Victor, Victoria

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “victory.”

Both names are derived from the Latin, meaning, “victory.”

Victoria is the feminine form of Victorius, but it was also the name of the Roman goddess of Victory, the counterpart of the Greek goddess, Nike.

The name was borne by an early North African Christian martyr, its masculine counterpart, was also borne by several early saints, including three popes.

Victoria did not come into use in the English-speaking world till the 19th-century, when Victoria became queen of the British Empire. This period in history, the Victorian Era, was named in her honour, as were several geographic locations throughout the former British Empire.

Currently, in the United States, Victoria is the 27th most popular female name. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 41 (Belgium, 2006)
  • # 56 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 28 (Chile, 2006)
  • # 16 (Czech Republic, 2009)
  • # 17 (Denmark, 2009)
  • # 44 (Germany, 2009)
  • # 10 (Hungary, 2008)
  • # 27 Vittoria (Italy, 2006)
  • # 297 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 26 (Norway, 2009)
  • # 2 Wiktoria (Poland, 2008)
  • # 8 (Russia, Moscow, 2007)
  • # 58 (Spain, 2008)
  • # 92 (Sweden, 2009)

As for its masculine counterpart, Victor, was never a popular choice in the English speaking world, but has always been quite common in Latin American countries and on continental Europe. His rankings are as follows:

  • # 15 (Belgium, 2006)
  • # 37 (Chile, 2006)
  • # 45 (Czech Republic, 2009)
  • # 7 (Denmark, 2009)
  • # 270 (Germany, 2009)
  • # 206 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 9 Wiktor (Poland, 2008)
  • # 8 (Sweden, 2009)
  • # 111 (the United States, 2008)

Other forms of Victoria include:

  • Victòria (Catalan)
  • Viktorie (Czech: diminutive form is Viktorka)
  • Viktoria (Danish/German/Swedish)
  • Victoria (Dutch/English/Finnish/German/Norwegian/Romanian/Spanish/Swedish)
  • Vihtoriina (Finnish)
  • Victoire (French)
  • Victorine (French)
  • Viktória (Hungarian/Slovak)
  • Viktorina (Hungarian)
  • Viktoría (Icelandic)
  • Vittoria (Italian)
  • Vittoriana (Italian)
  • Vittorina (Italian)
  • Viktorija Викторија (Latvian/Lithuanian/Serb0-Croatian/Slovene)
  • Wiktoria (Polish)
  • Vitória (Portuguese)
  • Viktoriya Виктория (Russian/Ukrainian)

Common English diminutives include: Vicky/Vicki or Tori. A Romanian short form is Vica. Vicki/Vikki is also used as a short form in the German speaking countries as well as in Scandinavia.

Wiktorka and Wisia are the Polish short forms.

Male variations include:

  • Viktor (Albanian/Czech/Dutch/Finnish/German/Hungarian/Slovak/Swedish)
  • Vítor (Asturian)
  • Viktar Віктар (Belarusian)
  • Victor (Danish/Dutch/German/English/French/Norwegian/Portuguese/Romanian/Swedish)
  • Vittorio (Italian)
  • Victorius (Latin)
  • Viktoras (Lithuanian)
  • Wiktor (Polish)
  • Vítor (Portuguese)
  • Viktor Виктор (Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Víctor (Spanish)

The name was borne by famous French author, Victor Hugo.

Advertisements

Banga, Banguolė

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “wave.”
(BAHN-gah); (bahn-GWOH-lay)

Banga comes directly from the Lithuanian meaning, “wave”, Banguolė is another form that would roughly translate as “little wave.”

A male form is Banguolis.

The designated name-day for Banguolė and Banguolis is January 30th.

Aidan, Aiden, Áedán

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Irish-Gaelic
Meaning: “fire.”
(AY-den)

Aidan/Aiden are anglicizations of the Irish Gaelic male name, Áedán, which was originally a diminutive form of Áed, meaning, “fire.”

