Thurstan, Torsten

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: “Thor’s stone.”
  • Gender: masculine

Both names are derived from the Old Norse male name, Þórsteinn, literally meaning “Thor’s stone.” The name is attested as early as the 5th-century in Medieval Scandinavia and appears in the Norse saga, Draumr Þorsteins Síðu-Hallssonar.

It was transported to England by Anglo-Saxon & Norse settlers, the Anglo-Saxon form being Thurstan, and remained prevalent even after the conquest of the Normans, who themselves also used the name due to their original Norse heritage. Thurstan was borne by an 11th-century Bishop of York. Thurstan is the progenitor of the English surnames Thurston and Dustin.

Torsten appeared in Germany’s Top 100 Most Popular Male Names between 1960 and 1978, and peaked at #6 between 1964-68. While Torstein was in and out of the Norwegian Top 100 Male Names between 1947-1991, peaking at #84 in 1948. It’s original Old Norse form of Þórsteinn ranked in at #46 in Iceland’s Top 100 Male Names in 2012.

Forms include:

  • Turstin (Anglo-Norman, French)
  • Thurstan (English)
  • Tórstein (Faroese)
  • Torstein, Thorstein (Faroese, Norwegian)
  • Toro, Torro (Finnish, Scandinavian)
  • Torste,Torsti (Finnish)
  • Toutain (French, archaic)
  • Torsten (German, Scandinavian)
  • Thorsten (German, Scandinavian)
  • Torstene, Torsteni (Greenlandic)
  • Þórsteinn (Icelandic, Old Norse)
  • Turstino (Italian, Spanish)
  • Turstanus, Tursteinus, Turstinus (Late Latin)
  • Twyste (Middle Low German)
  • Tostein (Norwegian)
  • Dorste (Sami)
  • Toste (Scandinavian)
  • Tosten, Thosten (Swedish, archaic)

Sources

Osborn, Espen, Asbjørn

Osborn and Asbjørn are both composed of the Norse elements áss (god) & bjǫrn (bear), essentially meaning “divine bear.” Osborn is the modern Anglo-Saxon equivalent of Osbeorn, the latter of which was prevalent in Anglo-Saxon England and survived into the Norman period as Osbern, later developing into the common English patronymic surnames of Osbourne & Osbourn. Its Scandinavian equivalents still survive today in the forms of Esben (Danish), Espen (Danish, Norwegian) and still Asbjørn (Norwegian); and Asbjörn & Esbjörn (Swedish).

Osbeorn was borne by the son of Siward of Northumbria (circ. 11th-century CE) and one of the fallen of the Battle of the Seven Sleepers in Scotland. It was also borne by Osbern de Crépon (circ. 11th-century CE), one of the stewards of the Duke of Normandy. There are several other famous Anglophone personages who bear it as a surname and forename.

Asbjørn appeared in the Norwegian Top 100 Male Names between between 1945 & 1967, it peaked at #35 in 1946-7, while Espen appeared in the Top 100 in Norway between 1957-2004, peaking at #8 in 1982.

The designated name-day for Asbjörn is May 10th in Sweden.

General Scandinavian diminutive forms used in all Norse countries are Ebbe, Bjarne & Bjarni.

Short forms in English include Oz(z), Ozzie & Ozzy.

Other forms include:

  • Osbeorn (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Esbern (Danish, Faroese)
  • Asbjørn (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Esben, Espen (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Ausburn (English)
  • Osbourn (English)
  • Osbern (French, archaic)
  • Auber (French, archaic)
  • Ásbjörn (Icelandic)
  • Osberno (Italian)
  • Sberno (Italian)
  • Ásbjǫrn (Old Norse)
  • Asbjörn/Esbjörn (Swedish)

Sources

Richilde, Richelle

Richilde, Countess of Hainault

The Germanic name, Richilde, is most often heard under the guise of the Mid-century sounding Richelle in the Anglophone world.

Richilde was borne by the 2nd wife of Charles the Bald (9th-century CE) who was inturn deemed consort and Empress of the Franks, and it was also borne by the 11th-century Richilde of Hainault, consort of Flanders.

The 13th-century Richeza of Poland is recorded as Richilde in some history texts, but it seems Richeza has a separate etymology.

Richilde is composed of the Old Germanic elements, ric (rich) & hiltja (battle). It was particularly common in Norman England; the earliest incarnation of it’s more modern sounding Richelle is recorded in 13th-century England as Richell.

In modern French, richelle is also the word for neapolitan wheat and is also a French surname which may likely be a matrynomic based on the aforementioned Richilde.

Richelle appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1963 and 1991, most likely influenced by the popularity of the name Michelle, and peaked at #603 in 1972.

