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

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

Stylian, Stelian, Stylianos, Steliana

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: “piller.”

Stylianos Στυλιανός is derived from the Greek στῦλος (stylos) meaning, “pillar.” St. Stylian was a 6th-century Byzantine saint who was a hermit, known for his love of children, hence he is considered the patron saint of children.

His feast day is November 26th.

Masculine forms include:

  • Stilian Стилиан (Albanian, Bulgarian, Russian)
  • Estilià (Catalan)
  • Stylian Стиліан (English, German, Polish, Ukrainian)
  • Stélien (French)
  • Stilien,Stylien (French)
  • Stelios Στέλιος (Greek)
  • Stylianos Στυλιανός (Greek)
  • Estellio (Italian)
  • Stelio, Stellio (Italian)
  • Stiliano (Italian)
  • Stylianus (Late Latin)
  • Estiliano (Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Steliano (Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Stelian (Romanian)
  • Stilijan Стилијан (Serbian)
  • Stilijanos (Serbian)

Feminine forms include:

  • Stiliana Стилияна (Albanian, Bulgarian, Italian)
  • Stélie, Stéliane, Stélienne, Stylienne (French)
  • Stelia (Greek, Italian)
  • Styliani Στυλιανή (Greek)
  • Stellia (Italian)
  • Styliana (Polish)
  • Estiliana (Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Steliana (Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish)
  • Stilijana (Serbian)

A common short form in Greece for the female version is Stella.

Sources

Aphrodite

The name is of uncertain origin or derivation, it is borne in Greek mythology by the goddess of love, beauty, sexuality and fertility, much of her story seems to be based off the Semitic goddess, Astarte, which is why scholars have recently suggested an unknown Semitic origin of her name. For centuries, her name was associated with the Greek aphrós (ἀφρός) (sea-foam), as suggested by Hesiod as she was legendarily believed to be borne from the sea-foam. Many contemporary scholars have rejected this origin.

I could write essays on the exploits and attributes of Aphrodite and I feel I would not do her story justice.

It’s modern Greek form of Afroditi has remained a staple throughout the centuries in Greece, also being the name of numerous Christian saints.

In the English-speaking world, the name has only been in use since the 18th-century.

A notable bearer is American author, Aphrodite Jones (b. 1958), who herself is half Greek.

Forms include:

  • Afërdita (Albanian)
  • Afrodite Աֆրոդիտե (Armenian, Italian, Portuguese, Scandinavian)
  • Afradyta Афрадыта (Belarusian)
  • Afrodita Афродита Афродіта (Bulgarian, Czech-Slovak, Macedonian, Romanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene, Spanish, Ukrainian)
  • Aphrodite (Dutch, English, French, German)
  • Apru (Etruscan)
  • Afraidíté (Gaelic)
  • Aprodit’e აფროდიტე (Georgian)
  • Afroditi Αφροδίτη (Greek)
  • ʻAperodite (Hawaiian)
  • Aphrodité (Hungarian)
  • Afródíta (Icelandic)
  • Afrodît (Kurdish)
  • Afrodīte (Latvian)
  • Afrodyta (Polish)
  • Afrodit (Turkish)

Sources

Thurstan, Torsten

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: “Thor’s stone.”
  • Gender: masculine

Both names are derived from the Old Norse male name, Þórsteinn, literally meaning “Thor’s stone.” The name is attested as early as the 5th-century in Medieval Scandinavia and appears in the Norse saga, Draumr Þorsteins Síðu-Hallssonar.

It was transported to England by Anglo-Saxon & Norse settlers, the Anglo-Saxon form being Thurstan, and remained prevalent even after the conquest of the Normans, who themselves also used the name due to their original Norse heritage. Thurstan was borne by an 11th-century Bishop of York. Thurstan is the progenitor of the English surnames Thurston and Dustin.

Torsten appeared in Germany’s Top 100 Most Popular Male Names between 1960 and 1978, and peaked at #6 between 1964-68. While Torstein was in and out of the Norwegian Top 100 Male Names between 1947-1991, peaking at #84 in 1948. It’s original Old Norse form of Þórsteinn ranked in at #46 in Iceland’s Top 100 Male Names in 2012.

Forms include:

  • Turstin (Anglo-Norman, French)
  • Thurstan (English)
  • Tórstein (Faroese)
  • Torstein, Thorstein (Faroese, Norwegian)
  • Toro, Torro (Finnish, Scandinavian)
  • Torste,Torsti (Finnish)
  • Toutain (French, archaic)
  • Torsten (German, Scandinavian)
  • Thorsten (German, Scandinavian)
  • Torstene, Torsteni (Greenlandic)
  • Þórsteinn (Icelandic, Old Norse)
  • Turstino (Italian, Spanish)
  • Turstanus, Tursteinus, Turstinus (Late Latin)
  • Twyste (Middle Low German)
  • Tostein (Norwegian)
  • Dorste (Sami)
  • Toste (Scandinavian)
  • Tosten, Thosten (Swedish, archaic)

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

Ardal, Ardgal

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: “high valour.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • AR-dahl

Ardghal is composed of the Gaelic àrd (high; tall) and gal (valour). The name was borne by Ardgal mac Conaill (circ. 6th-century), the 3rd king of Uisnech.

A notable modern bearer is Irish actor, Ardal O’Hanlon.

Other forms include:

  • Ardal (English)
  • Árdghal (Gaelic)
  • Ardghar (Gaelic)
  • Ardgalus (Late Latin)

Sources

Balin

Eng Pronunciation: BAY-lin

The name is of uncertain origin or meaning, it appears in Arthurian legend as the name of one of King Arthur’s knights, recorded by Thomas Malory in Le Mort d’Arthur, Sir Balin of the 2 swords is the well-meaning but ill-fated knight who ends up unwittingly engaging in a sword fight with his own brother Balan.

Other forms include:

  • Balain, Balaain (French)

The name was also used by J.R.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit for one his dwarves.

Balin or Valin is also the name of a monkey king in the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, in this case, the name is derived from the Sanskrit बलिन् (mighty; robust; strong).

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

Latif, Latifa

  • Origin: Arabic لَطِيْف
  • Meaning: “gentle; kind; benevolent.”

Latif is a masculine given-name which comes directly from the Arabic word لَطِيف (gentle; kind; benevolent). In Islam, Al-Latif لطيف, (the Kind; the Benevolent) is one of the 99 names of Allah (God). It’s feminine form is Latifa.

Latif & Latifa are commonly used throughout the Islamic world.

A notable American bearer is actress & singer, Queen Latifah.

Other forms include:

  • Latıif (m), Latıifa (f) (Avar)
  • Lətif (m), Lətife (f) (Azeri)
  • Latheef, Latheefa (Dhivehi)
  • Latifah (f) (Indonesian, Malaysian)
  • Letîf (m), Letîfe (f) (Kurdish)
  • Lәtyjif (m), Lәtyjifә (f) (Tatar)
  • Letife (f) (Turkish)
  • Lateef لطیف, Lateefa(h) (Urdu)

Sources