Gender: Feminine
Origin: Estonian
Meaning: “cygnet.”

The name is derived from the Estonian, luigepoeg, meaning “cygnet.”

The designated name-day is April 28.




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Estonian
Meaning: “branta; branta goose; black goose.”

The name comes directly from the Estonian word for the branta goose.

The designated name-day is April 28.




Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “lover of horses.”
ENG (FIL-ip)

The name is derived from the Greek Philippos (Φίλιππος), which is composed of the Greek elements φιλος (philos) meaning “friend; lover” and ‘ιππος (hippos) meaning “horse.”

The name was borne by several illustrious characters throughout history, including Philip of Macedon (the father of Alexander the Great), an apostle of Jesus, several early saints and several French monarchs.

The name has been popular in England since the Middle Ages and never really went out of fashion, even after the Reformation. Though in the United States, he ranks rather low, coming in as the # 378th most popular male name, his rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 3 Filip (Croatia, 2009)
  • # 5 Filip (Czech Republic, 2009)
  • # 44 Philip (Denmark, 2009)
  • # 4 Filip (Faroe Islands, 2009)
  • # 18 Philip/Philipp (Germany, 2009)
  • # 95 Filip (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 18 Filippo (Italy, 2007)
  • # 42 Filip (Norway, 2009)
  • # 80 Philip (Norway, 2009)
  • # 7 Filip (Poland, 2008)
  • # 10 Filip (Serbia, 2009)
  • # 26 Filip (Slovenia, 2005)
  • # 24 Filippo (Switzerland, among Italian-speakers, 2008)
  • # 11 Filip (Sweden, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Philippus (Afrikaans/Latin)
  • Philip Філіп (Belarusian/English/Scandinavian)
  • Fulub/Fulup (Breton)
  • Filip ФилипBulgarian/Croatian/Czech/Dutch/Finnish/Hungarian/Macedonian/Polish/Russian/Romanian/Romansch/Scandinavian/Slovak/Slovene
  • Felip (Catalan)
  • Filippus (Dutch)
  • Philipp (Estonian/German)
  • Vilpas (Finnish)
  • Vilppi/Vilppo/Vilppu (Finnish)
  • Philippe (French)
  • Filipe (Galician/Portuguese)
  • P’ilip’e ფილიპე (Georgian)
  • Filippos Φιλιππος (Greek: Modern)
  • Philippos Φίλιππος (Greek: Ancient)
  • Fülöp (Hungarian)
  • Pilib (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Filippino (Italian: obscure)
  • Filippo (Italian)
  • Filips (Latvian)
  • Pilypas (Lithuanian)
  • Piripi (Maori)
  • Felip (Occitanian)
  • Filippu Фїліппъ (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Felipe (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Flep (Romansch)
  • Filipp Филипп (Romansch/Russian)
  • Filib (Scottish-Gaelic)
  • Pylyp Пилип (Ukrainian)
  • Fiłipo (Venetian)
  • Ffilip (Welsh)

Dutch diminutives are Flip and Flupke
English short forms are Pip and Phil
French diminutives include: Flit, Flitou, Phil, Philou and Pip
German short forms are Phil and Lips
Italian short forms are: Filo, Firpo, Lippo and Pippo
Polish diminutive is Filipek

Feminine versions include:

  • Filipa Филипа (Breton/Croatian/Polish/Portuguese/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Filippa Филиппа Φιλιππα (Danish/Finnish/Greek/Hungarian/Icelandic/Italian/Russian/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Philippa (English/German)
  • Pippa (English: originally a diminutive form now occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Philippina (German: obscure)
  • Hilppa (Finnish)
  • Philippine (French)
  • Filippina (Italian)
  • Filipina (Polish)
  • Felipa (Spanish)

Filippa is the 51st most popular female name in Sweden, (2009)

The name is currently borne by British Monarch, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (b.1921).

The designated name-day is May 3rd.




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Estonian
Meaning: “verdant.”

The name is derived from the Estonian adjective, haljas, meaning “verdant.” Other forms are Haldi and Haldja.

The designated name-day is April 27.



Matthias, Mathias

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “gift of yahweh.”
Eng (muh-THIGH-us); Germ/Scand (mah-TEE-ahs)

Matthias is a form of Matthew, but has been treated as a different name for centuries. He has been a staple in Central and Northern Europe, especially in Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

In the New Testament, the name was borne by the replacement of Judas Iscariot. Matthias was considered an apostle and according to legend, he went on to convert the Georgians where he died a martyr by crucifixion.

