Saya

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Kazakh
Meaning: “coolness of a breeze under a tree on a summer day.”

I couldn’t confirm if “coolness of a breeze under a tree on a summer day” is legit http://www.kazakhadoptivefamilies.com/names.html, but it’s certainly a lovely meaning, a nice choice for a summer baby, but be forwarned that I am not entirely sure if that is indeed the meaning. I will have to do further research, but until then, that is what I have it listed as. However, I was able to confirm that this is indeed a common Kazakh female name. I even found a few hotels in Kazakhstan listed with this name. I also learned that many Kazakh names are derived from common words in their vocabulary, so its meaning is entirely plausible.

There has been nothing but cool summer breezes in my part of the country, (something that is rather unusual in the Midwest), but its been nice nevertheless and this beautiful name made me think of the wonderful weather outside.

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Božidar, Božidara

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Czech/Polish/Serbian/Slovak/Slovene
Meaning: “divine gift.”
Божидар
(BOH-zhee-DAH-rah).

The name is composed of the old Slavonic elements, bozy, meaning, god and dar, meaning, “gift.” In the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the name was designated as a cognate with the Greek, Theodore.

August 1st is the name-day.

Other forms include:

  • Bojidar Божидар (Bulgarian)
  • Bozsidár (Hungarian)
  • Bożydar/Bożdar (Polish)
  • Bozhidar Божидар (Serbian)

A Czech and Slovakian feminine form is Božidara.

Ignatius

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: unknown.
Eng (ig-NAY-shus).

This solid masculine name may sound too much like a hospital or church for some parents; the fact that it has some great associations, however, should not be overlooked.

The name is derived from an old Roman family name of uncertain origins and meaning. Originally spelled Egnatius, it was borne by an early Christian martyr of Antioch. The meaning of the name has often been associated with the Latin word, ignis, meaning, “fire.”

The name was later borne by another Saint, Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order. Of Basque extraction, his real name Iñigo, a Basque name of obscure origins, however, in contemporary Spain, Iñigo is often hispanicized to Ignacio.

Another interesting side note is that Inigo was in usage in Renaissance England, it was borne by Inigo Jones, a famous architect and stage designer.

Ignatius itself never really caught on in the English speaking world, though among some devout Roman Catholic families, the name has been used, and even then, it is rarely ever heard other than as a confirmation name or as a religious name. He currently does not rank in the U.S. top 1000.

The name has enjoyed considerable usage in Latin America and in Spain as Ignacio, which is often shortened to Nacho.

Potential English nickname options could be:  Iggy, Nash, and Nacho. Nameday is July 31.

Other forms include

  • Injaci (Albanian)
  • Iñaki (Basque)
  • Iñigo (Basque)
  • Ignasi (Catalan)
  • Ignac (Croatian/Slovene)
  • Ignacije (Croatian)
  • Ignác (Czech/Hungarian)
  • Ignaas (Dutch)
  • Inigo (English: obscure)
  • Ignatios (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Ignace (French)
  • Ignatz (German)
  • Ignazio (Italian)
  • Ignas (Kiswahili)
  • Ignacy (Polish)
  • Inácio (Portuguese)
  • Ignatziu (Sardinian)
  • Ignacij (Slovene)
  • Ignacio (Spanish)

Feminine forms include the Polish Ignacja and the Spanish Ignacia.

Callinicus, Kallinikos, Kalliniki, Callinici, Callinica

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “great victory.”
Καλλίνικος

The popular Greek male name of, Kallinikos, might be a bit out there for a child of non Greek descent, but with the popularity of the name Callie, its feminine counterparts of Kalliniki, Callinici or Callinica might be very appealing, even to non Greek parents.

The name is composed of the elements kalos meaning “beauty; great; nice” and nike meaning “victory.” Its official name-day in the Greek calender is July 29. In English, its latinized form would no doubt be pronounced (kul-LIN-nik-kus) and (kul-LIN-nik-kah). In Greek, these names are pronounced (KAHL-lee-NEE-kose) and (KAHL-lee-NEE-kee). Its Sicilian counterpart of Callinici is pronounced (KAHL-lee-NEE-chee).

The names are borne by several male and female saints. As well as a Greek historian from the 3rd century.

An obscure Catalan male form is Cal·línic.

Andronicus, Andronikos

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “victory of man.”
Eng (an-DRAH-nik-kus); Gre (AHN-droh-NEE-kose).
Ανδρονικος

This popular Greek male name is most notably known via Shakespeare’s play, Titus Andronicus.

