Phaedra

  • Origin: Greek Φαίδρα
  • Meaning: “bright.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pronunciation: Eng (FAY-drah, FYE-drah, FEED-rah)

The name comes directly from the Greek word φαιδρός meaning, “bright.”

It is borne in Greek mythology by the sister of Ariadne and the wife of Theseus. There are several versions of her tragic tale, one is that Aphrodite drove Phaedra to fall madly in love with the latter’s step-son, Hippolytus who rejects Phaedra, and in retaliation, Phaedra claims that Hippolytus attempted to rape her. Theseus who was granted 3 wishes by Poseidon wishes his own’s son death by having Poseidon summon 3 bulls from the sea who subsequently dragged Hippolytus to death. In another version of the tale, Phaedra falls in love with Hippolytus of her own free-will but he rejects her, and the story follows the same sequence of events as above.

The story was retold by Ovid and Senece the Younger and later became the popular subject of plays throughout Europe.

In England and France, the name became more widespread after its use in Jean Racine’s 1677 play, Phèdre and later Algernon Charles Swinborn’s1866 play, Phaedra. Friedrich Schiller also wrote a play and recently it was the subject of the opera written by German playwrite, Hans Werner Henze.

It is also another name for the plant, Bernardia, as well as the name of a genus of butterfly and an asteroid.

In France, Phèdre is a unisex name as it is a translation of both Phaedra & Phaedrus.

Phaedra appeared in the Top 100 Most Popular Female Names in Belgium, ranking in at #87 in 1997.

A masculine form is Phaedrus and Phaidros.

Forms and use include:

  • Fedra Федра (Catalan, Corsican, Italian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovene, Spanish, Ukrainian)
  • Faidra (Czech, Finnish, Hungarian, Slovakian, Swedish)
  • Fædra (Danish)
  • Phaedra (Dutch, English, Latin)
  • Phèdre (French)
  • Phaidra Φαίδρα (German, Greek)
  • Phädra (German)

Sources

Astraea

  • Origin: Greek Ἀστραία
  • Meaning: “star.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Eng Pronunciation: (uh-STRAY-ah)

The name is borne in Greek mythology by the daughter of Astraeus and Eos. She is the goddess of justice, innocence, purity, & precision and is closely associated with Dike, the goddess of Justice. According to Ovid, Astraea was a mortal woman during the Golden Age, but ascended into the heavens to become the constellation Virgo.

Other froms of the name include:

  • Astraia Աստրաիա (Armenian, Czech, German, modern Greek, Scandinavian)
  • Astrea Астрея (Bulgarian, Catalan, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian)
  • Astrée (French)
  • Astraja (Lithuanian, Polish)
  • Astreia (Portuguese)

Sources

Lieba, Liba, Lieber

Liba can have a few meanings, it is firstly a polonized form of the Yiddish ליבאַ Lieba (love), which is identical to the German word. It may have also been influenced by the Czech word libý (nice; pleasant). It was popular among Eastern-European Jews as it also coincided with the Czech-Slovak name Líba, which is a contracted form of names like Libuše & Liběna.

Also sometimes spelled Liebe.

It was sometimes anglicized by Jewish immigrants to Leeba.

A Yiddish masculine form is Liber or Lieber.

In Latvia, the designated name-day is April 19, though in this case, it is probably a borrowing from the Czech & Slovak use.

Sources

Adonis, Adonija, Adonise

Adonis is borne in Greek mythology by the god of beauty and desire. According to the most popular myth, he was born of the incestuous union of Theias and his daughter Myrrha. Myrrha had tricked her own father into having sex with her. The gods transformed Myrrha into a myrrh tree after Theias attempted to kill her whilst pregnant with Adonis. Adonis was beloved of Aphrodite and mothered by Persephone, but he was subsequently killed by a boar when Artemis, or in some versions, Ares, sent a boar to kill Adonis out of jealousy. When Adonis died, Aphrodite cried tears which mingled with Adonis’ blood, producing the Anemone flower. Aphrodite instituted the Adonia festival in his commemoration, whereby all women had a mass mock funeral of Adonis by growing plants in potsherds on their rooftops and performing a mass funeral ritual as soon as the plants sprouted.

It is likely Adonis was imported by the Greeks from the Phoenicians, the latter being the descendants of the Sumerians, Mesopotamians & Babylonians. It is believed by most scholars that Adonis is an adaptation of the Sumerian story of Dumuzid & Inanna (later Tammuz & Ishtar), in which a ritual funeral rite was also performed by women across the former Babylonian empire. Adonis itself is a Hellenized form of the Canaanite, adon, which means “lord” and was often used as an appellation by the Canaanites for the god Tammuz. The Jews adopted this appellation for Yahweh in the form of Adonai (my lord).

