Helja, Helju

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Estonian
Meaning: “floating; soaring.”
(HEL-ya; HEL-yoo)

The name may have started off as another form of Helga, but later became associated with the Estonian word for floating and soaring.

Its designated name-day is May 31.

Other forms are Helje and Heljo.


  1. http://www.behindthename.com/namedays/lists/est.php
  2. http://www.fredonia.edu/faculty/emeritus/EdwinLawson/estoniannames/av/estonian-f-i-repaired.wmv
  3. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Helju

Saintly Sunday

Since I have been behind in my posts, I thought my readers deserved an extra feature this weekend. Saints names. Sure, we are all familiar with Bernadette, Margaret Mary, Theresa, Peter and Luke, but the Catholic Church’s Calender of Saints offers us a huge variety of unique names, whether you are Catholic, Orthodox or just looking for an interesting name to bestow upon your child, the below list offers a wide range of unique yet very legitimate names.

Each name of the saint is divided by nationality (m) stand for Male while (f) stands for Female.

Some interesting Saint’s name that might be of interest to the expectant parent:


  • Arsen (m)
  • Barak (m)
  • Beemen (m)
  • Khoren (m)
  • Mamwell (m)
  • Mesrob (m)
  • Narek (m)
  • Nouneh/Nune (f)
  • Pakos (m)
  • Yeprem (m)


  • Azenor (f)
  • Canna (f)
  • Clervie (f)
  • Derrien (m)
  • Enora (f)
  • Fragan (m)
  • Gobrien (m)
  • Gwenfrewi (f)
  • Kirio (m)
  • Koupaïa (f)
  • Maclou (m)
  • Mael (m)
  • Malo (m)
  • Milio (m)
  • Morwenna (f)
  • Noyala/Noyale (f)
  • Nolwenn (f)
  • Onenne (f)
  • Peran (m)
  • Rittan (m)
  • Samzun (m)
  • Trillo (m)
  • Urielle (f)


  • Astion (m)
  • Boyan (m)
  • Kamen (m)
  • Kiril (m)
  • Naum (m)
  • Raiko (m)


  • Eulàlia (f)
  • Just (m)
  • Ot (m) (might make a cool one syllable middle name)
  • Pacian (m)
  • Sever (m)


  • Austell (m)
  • Brychan (m)
  • Burian (f)
  • Croidan (m)
  • Endellion (f)
  • Keyne (f)
  • Kigwe (f) KIG-wee
  • Levin (m)
  • Mabyn (f)
  • Marwenna (f)
  • Minver (f)
  • Newlina (f)
  • Salom (m)


  • Kvirin (m)


  • Ansgar (m)
  • Thøger (m)


  • Aleydis (f)
  • Alina (f)
  • Falco (m)
  • Godelieve (f)


  • Abanoub (m)
  • Abraam (m)
  • Ashraf (m)
  • Bishoi (m)
  • Demiana (f)
  • Lot (m)
  • Paisi (f)
  • Pamin (m)
  • Piama/Piamun (f)
  • Potamina (f)
  • Maysoon (f)
  • Samia (f)
  • Talida (f)


  • Alban (m)
  • Anselm (m)
  • Averil (f)
  • Bede (m)
  • Billfrith (m)
  • Birin (m)
  • Boswell (m)
  • Britwin (m)
  • Caedmon (m)
  • Credan (m)
  • Day (m)
  • Dotto (m)
  • Dunstan (m)
  • Ebba (f)
  • Elstan (m)
  • Enswith (f)
  • Eskil (m)
  • Fursey (m)
  • Ina (f)
  • Ivo (m)
  • Lewina (f)
  • Merwinna (f)
  • Modwen (f)
  • Odo (m)
  • Osana (f)
  • Rumon (m)
  • Sanctan (m)
  • Sebbi (m)
  • Swithun (m)
  • Sythe (f)
  • Tanco (m)
  • Tetta (f)
  • Tibba (f)


  • Bond (m)
  • Céronne (f)
  • Césarie (f)
  • Cloud (m)
  • Dreux (m)
  • Emérance (f)
  • Evronie (f)
  • Fare (f)
  • Faustine (f)
  • Fingen (m)
  • Gauthier (m)
  • Gibrien (m)
  • Grimonie (f)
  • Harvey (m)
  • Ismérie (f)
  • Julienne (f)
  • Meldon (m)
  • Namadie (f)
  • Néomaye (f) ney-oh-may
  • Noémoise (f) no-ey-mwahz
  • Pepin (m)
  • Quitterie (f) pronounced keet-teh-hree
  • Reine (f)
  • Ségolène (f)
  • Solange (f)
  • Soline (f)
  • Tressan (m)
  • Vigor (m)
  • Vitaline (f)
  • Wivine (f)


