Saul

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew שָׁאוּל
Meaning: “asked for; prayed for.”
Eng (SAWL); Sp (sah-OOL); Heb (shah-OOL)

The name appears several times in the Old Testament, the most notable of all being King Saul, the first king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel as recorded in the Book of Samuel. It appears again in the New Testament as the Hebrew name for Paul of Tarsus.

The name has always been common among Jews and Spanish-speaking Christians. In Mexico, it is currently the 94th most popular male name, while in Spain it is the 95th most popular, (2010). In the United States, however, it only ranks in as the 376th most popular male name, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Saül (Catalan/French)
  • Šaul (Croatian)
  • Saul (Czech/Dutch/English/German/Hungarian/Italian/Polish/Portuguese/Scandinavian)
  • Sauli საული (Finnish/Georgian)
  • Saoul Σαουλ (Greek)
  • Sha’ul שָׁאוּל (Hebrew)
  • Sauls (Latin)
  • Saulius (Lithuanian)
  • Szaul (Polish)
  • Saúl Сау́л (Belarusian/Bulgarian/Russian/Spanish)
Sources
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Caesar

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “hairy.”
(SEE-zer)

The name is derived the Latin caesaris (hairy), the earliest record of this name goes back to 300 BC when it was borne as the cognomen of Numerius Julius Caesar. It was later borne by Julius Caesar and his adopted son Julius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus). In the case of Julius Caesar, he may have gotten his name as a comical reference to his bald appearance.

The name subsequently became a title for an emperor throughout Europe and the Middle East.

It has always been common in Southern Europe but never really got much usage in English-speaking countries.

Its Spanish form of César is currently the 76th most popular male name in Mexico, (2010). His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #87 (Chile, 2010)
  • #93 (Spain, 2010)
  • #201 (United States, 2010)
  • #307 (France, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Cèsar (Catalan)
  • Césaire (French)
  • César (French/Spanish)
  • Cézár (Hungarian)
  • Cesare (Italian)
  • Cesareo (Italian/Spanish)
  • Cesarino (Italian)
  • Cesario (Italian)
  • Cēzars (Latvian)
  • Cezaris (Lithuanian)
  • Ċesari (Maltese)
  • Cezary (Polish)
  • Cézar (Portuguese: Brazilian)
  • Cezar (Portuguese/Romanian)
  • Cesari (Sicilian)

Feminine forms include:

  • Cesara (Italian)
  • Cesarea (Italian)
  • Cesaria (Italian)
  • Cesarina (Italian)
  • Cesira (Italian)
  • Cesária (Portuguese)

 

Licarayen

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Mapuche
Meaning: “Stone flower.”
(LEE-kah-rye-YEN)

The name is composed of the Mapuche words lica (stone) and rayen (flower).

It is borne in legend by a beautiful maiden who had to sacrifice herself in order to stop the wrath of the evil spirit of the Volcano Osorno from destroying her people. It is from the ashes and snow of her sacrifice that Lake Llanquihue in Chile was created.

Currently, Licarayen is the 1414th most popular female name in Chile, (2010).

Sources

  1. http://www.cooperativa.cl/revise-los-1-423-nombres-de-mujeres-inscritos-en-2010-en-el-registro-civil/prontus_nots/2010-12-29/142421.html
  2. http://asistenteeducacional.bligoo.com/content/view/244349/NOMBRES-MAPUCHES.html&page=2
  3. http://www.chile.com/secciones/ver_seccion.php?id=109688

Illari

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Quecha
Meaning: “dawn; bright.”
(EE-yah-REE)

The name comes directly from the Quecha word for dawn or bright.

It appears at the very bottom of the Chilean top 1000 most popular female names, (2010).

Sources

  1. http://apellidosperuanos.wordpress.com/nombres-quechuas/
  2. http://www.cooperativa.cl/revise-los-1-423-nombres-de-mujeres-inscritos-en-2010-parte-ii/prontus_nots/2010-12-29/142837.html
  3. http://www.todopapas.com/nombres/nombres-de-nina/illari
  4. http://portal.redperuana.com/foros/nombres-quechuas

Alondra

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Spanish
Meaning: “lark.”
(ah-LONE-drah)

The name comes directly from the Spanish word for the lark. In Spanish, alondra is also used to describe someone who is an “early bird.”

The name is currently the 23rd most popular female name in Mexico, (2010), the 48th most popular in Chile, (2006) and the 250th most popular in the United States, (2010).

It is borne by famous Mexican singer, Alondra (b.1964) and Spanish singer, Alondra Bentley (b.1983)

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/alondra
  2. http://www.babycenter.com.mx/pregnancy/nombres/nombres_populares_2010/

Jimena, Ximena

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Spanish
Meaning: debated
Ximena Sp/Cat (shee-MEH-nah); South Am. Sp (hee-MEH-nah)
Jimena (hee-MEH-nah)

There are two general theories as to the origins of this name, one is that it is a feminine form of Simon another is that it is derived from the Basque word seme meaning “son.” In either case, it seems to have been a very popular female name in Medieval Spain.