He is currently one of the most popular male names in all of Europe, his rankings are as follows:

  • # 8 Mathis (Belgium, 2008)
  • # 13 Matyáš (Czech Republic, 2009)
  • # 10 Mathias (Denmark, 2009)
  • # 8 Mattias/Mathias (Estonia, 2008)
  • # 60 Mathias (France, 2006)
  • # 71 Matthis/Mathis/Mattis/Matis (Germany, 2009)
  • # 131 Matthias (Germany, 2009)
  • # 54 Mátyás (Hungary, 2008)
  • # 31 Matthías (Iceland, 2008)
  • # 7 Mattia (Italy, 2007)
  • # 5 Mathias (Liechtenstein, 2008)
  • # 1 Matas (Lithuania, 2009)
  • # 1 Matthias (Malta, 2008)
  • # 6 Thijs (the Netherlands, 2009)
  • # 52 Ties (the Netherlands, 2009)
  • # 92 Matthijs (the Netherlands, 2009)
  • # 5 Mathias/Matias (Norway, 2009)
  • # 11 Maciej (Poland, 2008)
  • # 35 Matija (Slovenia, 2005)
  • # 90 Matjaz (Slovenia, 20o5)
  • # 97 Mattias (Sweden)
  • # 33 Mathis (Switzerland, among French-speakers, 2008)
  • # 4 Mattia (Switzerland, among Italian-speakers, 2008)
  • # 4 Mattia (Switzerland, among Romansch-speakers, 2008)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Matthias Ματθιας Матті́й (Afrikaans/English/French/German/Greek/Maltese/Scandinavian/Ukrainian)
  • Matthes (Afrikaans)
  • Mattheis (Afrikaans)
  • Matthies (Afrikaans)
  • Matta متى (Arabic)
  • Matai (Aramaic)
  • Matta/Mətta (Azeri)
  • Matia (Basque)
  • Maciej Maceй (Belarusian/Polish: MAHT-chay)
  • Matties (Catalan)
  • Matija Матија (Croatian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Matyáš (Czech)
  • Matthijs (Dutch)
  • Thijs (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, now a very popular independent given name. TIES)
  • Ties (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, now a very popular independent given name. TEES)
  • Madis (Estonian)
  • Matias (Finnish/Portuguese)
  • Mat’at”a მატათა (Georgian)
  • Mathias (French/German/Scandinavian)
  • Mathis (French/German)
  • Matis (German)
  • Mattias (German/Swedish)
  • This (German)
  • Mathaios Ματθαιος (Greek: Biblical)
  • Makaio (Hawaiian)
  • Mattithyahu מַתִּתְיָהוּ (Hebrew)
  • Mátyás (Hungarian)
  • Maitiú (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Mattia (Italian)
  • Mathia (Kiswahili)
  • Matiass (Latvian)
  • Matas (Lithuanian)
  • Motiejus (Lithuanian)
  • Mathai (Malayalam)
  • Matius (Malay)
  • Matthia Матѳіа (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Täis (Plattdeutsch)
  • Matia (Romanian)
  • Mateias/Matteias (Romansch)
  • Teias (Romansch)
  • Tia (Romansch)
  • Tias (Romansch)
  • Maitias (Scottish-Gaelic)
  • Matia (Sardinian)
  • Maćij (Sorbian)
  • Matías (Spanish)

An obscure Feminine form is the Polish: Macieja

In France, the designated name-day is May 14.

The name has been borne by several Hungarian kings.




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Estonian
Meaning: “counterpart; double.”

The name is often used as an alternative for Theresa but can also possibly be derived from the Estonian, teisik, meaning “double; counterpart.”

The designated name-day is April 26.



Lithuanian Names

Each weekend I will do an installation of names from different categories. I would have liked to preferably do Saturday, but I was running late this week 😉

Lithuania  is a country that lies in Northeast Europe, bordering Poland, Latvia, Belarus and Kaliningrad.

Once the largest country in Europe (during the 17th-century), she now only consists of 3.3 million people, the majority of whom are Lithuanian by ethnicity.

I will not bore you with intricate details of Lithuania’s rich history, but to make a long story short, Lithuania has been occupied by Poland and Russia and has resisted German occupation several times. She was one of the last countries in Europe to accept Christianity as their official religion (circ. 1385) and in the Middle Ages, she formed a powerful commonwealth with Poland.

