Evander

Evander

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “good man”
Gender: Masculine
(ee-VAN-der)

The name is composed of the Greek elements, Greek ευ (eu) meaning “good” and ανηρ (aner, genetive) “man.” It was borne in Roman Mythology by an Arcadian hero who is credited for founding the city of Pallatium and also introducing the alphabet, the Greek religion and laws to the Italian peninsula. It was also borne by a 2nd-3rd-century BCE Greek Philosopher and 1st-Century CE Greek Sculptor.

In Scotland, Evander was adopted as the anglicized form of the Gaelic male name, Iomhair (EE-vor), though an English form (Ivor) already existed and neither Evander or Ivor are really related.

A notable contemporary bearer is American boxer, Evander Holyfield (b.1962).

In the United States, the name only made an appearance in the U.S. Top 1000 one time in 1895, coming in as the 872nd most popular male name.

Short forms include: Evan, Van, and Vandy.

Other forms include:

  • Evandre (Catalan)
  • Evànder (Catalan)
  • Evander (Danish/Dutch/German/English/Hungarian/Norwegian/Portuguese/Swedish)
  • Évandre (French)
  • Euandros (Original Greek form)
  • Evandro (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Euander (Latin)
  • Evandrus (Latin)
  • Ewander (Polish)

A feminine form is Evandra.
Sources

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Iris

IrisOrigin: Greek Ιρις
Meaning: “rainbow”
Gender: Feminine

The name is derived from the Greek “Îris (Ἶρις) Írídos (ίρίδος) “rainbow” and is borne in Greek mythology by the goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the Olympian gods. It later became associated with the body part, the flower, and a colour, all of which were named for the Greek goddess.

In recent years, the name has experienced a surge in popularity in several countries. Its rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #21 (Iceland 2017, Íris)
  • #25 (Portugal, 2016, Íris)
  • #31 (Sweden, 2017)
  • #32 (France, Paris, 2016)
  • #56 (Catalonia, 2016)
  • #73 (Spain, 2016)
  • #84 (England/Wales, 2016)
  • #85 (Netherlands, 2017)
  • #85 (Slovenia, 2016)
  • #116 (Norway, 2016)
  • #121 (France, entire country, 2016)
  • #186 (United States, 2016)
  • #199 (Scotland, 2016)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Iris Ирис Իրիս (Armenian/Bulgarian/Catalan/Czech/Danish/Dutch/English/Estonian/Finnish/French/German/Greek/Italian/Serbo-Croatian/Norwegian/Polish/Romanian/Slovenian/Spanish/Swedish)
  • Iryda Ірыда (Belarusian/Polish)
  • Irida Ирида (Bulgarian/Croatian/Greek/Italian/Russian/Serbian)
  • Iiku (Finnish)
  • Iiri (Finnish)
  • Iiris (Finnish)
  • Írisz (Hungarian)
  • Íris (Icelandic/Portuguese/Slovak)
  • Iride (Italian)
  • Iridė (Lithuanian)
  • Yryda Ирида (Ukrainian)

Sources

 

Sharbel, Charbel

Sharbel, CharbelOrigin: Aramaic
Meaning: uncertain
Gender: Masculine
(shar-BEL)

A traditional Aramaic male name, many sources erroneously list this name as Arabic. Its meaning is illusive, but what is known is that the second element of the name is either from the Aramaic el (God) or Ba’al, meaning “master; lord.”

This is a very common name among Assyrian Christians as it was borne by an early Christian martyr and saint of Syria (known to Western Christians as St. Sarbelius). St. Sarbelius was martyred under the Roman Emperor Trajan.

In the 19th-century, the name was borne by a Lebanese mystic and monk, St. Charbel Makhlouf (1828-1898).

The name is sometimes transliterated as Šarbel or Šarbil.

Since this is the name of a saint venerated among Roman Catholics and Eastern Christians, there are equivalents that appear on several Christian calendars across the world, however, the following names are not necessarily in common use in said languages:

  • Xàrbel (Catalan)
  • Šarbel (Croatian/Czech)
  • Charbel (French, used among French-speakers of Lebanese or Assyrian descent)
  • Scharbel (German)
  • Sarbelius (Latin)
  • Chárbel (Spanish, used among Spanish-speakers of Lebanese descent, especially in Mexico where there is a large Lebanese-Mexican community)
  • Szarbel (Polish: not in use, but appears on the Catholic Saint calendar)

Sources

Harmonia, Harmony

HarmonyOrigin: Greek
Meaning: “harmony”
Gender: Feminine

Harmonia was the name of the Greek goddess of peace and harmony, her Roman counterpart being Concordia.