  • Aldara (f)
  • Gonzalo (m)
  • Paio (m)


  • Afra (f)
  • Alto (m)
  • Ambet (f)
  • Anno (m)
  • Attalia (f)
  • Bardo (m)
  • Benno (m)
  • Brito (m)
  • Coloman (m)
  • Cordula (f)
  • Hazeka (f)
  • Odilia (f)
  • Oranna (f)
  • Roswitha (f)
  • Sturm (m)


  • Anastasia (f)
  • Anthusa (f)
  • Anysia (f)
  • Apollos (m)
  • Basilissa (f)
  • Calliope (f)
  • Cleopatra (f)
  • Emmelia (f)
  • Ephraim (m)
  • Jerome (m)
  • Lybe (f)
  • Menodora (f)
  • Myrope (f)
  • Nicon (m)
  • Orestes (m)
  • Photine (f)
  • Philemon (m)
  • Philo (m)
  • Philothea (f)
  • Theone (f)
  • Timon (m)


  • Emeric
  • Laszlo


  • Balin (m)
  • Becan (m)
  • Benen (m)
  • Brogan (m)
  • Caimin (m)
  • Cainder (f)
  • Ciara (f)
  • Coca (f)
  • Colman (m)
  • Conall (m)
  • Cormac (m)
  • Dallan (m)
  • Dymphna (f)
  • Edana (f)
  • Ermina (f)
  • Fedelma (f)
  • Finian (m)
  • Fintan (m)
  • Foila (f)
  • Ita (f)
  • Kenan (m)
  • Kennera (f)
  • Kilian (m)
  • Kinnia (f)
  • Lelia (f)
  • Loman (m)
  • Macallan (m)
  • Macartin (m)
  • Machai (m)
  • Mella (f)
  • Modan (m)
  • Monessa (f)
  • Odran/Odrian (m)
  • Phiala/Piala (f)
  • Scottin (m)
  • Thomian (m)
  • Trea (f)
  • Trien (m)


  • Aldobrandesca (f)
  • Archanegla (f)
  • Asteria (f)
  • Bacco (m)
  • Caio (m)
  • Carissima (f)
  • Caro (m)
  • Celestina (f)
  • Chiara (f)
  • Dulcissima (f)
  • Fina (f)
  • Fosca (f)
  • Franca (f)
  • Giovina (f)
  • Grata (f)
  • Gaudenzia (f)
  • Gemma (f)
  • Messalina (f)
  • Nereo (m)
  • Nilo (m)
  • Panacea (f)
  • Pierina (f)
  • Oronzo (m)
  • Rocco (m)
  • Romola (f)
  • Sofronia (f)
  • Verdiana (f)
  • Vilana (f)
  • Vincenza (f)
  • Zita (f)


  • Asella (f)
  • Caius (m)
  • Cassius (m)
  • Cyra (f)
  • Dafrosa (f)
  • Emiliana (f)
  • Fabiola (f)
  • Flavia (f)
  • Galla (f)
  • Juliana (f)
  • Julitta (f)
  • Lucian (m)
  • Marana (f)
  • Marcellina (f)
  • Martial (m)
  • Maximus (m)
  • Montanus (m)
  • Pastor (m)
  • Prisca (f)
  • Serapia (f)
  • Vissia (f)


  • Appian (m)
  • Charbel (m)
  • Habib (m)
  • Rafka (f)
  • Sabas (m)


  • Aniela (f)
  • Faustina (f)
  • Michalina (f)
  • Salomea (f)


  • Alexandrina
  • Jacinta


  • Calinic (m)
  • Theotim (m)


  • Blane (m)
  • Conwall (m)
  • Kennera (f)
  • Kevoca/Quivoca (f)
  • Nathalan (m)
  • Rule (m)
  • Thanea (f)
  • Thaneva (f)


  • Amunia (f)
  • Aurea  (f)
  • Casilda (f)
  • Florentina (f)
  • Garcia (m)
  • Inigo (m)
  • Madrona (f)
  • Marciana (f)
  • Millán (m)
  • Oria (f)
  • Orosia (f)
  • Pelayo (m)
  • Soledad (f)
  • Urbicio (m)


  • Aled (f)
  • Baglan (m)
  • Brannock (m)
  • Cai (m)
  • Caian (m)
  • Crallo (m)
  • Dwynwen (f)
  • Elined (f)
  • Eiliwedd (f)
  • Kanten (m)
  • Madoc (m)
  • Madrun (f)
  • Maelrhys (m)
  • Melangell (f)
  • Teilo (m)
  • Tysilio (m)


  • Kizito (m)

So, which country offers the coolest selection of saint’s names?


