Deborah

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “bee.”
דְּבוֹרָה
Eng (DEB-uh-ruh); Eng (deh-BORE-uh)

In the Old Testament, the name is found in the Book of Judges as the name of a prophetess and female judge who led a defeat against the Canaanites.

It was also borne by a nurse of Rebecca.

The name has always been a common Jewish name, but did not catch on with Christians until after the Protestant Reformation, when the name became especially prevalent among the Puritans.

Deborah experienced a sharp vogue in the mid 20th century when, in 1955, she ranked in as the 2nd most popular female name in the United States. Deborah remained in the top 10 between 1950 and 1962. As of 2010, Deborah only ranked in as the 776th most popular female name.

Currently, its Portuguese form of Débora is the 88th most popular female name in Brazil, (2011). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 328 (France, 2009)
  • # 491 (the Netherlands, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Deborha (Amharic)
  • Diba دیبا (Arabic)
  • Debara Дэбара (Belarusian)
  • Dihya (Berber)
  • Debora დებორა Девора (Bulgarian/Czech/Dutch/Finnish/Georgian/German/Italian/Polish/Russian/Scandinavian)
  • Devora Девора (Bulgarian)
  • Dèbora(Catalan)
  • Debra (English)
  • Deboora (Estonian)
  • Débora (French/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Debbora Δεββωρα (Greek: Biblical)
  • Devorah דְּבוֹרָה (Hebrew: Biblical)
  • Dvora/Dvorit דְּבוֹרָה (Hebrew: Modern)
  • Debóra (Icelandic)
  • Deborra (Late Latin)
  • Depke (Plattdeutsch)

 

Common Nicknames include:

Deb, Debbie (English)
Debbos, Debo, Deby (German)

Other notable bearers include: British actress, Deborah Kerr (1921-2007); American pop singer, Deborah “Blondie” Harry (b.1945); American Singer, Debbie Gibson (b.1970); Italian actress, Debora Caprogli0 (b.1968); Estonian poet and translator, Debora Varaandi (1916-2007); Polish philsopher and poet, Debora Vogel (1900-1942); Belgian actress, Déborah François (b.1987).

The designated name-days are: April 24 (Poland); September 21 (France); November 4 (Poland).

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/php/find.php?name=deborah
  2. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=689&letter=J&search=Judges
  3. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04663a.htm
  4. http://www.houseofdavid.ca/anc_heb.htm
  5. http://www.houseofdavid.ca/anc_heb_6.htm#Deborah
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Melissa

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek Μέλισσα
Meaning: “honey-bee.”
Eng (meh-LIS-sah)

The name comes directly from the Greek word μέλισσα (melissa) which shares a root with the Greek word for honey μέλι (meli). In fact, the Hititte word, melit (honey) shares the same etymological root.

The name is borne in Greek mythology by a nymph who taught mankind how to harvest honey, it is believed that this same nymph also nursed the god Zeus. It is actually borne by several characters in Greek mythology, including a priestess of Demeter who was murdered when she refused to release the secrets of initiation rights of Demeter.

It seems the name was common in ancient Greece, as it was also borne by a female Pythagorean philosopher (6th-century, CE).

The Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto used it as a name for the good witch who helps Ruggiero escape from the evil Alcina in Orlando Furioso (1516).

Melissa is also the scientific name of the lemon balm plant.

In the English-speaking world, the name caught on during the 18th-century and remained a common name since. The highest she ranked in U.S. naming history was between 1977 and 1979 when it was the 2nd most popular female name. Currently, she is the 157th most popular female name in the United States, (2010).

In Brazil, she is the 37th most popular female name, (2011). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 49 (France, 2009)
  • # 74 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 80 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 97 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 142 (the Netherlands, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Melisa (Albanian/Kurdish/Polish/Spanish/Turkish)
  • Melissa ميليسا (Catalan/Dutch/English/French/German/Greek/Italian/Lebanese/Portuguese/Scandinavian/Slovak)
  • Mélissa (French)
  • Melitta (German/Greek)
  • Melika (Hawaiian)
A common English diminutive is Missy, in Polish is it Melcia or Meliska.

 

 

 

Albina

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “white; bright.”
Eng (al-BYE-nah)

The name has very ancient roots as it was borne by the Etruscan goddess of the dawn, the name is linked to the Latin word albus meaning “white; bright” and it is also linked to the modern French word (aube)meaning “dawn” and Spanish word (alba) “dawn.” The Latin masculine version is Albinus. Interestingly enough, Albina also coincides with the Romanian word for “bee.”

Though it has Latin roots, the name seems to be especially common in Central Asian countries, such as Chechnya and Kyrgyzstan, and is common among the Tartar populations of Russia.

The name is also used in Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, in Spanish-speaking countries and in Portuguese speaking countries.

