilities: "summer", "to hunt", "harvest", or from the island of Therasia, which was possibly named for an ancient ruler, Theras, his name likely derived from 'ther', "wild creature".
  • Thelma--Never really popular, this one's nevertheless been popping up in records for centuries. It's possible that it's from Greek thelema, "will", but is more likely a shortened form of a Germanic name.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Usual Nickname, Unexpected Name--Theo/Thea

Theo is one of those nicknames we're likely to be seeing a lot more of. It just reappeared on the SSA charts for the first time in nearly 70 years--right on cue for a revival. Its traditional full form, though, Theodore, is either old-man chic, or permanently stuck in Chipmunk-territory, depending on who you ask.
As for poor Thea, she's not been seen in many a year, nor have her usual full forms, the twin sisters Dorothea & Theodora.

  • Philotheos (fil-oth-EH-os, Greek)--"friend of God"
  • Theobald (THEE-oh-bahld, THEH-oh-bahld, Germanic)--"of bold people"
  • Theocritus (thee-OK-rit-us, Latin)--from Greek, "judged by God"
  • Theodard (THEH-oh-dard, Latin)--from Germanic, "of strong people"
  • Theodolf (THEH-oh-dolf, Germanic)-- "of the wolf people"
  • Theodoric (thee-OD-ohr-ik, Germanic)--"people's ruler"
  • Theodosius (thee-oh-DOH-see-us, Latin)--from Greek, "giving to God"
  • Theodotus (thee-oh-DOH-tus, Latin)--from Greek, "given to God"
  • Theodulus (thee-oh-DOO-lus, Latin)--from Greek, "servant of God". Modern French form is Théodule.
  • Theofried (THEH-ah-freed, Latin)--from Germanic, "of peaceful people"
  • Theophilus (thee-OF-il-us, Latin)--from Greek, "friend of God".  Modern forms include Théophile (French), Theofilus (Dutch), & Theophil (German).
  • Theopont (THEH-ah-pont, Greek)--"sea of God"

  • Alethea (ah-LAY-thee-ah, ah-lah-THEE-ah, English)--from Greek, "truth"
  • Althea (ahl-THEH-ah, ahl-THEE-ah, Greek)--"healing"
  • Amalthea (ah-mahl-THEE-ah, ah-mahl-THEH-ah, Greek)--"soothing"
  • Anthea (an-THEE-ah, an-THEH-ah, Greek)--"flower"
  • Eidothea (ay-doth-EH-ah, Greek)--"knowledge goddess"
  • Pasithea (pas-ih-THEH-ah, Greek)--"acquired goddess"
  • Praxithea (praks-ih-THEH-ah, Greek)--"commerce goddess"
  • Theodosia (thee-oh-DOHS-yah, Greek)--"giving to God"
  • Theokleia (thee-oh-KLAY-ah, Greek)--"glory of God"
  • Theolinde (theh-oh-LEEN-deh, Latin)--from Germanic, "of tender people"
  • Theomilla (theh-oh-MEEL-lah, German)--Greek [theo] + Slavic [milla], "God's grace"
  • Theonoe (theh-on-OH-ee, Greek)--"intelligent goddess"
  • Theophania (thee-of-AN-yah, Greek)--"appearance of God"
  • Theophila (thee-OF-il-ah, Greek)--"friend of God"
  • Theophora (theh-OF-or-ah, thee-OF-or-ah, Greek)--"bearing God"
  • Timothea (tim-oh-THEH-ah, tim-oh-THEE-ah, English)--from Greek, "honoring God"

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bi-cultural Names--French/English (girls)

Warning: I think this is my longest list yet!