Adonis is borne by an 8th-century French saint of Vienne. He is also listed as Adon & Ado. Adonis has sporadically been used as a given-name in Greece, anglophone, francophone & hispanophone countries. The French feminine off-shoots, though rare these days, are Adonise (AH-do-NEEZ) and Adonie, and were actually prevalent in 18th-centurry Quebec & New Orleans. An obscure Italian feminine form is Adonella.

There is the male Biblical Hebrew name, Adonijah meaning (my lord is Yahweh). It is borne by a son of King David and was Hellenized in the Septuagint as Adonias.

Other forms include:

  • Adonies (Catalan)
  • Adonia (Dutch, Italian, Swedish)
  • Adonija Адония (French, German, Russian)
  • Adonias Αδωνίας (French, Greek, Portuguese)
  • Adonías (Galician)
  • Adonja (Norwegian)
  • Adoniasz (Polish)
  • Adonías (Spanish)
  • Adoniya Адонія (Ukrainian)

Currently, Adonis is the 242nd most popular male name in the United States and the 461st most popular in France.

Other forms include:

  • Adonisi ადონისი (Albanian, Georgian)
  • Adonis Адонис Адоніс Άδωνις Ադոնիս (Armenian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, Macedonian, German, Greek, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Scandinavian, Serbian, Slovene, Spanish, Turkish)
  • Adónis Адо́ніс (Belarusian, Continental-Portuguese, Czech, Slovak)
  • Adó (Catalan)
  • Adónisz (Hungarian)
  • Adone, Adon (Italian)
  • Adônis (Brazilian-Portuguese)
  • Adón (Spanish)

Sources

Lubomir, Lubomira

  • Origin: Slavic
  • Gender: masculine
  • Meaning: “love & peace.”

Lubomir is composed of the Slavic elements, lubo (love) & mir (peace).

Its Czech form of Lubomír was one of the most popular male names in the Czech Republic between 1935-2006, it peaked at #16 in 1959.

Other forms include:

  • Ljubomir Љубомир Љубомир (Bosnian, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene)
  • Lubomir Любомир (Bulgarian, Polish)
  • Lyubomir Лыѹбомир (Old Church Slavonic, Russian)
  • Lubomierz (Polish)
  • Ľubomír (Slovakian)
  • Lyubomyr (Ukrainian)

Diminutives & Short Forms

  • Ljubiša, Ljubo (Bosnian, Bulgarian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene)
  • Luboš (Czech)
  • Ljube, Ljupcho, Ljupčo (Macedonian)
  • Ľuboš (Slovakian)

Feminine forms are

  • Ljubomira (Bosnian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene)
  • Lubomíra (Czech)
  • Lubomira (Medieval Slavic, Polish)
  • L’ubomíra (Slovak)
  • Lyubomyra (Ukrainian)

Sources

Pippin, Pépin

The name is Germanic and of disputed meaning. It is most likely derived from a Germanic element bib- meaning “to tremble,” which formed an etymological basis for the Late Latin nickname, pippinus (little child). This same root is related to the modern French word, pépin, which means “seed” or “pulp” in French, but also a “glitch” in modern French slang.

This was a name that appeared among the Carolingian rulers of the Franks. It was most notably borne by King Pepin the Short (8th-century CE), father of Charlemagne, as well as Pepin of Landen, an ancestor, who was revered as a saint in Belgium (6th-century CE).

Pépin appeared in the French Top 500 between 1902-1945, peaking at #358 in 1942.

Its Dutch form of Pepijn (PEP-pine) currently appears in Netherlands’ Top 100, coming in as the 64th most popular male name in the Netherlands (2019).

Forms and usages in other languages are as follows:

  • Pepyn (Afrikaans, Frisian)
  • Pippin (Alemmanish, English, Estonian, German, Letzburgerish, Swedish)
  • Pepín (Aragonese)
  • Pipí (Catalan)
  • Pepin (Czech, English, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Walloon)
  • Pipin (Danish, English, Finnish, German, Norwegian)
  • Pepijn, Pippijn (Dutch)
  • Pépin (French, Gaelic)
  • Pipino (Italian, Spanish)
  • Pêpenê (Kurdish)
  • Pippinus (Late Latin)
  • Pepinas, Pipinas (Lithuanian)
  • Pepino (Portuguese)

Sources

Plamen, Plamena

Plamen Пламен (Bulgarian & Serbian) is primarily South Slavic in the contemporary world, but comes from a pan-Slavic word meaning, “flame.” The feminine form is Plamena.