Andronicus, is its latinized counterpart.

If you are tired of Andrew, but absolutely adore the nickname Andy, then this might be the name for you, likewise, if you adore the nickname Nick but dislike Nicholas, Andronicus might just be the perfect option.

The name is composed of the elements andros meaning “man” and nike meaning “victory.”

Its name -day in Greece is July 30.

The name is borne by Andronikos I Komnenos (1118-1185), a byzantine emperor and also by an early Greek saint and martyr.

Other forms include:

  • Andronike მოციქული (Georgian)
  • Andronikosz (Hungarian)
  • Andronico (Italian)
  • Andronicus (Latin)
  • Andrónico (Portuguese: very rare)

A feminine Greek form is Andronike


Rūta

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Lithuanian/Latvian
Meaning: “rue.”
(ROO-tah).

The name has a very similar sound to Ruth but is actually derived from the Lithuanian word for the rue plant, albeit, it is occasionally used as a cognate for Ruth, (see Ruth).

Its name day in Latvia is July 31.

Mádara

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latvian
Meaning: “cleavers.”
(MAH-duh-ruh)

This sweet, exotic and uber feminine, Baltic gem, is derived from the Latvian plural word meaning, “cleavers”, a type of flowering plant indigenous to Latvia.

In ancient Baltic folk medicine, the plant was used to cure and treat skin diseases and other ailments. The name has inspired a Latvian cosmetics company. Mádara, which is an eco-based brand of cosmetics, differs from other European cosmetic chains as it claims to use 100% natural plants indigenous to the Baltic countries.

The name is also a very popular Latvian first name.

Its designated name day in Latvia is July 29.

Martha, Marta, Marthe

Origin: Aramaic
Meaning: “lady.”
Eng (MAR-thuh); (MAR-tah); Fre (MAHRT)

Vintagy, classic and a bit waspy, Martha brings to mind quaint housewives of Connecticut and solid first ladies.

The name traces its origins back to the New Testament, being the name of the sister of Lazarus and Mary of Bethany. It seems almost fitting that she is the patron saint of cooks! It is derived from the Aramaic word martâ מַרְתָּא meaning “lady”

Its continental form of Marta, has a sweet, exotic appeal. Martha might feel a bit too heavy and clunky for a comeback, but Marta certainly has potential. Other forms include:

  • Marte (Basque)
  • Marta(Catalan/Bulgarian/Croatian/Czech/Georgian/Italian/Norwegian/Polish/Romanian/Serbian/Slovakian/Slovene/Swedish
  • Martta (Finnish)
  • Marthe (French: MAHRT)
  • Martje (Frisian: MAHRT-ye)
  • Marta/Marthe/Martha (German/Dutch: MAHR-te/MAHR-tah)
  • Martha Μαρθα (Greek)
  • Martâ מרתא (Hebrew)
  • Márta (Hungarian)
  • Morta (Lithuanian)
  • Marte (Norwegian: MAHR-te)
  • Marfa Марфа (Russian)
  • Märtha (Swedish: MARE-tah).

The name was borne by Martha Washington, the first First Lady of the United States and was borne by several other St. Marthas. Of course, how can we ever forget Martha Stewart.

A Spanish diminutive form is Martita, a Hungarian diminutive form is Mártuska. Polish diminutives are: Marusza MarchwaMarocha, Marsza, Marszka, Marucha, Maruchna, Maruszka

Moa

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Swedish
SWE (MOO-wah); Eng (MOH-ah)

Liking Noa on a girl, but fear she might be mistaken for a boy? Then you might like this Swedish alternative.

Moa is a contraction of the old Norse feminine name, Lillemor, which is composed of the elements, lille, meaning, “small” and mor, meaning, “mother” hence, “little mother.”

For a long time, Moa exclusively a diminutive form, but in recent years, its popularity as an independent name has replaced its formal counterpart, which in Sweden, is now considered a dated old granny name, while Moa is currently very trendy. She is the 21st most popular female name in Sweden’s top 100 list of 2008.

The name was borne by Moa Martinsson, (whose real name was Helga Maria Svarz; Moa was her nickname). A famous socialist novalist whose books focused on working class life in Sweden.

The Swedish pronunciation is rather hard to render, the first part isn’t necessarily like the sound the cow makes, its like the O in home but is very stretched out with a slight W sound at the end, I hope that isn’t too confusing. If its easier, it kinda rhymes with Noa.