In Celtic mythology, Áed was the name of a sun god, considered to be one of the Children of Lir, who were cursed to live as swans for 700 years, until, according to other legends, Christianity was brought to Ireland and they had learned everything there was to know of Irish song and poetry.

Currently, Aiden is the 16th most popular male name in the United States, (2008). Aiden/Aidan did not appear in the U.S. top 1000 until 1995, when he came in as the 935th most popular male name.

In Ireland, the name has always been fairly prevalent, as it was the name of a popular 7th-century saint. Aiden/Aidan’s rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 62 Aidan (Australia, 2007)
  • # 21 Aidan (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 60 Aidan (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 293 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 12 (Scotland, 2008)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Áed (Ancient Gaelic)
  • Áedán (Ancient Gaelic)
  • Áedh (Ancient Gaelic)
  • Aidan/Aiden (English)
  • Aodh (Gaelic: Modern Scots/Irish)
  • Aodhagán (Gaelic: Modern Scots)
  • Aodhán (Gaelic: Modern Irish)
  • Iagan (Scottish)

The name is borne by American actor, Aidan Quinn (b.1959), who may have been responsible for the name’s sudden appearance in the U.S. top 1000 in the early 90s, eventually sparking its huge spike in popularity.

A feminine Irish form is Aideen.

Mary, Maria, Miriam

Mary and its various forms has to be one of the quintessential, classic female names of all time, she has been used in Protestant England in the form of Mary, in the Islamic world as Maryam, in Jewish communities in the form of Miriam and in the Catholic world as Maria, Marie or Mary.

In the United States, she has never quite detracted from the top 100, if Mary is not in fashion then it is usually one of her other forms that may take her place, such as Molly, Mariah, Maria or Mia, all depending on the flavor of the day.

Currently, Mary is the 97th most popular female name in the United States, (2008). Mary’s rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 7 (Armenia, 2008)
  • # 57 (Ireland, 2007)

Its French form of Marie is popular outside the Hexagon, she currently ranks in as the 546th most popular female name in the United States, but in other countries, she appears in the top 10. Her rankings are as follows:

  • # 9 (Armenian, 2008)
  • # 4 (Belgium, 2008)
  • # 17 (Czech Republic, 2008)
  • # 24 (Denmark, 2008)
  • # 20 (France, 2009)
  • # 9 (Germany, 2009)
  • # 270 (the Netherlands, 2008)

The continental form of Maria is extremely popular across Europe and Latin America, her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 4 (Argentina, 2009)
  • # 8 (Basque Country, Spain, 2008)
  • # 3 (Belarus, 2005)
  • # 3 (Bulgaria, 2008)
  • # 89 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 6 (Catalonia, Spain, 2008)
  • # 8 (Chile, 2008)
  • # 91 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 6 (Estonia, 2007)
  • # 4 (Faroe Islands, 2008)
  • # 59 (Germany, 2009)
  • # 1 (Greece, 2004)
  • # 90 (Hungary, 2008)
  • # 5 (Iceland, 2004-2007)
  • # 49 (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 1 (Israel, among Christian girls, 2004)
  • # 9 Marija (Latvia, 2005)
  • # 1 Marija (Macedonia, 2006)
  • # 1 (Malta, 2008)
  • # 39 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 14 (Norway, 2008)
  • # 17 (Poland, 2009)
  • # 1 (Portugal, 2008)
  • # 2 (Romania, 2008)
  • # 2 (Russia, 2007)
  • # 99 (Scotland, 2008)
  • # 1 (Slovakia, 2004)
  • # 2 (Spain, 2008)
  • # 96 (Sweden, 2008)
  • # 7 (Ukraine, 2009)
  • # 64 (United States, 2008)

Her diminutive offshoot of Mia, has also been quite trendy the last 10 years, as of 2008, she was the 14th most popular female name in the United States. In other countries, her rankings are as follows:

  • # 1 (Australia, 2008)
  • # 25 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 44 (Chile, 2006)
  • # 11 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 1 (Germany, 2009)
  • # 23 (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 5 (Isle of Man, 2009)
  • # 350 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 24 (New Zealand, 2009)
  • # 12 (Norway, 2008)
  • # 26 (Scotland, 2008)
  • # 46 (Slovenia, 2005)
  • # 3 (Switzerland, among Romansch-speakers, 2008)

Another common diminutive offshoot, is Molly, which is mostly used in the English speaking world, but has also shifted over to some of the Scandinavian countries. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 57 (Australia, 2007)
  • # 84 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 32 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 25 (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 33 (New Zealand, 2009)
  • # 39 (Scotland, 2008)
  • # 11 (Sweden, 2008)
  • # 104 (United States, 2008)

Miriam is another common choice which is popular throughout Europe and the Middle East. Her rankings are as follows:

  • # 1 Mariam (Georgia, 2008)
  • # 6 Maryam (Iran, 2007)
  • # 4 Maryam (Israel, among Muslim girls, 2004)
  • # 6 Maryam (Pakistan)
  • # 48 Miriam (Spain, 2008)
  • # 1 Mariam (Tunisia, 2005)
  • # 309 Miriam (United States, 2008)

As for its meaning and derivation, though the its origins can be traced back to the Bible, its lingustic and etymological meaning has long been debated. Many hypothesis include that the name could be a derivative of the Hebrew meri, ‘rebel’ related to the Hebrew verb MRH, mara or Marah which means’ to be “rebellious.” Or that it is related to the Hebrew word מרא (MRA, mara) which means ‘well-fed’, something which would have been considered a comely attribute in Biblical times.

One of the most popular etymological theories is its association with the Hebrew מר (MR, mar), meaning. “bitter” or “bitterness, and another very well established hypothesis suggests that it is from an Egyptian source, mry “beloved” or mr meaning “love.”

Other possible theories include:

That is it a combination of the Hebrew words מר (MR, mar), meaning “bitter” or the Hebrew (mar) meaning, “drop”; or (mor) meaning, “myrrh” or ” (mari ) meaning “mistress’.

The name is borne by several female characters in both the Old and New Testament.

Among Jews, the name was originally used in honour of the sister of Aaron, Miriam the Prophetess.

Among Muslims and Christians, (particularly Catholics and Eastern Orthodox), the name is usually used in honour of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.

However, in certain eras and cultures, Mary or Maria was considered too sacred of a name to use on a child, and in other cultures, the name Maria is so honorable to have, that it is even bestowed upon males, usually in conjunction with a male name or as a middle name. This is especially so in Spanish-speaking countries, French speaking countries and occasionally done in other predominate Catholic countries such as Ireland, Poland and in Bavaria, Germany.

The name has made is presence known in British royalty as well as in the continental ruling houses. Other forms are as follows:

Latinate Forms
Forms used in Latin-based languages

  • Marieta (Catalan: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name in Spanish-speaking countries)
  • Miryam (Catalan: archaic form from the 13th-century)
  • Maria (Corsican/Italian/Occitanian/Portuguese/Romanian/Romansch/Latin)
  • Manon (French: originally a diminutive form of Marie, the name has been used as an independent given name for centuries. In fact, it currently ranks in as the 7th most popular female name in Belgium (2006), the 4th most popular female name in France (2006), and the 184th most popular female name in the Netherlands (2008). Pronunciation can be heard here: http://www.forvo.com/search/Manon/)
  • Marie (French: she is one of the most popular middle names in the English speaking world. In French, this form is bestowed on males in conjunction with other male names or as a middle name. There are several common French female names used in conjunction with Marie, as well. Those of which, I will save for future postings).
  • Marielle (French: originally a diminutive form of Marie, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Mariette (French: a diminutive form of Marie, occasionally used as an independent given name, now considered dated in French-speaking countries).
  • Mariolle(French: obscure, very old diminutive form of Marie, the inspiration of the Polish offshoot, Mariola).
  • Marion (French: a medieval French diminutive form of Marie, now exclusively used as an independent given name, the name was borne in legend by the love interest of Robin Hood, Maid Marion, and is borne by French actress, Marion Cotillard. In France, it is the 59th most popular female name (2006)
  • Myriam (French: form of the Biblical, Miriam, she ranks in as the 95th most popular female name in France (2006)
  • Mariella (Italian: originally a diminutive form of Maria, now exclusively used as an independent given name)
  • Marietta (Italian: a diminutive form of Maria, occasionally used as an independent given name).
  • Marigia (Italian: obscure)
  • Mariuzza/Maruzziella (Italian: obscure)
  • Mariana (Portuguese: Mariana is usually considered a name of a seperate etymology, but is used in Portuguese and Spanish as a form of Miriam. She is the 73rd most popular female name in Chile, 2006).
  • María (Spanish/Galician).
  • Marita (Spanish: a diminutive form of Maria, now often used as an independent given name)
  • Maritza (Spanish: a Latin American spin-off of Maria, originally a diminutive form, now a trendy given name, especially among Mexican-Americans, she is currently the 560th most popular female name in the United States).
  • Mareye (Walon)

An Italian diminutive form is Mimi. A Portuguese diminutive form is Mariazinha.

Masculine forms are:

  • Mari (Catalan)
  • Mariu (Corsican)
  • Mario (Italian/Galician)
  • Marius (Latin/French/Romanian)
  • Mário (Portuguese)

Germanic Forms
Forms used in Germanic-speaking countries

  • Maiken/Majken (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish: originally a diminutive form of Maria, now used exclusively as an independent given name).
  • Maria (Danish/Dutch/English/Faroese/Frisian/German/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Marie (Danish/German/Norwegian/Swedish: a borrowing from the French)
  • Mari (Danish)
  • Maaike/Maike (Dutch/Frisian/German: originally a diminutive form, used exclusively as an independent given name. In 2008, it was the 98th most popular female name in the Netherlands)
  • Marieke(Dutch: originally a diminutive form, now exclusively used as an independent given name. In 2008, it was the 188th most popular female name in the Netherlands)
  • Marijke (Dutch: mah-RYE-keh)
  • Marike (Dutch: originally a diminutive form of Maria, now used exclusively as an independent given name, pronounced mah-REE-keh)
  • Marja (Dutch/Faroese/Gothic/Limburgish: MAHR-yah).
  • Meike (Dutch/German: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name, it was the 53rd most popular female name in the Netherlands of 2008.)
  • Mia (Dutch/German/English/Scandinavian: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Mieke (Dutch/Limburgish: originally a diminutive form, used exclusively as an independent given name MEE-keh)
  • Miep(Dutch: a diminutive form, but occasionally used as an independent given name MEEP).
  • Miet (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent given name MEET).
  • Mirjam (Dutch/German/Swedish: form of the Biblical Miriam).
  • Mariel (English: just an anglicized form of the French, Marielle).
  • Mariota (English: archaic, form used in the 13th-century)
  • Mary (English)
  • Molly/Mollie (English: originally a diminutive form, now used more often as an independent given name)
  • Polly (English: originally a diminutive form, now used more often as an independent given name)
  • Marý(Faroese)
  • Mareike (Frisian/German: originally a diminutive form of Maria, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Maja (German/Scandinavian: originally a diminutive form of Maria, used exclusively as an independent given name. It is the 2nd most popular female name in Sweden, (2008)
  • Mariele(German: originally diminutive form of Maria, used exclusively as an independent given name, pronounced mah-REE-leh).
  • Miriam(German/English: Biblical form, often used in German and English speaking countries)
  • Mitzi (German/English: not really used as an independent given name in German speaking countries, but experienced a short usage of popularity as an independent given name in the United States).
  • Ria(German/Dutch: originally diminutive forms, occasionally used as independent given names)
  • Mæja (Icelandic: originally a diminutive form of Maria, used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • María(Icelandic)
  • Mies (Limburgish: diminutive form of Maria, used as an independent given name in the Netherlands. MEES)
  • Mathie (Normand: mah-TEE)
  • My(Swedish: originally a diminutive form of Maria, now used as an independent given name MEE. In 2007, it was the 79th most popular female name in Sweden).
  • Mirele מִירֶעל(Yiddish: a form of Miriam. MEER-eh-leh)

