Vaida, Vaidas, Vaidotė

At Home by Emma Florence HarrisonOrigin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “ghost like.”
(VYE-dah; vy-DOH-tey)

In 2016, my home state of Illinois had 5 babies named Vaida, which is not surprising as we do have a significant amount of Lithuanian immigrants, though not as large as other groups, they are still strongly represented in the Southwestern suburbs, such as Lemont and Lisle.

Vaida is derived from the Lithuanian elements, vaid- which is from (vaidytis, vaidentis), meaning “to appear, to ghost, to haunt.”

Its masculine form is Vaidas, and it is uncertain if the male or female name came first.

Alternately, Vaida may be used among English-speaking parents as an alternate spelling of Veda.

Other popular offshoots include Vaidotė, Vaidota, Vaidutė, and Vaidotas for males.

In Lithuania, the designated name-day is April 15th.

Note: This post was updated on 01/02/2018.




Gender: Masculine
Origin: Old Norse
Meaning: “war warrior.”
Eng (GUN-ner); Swe (GOON-nahr)

The name is composed of the Old Norse elements, gunnr (war) and arr (warrior).

The name was borne a legendary 5th-century Burgundish king. His exploits appear in the ancient Germanic poetic text Nibelungelied and the Medieval poem Walthurius.

In the Nibelungelied he is mentioned as the King of Worms, the husband of Brunhild and the brother of Kriemhild, whom Siegfried comes to woo.

In some tales, he was betrayed by Attila the hun and murdered by him.

The same character later appears in JRR Tolkien’s epic poem based on Norse legend, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun.

Gunnar did not appear in the U.S. top 1000 till 1991 coming in as the 705th most popular male names, as of 2009, he was the 551st most popular male name.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Gūðhere (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Gondicari (Catalan)
  • Vintíř (Czech)
  • Gunder (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Gunnar (Danish/English/Estonian/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Gunner (English/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Gundur (Faroese)
  • Kunkku (Finnish)
  • Kunnari (Finnish)
  • Kunto (Finnish)
  • Gondicaire (French)
  • Gundohar (Frisian/Dutch)
  • Gundahar (German: archaic)
  • Günter/Günther (German/Hungarian)
  • Gunther (German)
  • Gunter (German/Polish/Spanish)
  • Gundicaro (Italian)
  • Gundaharius (Late Latin)
  • Gunnarr (Old Norse)
  • Gunnár (Sami)
  • Gundo (Swedish)
  • Gunnerius (Swedish: archaic)

The name was also borne by a medieval Czech saint.

The designated name-days are January 8 (Estonia); January 9 (Sweden) and October 9 (Germany).




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: debated

The name is of uncertain derivation, though it has been suggested to be from a Greek source meaning “bondage.”

In history, the name was borne by a hetaera (concubine) of Alexander the Great. She is credited by historians for pursuading Alexander to burn down his palace.

Thaïs the concubine is credited more for her fictional roles. In Terence’s Eunuchus, the female protoganist of the same name is loosely based off of her.

In Dante’s Divine Comedy, she is depicted in Hell in the circle of the flatterers (Inferno, XVIII,133-136).

The name was also borne by an early Greek Christian saint. In 1890, Anatole France wrote a novel based on her life, a novel which was later adapted by Jules Massenet into a famous opera of the same name.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Taís (Catalan)
  • Thaïs (English/Greek/French)
  • Thais (German/Spanish)
  • Taide (Italian)
  • Taida (Polish)
  • Taisa/Taisiya Таисия (Russian)
  • Taja (Slovene)
  • Tajda (Slovene)
  • Tajka (Slovene)
  • Tajša (Slovene)

In France, the designated name-day is October 8.




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Finnish/Estonian
Meaning: “silent; quiet; calm.”

The name is related to the Finnish words hiljainen (quiet), hiljaisuus (silence) and hiljaa (quiet, calm). It was quite popular at the turn of the 19th-century. Its designated name-day is October 8.


Gender: Masculine
Origin: English
Meaning: “rich protector.”
Eng (ED-mund)

The name is composed of the Anglo-Saxon elements, ead (wealth; riches) and mund (protector).

The name was quite common in Medieval England, both before and after the Norman conquest, and remained common all the way up until this century.

It was borne by two English kings and by two saints.

The highest the name has ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1913, when Edmund was the 130th most popular male name. As of 2009, he does not even rank in the U.S. top 1000.

Other forms of the name include:

Eadmund (Anglo-Saxon)
Edmund (Czech/English/Estonian/German/Polish/Slovak/Slovene)
Edmundur (Faroese)
Edmé (French: archaic)
Edmond (French)
Emond (German)
Ödön (Hungarian)
Játmundur (Icelandic)
Jetmund (Icelandic)
Eamon/Éamonn (Irish-Gaelic)
Edmeo (Italian)
Edmo (Italian)
Edmondo (Italian)
Edno (Italian)
Edmao (Limburgish)
Mao (Limburgish)
Edmundo (Portuguese/Spanish)

Feminine forms include:

Edmonia (English)
Edmée (French)
Edma (Italian)
Edmea (Italian)
Edmonda (Italian)

Nicknames include:

Ed, Eddie, Ned (Dutch/English)
Edi/Edo (Czech/Slovak)
Ödi (Hungarian)

Notable bearers include: English poet Edmund Spenser (1552-1599); Czech philosopher, Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) and New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008)

The designated name-days are:

October 6 (Estonia); October 16 (Poland); October 30 (Poland); November 20 (Poland); December 1 (Poland/Slovakia); March 18 (Sweden).




