Bethany

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hebrew/Aramaic
Meaning: debated
Eng (BETH-e-NEE)

Bethany is found in the New Testament as the name of a town where Lazarus, Mary and Martha, lived. It was also here where Christ raised Lazarus from the dead.

Its origin and meaning are strongly contested, some scholars have argued it to mean “house of figs” being derived from the Hebrew elements, בֵּית־תְּאֵנָה (beit-te’enah). Others suggest that it from a Syriac source meaning, “house of misery; house of the afflicted” or “house of the poor” as in Biblical times the town was the site of a huge almshouse.

Its usage as a female given name most likely started off as a religious name taken by nuns. It was usually used in honour of Mary of Bethany. In recent years, the name has become particularly common among Evangelical Christians, especially within the United States.

Currently, Bethany is the 59th most popular female name in the United Kingdom, (2010), and she ranked as high as # 11 back in 1999. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 65 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 79 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 369 (United States, 2010)

Another form is the Spanish Bethania, sometimes used in conjunction with Maria.

Sources

  1. Capper, Brian J., “Essene Community Houses and Jesus’ Early Community” (2006)
  2. http://198.62.75.1/www1/ofm/mad/articles/DiSegniOnomasticon.html
  3. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/bethany?view=uk
  4. http://www.behindthename.com/php/find.php?name=bethany
  5. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02531a.htm
  6. http://bibref.hebtools.com/?book=%20John&verse=11:18&src=!
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Joseph, Josephine

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew יוֹסֵף
Meaning: “He shall add; God shall add.”
Eng (JOH-sef)

The name is derived from the Biblical Hebrew male name, יוֹסֵף (Yosef).

In the Old Testament, the name is borne by the first son of Rachel and the eleventh son of Jacob. After being sold off as a slave by his brothers, Joseph ended up in Egypt, later becoming an important advisor to the pharoah.

In the New Testament, it is borne by the husband of the Virgin Mary. Known as St. Joseph among Catholics, he is a particularly revered saint among Italian Catholics, considered the patron saint of stepfathers and carpenters.

Another important character with this name in the New Testament, is Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Christ and also the man who provided a burial spot for Jesus after his death.

The name has always been very prevalent throughout Europe and the Middle East.

In the United States, its popularity can be due to several factors: it was common among both various Christian and Jewish immigrants. The name is even very common among Muslim families.

