01-399-bear-cubI thought this would be a straightforward post when I first decided to feature this name, but as I did more research, the name started to provide some interesting and complicated layers.

The name’s recent use is most likely in reference to the Lakota-Dakota-Sioux Native American word meaning, “friend.” It is sometimes transliterated as Kota.

It is also the name of a tree that grows in Asia, also known as the Ehretia acuminata it is commonly referred to as Koda in Australia, though I couldn’t find the etymology in this case.

Other links include:

  • It is a common Japanese surname (again, I couldn’t find its etymology)
  • It is the name of a minority language spoken in India and Bangladesh.

The name came into widespread use for boys after it was used on a character in the 2003 animated film, Brother Bear.

It gets complicated when I dug through the historical records. The earliest records I could find for Koda were to two females who were born in the 18th-century in the United States. I am not certain if in this case, the name was used in reference to its indigenous source. It definitely became more common in the 1800s, and it was far more common on females than for males. Some of these bearers were born in Yugoslavia and Poland. Being Polish myself, I have never heard of this name, so perhaps it is a mistranslation for some other name, but I do not know for what. I am rather familiar with Serbo-Croatian names as well and I cannot think of what its source could be. It does appear on males in 19th-century records, but there are far less of them, and many of them are German immigrants (perhaps related to Konrad). In any case, the majority of the records are of white American females.

These days, the name seems to have become mostly a male name, which goes to show that sometimes, names that started off as female can also be stolen by the boys; as some namenerds have lamented about for years when it comes to trendy male-turned-female names such as Ashley, Avery and Sydney.

The name first appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 Male Names in 2004, coming in as the 935th most popular male name. It fell off the charts and reappeared in 2016, ranking in at 927.




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Germanic
Meaning: “friend of the people.”

The name is derived from the masculine German name, Leutwin, which is composed of the elements, leud (people) and win (friend).

In France, Ludivine may have been popularized by a 1970s television series, Les Gens de Mogador.

As of 2010, Ludivine was the 298th most popular female name in France.

The name is borne by actress, Ludivine Sagnier (b.1978)


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “friendly; loveable.”
Germ (fee-LEE-neh)

The name was possibly coined by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe for a character in his 1796 novel, Wilhelm Meister’s Aprenticeship. It is most likely derived from the Greek, philein, philéo meaning “friendly, loveable”.

The name has been borne by German actress, Philine Leudesdorff-Tormin (1892-1924) and German opera singer, Philine Fischer (1919-2001).

Currently, Philine is the 407th most popular female name in Germany, (2011).



Gender: Masculine
Origin: Arabic خليل
Meaning: “friend.”

The name is derived from the Arabic word for friend. In the Qu’ran, it is a title given to the Prophet Mohammed (Khalil Allah) meaning, “friend of God.”

It is currently the 390th most popular male name in France and the 501st most popular in the United States, (2010).

Another form of the name is the Albanian, Bosnian and Turkish, Halil.

Feminine form is Khalila  خليلة (Arabic).


  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/khalil


Gender: Hebrew
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “companion.”

The name is derived from the Biblical Hebrew word רְעוּת (re’ut), which means “friend; companion.”

In the Old Testament, the name is borne by the central character of the Book of Ruth, a Moabite woman who later became a loyal and faithful Jew. She is considered the ancestress of King David, and in Christian tradition, she is also considered an ancestor of Jesus.

Since Ruth is considered an ideal heroine in Judaism, the name has always been common in the Jewish community, among Christians, the name did not catch on until after the Reformation, especially in the Anglo-phone world, where the name became especially common among Puritans.

The highest the name ever ranked in U.S. naming history was back in 1893, where she came in as the 3rd most popular female name.

Currently, she ranks in as the 362nd most popular female name.

In other countries, her rankings are as follows:

  • # 94 (Ireland, 2006)
  • # 488 (the Netherlands, 2008)

The Ruth form is also used in Catalan, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Norwegian and Swedish.

Other forms include:

  • Rut (Afrikaans/Aragonese/Catalan/German/Hungarian/Indonesian/Italian/Javanese/Maltese/Polish/Spanish/Swedish)
  • Rút (Czech)
  • Ruut (Finnish/Estonian)
  • Rutt (Estonian)
  • Routh Ρουθ (Greek)
  • Rut רות (Hebrew Modern: In Israel, Ruti is the common diminutive form)
  • Rúth (Hungarian)
  • Rǘt (Irish Gaelic)
  • Ruthu (Kiswahili)
  • Rūta (Lithuanian: also coincides with the Lithuanian word for the rue plant)
  • Rūtenė (Lithuanian)
  • Ruthi Рѹѳь (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Ruta (Polish/Croatian)
  • Rute (Portuguese)
  • Ruf Руфь (Russian)
  • Ruthven (Scottish)
  • Rutu (Yoruban)

A common English diminutive, which is also sometimes bestowed as an independent given name is Ruthie. Ruthanne/Ruth-Anne is a common English compound form.

A Lithuanian masculine form is Rūtenis.

The name was borne by former first daughter of the United States, “Baby” Ruth Cleveland, daughter of President Grover Cleveland (1891-1904)

The designated name-day is January 4.