Spelled the same, with slight pronunciation difference (usually):
  • Adelaide--English, AD-el-ayd; Adélaïde--French, ah-day-lah-EED
  • Adele--English, ah-DEL; Adèle--French, ah-DEL
  • Adeline--English, AD-el-ine, AD-el-in; French, ah-deh-LEEN
  • Adrienne--English, ay-dree-EN; French, ah-dree-EN
  • Agnes--English, AG-nes; Agnès--French, ahn-YES
  • Alexandra--English, al-eks-AN-drah; French, ah-leks-AHN-drah
  • Alexis--English, ah-LEKS-is; French, ah-leks-EE
  • Alice--English, AL-is; French, ah-LEES
  • Alison--English, AL-ih-son; French, ah-lee-SAWN
  • Anna--English & French, AN-nah
  • Anne--English & French, AN
  • Annette--English & French, an-NET
  • Barbara--English, BAR-bar-ah; French, bar-bar-AH
  • Beatrice--English, BEE-ah-tris; Béatrice--French, bay-ah-TREES
  • Bernadette--English & French, ber-nah-DET
  • Blanche--English, BLANCH; French, BLAWNSH
  • Camille--English, kah-MEEL; French, kah-MEE
  • Caroline--English, KEHR-oh-line, KEHR-oh-lyn; French, kah-roh-LEEN
  • Celeste--English, seh-LEST; Céleste--French, say-LEST
  • Charlotte--English, SHAHR-lot; French, shahr-LOHT
  • Chloe--English, KLOH-ee; Chloé--French, kloh-AY
  • Christine--English, kris-TEEN; French, krees-TEEN
  • Claire--English & French, KLEHR
  • Clementine--English, KLEM-en-tine; French, kleh-mawn-TEEN
  • Colette--English, kol-ET; French, koh-LET
  • Constance--English, KON-stants; French, kawn-STAWNS
  • Corinne--English, koh-RIN, koh-REEN; French, koh-REEN
  • Danielle--English & French, dan-YEL
  • Daphne--English, DAF-nee; Daphné--French, daf-NAY
  • Denise--English, deh-NEES; French, deh-NEEZ
  • Desiree--English, DEZ-ih-ray; Désirée--French, day-zee-RAY
  • Diane--English, dye-AN; French, dee-AN
  • Edith--English, EE-dith; Édith--French, ay-DEET
  • Elise--English, eh-LEES, ee-LEES; Élise--French, ay-LEES
  • Eloise--English, EL-oh-eez; Éloïse--French, ay-loh-EEZ
  • Emma--English & French, EM-mah
  • Estelle--English & French, es-TEL
  • Esther--English, ES-ter; French, es-TEHR
  • Eve--English, EEV; Ève--French, EV
  • Florence--English, FLOHR-ents; French, floh-RAWNS
  • Francine--English, fran-SEEN; French, frawn-SEEN
  • Gabrielle--English & French, gah-bree-EL
  • Genevieve--English, JEN-eh-veev; Geneviève--French, zhawn-vee-EV, zhawn-eh-vee-EV
  • Irene--English, eye-REEN; Irène--French, ee-REN
  • Iris--English, EYE-ris, French, ee-REES
  • Isabelle--English, IZ-ah-bel; French, eez-ah-BEL
  • Jacqueline--English, JAK-ah-lin; French, zhak-LEEN, zhak-eh-LEEN
  • Jade--English, JAYD; French, ZHAHD
  • Jasmine--English, JAZ-min; French, zhas-MEEN
  • Jeannette--English, jen-ET; French, zhen-ET
  • Jeanine--English, jen-EEN; French, zhen-EEN
  • Jessica--English, JES-sih-kah; French, JES-ee-kah
  • Joelle--English, joh-EL; Joëlle--French, zhoh-EL
  • Josephine--English, JOH-sef-een; Joséphine--French, zhoh-zay-FEEN
  • Judith--English, JOO-dith; French, zhoo-DEET
  • Julie--English, JOO-lee; French, zhoo-LEE
  • Justine--English, jus-TEEN; French, zhoos-TEEN
  • Lara--English & French, LAH-rah
  • Louise--English & French, loo-EEZ
  • Lucille--English & French, loo-SEEL
  • Margot--English, MAR-goh; French, mar-GOH
  • Marianne--English, mehr-ee-AN; French, mah-ree-AN
  • Marie--English & French, mah-REE
  • Marion--English, MEHR-ee-on; French, mah-ree-OHN
  • Marlene--English, mar-LEEN; Marlène--French, mahr-LEN
  • Melina--English, meh-LEE-nah; Mélina--French, may-lee-NAH
  • Melissa--English, meh-LIS-sah; Mélissa--French, may-lee-SAH
  • Michelle--English, mih-SHEL; French, mee-SHEL
  • Muriel--English, MYUR-ee-el; French, mur-ee-EL
  • Nadia--English & French, NAH-dyah
  • Nadine--English, nah-DEEN, nay-DEEN; French, nah-DEEN
  • Natalie--English, NAT-ah-lee; French, nat-ah-LEE
  • Nicole--English, nih-KOHL; French, nee-KOHL
  • Nina--English & French, NEE-nah
  • Noelle--English, noh-EL; Noëlle--French, noh-EL
  • Penelope--English, pen-EL-oh-pee; Pénélope--French, pay-nay-LOHP
  • Rachel--English, RAY-chel; French, rah-SHEL
  • Rebecca--English, reh-BEK-kah; Rébecca--French, ray-bek-KAH
  • Renee--English, ren-AY; Renée--French, ren-AY
  • Rosalie--English, ROHZ-ah-lee; French, roh-zah-LEE
  • Rose--English & French, ROHZ
  • Sandra--English, SAN-drah; French, SAHN-drah
  • Sarah--English, SEHR-ah; French, SAH-rah
  • Simone--English, sih-MOHN; French, see-MOHN
  • Stephanie--English, STEF-an-ee; Stéphanie--French, stay-fan-EE
  • Suzanne--English & French, soo-ZAN
  • Valerie--English, VAL-er-ee; Valérie--French, vah-lay-REE
  • Yvette--English & French, ee-VET
  • Yvonne--English, ee-VON; French, ee-VOHN
  • Zoe--English, ZOH-ee; Zoé--French, zoh-AY