It was potentially Płomień in Medieval Polish. Płamen (male) and Płamena (female) are also modern Polish transliterations of the Bulgarian.

In Bulgaria, the designated name-day is November 8th.

Sources

Sławomir

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  • Origin: Polish
  • Meaning: “glorious peace; glorious world.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • (SWAH-vo-MEER)

The name is composed of the Old Polish elements, sławo (glory, fame, prestige) and mir (peace, serenity, world). It is the reverse form of Mirosław.


Its Germanic form of Sclaomir was borne by the brother of Drasco, an Obrodite prince who acted as a vassal for the Franks in the 9th-century.

Its Czech form of Slavomír was borne by a 9th-century Moravian duke who was known for leading a revolt against the Franks.


Designated name-days in Poland are May 17th, November 5th and December 23rd.


A common short form is Sławek.

The feminine form is Sławomira, with the diminutives Sława and Sławka.

Medieval Polish feminine forms found in 14th-century records are Sławna, Sławnica, Sławomirz, Sławomirza and Sławocha.

Other masculine forms include:

  • Slavamir Славамір (Belarusian)
  • Slavomir Славомир (Bosnian, Croatian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian)
  • Slavomír (Czech/Slovak)
  • Sclaomir (German, archaic)
  • Sławòmir (Kashubian)
  • Sławomiar (Polish)
  • Eslavomir (Spanish)
  • Slavomyr Славомир (Ukrainian)

Feminine forms in other languages are Slavomíra (Czech & Slovak) and Slavomira (Bosnian, Croatian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian)


Sources

Zadoc, Zadok

Cornelis_de_Vos_-_The_Anointing_of_Solomon

  • Origin: Hebrew צָדוֹק
  • Meaning: “righteous; just.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Eng (ZAD-uk)

The name is from the Hebrew meaning “just; righteous.” It is borne by 5 characters in the Old Testament, most notably Zadok the High Priest during the reign of King David & King Solomon.

The name has always been used among Jews but came into use among Protestant Christians mainly in the 18th-century.

Zadok the Priest is a hymn written by Handel which was first played at King George II’s coronation and has been played at every coronation in the British monarchy since.


Other forms include:

  • Zädock (Bavarian German)
  • Sadok Садок (Bulgarian, Croatian, Polish, Russian, Scandinavian)
  • Sádoch, Sádok (Czech)
  • Zadok (Dutch, Finnish, German, English, Scandinavian)
  • Sadoq (French)
  • Sádók (Hungarian)
  • Sadoc (Italian, Latin, Spanish)
  • Haroko (Maori)
  • Tzadok (Modern Hebrew)
  • Zadoque (Portuguese)
  • Ţadoc (Romanian)
  • Cadok Цадок (Ukrainian)

Sources

Uziel, Uzziel

Uzziel


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “God is my strength; God is my power.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • (uh-ZYE-el; OOZ-ee-el)

The name is composed of the Hebrew עֹז (‘oz) meaning “strength, power” and אֵל (‘el) meaning “God.”

It is borne by a few minor characters in the Bible, including the grandson of Levi and the father of Mishael, Elzaphan, and Zithri, the uncle of Aaron, Moses & Miriam.

In the apocryphal Enoch 3, Uziel is the name of a fallen archangel, more often referred to as Uzza. The same archangel is referenced as such in some versions of the kabbalistic text, Sefer Raziel HaMalakh, Johannes Trithemius’ Steganographia; and in John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

In Talmudic Jewish tradition, it was the name of the father of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, one of the 80 tannaim who studied under Hillel the Elder.

Among Medieval Jews, the name was rare among Ashkenazi Jews but very common among Sephardis & Middle Eastern Jews.

In the English-speaking world, the name is seldom used but has recently become common in Spanish-speaking countries.

A recent notable bearer was Uziel “Uzi” Gal (born Gotthard Glas) (1923-2002), a German-born Israeli gun designer best known for his invention of the “uzi.”


Other forms include:

  • Uciel (Albanian)
  • Usiheel (Bavarian German)
  • Oziil Озиил (Bulgarian)
  • Oziel Οζιηλ (Biblical Greek)
  • Ozihel (Biblical Latin)
  • Uziel (Croatian, Czech, French, Italian, Modern Hebrew, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish)
  • Uzziël (Dutch)
  • Usiel (Finnish, French, German)
  • Huziel, Ouzziel (French)
  • Huzziél (Hungarian)
  • Uzielis (Lithuanian)
  • Utiere (Maori)
  • Ussiel (Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Uziil Узиил (Russian)
  • Ziel (Yiddish)

Sources