Katia, Katja, Katya

KatiaThe name is a Russian diminutive form of Ekaterina and spun off as a well-established independent given name across Western Europe. In Russian, this is the equivalent of Katie.

In France, Katia appeared among the Top 100 most popular female names between 1968 and 1979. Katia peaked at #42 in 1970. As of 2018, the name has not been in the French Top 1000 since 2004. Likewise, in Italy, it appeared in the Top 200 Most Popular Female Names between 1999 and 2007 and peaked at #141 in 1999. While in the United States, Katia appeared in the Top 1000 between 1996 and 2001 and peaked in 1996 at #772.

In the 1980s, Katja became extremely popular in Northern Europe, especially in Germany and Scandinavian countries.

In English, the name is sometime transliterated as Katya.

Its latinate form of Catia is occassionally used in Italy, Romania, Portuguese-Speaking and Spanish-speaking countries. Cátia and Kátia is used in Brazil.

As an independent given name, it is seldom used in Russia.

Countries/Languages in which Katia is in use: Bulgarian, Danish, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Romanian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish.

Countries/Languages in which Katja is in use: Bosnian, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, German, Latvian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swedish



Gautham, Gautama

GauthamOrigin: Sanskrit
Gender: Masculine
(GAW-tem; the latter spelling of Gotama, the final a is silent); (GOW-tem)

Gautham or Gautama (pronounced the same) is derived from a Sanskrit patronymic, meaning “descendent of Gotoma.” It is the name of a gotra, that is in Hinduism, this is a type of family identifier which claims descent through a sage’s teachings. Gotama Maharishi was the name of one of the Saptarshis (7 sages) in Hindu texts.

Gotama itself seems to be derived from the Sanskrit gŐ(गः) “bright; light” and tama (तम) “darkness,” which would allude to a person who dispels darkness. Other sources contend that the name is composed of the Sanskrit elements गो (go) meaning “ox, cow” and तम tama “great.”

Other notable bearers include Gautama Buddha, (cir. 560-400 B.C.E.) founder of Buddhism; Akṣapāda Gotama founder of the Nyaya school of Hindu philosophy; and Indrabhuti Gautama, chief disciple of Mahavira.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Gautam (Bengali/Marathi)
  • Gotam (Hindi)

A feminine form is Gautami.




Origin: Swedish
Gender: Masculine

The name is of uncertain origin and meaning. The name was first recorded in Sweden in the 17th-century. It was borne by the German-born noble, Stellan Otto von Mörner who served as a page to King Karl IX of Sweden. Though von Mörner is of German origin, Stellan has not been in use in Germany until recent times, and in the latter case, it is a borrowing from the Swedish. Since von Mörner was from what is now Poland, near Mieszkowice, perhaps the name was a Germanization of some obscure Slavic or Baltic name that is now lost to history.

Some sources believe that the name may be linked with the Old Norse, stilling (calm).

In recent years, the name has become more widespread in Nordic countries, a notable bearer is Swedish actor, Stellan Skarsgård (b.1951).



TamirOrigin: Hebrew
Meaning: “secret; hidden”; “tall.”
Gender: Masculine

The name is related to two different Hebrew words,  טמיר (secret; hidden), or תָּמִיר (tall). This is one of the many modern Hebrew vocabulary names that came into use after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948



ShreyaOrigin: Sanskrit
Gender: Feminine
Pronounced: SHRAY-yah rhymes with Freya

The name is derived from the Sanskrit श्रेयस् (sreyas) which can meaning “most beautiful; most excellent; fortunate; superior; bliss” or “auspicious.”

In the United States, Shreya appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 2002 and 2005. It peaked at #786 in 2003.

The name is also sometimes transliterated as Shriya or Shreeya.




AravOrigin: Sanskrit
Gender: Masculine

The name is Sanskrit and can have various meanings depending on its original script. If derived from अरव it means (noiseless). However if derived from आरव it means the opposite of “cry; sound; thundering; noise.” It may also be linked with आरव (Arab).

Another transliterated form is Aarav.


Mary Jane, Maryjane

Mary Jane (2)The name is a combination of Mary and Jane. As a full give-name, its earliest record can be traced to 17th-century England. By the 19th-century, the name became extremely widespread throughout the English-speaking world.

Maryjane appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1914 and 2009, and it peaked in 1923, coming in as the 463rd most popular female name.

In the United States, Mary Jane is associated with a type of shoe that became popular in the 1940s. The shoe was named for the character in the 1940s comic strip Buster Brown. The name has also been used as a slang term for marijuana, being a mistranslation of the belief that marijuana comes from the Spanish female name, Maria Juana.

