Nectar, Nectaire, Nectarius, Nectaria

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: “nectar.”

Nectar is the English form of the Greek Nektarios Νεκτάριος, which is derived from νέκταρ (nektar), meaning “nectar, the drink of the gods. Nectar is not a name that has ever been in common use in the English-speaking world, but since it is the name of several Eastern and Western Christian saints, the proper English male translation of the name would be Nectar; or it would have appeared thus in the calendar.

It was borne by St. Nectaire of Auvergne, a 4th-century Christian missionary to the Gauls in what is now the Massif Central region of France. According to Gregory of Tours, he was sent by Pope Fabian, along with his brothers, where he transformed a temple that was dedicated to Apollo on Mont Cornadore into a cathedral that still stands, and was subsequently beheaded by the local Gaulic chieftain. The commune of Saint-Nectaire in the Puy-de-Dôme department of France gets its name from him, as does the cheese of the same name; or the latter technically comes from the Marshal of Senneterre, which is a linguistic corruption of Saint-Nectaire.

Male forms include:

  • Nektarij, Nektary Нектарий (Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Nectari (Catalan)
  • Nektarious (Coptic)
  • Nectarije (Croatian-Serbian)
  • Nectar (English)
  • Nectaire (French)
  • Nektari ნეკტარი (Georgian)
  • Nektarios Νεκτάριος (Greek)
  • Nettario (Italian)
  • Nectareus, Nectarius (Late Latin)
  • Nektārijs (Latvian)
  • Nektariusz (Polish)
  • Nectário (Portuguese)
  • Nectarie (Romanian)
  • Nectario (Spanish)

Feminine forms include

  • Nektaria, Nektarija Νεκταρία Nექთარიჯა Нектария (Coptic, Bulgarian, Georgian, Greek, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Ukrainian)
  • Nectarie (French)
  • Nettaria (Italian)
  • Nectaria (Latin, Romanian, Spanish)
  • Nectária (Portuguese)

A modern male Greek diminutive form is Nektary and the Russian diminutive form for both the male and female form is Nechka.

Sources

Spyridon, Spyridoula

Spyridon is a Byzantine Greek male name which comes directly from the Greek word σπυρίδιον (spyridion), meaning “basket.” Other sources suggest it is a hellenised form of the Latin Spiritus (spirit). It was popularized by a 4th-century Greek saint who played a key role in the Council of Nicaea. He is revered as the patron saint of Corfu and of potters.

His feast day is December 12.

Spiro & Spyros are its short forms, while Spyridoula is the femininine form.

Spiro was borne by the 39th vice president of the United States, Spiro Agnew (1918-1996).

It was borne by Spyridon Louis, the first modern Olympic Gold medalist in the 1896 Summer Olympics.

Forms and usage include:

  • Spiridoni, Spiridhoni (Albanian)
  • Asbiridun اسبيريدون (Arabic)
  • Spiridon Спиридон (Assyrian, Bulgarian, Croatian, German, Lebanese-Arabic, Romanian, Serbian)
  • Espiridió, Espiridó (Catalan)
  • Spyridon Σπυρίδων (Coptic, French, Greek)
  • Špiro (Croatian)
  • Spi’ridon სპირიდონ (Georgian)
  • Spiridione, Spiridone (Italian)
  • Spirydon (Polish)
  • Espiridão (Portuguese)
  • Spiridón (Russian)
  • Espiridón, Espiridión (Spanish)
  • Spyrydon Спиридон (Ukrainian)

Italian feminine forms include: Spiridiona & Spiridona.

Sources

Lamara, Lamaria

  • Origin: Georgian ლამარა
  • Meaning: “of Mary.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • lah-MAH-rah; lah-MAHR-yah

The name is derived from the Svan term meaning “of Mary,” referring to the Virgin Mary as in the case of the church name in Svaneti  უშგულის ლამარია (Ushgulis Lamaria). Lamara is the name of a 1928 Georgian play by Grigol Robakidze.

Lamaria ლამარია is also the name of a Svan folk goddess of fertility, cattle, the hearth and women. Her name is most likely influenced by the Christian Virgin Mary and it is unknown if the goddess is a synchronized folk saint or if the name was changed after Christianity was introduced into the area.