Currently, Joseph is the 20th most popular male name in the United States, (2010). In fact, Joseph has never ranked outside of the Top 20. Common English nicknames are Joe and Joey. His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Yusif, Azerbaijan, 2012)
  • # 1 (Yusuf, Turkey, 2010)
  • # 2 (Yusuf, Tajikistan, 2009)
  • # 2 (Youssef, Tunisia)
  • # 3 (Yousef, Arab-World, 2011)
  • # 4 (José, Equitorial Guinea, 2011)
  • # 5 (Joosep, Estonia, 2011)
  • # 5 (Isle of Man, 2009)
  • # 5 (Yousouf, Israel, among Muslim and Christian boys, 2010)
  • # 5 (José, Philippines, 2011)
  • # 5 (Jose, Puerto Rico, 2010)
  • # 7 (Youssef, Morocco)
  • # 8 (Josip, Croatia, 2010)
  • # 8 (Yosef, Israel, among Druze boys, 2004)
  • # 9 (Yosef, Israel, among Jewish boys, 2010)
  • # 14 (Giuseppe, Italy, 2010)
  • # 15 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 16 (Joseph/Giuseppe, Malta, 2010)
  • # 29 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 36 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 37 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 41 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 41 (József, Hungary, 2010)
  • # 43 (José, Spain, 2010)
  • # 44 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 51 (José, United States, 2010)
  • # 62 (Josef, Sweden, 2010)
  • # 68 (Josip, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
  • # 68 (Josep, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 71 (José, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 74 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 149 (France, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Josef (Afrikaans)
  • Isuf (Albanian)
  • Jozef/Jozif (Albanian: Zef is a diminutive form)
  • Sepp (Alsatian)
  • Hovsep Հովսեփ (Armenian)
  • Yūsuf/Youssef/Yussef يوسف, (Arabic)
  • Yusif/Yusuf/Usub (Azeri)
  • Joseba/Josepe (Basque)
  • Joseph ДЖО́ЗЕФ (Belarusian/English/German/French)
  • Josip (Bosnian/Croatian: Joso, Jozo and Joško are diminutive forms)
  • Jusuf (Bosnian)
  • Yosif Йосиф (Bulgarian)
  • Josep (Catalan, Pep is a common diminutive form)
  • Ghjaseppu (Corsican)
  • Jozèf (Creole/Haitian)
  • Josef (Czech)
  • Joep (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Joop (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Joost (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Jozef (Dutch)
  • Joseph (English/French/German)
  • Joséphin (French: obscure)
  • Joosep (Estonian)
  • Jósef (Faroese)
  • Jooseppi (Finnish)
  • Juuso (Finnish)
  • Bepùt/Bepi/Bepo (Fruilian)
  • Xosé (Galician)
  • Ioseb იოსებ (Georgian)
  • Ioses/Joses Ιωσης (Greek: Biblical)
  • Iōséph Ἰωσήφ/Iosepos, Iosipos Ιώσηπος (Greek: Modern)
  • Yosef יוסף (Hebrew)
  • Isuppu (Hindi)
  • József (Hungarian: Jóska is the diminutive form)
  • Yusuf/Yusup/Ucup (Indonesian)
  • Giuseppe (Italian: diminutive forms are Beppe, Peppe and Peppino)
  • Giuseppino (Italian)
  • Pino (Italian: diminutive form now used as an independent given name)
  • Seosamh (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Ujöp (Ladino)
  • Iosephus/Josephus (Latin)
  • Jāzeps (Latvian)
  • Gioxeppe (Ligurian)
  • Joep (Limburgish)
  • Juozapas (Lithuanian)
  • Juozas (Lithuanian)
  • Giüsèpp (Lombard: Pèpp and Bèpp are diminutive forms)
  • Ousep/Ousef/Yosef (Malayalam)
  • Ouseppachen/Kochaappu (Malayalam)
  • Ġużeppi (Maltese: Ġużi, Ġuż, Peppi, Pepp, Żeppi and Żepp are diminutives)
  • Hohepa (Maori)
  • Jupp (Moselfrench)
  • Josef (Norwegian)
  • Josèp (Occitanian)
  • Iosifu Іѡсифъ (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Yūsuf/Youssef/Yussef يوسف, (Persian)
  • Joosef (Plattdeutsch)
  • Józef (Polish)
  • Gèseppe (Puglian)
  • Jüppes/Jüppke (Ripoarisch)
  • Iosif (Romanian)
  • Gisep (Romansch)
  • Iosif/Osip Иосиф (Russian)
  • Jisepu (Sardinian)
  • Josif Јосиф (Serbian)
  • Seòsaidh (Scots-Gaelic)
  • Giuseppi (Sicilian)
  • U’Seppi (Sicilian)
  • Zefel/ Zeflik (Silesian)
  • Jozef (Slovakian)
  • Jožef/Jože (Slovene)
  • Sefer (Swabian)
  • José (Spanish/Portuguese: Pepe and Pepito are the diminutive forms)
  • Yusup/Usup/Ucup (Sudanese)
  • Yoseppu (Tamil)
  • Yusuf (Turkish)
  • Yosyp (Ukrainian)
  • Josep (Valencian)
  • Juxepe (Venetian: diminutives are Bepi and Bepin)
  • Joseff (Welsh)
  • Yissl/Jayzl/Yussel (Yiddish)

Bavarian diminutive forms are Pepi, Perperl, SeppSeppiSeppl and Söpp.

Other German diminutives include: Seb, Seffi and Beppal is a Swiss-German diminutive form.

A Rheinish diminutive is Jupp.

Czech diminutives are: Pepík, Pepek, Pepan and Pepin.

Dutch short forms are Jef, Zef and Jos.

A common Hebrew short form is Yosi.

Italian diminutives and its dialectical forms include: Scepp (Calabrian); Pepp’, Pè, Peppiniéllo, Peppì, Peppinié (Campanese); Gioxe, Bepi, Bepin (Ligurian); Gepe and Pinin (Piedmontese); Seppud, Bapèpp, Peppo, Peppin, G’sip, Giusè, Pinucc, Peppon, ‘Mbà Peppe and P’pen (Puglian); Peppe and Pippo (Sicilian); Bepi and Beppe (Tuscan) and  Bepìn and Bepo (Venetian).