L’Insee, the French statistical office, has recorded 8 Richelles born in France since 1991, but these statistics only go so far as back as 1900. In any event, the Richelle form is recorded in several medieval French records.

The name is borne by American fantasy author, Richelle Mead (b.1976).

Other forms include:

  • Rikilda (Anglo-Norman)
  • Richell (Anglo-Norman, Medieval French)
  • Ricolda (Anglo-Norman)
  • Richolda (Anglo-Norman)
  • Riquilda (Catalan, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Richelle (Dutch, English, French)
  • Richilde (Dutch, English, French, German, Italian)
  • Richeut (French: archaic)
  • Richelda (Italian)
  • Richildes, Richildis (Late Latin)
  • Rikilla (Late Latin)

Sources

Amabel, Amabilis, Mabel

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Amabilis is a Late Latin unisex name derived from the Latin word for “lovable.” It was used throughout Medieval Western Europe on both males and females, and was borne by a St. Amabilis of Riom (a 5th-century male French saint known in his native language as Amable) and St. Amabilis of Rouen, a 7th-century female French saint.

Amable, Amabel, Mabel have been used exclusively on females in England since Medieval times and was introduced by the Anglo-Normans in the 11th-century. They have gone in and out of popularity since the 11th-century, especially Mabel.

Between 1880-1922, Mabel was among the top 100 most popular female names, peaking at #15 in 1891 and is currently the 435th most popular female name (2018).

In England & Wales, Mabel is currently the 104th most popular female name (2018).

in Ireland, it was often used as an anglicized form of Maeve and it is often speculated that Annabel is an offshoot.

Mabel is the name of a character in C.M. Yonge’s 1854 novel, The Heir of Radclyffe.

Mabel is also used in Dutch, Czech & Slovak, Galician, German & Spanish.

It was borne by several early Anglo-Norman countesses and other notable bearers include: 13th-century English embroiderer, Mable of Bury St. Edmund; Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau (b. 1968); and British pop-singer Mabel (b. 1996).

Other forms include:

  • Amabel, Amabil, Amiable (Anglo-Norman, English)
  • Mabinka, Mejbl (Czech, Slovak)
  • Mabella, Mabelle, Mable, Maybelline (English)
  • Amabilie, Mabile, Mabilie (French, archaic)
  • Mábel (Hungarian)
  • Amabilia (Italian, Late Latin, Swedish)
  • Mabilia (Italian, Late Latin, English)

Amable & Aimable are male names in France, while Amabile is an Italian unisex form. Caradec or Karadeg are Breton masculine forms that is directly translated from the Latin.


Sources

Rudy, Rudolph, Rolf

200px-Rudolf_IV


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “famous wolf.”
  • Gender: Masculine

The name is derived from the Germanic Hrodulf, which is composed of the elements hrod (fame) and wulf (wolf). The name was borne by several European rulers.

In England, it has been in use since Anglo-Saxon times, its Anglo-Saxon form of Hroðulf was usurped by the Norman Rudolph and Rodolph in the 11th-century.

In the English-speaking world, the name has come to be associated with the Christmas folk hero, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, based on a children’s book written by Robert L. May in 1939.

Rudolf appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1887-1932, and peaked at # 715 in 1916. He appeared 3 times in the French Top 1000 in 1914, 1931 and again in 1933, peaking at #454 in 1934. He was in the German Top 20 between 1893 and 1936, peaking at #11 in 1899 and in 1916.

In France, it’s native form of Rodolphe appeared in the Top 1000 between 1900 and 2001 and peaked at #79 in 1970.

Its contracted form of Rolf has been in occasional use in England since the 11th-century. It was a favorite in German-speaking countries in the 1920s-50s, peaking at #11 in 1947. In Norway, it peaked at #14 in 1945. Rolf has also appeared in the American and French charts, though not very high. Rolf peaked at #210 in France in 1943 and #772 in 1960 in the U.S.

It his diminutive form of Rudy, often used as an independent given-name, is the one which has gained some traction in recent years. Rudy appeared in the French Top 100 between 1979-1984, and peaked at #76 in 1980. Rudy’s current rankings in the popularity charts are as follows:

  • #271 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #822 (U.S.A., 2018)

Rudolf is used in Albanian, Armenian, Czech-Slovak, Dutch, Hungarian, Icelandic, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene, the Scandinavian languages and Russian.

