ArchibaldOrigin: Germanic
Meaning: “genuine bold”
Gender: Masculine

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.


Rigobert, Rigoberto

RigobertOrigin: Germanic
Meaning: “bright ruler”
Gender: Masculine

The name derives from the Old High German, Ricbert, which is composed of the elements, rik (ruler) and behrt (bright).

Rigobert was borne by a late 7th-century Benedictine monk who succeeded St. Rieul as Bishop of Rheims.

Its Spanish and Italian form of Rigoberto is fairly common among Hispanic communities in the United States. It has appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 2000-2009 and peaked at #633 in 2001.

Other forms include:

  • Ricbehrt (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Rigobert (Czech/Dutch/German/French/Hungarian)
  • Ricbert (Dutch)
  • Richbert (German)
  • Ricbraht (German)
  • Ricpert (German)
  • Ricoberto (Italian)
  • Rigoberto (Italian/Spanish)
  • Ricobertus (Late Latin)
  • Rygobert (Polish)
  • Ribert (Swedish)

A French and Spanish short form is Rigo.



DARWINGender: Masculine
Origin: Anglo-Saxon
Meaning: “wild friend; wild animal friend.”

The name is a modern English form of the Anglo-Saxon Déorwin which means “wild friend” or “dear friend.” The name fell out of use by the Anglo-Norman period, but survived as a surname, a notable bearer being the English naturalist and writer, Charles Darwin (1806-1882). It is also the name of a city in Australia.

Deorwin is the name of a character who is mentioned briefly in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. Another form is Derwin.

In the United States, Darwin appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 2001 and 2016 and peaked in 2010 at #734.


New Year, New Names

new-year-2018-eve-greetingTo help usher in the New Year, here are some baby names that mean “new” or have some sort of association with the New Year.


  • Arata “new; fresh” (Japanese)
  • Athanaric “year of power” (Old German)
  • Gēar “year” (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Navin “new” (Sanskrit)
  • Neo “new” (Greek)
  • Primo “first” (Italian)
  • Ro’y “year” (Guarani)
  • Silvester/Sylvester, used as the term for New Year’s Day in many European countries as this was the feast of St. Sylvester


  • Dagny “new day” (Old Norse)
  • Estraine “new year” (Anglo-Norman)
  • Gabonzahar “New Year’s Eve (Basque)
  • Mara “year” (Aymara)
  • Nova “new” (Latin)
  • Novella “little new one” (Latin)
  • Oighrigh “new speckled one” (Gaelic) pronounced OY-rik
  • Prima “first” (Italian)
  • Nochevieja “New Year’s Eve” (Spanish)
  • Noitevella “New Year’s Eve” (Galician)
  • Renef “New year” (Anglo-Norman)
  • Réveillon “New Year’s Eve” (French)
  • Silvestra/Sylvestra, used as the term for New Year’s Day in many European countries as this was the feast of St. Sylvester

Bede, Bode, Bodo

220px-The_Venerable_Bede_translates_John_1902.jpgBodo is an Old German name that might either come from the Germanic element, bodo (lord, commander) or the Old German boto (messenger). The latter became bod (messenger) or boda (messenger, angel) in Anglo-Saxon.

In Anglo-Saxon England, the name spun off into Beda and in modern English became Bede.

Alternately, Bede has also been claimed to actually come from the Anglo-Saxon bed (prayer).

Saint Bede the Venerable (8th-century) was an English monk who was made Doctor of the Church and is most famous for writing Ecclesiastical History of the English People. He is known as the Father of English History.

Bodo was the name of a famous 9th-century German Christian who converted to Judaism and assumed the name Eleazer.

Bode is an English and Danish form.

Bode has been in and out of the U.S. Top 1000 since 2006 and is currently the 994th most popular male name (2016).