Standard Italian diminutives are: Bepi, Beppe, Beppino, Geppetto, Geppino, Peppe, Peppenuzzo, Peppi, Peppino, Peppinello, Peppiniello, Peppinetto, Peppo, Peppuccio, Pino Pinello, Pinuccio, Peppone, Pippo Puccio and Seppe.

Portuguese diminutives include: Zé, Zézinho, Zéca and Zécinha.

Slovakian diminutives are: Jožko, Jojo and Dodo.

Slovene short forms are: Pepe, Pepi and Pepc.

A common Spanish compound name is José Maria

Its more common feminine form of Josephine became prevalent throughout Europe at the end of the 18th-century and at the beginning of the 19th-century, due to the popularity of Josephine Bonaparte, (1763-1814), the wife of Napoleon.

Originally, Joséphine was a French diminutive form of Josèphe. Joséphine became the standard form around the same time Josephine Bonaparte became famous and has remained the more common French feminine form of Joseph, since.

Currently, in the United States, she is the 186th most popular female name, (2010). In the Netherlands, she was the 153rd most popular female name, (2010).

Other feminine forms include:

  • Jozefina (Albanian)
  • Josepa (Catalan: diminutive is Pepa)
  • Josipa (Croatian)
  • Josefa (Czech/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Josefina (Czech)
  • Jozefien (Dutch)
  • Joetta (English)
  • Josephina/Josephine (English)
  • Josefiina (Finnish)
  • Josée (French)
  • Josèphe (French)
  • Joséphine (French)
  • Josette (French)
  • Josefine (German/Danish)
  • Josepha (German)
  • Iosiphina Ιωσηφίνα (Greek: Modern)
  • Jozefa (Hungarian/Slovene)
  • Jósefína (Icelandic)
  • Seosaimhín (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Giosetta (Italian)
  • Giuseppa/Giuseppina (Italian)
  • Iosephina (Latin)
  • Ġużeppa (Maltese: Ġuża is the diminutive form)
  • Józefa (Polish)
  • Józefina (Polish)
  • Jožefina/Jožefa/Joža (Slovene)
  • Jožica (Slovene: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Josefa/Josefina (Spanish)
  • Josefin/Josefine (Swedish)
  • Yosipa/Osipa/Yuzefa (Ukrainian)

Croatian diminutive form is Pepica.

Czech diminutives are: Pepa, Pepca, Pepicka, Pepina, Pepka, Jóža, Jožka and Jóžin.

Common English short forms for Josephine include: Fifi, Jo, Jody, Jojo, Josie and Posey.

Common French diminutive forms are Fifi and Fifette.

German diminutives are Pepa.

Italian diminutives are: Giusy, Pina, Pinuccia, Pinella and Pippa.

Slovene diminutive form is Pepca

Marie-Josée is a common French compound form.

Designated name-days are March 19 and May 1.

Zechariah, Zachary

St. Zachary Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew  זְכַרְיָה
Meaning: “God remembers.”
Eng (zek-e-RIE-ah); (ZACK-e-REE)

Zachary is an English form of the Hebrew Zechariah, a theophoric name that means “God remembers; Yahweh remembers.”

The name is borne by several characters in both the Old and New Testament. In the Old Testament, it was borne by a prophet who authored the Book of Zechariah and in the New Testament, it was borne by the father of John the Baptist.

In the Qu’ran, the father of John the Baptist is viewed as a prophet and also as the protector of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

The name also appears as Zacharias, a Greek rendition, in some versions of the New Testament.

In the English speaking world, the name has been in usage since Medieval times. In Eastern Europe, especially in Orthodox dominated countries, it has always been a common name.

Currently, Zachary is the 61st most popular male name in the United States, (2010). In 1994, he ranked as high as # 12.