One-two letter difference:
  • Agatha--English, AG-ah-thah; Agathe--French, ah-GAHT
  • Alina--English, ah-LEE-nah; Aline--French, ah-LEEN
  • Amber--English, AM-ber, Ambre--French, AHMBr
  • Amelia--English, ah-MEEL-yah; Amélie--French, ah-may-LEE
  • Anastasia--English, an-ah-STAYZH-yah; Anastasie--French, ah-nah-stah-ZEE
  • Andrea--English, AN-dree-ah; Andrée--French, awn-DRAY
  • Angela--English, AN-jel-ah; Angèle--French, awn-ZHEL
  • Angelina--English, an-jel-EE-nah; Angeline--French, awn-zhel-EEN
  • Arianna--English, ahr-ee-AN-nah, ah-ree-AH-nah; Ariane--French, ah-ree-AN
  • Ariel--English, AHR-ee-el, AYR-ee-el; Arielle--French, ah-ree-EL
  • Aurora--English, aw-ROH-rah; Aurore--French, oh-ROHR
  • Bertha--English, BUR-thah; Berthe--French, BEHR-teh
  • Carina--English, kah-REE-nah; Carine--French, kah-REEN
  • Cecilia--English, seh-SEEL-yah; Cécile--French, say-SEEL
  • Clarissa--English, klah-RIS-sah, Clarisse--French, klah-REES
  • Claudia--English, KLAW-dee-ah; Claudie--French, kloh-DEE
  • Deborah--English, DEB-oh-rah; Débora--French, day-boh-RAH
  • Dorothy--English, DOR-oh-thee; Dorothée--French, doh-roh-TAY
  • Eleanor--English, EL-en-or, EL-en-er; Eléonore--French, eh-lay-oh-NOHR
  • Elizabeth--English, eh-LIZ-ah-beth; Élisabeth--French, ay-lee-zah-BET
  • Emily--English, EM-il-ee; Émilie--French, ay-mee-LEE
  • Eugenia--English, yoo-JEEN-yah, yoo-JEN-ee-ah; Eugénie--French, oo-zhay-NEE
  • Evelyn--English, EV-el-in;  Évelyne--French, ayv-eh-LEEN
  • Felicity--English, fel-IS-ih-tee; Félicité--French, fay-lee-cee-TAY
  • Giselle--English, jih-ZEL; Gisèle--French, zhee-ZEL
  • Gwendolyn--English, GWEN-doh-lin; Gwendoline--French, gwen-doh-LEEN
  • Helen--English, HEL-en; Hélène--French, ay-LEN
  • Henrietta--English, hen-ree-ET-tah; Henriette--French, awn-ree-ET
  • Jocelyn--English, JOS-el-in; Jocelyne--French, zhos-el-EEN
  • Juliana--English, joo-lee-AH-nah, joo-lee-AN-ah; Juliane--French, zhoo-lee-AN
  • Juliet--English, JOO-lee-et, joo-lee-ET; Juliette--French, zhoo-lee-ET
  • Katherine--English, KATH-eh-rin; Catherine--French, ka-teh-REEN
  • Laura--English, LOR-ah, LAW-rah; Laure--French, LOHR
  • Leah--English, LEE-ah; Léa--French, LAY-ah
