About Sebastiane

I am an aspiring writer and artist who loves to pull inspiration from the Lives of the Saints, mythology, folklore, the paranormal and religion. I am also interested in writing about the etymology and meaning of names. If you have any questions or names which you would like to see listed, please leave comments and I will do my research.

Tasnim, Tasneem

TasnimOrigin: Arabic تَسْنِيْم
Meaning: “falling water”
Gender: Unisex
(tus-NEEM)

The name is derived from the Arabic meaning “falling water,” and according to Islamic tradition, this is the name of a river in Paradise.

Tasnim is currently the 301st most popular female name in France (2016).

The name is also used on males.

Sources

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Dania, Danya

DanyaThis name can have several origins and meanings. Spelled Dania it is a Polish diminutive name, which could be short for Daniela or Danuta. In Italian, Dania is also used as a diminutive form of Daniela, but is often used as an independent given name. In Russian, the name is a unisex diminutive form of Danil or Danila, the equivalent of Danny in English.

Dania is also the Latin name for Denmark and has occasionally been used as a given-name in Denmark and other Scandinavian countries. Dania Beach is the name of a city in Florida, which was named in honour of its predominately Danish residents.

Dania دانية is also an Arabic female name, derived from the root d-n-a, meaning “close; near.”

Danya דַּנְיָה, sometimes transliterated as Dania, is a popular female name in Israel, used as a modern feminine form of Dan, it is probably an import from Polish and Russian immigrants from when it was in use as a diminutive form of one of the above mentioned names.

In the United States, Dania appeared in the U.S. top 1000 between 1996 and 2010 and peaked at #764 in 1996.

Regardless of origin, use, and spelling, the name is pronounced (DAHN-yah) in all of the aforementioned languages.

Below is a list of other forms and languages of use:

  • Dania (Arabic/Danish/Faroese/Hebrew/Italian/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Danja (Danish/Swedish)
  • Danía (Icelandic)
  • Danit (Hebrew)
  • Danya (Hebrew)

Note in Poland and Russia, Dania is used as exclusively as a diminutive form of one of the above mentioned names.

Sources

Evander

Evander

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “good man”
Gender: Masculine
(ee-VAN-der)

The name is composed of the Greek elements, Greek ευ (eu) meaning “good” and ανηρ (aner, genetive) “man.” It was borne in Roman Mythology by an Arcadian hero who is credited for founding the city of Pallatium and also introducing the alphabet, the Greek religion and laws to the Italian peninsula. It was also borne by a 2nd-3rd-century BCE Greek Philosopher and 1st-Century CE Greek Sculptor.

In Scotland, Evander was adopted as the anglicized form of the Gaelic male name, Iomhair (EE-vor), though an English form (Ivor) already existed and neither Evander or Ivor are really related.

A notable contemporary bearer is American boxer, Evander Holyfield (b.1962).

In the United States, the name only made an appearance in the U.S. Top 1000 one time in 1895, coming in as the 872nd most popular male name.

Short forms include: Evan, Van, and Vandy.

Other forms include:

  • Evandre (Catalan)
  • Evànder (Catalan)
  • Evander (Danish/Dutch/German/English/Hungarian/Norwegian/Portuguese/Swedish)
  • Évandre (French)
  • Euandros (Original Greek form)
  • Evandro (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Euander (Latin)
  • Evandrus (Latin)
  • Ewander (Polish)

A feminine form is Evandra.
Sources

Sahasra

SahasraOrigin: Sanskrit
Meaning: “a thousand; infinite.”
Gender: Feminine
(suh-HAHS-rah)

The name is derived from the Sanskrit सहस्र (sahasra), which means “a thousand” or “infinite.” The name has the euphemism of “new beginnings.”

In India and Nepal, the Sahasra purna chandrodayam (the Celebration of 1000 Moons) is a festival that honours people who have made it to their 81st birthday (or 1000th moon).

The Sahasra Bahu Temple (the Temple of a thousand arms) is the name of an ancient temple in Rasjasthan, India, which honours Vishnu. Sahasra Banu (a thousand arms) is an epithet for the god Vishnu.

Sources

Manha

ManhaOrigin: Arabic
Meaning: “direction; path; tendency; trend; approach”
Gender: Feminine
(MUN-hah)

The name comes directly from the Arabic word مَنْحًى  (manhaa) meaning “direction; path; tendency; trend; approach.”

Manha appeared in the Top 500 Most popular female names in England and Wales between 2012 and 2013, peaking at #442.

Sources

Gareth

GarethOrigin: debated
Meaning: debated
Gender: Masculine
(GARE-eth)

The name first makes an appearance in Sir. Thomas Le Mort D’Arthur (c.1485) as the name of one of the knights of the Round Table. Malory is said to have based the name on Gahariet, which is the name of a knight in the French version of the King Arthur mythos. It is believed by most sources that the name has a Welsh origin and might be related to Geraint (a Welsh form of the Greek Gerontius meaning “old man); or the Welsh word gwaredd (gentleness; kindness). Other sources have connected it with the Welsh word gwyhrt (worth; value), and it has also been suggested to be Franconized form of the Welsh male name, Gwoerydd (Lord of grass; Lord of Hay). The name may not have any Welsh origins at all, the name Garret/Garet have appeared in use in France and Spain since the 7th-century, both names are an early diminutive form of Gerald or Gerard.

In England and Wales, the name appeared in the Top 500 between 1996 and 2005, peaking at #117 in 1996. In Northern Ireland, Gareth cracked into the Top 100 between 2001 and 2003, peaking at #87 in 2001.

Short forms are Gary and Gaz.

