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

Santos

Photo by Thgusstavo Santana on Pexels.com
  • Origin: Galician Spanish, Portuguese
  • Meaning: “saints.”
  • Gender: unisex
  • Pronunciation: SAHN-tose (Sp)

The name comes directly from the Iberian word for “saints,” since Medieval times, it was originally bestowed on children born on November 1st, the Feast of All Saints, it’s French equivalent being Toussaint. For females, the name was often used in conjunction with Maria, i.e. Maria de los Santos.

While its singular form of Santo is also used, I felt Santos deserved it’s own entry since it’s usage is specific to a Catholic Holiday.

For males, Santos has been in the U.S. Top 1000 Male Names since 1920, peaking at #539 in 1937, in 2019, he ranked in as the 966th most popular male name in the United States.

In the U.S, its use on females peaked in the 1920s, appearing in the U.S. Top 1000 Female Names between 1920-1929, peaking at #742 in 1924.

The name was borne by Confederate Colonel, Santos Benavides (1823-1891) & Mexican artist, Santos Balmori Picazo (1899-1992).

Santos is also the name of a municipality in São Paulo, Brazil.

Sources

Rosaura

800px-Golden_rose_Biblioteca_apostolica


  • Origin: Late Latin
  • Meaning: “golden rose.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Usage: Galician, Italian, Spanish

The name is derived from the Latin rosa (rose) & aurea (golden), other sources believe the second element may be from the Latin aura meaning “breath; air.”Some sources believe Pedro Calderón de la Barca invented the name for his 1635 play, Life is a Dream (La vida es sueño in Spanish), but the name seems to have been in use in Italy and Spain for far longer. It also may just be a combination of Rosa & Aura.

In the early modern period, the name may have been used in reference to The Golden Rose, a papal reward of affection that was often given to royalty and high ranking religious officials.


Sources

Thisbe

Thisbe_-_John_William_Waterhouse

Thisbe by John William Waterhouse


  • Origin: Greek, Semitic
  • Meaning: unknown
  • Gender: feminine
  • (THIZ-bee)

The name is of uncertain origin and meaning but possibly has a Semitic origin. Thisbe is the name of the lover of Pyramus in Ancient Classical literature, their story is recounted in Ovid’s Metamorphosis. Basically, they are 2 start-crossed Babylonian lovers who end up dying in a similar vein as Romeo & Juliet.

It is also the name of a city mentioned in the Bible, the birth place of the prophet Elijah and it is sometimes transliterated as Tishbe.

Thisbe is also the name of a nymph in Greek mythology who gave her the name to the town in Boeotia of the same name, it’s contemporary Greek form being Thisvi.

As for its usage, I found a record for a Thisby Gilbank born in 1604 in Suffolk, England, but became extremely widespread in England and the American colonies by the 18th-century. It may have been used in reference to both the Greek character and the place in the Bible.

Other forms include:

  • Tisbe (Catalan, Galician, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Thisbe (Dutch, English, German, Scandinavian)
  • Thisbé (French)
  • Thiszbé (Hungarian)
  • Tisbèa (Occitanian)
  • Tysbe (Polish)
  • Fisba Фисба (Russian)
  • Tisba Тісба (Slovenian, Ukrainian)

Sources

Amabel, Amabilis, Mabel

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Amabilis is a Late Latin unisex name derived from the Latin word for “lovable.” It was used throughout Medieval Western Europe on both males and females, and was borne by a St. Amabilis of Riom (a 5th-century male French saint known in his native language as Amable) and St. Amabilis of Rouen, a 7th-century female French saint.

Amable, Amabel, Mabel have been used exclusively on females in England since Medieval times and was introduced by the Anglo-Normans in the 11th-century. They have gone in and out of popularity since the 11th-century, especially Mabel.

Between 1880-1922, Mabel was among the top 100 most popular female names, peaking at #15 in 1891 and is currently the 435th most popular female name (2018).

In England & Wales, Mabel is currently the 104th most popular female name (2018).

in Ireland, it was often used as an anglicized form of Maeve and it is often speculated that Annabel is an offshoot.