Common English diminutives include May, Mayme, Mare, Mia, Molle, Molly, Moll and Polly, German diminutive forms are Mariechen and Mitzi.

Masculine forms include:

  • Marius (Dutch/German/English/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Marjus (Faroese)
  • Maríus (Icelandic)

Baltic Forms
Variations used in Baltic countries.

  • Maaja (Estonian)
  • Maare/Maari (Estonian)
  • Maarika (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Maaria/Maarja (Estonian)
  • Maie/Maiu (Estonian: initially diminutive forms, now used as independent given names, MY-eh, MY-oo)
  • Maila/Maili/Mailu (Estonian: Maili is pronounced somewhat like Miley)
  • Mari (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Marjam (Estonian)
  • Marje/Marjen (Estonian)
  • Marjette (Estonian)
  • Mary (Estonian)
  • Maija/Maiju (Finnish)
  • Maikki (Finnish: a Finnicized form of the Sweden and Danish Majken, pronounced somewhat like Mikey)
  • Maaria/Maria (Finnish)
  • Marika (Finnish)
  • Maritta (Finnish)
  • Marjatta (Finnish: can also mean “without a berry” in Finnish, and is the name of a character in the Kalevala, but is often used as a variation of Maria; also used in Estonia)
  • Marjo (Finnish)
  • Marjukka (Finnish)
  • Marjut (Finnish)
  • Miia (Finnish)
  • Mirja (Finnish: translation of Miriam)
  • Mirjam/Mirjami (Finnish)
  • Maija (Latvian)
  • Maila (Latvian: MY-lah)
  • Mairita/Mairīta/Mairīte (Latvian)
  • Mairuta (Latvian)
  • Mare (Latvian: final E is pronounced)
  • Mareka (Latvian)
  • Mareta/Māreta (Latvian)
  • Marī (Latvian)
  • Mārica (Latvian)
  • Mariela (Latvian)
  • Mārieta (Latvian)
  • Marija (Latvian/Lithuanian)
  • Mārika (Latvian)
  • Marite/Mārita/Mārīte/Marīte (Latvian)
  • Marjama (Latvian)
  • Maruta/Māruta/Marute (Latvian)
  • Mare (Lithuanian)
  • Maryte (Lithuanian)

Masculine forms are:

  • Maarius/Mairo/Mario (Estonian)
  • Marijus/Marius (Lithuanian)

Slavic Forms
Forms used in Slavic countries

  • Merjem (Bosnian)
  • Mirjana (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian/Slovene: translation of Miriam)
  • Mariya (Bulgarian/Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Marija (Croatian/Macedonian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Marie (Czech: MAHR-yeh)
  • Maria (Polish)
  • Marieta (Polish)
  • Mariola (Polish: mahr-YOLE-ah)
  • Marita (Polish)
  • Maryla (Polish: mah-RIH-lah)
  • Marzena (Polish: not really etymologically related, but has had a historical usage as a variation of Maria in Poland. The name is actually the name of an ancient Polish goddess and it may be linked with the either Polish word for “hope; dream” or with the Old Slavonic word for “death.” mahr-ZHEH-nah, diminutive form is Marzenka).
  • Mária (Slovakian)
  • Marika (Slovakian)
  • Marica (Slovene: initially a diminutive form, used as an independent given name in Slovenia, but is also used as a diminutive form in Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Czech and Slovakian, mah-REET-sah).
  • Mojca (Slovene: initially a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name in Slovenia. MOY-tsah)
  • Marya Марья (Russian)