A notable bearer is American skier, Bode Miller (b. 1977).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Beda (Anglo-Saxon, German)
  • Bède (French)
  • Bode (Danish, English)
  • Bodhe (Swedish)
  • Boto (German)
  • Botho (German)
  • Budhi (Swedish)
  • Buði (Old Norse)



Gender: Feminine
Origin: Old Norse
Meaning “lady; mistress”

The name is derived from the proto-Germanic word, *frawjōn, which designates a woman of noble birth. The modern German word of Frau is a modern cognate. Many scholars argue whether Freya was originally the name of the goddess or a title used in reference to her; it has even been suggested that the goddess had an actual given that has been lost to history.

In Norse mythology, Freya was believed to be the most beautiful goddesses ever created. Scholars believe that Freya was essentially a fertility goddess who assisted in the growth of wildlife, agriculture and human reproduction; along with birth and life, she was also associated with death. In Norse legend, it was Freya who received half the slain warriors into her heavenly hall.

She is often times the subject of the poetic eddas along with her numerous epithets, which are as follows:

  • Vanadis (beautiful goddess)
  • Mardoll (sea bright)
  • Horn (flaxen)
  • Gefn (the giver)
  • Syr (sow) which illustrates Freya’s association with pigs and fertility.

Today the name has survived in modern Germanic lexicons; the English word Friday means “Freya’s day” likewise the same in German with Freitag; the Danish/Swedish/Norwegian Fredag and the Dutch Vrijdag.

There are a few plants named for the goddess, such as Freyja‘ Hair and Freyja’s Tears, and the chemical Vanadium is derived from her epithet, Vanadis.

Today, Freya, and its alternate forms are still very common throughout Scandinavia and she even appears in the British top 100. Her rankings are as follows:

  • # 8 (Freja, Denmark, 2010)
  • # 19 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 19 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 41 (Freja, Sweden, 2010)
  • # 53 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 61 (Ireland, 2010)

Other forms include:

  • Frea (Anglo-Saxon/Lombard)
  • Fröe (Danish: obscure form)
  • Freya (English/Modern German/Dutch)
  • Froya (Faroese)
  • Freija (Finnish)
  • Frya/Frija (Frisian)
  • Freja (German/Scandinavian)
  • Fráujo (Gothic)
  • Frėja (Lithuanian)
  • Frieja (Low Saxon)
  • Frøya (Norwegian)
  • Freyja (Old Norse/Icelandic)
  • Frīa/Frija (Old High German)
  • Frowa (Old High German)
  • Fröa (Swedish: very obscure form)
  • Fröja (Swedish: very obscure form)
The designated name-day in Sweden is January 23rd.


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Anglo-Saxon
Meaning: “wealthy guardian.”
Eng (ED-werd; ED-word)

The name is composed of the Anglo-Saxon elements, ead (rich; waelthy) and weard (guard). Due to the popularity of St. Edward the Confessor, the name was one of the few Anglo-Saxon names to have survived the Norman Conquest and to have spread to non-Anglo-Saxon countries.

The name has remained common in the British Royal Family.

As of 2010, Edward was the 43rd most popular male name in England/Wales. His rankings in other countries, in his various forms, are as follows:

  • # 3 (Eetu, Finland, 2011)
  • # 20 (Duarte, Portugal, 2010)
  • # 21 (Eduard, Romania, 2009)
  • # 28 (Edoardo, Italy, 2010)
  • # 61 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 72 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 79 (Eduardo, Spain, 2010)
  • # 94 (Eduard, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 97 (Edvard, Norway, 2010)
  • # 136 (United States, 2010)
  • # 153 (Eduardo, United States, 2010)
  • # 169 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 226 (Édouard, France, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Eduard Էդվարդ Эдуард ედუარდ Эдуард Едуард (Afrikaans/Albanian/Armenian/Belarusian/Bosnian/Catalan/Croatian/Czech/Dutch/Estonian/Georgian/German/Romanian/Romansch/Russian/Slovak/Ukrainian)
  • Ēadƿeard (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Idward إدوارد (Arabic: used primarily among Christians)
  • Edorta (Basque)
  • Edvard Эдвард Эдвард Едвард (Belarusian/Czech/Faroese/Finnish/Russian/Scandinavian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Edouarzh (Breton)
  • Eduardu (Corsican/Sardinian)
  • Edward (English/German/Polish)
  • Eetu (Finnish)
  • Eetvartti (Finnish)
  • Etuate (Fijian)
  • Édouard (French)
  • Edo (Frisian)
  • Edzard (Frisian)
  • Eide (Frisian/Plattdeutsch)
  • Eido (Frisian)
  • Eduardos Εδουάρδος (Greek)
  • Ekewaka (Hawaiian)
  • Eduárd (Hungarian)
  • Edvárd (Hungarian)
  • Eðvarð(ur) (Icelandic)
  • Játvarður (Icelandic)
  • Éadbhard (Irish)
  • Éamonn (Irish)
  • Edoardo (Italian)
  • Eduardo (Italian/Spanish/Portuguese)
  • Odoardo (Italian: Tuscan)
  • Eduards (Latvian)
  • Edvards (Latvian)
  • Eduardas (Lithuanian)
  • Edvardas (Lithuanian)
  • Eruera (Maori)
  • Dwardu (Maltese)
  • Duarte (Portuguese)
  • Eideard (Scottish)
  • Eudard (Scottish)
Common diminutives include:
  • Edi (Albanian/Bosnian/Croatian/Slovene/Spanish)
  • Ed (Dutch/English/German/Scandinavian)
  • Eddie (English/German/Scandinavian)
  • Ned (English)
  • Ted (English)
  • Teddy (English)
  • Edek (Polish)
  • Dadu (Portuguese)
  • Du (Portuguese)
  • Edu (Portuguese)
  • Lalo (Spanish)
In recent years, especially in the United States, the name has possibly risen in popularity due to the Twilight Series, in which one of the protagonists is named Edward.
There are a few feminine forms, namely the Spanish and Italian, Eduarda, which I shall save for another post.


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Anglo-Saxon
Meaning: “sun gift”
Sunniva: (sun-NEE-vah); (SUN-nih-vuh); Synnove (sewn-NEW-veh) the Y is like a French U and the umlauted O is like the French eu.

The name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon name, Sungifu, which is composed of the elements sun meaning, “sun” and gifu meaning, “gift.”

The name was attributed to an Irish princess and saint in the 1170 Norwegian work, (written in Latin), Acta sanctorum in Selio.

The book recounts the legend of St. Sunniva, who fled her native homeland in order to escape the advances of an unwanted suitor. She and her entourage ended up landing in what is now Selje Norway, where they took refuge in a cave. When the local inhabitants accused them of stealing sheep, it is said that rocks fell and miraculously closed off the cave to the angry inhabitants.

In 996, King Olaf Tryggvason excavated the cave where he found the body of the saint, (who had been dead hundreds of years), miraculously intact.

King Olaf designated her as the patron saint of the municipality of Selje. An abbey was built over the site of the cave.

Another legend attributed to her says that when fires ravashed the area of Bergen, between 1170-1 to 1198, the remains of the saint were taken from her reliquary and sat up in a sitting position, which miraculously stopped the spread of the fire.

As of 2010, its Faroese form of Sunneva was the 7th most popular female name in the Faroe Islands, while Sunniva was the 44th most popular female name in Norway, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Sungifu (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Synne (Norwegian/Danish: originally a diminutive, now used as an independent given name)
  • Sunneva (Faroese/Icelandic)
  • Sunnefa (Icelandic)
  • Sunníva (Icelandic)
  • Sunnifa (Middle Scandinavian)
  • Sunni (Norwegian)
  • Sunniva (Norwegian)
  • Synnev(a) (Norwegian)
  • Synøve/Synnøve (Norwegian)
  • Sönne (Swedish)
  • Synnöve (Swedish)

Possible nickname options include Sunny, Sunna, Sun or Neve or Niva.

In 2007, Sunniva was the 47th most popular female name.

The designated name-day is July 8th.