One of the most interesting features of Lithuania is their language. Lithuanian is considered one of the oldest and one of the most pure derivations of Indo-European. Famous French linguist, Antoine Meillet, once said that “anyone wishing to hear how Indo-Europeans spoke should come and listen to a Lithuanian peasant” (Antoine Meillet)

Since Lithuanian is thought to be the closest form of Proto-Indo-European in modern linguistics, linguists are able to compare modern Lithuanian words with Sanskrit. Some words are identical in both languages, for instance, sunus (son) >(Sanskrit; Lithuanian). Words that are almost identical but slightly different include: (LIT stands for Lithuanian while SKT stands for Sanskrit).

  • LIT dūmas; SKT dhumas  (smoke)
  • LIT vyras; SKT vira (man; hero)
  • LIT dantys; SKT dantas (teeth)
  • LIT naktys; SKT nakt (night)

Lithuanian masculine names are usually formed by ending in the suffix-as; -ys; -is while feminine names usually end in -a or

It is interesting to note that if one studies the top 10 most popular female names in Lithuania, there seems to be a strong preference for names that end in , compare that to the top 10 of a previous generation, where all the names had a tendency to end in an -a.

Top 10 Most Popular Female Names (Total Population, 2008)











Top 10 Most Popular Female Names (babies, 2009)











Janina is a definite Polish borrowing, something which is often seen in Lithuanian names. Irena, Ona, Kristina and Regina are all saints names, which would not be surprising to see in Catholic Lithuania, even during Soviet times. Names like Danutė, Lina, Aldona, Rasa and Daiva, are all native Lithuanian names with no English equivalents.

Danutė in particular is a classic that has been used at least since the 14th-century. It is a name of uncertain derivation, but is also found in Poland in the form of Danuta.

Aldona is another choice that has been in usage for centuries which is of uncertain meaning or origin. Some sources contend that it is an archaic Belarusian form of Eudocia.

Lina is the feminine form of Linas which comes directly from the Lithuanian word for “flax.” Rasa (dew) and Daiva (deity) are also Lithuanian word names.

Names from nature and Lithuanian mythology seem to be popular choices. Gabija and Austėja both reflect this (see the earlier entries for Gabija and Austėja-soon to come). Ugnė is pulled from nature, meaning “fire”, Viltė is from the Lithuanian word for hope and Goda seems to be a name related to an action, possibly derived from the Lithuanian verb godyti meaning “to anticipate.”

Emilija (Emily), Kamilė (Camilla), Ieva (Eve), Urtė (Dorothy) and Gabrielė (Gabriella) are all Lithuanian equivalents to a saint’s name or a Biblical name.

Since Lithuanians are fiercely proud of their language and culture, it is no wonder that they have a tendency to choose names that are distinctively Lithuanian, unlike other EU members who currently have a tendency to pick names that do not reflect a particular language of origin, as can be reflected in the Top Names of other countries.

Some of the most popular masculine names include, (when possible, equivalents are in parenthesis):

Top 10 Male Names (total population, 2008)

Jonas (John)


Antanas (Anthony)

Tomas (Thomas)

Juozas (Joseph)




Andrius (Andrew)


Top Ten Male Names (for babies, 2009)

Matas (Mathias)

Lukas (Lucas)


Kajus (Caius)

Dovydas (David)

Dominykas (Dominic)


Rokas (Rock)



Catholic saints names are definitely more preferred for males, still, names like Vytautas, Mantas, Nojus, Mindaugas and Kęstutis are very ancient Lithuanian names with no equivalents in any other language.

Since I am most likely writing to an Anglo-phone audience, you must be wondering if there are any authentic Lithuanian names compatible with the English language. Many parents are often on the look out for unique and unusual names, and Lithuanian names definitely have hundreds of possibilities to offer, some however, might be a pain in the neck for English speakers to pronounce, others, on the other hand, should be given consideration.

I have compiled a list of cool but similar alternatives of very popular names in North American and the United Kingdom

Instead of Madison/Madeleine go with Medeina

Instead of Ava go with Aiva (I-vah)

Instead of Chloe try Chloja (KLOY-a)

Instead of Samantha you might like Mantė (MAHN-tay; MAHN-te)

Instead of Grace you might like Gražina (grah-ZHIH-nah)

Instead of Gabriella try Gabija.

Instead of Audrey try Audra.

Instead of Miley try Meilė

Instead of Esme try Esmilė

Instead of Lily you might like Lelija (LEH-lee-yah)

Instead of Maximilian try Maksas

Finally, if you are one who is infatuated with Nevaeh and are daring enough to constantly correct people, then you might like the Lithuanian Danguolė (heaven; sky).