Mabel is the name of a character in C.M. Yonge’s 1854 novel, The Heir of Radclyffe.

Mabel is also used in Dutch, Czech & Slovak, Galician, German & Spanish.

It was borne by several early Anglo-Norman countesses and other notable bearers include: 13th-century English embroiderer, Mable of Bury St. Edmund; Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau (b. 1968); and British pop-singer Mabel (b. 1996).

Other forms include:

  • Amabel, Amabil, Amiable (Anglo-Norman, English)
  • Mabinka, Mejbl (Czech, Slovak)
  • Mabella, Mabelle, Mable, Maybelline (English)
  • Amabilie, Mabile, Mabilie (French, archaic)
  • Mábel (Hungarian)
  • Amabilia (Italian, Late Latin, Swedish)
  • Mabilia (Italian, Late Latin, English)

Amable & Aimable are male names in France, while Amabile is an Italian unisex form. Caradec or Karadeg are Breton masculine forms that is directly translated from the Latin.


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

Ciarán, Kieran, Ciar

 

 

Ciaran


  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: “black”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Pronunciation: KEER-an; KYAIR-en, KEER

Ciarán is a diminutive form of Ciar, which comes directly from the Gaelic word for black.

In Irish legend, Ciar mac Fergus was the son of Fergus mac Róich. He was legendary progenitor of the Ciarraid people who gave their name to County Kerry in Ireland.

The name is borne by two Irish saints who are considered 2 of the 12 Apostles of Ireland, Ciarán the Elder & Ciarán the Younger (5th-century C.E.).

St. Ciarán the Elder was believed to be a contemporary of St. Patrick and he is often lauded as the first native born Irish saint. According to legend, his mother Liadán swallowed a star while pregnant with him and was told by the Druid priests that it meant her child would grow up to be an important man. Scholars debated whether he preceded Patrick in converting to Christianity or even met him or if he was converted by St. Patrick himself and was considered one of his helpers; the latter hypothesis seems to be the most popular.

St. Ciarán the Younger was the founder of the monastery in Clonmacnoise, one of the most important Christian centres in Medieval Ireland.

Other forms include:

  • Kenerin (Breton)
  • Kerne (Breton)
  • Kerrier (Breton)
  • Kyran (Breton)
  • Piran (Cornish)
  • Queranus (Dutch, Latin, German)
  • Keiran (English)
  • Kieran (English, French, Scots)
  • Kieron (English)
  • Queran (English, French, German)
  • Chiarain (French)
  • Kiéran (French)
  • Cirán (Galician)
  • Kiaran (German, Polish)
  • Ciarano (Italian, chyah-RAH-no, Spanish, syah-RAH-no, thyah-RAH-no)
  • Chierano (Italian, kyeh-RAH-no)
  • Ciaranus, Kyaranus (Late Latin)
  • Cieran (Welsh)

In the British Isles, Ciarán was quite popular in the early 2000s. In Northern Ireland, he peaked at #28 in 2000, #58 in 2004 in Scotland and #127 in England & Wales in 1997. In Ireland, it was the same case, peaking at #28 in 2002 and fell off the charts in 2017. Its anglicized form of Kieran currently ranks in the following countries:

  • #380 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #496 (USA, 2018)

Its feminine form is Ciara

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

Albert, Alberta

Prince_Albert_-_Franz_Xaver_Winterhalter_1842


Albert is a Norman contracted form of Adalbert that was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Though there is an Anglo-Saxon form of Æðelberht, it was completely usurped by its Norman version.

The name fell out of use in England by the end of the 13th-century but was revived in the 19th-century when Queen Victoria of England chose a German prince by the name of Albert to be her husband. Speaking of which, Albert was a much-loved name among German royalty.

Between 1880-1967, Albert remained in the Top 100 Most Popular Male Names. He peaked at #14 in 1910. As of 2018, he currently ranks in as the 452nd Most Popular Male Name.

Albert is currently quite popular in Europe. These are his rankings in the following countries:

  • #37 (Denmark, 2018)
  • #55 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #84 (Norway, 2018)
  • #422 (Netherlands, 2018)

Albert is used in Albanian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Slovenian & Ukrainian.