Harmonia was also the name of a minor in nymph in Greek mythology.

In history, Harmonia was the name of the daughter of Gelo, a 3rd-century Sicilian king. Their story is rather unpleasant to say the least, after her family was slaughtered by their angry subjects, a faithful girl chose to stand in Harmonia’s place and was slaughtered as a result. Harmonia felt so guilty about someone else sacrificing their life for her that she ultimately killed herself.

Harmonia is also the name of a plant species, a species of beetle and butterfly.

Its English counterpart of Harmony has been in use since the 18th-century, being popularized among the Puritans.

Harmony has been in the U.S. top 1000 since 2000 and has steadily risen since then. As of 2016, it was the 191st most popular female name. It is also currently #369 in England & Wales, 2016. Between 2005 and 2010, it was among the top 100 most popular female names in New Zealand, peaking at #70 in 2006.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Harmonia (Catalan/Czech/Dutch/Greek/Hungarian/Polish/Portuguese/Romanian)
  • Harmonie (French)
  • Harmonía/Armonía (Spanish)
  • Armonia (Italian)

Sources

Myron

Myron

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “myrrh; perfume”
Gender: Masculine
Eng. (MY-ron); GRK (MEE-rone)

The name comes from the Greek meaning “myrrh; perfume.” It was borne by a 5th-century B.C.E Greek sculptor as well as several Christian saints.

In the United States, especially at the turn of the century, it was used among Jewish families as a form of the Hebrew Meir.

Myron is also the name of a genus of snakes.

For 100 years, between 1900-2000, it was in the U.S. Top 1000 Most popular male name. Myron peaked in 1931 when it was the 192nd most popular male name.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mirón (Asturian/Galician/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Miran Міран (Belarussian)
  • Miron Ми́рон (Bulgarian/Croatian/Romanian/Russian/Serbian/Slovenian/Ukrainian)
  • Miró (Catalan)
  • Myrón (Czech)
  • Myron (Dutch/English/French/German/Polish)
  • Mürón (Hungarian)
  • Mýron (Icelandic)
  • Mirone (Italian)
  • Mironi მირონი (Georgian)
  • Mironas (Lithuanian)

A feminine form is Myra.

Sources

 

Braulio

800px-Braulio_de_Zaragoza_e_Isidoro_de_SevillaOrigin: Spanish
Meaning: unknown
Gender: Masculine
(BROW-lee-oh)

The name can be traced to Visigothic Spain, when it was introduced by the 6th-century Spanish saint, Braulio of Zaragoza (590-651). A popular theory is that the name derives from the Germanic, Brandila, which is diminutive form of Brant (sword; fire). Another theory is that it is related to the Latin pravus (ferocious).

Through colonisation, its usage spread throughout the Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking world.

In the Spanish-speaking world, a notable bearer is Canarian singer/songwriter, Braulio (born Braulio Antonio García Bautista b. 1946).

Through the Catholic Church, the name appears on the calendar in most Catholic nations in various forms, though it has not experienced much use outside of Latin-American and Iberian countries, the other forms include:

  • Brauli (Catalan)
  • Braule (French)
  • Braulione (Italian)
  • Braulion (Polish)
  • Bráulio (Portuguese)

Feminine forms are Braulia (Spanish) and Bráulia (Portuguese).

Ironically, though popularly attributed as a name of Germanic origin, there doesn’t seem to be any obscure modern Germanic forms.

Sources

Damia

DamiaOrigin: Greek
Meaning: “earth mother”
Gender: Feminine
Pronunciation: It. Grk. Fre. Eng. (DAH-mee-ah); Eng. (duh-MEE-ah).

This is the name of an obscure Greek goddess who is sometimes associated with Demeter. According to legend, Damia and Auxesia were two Cretan maidens who were stoned death in a revolt. Their persecutors felt so guilty for what they did, that they turned the two maidens into goddesses, erecting shrines in their honor and holding festivals. Other sources report that Damia (of the earth) and Auxesia (of the growth) were two goddesses who personified fertility. Damia was sometimes synchronized with Demeter, and Auxesia with her daughter Persephone.