Other forms include:

  • Hroðulf, Hrothulf (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Roel, Roelof, Ruud (Dutch)
  • Rodolf (Catalan)
  • Rolph (English)
  • Rudo, Ruudo, Ruudolf (Estonian)
  • Róðolvur (Faroese)
  • Ruuto, Ruutolffi, Ruutolhvi, Ruutolppi (Finnish)
  • Rodolphe (French)
  • Roele, Roelef, Roelf, Rolef, Rolof, Roloff, Roluf, Roolof (Frisian)
  • Rudolp რუდოლფ (Georgian)
  • Roff (German)
  • Rudi (German, Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian)
  • Rudo (German)
  • Rul (German)
  • Rûtulfe, Ruutuulfi (Greenlandic)
  • Rhodólphos Ροδόλφος (Greek)
  • Rúdólf (Icelandic)
  • Rodolfino (Italian)
  • Rodolfo (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Ridolfo (Italian)
  • Rudolphus (Latin)
  • Rūdolfs, Rūdis (Latvian)
  • Rudolfas, Rudas (Lithuanian)
  • Doffen (Norwegian)
  • Roffe (Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Hróðólfr, Hrólfr (Old Norse)
  • Rudulf (Polish, archaic)
  • Duff, Dusch, Riedi, Ruosch (Romansch)
  • Ruedi (Swiss-German, diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent form)

Feminine forms include:

  • Rudolfia (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Rodolphine (French)
  • Rudolfine (German, Scandinavian)
  • Rodolfa, Rodolfina (Italian, Spanish)
  • Rodolfetta (Italian)
  • Rudolfa (Polish, Scandinavian)
  • Rudolfina (Hungarian, Polish, Scandinavian)

Sources

Sephora, Zipporah

Zipporah


Zipporah is derived from the Hebrew צִפוֹרָה, Tsippōrāh, “bird.” It is the name of the wife of Moses in the Book of Exodus. The name was often transliterated from the Greek as Sephora.

Pronounced ZIP-pe-ruh in English (kind of rhymes with Deborah), it was first used by Protestant non-Jews in the English speaking world in the 16th-century. Both Zipporah but more often Sephora were occasionally used in 16th-century England and Colonial America.

Zipporah has always been a popular name in the Jewish diaspora, which has spun-off some colourful offshoots. A favorite among Ashkenazi Jews since Medieval Times, it is the inspiration of the Yiddish name, Faigel, which is from the Yiddish פֿויגל (foigl) meaning “bird.” Pre-Yiddish Knaanic Jews of Slavic lands, particularly in Poland used Sójka (blue jay) as a vernacular form. Due to its similar sound, European-Jews also used Cypriana as a form of Zipporah though the names have no etymological relation.

The name of the cosmetic store was named in reference to Moses’ wife.

Other forms include:

  • Safura, Safrawah صفورا (Arabic)
  • Səfurə (Azeri)
  • Zipora (Breton, German)
  • Sèfora (Catalan)
  • Sipóra (Czech)
  • Sippora (Dutch, Finnish, Scandinavian)
  • Séphora, Zéphora (French)
  • Zippora (German)
  • Sepphora Σεπφώρα (Biblical Greek)
  • Tziporah, Tziporrah צִפּוֹרָה (Modern Hebrew)
  • Cipora, Cippóra (Hungarian)
  • Sefora (Italian)
  • Chipora (Judeo Anglo-Norman)
  • Cipiora, Çapora (Ladino)
  • Seffora (Latin)
  • Ṣaffūrah (Malay)
  • Cippora, Cyppora, Sefora (Polish)
  • Séfora (Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Zípora (Portuguese)
  • Sepfora Сепфора επφώρα (Russian, Modern Greek)
  • Zipóra (Spanish)
  • Cypojra, Cypra (Polish-Yiddish)
  • Bayerle (Medieval Judeo-German)
  • Beverlin, Beverle, Böverle, Böverlin (Medieval Judeo-German)
  • Paye, Payerlayn, Payerl, Payerle, Payerlin (Medieval Judeo-German)
  • Pura, Pure, Purlin (Yiddish)
  • Tsipere, Tsipoyre, Tsipure, Tsipor, Tsipur (Yiddish)
  • Tsiporlin (Yiddish)

Popular diminutive forms are Zippy and Tsipi

Sources

Albert, Alberta

Prince_Albert_-_Franz_Xaver_Winterhalter_1842


Albert is a Norman contracted form of Adalbert that was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Though there is an Anglo-Saxon form of Æðelberht, it was completely usurped by its Norman version.

The name fell out of use in England by the end of the 13th-century but was revived in the 19th-century when Queen Victoria of England chose a German prince by the name of Albert to be her husband. Speaking of which, Albert was a much-loved name among German royalty.

Between 1880-1967, Albert remained in the Top 100 Most Popular Male Names. He peaked at #14 in 1910. As of 2018, he currently ranks in as the 452nd Most Popular Male Name.

