Zuleika, Zuleikha

800px-Rembrandt_Harmensz._van_Rijn_065


  • Origin/Meaning: unknown زُلَيْخا זוליכה‎
  • Gender: female
  • (zoo-LAY-kah)
  • Usage: Arabic, Armenian, English, German, Italian, Ladino, Persian, Portuguese – Brazilian, Spanish

The name is of uncertain origin or meaning, since it appears in Muslim and Medieval Jewish tradition as the name of the wife of Potiphar (who is unnamed in the Old Testament), it is often suspected to be of Coptic origin, though the name is not traditionally used among contemporary Copts.

The wife of Potiphar is mentioned in the Bible as trying to seduce Joseph and later falsely claiming he tried to rape her, which leads to Joseph’s unjust imprisonment. In Medieval Islamic tradition, the story was reinterpreted as a popular love story, the subject of much poetry, she is named Zuleikha and her love for Joseph was interpreted by Sufi poets, especially Rumi and Hafez, to represent the longing the soul has for God. Zuleika is also attributed to be her name in the Sefer haYashar, also known as the Book of Jasher, a Jewish midrash of unknown authorship.

In the English-speaking world, the name first came into use in the early 19th-century, it was most likely popularized by Byron’s 1813 poem, The Bride of Abydos, in which it is the name of the heroine. It was also used by the German poet Goethe for his 1810 poem entitled, Book of Zuleika, in his collection of Eastern inspired poems called West–östlicher Divan. It is the name of the eponymous character in the 1911 novel, Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohn, which was later adapted into a musical.

The name is also used in Spanish-speaking countries and Brazil.


Other forms include:

  • Zulejka (Albanian, Bosnian)
  • Züleyxa (Azeri)
  • Zuleica (Catalan, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Zulejha, Zulejka Зуле́йха, Зулейка (Chechen, Russian)
  • Zelikah (Dutch)
  • Zouleïkha (French)
  • Züleyha (Turkish)
  • Zulayho (Uzbek)

Other Arabic transliterations include: Zulaykha and Zulekha.

Spanish diminutives include: Zula & Zuzu.


Sources

Ianeira, Ianira, Yanira

Les_Oceanides_Les_Naiades_de_la_mer

Les Oceanides Les Naiades de la mer. Gustave Doré, 1860s


  • Origin: Greek Ιάνειρα Ιάνιρα
  • Meaning: uncertain
  • Gender: feminine
  • (yah-NEER-ah)

The name is Greek but of uncertain derivation, it may be linked with the term Ionian. In Greek mythology, it is borne by an Oceanid nymph who was said to be gathering flowers with Persephone when she was abducted by Hades. It is also borne by a nereid.

In recent years, its Spanish forms of Janira & Yanira have become common in Spanish-speaking countries.

Other forms include:

  • Janira (Catalan, Spanish)
  • Ianira (Italian, Greek)
  • Yanira (Spanish)

Sources

Deianeira

Deianeira_and_the_dying_centaur_Nessus_1888


  • Origin: Greek Δηιανειρα, Δῃανειρα
  • Meaning: “slayer of man; husband slayer.”
  • Gender: Female
  • (DAY-a-NEER-ah; DIE-yah-NEER-ah)

The name is composed of the Greek elements δηιοω (deioo) & ανηρ (aner) meaning “man.”

The name is most notably borne in Greek mythology by the wife of Hercules who was tricked by the Centaur of Nessus into believing his poisoned blood would cure Hercules of infidelity but ended up being fatal to the man-god. It is also borne by an Amazon who was killed by Hercules during his quest to obtain the golden girdle of Hippolyta.

In recent years, its Spanish form of Deyanira has been popular in Latin American countries. A common Spanish short form is Deya (DIE-ah).

Other forms include:

  • Dejanira Деянира Дэяніра Деянира (Belarusian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovene, Ukrainian, Russian)
  • Deianira (Catalan, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Latin, Romanian, Scandinavian)
  • Déianeira (Czech, Hungarian)
  • Déjanire (French)
  • Deïaneira (German, Greek)
  • Deyanira (Spanish)

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

Rufus, Rufina

220px-William_II_of_England

King William II


The name comes directly from the Latin word meaning “red-headed.” It was a common Roman cognomen and was borne by a man who is referenced in Romans 16:13 and another who is referenced in Mark 15:21. According to Eastern Orthodox tradition, the aforementioned are one and the same person and is venerated as one of the Seventy Disciples mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. He is also popularly believed to be the son of Simon of Cyrene.

The name is borne by several other saints.

It was the nickname of King William II of England, known as William Rufus III on account of his red-hair.

The name appeared in the U.S. Top 100 2 times, in 1880 & 1882, peaking at #88 in 1880. It remained in the Top 1000 1988.

In England & Wales, the name was the 264th Most Popular Male Name in 2018.

Rufus is used in Dutch, Czech, English, Finnish, German, Latvian, Polish & the Scandinavian languages.

