Valentine

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “strong; vigorous; healthy.”
(Eng masc: val-en-TINE; Fre fem: vah-lown-TEEN)

The name is derived from the Roman family name, Valentinus, which is derived from the Latin, valens, meaning: “strong, vigourous; healthy.”

In the modern world, the name is mostly associated with the holiday, it was borne by several early Christian martyrs, one of whom whose feast day happened to coincide with the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia.

The anglicized form of Valentine is masculine, while in French, Valentine is feminine. This is a natural evolution, as Valentine is actually the feminine form of the French masculine,Valentin.

Valentine does not rank in the U.S. top 1000, but Valentine and Valentin are fairly common names in French-speaking countries.

Currently, Valentin is the 36th most popular male name in Austria, (2010). His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 12 (Hungary, Bálint, 2010)
  • # 40 (France, Valentin, 2009)
  • # 106 (the Netherlands, Valentijn, 2010)
  • # 792 (United States, Valentin, 2010)

Other forms of the masculine include:

  • Valentini (Albanian)
  • Balendin (Basque)
  • Vàledin Валедин (Bulgarian)
  • Valentin Валентин (Bulgarian/Croatian/Czech/Estonian/French/German/Scandinavian/Slovene/Romanian/Russian)
  • Valentí (Catalan)
  • Valentyn (Czech)
  • Valentijn (Dutch: same pronunciation as in English)
  • Valentine (English)
  • Valjo/Valju (Estonian: has a different etymology but has been traditionally used as a cognate for Valentinus)
  • Balantin (Extramadurian)
  • Bálint (Hungarian)
  • Valente (Italian)
  • Valentiniano (Italian)
  • Valentino (Italian)
  • Valento (Italian)
  • Valenzano (Italian)
  • Valenzo (Italian)
  • Valentinus (Latin)
  • Valentins (Latvian)
  • Valentinas (Lithuanian)
  • Walentyn (Polish)
  • Walenty (Polish)
  • Valentim (Portuguese)
  • Ualan (Scottish)
  • Valintinu (Sicilian)
  • Valentín (Slovak/Spanish)
  • Folant (Welsh)

Valentina is currently the 19th most popular female name in Austria, (2010), her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 28 (Italy, 2009)
  • # 47 (Croatia, 2010)
  • # 61 (Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 71 (France, Valentine, 2009)
  • # 81 (Catelonia, 2009)
  • # 91 (Belgium, Valentine, 2009)
  • # 92 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 97 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 152 (United States, 2010)
  • # 444 (the Netherlands 2010)

Other forms include:

  • Valentina Валентина (Catalan/Croatian/German/Hungarian/Italian/Romanian/Russian/Slovene/Spanish)
  • Valentine (French)
  • Valentína (Icelandic/Slovak)
  • Valenta (Italian)
  • Valenzia (Italian)
  • Walentyna (Polish)
  • Valentyna Валентина (Ukrainian)

The designated name-day is of course, February 14.

Sources

  1. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vatican, 1969), p. 117
  2. http://www.behindthename.com/php/search.php?nmd=n&terms=Valentine
  3. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/valentine?view=uk
  4. http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-valentine-of-rome/
  5. http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=101926
  6. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15254a.htm
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Vasarė, Vasaris

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “summer; February”
(vah-SAH-ray); (vah-SAH-ris)

Vasarė is derived from the Lithuanian word for summer, vasara.

The masculine version is Vasaris (vah-SAH-rees), which also coincides with the Lithuanian word for the month of February, as in ancient Lithuanian religion, the month of February was the month that brought hopes of summer, since, at this point in the year, the days begin to lengthen and the earth begins to thaw.

Ljuba, Lyubov

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Slavic
Meaning: “love.”
Любовь
(Cz: lYOO-bah; Rus: lYOO-buf)

Ljuba is a fairly common female name found throughout the Eastern and Southern Slavic countries, it comes directly from the Slavic element, lyub, meaning, “love.”

There is a Russian counterpart, Lyubov and its diminutives include: Lyubasha, Lyubochka, Lubava, Luban, Lyubasya, Lyubchik, Lyubaha and Lyubonka.