Other forms include:

  • Alberzh (Breton)
  • Aalt (Dutch)
  • Aalbert (Dutch)
  • Aalbertus (Dutch)
  • Aelbrecht (Dutch)
  • Albercht (Dutch)
  • Alberd (Dutch)
  • Albertus (Dutch, Late Latin)
  • Appe (Dutch)
  • Brecht (Dutch)
  • Elbert (Dutch, German)
  • Ethelbert (English)
  • Alpertti (Finnish)
  • Albertin (French)
  • Aubert (French)
  • Aubertin (French)
  • Abbe, Abe (Frisian)
  • Ailbeart (Gaelic)
  • Alberte (Galician)
  • Albertos (Galician)
  • Alberti ალბერტი (Georgian)
  • Albrecht (German)
  • Albertinello (Italian)
  • Albertino (Italian)
  • Alberto (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Alperto (Italian)
  • Ulberto, Ulperto (Italian)
  • Albaer (Limburgish)
  • Baer, Bèr (Limburgish)
  • Alberts (Latvian)
  • Albertas (Lithuanian)
  • Albertet (Occitanian)
  • Olbracht (Polish)

Its feminine for of Alberta was borne by Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848-1939), daughter of Queen Victoria & Prince Albert. The Canadian province was named in her honour.

Alberta is used in Albanian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish & Ukrainian.

Alberte is currently the 12th Most Popular Female Name in Denmark. Alberte (ahl-BARE-teh) is also used in French, but pronounced differently from its Danish counterpart (AHL-BAIRT). Other feminine forms include:

  • Alberthe, Albertha (Danish, Swedish)
  • Albertina (Dutch, German, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Brechtje (Dutch)
  • Bertina (English, Hungarian, Italian)
  • Albertine (French, German, Danish, Norwegian)
  • Auberte (French)
  • Aubertine (French)
  • Bertine (French)
  • Abelke (Frisian)
  • Albertin (Hungarian)

Sources

Sixtus, Sixtine, Sistine

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Sixtus is a Latin corruption of the Greek Ξυστος (Xystos) meaning “polished.” It has often been confused with the Latin, Sextus (the sixth). The name was borne by 5 Roman Catholic Popes, (3 of whom are saints), several notable bishops and most recently in history, Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma (1886-1934); Prince Sixtus Henry of Bourbon-Parma (b. 1940) also bears the name.

In 2017, British Conservative Politician, Jacob Reese-Mogg chose this name for his son.

The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican gets its name from Pope Sixtus IV (1477-1480_, who was responsible for revamping the apostolic chapel.

Its female form of Sixtine has been in the French Top 500 Most Popular Female Names since 1991, which was also the same year it peaked the highest in its popularity, coming in at #286. It currently ranks in at #376 (2018).

In 1998, actor Sylvester Stallone and his wife, Jennifer Flavin bestowed this name Sistine on their daughter, which is perhaps a watered-down version of the Italian, Sistina.

Other forms of the name include

Male

  • Sistu (Asturian/Sicialian)
  • Sixt (Catalan/German)
  • Siksto (Croatian)
  • Sixtinus (Dutch/German/Latin)
  • Sixtus (Dutch/English/German/Latin/Scandinavian)
  • Sixte (French)
  • Sixtin (French)
  • Sisto (Galician/Italian/Portuguese)
  • Xykstus (German)
  • Sixtos Σίξτος (Greek)
  • Sziktusz (Hungarian)
  • Sükösd (Hungarian)
  • Sistino (Italian)
  • Siksts (Latvian)
  • Sikstas (Lithuanian)
  • Sykstus/Sykst (Polish)
  • Sixto (Spanish)

Female forms include

  • Sixta (Dutch/German/Latin/Spanish)
  • Sixtina (Dutch/German/Latin/Spanish)
  • Sista/Sistina (Italian)
  • Szixtin/Szixtina (Hungarian)
  • Sykstyna (Polish)

Sources