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “the sea.”
(peh-LAH-gee-ah); Fre (pay-lah-ZHEE)

The name is a feminine form of the Greek male name, Pelagios (Πελαγιος), which is derived from the Greek pelagos (πελαγος) meaning “the sea.”

Both the masculine and feminine version have been borne by several saints. Pelagios was even borne by two popes.

Other feminine forms of the name include:

Pélagie (French)
Pelagia (Greek/Polish)
Pelageya Пелагея (Russian/Ukrainian)

Another masculine form is the Late Latin Pellagius.

The designated name-days are: March 23 (Poland); May 4 (Greece); June 9 (Poland); July 11 (Poland); October 8 (France/Greece/Poland); October 19 (Poland); October 21 (Poland).




Gender: Feminine
Origin: English/German/Swedish
Eng (JEN-nee); Germ/Swe (YEHN-nee)

The name started off as a medieval diminutive for Jane or Johanna, but became to be used as an independent given name by the 18th-century.

It has only been recent that the name has come to be associated with Jennifer.

As of 2009, Jenny was the 708th most popular female name in the United States. The highest she has ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1977 when she was the 108th most popular female name.

She is currently the 30th most popular female name in Norway (2009).

A notable bearer was Swedish opera singer, Jenny Lind (1820-1887).

It was also borne by the wife of Karl Marx, Jenny of Westphalia (1814-1881).

An Icelandic form is Jenný.

Another Swedish form is Jennika.

Designated name-days are: August 15 (Estonia); October 6 (Sweden)




Gender: Masculine
Origin: English

The name is the English form of the Latin, Placidus, meaning “calm; placid.”

The feminine form of Placidia was borne by the daughter of Emperor Theodosius I.

The name was never very common in the English-speaking world, however, it was occasionally used by the Puritans.

Other forms the name include:

Placid (English/Hungarian)
Placidino (Italian)
Placido (Italian)
Placyd (Polish)
Plácido (Portuguese/Spanish)
Placidus (Latin)

Feminine forms include:

Placide (French)
Placida (Italian)
Placyda (Polish)
Placidia (Sardinian/Sicilian)

The designated name-day throughout Europe is October 5.

The name is borne by 6th-century Italian monk, St. Placido; 17th-century English Protestant Minister, John Placid Adelham; 20th-century Catholic Indian theologian, Father Placid J Podipara; world famous Spanish tenor and opera singer, Plácido Domingo.




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Italian
Meaning: “sacrifice; value.”
Eng (GIL-duh); It (JEEL-dah)

The name is derived from the Germanic element, gild, meaning “sacrifice; value.”

The name appears in Verdi’s 1851 opera, Rigoletto.

It was the name of a title character in a 1946 film starring Rita Hayworth.

The name was also notably borne by American comedienne, Gilda Radner (b.1946), one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live. She died at the age of 42 from ovarian cancer, and since has become an icon for ovarian cancer awareness.

In Argentina, it is borne by Gilda, a pop singer (b.1961); and is also borne by an Italian singer, known simply as Gilda (b.1950).

The designated name-days are: January 29 (Poland); October 5 (Lithuania).




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “prophetess; sibyl.”

The name comes from the Greek, Σιβυλλα (Sibylla) meaning “prophetess.” In Greek and Roman legend, the sibyls were ten female prophets who were located at various sites throughout the ancient world, one notable location being Delphi.

Among Christians, the sibyls were believed to have had divine knowledge, especially with the coming of Christ, and were respected on par as the prophets of the Old Testament. The name was quite common in Medieval Europe as a result, but fell out of usage after the Protestant Reformation. It was revived in the 19th-century.

The name is the subject of a novel by Benjamin Disraeli (1845).

Other forms of the name include:

Sibil·la (Catalan)
Sibyla (Czech)
Sibylle (Danish/French/German)
Sibille (Dutch)
Pille (Estonian)
Sybille (French/German)
Sibylla (German/Greek/Swedish)
Szibilla (Hungarian)
Szibill (Hungarian)
Sibilina (Italian)
Sibilla (Italian/Latvian/Lithuanian/Polish)
Sybilla (Late Latin/Estonian)
Sibila (Portuguese/Spanish)
Sebille (Turkish)

Nicknames include:

Billie, Sibbie (English)
Bülle, Sibä, Sible (Swiss German)

Notable bearers include: Sibylla of Burgundy, Queen of Jerusalem (1126-1150); Sibylla of Burgundy, Duchess of Burgundy (1065-1103)

The designated name-days are: April 29 (Poland); May 19/20 (Latvia); October 3 (France); October 20 (Sweden)