Both names have recently become prevalent in Chechnya & Kazakhstan.

It is borne by Georgian soprano Lamara Chqonia (b. 1930).

In the United States, it is sometimes used as a feminine form of Lamar.

Sources

Cuthbert

  • Origin: Anglo-Saxon
  • Meaning: “bright famous.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • KUTH-bert

The name is composed of the Anglo-Saxon words cuþ “famous” and beohrt “bright.” It is notably borne by St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, a 7th-century English saint who is revered as the patron saint of Northumbria. Even after the Protestant Reformation, he remained a popular figure in Northern England, the Cathedral of Durham is where he lies entered.

It is the progenitor of the eponymous English surname.

Common short forms are Cuddy & Cuth.

Other forms include:

  • Cuthbehrt (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Cuthbertus (Dutch, Late Latin)
  • Cuthbert (English, French, German)
  • Cudbert (French)
  • Cutberto (Italian, Spanish)
  • Kutbert (Polish)
  • Cuteberto (Portuguese)
  • Cuithbeart (Scottish-Gaelic)
  • Katbert Катберт (Ukrainian)
  • Cwthbert (Welsh)

Sources

Cassiel

  • Origin: Hebrew פצִיאֵל
  • Meaning: “God is my cover; cover of God; speed of God.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Pronunciation: Eng KAS-see-el

The name is derived from the Hebrew פצִיאֵל (Qaftzi’el), which is likely to mean “cover of God” or “God is my cover.” Other sources claim this name means “speed of God.” According to Judeo-Christian apocrypha, Cassiel is one of the 7 archangels. In the Hekhalot Rabbati, he is the one of the guardians of the doors of the 7th Heaven. In the Sefer Raziel, he is described as the Prince of Saturn, while in the Zohar, he is credited as being one of the aides of the Archangel Gabriel. He is also mentioned in the rabbinic literature of the Kabbalah. In Christian literature, he is mentioned in the grimoire known as The Sworn Book of Honorius as well as in Peter Abano’s Heptameron. He is mentioned in a Byzantine text regarding exorcism. He also appears as an archangel in mystic Islamic literature under the name كسفيائيل‎, Kasfiyāʼil.

Cassiel was traditionally believed to not have much input on the things that occur in the world of man, he was also considered the angel who presided over the death of kings as well as the angel of tears and the angel of temperance. His days are sometimes Thursday or Friday.

As a given-name, it has only come into occasional use the last century. It may have become even more widespread after its use in the Wim Wender 1987 film, Wings of Desire.

I could not find any strong evidence that this name has ever been used as a given-name among Jews or Muslims, though I don’t believe it is considered a forbidden name in either religion, more likely, the obscurity of the angel in the general populace of both religions has left the name obsolete.

Other forms include: Cafziel, Kafziel, Caphziel,Captiel, Cassael, Castiel, Qaspiel, Qephetzial, & Quaphsiel.

Forms in other languages include:

  • Kasfiyāʼil كسفيائيل‎, (Arabic)
  • Cassiël (Dutch)
  • Cassiel (English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Qaftzi’el קפציאל‎ (Hebrew)

Feminine forms include: Kasiela, Casiel(l)a, Qaftiziela (modern Hebrew); Cassielle (English, French), Cassiëlle (Dutch), Casiele (Brazilian-Portuguese).

Sources

Faolán, Phelan, Fillin

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: “little wolf.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Gaelic (FWAY-lahn); Eng (FAY-len; FIL-lin)

The name is derived from the Gaelic, faol, meaning “wolf” and the diminutive suffix –án. It is borne by 3 Medieval Saints from Ireland, 2 who settled in Scotland and another that did missionary work in Frankish Brabant.

There is a Cathedral dedicated to St. Foillan of Brabant in Aachen, Germany.

It is the ancestor of several Irish and Scottish surnames, such as Fylan, Hyland, MacClellan, MacClelland, Mac Giolla Fhaoláin, McClellan, McClelland, Ó Faoláin, Phelan, Whalen & Whelan.

Fillan is also the name of a place in Norway, but the name is probably of a separate etymology.