  1. http://chrsouchon.free.fr/saintsbe.htm
  2. http://www.britannia.com/bios/saints/
  3. http://www.paradoxplace.com/Photo%20Pages/UK/British%20History/English_Saints_&_Kings.htm
  4. http://celticsaints.org/
  5. http://www.skete.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.display/product_id/1516/index.cfm
  6. http://www.catholic.org/saints/stindex.php
  7. http://www.catholic.org/saints/


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Sami
Meaning: unknown

The name is found in Sami mythology as the name of the goddess of childbirth.

It is of uncertain meaning, but may possibly be a compound of Sárra + áhkká, in which case it would mean, “wife of Sárra.”

The designated name-day is May 27.



Gender: Feminine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: “branch.”

The name comes directly from the Finnish word for branch or associated with the Finnish word for birch tree, ritvakoivu.

Between 1937-1944, this was the most popular female name in Finland.

Its usage has spread to neighboring Scandinavian countries such as the Faroe Islands and Sweden.

The designated name-day is January 4 (Faroe Islands), May 27 (Finland), July 24 (Sweden).


Valme, Valmi

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Estonian
Meaning: “fable.”
(VAHL-me; VAHL-mee)

The names are derived from the Estonian valm meaning “fable.”

The designated name-day is May 26.


  1. http://www.behindthename.com/namedays/lists/est.php
  2. http://online.ectaco.co.uk/main.jsp?do=e-services-dictionaries-word_translate1&status=translate&lang1=45&lang2=en&source_id=5556658


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

The name comes directly from the Lithuanian word for catkin.

A masculine derivative is Urves.

The designated name-day is May 25.


  1. http://www.behindthename.com/namedays/lists/est.php
  2. http://www.fredonia.edu/faculty/emeritus/EdwinLawson/estoniannames/av/estonian-t-z-repaired.wmv
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Salix_caprea_catkins_080315-3.jpg

Roman Names

Roman Child with ParentSorry for the late release…….:)

In regards to the subject matter, I had to give myself a crash course in Roman naming conventions, though always fascinated with ancient Roman life and culture, and rather familiar with Latin names, I needed to give myself a few weeks to digest exactly how Romans bestowed names upon their children.

Whilst exploring history books from that time period, I have often run into some pretty spiffy names….names so spiffy that I thought they merited usage by a modern-day parent.

Since Roman history actually spans several centuries, various naming conventions went in and out of style throughout its glorious history, from the early Kingdom all the way to Byzantine Empire.

Traditionally, in the very early beginnings of the establishments of Rome, men were often given just a first name, later, particularly among the nobility, it was conventional to be given three names: a praenomen, nomen, cognomen and occasionally if you were prestigious enough, you could gain an agnomen. Thus, a man of noble extraction might be named:

Marcus Tullius Caesar

His mother or father might address him as Marcus, his friends as Caesar, and in extreme formal circumstances, he would be addressed by his full name. If he was not associated with a gens, he would have two names, Marcus Tullius, and be referred to either as Marcus Tullius or just plain Tullius among friends and neighbors.

The praenomen would be the equivalent of a given name, this was the name used in everyday usage, usually only among family or very close friends. Since there was such a scarce selection of praenomina, usually handed down in one family for generations, it became sufficient to add an extra name to distinguish individuals from each other, that is the cognomen.

The nomen, the second name, is a bit tricky to explain. This functioned as a sort of surname, but also identified you with a particular clan, or gens, family that you were related to. Clans were the earliest settlers of Rome and their ancestors passed down their names for generations. They were either descriptive (e.g. Julius “downy-beard) or referenced a geographical location.

The cognomen was a name that was used outside the household, it functioned as a given name, but would be more like a nickname. This would help distinguish several Marcus Aurelii’s from one household from each other. Later in the Republic, the cognomen served its purpose as an actual inherited given name.

In the early days of Roman society, females were usually just given the feminine form of their father’s gens’ names (e.g. Aurelius-Aurelia) and to distinguish several sisters in one household, an extra name which described their birth order or age, was often appended to the gens name. Hence, if the Aureliis had 3 daughters, all three would be named Aurelia, but to quench confusion the three sisters might be referred to as Prima, Secunda and Tertia (First, Second, Third). If it was two daughters, then it was popular to refer to an older Aurelia as Major and a younger Aurelia as Minor.

Towards the middle to the end of the Roman Republic, Roman female names became more varied, and Romans started to veer away from the tradition of just using a feminine form of the father’s gens’ name. Many females were given or adopted a cognomen. Some females were given the feminine form of the father’s name, named after a female relative or sometimes given the diminutive form of an aunt or grandmother’s name, (e.g. Livilla, the sister of Germanicus and Claudius was named for her grandmother Livia).

