Malcolm

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Scottish
Meaning: “follower of St. Columba.”
Eng (MAL-kəm)

The name is composed of the Scots Gaelic elements Máel (follower) and Coluim (Columba). The name was borne by four Scottish kings, the most famous being Malcolm III who killed the usurper Macbeth and whom the 1606 Shakespeare play Macbeth is based on.

Currently, Malcolm is the 527th most popular male name in the United States, (2010).

Other, more unusual forms of the name include:

  • Malcom (German)
  • Máel Coluim (Scottish)
  • Malkolm (Polish/Swedish)
An obscure Scottish feminine form is Malina.
The name was also borne by civil rights activist, Malcolm X (1925-1965)
Source
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Serena

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “clear; serene; calm; dry.”
Eng (sə-REEN-ə); It (se-RE-nah)

The name is derived from the Late Latin male name, Serenus, which comes directly from the Latin word meaning “serene, calm, clear, tranquil” and is related to the Greek word  ξηρός (xeros) meaning “dry”, a term used to describe clear weather.

The name was borne by several early Roman martyrs, including the legendary wife of Diocletian, who was murdered by her own husband after defending two christians her husband had condemned. She is venerated as the patron saint of Lazio in Italy.

It was also borne by the niece of the Emperor Theodosius I, (b.365).

Currently, it is the 218th most popular female name in France (2008) and the 454th most popular in the United States, (2010).

Its Romansch versions of Seraina, Sereina and Serina are currently the 5th most popular female names in Liechtenstein (2010).

The name is borne by tennis player, Serena Williams (b.1981).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Séréna (French)
  • Szeréna (Hungarian)
  • Szerénke (Hungarian)
  • Serenetta
  • Serenilla (Italian)
  • Seraine/Sereine (Old French)
  • Seraina (Romansch)
  • Sereina (Romansch)
  • Serina (Romansch)
Masculine forms include:
  • Sérène (French)
  • Szerénusz (Hungarian)
  • Sereno (Italian)
  • Serenus (Latin)
  • Seren (Polish)
Source

Nia

The name has several different origins and meanings, it could either be from the Swahili word meaning “purpose,”, in which case, it is the name of the of the 5th day of Kwanzaa which celebrates the principle of community.

It can also be a Welsh form of the Gaelic Niamh.

In South Eastern Europe, such as Croatia, Slovenia and Greece it is a contracted form of Antonia, now used exclusively as an independent given name.

Currently, Nia is the 90th most popular female name in Slovenia (2010) and the 469th most popular in the United States. Another form is the Slovene Nija.

The name is borne by actresses Nia Long and Nia Vardalos.

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/nia-1
  2. http://www.behindthename.com/name/nia-2
  3. http://www.beliefnet.com/Love-Family/Holidays/Kwanzaa/Day5.aspx
  4. http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/NguzoSaba.shtml

Moses

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Debated
Meaning: debated

The name is borne in the Old Testament and in the Qu’ran by the a renowned prophet and law giver, who according to tradition was placed in a basket by his Hebrew mother and found by the daughter of Pharaoh (in Judeo-Christian religion) or the wife of Pharaoh (in Islamic tradition) and raised as an Egyptian prince. It is from this tradition that the name is believed to be derived from the Hebrew element משה (mšh) as stated in  Exodus 2:10:

“[…] she called his name Moses (משה): and she said, Because I drew him (משיתהו) out of the water.” (KJV).

 

It has been suggested that the name is in fact of Egyptian origins, being related to the Coptic elements, mo (water) and uses (saved; delivered) hence: “saved from the water.” Another suggestion is the Egyptian element, ms (child; born) as found in such ancient Egyptian male names as Tuth-Mose and Ram-messes.

The name has always been common among Jews, Muslims and Orthodox Christians, but did not catch on in the English-speaking world until after the Protestant Reformation. Medieval Jews of England used the Middle English form of Moss.

