Bezalel

  • Origin: Hebrew בְּצַלְאֵל
  • Meaning: “in the shadow of God; under the protection of God.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Pronunciation Eng: beh-ZAH-lel

The name is borne in Exodus 31:1-6 by the chief artisan assigned by Moses to build the Tabernacle, Ark of the Covenant, priests’ vestments and other equipment with the assistance of Aholiab. In Exodus 31:1, he is listed as the son of Uri.

The name itself is believed to share a similar etymological construction with the Akkadian male names ina-ṣilli-Bēl and ina-ṣilli-Nabu (in the shadow of Baal or Nabu).

The name has always been used in the Jewish diaspora in Europe and the Middle East. It was borne by the 16th-century Ottoman rabbi and talmudist Bezalel Ashkenazi, and it was the name of the father of the Maharal of Prague,(Judah Loew ben Bezalel circ. 17th-century).

The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design & the Jewish art movement known as the Bezalel School both take their name from the character in the Bible.

Among Russian-Jews, Vasily would have been used as a Russified form, though the names do not share an etymological relationship.

Other forms include:

  • Bezaleël (Dutch)
  • Bezalel (English, German)
  • Béséléel (French)
  • Beseleel Βεσελεήλ (Greek)
  • Bezaleèl (Italian)
  • Becalel (Polish)
  • Besaliel (Portuguese)
  • Veseleíl Веселеи́л (Russian)
  • Becalél’, Becal’ї́l Бецале́ль, Бецал’ї́л (Ukrainian)

Sources

Adonis, Adonija, Adonise

Adonis is borne in Greek mythology by the god of beauty and desire. According to the most popular myth, he was born of the incestuous union of Theias and his daughter Myrrha. Myrrha had tricked her own father into having sex with her. The gods transformed Myrrha into a myrrh tree after Theias attempted to kill her whilst pregnant with Adonis. Adonis was beloved of Aphrodite and mothered by Persephone, but he was subsequently killed by a boar when Artemis, or in some versions, Ares, sent a boar to kill Adonis out of jealousy. When Adonis died, Aphrodite cried tears which mingled with Adonis’ blood, producing the Anemone flower. Aphrodite instituted the Adonia festival in his commemoration, whereby all women had a mass mock funeral of Adonis by growing plants in potsherds on their rooftops and performing a mass funeral ritual as soon as the plants sprouted.

It is likely Adonis was imported by the Greeks from the Phoenicians, the latter being the descendants of the Sumerians, Mesopotamians & Babylonians. It is believed by most scholars that Adonis is an adaptation of the Sumerian story of Dumuzid & Inanna (later Tammuz & Ishtar), in which a ritual funeral rite was also performed by women across the former Babylonian empire. Adonis itself is a Hellenized form of the Canaanite, adon, which means “lord” and was often used as an appellation by the Canaanites for the god Tammuz. The Jews adopted this appellation for Yahweh in the form of Adonai (my lord).

Adonis is borne by an 8th-century French saint of Vienne. He is also listed as Adon & Ado. Adonis has sporadically been used as a given-name in Greece, anglophone, francophone & hispanophone countries. The French feminine off-shoots, though rare these days, are Adonise (AH-do-NEEZ) and Adonie, and were actually prevalent in 18th-centurry Quebec & New Orleans. An obscure Italian feminine form is Adonella.

There is the male Biblical Hebrew name, Adonijah meaning (my lord is Yahweh). It is borne by a son of King David and was Hellenized in the Septuagint as Adonias.

Other forms include:

  • Adonies (Catalan)
  • Adonia (Dutch, Italian, Swedish)
  • Adonija Адония (French, German, Russian)
  • Adonias Αδωνίας (French, Greek, Portuguese)
  • Adonías (Galician)
  • Adonja (Norwegian)
  • Adoniasz (Polish)
  • Adonías (Spanish)
  • Adoniya Адонія (Ukrainian)

Currently, Adonis is the 242nd most popular male name in the United States and the 461st most popular in France.