In other countries, his popularity is as follows:

  • # 51 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 51 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 55 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 331 (Zacharie, France, 2009)
  • # 446 (France, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Sagarias (Afrikaans)
  • Zakariyya زكرياء (Arabic/Assyrian/Circassian/Coptic/Ethiopian/Lebanese/Syrian)
  • Zacharij/Zachari Захари (Bulgarian)
  • Zacaries (Catalan)
  • Zekarija Закария (Chechen/Kazakh)
  • Zakaria ზაქარია (Coptic/Ethiopian/Georgian/Kurdish)
  • Zaharije Зaxapиje (Croatian/Serbian)
  • Zachariáš (Czech/Slovak)
  • Zachary (Czech/English/French/Polish)
  • Zacharias (German/Scandinavian)
  • Sakarias (Faroese/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Sakari (Finnish: Sakke is a diminutive form)
  • Saku (Finnish)
  • Zacharie (French)
  • Sagaire/Sagairi (Gaelic)
  • Zacharias Zαχαριας (Greek)
  • Zakariás (Hungarian)
  • Zakeus (Hungarian)
  • Zekarja (Hungarian)
  • Zaccaria (Italian)
  • Zaccheo (Italian)
  • Cherian (Malayalam)
  • Sakaria (Malayalam)
  • Scaria (Malayalam)
  • Zaxaria Захарїа (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Zachariasz (Polish)
  • Zacarias (Portuguese)
  • Zaharia (Romanian)
  • Zaccaria(s) (Romansch)
  • Zachar Захар (Russian)
  • Sachairi (Scottish-Gaelic)
  • Zacarías (Spanish)
  • Zakarya (Swahili)
  • Zekeriya (Turkish)

The name is also borne by several saints as well as by one Roman Catholic pope and a Coptic pope.

Zaharina Захарина is a Bulgarian feminine form and Zara is its pet form.

Other notable bearers include an 8th-century Nubian king, a 9th-century Khazar king, and American president, Zachary Taylor (1784-1850)

Sources

  1. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/zachary?view=uk
  2. http://www.behindthename.com/php/find.php?name=zachary
  3. http://www.svenskanamn.se/
  4. http://bibref.hebtools.com/?book=%20Matthew&verse=23:35&src=!

Ada(h)

Ada is sweet, vintagy and classy, with her two syllable Victoriana quality, ending and beginning in a vowel, Ada(h) may just be the next Ava. The Finns have already beaten us, as she is currently the 3rd most popular female name in Finland, (Aada, 2011).

In English, she is usually pronounced like (AY-duh), but in the rest of the world, she is (AH-dah).

Her origins are various; in the form of Adah, she can be traced to the Hebrew Bible, being a relative of the modern Hebrew unisex name, Adi, meaning (jewel), in ancient Hebrew her meaning is more around the lines of “a piece of jewelry; adornment or; ornament.”

In the Bible, Adah appears twice as the name of a wife of Lemech and again as the name of the wife Esau.

Ada without the H is usually traced to the Germanic element, adal, meaning, “noble,” making her a relative of Adela, Adelaide and Adeline. Among royalty and nobility alike, she was a popular choice across Medieval Europe, being borne by St. Ada, a 7th-century Abbess; Ada of Atholl (d.1264); Ada, Countess of Holland, (1188-1223) and; Ada de Warenne, mother of two Scottish kings and the wife of Henry of Scotland, (1120-1178).

In more contemporary times, Ada is usually associated with Ada Lovelace (née Augusta Ada Byron 1815-1852), the daughter of Lord Byron and a renowned Mathematician, she is often credited by modern scientists as being the first Computer Engineer.

The name could also be of Turkic or Greek origins, but its meaning is lost. It was borne by a female governor of Caria (377-326 B.C.E.) a loyal ally of Alexander the Great.

In the United States, Ada was quite popular around the turn of the 19th-century. The highest she ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1880, coming in as the 33rd most popular female name. By 1985, she completely fell off the charts and reappeared in the top 1000 in 2005. As of 2010, she currently ranks in as the 552nd most popular female name in the United States, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 3 (Aada, Finland, 2011)
  • # 72 (Ada, Norway, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ada (Dutch/Estonian/Faroese/Finnish/French/Frisian/German/Greek/Hungarian/Icelandic/Italian/Latvian/Lithuanian/Polish/Plattdeutsch/Scandinavian/Slovene)
  • Aada (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Ade (Estonian)
  • Aata (Finnish)
  • Aatukka (Finnish)
  • Ata (Finnish)
  • Adina (Italian)
  • Ádá (Sami)
  • Adica (Slovene)

Enoch

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Biblical Hebrew חֲנוֹך 
Meaning: “dedicated.”
Eng (EE-nock)

The name is derived from the Hebrew,  חֲנוֹך Chanokh, meaning, “dedicated.”