It is currently the 509th most popular male name in the United States, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Moses (Afrikaans/English/German/Scandinavian/Welsh)
  • Moisiu (Albanian)
  • Musa موسى Муса (Amharic/Arabic/Azeri/Bosnian/Kabyle/Swahili/Tatar/Turkish)
  • Moisen (Aragonese)
  • Movses Մովսես (Armenian)
  • Moises (Basque)
  • Majsjej Майсей (Belarusian)
  • Moizez (Breton)
  • Moisej Моисей (Bulgarian)
  • Moisès (Catalan)
  • Moisije Мојсије (Croatian/Serbian)
  • Moše (Croatian)
  • Mojžíš (Czech/Slovak)
  • Mozes (Dutch)
  • Mooses (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Móses (Faroese/Icelandic)
  • Moïse (French)
  • Maois (Gaelic)
  • Mose მოსე (Georgian/German/Romansch/Swedish)
  • Mouses Μωυσης (Greek)
  • Moshe מֹשֶׁה (Hebrew/Ladino)
  • Mózes (Hungarian)
  • Mosè (Italian)
  • Müsa Мұса (Kazakh)
  • Mosa (Kurdish)
  • Mûsa (Kurdish)
  • Moyses (Latin)
  • Mozus (Latvian)
  • Mozė (Lithuanian)
  • Мојсеј (Macedonian)
  • Moss (Middle English)
  • Moïses (Occitanian/Provençal)
  • Mojżesz (Polish)
  • Moisés (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Moise (Romanian)
  • Moisej Моісей (Rusyn/Ruthenian)
  • Moiséj Моисе́й (Russian)
  • Muozė (Saimogaitian)
  • Mojzes (Slovene)
  • Muuse (Somalian)
  • Mojsej Мойсей (Ukrainian)
  • Moosõs (Voro)
  • Moishe (Yiddish)
Recently, actress Gwyneth Paltrow bestowed this name on her second child, Moses Bruce Anthony Martin (b. 2006)
Sources

Asia

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek Ασιη Ασια
Meaning: uncertain
Eng (AY-juh)

The name is found in Greek mythology as the name of the daughter, (also referred to as Clymene and Clymene-Asie), of Oceanus and Tethys, the wife of Lepatus and mother of Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus and Menoetius. It was also the name of a Lydian nymph.

The etymology of the name is uncertain, the myth of Asia existed long before the area of what is now known as Turkey got its name. Herodotus argued that the region was in fact named for the Lydian nymph, while the ancient Lydians themselves claimed that their homeland got its name from a Sardisian prince named Asies.

In the English-speaking world, the earliest usage of the name seems to trace back to Asia Frigga Booth Clarke (1835-1888), the sister to the infamous presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth. Her father, Junius Brutus Booth, a famous actor in his time, chose the name as he believed the Garden of Eden was located in the continent of Asia. Asia Clarke is most noted for her memoires entitled John Wilkes Booth: a sister’s memoir.

Coincidentally, it is also the default Polish diminutive form of Joanna. In this case, it is pronounced (AH-shah).

Currently, Asia is the 23rd most popular female name in Italy (2008) and the 532nd most popular female name in the United States, (2010).

It is currently borne by Italian actress Asia Argento (b.1975).

The name has always been used as a female name in Greece.

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/asia-1
  2. http://www.theoi.com/Nymphe/NympheAsie.html
  3. Hesiod, Theogony – Greek Epic C8th-7th BC
  4. Apollodorus, The Library – Greek Mythography C2nd BC
  5. Herodotus, Histories – Greek History C5th BC

 

Brisa

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Spanish
Meaning: “breeze”
(BREE-sah)

Originally a short form of Briseida, (a Spanish form of the Greek, Briseis), the name is now used in reference to the Spanish word for breeze.

It is also the name of a northeasterly wind which blows on the Coast of South America and which blows from the north on Puerto Rico during the trade wind season. In the Philippines, it is the name of a northeasterly monsoon.

Currently, Brisa is the 463rd most popular female name in the United States, (2010).

Source

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/top/search.php?terms=Brisa

Gloria

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “glory.”
Eng (GLAWR-ee-ə)

The name comes directly from the Latin word for glory and its usage as a given name is relatively recent in naming history. Its first appearance seems to be the name of the protagonist of E.D.E.N. Southworth’s 1891 novel, Gloria: A Novel.