  • Letitia--English, leh-TEE-shah; Laetitia--French, leh-TEE-see-ah
  • Leona--English, lee-OH-nah; Léonie--French, lay-oh-NEE
  • Lillian--English, LIL-ee-an; Liliane--French, lee-lee-AN
  • Lisa--English, LEE-sah; Lise--French, LEEZ
  • Lucy--English, LOO-see; Lucie--French, loo-SEE
  • Lydia--English, LID-ee-ah; Lydie--French, lee-DEE
  • Martha--English, MAR-thah; Marthe--French, MAHRT
  • Martina--English, mar-TEE-nah; Martine--French, mar-TEEN
  • Matilda--English, mah-TIL-dah; Mathilde--French, mah-TEELD
  • Melanie--English, MEL-an-ee; Mélanie--French, may-lan-EE
  • Miriam--English, MEER-ee-am; Myriam--French, mee-ree-AM
  • Morgan--English, MOR-gan; Morgane--French, mor-GAN
  • Natasha--English, nah-TAHSH-ah; Natacha--French, nah-tah-SHAH
  • Olivia--English, oh-LIV-ee-ah, ol-IV-ee-ah; Olivie--French, oh-lee-VEE
  • Ophelia--English, oh-FEE-lee-ah; Ophélie--French, oh-fay-LEE
  • Paula--English, PAW-lah; Paule--French, POHL
  • Regina--English, reg-JEE-nah; Régine--French, ray-ZHEEN
  • Roxanne--English, roks-AN; Roxane--French, rohks-AN
  • Sophia--English, soh-FEE-ah; Sophie--French, soh-FEE
  • Sylvia--English, SIL-vee-ah; Sylvie--French, seel-VEE
  • Teresa--English, teh-REE-sah; Thérèse--French, tay-REZ
  • Virginia--English, ver-JIN-yah; Virginie--French, veer-zhee-NEE
  • Violet--English, VYE-oh-let; Violette--French, vee-oh-LET
  • Vivian--English, VIV-ee-an; Viviane--French, vee-vee-AN
  • Yolanda--English, yoh-LAHN-dah; Yolande--French, yoh-LAHND
Larger difference, but still recognizable:
  • Amy--English, AY-mee; Aimée--French, eh-MAY
  • Angelica--English, an-JEL-ih-kah; Angelique--French, awn-zhel-EEK
  • Bridget--English, BRID-jet; Brigitte--French, bree-ZHEET
  • Guinevere--English, GWEN-eh-veer; Guenièvre--French, goon-ee-EVr
  • Madelyn--English, MAD-el-in; Madeleine--French, mah-deh-LEN
  • Margaret--English, MAR-gah-ret; Marguerite--French, mahr-geh-REET
  • Monica--English, MON-ih-kah; Monique--French, moh-NEEK
  • Naomi--English, nah-OH-mee, nay-OH-mee; Noémie--French, noh-ay-MEE
  • Sibyl--English, SIB-il; Sybille--French, see-BEEL
  • Veronica--English, veh-RON-ih-kah; Véronique--French, vay-roh-NEEK
  • Victoria--English, vik-TOHR-ee-ah; Victoire--French, veek-TWAHR