Albert is currently quite popular in Europe. These are his rankings in the following countries:

  • #37 (Denmark, 2018)
  • #55 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #84 (Norway, 2018)
  • #422 (Netherlands, 2018)

Albert is used in Albanian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Slovenian & Ukrainian.

Other forms include:

  • Alberzh (Breton)
  • Aalt (Dutch)
  • Aalbert (Dutch)
  • Aalbertus (Dutch)
  • Aelbrecht (Dutch)
  • Albercht (Dutch)
  • Alberd (Dutch)
  • Albertus (Dutch, Late Latin)
  • Appe (Dutch)
  • Brecht (Dutch)
  • Elbert (Dutch, German)
  • Ethelbert (English)
  • Alpertti (Finnish)
  • Albertin (French)
  • Aubert (French)
  • Aubertin (French)
  • Abbe, Abe (Frisian)
  • Ailbeart (Gaelic)
  • Alberte (Galician)
  • Albertos (Galician)
  • Alberti ალბერტი (Georgian)
  • Albrecht (German)
  • Albertinello (Italian)
  • Albertino (Italian)
  • Alberto (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Alperto (Italian)
  • Ulberto, Ulperto (Italian)
  • Albaer (Limburgish)
  • Baer, Bèr (Limburgish)
  • Alberts (Latvian)
  • Albertas (Lithuanian)
  • Albertet (Occitanian)
  • Olbracht (Polish)

Its feminine for of Alberta was borne by Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848-1939), daughter of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert. The Canadian province was named in her honour.

Alberta is used in Albanian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish & Ukrainian.

Alberte is currently the 12th Most Popular Female Name in Denmark. Alberte (ahl-BARE-teh) is also used in French, but pronounced differently from its Danish counterpart (AHL-BAIRT). Other feminine forms include:

  • Alberthe, Albertha (Danish, Swedish)
  • Albertina (Dutch, German, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Brechtje (Dutch)
  • Bertina (English, Hungarian, Italian)
  • Albertine (French, German, Danish, Norwegian)
  • Auberte (French)
  • Aubertine (French)
  • Bertine (French)
  • Abelke (Frisian)
  • Albertin (Hungarian)

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

Diamond

DiamondBelieve it or not, Diamond is a legitimate name, it has been in use as a female given name across Europe since at least early Medieval Times, and it also has its slew of masculine forms.

The name ultimately comes from the Ancient Greek ἀδάμας adámas, meaning “unbreakable,” “proper,” or “unalterable.” It has been used among the Greeks in the form of Adamantine (f) and Adamantos (m) since Ancient Times. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed if worn, the diamond was a ward against evil.

In 13th-century England, there are records for women named Diamanda (the vernacular for most likely being the Anglo-Norman, Diamant). Its usage seemed to have died out by the 15th-century, but was revived once again during the Victorian Era.

In Italy, Diamante was a popular female name between the 13th and 18th-centuries. Notable examples include the Italian poet, Diamante Medaglia Faini (1724-1770) and Italian opera singer, Diamante Maria Scarabelli (1675-1725).

And of course, there is the traditional Arabic female name of Almas (diamond), which has been used across the Islamic world for centuries.

In the United States, Diamond appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 2000 and 2014 and peaked at #162 in 2000.

Other forms include:

  • Diamant (Anglo-Norman)
  • Almast Ալմաստ (Armenian)
  • Admantia Αδαμαντία (Greek)
  • Admantine (Greek/French)
  • Diamantō Διαμαντω (Greek)
  • Almas (Arabic)
  • Intan (Indonesian)
  • Diamanda (Late Latin)
  • Adamantis (Latin)
  • Diamantina Διαμαντινα (Greek/Italian)
  • Deimantė (Lithuanian)
  • Elmas (Turkish)

Masculine forms

  • Adamantios Αδαμάντιος (Greek)
  • Diamantino (Italian)
  • Adamantius (Latin)
  • Deimantas (Lithuanian)

Sources

Aveline

AvelineOrigin: French
Meaning: “hazelnut”
Gender: Feminine
Fre. (AH-ve-LEEN; Eng. (AVE-e-LINE)

The name is most likely from the old French word for hazelnut, though other sources contend it is a Medieval diminutive form of Ava . The name was introduced into England by the Anglo-Norman in the 11th-century. A notable bearer was Aveline de Forz (1259-1274).

Over the centuries, the name has spun off as a surname, denoting someone who is descended from a woman named “Aveline.”

In contemporary France, it is the name of the eponymous heroine from the French comic strip, La Fée Aveline (Aveline, the fairy) by René Goscinny.

Another form is:

  • Avelina Авели́на (German/Italian/Russian/Spanish).

Sources