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

Osborn, Espen, Asbjørn

Osborn and Asbjørn are both composed of the Norse elements áss (god) & bjǫrn (bear), essentially meaning “divine bear.” Osborn is the modern Anglo-Saxon equivalent of Osbeorn, the latter of which was prevalent in Anglo-Saxon England and survived into the Norman period as Osbern, later developing into the common English patronymic surnames of Osbourne & Osbourn. Its Scandinavian equivalents still survive today in the forms of Esben (Danish), Espen (Danish, Norwegian) and still Asbjørn (Norwegian); and Asbjörn & Esbjörn (Swedish).

Osbeorn was borne by the son of Siward of Northumbria (circ. 11th-century CE) and one of the fallen of the Battle of the Seven Sleepers in Scotland. It was also borne by Osbern de Crépon (circ. 11th-century CE), one of the stewards of the Duke of Normandy. There are several other famous Anglophone personages who bear it as a surname and forename.

Asbjørn appeared in the Norwegian Top 100 Male Names between between 1945 & 1967, it peaked at #35 in 1946-7, while Espen appeared in the Top 100 in Norway between 1957-2004, peaking at #8 in 1982.

The designated name-day for Asbjörn is May 10th in Sweden.

General Scandinavian diminutive forms used in all Norse countries are Ebbe, Bjarne & Bjarni.

Short forms in English include Oz(z), Ozzie & Ozzy.

Other forms include:

  • Osbeorn (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Esbern (Danish, Faroese)
  • Asbjørn (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Esben, Espen (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Ausburn (English)
  • Osbourn (English)
  • Osbern (French, archaic)
  • Auber (French, archaic)
  • Ásbjörn (Icelandic)
  • Osberno (Italian)
  • Sberno (Italian)
  • Ásbjǫrn (Old Norse)
  • Asbjörn/Esbjörn (Swedish)

Sources

Penny, Pennie

Pennies


The name can either be a diminutive offshoot of Penelope or Pernille. The name was already in use as an independent female name in England by the 1640s. Its use may have been influenced by the currency.

Currently, Penny is 198th most popular female name in England & Wales & the 754th most popular in the U.S.A (2018). In the U.S., Penny peaked at #86 in 1963. She appeared in the Swedish top 100 between 2016-2017, peaking at #81 in 2016.

The name has also been in use in Scandinavian countries and Finland since the 19th-century. A Faroese form is Penný.

The name is borne by British model Penny, Lady Stewart Landcaster (b. 1971); and American actress and director, Penny Marshall (1943-2018).

Sources

Vala

Velléda_contemplant_la_demeure_d'Eudore,_29_March_2016

Detail of a sculpture of the Germanic seeress Veleda, Hippolyte Maindron, 1844

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Gender: feminine

The name is Old Norse and can either be derived from the Old Norse vǫlva meaning “fortune-teller, prophet,” or a short form of any Norse name beginning in the Valr element, which might relate to valr “slain” as in Valhalla (hall of the slain) or the Old High Germanic, walah meaning foreigner; stranger”; later “Welsh.”

The name’s use was first recorded in Sweden in 1876, but may have been used in Norse times as well.

Another form is Valva.


Sources

Marcus, Mark

Il_Pordenone_-_San_Marco_-_Budapest


From one of the most common Roman praenomen, its origin and meaning is uncertain. A popular etymology is that it relates to Mars, others suggest it may be from the Etruscan Marce, which may come from mar (to harvest). It is said the name was originally bestowed on those who were born in March.

Marcellus and the name of the month of March likely shares the same etymological root.

It was borne by several notable Romans, including Mark Antony, Marcus Aurelius & Cicero.

It was the name of one of the Evangelists who authored the eponymous Gospel, known as St. Mark in the Christian world, he is revered as the founder of Christianity in Africa and is traditionally believed to have founded the Church in Alexandria. Coptic Christians hold him in high regard. His bones were smuggled out of Egypt in a barrel of pork fat by Venetian merchants from Alexandria when Egypt fell under Islamic rule and were transported back to Venice where they were eventually installed and dedicated in the Basilica of San Marco.