Friday, September 7, 2012

Marian Names

I did a quick Google search, and was surprised to not find much by the way of Marian name lists. Marian names are used to honor the Virgin Mary, in cultures where actual saint names are too holy to use. They are thus most common in Roman Catholic areas, particularly Spanish, but exist in other regions, too. Some are concepts; many are place-names; others are seemingly random nouns; but all have some connection to the Virgin Mary.
And, like many lists, they're nearly all feminine.
  • Abene (ah-beh-neh, Basque)--"pillar"
  • África (AH-free-kah, Spanish)--"Africa"
  • Ainhoa (eye-noh-ah, Basque)--poss. "little place"
  • Alazne (ah-lahs-neh, Basque)--"miracle"
  • Almudena (ahl-moo-DEH-nah, Spanish)--from Arabic, "citadel"
  • Annunziata (ahn-noon-TSYAH-tah, Italian)--"annunciation"
  • Araceli (ah-rah-SEH-lee, Spanish)--from Latin, "altar of the sky"
  • Arantzazu (ah-rahnt-sah-soo, Basque)--"thornbush". Variant is Arantxa (ah-rahnt-shah).
  • Asunción (ah-soon-see-OHN, Spanish)--"assumption". Other forms are Assunta (ah-SOON-tah, Italian), Assumpció (ah-soomp-see-OH, Catalan), Assumpta (ah-SUMP-tah, Latin), and Asun (ah-SOON, Spanish).
  • Candelaria (kan-deh-LAH-ree-ah, Spanish)--"Candlemas". Variants include Cande (KAHN-deh), Candelas (kahn-DEH-las), & Candela (kahn-DEH-lah). Masculine is Candelario
  • Carmel (KAHR-mel, English; kahr-MEHL, Spanish)--from Hebrew, "garden". Catalan form is Carme (KAHR-meh). 
  • Conceptión (kon-sep-see-OHN, Spanish)--"conception"
  • Consolata (kohn-soh-LAH-tah, Italian)--"consolation"
  • Consuelo (kohn-SWEH-loh, Spanish)--"consolation". Variants are Consuela and Chelo (CHE-loh). 
  • Dolores (doh-LOH-rehs, English, Spanish)--"sorrows". Variants include Lola (LOH-lah, English, Spanish), Dolors (doh-LORZ, Catalan), and Dores (DOR-ez, Portuguese). 
  • Edurne (eh-door-neh, Basque)--"snow". Masculine is Edur.
  • Encarnación (en-kahr-nah-see-OHN, Spanish)--"incarnation"
  • Fátima (FAH-tee-mah, Portuguese, Spanish)--from Arabic, "abstaining"
  • Guadalupe (gwah-dah-LOO-peh, Spanish)--from Arabic, "wolf river" [unisex]. Variants are Lupe and Lupita
  • Idoya (ee-DOY-ah, Spanish)--from Basque, "pond"
  • Igone (ee-goh-neh, Basque)--"ascension". Masculine is Igon.