Born Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte, Southworth was a popular novelist of her time, and seems to have had a habit of bestowing interesting names on her female characters, particularly names which come directly from Latin words. Her most famous example being her tomboyish character, Capitola Black in her most famous work, The Hidden Hand (1889).

Gloria was used again by George Bernard Shaw for a character in his 1898 play You Never Can Tell.

Due to its seemingly religious connotations, the name skyrocketed among Catholic families during the Depression Era. In this case, the name may have been used in reference to the Great Doxolgy or hymn sung during Catholic masses Gloria in Excelsis Deo. 

Currently, Gloria is the 503rd most popular female name in the United States, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Glorietta (Italian)
  • Glorinda (Italian)

An obscure Italian diminutive is Gloriuccia.

There is also a very obscure masculine Italian form: Glorio.

Famous bearers include:

  • Gloria Swanson (actress, 1899-1983)
  • Gloria Steinem (feminist, b.1934)
  • Gloria Gaynor (singer, b.1948)
  • Gloria (Bulgarian pop-singer, b.1973)
  • Gloria Princess of Thurn & Taxis (b.1960)
  • Gloria Estefan (singer, b.1957)
In Poland, the designated name-day is May 13.

Source

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/gloria

 

Rohan

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Indian रोहण
Meaning: “to ascend”
(ROW-ahn)

The name is derived from the Sanskrit word, रोहण  (rohana) describing the act of ascending, mounting, riding, standing, or sitting on. It can be used to describe the act of coming into being, production or healing of a wound and it is the name of a medicinal herb.  It is also the name of a mountain in Ceylon known in English as Adam’s Peak.

Coincidentally, the name appears in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings where it is the name of a place in Middle Earth meaning “horse country” in Sindarin.

It is also the name of a place in Brittany and in Malta.

Currently, Rohan is the 434th most popular male name in the Netherlands and the 536th most popular in the United States, (2010).

The feminine form is Rohana.

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/rohan-1
  2. http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/romadict.pl?query=rohana&display=simple&table=macdonell

Uriah

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew אוּרִיָה
Meaning: “yahweh is my light.”
Eng (yoo-RIE-ə)

The name is borne by several characters in the Old Testament, one of the most famous being Uriah the Hittite. King David had sent him out in the forefront of battle in the hopes that he would be killed, so that David could marry Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba.

The name also appears in the Bible in the form of Urijah.

The name was always common among Jews but did not catch on in the Christian world until after the Protestant Reformation. It was a fairly common name in early America.

Charles Dickens used the name for an antagonist in his 1850 novel David Copperfield. Due to the character’s reputation, the term Uriah Heep is often used to describe a “yes man.”

Currently, Uriah is the 548th most popular male name in the United States, while his alternative, Urijah, ranked in at # 623, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

Uries (Catalan)
Urijáš (Czech)
Urie (French/Romanian)
Urijah Урия (German/Russian)
Ourias Ουριας (Greek)
Uriyah אוּרִיָה (Hebrew)
Uria (Italian)
Urias (Late Latin)
Uriasz (Polish)
Urias (Portuguese)
Uriáš (Slovakian)
Urijá (Slovakian)
Urías (Spanish)

A common modern Hebrew short form is Uri.

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/uriah
  2. http://books.google.com
  3. http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/yes-man
  4. Magonet, Jonathan (1992) Bible Lives London: SCM, 93 – 4

Chad

Gender: Masculine
Origin: English
Eng (CHAD)

The name is a modern English form of the Anglo-Saxon, Ceadda (CHAD-duh). The meaning and origins of the name are somewhat of a mystery, but since St. Chad was believed to have been of Celtic origins it has been suggested that it may be a derivative of the Welsh, cad, meaning “battle.”

The name was borne by a major 7th-century English saint. His cult was very popular in England before the Protestant Reformation and the name seems to have died out with the Reformation as well. Chad was not revived until the mid-20th-century. Between 1972-1973, Chad peaked at its highest coming in as the 23rd most popular male name in the United States. As of 2010, he is the 547th most popular male name.

The designated name-day is March 2nd.

Source

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/chad