The name was borne by a 2nd-century pope as well.


Marcus, Mark and Marc have been quite popular in several countries. Marcus was in the U.S. Top 100 between 1970-2000, Sweden’s between 1998-2008, New Zealand’s between 2008-2014, England & Wales between 1996-2003, and in Denmark’s between 1994-2006. Currently, his rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #54 (Canada, BC, 2018)
  • #87 (Australia, 2018)
  • #100 (Norway, 2018)
  • #209 (United States, 2018)
  • #213 (France, 2018)
  • #236 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #406 (Netherlands, 2018)

Its latinate form of Marco, which started off as a mainly Italian form, became widespread across the continent. His rankings in the following countries are as follows:

  • #11 (Galicia, Spain, 2018)
  • #16 (Spain, 2018_
  • #23 (Italy, 2018)
  • #65 (Catalonia, Spain, 2018)
  • #81 (Portugal, 2018)
  • #358 (United States, 2018)
  • #436 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #446 (France, 2018)

It’s English form of Mark appears in the legend of Tristan & Isolde as the name of the King of Cornwall, supposedly the name was not common in the English-speaking world until the 19th-century, but became a hit by the Mid-1900s. Mark appeared in the U.S. Top 100 between 1944-2002, which is quite a long stretch. Mark peaked the highest in popularity between 1955-1970, peaking at #6, six years in a row between 1959-1964.  Marks’s rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #5 (Slovenia, 2018)
  • #6 (Moscow, Russia, 2018)
  • #21 (Hungary, 2018)
  • #83 (Ireland, 2018)
  • #210 (U.S., 2018)
  • #253 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #298 (the Netherlands, 2018)

Marc is the French, Catalan & Welsh form and has been popularly used in the English-speaking world, it is currently the most popular male name in Catalonia, 2018 and between 1968-1976 it was in the U.S. Top 100. Marc’s rankings in the popularity charts are as follows

  • #26 (Spain, 2018)
  • #313 (France, 2018)
  • #825 (US, 2018)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mark Марк (Albanian, Belarusian, Breton, Dutch, English, Maltese, Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Marḳos ማርቆስ (Amharic)
  • Marqus مَرْقُس‎ (Arabic, mainly used among Arab-Christians)
  • Marghos (Armenian)
  • Marko (Basque)
  • Marko Марко (Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Finnish, Macedonian, Serbian, Slovene, Ukrainian)
  • Markos Μαρκος Ⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ (Coptic, Greek)
  • Margh (Cornish)
  • Marcu (Corsican, Romanian)
  • Mokus (Croatian, Serbian)
  • Marek (Czech, Polish, Slovak)
  • Marco (Catalan, Dutch, Galician, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Marc (Catalan, French, Occitanian, Welsh)
  • Marcus (Dutch, English, German, French, Scandinavian)
  • Markus (Dutch, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, Frisian, German, Scandinavian)
  • Marghus (Estonian)
  • Markko, Markku (Finnish)
  • Marke (Finnish)
  • Marcas (Gaelic)
  • Marx (German, archaic)
  • Maleko (Hawaiian)
  • Márk (Hungarian)
  • Markús (Icelandic)
  • Marchino (Italian)
  • Marcolino (Italian)
  • Marcuccio (Italian)
  • Mareks (Latvian)
  • Marks (Latvian)
  • Markuss (Latvian)
  • Markas, Morkus (Lithuanian)
  • March (Lombard)
  • Markys (Manx)
  • Marquét (Poitvin, diminutive form)
  • Marcos (Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Kusi (Swiss-German diminutive form)
  • Marqōs ܡܪܩܘܣ‎ (Syriac)
  • Mår (Walloon)

It’s feminine forms include Marca but and sometimes Marcia was used as a feminine form, though it is more the feminine equivalent of Marcius.

