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

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

Gauri

  • Origin: Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi गौरी
  • Meaning: “fair; light-skinned; white; brilliant.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pronunciation: GORE-ee

The name comes directly from the Sanskrit word meaning “fair; light-skinned; white; brilliant.” In Hinduism, this is an epithet for the goddess Parvati in her Mahagauri form.

The Kannada and Tamil form is Gowri கௌரி (Tamil) & ಗೌರಿ (Kannada).

Gauri can also be a Finnish male form of the name Gabriel.

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

Elika

The name can be of several different origins and meanings.

It is a Biblical male name that occurs in 2 Samuel 23:25 as the name of Elika the Harodite, one of David’s 37 special warriors. In this case, אֵַליקָא (Eli’ka), may mean “vomit of God” or “Congregation of God.” Some sources also list this as meaning “pelican of God.” In English, the name would be pronounced ee-LYE-kuh.

Pronounced, EH-lee-KAW الیکا, it is a Persian female name that derives from the Mazanderani language, meaning, “wild cherry.” However, it’s use in Iran may be influenced by an identical sounding Indian female name, which is derived from the Sanskrit एलीका (Elika), meaning “small cardamom.” It is also the name of a village in northern Iran of the same aforementioned Mazanderani etymology.

Elika is also a Nordic female name of uncertain etymology, it’s earliest use is recorded in 18th-century Iceland. It may derive from the the Frisian diminutive name, Alike, which is a diminutive form of any name beginning in the Adal- element, or the Frisian unisex diminutive name Elike, which is a short form of any name beginning in the EGG- element.

It may also be linked with a Greenlandic female name of uncertain etymology.

It’s Nordic form has been in use in Finland & Estonia, as well as all of Scandinavia & Iceland. It should be noted that Elike has occurred in use as a unisex name in Norway and Friesland.

Swedish and Frisian female variations include Eliko & Eliken.

Alternately, it is a Mari female name, but is of uncertain meaning, it may be a variation of Evika, meaning “slender.”

It is also the Hawaiian translation of Elisa, Eliza, Erica & Eric.

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

Eliel

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “my God is God.”
  • Gender: Masculine
  • Pronunciation: Eng (EL-ee-yel; ee-LYE-yel)

The name is composed of the same Hebrew word אל (‘el) meaning “God,” hence, some translate it to mean “my God is God.” The name is borne by several minor characters in the Old Testament.

A notable bearer was Finnish Architect, Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950).

Though an obscure Jewish name, it experienced a peak in popularity in Finland and other Scandinavian countries at the end of the 19th-century.

Eliel recently entered the U.S. Top 1000 Most Popular Male Names in 2019, currently ranking in at #664.

The designated name day in Finland is April 9th

A Dutch form is Eliël.

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

Deianeira

Deianeira_and_the_dying_centaur_Nessus_1888


  • Origin: Greek Δηιανειρα, Δῃανειρα
  • Meaning: “slayer of man; husband slayer.”
  • Gender: Female
  • (DAY-a-NEER-ah; DIE-yah-NEER-ah)

The name is composed of the Greek elements δηιοω (deioo) & ανηρ (aner) meaning “man.”

The name is most notably borne in Greek mythology by the wife of Hercules who was tricked by the Centaur of Nessus into believing his poisoned blood would cure Hercules of infidelity but ended up being fatal to the man-god. It is also borne by an Amazon who was killed by Hercules during his quest to obtain the golden girdle of Hippolyta.

In recent years, its Spanish form of Deyanira has been popular in Latin American countries. A common Spanish short form is Deya (DIE-ah).

Other forms include:

  • Dejanira Деянира Дэяніра Деянира (Belarusian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovene, Ukrainian, Russian)
  • Deianira (Catalan, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Latin, Romanian, Scandinavian)
  • Déianeira (Czech, Hungarian)
  • Déjanire (French)
  • Deïaneira (German, Greek)
  • Deyanira (Spanish)

Sources