Sources

Archibald

ArchibaldOrigin: Germanic
Meaning: “genuine bold”
Gender: Masculine
(AR-che-BALD)

The name is composed of the Old Germanic elements ercan (genuine) and bald (bold). The name has been in use in England since Anglo-Saxon times, its earlier predecessor being the Anglo-Saxon Eorcenbald before being upstaged by the Anglo-Norman Archibald.

Eorcenbald was born by a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon bishop of Wessex, while Erkanbald was borne by a 9th-century bishop of Strasbourg.

By the time of the Normans, the first element of Archibald, Archie, was often associated with the Greek archos αρχος, meaning “master.”

Starting in Medieval times, Archibald became a popular choice among Scottish aristocracy.

In the United States, Archibald appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1880 and 1925 and peaked at #279 in 1890. In the UK, Archibald is currently the 477th most popular male name (2016).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Eorcenbald (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Archibald (Catalan/English/German/Polish)
  • Archambaud/Archambaut/Archimbaud (French)
  • Archambault/Archimbald (French)
  • Archambeau (French)
  • Arcambald/Arcambold (German)
  • Erkanbald/Erchanbald (German)
  • Arcibaldo (Italian)
  • Arcimbaldo/Archimbaldo (Italian)
  • Archibaldo (Italian/Spanish)
  • Archibaldus (Late Latin)
  • Archambałt (Polish)
  • Archambuł (Polish)
  • Erchembod (Polish)
  • Erkinbold (Polish)

Common English diminutive forms include: Archie and Baldie.

A Scottish feminine form is Archina.

Sources

Amaia, Amaya

AmayaOrigin: Basque
Meaning: “mother city; the end”
Gender: Feminine
(ah-MYE-ah)

Amaya is the name of a village in Castille-Léon, Spain. It is believed to be from the Basque meaning “mother city” or is perhaps related to the Basque Amaia (the end). The name is often hispanicized as Amaya and is also a common Spanish surname of the same origin. In history, the village of Amaya played a key role in the Roman conquest of Hispania and later among the Visigoths. As a given name, the name was popularized by  the Spanish novel Amaya o los vascos en el siglo VIII (Amaya, or the Basques in the 8th century) by Francisco Navarro-Villoslada (1879). Amaya is the name of the main heroin in the novel. The book later inspired a Spanish opera, Amaya (1920) by Jesús Guridi.

Alternately, Amaya has been listed as a Japanese female name meaning “night rain.” There seems to be a debate regarding the actual existence of this name’s use in Japan. I was unable to verify if Amaya is in fact a truly Japanese name, but many sites list Amaya as composition of the kanji characters 雨 = ama, 夜 = ya (hence: night rain). Amaya may be a newly invented manga name that has only recently come into use in Japan, though there are several well-known Japanese people who have this is as a surname. If any of my readers have any more details regarding its use as a female given-name in Japan, please come forward.

In the English-speaking world, Amaya has recently risen up the charts. In the United States, it is currently the 204th most popular female (2016) and in the UK, the 159th most popular.

In the US, the name seems to have gone up and down since 2000. It peaked at #181 in 2003. Its alternate American spelling of Amayah currently ranks in at #980. Amaia on the other hand has yet to make an appearance in the charts.

In the Netherlands, Amaya currently ranks in as the 393rd most popular female name (2016).

In France, the name has had some minor use among people of Basque descent.

In English, possible short forms include: Amy, Maia and Maya.

Sources

Nova

NovaOrigin: Latin
Meaning: “new”
Gender: Feminine
(NOH-vah)

The name comes directly from the Latin word nova (new). As a given-name, it has been used in Scandinavia, Hungary, France, Quebec, and England since at least the 18th-century. It became even more widespread in the 19th-century. Its use as a given-name in Scandinavia may have been kicked off by Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) when he first described the various types of stars known as novas.

Several baby name sites have listed this name as unisex, though possible, I cannot find any historical records indicating this name was ever used on males. Perhaps this confusion stems from its similarity to the male name Noah.

Nova also occurs as a place name of numerous locations throughout the Western World.

In the United States, the name entered the U.S. Top 1000 in 2011 and has risen exponentially since. As of 2016, Nova was the 136th most popular female name, jumping several hundred spots since its inception in 2011 when it was the 886th most popular female name. In the Netherlands and Sweden, it is among the most popular female names, ranking in at #23 (Netherlands, 2017) and #31 (Sweden 2017).

In the UK, Nova was the 400th most popular female name (2016).

Other forms include:

  • Noova (Greenladic)
  • Nowa (Swedish)

Sources

Zara

ZaraThe name has recently become a success in several countries, from England to Turkey, it has several possible derivatives and meanings.

Its English use may have been inspired by the Voltaire play, Zara (1732) (Zaïre in French) which may have been a French corruption of the Arabic female name, Zahra. The play recounts the exploits of a Christian woman named Zara or Zaïre, who is enslaved by Muslims. The name became extremely popular in the U.K. after Princess Anne chose this name for her daughter, Zara Phillips (b.1981).

Alternately, the name has recently become popular in many Slavic countries. It is probably a borrowing from the Bulgarian hypochoristic form of Zaharina (a feminine form of Zachary) or it may be from an Old Slavonic element, žar (fervor, ardor, ember).

Zara currently ranks in several countries’ top female names. Her rankings across the world are as follows:

  • #11 (Malaysia, 2016)
  • #22 (Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2016)
  • #23 (Australia, 2017)
  • #38 (New Zealand, 2016)
  • #40 (Scotland, 2016)
  • #46 (Slovenia, 2016)
  • #56 (Ireland, 2016)
  • #68 (England/Wales, 2016)
  • #197 (Netherlands, 2016)
  • #318 (United States, 2016)

Zara is also the name of a clothing store.

Sources