Louis, Lewis

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Germanic
Meaning: “famous warrior.”
Eng (LOO-ee; LOO-is); Fre (LOU-ee)

The name is a franconized form of the German name, Ludwig, which is composed of the ancient Germanic elements, hlud (fame) and wig (warrior). The name is a cognate of the Frankish male name Chlodovech or Clovis.

It was a very popular name among the French monarchs, being borne by 18 kings of France, one of whom was canonized as a saint.

The name was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest and was usually rendered as Lewis. The name fell out of usage after the Protestant Reformation and was revived in 19th-century America, the more popular form being its French counterpart of Louis.

In France, the name fell out of usage after the French Revolution but immediately gained popularity by the 19th-century remaining a French classic.

As of 2009, Louis was the 4th most popular male name in France and the 5th most popular in Belgium. His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 2 (Lewis, Scotland, 2010)
  • # 27 (Lewis, England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 30 (Lewis, Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 51 (Luis, Spain, 2010)
  • # 55 (Luis, Austria, 2010)
  • # 69 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 78 (Luis, United States, 2010)
  • # 91 (Luis, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 334 (Luis, France, 2009)
  • # 343 (United States, 2010)
  • # 434 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 717 (Lewis, United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ludovik (Albanian)
  • Luigj (Albanian)
  • Hloþwig (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Lluís (Asturian/Catalan)
  • Aloxi (Basque)
  • Koldo (Basque)
  • Koldobika (Basque)
  • Luki (Basque)
  • Loeiz (Breton)
  • Alojzije (Croatian)
  • Ljudevit (Croatian/Slovene)
  • Ludovik (Croatian)
  • Luj Луј (Croatian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Ludvík (Czech)
  • Lodewijk (Dutch)
  • Lode (Dutch)
  • Lowie (Dutch)
  • Aloysius (English/Latin)
  • Louis (English/French)
  • Lewis (English)
  • Ludovic (English)
  • Lois (Galician)
  • Luís (Galician/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Khlodvigi ხლოდვიგი (Georgian)
  • Alois (German)
  • Ludwig (German)
  • Luis (German/Romansch)
  • Loudovikos Λουδοβίκος (Greek)
  • Lui (Hawaiian)
  • Lajos (Hungarian)
  • Loðvík (Icelandic)
  • Alaois (Irish)
  • Alabhaois (Irish)
  • Lughaidh (Irish)
  • Luigi (Italian)
  • Lodovico/Ludovico (Italian)
  • Lujs (Latvian)
  • Liudvikas (Lithuanian)
  • Loís (Occitanian)
  • Ludwik (Polish)
  • Aloísio (Portuguese)
  • Aluísio (Portuguese)
  • Liset (Poitvin)
  • Ludovico (Portuguese)
  • Luiz (Portuguese: archaic)
  • Aloys (Provençal)
  • Ludovic (Romanian)
  • Duitg (Romansch)
  • Ludivic (Romansch)
  • Lyudovik Людовик (Russian)
  • Ludvig (Scandinavian)
  • Ľudovít (Slovak)
  • Alojz (Slovene)
  • Lojze (Slovene)
  • Love (Swedish)
  • Lüìs (Tuscan)
Diminutive forms include:
  • Luděk (Czech)
  • Lou (English)
  • Ludek (Polish)
  • Lucho (Spanish)
  • Luisito (Spanish)
  • Wicho (Spanish)
Feminine forms include:
  • Loeiza (Breton)
  • Lluïsa (Catalan)
  • Luisa (German/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Louise (English/French/Scandinavian)
  • Louisette (French)
  • Louison (French)
  • Ludovica (Italian/Portuguese/Romanian)
  • Luigia (Italian)
  • Lise (Poitvin)
  • Lisète (Poitvin)
  • Ludwika (Polish)
  • Luiza (Polish)
  • Ludivica (Romansch)
  • Luisia (Romansch)
  • Lovisa/Lovise (Scandinavian)
  • Lova (Swedish)

(For a moral thorough list of its feminine forms and trends please go to Louise).