Robin

Gender: Masculine
Origin: English/French
Eng (RAH-bin); Fre (hroh-BAHn); Swe (ROH-bin)

Though the name has become increasinly feminine over years, and is now considered somewhat of a “mom” name, Robin is currently a fashionable male name in several countries.

Robin is a Middle English diminutive form of RobertIt is often associated with Robin Hood of Legend. Robin has been used as an independent given name since at least the 19th-century. Its usage on females began in the 1930s, (most likely being influenced by the bird). It first entered the top 1000 for females in 1932. The highest it ranked for females was in in 1962/1963 when it was consecutively the 25th most popular name for girls in the United States. Despite its popularity on females in the 60s, Robin did not fall out of the U.S. top 1000 for boys during those years. The highest he ever ranked was in 1956 when it was the 147th most popular male name. As of 2011, Robin does not rank in the U.S. top 1000 for either males or females.

His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 45 (France, 2010)
  • # 60 (Belgium, 2008)
  • # 61 (Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 83 (Sweden, 2011)

An obscure Scottish feminine form is Robina.

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Linda

Gender: Feminine

1. Origin: German
Meaning: “soft; tender”
Линда

2. Origin: Spanish
Meaning: “pretty”

3. Origin: Estonian
Meaning: “bird.”

In the English-speaking world, the name is most likely derived from the ancient Germanic element, linde, meaning, “soft; tender.”

Its popularity between the 1940s-1950s may have been due to its associations with the Spanish adjective, linda which means “pretty.” However, the name is not really used in Spanish-speaking countries.

In Estonian, the name has a completely different etymology and history. It appears in the Estonian national epic, the Kalevipoeg, where it is the name of the protagonist’s mother. In this case, the name is most likely derived from the Estonian word lind, meaning “bird.”

Between 1947-1952, this was the most popular female name in the United States, as of 2010, it ranked in as the 623rd most popular female name. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 393 (France, 2009)
  • # 456 (Netherlands, 2010)

The name is also used in Czech, German, the Scandinavian languages, Finnish, Italian, Hungarian, Latvian, Slovak and in Bulgarian.

Designated name-days are: February 13 (Hungary), April 15 (Finland), April 30 (Latvia), June 20 (Sweden), June 25 (Estonia), August 21 (Latvia), September 1 (Czech Republic) and September 2 (Slovakia).

Notable bearers include: American actress and star of the Exorcist, Linda Blair (b.1959); Wonder Woman star, Lynda Carter (b. 1951); Canadian supermodel, Linda Evangelista (b.1965); actress Linda Fiorentino (b.1958) and Linda McCartney (1941-1998).

Sources

  1. www.behindthename.com
  2. www.askoxford.com
  3. http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/19438
  4. http://www.kalevipoeg.info/
  5. http://www.lituanus.org/2001/01_3_05.htm
  6. http://www.nlib.ee/html/expo/kalevipoeg/sisse-eng.html
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_(Estonian_mythology)
  8. http://online.ectaco.co.uk/main.jsp;jsessionid=bc30356aa6876d371b29?do=e-services-dictionaries-word_translate1&direction=2&status=translate&lang1=23&lang2=et&refid=-1&source=lind

Colombe

Gender: Feminine
Origin: French
Meaning: “dove.”
Pronunciation

The name comes directly from the French word for dove and despite it being a modern word, it is an ancient French female name.

It was borne by a 3rd-century Christian martyr and saint who had been killed in Sens.

Traditionally, the name was always more common in Corsica, but has recently risen in popularity in other parts of France. As of 2009, she was the 495th most popular female name in France.

Sainte-Colombe is a term in French used to describe the Holy Spirit.

An obscure masculine form is Colomb.

Pakhom, Pacôme

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Ancient Egyptian
Meaning: “he-falcon.”
Fre (PAH-kome)

The name is composed of the ancient Egyptian elements, pa (he) and akhom (falcon).

The name was later hellenized to Pachomius and franconized to Pacôme.

The name is borne by a major Coptic Christian saint (circ.3rd-century C.E), who is also revered in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Pakhom is credited for being the founder of Coptic Monasticism.