Another Russian/Ukrainian feminine form is Luba Люба, sometimes transliterated as Lyuba.

A vernacular Polish form, though very rarely used these days, is Miłość (mee-WOSHCHE)

Designated name-days are: September 18 (Bulgaria).

Designated name-days are: February 16 (Czech Republic), July 16 (Czech Republic), September 24 (Slovakia).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ljubana/Ljubica (Croatian)
  • Ljuba (Czech/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Miłość (Polish)
  • Ljubinka (Serbian)
  • L’ubica (Slovak)
  • Ljubka (Slovene)

Masculine forms include: the Czech/Slovak Luboš and the Serbian Ljubinko.

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/lyubov
  2. http://www.behindthename.com/php/related.php?name=lyubov

Yemoja, Yemaya

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Yoruba
Meaning: “mother whose children are like fish.”

Yemaya is the name of an Orisha in Candomblé, Lucumí/Santería and Vodou. An Orisha is a spirit or diety that reflects an aspect of God. Followers of the above religions are most likely of African heritage and are mostly found in the American south, the Caribbean and in Latin America.

The origins of Yemaya can be traced back to Africa, in Yoruban mythology, Yemoja is a type of mother goddess who lives in the Ogun River. She is considered a special patron of pregnant women and the mother of all dieties and spirits.

Her name is believed to be a contraction of the Yoruba phrase, yeye emo eja, which means, “mother whose children are like fish.”

Her cult was brought to the shores of the New World with African slaves, today, she is often synchronized with the Virgin Mary, in particular Stella Maris (Star of the Sea), and festivals are held in her honour throughout Latin America. In Brazil, especially in Bahía state, her festival usually occurs on February 2, in which devotees send out small offerings to sea, in tiny rafts. Afterwards, a huge festival takes place.

Yemaya and Yemoja are her more common names. She is also known by the following, depending on the religion and country:

  • Yemanjá/Iemanjá/Janaína (Brazil)
  • Yemaya/Iemanya (Cuba)
  • Yemalla/Yemaya (Creole-New Orleans)
  • Imanja (Uruaguay).

The name is occasionally used among devotees, in honour of the orisha.

Sources

  1. http://www.clicrbs.com.br/zerohora/jsp/default.jsp?uf=1&local=1&section=Geral&newsID=a1754874.xml
  2. http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemanjá_no_Xambá
  3. http://zerohora.clicrbs.com.br/zerohora/jsp/default2.jsp?uf=1&local=1&source=a1755838.xml&template=3898.dwt&edition=9234&section=74
  4. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1310/is_1991_August-Sept/ai_11322122/
  5. Verger, Pierre. Dieux D’Afrique. Paris: Paul Hartmann (1st edition, 1954; 2nd edition, 1995).

Bridget

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Celtic
Meaning: debated
(BRID-jet)

Bridget is an anglicization of the Irish Gaelic Brighid, which is of somewhat debated meaning. One theory is that it is derived from the Gaelic brígh, meaning, “power, strength, vigor, virtue.”

Another theory put out by Gods and Fighting Men (1904), translated by Lady Augusta Gregory, is that it is from the Gaelic breo-saighit meaning, “fiery arrow.”

Other sources have suggested it to mean “exalted one.”

In Celtic mythology, this was the name of an extremely important and powerful goddess.

According to the medieval Irish anthology, Lebor Gabála Érenn, Bridget was a goddess of poetry and was the daughter of Dagda. She was also associated with fire, wisdom and anything with an elevated status, whether it be a high mountain top, or someone of high social status.

The name was also borne by an early Irish saint, whose story and legend often melds with that of the ancient goddess. St. Bridget of Kildare was believed to have been a nun and one of the first converts under St. Patrick.

The St. Bridget’s Cross is often attributed to her, according to legend, she came upon a dying non- Christian man, in an effort to convert him to the new religion, she made a cross from the reeds that were beside him. That is all that is known of the origins of the St. Bridget’s Cross, but traditionally, a new one is made each year, on the feast of St. Bridget, (Feb. 1) while the old one is burned.