The name appears several times in the Old Testament, the most notable bearers being a son of Cain and a father of Methuselah. The latter is one of the seven pre-Deluge Patriarchs and is considered a major figure in Islam, (in Islam he is referred to as Idris), Judaism and various Christian branches. He is attributed as being the author of the apocryphal Book of Enoch,  which recounts the rise and fall of the Nephilim.

In the English-speaking world, the name came into usage after the Protestant Reformation. It was borne by American Revolutionary soldier and spy, Enoch Crosby (1750-1835), American entrepreneur and philanthropist, Enoch Pratt (1808-1896) and British politician, Enoch Powell (1912-1998).

As of 2010, its Scandinavian form of Enok was the 8th most popular male name in the Faroe Islands.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Henori (Albanian)
  • Henock (Amharic)
  • Enoch Енох (Bulgarian/English/German/Italian/Polish/Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Henoc (Catalan)
  • Henok (Croatian)
  • Eenok (Estonian)
  • Enok (Faroese/Icelandic/Scandinavian)
  • Enokur (Faroese)
  • Hanok (Faroese)
  • Henoch (Faroese)
  • Eeno (Finnish)
  • Eenokki (Finnish)
  • Eenukki (Finnish)
  • Einokki (Finnish)
  • Einukki (Finnish)
  • Ienokki (Finnish)
  • Enoki ენოქი (Georgian)
  • Énokh (Hungarian)
  • Enoque (Portuguese)
  • Enoh (Romanian)
  • Henoh (Slovene)
  • Enoc (Spanish)
  • Enock (Swedish)

Talitha

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Aramaic
Meaning: “little girl.”
Eng (tuh-LEE-thuh; TAL-i-thə); Dutch/Scan (tah-LEE-tah)

The name is taken from a phrase in the New Testament as spoken by Jesus to the dead daughter of Jairus in Mark (5:41), talitha cumi, meaning, “arise little girl.”

Its occurrence as a name seems to be traced to the Puritans of England and America. One interesting record of the name is of a girl born in England in 1861 who was christened: Talitha-Cumi People.

It also the name of two stars, which is derived from the Arabic,  القفزة الثالثة (at-tālitah), meaning, “the third leap.”

As of 2010, its continental form of Talita was the 7th most popular female name in the Faroe Islands.

 

Boaz

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Biblical Hebrew  בֹּעַז
Meaning: “strength; swiftness.”
Eng (BO-az)

The name appears several times throughout the Bible, in the Old Testament it is the name of the husband of Ruth, traditionally believed by Christians to be a direct ancestor of Jesus. It is also the name of one of the columns in Solomon’s Temple.

The name also appears in the Book of Mormon as the name of a city in which the Nephites  won a battle against the Lamanites.

As of 2010, its Scandinavian form of Boas was the 5th most popular male name in the Faroe Islands, while its specifically Faroese relative of Bóas was the 9th most popular.

In the Netherlands, Boaz was the 78th most popular male name, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Booz (Basque/Catalan/Indonesian/Latin: Biblical/Polish/Spanish)
  • Boaz Бо́аз (Dutch/English/French/Polish/Portuguese/Ukrainian)
  • Bóas (Faroese/Icelandic)
  • Boas (German/Scandinavian)
  • Boós Βοόζ Вооз (Greek/Russian)

Rebecca

Gender: Feminine
Origin: debated
Meaning: debated
Eng (re-BEK-ka)

Rebecca is the English form of the Biblical Hebrew רִבְקָה (Rivqah), which possibly means “snare” or “noose” possibly referring to captivation or beauty, but may also be of an unknown Aramaic source.

The name is borne in the Bible by the Aramean wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. She is considered a Jewish matriarch.

In the English speaking world, the name was seldom used until the Protestant Reformation, where it became an exceedingly popular name. Pocahantas even took this as her Christian name upon her baptism.

