Amaro

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Spanish
Meaning: debated

The name could either be derived from a Germanic name Adhemar which may be composed of the elements ot (wealth; fortune) and mar (fame) or it could be from a Latin adjective amarus meaning “bitter.”

The name was borne by a legendary saint whose cult is especially popular in the regions of Galicia and Asturias. It is said that he travelled on his boat to heaven.

The name is currently the 44th most popular male name in Chile, (2010).

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Marius, Mario

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: debated
Eng (muh-RYE-us)

There are several different theories as to the name’s etymology, it is derived from the Roman gens name of supposed Oscan origin (an extinct language spoken by the ancient Sabines). It has been suggested that the root of the name may actually be from the Latin words mas or maris (male) or it could be from the Latin mare (sea), the plural of which is Maria. It has also been suggested to be related to the name Mars. By Christian times the name was used as a syncretized form of the Biblical Hebrew, Miriam, bestowed as a masculine form. It’s etymology has been assumed to be a masculine form of Mary or Maria since, and was bestowed as such, especially in Southern European countries in the form of Mario.

In France, the name is traditionally used in the region of Provence, where the famous Roman general, Gaius Marius (b. 2nd-century BCE) is still considered a hero for crushing the Teutonic forces near Mount Saint-Victoire.

Currently, Marius is the 22nd most popular name in Norway, (2010). His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 40 (Denmark, 2010)
  • # 83 (France, 2009)

Its Southern European form of Mario is currently the 10th most popular male name in Spain, (2010). His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 41 (Croatia, 2010)
  • # 44 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 91 (Chile, 2010)
  • # 207 (United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Marijo (Croatian)
  • Mario (Croatian/Italian/Spanish)
  • Márius (Czech/Slovak)
  • Marius (Dutch/French/German/Romanian/Scandinavian)
  • Marios Μαριος (Greek: modern)
  • Máriusz (Hungarian. MAHR-yoos)
  • Marijus (Lithuanian)
  • Mariusz (Polish. MAR-ee-OOSH)
  • Mário (Portuguese/Hungarian)
  • Marij Ма́риус (Russian)
  • Màriu (Tuscan)

Santiago

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Spanish
Meaning: “saint James.”

The name is composed of the Spanish words santo (saint) and Iago (the Medieval Spanish form of Jacob).

The name was originally used in honour of St. James the Apostle. Tradition has it that St. James the Apostle travelled to the Iberian peninsula after the death of Christ and it is said that he is buried under the church of Santiago de Compestela in Galicia, Spain.

Santiago was also used as a battle cry by Spanish Christians during the Reconquisition from the Moors.

He is currently a very popular name throughout the Spanish-speaking world. In Mexico he is the most popular male name (2010). In other countries his rankings are as follows:

  • # 36 (Chile, 2010)
  • # 70 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 99 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 133 (United States, 2010)

His offshoot of Diego has been argued to be a form of the Greek didache (teaching) but was originally bestowed in honour of St. James the Apostle.

Diego does not lag that far behind his more elaborate counterpart. He is currently the 3rd most popular male name in Mexico, (2010) while in other Spanish-speaking countries he ranks in at:

  • # 9 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 11 (Chile, 2010)
  • # 57 (Belgium, 2008)
  • # 74 (France, 2008)
  • # 85 (United States, 2010)
  • # 303 (the Netherlands, 2010)

Other forms of the name Diego include:

  • Xanti (Basque)
  • Dídac (Catalan)
  • Didacus (Late Latin/Medieval Spanish)
  • Diogo (Portuguese)
  • Tiago (Portuguese)
  • Thiago (Portuguese: Brazilian)

Its Portuguese form of Tiago is the 5th most popular male name in Portugal (2008) and the 95th most popular male name in France, (2008). While Diogo is the 4th most popular male name in Portugual, (2008). And according to Babycenter Brasil, Tiago is the 34th most popular male name among registered users.

Both Diego and Santiago have been used as place names throughout the New World.

Alphonse, Alonso

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German
Meaning: “noble and ready.”

The name is believed to be derived from a Visigothic male name Adalfuns which is composed of the elements adal (noble) and funs (ready). It has also been associated with another Visigothic name Hildefuns meaning (battle ready). The name has always been popular in its various forms throughout Southern Europe, especially in the Iberian Peninsula where it was borne by several kings.

In its French form of Alphonse, it is the name the title character in Alexander Dumas’ 1873 book Monsieur Alphonse, which recounts the exploits of a pimp. Due to this literary association the name has come to mean “pimp” in several languages, most notably in Danish and in Polish.

Its Spanish form of Alonso, however, remains a very common name throughout the Spanish-speaking world. It is currently the 16th most popular male name in Chile (2010). It is also the 84th most popular in Spain (2010) and the 637th most popular in the United States (2010).

The more archaic Italian and Spanish form of Alfonso appears in the U.S. top 1000, coming in as the 742nd most popular male name (2010).