The feast of St. Bridget, which in some calenders falls on the 1st or 2nd of February,was originally one of the major festivals of the Celtic calender, known as Imbolc, it marked the first days of spring.

The name Bridget spread outside the Celtic world to the Germanic countries, it was popularized in Scandinavia by St. Bridget of Sweden, a Swedish noblewoman, mystic and founder of the Bridgettine order of nuns. She was also the mother of St. Katherine of Vadstena.

Between the 18th and 19th-centuries, when Irish immigrants first settled in the United States, the name was so common among the Irish, that Bridget or its diminutive form of Biddy became a slang term for any Irish woman.

Currently, Bridget 394th most popular female name in the United States, 2008. Its cognate of Brigitta is currently the 88th most popular female name in Hungary, (2008).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Brigit (Asturian/Scottish)
  • Birkide/Birxita (Basque: beer-KEE-de, beer-SHEE-tah)
  • Brec’hed (Breton: modern)
  • Brigantis (Breton: ancient)
  • Brigita Бригита (Bulgarian/Croatian/Czech/Latvian/Lithuanian/Romanian/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Brígida (Catalan/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Brigantia (Celtic)
  • Berit (Danish/Norwegian: BEH-reet)
  • Birgit (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish: BEER-geet)
  • Birgitta (Danish/Dutch/Estonian/Finnish/German/Icelandic/Lithuanian: beer-GEET-tah)
  • Birgitte (Danish/German: beer-GEET-te)
  • Birte/Birthe (Danish/Norwegian: BEER-te)
  • Gitte (Danish: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name: GEET-te)
  • Bridget (English/German)
  • Pirjo (Finnish: PEER-yo)
  • Pirkko (Finnish” PEERK-ko)
  • Piritta (Finnish: PEE-reet-tah)
  • Priitta (Finnish: PREET-tah)
  • Brigitte (French: bree-ZHEET)
  • Bríxida (Galician: BREE-shee-dah)
  • Berecyntia (Gaulic)
  • Brigindo/Brigandu (Gaulic)
  • Birgid (German: BEER-geet)
  • Brida (German: obscure)
  • Brigida (German/Sardinian: bree-GEE-dah)
  • Brigitta (German/Hungarian)
  • Bríd (Irish-Gaelic: BREED)
  • Brídín (Irish-Gaelic: brid-EEN)
  • Brighid/Brigid (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Bedelia (Irish)
  • Bride (Irish: BRIDE or BREED)
  • Brigidine (Irish)
  • Brigida (Italian: BREEJ-ee-dah)
  • Brigidina (Italian: obscure)
  • Briej (Limburgish)
  • Brede (Manx)
  • Breesha (Manx)
  • Breeshey (Manx)
  • Breda (Norwegian: BREH-dah)
  • Brita/Britta/Brit/Britt (Norwegian/Swedish: BREE-tah, BRIT-tah, BRITT)
  • Bryda (Polish)
  • Brygida (Polish: brih-GEE-dah)
  • Braida/Brida (Romansch)
  • Brìghde/Brìde (Scots-Gaelic)
  • Gittan (Swedish: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name: GEET-tahn)
  • Ffraid (Welsh: FRAID)

A Swiss German diminutive form is Brigittli. German short forms are: Biggi, Briggi, Gitte, Gitti and Gittl.

Irish and English diminutives are: Biddy, Bride, Bree, Brie, Bridie and Bridge.

Ibolya

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hungarin
Meaning: “violet.”
(EE-boy-ah)

Are you loving the name Violet but fear its rising popularity? If you are one of those people, then you might want to consider this Hungarian form. Be weary however, the name is not pronounced as it looks and this may lead to a lot of pronunciation difficulties outside a Hungarian speaking community. Pronunciation from a native speaker can be heard at this link http://forvo.com/word/ibolya/. Though the violet is considered the flower of February, and the violet itself doesn’t usually start to bloom till September, its designated name day in Hungary is Aug 7. The name is rather common in Hungary and is borne by several famous Hungarian ladies, including famous Olympic athlete Ibolya Csak and Hungarian painter, Ibolya Csanadi.