Amanda, Amandus

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “must be loved.”

If you are an 80s baby like myself, Amanda is just another run-of-the-mill, female name that was ever-present throughout high school and college.

Amanda is the name of your lab partner in chemistry, she is the head cheerleader, she might even be your best friend, or maybe its your own name.

In the United States, the name is ubiquitous among females between the ages of 35 and 16. Between 1976 and 1992, she ranked in the top 10. Today, her popularity has gone down to # 188, (2010). She is borne by a variety of young female celebrities. There is Mandy Moore (b.1984) and Amanda Bynes (b.1986) just to name a few. While I personally never got the chance to appreciate this name, I understand the appeal for the parent of the 1970s and 80s. She has a romantic quality about her, the same appeal as the Shakespearean Miranda, and while the latter often gets shortened to the tom-boyish Randy, Amanda is easily shortened to the more girlish Mandy. Poor Amanda has also spun off her own teasable play on words from “I need Amanda Love”  to “it’s a man, duh!”

Amanda is a Latin female gerundive verb meaning “to be loved”, the female form seems to have first appeared on a birth record from Warwickshire England in 1212.  Other than that, she was seldom heard of other than in plays and poems till the end of the 20th-century. It is the name of a character in Colley Cibber’s play Love’s Last Shift (1696).

There is a masculine form, Amandus, which is the name of two saints and is currently rising in popularity in Scandinavia. Amandus might make an interesting choice for the hipster parent looking to such names as Augustus and Atticus for inspiration.

As of 2011, Amanda was the 21st most popular female name in Finland. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 18 (Chile, 2010)
  • # 25 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 32 (Brazil, 2010)
  • # 52 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 53 (Hungary, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Amanta (Catalan)
  • Amandina (Corsican/Italian)
  • Amanda (Czech/Dutch/English/Estonian/Finnish/German/Hungarian/Icelandic/Italian/Latvian/Polish/Portuguese/Romanian/Scandinavian/Slovene/Spanish)
  • Manda (Estonian/Finnish/German/Hungarian/Scandinavian)
  • Mandy (English: occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Manja (Finnish)
  • Manta (Finnish)
  • Amande (French: also the French word for almond)
  • Amandine (French)
  • Mendi (Hungarian)
  • Amândia (Portuguese: obscure)

Male forms are:

  • Amand (German/Czech/Polish/Slovak)
  • Amandino (Italian)
  • Amando (Spanish/Italian)
  • Amândio (Portuguese: obscure)

Its designated name day in most countries is October 26. Common English nickname is Mandy. The nickname has been the subject of such songs as Barry Manilow’s Mandy and the 1919 rag-time by Irving Berlin.

Czech diminutives forms are Ama, Amka and Amaduška.


2 thoughts on “Amanda, Amandus

  1. I’ve also heard Amândia & Amândio, which I suppose are Portuguese derivatives of the name (both fairly rare/dated, though).

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