Other forms include:

  • Adonisi ადონისი (Albanian, Georgian)
  • Adonis Адонис Адоніс Άδωνις Ադոնիս (Armenian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, Macedonian, German, Greek, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Scandinavian, Serbian, Slovene, Spanish, Turkish)
  • Adónis Адо́ніс (Belarusian, Continental-Portuguese, Czech, Slovak)
  • Adó (Catalan)
  • Adónisz (Hungarian)
  • Adone, Adon (Italian)
  • Adônis (Brazilian-Portuguese)
  • Adón (Spanish)

Sources

Elika

The name can be of several different origins and meanings.

It is a Biblical male name that occurs in 2 Samuel 23:25 as the name of Elika the Harodite, one of David’s 37 special warriors. In this case, אֵַליקָא (Eli’ka), may mean “vomit of God” or “Congregation of God.” Some sources also list this as meaning “pelican of God.” In English, the name would be pronounced ee-LYE-kuh.

Pronounced, EH-lee-KAW الیکا, it is a Persian female name that derives from the Mazanderani language, meaning, “wild cherry.” However, it’s use in Iran may be influenced by an identical sounding Indian female name, which is derived from the Sanskrit एलीका (Elika), meaning “small cardamom.” It is also the name of a village in northern Iran of the same aforementioned Mazanderani etymology.

Elika is also a Nordic female name of uncertain etymology, it’s earliest use is recorded in 18th-century Iceland. It may derive from the the Frisian diminutive name, Alike, which is a diminutive form of any name beginning in the Adal- element, or the Frisian unisex diminutive name Elike, which is a short form of any name beginning in the EGG- element.

It may also be linked with a Greenlandic female name of uncertain etymology.

It’s Nordic form has been in use in Finland & Estonia, as well as all of Scandinavia & Iceland. It should be noted that Elike has occurred in use as a unisex name in Norway and Friesland.

Swedish and Frisian female variations include Eliko & Eliken.

Alternately, it is a Mari female name, but is of uncertain meaning, it may be a variation of Evika, meaning “slender.”

It is also the Hawaiian translation of Elisa, Eliza, Erica & Eric.

Sources

Eliel

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “my God is God.”
  • Gender: Masculine
  • Pronunciation: Eng (EL-ee-yel; ee-LYE-yel)

The name is composed of the same Hebrew word אל (‘el) meaning “God,” hence, some translate it to mean “my God is God.” The name is borne by several minor characters in the Old Testament.

A notable bearer was Finnish Architect, Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950).

Though an obscure Jewish name, it experienced a peak in popularity in Finland and other Scandinavian countries at the end of the 19th-century.

Eliel recently entered the U.S. Top 1000 Most Popular Male Names in 2019, currently ranking in at #664.

The designated name day in Finland is April 9th

A Dutch form is Eliël.

Sources

Magdiel

800px-Hod_Hasjaron-a011

Magdiel Garden Hod Hasharon, Israel


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: uncertain
  • Gender: Masculine
  • Eng (MAG-dee-el); SP (MAHG-dee-EL)

The name is mentioned 2 times in the Old Testament as the name of one of the Dukes of Edom in Genesis 36:43 and the name of a descendant of Esau in Chronicles 1:54.

According to Hitchcock’s Name Dictionary it means “declaring God; chosen fruit of God,” in Hebrew. It may also derive from the Hebrew Meged El (oil of God).

In modern Jewish history, it is the name of one of the four original communities, established by Holocaust survivors in the 1940s that formed the city of Hod Hasharon.

In recent years, the name has come into common use in Latin American countries.