  • Ihinzta (ee-heen-sah, Basque)--"dew"
  • Iker (ee-kehr, Basque)--"visitation" [masculine]
  • Inmaculada (een-mah-koo-LAH-dah, Spanish)--"immaculate"
  • Itziar (eet-see-ahr, Basque, Spanish)--poss. "old stone". Variant is Icíar (ee-SEE-ahr).
  • Loreto (loh-REH-toh, Italian)--from Latin, "laurel" [unisex]. Variant is Loreta (loh-REH-tah). 
  • Lourdes (LOOR-dehs, Spanish)--Town in France, origin unknown.
  • Luz (LOOS, Spanish)--"light"
  • Macarena (mah-kah-REH-nah, Spanish)--poss. from Latin, "blessed"
  • Madonna (mah-DON-nah, English)--from Italian, "my lady"
  • Maolmoire (mool-MOY-reh, Scottish)--"servant of Mary" [masculine]
  • Maris (MEHR-is, MAH-ris, English)--from Latin, "of the sea"
  • Maristela (mah-ree-STEH-lah, Spanish, Portuguese)--from Latin Stella Maris "star of the sea".
  • Mercedes (mehr-SEH-dehs, Spanish)--"mercies". Catalan form is Mercè (mehr-SAY). 
  • Meritxell (mur-eet-CHEL, Catalan)--from Latin, "midday"
  • Milagros (mee-LAH-grohs, Spanish)--"miracles"
  • Nagore (nah-goh-reh, Basque)--Town in Spain, origin unknown.
  • Naiara (nah-yah-rah, Basque)--from Arabic, "between rocks". Also spelled Nayara.
  • Nekane (neh-kah-neh, Basque)--"sorrows"
  • Nieves (nee-EHV-ehs, Spanish)--"snows". Other forms include Neus (NEH-oos, Catalan), Neves (NEH-ves, Portuguese) and Nives (NEE-ves, Italian)
  • Núria (NOOR-ee-ah, Catalan)--poss. from Arabic, "light"
  • Osane (oh-sah-neh, Basque)--"remedy"
  • Panagiota (pah-nah-YOT-ah, Greek)--"all holy". Masculine is Panagiotis.
  • Paz (PAHS, Spanish)--"peace"
  • Pilar (pee-LAHR, Spanish)--"pillar"
  • Queralt (keh-RAHL, Catalan)--poss. "high rock"
  • Remedios (reh-MEH-dee-ohs, Spanish)--"remedies"
  • Remei (reh-MAY, Catalan)--"remedy"
  • Reyes (REH-yes, Spanish)--"kings" [unisex]
  • Rocío (roh-SEE-oh, Spanish)--"dew"
  • Rosaria (roh-ZAHR-yah, Italian)
  • Rosario (roh-ZAHR-yoh, Italian; roh-SAH-ree-oh, Spanish)--"rosary" [masculine in Italian]. Variants include Charo (CHAH-roh, Spanish), Rosaria (roh-ZAHR-yah, Italian) and Roser (roh-ZAY, Catalan). 
  • Socorro (soh-KOH-roh, Spanish)--"help"
  • Soledad (soh-leh-DAHD, Spanish)--"solitude"
  • Sorne (sohr-neh, Basque)--"conception"
  • Uxue (oo-shoo-eh, Basque)--"dove"
  • Visitación (vee-see-tah-see-OHN, Spanish)--"visitation"