As of 2009, its French form of Pacôme was the 412th most popular male name in France.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Bakhoum باخوم (Arabic/Assyrian/Lebanese/Syrian)
  • Pacomi (Catalan)
  • Pacumi (Catalan)
  • Pakhom (Coptic)
  • Pacôme (French)
  • Pachôme (French)
  • Pakhomios Παχώμιος (Greek)
  • Pacomio (Italian/Spanish)
  • Pachomiusz (Polish)
  • Pacômio (Portuguese-Brazilian)
  • Pacómio (Portuguese-European)
  • Pahomie (Romanian)
  • Pahomij Пахомий (Russian/Slovene)
  • Pahomije (Serbian)
  • Paho (Slovene)
  • Paxomij Пахомій (Ukrainian)
The name was also borne by a 15th-century Serbian hagiographer and two patriarchs of Constantinople.
Pachomius is also the name of a genus of spider.

Phoebe

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: bright; light
(FEE-bee).

To many Americans, Phoebe brings to mind the wacky yet lovable character of Phoebe Buffay on the popular SitCom, Friends. To the British, she is of an upper crust trendy sort, to Christians, she is an admirable woman in the New Testament, and to the Greeks, she is a classic, featured in both the Greek Orthodox calendar of saints as well as in Greek myth.

The name is derived from the Greek, Phoibus, which means “bright, light.”

In Greek Mythology, Phoebe was a pre-Olympic goddess, a Titan. She was the goddess of the moon and the consort of her own brother Coeus, from him, she mothered Asteria and Leto and was believed to be the grandmother of Artemis and Apollo.

The Greeks later associated her with the goddess Artemis. Phoebe was often used as an epithet for Artemis, while the masculine form, Phoebus, was used for Apollo.

Phoebe was also associated with the Oracle of Delphi.

There are a few other Phoebes mentioned in ancient Greek religion, one was a Heliade nymph, another was the daughter of Leucippus and Philodice.

Phoebe, daughter of Leucippus, and her sister Hilaeira, were priestesses to Artemis and Athena. They were both betrothed to Idras and Lynceus. Castor and Pollux, the divine twins, were so impressed by their beauty, that they fell in love with the two maidens and carried them off for themselves. Idras and Lynceus, outraged, sought the two immortals but were both slain. Nevertheless, Phoebe married Pollux. It was also the name of a sister to Leda.

In the New Testament, the name is borne by a woman of Cenchrae, many scholars argue that she was a deaconess, the Catholic Church especially seems to support this stance. She is also believed to have brought Paul’s Epistle of the Romans to Rome. She is a canonized saint in both the Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches, both rites hold her feast on September 3rd.

Fast forward to the 1500s and you will find the name Phebe, (an older English spelling), as the name of one of Shakespeare’s characters in his play, As You Like It. In the modern American Classic, she is the younger sister of Holden Caulfied in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. Polish Science Fiction writer, Jacek Duraj, uses the name as an acronym for post-human beings in his novel Perfekcyjna niedoskonałość.

Phoebe is also the name of a genus of evergreen tree, a species of bird and a moon of the planet, Saturn.

As of 2010, Phoebe was the 29th most popular female name in England/Wales. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 56 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 90 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 93 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 309 (United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Febe (Asturian/Danish/German/Italian/Norwegian/Polish/Portuguese/Spanish/Swedish)
  • Foibe (Danish)
  • Phoebe (Dutch/English/German)
  • Phœbé/Phébé (French)
  • Phoibe (German)
  • Phoebi/Phoibi (Greek)
  • Feba (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Foibe (Swedish)

Shahin

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Persian شاهين
Meaning: royal king
(shah-HEEN)

The name is composed of the Persian elements, shah (king) and in (royal). In Persian it is used to refer to a type of falcon, known in English as the Shaheen falcon also known as the peregrine falcon. An interesting and alternative bird-name, indeed!

As of 2009, its franconized form of Chahine was the 451st most popular male name. A Turkish form is Şahin.

Erla

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Faroese/Icelandic
Meaning: “wagtail.”
(AIR-lah)

The name could be of one or two origins, it could be derived from the Faroese and Icelandic word for the wagtail, maríuerla. It could also very well be an Old Norse feminine form of Jarl.

The name is also a masculine Finnish form of Erlend.

As of 2010, Erla was the 7th most popular female name in the Faroe Islands.