Other forms include:

  • Rufit (Albanian)
  • R’owp’osy Ռուփոսյ (Armenian)
  • Rufess (Bavarian)
  • Ruf Руф (Bulgarian, Catalan, French, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian)
  • Roufaous (Coptic)
  • Rufinus (Dutch, German, Latin, Scandinavian)
  • Ruffe (Finnish)
  • Ruuhva, Ruuhvus (Finnish)
  • Ryffe, Ryyfys (Finnish)
  • Rufin (French, German, Polish)
  • Rhouphon Ροῦφον (Greek)
  • Rúfusz (Hungarian)
  • Ruffo (Italian)
  • Rufillo, Ruffillo (Italian)
  • Rufino (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Rufo (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Rufinus (Latin)
  • Rufas (Lithuanian)
  • Rupuha (Maori)
  • Rúfus (Slovak)

150px-Santa_RufinaIts feminine form of Rufina was borne by a couple of early saints, one of whom was from Seville, she was a pottery maker who refused to sell her wares for a pagan festival.

Feminine forms include

  • Roufina (Coptic)
  • Rufe (French)
  • Rufine (French)
  • Rufina Руфина (Dutch, English, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Scandinavian, Spanish)
  • Rufa (Italian)
  • Rufilla (Italian)

Sources

Rudy, Rudolph, Rolf

200px-Rudolf_IV


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “famous wolf.”
  • Gender: Masculine

The name is derived from the Germanic Hrodulf, which is composed of the elements hrod (fame) and wulf (wolf). The name was borne by several European rulers.

In England, it has been in use since Anglo-Saxon times, its Anglo-Saxon form of Hroðulf was usurped by the Norman Rudolph and Rodolph in the 11th-century.

In the English-speaking world, the name has come to be associated with the Christmas folk hero, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, based on a children’s book written by Robert L. May in 1939.

Rudolf appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1887-1932, and peaked at # 715 in 1916. He appeared 3 times in the French Top 1000 in 1914, 1931 and again in 1933, peaking at #454 in 1934. He was in the German Top 20 between 1893 and 1936, peaking at #11 in 1899 and in 1916.

In France, it’s native form of Rodolphe appeared in the Top 1000 between 1900 and 2001 and peaked at #79 in 1970.

Its contracted form of Rolf has been in occasional use in England since the 11th-century. It was a favorite in German-speaking countries in the 1920s-50s, peaking at #11 in 1947. In Norway, it peaked at #14 in 1945. Rolf has also appeared in the American and French charts, though not very high. Rolf peaked at #210 in France in 1943 and #772 in 1960 in the U.S.

It his diminutive form of Rudy, often used as an independent given-name, is the one which has gained some traction in recent years. Rudy appeared in the French Top 100 between 1979-1984, and peaked at #76 in 1980. Rudy’s current rankings in the popularity charts are as follows:

  • #271 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #822 (U.S.A., 2018)

Rudolf is used in Albanian, Armenian, Czech-Slovak, Dutch, Hungarian, Icelandic, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene, the Scandinavian languages and Russian.

Other forms include:

  • Hroðulf, Hrothulf (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Roel, Roelof, Ruud (Dutch)
  • Rodolf (Catalan)
  • Rolph (English)
  • Rudo, Ruudo, Ruudolf (Estonian)
  • Róðolvur (Faroese)
  • Ruuto, Ruutolffi, Ruutolhvi, Ruutolppi (Finnish)
  • Rodolphe (French)
  • Roele, Roelef, Roelf, Rolef, Rolof, Roloff, Roluf, Roolof (Frisian)
  • Rudolp რუდოლფ (Georgian)
  • Roff (German)
  • Rudi (German, Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian)
  • Rudo (German)
  • Rul (German)
  • Rûtulfe, Ruutuulfi (Greenlandic)
  • Rhodólphos Ροδόλφος (Greek)
  • Rúdólf (Icelandic)
  • Rodolfino (Italian)
  • Rodolfo (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Ridolfo (Italian)
  • Rudolphus (Latin)
  • Rūdolfs, Rūdis (Latvian)
  • Rudolfas, Rudas (Lithuanian)
  • Doffen (Norwegian)
  • Roffe (Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Hróðólfr, Hrólfr (Old Norse)
  • Rudulf (Polish, archaic)
  • Duff, Dusch, Riedi, Ruosch (Romansch)
  • Ruedi (Swiss-German, diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent form)

Feminine forms include:

  • Rudolfia (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Rodolphine (French)
  • Rudolfine (German, Scandinavian)
  • Rodolfa, Rodolfina (Italian, Spanish)
  • Rodolfetta (Italian)
  • Rudolfa (Polish, Scandinavian)
  • Rudolfina (Hungarian, Polish, Scandinavian)

Sources

Sephora, Zipporah

Zipporah


Zipporah is derived from the Hebrew צִפוֹרָה, Tsippōrāh, “bird.” It is the name of the wife of Moses in the Book of Exodus. The name was often transliterated from the Greek as Sephora.

