Vera

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Slavic Вера
Meaning: “faith.”
Eng (VARE-uh; VEER-uh); Rus (VYEH-rah)

The name is most likely a borrowing from the Russian female name, Vera, which comes directly from the Slavic meaning, “faith.” Initially, it was a Russian-Orthodox cognate of the Greek female name, Pistis (Faith), the name of an early Christian saint and martyr.

The name has been used outside of Eastern Europe since at least the 19th-century. It is unclear how the name caught on in the English-speaking world, but by the time of its popularity the name was usually associated with the Latin, verus, (true), verses, the Slavic, (hope).

Its usage in Albania may also be connected with the Albanian word, verë, (Summer).

The name is borne by several famous Russian women, including silent film actress, Vera Kholodnaya (1893-1919) and theatre actress, Vera Komissarzhevskaya (1864-1910); Chemist, Vera Popova (1867-1896).

Other notable bearers include: English writer and feminist, Vera Brittain (1893-1970); Ukrainian-American actress, Vera Farmiga (b.1973); American actress, Vera Miles (b.1929); American fashion designer, Vera Neumann (b.1907) and American fashion designer, Vera Wang (b.1949).

The highest the name ranked in the United States was in 1919 when she came in as the 65th most popular female name; its popularity may have had something to do with Vera Kholodnaya who died the same year, but this is only my personal conjecture.

As of 2010, Vera is the 675th most popular female name in the United States. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 13 (Veera, Finland, 2011)
  • # 39 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 45 (the Netherlands)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Vera Вера (Albanian/Bulgarian/Croatian/Dutch/English/Faroese/German/Hungarian/Icelandic/Italian/Latvian/Lithuanian/Macedonian/Portuguese/Russian/Scandinavian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Věra (Czech)
  • Veera (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Véra (French)
  • Verina (Italian)
  • Verutė (Lithuanian)
  • Wiara (Polish)
  • Wiera (Polish)
  • Verá (Sami)
  • Viera (Slovak)
  • Wera (Swedish)
  • Vira Віра (Ukrainian)

Diminutive forms include:

  • Verica (Czech/Serbian)
  • Verika (Czech)
  • Verochka (Russian)
  • Verunka (Czech)
  • Verusha (Russian)
  • Vierunka (Czech)
  • Vieruška (Czech)
  • Věrka (Czech)
  • Věruna (Czech)
An obscure Latin masculine form is Verus.
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Iman

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Arabic  إيمان Иман
Meaning: “faith.”
(ee-MAHN)

The name comes directly from the Arabic word for faith.

The name is used throughout the Islamic world and as of 2010, it was the 30th most popular female name in Bosnia & Herzegovina, (2010).

Its North African form of Imane is currently the 80th most popular female name in Belgium, (2009), the 163rd most popular in France, (2009) and the 411th most popular in the Netherlands, (2010).

Iman was brought to attention in the Western World by Somali-born model, Iman (b.1955)

The name is also borne by two Jordanian princesses and Persian Princess Iman Pahlavi, daughter of Reza Pahlavi, the deposed Crown Prince of Iran.

Other forms include:

  • Imane (Algerian/Moroccan/Tunisian)
  • İman (Azeri/Turkish)
  • Îmân (Kurdish)
  • Imaan (Somali)
  • Imani (Swahili) 

Faith

Gender: Feminine
Origin: English
Meaning: from the word

The name comes directly from the English abstract virtue noun.

Many sources suggest that Faith was not in usage as a given name till the 17th-century, when this and other virtue names became prevalent among the adherents of Puritanical Protestantism, but Faith as a given name has existed since at least the early Middle Ages , as it is the name of at least two early Christian female saints.

One early legend is found in both the Orthodox and Catholic churches, of three Greek sisters named Hope, Faith and Charity, who were martyred in the 3rd-century C.E.

Another Saint attributed with the name is Saint Foy or Saint Faith of Agen. According to legend, St. Faith was tortured to death by a hot brazier, under the reign of Diocletian in Aquitaine. The Cançon de Santa Fe is credited to be one of the earliest known works to be written in the Catalan language. The poem celebrates St. Faith in 593 octosyllabic lines.

Its Spanish and French forms were in usage on the Continent since the early Middle Ages.

Currently, Faith is 91st most popular female name in the United States, (2008). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 80 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 80 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 269 (the Netherlands, 2009)

Other forms include:

  • Fe (Catalan/Spanish: FEH)
  • Foi/Foy (French)
  • Fede (Italian)
  • Fides (Latin)
  • Wiara/Wiera (Polish: used in reference to St. Faith)
  • Vera Вера (Russian: usually used in reference to St. Faith)

Designated name-days are October 6, (France).

Sources

  1. http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-faith-6-october/
  2. Hallam, Elizabeth (ed.) (1994). Saints: Who They Are and How They Help You. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 91.
  3. http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/73325
  4. Luca Robertini, ed. Liber miraculorum sancte Fidis. (Biblioteca di Medioevo Latino, 10.) Spoleto: Centro Italiano di Studi sull’Alto Medioevo, 1994; an English translation is The Book of Sainte Foy. Translated with an introduction and notes by Pamela Sheingorn. (University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia) 1995.
  5. Ashley, Kathleen M.; Sheingorn, Pamela (1999). Writing faith: text, sign & history in the miracles of Sainte Foy. University of Chicago Press. p. 33.
  6. Butler, Alban; Farmer, David Hugh; Burns, Paul (2000). Butler’s Lives of the Saints. Liturgical Press. p. 139.
  7. http://www.behindthename.com/php/find.php?name=faith
  8. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/faith?view=uk