Currently, Rebekka is the 3rd most popular female name in Faroe Islands, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 20 (Rebecca, Italy, 2010)
  • # 24 (Rebeka, Hungary, 2010)
  • # 37 (Rebecca, Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 38 (Rebecca, Scotland, 2010)
  • # 48 (Rebecca, Ireland, 2010)
  • # 75 (Rebeka, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 75 (Rebecca, Sweden, 2010)
  • # 82 (Rebecca, England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 137 (Rebecca, United States, 2010)
  • # 290 (Rebecca, Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 304 (Rebecca, France, 2009)
  • # 404 (Rebekah, United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Rafqa ﻪﻔﻴﻓﺍﺭ (Arabic/Syriac)
  • Rebeka Ребека (Bosnian/Bulgarian/Czech/Hungarian/Lithuanian/Polish/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Rebeca (Catalan/Ladino/Portuguese/Romanian/Spanish)
  • Rebekka (Dutch/Ethiopian/Finnish/German/Scandinavian)
  • Rebecca (English/Italian/Scandinavian)
  • Becca (English)
  • Reba (English)
  • Rebekah (English)
  • Rébecca (French)
  • Rebèque (French)
  • Rebekah (Greek: Biblical)
  • Revekka Ρεβέκκα (Greek: Modern)
  • Rifqa (Hebrew: Biblical)
  • Riva/Rivka רִבְקָה, רבקה אמנו (Hebrew: Modern)
  • Réba (Hungarian)
  • Ribka (Indonesian)
  • Ryfka (Polish-Yiddish)
  • Rebecke (Plattdeutsch)
  • Revekka Реве́кка (Russian)
  • Reveka (Serbian)
  • Rebecka (Swedish)
  • Rifka/Riwka (Yiddish)

The name was the subject of the 1938 British novel of the same name, written by Daphne du Maurier. It is also borne by a 19th-century Lebanese Christian saint. The designated name-day is March 23 (France).

Common English diminutive forms include: Becca, Beck, Becky, Bex, Reba and Rebi.

Sources

  1. Genesis 22:20-23
  2. http://www.ou.org/torah/ti/5764/toldot64.htm
  3. http://www.behindthename.com/name/rebecca
  4. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/rebecca?view=uk

Leah

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: debated
Eng (LEE-uh); Heb (LAY-ah)

The name is found in the Old Testament as the name of the sister of Rachel and the first wife of Jacob.

In Jewish tradition, Leah is considered a matriarch and among Christians, she is believed to be the direct ancestor of Jesus.

Its exact meaning and origins are debated. Many scholars believe that it is from the Hebrew לְאָה (le’ah), meaning, “weary.” Other sources have suggested that it is from an Akkadian source meaning, “lady; mistress.”

In the English speaking world and on the continent, it was not common outside the Jewish community until after the Protestant Reformation.

Currently, Leah ranks in as the 24th most popular female name, (2010) and this is the highest the name has ranked in U.S. naming history. She is quite popular in other countries, her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Lea, Faroe Islands, 2010)
  • # 1 (Léa, Monaco, 2009)
  • # 1 (Lea, Romansch-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 2 (Léa, French-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 2 (Lea, Liechtenstein, 2010)
  • # 3 (Léa, France, 2009)
  • # 3 (Lea, Luxembourg, 2009)
  • # 5 (Lea, Austria, 2010)
  • # 5 (Lea, German-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 5 (Léa, Belgium, 2010)
  • # 5 (Lea/Leah, Germany, 2011)
  • # 9 (Lea, Malta, 2010)
  • # 14 (Leah, Norway, 2010)
  • # 15 (Leah, Ireland, 2010)
  • # 17 (Lea, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 20 (Leah, Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 25 (Leah, Scotland, 2010)
  • # 39 (Lea, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 46 (Lea, Denmark, 2010)
  • # 49 (Lea, Sweden, 2010)
  • # 50 (Leah, England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 55 (Leia, Sweden, 2010)
  • # 56 (Leah, Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 59 (Lia, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 63 (Leah, New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 89 (Lea, Norway, 2010)
  • # 95 (Lia, Hungary, 2010)
  • # 96 (Leah, Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 299 (Lia, France, 2009)
  • # 320 (Leia, France, 2009)
  • # 356 (Lia, Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 386 (Leah, Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 418 (Lea, Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 566 (Lea, United States, 2010)
  • # 830 (Leia, United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Lia (Catalan/Czech/Hungarian/Italian/Portuguese/Biblical Latin/Slovene)
  • Lea (Czech/Dutch/Estonian/Finnish/German/Hungarian/Icelandic/Norwegian/Polish/Romansch/Scandinavian/Slovak/Slovene/Spanish/Turkish)
  • Leah (English/Ethiopian/German/Scandinavian)
  • Leea (Finnish)
  • Leija (Finnish)
  • Leja (Finnish)
  • Lessu (Finnish)
  • Léa (French)
  • Leaette/Liette (French: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name, especially among French Huguenots).
  • Lía (Galician/Spanish)
  • Leia Λεια (Greek: Biblical)
  • Léá (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Lija/Liya Лия (Russian)
  • Lejá (Sami)

Common Czech diminutives include:

  • Leana
  • Leí
  • Leonka
  • Leoša
  • Leuška
  • Leúšik
  • Lienka
  • Liuška

The designated name-days are: January 5 (Estonia/Finland), March 22 (France), April 29 (Slovak), June 26 (Sweden).