It was borne by Ximena Díaz (1054-1115) the wife of El Cid and who also eventually became his successor to the Valencian throne. It was also borne by an even earlier Spanish noblewoman, Jimena of Asturias (b.900).

Currently Jimena and Ximena both appear in the Mexican top 100. Its Catalan form of Ximena is the 2nd most popular female name in Mexico while its Spanish derivative of Jimena ranked in at # 13.

Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 42 (Spain, 2010 Jimena)
  • # 272 (United States, 2010 Ximena)
  • # 400 (United States, 2010 Jimena)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ximena (Catalan/Ladino/Portuguese)
  • Chimène (French. shee-MEN)
  • Ximene (French. zee-MEN)
  • Jimena (Galician/Spanish)
  • Gimena (Medieval Spanish)
Obscure masculine forms are Jimeno and Ximeno.
Sources

Odysseus, Ulysses

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: debated

The name is found in Homer’s The Odyssey as the name of the protagonist based on a Greek mythological hero who fought in the Trojan war. The same character appears in Roman mythology under the name Ulysses.

Many sources agree that Odysseus may derive from the Greek ὀδύσσομαι (odussomai) meaning, “hated.” Other sources have argued that the name may in fact derive from a non Indo European source of an uncertain etymology.

In American history, the name was borne by the illustrious civil war general and former President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885). James Joyce used the Latin version for the title character of his 1922 book, which was loosely based on The Odyssey.

Currently, its Spanish form of Ulises is the 98th most popular male name in Mexico (2010) and the 555th most popular in the United States, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Odusseus (Afrikaans)
  • Ulis Ўліc (Belarusian)
  • Odisej Одисей (Bulgarian/Croatian/Macedonian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Odisseu (Catalan)
  • Ulisses (Catalan)
  • Ulysses (English/Latin/Scandinavian)
  • Uthuze (Etruscan)
  • Ulysse (French)
  • Odysseus Οδυσσευ (Greek)
  • Odüsszeusz (Hungarian)
  • Odisseo (Italian)
  • Ulisse (Italian)
  • Odisėjas (Lithuanian)
  • Uliksas (Lithuanian)
  • Ulisses (Occitanian/Portuguese)
  • Odyseusz (Polish)
  • Odisseu (Portuguese)
  • Odiseu (Romanian)
  • Ulise (Romanian)
  • Odissej Одиссей (Russian)
  • Ulissi (Sicilian)
  • Ulikses (Slovene)
  • Odiseo (Spanish)
  • Ulises (Spanish)
  • Odysews (Welsh)
  • Wlysses (Welsh)

An obscure feminine form is Ulyssa.

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/ulysses
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odysseus
  3. http://www.babycenter.com.mx/pregnancy/nombres/nombres_populares_2010/

Arnold

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German
Meaning: “eagle power.”

The name is composed of the Germanic elements arn (eagle) and wald (power). In pre-Norman England it appeared in the Anglo-Saxon form of Earnwald it was subsequently replaced with the more Norman Arnold and fell out of usage by the Renaissance being revived once again in the 19th-century.

The name is borne by several saints, including an 11th-century French bishop who is venerated as the patron saint of brewers.

Its French form of Arnaud is currently 71st most popular male name in Quebec, Canada (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Earnwald (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Arnald (Catalan)
  • Arnau (Catalan)
  • Arnold (Czech/English/German/Hungarian/Polish/Scandinavian/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Aart (Dutch)
  • Arend (Dutch)
  • Arnoud (Dutch)
  • Arnout (Dutch)
  • Aarno/Arno (Finnish)
  • Arnaud (French)
  • Arnault (French)
  • Arendt (German)
  • Arndt (German)
  • Arne (German)
  • Arnót (Hungarian)
  • Arnaldur (Icelandic)
  • Arnaldo (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Nöl (Limburgish)
  • Nölke (Limburgish)
  • Arnoldas (Lithuanian)
  • Arnwald (Old German)
  • Arnaldr (Old Norse)
  • Arnado (Spanish)

Obscure feminine forms include the German Arnoldine, the French Arnaude and the Southern European Arnalda.

The name is borne by actor and form California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger  (b.1947).

A common English short form is Arnie.

Sources

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

 

Gaël

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Breton
Meaning: uncertain
Fre/Sp (guy-EL)

The name can either be a diminutive form of the Breton male name Judicaël or taken from the name of the group of ancient Celts who settled in Ireland and Scotland. In the latter case, it would be derived from the Celtic element geal meaning “white.” It has also been suggested to be comprised of the Breton elements gwen (white) and maël (prince).

The name is currently the 90th most popular male name in Mexico, (2010). Its sudden popularity in Mexico may be due to the fame of Mexican actor Gael García Bernal (b.1978). In France, it is the 159th most popular male name (2009) and in the United States it is the 407th most popular name, (2010).

Its feminine form is Gaëlle which is the 381st most popular female name in France, (2009).

Other feminine forms include the Breton GaelaGaele and Gaelig.

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/gae12l
  2. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ga%C3%ABl_(pr%C3%A9nom)
  3. http://www.babycenter.com.mx/pregnancy/nombres/nombres_populares_2010/