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The "Good", the Bad, and the Ugly

Well, the "good" is guaranteed, anyway. Whether they're bad or ugly is subject to individual tastes!

In cultures where name-meanings hold great importance (which is most ancient cultures, as far as I can tell), often one element is quite common, occurring in dozens of names: -gwen- in Welsh, for instance, or -el- and -iah- in Hebrew. 
While we're swimming in El-s today (named for the nicknames, of course, though, not the meaning), the ancient Greeks seem to have been swimming in Eu-s.
Although only a couple names have survived to modern usage in English ("modern" being relative, as they're still too fusty for many parents), there were numerous Eu-names in use in ancient times, on both genders.
Now, in Modern Greek, ευ is said "ev"or "ef", but in Ancient Greek, it was a diphthong--"eh-oo". In English, this was, of course, simplified to "yoo".

*yes, some of the meanings are a bit odd or insulting to modern ears, but many were originally from legend/mythology, where the names were linked to the character's place/role. There's also the whole "completely different culture" thing. :)

Boys:
  • Euandros (yoo-AHN-dros)--"good man" [Evander in modern English]
  • Euangelos (yoo-AHN-jel-os)--"good messenger"
  • Euaristos (yoo-ah-RIS-tos)--"well-pleasing" [Évariste in modern French]
  • Eukleides (yoo-KLAY-des)--"good glory" [Euclid in modern English]
  • Eugenios (yoo-GEN-ee-os)--"well-born" [Eugene in modern English]
  • Euphemios (yoo-FEM-ee-os)--"speaks well"
  • Euphranor (YOO-fran-or)--"good mind"
  • Euripides (yoo-RIP-ih-dees)--"good throw"
  • Eusebios (yoo-SEB-ee-os)--"good worship"
  • Eustachys (yoo-STAH-khis)--"good grain" [Eustace in modern English]
  • Eustathios (yoo-STAH-thee-os)--"good" +  "stable"
  • Eustorgios (yoo-STOR-gee-os)--"good affection"
  • Eutropios (yoo-TROP-ee-os)--"good character"
  • Eutychus (yoo-TYE-kus)--"good fortune"

Girls:
  • Euadne (yoo-AHD-nee)--"good" + " holy"
  • Euagora (yoo-AH-gor-ah)--"good assembly"
  • Euanthe (yoo-AHN-thee)--"good flower"
  • Euarne (yoo-AHR-nee)--poss. "good sheep"
  • Euboea (yoo-BEE-ah)--prob. "good cattle"
  • Eudaimonia (yoo-dye-mon-EE-ah)--"good spirit"
  • Eudocia (yoo-DOS-ee-ah)--"good will"
  • Eudora (yoo-DOH-rah)--"good gift"
  • Eudoxia (yoo-DOKS-ee-ah)--"good fame"
  • Eugeneia (yoo-gen-AY-ah)--"well-born" [Eugenia in modern English]
  • Eukleia (yoo-KLAY-ah)--"good glory"
  • Eukrante (yoo-KRAHN-tee)--poss. "good accomplishment"
  • Eulalia (yoo-LAH-lee-ah)--"speaks well"
  • Eulimene (yoo-LEE-men-ee)--"good harbour"
  • Eumelia (yoo-MEH-lee-ah)--"good song"
  • Eunice (YOO-nis, yoo-NEE-see)--"good victory"
  • Eumolpe (yoo-MOL-pee)--"good singer"
  • Eunomia (yoo-NOM-ee-ah)--"good order"
  • Eunostos (yoo-NOS-tos)--"good yield"
  • Eupheme (yoo-FEM-ee)--"speaks well" [Euphemia in modern English]
  • Euphrasia (yoo-FRAHS-ee-ah)--"good cheer"
  • Euphrosyne (yoo-FROS-in-ee)--"good cheer"
  • Eupompe (yoo-POM-pee)--"good escort"
  • Euporia (yoo-POR-ee-ah)--"good journey"
  • Eupraxia (yoo-PRAHKS-ee-ah)--"good conduct"
  • Eusebia (yoo-SEB-ee-ah)--"good worship"
  • Euterpe (yoo-TEHR-pee)--"good" + " delight"
  • Euthalia (yoo-THAH-lee-ah)--"blossoming well"
  • Euthemia (yoo-THEH-mee-ah)--"good order"
  • Euthenia (yoo-THEH-nee-ah)--poss. "good supply"
  • Euthymia (yoo-THEE-mee-ah)--"good spirit"
  • Eutropia (yoo-TROP-ee-ah)--"good character"
  • Eutychia (yoo-TYE-kee-ah)--"good fortune"

Honorable mention goes to Evangeline, which, although derived from Greek ("good news"), has no record of use before Longfellow's poem, "Evangeline".