Eva, Eve

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “life.”
Eng (EEV); (EE-vuh); Germ/Sp/Pol (EV-ah)

The name is borne in the Bible and in the Quran by the first woman created by God. She and her husband were expelled from the Garden of Eden after eating from the Tree of Knowledge.

The name is believed to be derived from the Hebrew roots חַוָּה, Ḥavvāh, from the Hebrew root ḥāyâ meaning “life” and the Semitic element, ḥyw “to live.” Both the Hebrew word chavah meaning “to live” and chayah meaning “to breath” share the same root.

Despite Eve’s fall from Grace in the Bible, the name was always in usage among Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. In England, its usage can be traced back to the 12th-century. Its Latinate form of Eva, has always been a classic in continental Europe, especially in Germany, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

As of 2010, Eva was the most popular female name in the Faroe Islanda and in Slovenia. Eve, Eva and all her various forms’ rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 3 (Iceland, 2010)
  • # 4 (French-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 5 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 7 (Ieva, Lithuania, 2010)
  • # 10 (Armenia, 2010)
  • # 10 (Evie, England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 14 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 15 (France, 2009)
  • # 17 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 20 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 24 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 26 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 29 (Croatia, 2010)
  • # 31 (Evie, Scotland, 2010)
  • # 33 (Evie, Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 37 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 44 (Eevi, Finland among Finnish-speakers, 2010)
  • # 44 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 46 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 47 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 48 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 55 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 55 (Éabha, Ireland, 2010)
  • # 56 (Eve, Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 59 (Eve, Ireland, 2010)
  • # 86 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 91 (United States, 2010)
  • # 92 (Eve, England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 99 (Eve, Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 201 (Eve, France, 2009)
  • # 589 (Eve, United States, 2010)
  • # 705 (Evie, United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Eva Ева ევა
    (Afrikaans/Albanian/Armenian/Basque/Belarusian/Bosnian/Catalan/Croatian/Czech/Dutch/Faroese/French/Frisian/Galician/Georgian/German/Icelandic/Italian/Portuguese/Romansch/Spanish/Scandinavian)
  • Evis (Albanian)
  • Mahalet/Mahlet (Amharic)
  • Hawa حواء Хауа (Arabic)
  • Yeva (Armenian)
  • Həvva (Azeri)
  • Yeva Ева Эва (Belarusian/Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Yevga Евга (Belarusian)
  • Hava (Bosnian)
  • Evy (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish: initially a diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Eveke (Dutch: initially a diminutive form, used as an independent given name, EV-eh-ke)
  • Eve (English/Estonian/Walon)
  • Evie (English)
  • Hawat/Hewa (Egyptian/Coptic)
  • Eeva (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Eevi (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Evi (Estonian)
  • Ivi/Iivi (Estonian)
  • Iivika (Estonian)
  • Ève (French)
  • Eefje, Eefke (Frisian)
  • Hawwa ሕይዋን (Ge-ez)
  • Eua Ευα (Greek)
  • Chava חַוָה (Hebrew: Modern: KHAH-vah, gutteral CH sound)
  • Éva (Hungarian: AY-vaw, diminutive form is Évike)
  • Hawa (Indonesian/Malayalam)
  • Éabha (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Ieva (Latvian/Lithuanian: YEH-vah)
  • Evuzus (Malaysian)
  • Aaue (Manx)
  • Èva (Occitanian)
  • Ewa (Polish: EH-vah, diminutive forms are Ewka, Ewunia and Ewusia)
  • Evá (Sami)
  • Evelia (Spanish)
  • Evita (Spanish)
  • Eba (Tagalog)
  • Havva (Turkish)
  • Efa (Welsh)

Italian masculine form is Evo.

Traditionally, in most European countries, the name-day for Adam and Eve is December 24.