Other forms include:

  • Mägdiheel (Bavarian)
  • Magadiil Магедиил (Bulgarian)
  • Magdiél (Hungarian)
  • Magdielis (Lithuanian)
  • Makatiere (Maori)
  • Magdiil Магдиил (Russian)

Sources

Zadoc, Zadok

Cornelis_de_Vos_-_The_Anointing_of_Solomon

  • Origin: Hebrew צָדוֹק
  • Meaning: “righteous; just.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Eng (ZAD-uk)

The name is from the Hebrew meaning “just; righteous.” It is borne by 5 characters in the Old Testament, most notably Zadok the High Priest during the reign of King David & King Solomon.

The name has always been used among Jews but came into use among Protestant Christians mainly in the 18th-century.

Zadok the Priest is a hymn written by Handel which was first played at King George II’s coronation and has been played at every coronation in the British monarchy since.


Other forms include:

  • Zädock (Bavarian German)
  • Sadok Садок (Bulgarian, Croatian, Polish, Russian, Scandinavian)
  • Sádoch, Sádok (Czech)
  • Zadok (Dutch, Finnish, German, English, Scandinavian)
  • Sadoq (French)
  • Sádók (Hungarian)
  • Sadoc (Italian, Latin, Spanish)
  • Haroko (Maori)
  • Tzadok (Modern Hebrew)
  • Zadoque (Portuguese)
  • Ţadoc (Romanian)
  • Cadok Цадок (Ukrainian)

Sources

Uziel, Uzziel

Uzziel


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “God is my strength; God is my power.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • (uh-ZYE-el; OOZ-ee-el)

The name is composed of the Hebrew עֹז (‘oz) meaning “strength, power” and אֵל (‘el) meaning “God.”

It is borne by a few minor characters in the Bible, including the grandson of Levi and the father of Mishael, Elzaphan, and Zithri, the uncle of Aaron, Moses & Miriam.

In the apocryphal Enoch 3, Uziel is the name of a fallen archangel, more often referred to as Uzza. The same archangel is referenced as such in some versions of the kabbalistic text, Sefer Raziel HaMalakh, Johannes Trithemius’ Steganographia; and in John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

In Talmudic Jewish tradition, it was the name of the father of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, one of the 80 tannaim who studied under Hillel the Elder.

Among Medieval Jews, the name was rare among Ashkenazi Jews but very common among Sephardis & Middle Eastern Jews.

In the English-speaking world, the name is seldom used but has recently become common in Spanish-speaking countries.

A recent notable bearer was Uziel “Uzi” Gal (born Gotthard Glas) (1923-2002), a German-born Israeli gun designer best known for his invention of the “uzi.”


Other forms include:

  • Uciel (Albanian)
  • Usiheel (Bavarian German)
  • Oziil Озиил (Bulgarian)
  • Oziel Οζιηλ (Biblical Greek)
  • Ozihel (Biblical Latin)
  • Uziel (Croatian, Czech, French, Italian, Modern Hebrew, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish)
  • Uzziël (Dutch)
  • Usiel (Finnish, French, German)
  • Huziel, Ouzziel (French)
  • Huzziél (Hungarian)
  • Uzielis (Lithuanian)
  • Utiere (Maori)
  • Ussiel (Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Uziil Узиил (Russian)
  • Ziel (Yiddish)

Sources

Thisbe

Thisbe_-_John_William_Waterhouse

Thisbe by John William Waterhouse


  • Origin: Greek, Semitic
  • Meaning: unknown
  • Gender: feminine
  • (THIZ-bee)

The name is of uncertain origin and meaning but possibly has a Semitic origin. Thisbe is the name of the lover of Pyramus in Ancient Classical literature, their story is recounted in Ovid’s Metamorphosis. Basically, they are 2 start-crossed Babylonian lovers who end up dying in a similar vein as Romeo & Juliet.

It is also the name of a city mentioned in the Bible, the birth place of the prophet Elijah and it is sometimes transliterated as Tishbe.

Thisbe is also the name of a nymph in Greek mythology who gave her the name to the town in Boeotia of the same name, it’s contemporary Greek form being Thisvi.