It is borne by Chechen Human Right’s Activist, Albina Digaeva (b.1978), it is also borne by Russian-Tartar olympic biathlete, Albina Akhatova (b.1976) and Tajik Olympic Archer, Albina Kamaletdinova (b.1969).

It was also borne by a 3rd century Christian martyr.

The designated name-day is usually December 15.

Other forms include:

  • Albína (Czech/Slovak)
  • Albina Альби́на (Russian)

A Russian diminutive form is Alya and Slovenian diminutives are Bina, Binca (BEENT-sah); Albinca.

Masculine forms are:

  • Albin (Czech/English/Polish/German/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Aubin (French)
  • Albinus (Latin)
  • Albín (Slovakian)

Melissa, Melitta

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “honey bee.”
Μελισσα, Μελιττα
(meh-LIS-sah); (meh-LIT-tah)

Melissa feels dull and rather dated, though it should not be overlooked that Melissa actually has a cool meaning and a pretty interesting mythological story behind it. Melissa comes directly from the Greek word for a honey bee. Some sources insist that the Greek word Melissa is a bastardization of an ancient Hititte word for honey, though I was unable to confirm this. In Greek mythology, Melissa was a Cretan princess who served the god Zeus honey. Out of appreciation, he transformed her into a honey bee. In 1984, Melissa had a peak, where it came in at # 8. It currently stands at # 134. Though Melissa has run her course, the ancient Attic variation of Melitta might be a far more refreshing alternative. Melitta has been in usage in Germany for quite awhile. In fact, its the name of a German coffee company. The company was named in honour of the wife of the company’s founder, Melitta Bentz (1873-1950).

Beowulf

  • Gender: Masculine
  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: “bee-wolf.”
  • (BAY-woolf)

The name is composed of the elements beo meaning “bee” and wulf meaning “wolf.” It is most notably known through the Anglo-Saxon epic poem of the same name. The poem recounts the adventures and exploits of the heroic Beowulf who is able to defeat the evil dragon Grendel and its mother. Though a huge part of English literature, its a shame that this powerful name has never really been in usage since the death of the Anglo-Saxon period. It would make a most interesting appellation, it has the possible nickname options of Bay, Beo and Wolf.

Palatine, Palatyne, Palestine, Kestenn

Gender: Female
Origin: French/Celtic
Meaning: debated
Pronunciation French (pah-lah-TEEN); English (pal-uh-TINE)

The name is found in French folklore as the name of the daughter of Pressyne and Elynas, and the sister of Mélusine.

Palatine was cursed by her mother to be locked in the Aragonese mountains with her father’s treasures, accompanied by a bear and serpent. Only a knight could free her and save her, on the condition that he be of the same bloodline as her father’s.

Throughout the years, many knights did just that, but had failed. However, a knight of King Arthur’s court, and the relative of Tristan, decided to climb the mountain and free the princess. He had to scale a mountain covered in venemous snakes, and then face the bear that guarded the entrance to the cave, all of which he killed. Finally he was able to enter the cave, but within the first chamber was a large serpent with one eye. The snake swallowed him up, and the knight was defeated in his quest, because, as it turned out, he was not of the right lineage.

Years later, Geoffrey-with-the-great-tooth, the nephew of Palatyne, had spent his life saving time, money and energy to rescue his aunt. However, he grew old, and died before he was able to commence his quest, and it is said that till this day, Palatyne still awaits within her mountain top for the right knight of the right lineage to free her. http://www.encylopediamythica.com

This is also the name of one of the 7 hills of Rome, a location which has its own legends.

In Ancient Roman folklore, the Palatine is where the Lupercal cave is to be found, the cave where Romulus and Remus were rescued and milked by a wolf. Another legend holds that Hercules defeated the monster Cacus, on the same hill.

The etymology of the name is debated, whether the fairy Palatyne and the name of the hill are related is not proven, but very possible. The fact that both legends contain a mountain top or hill top as their focal point makes it plausible.

According to the Roman historian Livy (59 BC-Ad 17), the hill got its name from the Arcadian settlement of pallatium, which is derived from the Latin palatum meaning “palate.” According to another ancient source, Ennius, the name is derived from an Etruscan word meaning “sky” or “heavens.” The term palace gets its name from the Palatine hill.

Other sources point its etymology to a Breton source, it is suggested that Palatine, (or Palestine in some instances), is a medieval French corruption of the Breton Bac’h C’hesten, bac’h means “cell; unit” and c’hesten means “hive; beehive.” Hence “hive pupa.” This is supported by the fact that in the legend, Palatine is an enclosed in a cell in the mountains like a bee in a beehive.

The name was borne by an early Christian martyr, Saint Palatino, and its masculine form is still in usage in Italy today. There is also a more obscure feminine version of Palatina.

Another French form is Palestine (pah-le-STEEN), and a possible Breton form is Kestenn.