Czech and Slovak diminutive forms are: Mája, MáňaMaruška and Maryška. Serbian and Slovene diminutives are Maša. Russian diminutives are Manya, Masha, Mashenka and Mashka. Polish diminutives are MasiaMarysia (mah-RISH-ah) and Maryska.

Masculine forms are:

  • Marian (Polish)
  • Mariusz (Polish)
  • Marij/Mario (Slovene)

Celtic Forms
Forms used in Celtic Languages

  • Mari (Breton)
  • Mallaidh (Irish-Gaelic: translation of Molly)
  • Maira/Máire (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Mairenn/Máirín (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Muire (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Mariod/Mariot (Manx)
  • Moirrey/Voirrey (Manx)
  • Màiri (Scotch-Gaelic)
  • Mhari (Scotch-Gaelic)
  • Mhairi/Mhairie (Scotch-Gaelic)
  • Moire (Scotch-Gaelic)
  • Mair (Welsh)

Other Forms
Forms used in other languages not listed in the above

  • Maria (Albanian/Kiswahili)
  • Maryam مريم (Arabic)
  • Mariam (Armenian)
  • Məryəm (Azeri)
  • Maia (Basque)
  • Miren (Basque)
  • Mariam (Coptic/Egyptian)
  • Mariami (Georgian)
  • Maria Μαρία (Greek: Modern)
  • Maroula/Roula (Greek: Modern: initially diminutive forms)
  • Malia (Hawaiian/Zuni)
  • Mária (Hungarian)
  • Maria (Indonesian)
  • Meryem (Kurdish/Turkish)
  • Mariam/Mariamma/Mariamme (Malayalam)
  • Marija (Maltese)
  • Mere (Maori)
  • Miriama (Maori)

The name has several name-days.

Jadon

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: debated
יָדוֹן
Eng (JAY-dun); Heb (yah-DONE)

Jayden, a made-up, non legitimate name, came out of nowhere in the 1990s, whether it is a tryndification of the Biblical Hebrew, Jadon, or just an elaboration of Jade, is uncertain, but it is currently the 11th most popular male name in the United States, (2008). Its legitimate, Biblical Hebrew, alternative of Jadon, is currently the 473rd most popular male name in the United States, (2008).

Jadon is borne in the Old Testament by one of the builders of the wall in Jerusalem.

According to Flavius Josephus, (a Roman Jewish historian), Jadon was the name of a Jewish prophet, (Antiquities of the Jews VIII, 8,5.)

As for his derivation and meaning, some sources list it as meaning “thankful” while others will contend that it means “he will judge.”

Thus, obviously, Jadon has a very long history as a male name. If you are considering Jayden, I would highly recommend using Jadon. The pronunciation in English does not really change, but the history and heritage of the name does.

In Hebrew, the name is sometimes transliterated as Yadon.

Shira

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “poetry; singing.”
שִׁירָה
(SHEE-rah)

A popular name in Israel, the name comes directly from the Hebrew word meaning, “poetry; singing.”

As of 2008, Shira stood as the 2nd most popular female name among Jewish girls in Israel.

Another name which is related, but with a slightly different meaning, is Shiri שׁירי, which means, “my song.” The i-suffix in Hebrew denotes personal possession.

Mahdi, Mehdi

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Arabic
Meaning: “guided one.”
مهدي

The name comes from the Arabic, meaning “the guided one.” As of 2005, it was the most popular male name in Tunisia and the 5th most popular male name in Iran, (2007).

According to Shia and Sunni Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on earth till Judgement Day. Along with Jesus, he will rid the world of the wicked and unjust.