The name itself is most likely composed of the Greek elements, da, dê, gê (earth) and maia (mother nature).

In more recent history, Damia was the stage name of French actress and singer, Marie-Louise Damien (1889-1978). During the peak of her career, the name experienced some minor use in French-speaking countries, thought it never became very popular. In France, Damia is considered third greatest singer of chansons réalistes after Édith Piaf and Barbara.

The name also appears in the Old Testament as the name of a village in Jordan also known as the City of Adam, mentioned briefly in (Joshua 3:16).

Alternately, Damià (dah-mee-AH) is the Catalan form of Damian. It is borne by Spanish football player, Damià Abella Pérez (b. 1982).

Sources

 

Colette

Colette.jpgOrigin: French
Meaning: a contraction of Nicolette
Gender: Feminine
Pronunciation: ko-LET

The name is a contraction of the French, Nicolette, which is a feminine form of Nicolas.

As an independent given name, it has been in use since Medieval times. A notable Medieval bearer is St. Colette of Corbie (1381-1447). According to legend, St. Colette’s mother gave birth to her at the age of 60, after praying to St. Nicolas after years of infertility. The happy parents of the saint named her Nicole, in honour of St. Nicolas and she was known as Colette thereafter.

St. Colette lived a great deal of her life as an ascetic hermit, until she was inspired to join the Poor Clares, and eventually founded her own religious order known as the Colettines.

St. Colette was known for performing miracles on women who were experiencing difficult childbirths and as a result, is venerated as the patron saint of women trying to conceive, expectant mothers, and sick infants.

A more recent famous bearer was French novelist, Colette, however, in her case, Colette was her surname, her true name being Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954). Colette did go on to bestow this name on her own daughter, Colette de Juvenal (1913-1981).

And it is perhaps due to the latter illustrious figure that Colette took off in the English-speaking world. Among those of non-Frankish roots, whether in the U.K. or North America, Colette did not come into use until the 1920s. Her world famous novella, Gigi however, did not come into the spotlight until the 1940s, so there may have actually been a different source that propelled its use.

Currently, Colette is 468th most popular female name in the United States (2016). It first entered the U.S. Top 1000 in 1928. Colette peaked in 1966, ranking in as the 372nd most popular female name.

In France, the name was in the top 10 between 1934-1942. She was the 6th most popular female name in France between 1936-1937. Colette fell out of the charts in 1977 and has not been seen since.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Coleta (Catalan/Spanish)
  • Koleta (Czech/Polish/Slovakian)
  • Collette (English)
  • Coletta (Italian)

Sources

Colman, Colmán, Coleman

St. Colman.jpgOrigin: Gaelic
Meaning: “dove”
Gender: masculine
Ir. (kole-MAHN); Eng. (KOLE-men)

The name comes directly from the Gaelic word colmán (dove). The name was borne by numerous early Irish saints and several Irish kings.

Colman has never appeared in the U.S Top 1000, but its English offshoot, Coleman, has. Coleman has been in the U.S. Top 1000 Most Popular Male Names since 1900. It peaked in 1903, coming in as 360th most popular male name. In 2016, it was the 963rd most popular male name.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Coleman (English)
  • Colman (French/English/Hungarian)
  • Colmano (Italian/Spanish)
  • Colomà (Catalan)
  • Coloman/Koloman (Dutch/German)
  • Colomano (Italian)
  • Kolman/Koloman (Polish)
  • Kolonat (German)

Sources

Azalea

George_Taber_azaleaFrom the name of a flowering shrub, the name itself derives from the Greek,  αζαλεος (azaleos), meaning, “dry.”

Its use as a given name can be traced as far back as 18th-century England, and it has also been used in other countries such as Greece, Hungary, France and Spanish-Speaking countries.

The name first entered the U.S. Top 1000 in 2012 and has been steadily rising since then. As of 2016, Azalea was the 585th most popular female name.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Azalija Азалия (Bulgarian/Lithuanian/Russian)
  • Azalea (Catalan/Greek/Spanish)
  • Azalée (French)
  • Azálea (Hungarian)
  • Açelya (Turkish)

Sources