Maryjane is also the name of a type of molasses candy produced by Necco.

Over the past 50 years, the name has also been the subject of several pop, rock, soul and rap songs.

Other forms include:

  • Maria Juana (Spanish)
  • Marie-Jeanne (French)
  • Maria Johanna (German)
  • Mary Joan (English)

Potential diminutive forms include:

  • Madge
  • Maja/Mazha (MAH-jah, not MYE-yah)
  • Molly
  • Mojo



800px-Braulio_de_Zaragoza_e_Isidoro_de_SevillaOrigin: Spanish
Meaning: unknown
Gender: Masculine

The name can be traced to Visigothic Spain, when it was introduced by the 6th-century Spanish saint, Braulio of Zaragoza (590-651). A popular theory is that the name derives from the Germanic, Brandila, which is diminutive form of Brant (sword; fire). Another theory is that it is related to the Latin pravus (ferocious).

Through colonisation, its usage spread throughout the Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking world.

In the Spanish-speaking world, a notable bearer is Canarian singer/songwriter, Braulio (born Braulio Antonio García Bautista b. 1946).

Through the Catholic Church, the name appears on the calendar in most Catholic nations in various forms, though it has not experienced much use outside of Latin-American and Iberian countries, the other forms include:

  • Brauli (Catalan)
  • Braule (French)
  • Braulione (Italian)
  • Braulion (Polish)
  • Bráulio (Portuguese)

Feminine forms are Braulia (Spanish) and Bráulia (Portuguese).

Ironically, though popularly attributed as a name of Germanic origin, there doesn’t seem to be any obscure modern Germanic forms.



DamiaOrigin: Greek
Meaning: “earth mother”
Gender: Feminine
Pronunciation: It. Grk. Fre. Eng. (DAH-mee-ah); Eng. (duh-MEE-ah).

This is the name of an obscure Greek goddess who is sometimes associated with Demeter. According to legend, Damia and Auxesia were two Cretan maidens who were stoned death in a revolt. Their persecutors felt so guilty for what they did, that they turned the two maidens into goddesses, erecting shrines in their honor and holding festivals. Other sources report that Damia (of the earth) and Auxesia (of the growth) were two goddesses who personified fertility. Damia was sometimes synchronized with Demeter, and Auxesia with her daughter Persephone.

The name itself is most likely composed of the Greek elements, da, dê, gê (earth) and maia (mother nature).

In more recent history, Damia was the stage name of French actress and singer, Marie-Louise Damien (1889-1978). During the peak of her career, the name experienced some minor use in French-speaking countries, thought it never became very popular. In France, Damia is considered third greatest singer of chansons réalistes after Édith Piaf and Barbara.

The name also appears in the Old Testament as the name of a village in Jordan also known as the City of Adam, mentioned briefly in (Joshua 3:16).

Alternately, Damià (dah-mee-AH) is the Catalan form of Damian. It is borne by Spanish football player, Damià Abella Pérez (b. 1982).




Adiel (1)Origin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: debated; most likely “ornament/jewel of God.”
Gender: Masculine
(AH-dee-el; ENG. AY-dee-el)

This is the name of 3 minor characters in the Bible, one is the name of the father of Maasai, a Cohen (or Jewish priest), the other is the name of the head of the tribe of Simeon, and the 3rd is the father of Azmaveth who was a treasurer under King David. All of the aforementioned appear in the Book of Chronicles.

As for its meaning, it has traditionally been believed to mean “ornament of God; jewel of God,” being composed of the Hebrew (עדה) adi meaning “ornament” or “jewel” and  אל (‘el) pertaining to elohim. However, the  first element may actually relate to the root word  אל (ad) meaning “witness” and also “forever; eternity,” and “booty.” The same root word also relates to “congregation, community, parish, denomination; swarm, flock.” Somehow, the original root word of all of the above are related. Compare the name to the modern Hebrew Unisex name Adi עדי (jewel, ornament).

Among non-Jews, the name has been in use across Europe since the Protestant Reformation, around the 16th-century. It has been in occasional use in Scandinavia, Finland, the Netherlands, U.K, the Americas and Australia. It has come in recent use in Latin America as well.

Ironically the name was not revived among Jews until modern times. There doesn’t seem to be any records for this name among Jews from Medieval Times to pre-WWII in Europe, the Ottoman Empire or the Middle East. It seems to have become widespread after the creation of Israel in 1948. Since the 1960s, its French feminine form of Adielle has appeared in occasional use among Jews in French-speaking countries such as France and Canada.

Another form is the Dutch Adiël (male) and Adiëlle (female).

Modern Hebrew female forms include Adiela (also Spanish) and Adielit.