The name was most famously borne by St. Alphonsus Liguori, an Italian saint who founded the order of the Redemptorists and is considered a Doctor of the Church by the Catholic Church.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Adalfuns (German: archaic)
  • Alifonso (Aragonese)
  • Alfonsu (Asturian/Sardinian/Sicilian)
  • Fonsu (Cantabrian)
  • Alfontso (Basque)
  • Alfoñs (Breton)
  • Alfons (Catalan/Czech/Dutch/Finnish/German/Maltese/Polish/Romanian/Scandinavian: also the word for pimp in Polish and Danish)
  • Fons (Dutch)
  • Funs (Dutch)
  • Alfo (Finnish)
  • Alhvo (Finnish)
  • Altto (Finnish)
  • Alphonse (French)
  • Afonso (Galician/Portuguese)
  • Alphons (German)
  • Alfonz (Hungarian)
  • Alfonzino (Italian)
  • Alfonso (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Alfonzo (Italian)
  • Alonzo (Italian)
  • Alphonsus (Late Latin)
  • Alfonss (Latvian)
  • Funske (Limbergish)
  • Alfonsas (Lithuanian)
  • Alonso (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Affonzu (Sicilian)
  • Arfansu/Arfanzu (Sicilian)
  • Alfonz (Slovak/Slovene)

Feminine forms include:

  • Alphonsine (French)
  • Alfonza (Hungarian)
  • Alfonzin (Hungarian) 
  • Alfonzina (Hungarian)
  • Alfonsa (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Alfonsina (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Alfonza (Italian)
  • Alfonzina (Italian)

Lionel

Gender: Masculine
Origin: French
Meaning: “lion”
Eng (LIE-e-NEL); Fre (LEE-oh-NEL)

Perhaps originally an old French diminutive form of Léon, the name is found in Arthurian legend as the name of one of the Knights of the Round Table.  Lionel is the son of King Bors and the brother of Evaine. When king Claudas kills Bors, Lionel and his brother are rescued by the Lady of the Lake and raised in her underwater kingdom.

Currently, Lionel is the 899th most popular male name in the United States, (2010).

Another form of the name is the Croatian and Spanish, Leonel. As of 2009 Leonel was the 55th most popular male name in Argentina.

The name is borne by Lionel Richie (b.1949)

 

Franco

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Italian

The name is a contracted form of Francesco and is commonly used as an independent given name, especially in among the Italian diaspora. It is currently the 8th most popular male name in Argentine, (2009), the 33rd most popular in Chile (2010) and the 838th most popular in the United States, (2010).

The name was in fact banned from usage in Argentina until recently due to its negative associations with the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.

A feminine form is Franca.

Bastian

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German

The name is a contracted form of Sebastian, originally used in Germany and the Netherlands, it is now used as an independent given name in several countries. It is currently the 17th most popular male name in Chile, (2010). His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 69 (France as Bastien, 2008)
  • # 76 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 208 (the Netherlands as Bastiaan, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Bastiaan (Dutch)
  • Bastien (French)
  • Boštjan (Slovene)

A French feminine form is Bastienne.

Hector

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “to have; to hold.”
Eng (HEK-ter); Sp (EK-tor)

The name is found in Greek mythology as the name of the son of Priam and Hecuba, a Trojan prince and a renowned warrior of Troy. After slaying Patroclus, Achilles murdered Hector and then dragged his body from his chariot for days.

In Ancient Greece and even in Medieval Europe, Hector was considered one of the greatest warriors to have ever lived. The Greek Armed Forces attribute their motto to him:

 “One omen is best: defending the fatherland”

The name is believed to be derived from the Greek verb ékhein meaning “to have, to hold.” In Aeolic poetry, Ékhtor was used as an epithet for Zeus, implying that he is the holder of all things.

The name is also found in Arthurian legend as the name of the foster father of King Arthur.

The name was fairly common in Europe during the Middle Ages, and among the Scottish Highlanders, it was traditionally used as an anglicized form of Eachann.

The name is currently very popular in Spanish-speaking countries, in Spain, he was the 31st most popular male name, (2010). His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 38 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 79 (Chile, 2010)
  • # 226 (United States, 2010)
  • # 317 (France, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Etor (Basque)
  • Hektor Хектор (Bulgarian/Croatian/Dutch/Finnish/German/Hungarian/Polish/Scandinavian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Hèctor (Catalan)
  • Hektór (Czech)
  • Hector (English/French/Latin/Romanian)
  • Hekhtori ჰექტორი (Georgian)
  • Hector (German)
  • Héktôr Ἕκτωρ (Greek: modern)
  • Eachtar (Irish)
  • Ettore (Italian/Maltese)
  • Hektors (Latvian)
  • Hektoras (Lithuanian)
  • Ektor (Polish)
  • Jaktor (Polish)
  • Jektor (Polish)
  • Heitor (Portuguese)
  • Gektor Гектор (Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Héctor (Spanish)
A popular Scots pet form is Heckie and an obscure Scottish feminine form is Hectorina. Italian female form is Ettorina.
Polish diminutive forms are Jaktorek and Jaktorko.