As for its usage, I found a record for a Thisby Gilbank born in 1604 in Suffolk, England, but became extremely widespread in England and the American colonies by the 18th-century. It may have been used in reference to both the Greek character and the place in the Bible.

Other forms include:

  • Tisbe (Catalan, Galician, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Thisbe (Dutch, English, German, Scandinavian)
  • Thisbé (French)
  • Thiszbé (Hungarian)
  • Tisbèa (Occitanian)
  • Tysbe (Polish)
  • Fisba Фисба (Russian)
  • Tisba Тісба (Slovenian, Ukrainian)

Sources

Barnabas, Barnaby, Barney

180px-San_Barnaba


The name is borne by St. Barnabas, a companion of St. Paul who was instrumental in converting gentiles to the new Christian faith. St. Barnabas was believed to be a Cypriot Jew whose true name was Joseph but he is referred to as Barnabas in Acts 4:36, which describes the name to mean “son of consolation,” possibly being linked with the Aramaic בר נחמה, bar neḥmā of the same meaning. Many linguists contradict this meaning and claim that the latter part of the name might actually be derived from the Hebrew nabī נביא meaning “prophet.”

St. Barnabas is considered an early apostle and the founder of the Christian Church in Cyprus who was eventually stoned to death by an angry mob in Syria. He is considered the patron saint of Cyprus and his feast day is June 11th.

As a given-name, Barnaby has been the preferred form in England since medieval times. Its usage spread to the rest of the English-speaking world through colonialism. It spawned the diminutive off-shoot of Barney, which has been used as an independent given-name in its own right.

To millennials, Barney is often associated with the beloved purple dinosaur of their childhood. However, he appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1880-1976. Never a huge hit, the highest he ever ranked in the U.S. Charts was #201 in 1887. He hasn’t been seen in the charts since 1976, but in England & Wales he currently ranks in as the #492nd Most Popular Males Name (2018).

Barnaby is currently the 251st Most Popular Male Name in England & Wales (2018). Whereas Barnabás is currently the 32nd Most Popular Male Name in Hungary (2018).


Other forms include:

  • Barnabana برنابا (Arabic, Persian)
  • Barnabas Բառնաբաս ബർണബാസ് (Armenian, Coptic, Dutch, English, Finnish, Frisian, German, Greek, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Scandinavian, Syriac, Welsh)
  • Bernaba (Basque)
  • Varnáva Варна́ва (Bulgarian)
  • Bernabé (Catalan, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Barnaba ბარნაბა (Croatian, Georgian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian)
  • Barnabáš (Czech/Slovak)
  • Barnaby (English, Plattdeutsch)
  • Barnabé (French)
  • Balló (Hungarian)
  • Barna (Hungarian)
  • Barnabás (Hungarian)
  • Barnabà (Lombard)
  • Varnava Варнава (Macedonian, Serbian, Russian, Ukrainian)

An obscure Spanish feminine form is Bernabea.

Sources

Marcus, Mark

Il_Pordenone_-_San_Marco_-_Budapest


From one of the most common Roman praenomen, its origin and meaning is uncertain. A popular etymology is that it relates to Mars, others suggest it may be from the Etruscan Marce, which may come from mar (to harvest). It is said the name was originally bestowed on those who were born in March.

Marcellus and the name of the month of March likely shares the same etymological root.

It was borne by several notable Romans, including Mark Antony, Marcus Aurelius & Cicero.

It was the name of one of the Evangelists who authored the eponymous Gospel, known as St. Mark in the Christian world, he is revered as the founder of Christianity in Africa and is traditionally believed to have founded the Church in Alexandria. Coptic Christians hold him in high regard. His bones were smuggled out of Egypt in a barrel of pork fat by Venetian merchants from Alexandria when Egypt fell under Islamic rule and were transported back to Venice where they were eventually installed and dedicated in the Basilica of San Marco.

The name was borne by a 2nd-century pope as well.