During this period, Romans also liked to name their girls after famous Roman women, such as Julia (the daughter of Caesar). In fact, Julia became one of the most popular Roman female names during the reign of Julius Caesar, even if the family was not a member of the Julii gens.

If you are a parent looking for a legitimate yet unique name with class, then I would suggest you scour the works of Pliny, read Virgil’s the Aenead or consult the below list. Enjoy!

Roman alternative to popular names






























Names compatible in the modern English-speaking world:

  • Annaea
  • Arria
  • Bellica
  • Caria
  • Carisia
  • Cassiana
  • Ennia
  • Gaiana
  • Jovia/Jovina
  • Justina
  • Lanata
  • Luria
  • Macrina
  • Maevia
  • Marciana
  • Nelia
  • Nigella
  • Nola
  • Novia
  • Oceana
  • Octobriana
  • Olennia
  • Opilia
  • Orissa
  • Pollia
  • Prima/Primula
  • Prisca
  • Ramira
  • Seia
  • Sirica
  • Taura
  • Traila
  • Traiana
  • Tullia

Male Names

  • Caesar
  • Calvus
  • Cato
  • Cicero
  • Cilo
  • Curio
  • Macer
  • Manlius
  • Marcius/Marcus
  • Maro
  • Marius
  • Nero
  • Pavo
  • Quinctus
  • Rufus
  • Rullus
  • Sergius
  • Silanus
  • Stolo
  • Strabo
  • Taurus
  • Trio
  • Verres


  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_naming_conventions_for_females
  2. http://www.novaroma.org/wiki/Choosing_a_Roman_name


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Bulgarian/Serbian
Meaning: “to stand; to stay.”

The name is derived from the Slavic element, стоя (stoya) meaning, “to stand; to stay.”

Other forms of the name include:

  • Stojan Стојан (Macedonian/Serbian/Slovene)

Feminine forms are the Bulgarian Stoyanka Стоянка and the Macedonian/Serbian/Slovene Stojana.

The designated name-day in Bulgaria is May 21.



Gender: Feminine
Origin: unknown
Meaning: unknown
Eng (MAHN-ih-kuh)

The name is of uncertain origin or derivation, but some have connected it with the Latin monere meaning “to advise” or the Greek monos meaning, “one.”

The name was popularized by St. Monica of Hippo (the mother of St. Augustine) who was believed to have been of Berber extraction but was also a citizen of Carthage. For these reasons, many have suggested that the name is actually a name of North African or Phoenician origins and its meaning has been lost to history.

Monica has been a very popular saint amongst Catholics since the early Middle Ages, so the name has always been in usage in Catholic countries. In the English-speaking world, the name did not really catch on until the 18th-century. In 1977, she peaked in the U.S. popularity charts, coming in as the 39th most popular female name. Currently, she is the 34oth most popular female name (2009). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 72 (Slovenia, 2005)
  • # 10 (Slovakia, 2004)
  • # 94 (Spain, 2008)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mònica (Catalan)
  • Monika (Amazigh/Croatian/Czech/Estonian/German/Kabyle/Latvian/Lithuanian/Maltese/Norwegian/Polish/Slovak/Slovene/Swedish)
  • Monica (Danish/Dutch/English/Italian/Romanian/Romansch/Swedish)
  • Moonika (Estonian)
  • Mooni (Estonian)
  • Monique (French)
  • Mónika (Hungarian)
  • Mônica (Portuguese)
  • Mónica (Spanish)

German short forms are Mona and Moni and a Polish diminutive is Monia.

The designated name-days are: May 4 (Hungary/Lithuania/Poland/Sweden), May 7 (Slovakia), May 21 (Czech Republic), June 13 (Estonia), August 27 (Germany), October 6 (Latvia).


  1. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/monica?view=uk
  2. http://www.behindthename.com/name/monica


Gender: Feminine
Origin: English/French
Meaning: “prudence.”

The name is ultimately derived from the Latin Prudentia a feminine form of the Late Latin, Prudentius, which is derived from the Latin prudens meaning, “prudent, good judgment.”

The name was borne by a few early Christian martyrs and was in usage in Europe during the Middle Ages. It was revived in the 17th-century by the Puritans.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Prudència (Catalan)
  • Prudence (English/French)
  • Prudenzia (Italian)
  • Prudenziana (Italian)
  • Prudentia (Late Latin)
  • Prudentiana (Late Latin)
  • Prudencia (Spanish)

A common English short form is Prue.

Male forms include: Prudenzio (Italian) Prundentius (Late Latin), Prudencio (Spanish).

In the 1960s, the Beatles penned the famous pop song, Dear Prudence.

The designated name-day is May 6 (France).


  1. http://www.behindthename.com/namedays/search.php?terms=prudence
  2. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/prudence?view=uk