Joachim, Joaquin

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “Yahweh has established.”
Eng (JOKE-im); Sp (wah-KEEN)

The name is possibly derived from the Biblical Hebrew male name, Jehoiachin, which is found in the Old Testament as the name of king of Judah imprisoned during the Babylonian exile.

Joachim appears in the apocryphal Gospel of James as the name of the husband of St. Anne and the father of the Virgin Mary. In the Qu’ran the father of Mary is named Imran, though Joachim and Imran are not etymological related. The Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Anglican Church has traditionally revered this legendary character as a saint and as a result, the name became extremely popular across Europe, especially in Catholic countries.

The name was never very common in the English-speaking world but was occasionally used by Irish-Catholics and American-Catholics.

Currently Joachim is the 319th most popular male name in France, (2009) and the 496th most popular in the Netherlands (2010). Its Spanish form of Joaquin, however, ranks even higher in a couple of countries. His rankings are as follows:

  • # 5 (Chile, 2010)
  • # 99 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 306 (United States, 2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Iyakem (Amharic/Ethiopian)
  • Chuaquín (Aragonese)
  • Xuaco/Xuacu (Aragonese)
  • Jokin (Basque)
  • Chaosum (Breton)
  • Joasim (Breton)
  • Jechim (Breton)
  • Joasin (Breton)
  • Jaouas (Breton)
  • Yoakim Йоаким (Bulgarian)
  • Yakim Яким (Bulgarian)
  • Yokim Йоким (Bulgarian)
  • Joaquim (Catalan/Portuguese)
  • Quim (Catalan/Portuguese)
  • Ximo (Catalan/Valencian)
  • Youakim (Coptic/Syrian)
  • Jáchym (Czech)
  • Jokum (Danish)
  • Jochem (Dutch/German)
  • Aki (Finnish)
  • Jaakkima (Finnish)
  • Joachim (English/French/German/Hungarian/Polish)
  • Kim (Finnish/Scandinavian)
  • Kimi (Finnish)
  • Xaquín (Galician)
  • Xoaquin (Galician)
  • Xocas (Galician)
  • Ioa’kime იოაკიმე (Georgian)
  • Achim (German)
  • Jochen (German)
  • Jochim (German)
  • Jóakim (Icelandic)
  • Gioacchino/Gioachino (Italian)
  • Giovacchino (Italian)
  • Yoakima (Lingala)
  • Joakim Јоаким (Macedonian/Serbian/Scandinavian) 
  • Akimka (Maldovan)
  • Iacin (Murcian)
  • Juaqui (Murcian)
  • Quino (Murcian)
  • Ioachim (Romanian)
  • Giuachin (Romansch)
  • Akim АкимЯким (Russian)
  • Yakim (Russian)
  • Joaquín (Spanish)
  • Joakym Йоаким (Ukrainian)

Feminine forms include:

  • Gioacchina (Italian)
  • Gioachina (Italian)
  • Giovacchina (Italian)
  • Joachima (Polish)

 

Kevin

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Irish-Gaelic
Meaning: “kind, handsome, gentle; birth
Eng (KEV-in); Germ/Fre (keh-VEEN)

The name is an anglicization of the Irish Gaelic Caoimhín, which is derived from the Gaelic elements, cóem, meaning “kind, gentle, handsome” and gein meaning, “birth.”

In Ireland, the name was always popular due to the cult of an Irish Catholic saint of the same name. St. Kevin is attributed to establishing a monastery in Glendalough in the 6th-century and is considered the patron saint of Dublin.

The name was introduced into the English speaking world via Irish immigrants, starting in the 19th-century, however its usage outside the Irish community did not occur until well into the mid 20th-century.

Due to several famous American and British celebrities who have borne the name, it has become extremely popular in other countries. His rankings are as follows:

  • # 33 (Mexico, 2010)
  • # 35 (Hungary, 2009)
  • # 43 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 51 (Chile, 2010)
  • # 58 (United States, 2010)
  • # 65 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 67 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 79 (Catalonia, Spain, 2009)
  • # 97 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 100 (France, 2009)
  • # 115 (the Netherlands, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Caoimhín (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Coemgenus (Late Latin)
  • Cóemgein (Old Irish)
  • Kewin (Polish)
  • Cefin (Welsh)

The designated name-day is June 3.

Notable bearers include: American actors, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, Kevin Nealon, Kevin Sorbo and Kevin Spacey.

An obscure Scots feminization is Kevina.

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/php/find.php?name=kevin
  2. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/kevin?view=uk
  3. http://www.beliebte-vornamen.de/2009
  4. http://www.cso.ie/releasespublications/documents/births_d_m/current/babynames.pdf
  5. http://www.ine.es/en/daco/daco42/nombyapel/nombyapel_en.htm
  6. Barrow, Lennox. Glendalough and Saint Kevin. Dundalk: Dundalgan Press, 1972.
  7. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04092c.htm
  8. http://orthodoxwiki.org/Kevin_of_Glendalough
  9. http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-kevin-of-glendalough/