Marcus, Mark and Marc have been quite popular in several countries. Marcus was in the U.S. Top 100 between 1970-2000, Sweden’s between 1998-2008, New Zealand’s between 2008-2014, England & Wales between 1996-2003, and in Denmark’s between 1994-2006. Currently, his rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #54 (Canada, BC, 2018)
  • #87 (Australia, 2018)
  • #100 (Norway, 2018)
  • #209 (United States, 2018)
  • #213 (France, 2018)
  • #236 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #406 (Netherlands, 2018)

Its latinate form of Marco, which started off as a mainly Italian form, became widespread across the continent. His rankings in the following countries are as follows:

  • #11 (Galicia, Spain, 2018)
  • #16 (Spain, 2018_
  • #23 (Italy, 2018)
  • #65 (Catalonia, Spain, 2018)
  • #81 (Portugal, 2018)
  • #358 (United States, 2018)
  • #436 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #446 (France, 2018)

It’s English form of Mark appears in the legend of Tristan & Isolde as the name of the King of Cornwall, supposedly the name was not common in the English-speaking world until the 19th-century, but became a hit by the Mid-1900s. Mark appeared in the U.S. Top 100 between 1944-2002, which is quite a long stretch. Mark peaked the highest in popularity between 1955-1970, peaking at #6, six years in a row between 1959-1964.  Marks’s rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #5 (Slovenia, 2018)
  • #6 (Moscow, Russia, 2018)
  • #21 (Hungary, 2018)
  • #83 (Ireland, 2018)
  • #210 (U.S., 2018)
  • #253 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #298 (the Netherlands, 2018)

Marc is the French, Catalan & Welsh form and has been popularly used in the English-speaking world, it is currently the most popular male name in Catalonia, 2018 and between 1968-1976 it was in the U.S. Top 100. Marc’s rankings in the popularity charts are as follows

  • #26 (Spain, 2018)
  • #313 (France, 2018)
  • #825 (US, 2018)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mark Марк (Albanian, Belarusian, Breton, Dutch, English, Maltese, Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Marḳos ማርቆስ (Amharic)
  • Marqus مَرْقُس‎ (Arabic, mainly used among Arab-Christians)
  • Marghos (Armenian)
  • Marko (Basque)
  • Marko Марко (Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Finnish, Macedonian, Serbian, Slovene, Ukrainian)
  • Markos Μαρκος Ⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ (Coptic, Greek)
  • Margh (Cornish)
  • Marcu (Corsican, Romanian)
  • Mokus (Croatian, Serbian)
  • Marek (Czech, Polish, Slovak)
  • Marco (Catalan, Dutch, Galician, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Marc (Catalan, French, Occitanian, Welsh)
  • Marcus (Dutch, English, German, French, Scandinavian)
  • Markus (Dutch, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, Frisian, German, Scandinavian)
  • Marghus (Estonian)
  • Markko, Markku (Finnish)
  • Marke (Finnish)
  • Marcas (Gaelic)
  • Marx (German, archaic)
  • Maleko (Hawaiian)
  • Márk (Hungarian)
  • Markús (Icelandic)
  • Marchino (Italian)
  • Marcolino (Italian)
  • Marcuccio (Italian)
  • Mareks (Latvian)
  • Marks (Latvian)
  • Markuss (Latvian)
  • Markas, Morkus (Lithuanian)
  • March (Lombard)
  • Markys (Manx)
  • Marquét (Poitvin, diminutive form)
  • Marcos (Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Kusi (Swiss-German diminutive form)
  • Marqōs ܡܪܩܘܣ‎ (Syriac)
  • Mår (Walloon)

It’s feminine forms include Marca but and sometimes Marcia was used as a feminine form, though it is more the feminine equivalent of Marcius.

Other feminine forms include:

  • Markusine (German, obscure)
  • Marchina (Italian)
  • Marcolina (Italian)
  • Marcuccia (Italian)

Sources