Pronounced ZIP-pe-ruh in English (kind of rhymes with Deborah), it was first used by Protestant non-Jews in the English speaking world in the 16th-century. Both Zipporah but more often Sephora were occasionally used in 16th-century England and Colonial America.

Zipporah has always been a popular name in the Jewish diaspora, which has spun-off some colourful offshoots. A favorite among Ashkenazi Jews since Medieval Times, it is the inspiration of the Yiddish name, Faigel, which is from the Yiddish פֿויגל (foigl) meaning “bird.” Pre-Yiddish Knaanic Jews of Slavic lands, particularly in Poland used Sójka (blue jay) as a vernacular form. Due to its similar sound, European-Jews also used Cypriana as a form of Zipporah though the names have no etymological relation.

The name of the cosmetic store was named in reference to Moses’ wife.

Other forms include:

  • Safura, Safrawah صفورا (Arabic)
  • Səfurə (Azeri)
  • Zipora (Breton, German)
  • Sèfora (Catalan)
  • Sipóra (Czech)
  • Sippora (Dutch, Finnish, Scandinavian)
  • Séphora, Zéphora (French)
  • Zippora (German)
  • Sepphora Σεπφώρα (Biblical Greek)
  • Tziporah, Tziporrah צִפּוֹרָה (Modern Hebrew)
  • Cipora, Cippóra (Hungarian)
  • Sefora (Italian)
  • Chipora (Judeo Anglo-Norman)
  • Cipiora, Çapora (Ladino)
  • Seffora (Latin)
  • Ṣaffūrah (Malay)
  • Cippora, Cyppora, Sefora (Polish)
  • Séfora (Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Zípora (Portuguese)
  • Sepfora Сепфора επφώρα (Russian, Modern Greek)
  • Zipóra (Spanish)
  • Cypojra, Cypra (Polish-Yiddish)
  • Bayerle (Medieval Judeo-German)
  • Beverlin, Beverle, Böverle, Böverlin (Medieval Judeo-German)
  • Paye, Payerlayn, Payerl, Payerle, Payerlin (Medieval Judeo-German)
  • Pura, Pure, Purlin (Yiddish)
  • Tsipere, Tsipoyre, Tsipure, Tsipor, Tsipur (Yiddish)
  • Tsiporlin (Yiddish)

Popular diminutive forms are Zippy and Tsipi

Sources

Cassius

Cassius


The name is of uncertain origin or meaning, it has been linked with the Latin cassus, meaning “hollow, empty, vain,” and the Latin cassis (metal helmet). It has also been suggested to be of Etruscan origins. It was the name of a Roman gens, which produced such Roman notables as Gaius Cassius Longinus (died 42 C.E.) who was one of the assassins of Julius Caesar; and Roman historian Cassius Dio (died 235 C.E). The Via Cassia is a namesake of the same clan.

The name was subsequently borne by several early saints, including Cassius of Clermont (3rd-Century C.E.) and Cassius of Narni (d. 558 C.E.). Its feminine forms of Cassia & Cassiana are also borne by several female saints.

A more recent notable bearer is Cassius Clay (1942-2016), which was the birth name of the American Boxer, Muhammed Ali, who was in turn named for his father who was named after the American abolitionist and politician Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr (1810-1903).

Cassius has been in and out of the U.S. Top 1000 since 1880, between 1880-1895, it was among the Top 1000 and peaked at #425 in 1880. Between 1896-1964, the name did not appear in the U.S. Top 1000. He made a brief appearance in 1964 coming in as the 859th most popular male name. His sudden appearance in 1964 may be due to Muhammed Ali winning the world heavyweight championship of the same year. Between 1964-2008, Cassius was once again expelled from the top 1000. As of 2018, Cassius was 595th Most Popular Male Name in the United States. In England & Wales, he ranks in at #333.

Traditionally pronounced CASH-es in English, it is often shortened to Cash. Another form is Cassian (KASH-en).

Other forms include:

  • Kasi (Basque)
  • Kasian (Breton)
  • Cassi, Cássius (Catalan)
  • Kasije (Croatian, Serbian)
  • Kasián (Czech)
  • Cassianus (Dutch, Latin)
  • Cassius, Kassius (Dutch, German)
  • Cassian (German, Occitanian)
  • Kassian (German)
  • Cassie, Cassien (French)
  • Cassiano, Cassio (Italian)
  • Casiano, Casio (Spanish)
  • Kasiani (Kiswahili)
  • Kasijus (Lithuanian)
  • Kasjusz, Kasjan (Polish)
  • Cássiano, Cássio (Portuguese)
  • Kassij Кассий, Кассій (Russian, Ukrainian)

Feminine forms include:

  • Cássia, Cássiana (Catalan, Portuguese)
  • Kasija (Croatian, Lithuanian, Serbian)
  • Cassia, Cassiana (English CASH-uh, Italian, Occitanian)
  • Cassiane, Cassienne, Cassie (French)
  • Kasja, Kasjana (Polish)
  • Kassija (Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Casia, Casiana (Spanish)

Sources