Other feminine forms include:

  • Markusine (German, obscure)
  • Marchina (Italian)
  • Marcolina (Italian)
  • Marcuccia (Italian)

Sources

Rudy, Rudolph, Rolf

200px-Rudolf_IV


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “famous wolf.”
  • Gender: Masculine

The name is derived from the Germanic Hrodulf, which is composed of the elements hrod (fame) and wulf (wolf). The name was borne by several European rulers.

In England, it has been in use since Anglo-Saxon times, its Anglo-Saxon form of Hroðulf was usurped by the Norman Rudolph and Rodolph in the 11th-century.

In the English-speaking world, the name has come to be associated with the Christmas folk hero, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, based on a children’s book written by Robert L. May in 1939.

Rudolf appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1887-1932, and peaked at # 715 in 1916. He appeared 3 times in the French Top 1000 in 1914, 1931 and again in 1933, peaking at #454 in 1934. He was in the German Top 20 between 1893 and 1936, peaking at #11 in 1899 and in 1916.

In France, it’s native form of Rodolphe appeared in the Top 1000 between 1900 and 2001 and peaked at #79 in 1970.

Its contracted form of Rolf has been in occasional use in England since the 11th-century. It was a favorite in German-speaking countries in the 1920s-50s, peaking at #11 in 1947. In Norway, it peaked at #14 in 1945. Rolf has also appeared in the American and French charts, though not very high. Rolf peaked at #210 in France in 1943 and #772 in 1960 in the U.S.

It his diminutive form of Rudy, often used as an independent given-name, is the one which has gained some traction in recent years. Rudy appeared in the French Top 100 between 1979-1984, and peaked at #76 in 1980. Rudy’s current rankings in the popularity charts are as follows:

  • #271 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #822 (U.S.A., 2018)

Rudolf is used in Albanian, Armenian, Czech-Slovak, Dutch, Hungarian, Icelandic, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene, the Scandinavian languages and Russian.

Other forms include:

  • Hroðulf, Hrothulf (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Roel, Roelof, Ruud (Dutch)
  • Rodolf (Catalan)
  • Rolph (English)
  • Rudo, Ruudo, Ruudolf (Estonian)
  • Róðolvur (Faroese)
  • Ruuto, Ruutolffi, Ruutolhvi, Ruutolppi (Finnish)
  • Rodolphe (French)
  • Roele, Roelef, Roelf, Rolef, Rolof, Roloff, Roluf, Roolof (Frisian)
  • Rudolp რუდოლფ (Georgian)
  • Roff (German)
  • Rudi (German, Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian)
  • Rudo (German)
  • Rul (German)
  • Rûtulfe, Ruutuulfi (Greenlandic)
  • Rhodólphos Ροδόλφος (Greek)
  • Rúdólf (Icelandic)
  • Rodolfino (Italian)
  • Rodolfo (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Ridolfo (Italian)
  • Rudolphus (Latin)
  • Rūdolfs, Rūdis (Latvian)
  • Rudolfas, Rudas (Lithuanian)
  • Doffen (Norwegian)
  • Roffe (Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Hróðólfr, Hrólfr (Old Norse)
  • Rudulf (Polish, archaic)
  • Duff, Dusch, Riedi, Ruosch (Romansch)
  • Ruedi (Swiss-German, diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent form)

Feminine forms include:

  • Rudolfia (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Rodolphine (French)
  • Rudolfine (German, Scandinavian)
  • Rodolfa, Rodolfina (Italian, Spanish)
  • Rodolfetta (Italian)
  • Rudolfa (Polish, Scandinavian)
  • Rudolfina (Hungarian, Polish, Scandinavian)

Sources

Alfred, Alfreda

alfred


The name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon, Ælfræd, which is composed of the Anglo-Saxon elements, ælf  “elf” and ræd “counsel. A notable bearer was the 9th-century Anglo-Saxon King, Alfred the Great.