In the United Kingdom and the States, nature names seem to be on the rise, some parents may like the idea of using a word name, but are not daring enough to choose an obvious one. Choosing a word name from another language is a good way to hide the obviousness of a name from nature. Here is a selection of Lithuanian nature names that should not pose a problem with English-speakers:


Indrė (name of a type of rush)

Lina (flax)

Mėta (mint)

Rasa (dew)

Svalia (name of a river)

Vaiva (rainbow)

Vėtra (tempest)


Aras (eagle)

Joris (foliage green)

Tauras (Ox)

Vėjas (wind)

Names compatible with English:

















And finally, here are some Lithuanian equivalents to common English given names:

























What are your favorite Lithuanian names? Would you use any in the above list?

Stay tuned for next weeks International Name Overview


Susan, Susannah

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “lily; rose.”

Susannah is the anglicized form of the Biblical Greek Sousanna (Σουσαννα) which in turn, is a translation of the Biblical Hebrew שׁוֹשַׁנָּה (Shoshannah). Shoshannah is derived from the Hebrew word ששון (shoshan) which means “lily” in ancient Hebrew, but in modern Hebrew has evolved to mean “rose.”

The Hebrew word of shoshan has been traced to the ancient Egyptian element, sšn meaning “lotus” and is also believed to be linked with the Hebrew word ששון (sasson) meaning, “joy”.

It is also interesting to note that in modern Farsi, the word for lily is sausan compare to shoshan.

The ancient place name of Susa is also believed to be related to the Semitic botanical word, due to the so-called abundance of lilies that used to thrive in the area.

In the Old Testament (or Apocrypha) the name is borne by a woman falsely accused of adultery. She is rescued by the prophet Daniel who tricks her accusers and reverses the accusations against them.

It is also borne in the New Testament by a companion of Mary and a disciple of Christ. She is revered as a saint in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Susan is a Middle English knock off, most likely influenced by the French Suzanne, which might have been introduced by the Norman conquerors in the 11th-century.

Currently, Susannah does not appear in the U.S. top 1000, (2008), but she has become especially trendy in many Central and Eastern European countries (in her various vernacular forms of course).

Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 22 Zuzana (Czech Republic, 2009)
  • # 96 Zsuzsanna (Hungary, 2009)
  • # 8 Suzana (Macedonia, 2006)
  • # 3 Zuzanna (Poland, 2008)
  • # 3 Zuzana (Slovakia, 2004)

In the English-speaking world, Susan was especially popular after World War II. In the United States, it is often considered dated and is usually associated with someone in their early 60s to late 50s. In fact, she remained a staple among the Baby-Boom Generation all the way to the early beginnings of the Generation Xers. She remained strong in the top 10 for over 20 years. The highest she peaked was between 1957 and 1960, coming in as the second most popular female name. Currently, she stands at a meagre #711.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Sawsan (Arabic)
  • Shushan (Armenian)
  • Sjusanna (Bulgarian)
  • Zulisja (Bulgarian)
  • Susanna (Catalan/Estonian/Finnish/German/Italian/Romansch/Swedish/Ukrainian)
  • Suzana (Croatian/Macedonian/Romanian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Zuzana (Czech/Slovak/Lithuanian)
  • Sanna/Sanne (Danish/Dutch/Finnish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Susanne (Dutch/German/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Susan (English)
  • Soosan سوسـن (Farsi)
  • Suzanne (French)
  • Suzette (French: originally a diminutive, but long regarded as an independent given name)
  • Šušanik შუშანიკ (Georgian)
  • Sousanna Σουσαννα (Greek)
  • Susann (German/Scandinavian)
  • Shoshana שושנה (Hebrew: Modern)
  • Zsuzsanna (Hungarian: ZHOO-zhawn-naw)
  • Zane (Latvian)
  • Zuzanna (Latvian/Polish: zoo-ZAHN-nah; zoo-ZAHN-ne-nah)
  • Sosamma (Malayalam)
  • Huhana (Maori)
  • Żużanna (Polish: archaic, possibly based off the Hungarian form. zhoo-ZHAHN-ne-nah)
  • Susana (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Sana (Romansch)
  • Susauna (Romansch)
  • Sjusanna Сюзанна (Russian)
  • Suzan (Turkish)

Bulgarian diminutives include: Susa, Suzanka and Susak
Czech/Slovak short for is Zuza
English short forms are: Sue, Suzie and occasionally, Sukie/Sookie.
French affectionate forms include: Suzelle/Suzel, Suzette, Suzie and Suzon
Hungarian short forms are: Zsazsa, Zsuzsa and Zsuzsi.
Lithuanian diminutives are: Zune and Zuze
Polish diminutives include: Zanna, Żanna, Zanka, Zańka, Zuchna, Zula, Zuzia and Zużka
Spanish diminutives are: Susanita & Susi

The designated name-day is August 11 in (Estonia, Finland and Sweden).



