WitchesBrew3-frontface_____PMGender: Masculine
Origin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “charmed hope; witchcraft hope”

The name is composed of the ancient Lithuanian elements bur– meaning “charm; witchcraft” and vil-(viltis) meaning “hope.” Its designated name-day is September 30 and its feminine version is Burvilė.


Grazina, Grażyna

Planty-Grazyna-MickiewiczaGender: Feminine
Origin: Lithuanian/Polish
Meaning: “beautiful; pretty”
Lit (grah-ZHEE-nah); Pol (grah-ZHIH-nah).

The name come directly from the Lithuanian word for beautiful. It was said to have been created by Polish-Lithuanian poet Adam Mickiewicz in 1823. Grażyna recounts the exploits 0f a Lithuanian princess who tried to defeat the Teutonic knights. The name itself is derived from the Lithuanian word grażus meaning “beautiful” “pretty.” The name was often translated to Grace by Polish and Lithuanian immigrants who settled in the United States. Common nicknames include Grazia, Grasia, Grażynka and Grażka. The name-day in Poland is July 26 while in Lithuania it takes place on September 26. The name was borne by Polish-Lithuanian composer and violinist, Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969)


Dr-Quinn-Medicine-Woman-dr-quinn-medicine-woman-7360888-1024-768Gender: Feminine
Origin: German
Meaning: feminine form of Michael
Germ/Czech (mee-kah-EH-lah); Eng (mih-KAY-lah)

This name is basically just a feminine form of Michael a Biblical male name that I will go further into in a future post. The reason why I have chosen to list her as separate is due to her explosive popularity and her tryndification over the last eleven years. Before I go any further, a “tryndification” is a word I have coined referring to name that has been respelled all sorts of weird ways to make it look “cuter.” This has been a common trend ever since the early 90s, though there are some instances of them going even further back to the late 60s. Such name that this have occurred to are names like Miles: Myles, Brice: Bryce. The most drastic that I have ever seen in the naming world has to be Michaela. Hence is why I felt she deserved a post all of her own. Plus, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, September 30 is the name-day for Michaela.

In the United States, poor Michaela has been butchered mercilessly ever since her inception in 1993 via the popular TV series Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. She has appeared as Mikayla, Makayla, Mckayla and the list goes on and on ever since the series ended. In fact, I sadly report that the traditional spelling currently appears in the top 1000 at # 357, while the tryndified form of Makayla comes in at # 37 and is rising, she jumped 70 places since 1997, when Michaela first seems to have made an impression on the American public. Between 1998 and 1999, the Mikayla spelling reached # 86 and # 82. Back in 97, Michaela had made it to the top 100, coming in at exactly # 100. Since then, she has dropped 257 places, while her tryndier alternatives seem to be rising. I personally believe that many parents thought that this was just a more elaborate form of Kayla, so they spelled the name phonetically to easily shorten it to Kayla. I think a nickname does not have to correspond with the spelling of a given name. Look at Bill from William and Bob from Robert. So why change the spelling of Michaela? She can still go by Kayla or Kaylie. There is a legitimate trendier looking spelling and that is the Swedish Mikaela.

The name is quite popular in other countries as well. In Germany, she was hit in the 1960s and 1970s. In Argentina, spelled Micaela, she comes in as the 6th most popular girls name in 2008, while in Uruguay she comes in at # 10.

There is the Italian form of Michela, pronounced the same as Michaela, which recently came in as the 6th most popular female name on the Island of Malta.

Other forms of the name include the Romanian Mihaela and the Spanish Miguela. Look for Michelle and Michalina in a future installment.

Ariadne, Ariadni, Ariadna

waterhouse_ariadneGender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “most holy; most chaste.”

The name is composed of the Cretan elements ari meaning “most” and adnos meaning “holy.” Other sources argue that it is composed of the ancient Greek elements ari meaning “most” and hagne meaning “chaste.”

In Greek mythology the name is borne by the daughter of King Minos and his wife Pasiphaë of Crete. Ariadne is most known for helping the hero Theseus overcome the minotaur and find his way back through the labyrinth by giving him a ball of red yarn. Ariadne was in love with Theseus and ran off with him after he had killed the minotaur, but Theseus had abandoned her while she was sleeping, on the isle of Naxos. This part of the myth has been popularly rendered in paintings. It is said that Ariadne later married the god Dionysus. Many scholars suggest that Ariadne was originally a pre-Olympian Cretan goddess.

The name was also borne by an early Christian martyr, a Christian slave who refused to participate in the regulatory libations to the local gods, legend says that she was hunted down by the authorities until she ran into a chasm that miraculously swallowed her up. Her feast is held on September 17 and she is a popular saint in the Greek Orthodox Church. In modern Greece, where the it is rendered in the conventional form of Ariadni, the name is still relatively common. It is growing in popularity in Spain and Poland as Ariadna. The Latin and Italian rendition of the name is Arianna, also a common name in Greece.

The name is borne by Greek-American author and syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington (b. 1950).

In recent years, its Italian form of Arianna has become quite prevalent in the U.S. coming in at # 66 among the top 1000 female names of 2008. The French form is Ariane and the more obscure Arienne. Another more modern version is Ariana, which comes in as the 81st most popular female name in the United States ( 2008). There is also an ancient Etruscan form Areatha.

Other forms include:

  • Arijadna (Croatian)
  • Ariadné (Hungarian)
  • Ariadnė (Lithuanian)


akaDawnGender: Masculine
Origin: Estonian
Meaning “dawn.”

The name comes directly from the Estonian word koit meaning dawn. Other forms include Koido, Agu, (derived from the Estonian word agu meaning “daybreak; dawn”), Ako, Agur and Ago. Its feminine form is Koidula.


335px-Gallen_Kallela_Kullervos_CurseGender: Masculine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: “gold”

The name is derived from the Finnish kulta meaning “gold.” In Finnish Mythology, the name is borne by the son of Kalervo, a tragic character whose story is illustrated in the Finnish epic the Kalevala. According to the story, Kallervo was a magician who turns out badly due to an abusive child abuse, his death poem of Kullervo has inspired many literary works, the most significant being J.R.R Tolkien’s the Silmarillon. The Tale of Túrin Turambar is said to have been directly inspired by Kullervo’s discourse between his sword. Some Finnish scholars have claimed that Kullervo’s struggle is a bitter metaphor for Finland’s struggle for independence in the last century. The story has inspired the 1892 choral symphony of the same name written by Jean Sibelius. Its designated name-day is September 25. To hear how the name is pronounced, go here: http://www.forvo.com/word/kullervo/


vesiretkeilyGender: Feminine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: “mind; soul; spirit”

The name is derived from the Finnish mieli meaning “mind; soul; spirit.” In Finnish mythology, the name is borne by the wife of Tapio and the goddess of the hunt and of forests. She appears quite a bit in the Finnish Epic, the Kalevala. The designated name-day is September 23. To hear how the name is pronounced go here: http://www.forvo.com/search/Mielikki/