This is one of the few Anglo-Saxon male names to survive popular usage after the Norman Conquest and slowly waned in use by the end of the Middle Ages, but was revived in the 18th-century.

Though quite uncommon in the United States in this day and age, it has never completely fallen outside the U.S. Top 1000, and once reigned in the U.S. Top 100 between 1880 and 1951. Alfred peaked at # 32 in 1886.

Alfred reigns supreme in the Scandinavian charts, he is currently the 8th Most Popular Male Name in Denmark (2018), the 12th Most Popular in Sweden (2018) and the 42nd Most Popular in Norway (2018).

He ranks much lower in the U.K., coming in at #106 and even lower in France, ranking in as the 491st Most Popular Male Name (2018).

Alfie, a diminutive form which has become a much loved independent given-name in the U.K, is currently in England & Wales’ Top 100 Baby Names, ranking in at #15 (2018).

Alfred is used in Danish, Dutch, German, Polish, Norwegian & Swedish

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ælfræd (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Alfredo (Aragonese, Galician, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Alfredu (Asturian)
  • Alperda (Basque)
  • Aofred (Breton)
  • Alfréd (Czech, Hungarian, Slovak)
  • Alfie (English)
  • Alfre (Finnish, Greenlandic)
  • Alfreeti, Alfreetti (Finnish)
  • Alfrédos Αλφρέδος (Greek)
  • Alfreð (Icelandic)
  • Alfredino (Italian)
  • Alfredus (Late Latin)
  • Alfrēds (Latvian)
  • Alfredas (Lithuanian)
  • Al’fred Альфред (Russian)
  • Alfrid, Allfrid (Scandinavian)
  • Arfredu (Sicilian)

Its feminine form of Alfreda also has an Anglo-Saxon counterpart in the form of Ælfthryth. It was borne by a 9th-century English saint.

Alfreda is used in Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish & Swedish.

Other forms of the female form include:

  • Alfrede (Danish)
  • Elfrida (Croatian, Italian, Spanish)
  • Alfriede, Alfrieda (German, Scandinavian)
  • Elfriede (German)
  • Alfrède (French)
  • Alfrédie (French)
  • Alfride (French)
  • Alfreðsína (Icelandic)
  • Afreda (Italian)
  • Alfredina (Italian)
  • Alfrida (Scandinavian)

Sources

Nora, Nour

1024px-Dawn._Buryatia,_Russia


This multicultural name has recently experienced a revival. In European countries, the name stems from any name ending in the -nora element, such as Honora & Eleanora. In Arabic, Nora is a variant transliteration of Nurah, which is a strictly feminine version of the unisex Arabic name, Nur (light). Nur is used as one of the 99 attributes of Allah, al-Nur (the light).

The name was used by Henrik Ibsen for his main character in his play, A Doll’s House (1878).

Outside of East Asia, there isn’t a counry where Nora is unhead of or is not in use. Nora has been in out of the U.S. Top 100 since 1880! She currently ranks in as the 30th Most Popular Female Name in the United States. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #2 (Norway, 2018)
  • #10 (Netherlands, 2018)
  • #11 (Hungary, 2018)
  • #14 (Switzerland, 2018)
  • #15 (Denmark, 2018)
  • #20 (Belgium, 2018)
  • #23 (Austria, 2018)
  • #26 (Catalonia, Spain, 2018)
  • #28 (Sweden, 2018)
  • #38 (Canada, BC, 2018)
  • #47 (Spain, 2018)
  • #64 (Norah, Netherlands, 2018)
  • #79 (Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2018)
  • #84 (Norah, Canada, BC, 2018)
  • #85 (Italy, 2018)
  • #119 (France, 2018)
  • #140 (Norah, United States, 2018)
  • #184 (Norah, France, 2018)
  • #197 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #283 (Norah, England & Wales, 2018)

Its Dutch version of Noor also ranks high in several popularity charts. This name is also used by Muslim families as a variation of Nur. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #10 (Netherlands, 2018)
  • #25 (Belgium, 2018)
  • #279 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #311 (France, 2018)

Noortje is another Dutch version which currently ranks in as the 203rd Most Popular Female Name in the Netherlands.