Gender: Masculine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “of the Lord; Sunday”
Eng (DOM-ih-nic)

The name is derived from the Late Latin, Dominicus, meaning “of the Lord.” In Medieval Europe, it was often given to children born on sunday. The Spanish form of this name, Domingo is also the Spanish word for sunday, while in modern Italian, the feminine version, Domenica, is the Italian word for sunday.

The name was borne by a 12th-century Catholic saint who is attributed as being the founder of the Dominican Friars (1170-1221). The name has been borne by several other saints since then.

The name was occasionally used in Medieval England, but completely fell out of usage after the Reformation.

In the United States, Dominic is the 93rd most popular male name, (2008). His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 91 (Australia, 2008)
  • # 75 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 6 Dominik (Croatia, 2009)
  • # 12 Dominik (Czech Republic, 2009)
  • # 45 Dominik/Dominic (Germany, 2009)
  • # 74 Domonkos (Hungary, 2008)
  • # 7 Dominykas (Lithuania, 2008)
  • # 18 Dominik (Poland, 2008)
  • # 24 Domen (Slovenia, 2005)
  • # 5 Men (Switzerland, among Romansch-speakers, 2008)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Dominik Домінік (Albanian/Croatian/Czech/German/Hungarian/Polish/Slovak/Slovene/Ukrainian)
  • Domingu (Asturian)
  • Txomin (Basque)
  • Daminik Дамінік (Belorusian)
  • Domènec (Catalan)
  • Dominicus (Dutch/Latin Latin)
  • Dominic (English/German/Romanian)
  • Dominique (French)
  • Dominikus (German)
  • Doménikos Δομήνικος (Greek: Modern)
  • Dóminik (Icelandic)
  • Domhlaic (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Doiminic (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Domenico (Italian)
  • Domenichino (Italian: obscure)
  • Domenicuccio (Italian: obscure)
  • Mimmo (Italian: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Domán (Hungarian)
  • Domonkos (Hungarian)
  • Domos (Hungarian)
  • Dominiks (Latvian)
  • Domeneg(h)/Dumeneg(h) (Lombard)
  • Dominykas (Lithuanian)
  • Duminku (Maltese)
  • Dumini (Piedmontese)
  • Domingos (Portuguese)
  • Domeni/Dumeni (Romansch)
  • Dumeng (Romansch)
  • Dumenic (Romansch)
  • Men (Romansch: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Dominigu (Sardinian)
  • Domenicu/Dumènicu/Duminicu/Dumìnicu (Sicilian)
  • Mimmu (Sicilian)
  • Domen (Slovene)
  • Domingo (Spanish)

Croatian diminutive is Dinko
An English diminutive is Dom and occasionally Nick
French pet forms are: Do, Dodo, Dom, Domi, Doum, Doumé and Mingo.
Italian diminutives include: Menico, Micuccio, Mico, Micu, Micuzzu, Mimmo, Mingo, Minguccio, Mimì and Minicu.
Polish short form is Domek
Romansch diminutives are: Maini, Mang, Mec, Menisch and Mic.

Feminine forms include:

  • Dominika (Croatian/Czech/German/Hungarian/Polish/Slovene)
  • Domenika (German)
  • Dominica (German/Late Latin)
  • Domenica (Italian)
  • Domia (Italian)
  • Dominica (Italian)
  • Dominichella (Italian: obscure)
  • Mimma (Italian)
  • Domnika Домника (Macedonian)
  • Duminka (Maltese)
  • Domingas (Portuguese)
  • Dumengia (Romansch)
  • Dumenia (Romansch)
  • Dumina (Romansch)
  • Memma (Romansch)
  • Menga (Romansch: originally a diminutive, now used as an independent given name)
  • Mengia (Romansch: originally a diminutive, now used as an independent given name)
  • Fidula (Sardinian)
  • Dominga (Spanish)

Italian diminutives are: Menica, Micuccia, Mimma and Mimì
Romansch diminutives are: Meca, Mena and Mica