Viola, Violet

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latin
Botanical Name
Eng: VIE-lət, VIE-ə-lət. vaɪˈoʊlə, VIE-oh-LUH

One of the very few floral name to have been in usage since the Middle Ages, Violet is the English form of the French Violette, which was introduced to the English speaking world via the Normans. In England, Violet wasn’t very common till the 19th-century, it has been in prevalent usage in Scotland since the 15oos.Viola is a latinate form that was common in the Middle Ages and appears in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Violette was derived from the Old French Violaine which was from the Latin Viola which in itself is derived from the Greek ion and viera meaning “weaving; flexible; sinous.” Violet is also synonymous with the colour purple in most languages and is a shade of purple in English.

Both names have been in and out of vogue in the United States since the 1880s, its peak year was 1910 where it came in at # 79. The name fell out of the top 1000 by the 1960s. In recent years, the name has become more and more fashionable, as of last year, she stands as the 184th most popular female name, meanwhile in Canada, she comes in even higher at # 71.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner named their eldest daughter Violet.

Usually the designated name-day is October 30. The violet is an autumnal flower, depending on the species.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Vjollca (Albanian)
  • Violeta (Bulgarian, German, Lithuanian, Romanian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Viola (Czech, English, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latin, Spanish, Swedish)
  • Jolana (Czech/Slovak)
  • Viol (Danish)
  • Jolanda (Slovene/Dutch)
  • Fjóla (Faroese/Icelandic)
  • Viula (Finnish)
  • Violette (French)
  • Iolana (Hawaiian)
  • Jola/Jolán/Jolánta (Hungarian)
  • Viole (Italian)
  • Violetta (Italian)
  • Violanta (Latin/Italian)
  • Violė/Vijolė (Lithuanian)
  • Iolanda/Violante (Medieval Spanish/Portuguese forms)
  • Violaine/Yolande (Old French)
  • Jolanta (Polish: Jola is the diminutive)
  • Wiola/Wioleta/Wioletta (Polish)
  • Vióla/Violétta (Russian/Ukrainian/Icelandic)
  • Vijoleta (Slovenian)
  • Yolanda (Spanish)

There are two Italian male forms: Violo and Violetto

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Skirgaila

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Lithuanian
(skir-GUY-lah).

The name is composed of the Lithuanian elements skir- meaning “to allot, to decide” and -gail meaning “strong.” The name was borne by a Lithuanian Grand Duke who was the brother of Jogaila (b.1353-1397), he was the duke of the Island of Trakai. The designated name-day is October 30. The feminine form is Skirgailė.

Švitrigaila

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “nimble and strong.”
(shvit-rih-GUY-lah)

The name is composed of the Lithuanian elements švit– (which is from švitrus meaning “fast; nimble; frisky”) and gailas which means “strong.”

The name was borne by a Grand Duke of Lithuania (1370-1452) he was the brother of Jogaila and was known for his pro-Russian policies. The designate name-day in Lithuania is October 25. There is a feminine version Švitrigailė whose name-day is set for October 24.

Gyöngyi, Gyöngyvér

Gyongyiver by Sandor Nagy

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hungarian
Meaning: “pearl.”
(JUN-jee) pronunciation can be heard here: http://www.forvo.com/search/Gyöngyi/

The name comes directly from the Hungarian word for pearl. Its designated name-day in Hungary is October 23. However, the pearl is the birthstone of June. Another name-day in Hungary is May 14.  There is also an older form of the name Gyöngyvér (JUN-jee-VARE), which is an old poetic word for pearl. According to Hungarian legend, Gyöngyvér was the wife of Buda (the brother of Attila the Hun).

Vojmír

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Czecho-Slovak
Meaning: debated
(vooy-MEER)

The name is of Old Slavonic origins and is either derived from the elements voj meaning “warrior” and mir meaning “peace” or it might be another form of Volimir which is composed of the elements voli meaning “to want” and mir meaning “peace.” In Slovakia its designated name-day is October 25. A feminine form is Vojmíra, the Polish form is Wojmir.

Živa

Gender: Female
Origin: Old Slavonic
Usage: Slovenia, Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia.
Meanin: “alive.”
(ZHEE-vah)

The name was borne in Slavic mythology by the goddess of love and fertility, not much is known about her other that she have been one in the same as the Russian goddess Mokosh and she was the consort of Siebog. In Slovakia, its modern form of Živa has a name-day set on October 25. The name is also in usage in Serbia and Croatia. Other forms of the name include:

  • Sieba (Old German)
  • Siwa (Old Polish)
  • Šiva (Old Slavonic: SHEE-vah)
  • Razivia (Old Slavonic)
  • Żiwia/Żywia (Polish: the former is an older version; the latter has just recently been in usage in Poland but is still uncommon. In 2008, it ranked in as 193rd most popular female name in Warsaw)
  • Živana (Slovakian)

Masculine forms are Živan and Živko, both forms are used in Slovakia and Slovenia.