Other forms of its European version include:

  • Nora Нора Νόρα (Bulgarian, Greek)
  • Noera (Dutch)
  • Noor (Dutch)
  • Noortje (Dutch)
  • Norah (Dutch, English, French)
  • Nonie (English)
  • Noreen (English, Irish)
  • Noora (Estonian, Finnish)
  • Nóra Но́ра (Faroese, Hungarian, Irish, Russian)
  • Nuura (Finnish, Scandinavian)
  • Nóirín (Gaelic)
  • Norina (Italian, Provençal, Romansch)
  • Norá (Sami)
  • Norea (Scandinavian)
  • Norena (Scandinavian)
  • Noria (Scandinavian)
  • Norita (Spanish, Scandinavian)

The Arabic Nur is traditionally a unisex name which is popularly used in many Islamic countries. Its Maghrebi form of Nour currently ranks in the following popularity charts for girls:

  • #40 (Belgium, 2018)
  • #48 (Catalonia, Spain, 2018)
  • #48 (France, 2018)
  • #76 (Spain, 2018)
  • #137 (Italy, 2018)
  • #197 (Netherlands, 2018)

Nur is currently the 87th Most Popular Female Name in Bosnia & Herzegovina (2018).

Other forms of the Arabic version include:

  • Noora, Nura (Arabic, strictly feminine)
  • Noura (Maghrebi Arabic, strictly feminine)
  • Núria (Catalan)
  • Nor (Malay, unisex)
  • Nuru (Swahili, strictly feminine)

Sources

Anker

220px-Kotwica_SS_Poznań

This old and traditional Danish name is of uncertain meaning. It is derived from an Old Norse name, Ankarl, which may derive from arn (eagle) and karl (peasant; man); the second element has also been suggested to mean “violent,” hence “violent eagle.” Alternately, it may derive from the old Danish word annkarl (harvester), or just mean “anchor.”

A notable American bearer was the late Minnesota Governor, Ancher Nelsen (1904-1992).

It was also borne by Danish Prime Minister, Anker Jørgensen (1922-2016).

Currently, Anker appeared in the Danish Top 100 Most Popular Male Names, coming in at # 47 (2018).

Other forms include:

  • Ãngka, Aanka (Greenlandic)
  • Ancher
  • Ancker
  • Ankarl

Sources

Dania, Danya

DanyaThis name can have several origins and meanings. Spelled Dania it is a Polish diminutive name, which could be short for Daniela or Danuta. In Italian, Dania is also used as a diminutive form of Daniela, but is often used as an independent given name. In Russian, the name is a unisex diminutive form of Danil or Danila, the equivalent of Danny in English.

Dania is also the Latin name for Denmark and has occasionally been used as a given-name in Denmark and other Scandinavian countries. Dania Beach is the name of a city in Florida, which was named in honour of its predominately Danish residents.

Dania دانية is also an Arabic female name, derived from the root d-n-a, meaning “close; near.”

Danya דַּנְיָה, sometimes transliterated as Dania, is a popular female name in Israel, used as a modern feminine form of Dan, it is probably an import from Polish and Russian immigrants from when it was in use as a diminutive form of one of the above mentioned names.

In the United States, Dania appeared in the U.S. top 1000 between 1996 and 2010 and peaked at #764 in 1996.

Regardless of origin, use, and spelling, the name is pronounced (DAHN-yah) in all of the aforementioned languages.

Below is a list of other forms and languages of use:

  • Dania (Arabic/Danish/Faroese/Hebrew/Italian/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Danja (Danish/Swedish)
  • Danía (Icelandic)
  • Danit (Hebrew)
  • Danya (Hebrew)

Note in Poland and Russia, Dania is used as exclusively as a diminutive form of one of the above mentioned names.

Sources