Other forms include:

  • Foillan (Dutch, French, German)
  • Phillan (English)
  • Feuillien (French)
  • Folien (French)
  • Foilan (French)
  • Pholien (French)
  • Foillano (Italian)
  • Fillano (Italian)
  • Foilanus/Foillanus (Late Latin)
  • Fáelán (Old Irish)
  • Felano (Spanish)

Sources

Fuad

  • Origin: Arabic فُؤاد
  • Meaning: “heart.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Pronunciation: foo-AD

The name comes directly from the Arabic word for heart. It is used equally among Arab- Muslims & Christians. Among Christians, particularly Palestinians, Chaldeans and Lebanese Christians who profess Roman Catholicism, it is used in reference to the Sacred Heart of Jesus or the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the same way the Spanish name Corazón is used in the Spanish-speaking world, though in the Arabic case, the name is strictly masculine.

Among Muslims, the term fu’ad is used at least 5 times in the Quran. The name is used throughout the Islamic world.

It is even used among Non-Arab groups in the Middle East, such as Mizrachi Jews.

The name was borne by two Egyptian kings.

Other forms include:

  • Fuad (Amharic, Azeri, Bosnian, Indonesian)
  • Fouad (Maghrebi)
  • Fuat (Turkish)
  • Fawad (Urdu)

A feminine form is Fuada(h).

Sources

Menas, Minas, Mina

  • Arabic مينا;
  • Armenian Մինաս
  • Coptic ⲙⲏⲛⲁ
  • Ge’ez ሜናስ
  • Greek Μηνᾶς

Menas is a popular male name among Eastern Christians, it is of uncertain meaning, it may derive from the Greek μήνη (mene) meaning, “moon,” or the ancient Egyptian Menes, which is the name of a 3rd-century BCE Egyptian pharaoh, in which case, the name derives from the ancient Egyptian, mnj (he who endures). It may also be related to the ancient Egyptian divinity name, Min, which is of uncertain meaning. However, according to Coptic tradition, the name means “amen.”

It is the name of a popular 2nd-century Coptic saint and martyr, known as Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲙⲏⲛⲁ (Abba Mina). According to legend, St. Menas’ parents were devout Christians who were having a hard time having children. His mother prayed to the Virgin Mary for a child, and she heard a response saying “amen,” this is where the name Menas supposedly derives from. It is speculated by some that the Western St. Christopher and the Eastern St. Menas are one and the same person. It is also borne by an Ethiopian saint of the 6th-century (CE) and a 16th-century CE Ethiopian emperor.

It was the name of 1st-century CE Roman admiral who features in Shakespeares, Antony & Cleopatra.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Minasə ሚናስ (Amharic)
  • Mina مينا; Мина ⲙⲏⲛⲁ Ми́на Міна (Arabic, Bulgarian, Coptic, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Minas Մինաս Μηνάς (Armenian, Greek)
  • Menna (Catalan)
  • Ménas (French)
  • Menas (German, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Ménász, Mennasz, Mínász (Hungarian)
  • Mena (Italian)

Sources

Blessing

  • Origin: English
  • Gender: Female

The name comes directly from the word and first came into use as a female given-name in 16th-century English, it was later adopted by the Puritans and has had sporadic use as a given-name by various Christian groups since. The name has recent been very popular among Nigerian Christians.

The word itself derives from the Anglo-Saxon, blǣdsian, which originally meant “to mark with blood,” which was often done during pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon religious rights.

Blessing first entered the U.S. Top 1000 Female Names in 2019, ranking in at #916.

A notable bearer is Nigerian Track & Field Athlete, Blessing Ogakbere (b.1988).

Sources

Joah

JoahOrigin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “Yahweh is brother; brother of Yahweh”
Gender: Masculine
(JOH-ah)

The name is composed of the Hebrew elements,יַהְוֶה‬(Yahweh) and אָח (ach) meaning “brother.”

Joah is borne by 4 minor characters in the Old Testament.

In the English-speaking world, Joah has been in sporadic use since the 17th-century. A notable bearer was English musician, Joah Bates (1741–1799).

Another form is Joach.

Sources