Andrew

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “of man, belonging to man.”

The name is derived from the Greek Ανδρεασ (Andreas), which is derived from the Greek word, ανδροσ (andros), a genitive form of the word, ανηρ (aner), meaning, “man.” Hence, it would rougly translate to mean “belonging to man” or “of man.”

It was popularized by one of the twelve Apostles, who is now considered a popular Christian saint. It is suggested that Andreas was a nickname given to him, or possibly just a direct Greek translation of a Hebrew name that had a similar meaning, now lost to history.

Saint Andrew is considered the patron saint of Scotland, Russia, Greece and Romania. According to legend, he was martyred around the Black sea on an X shaped cross. His designated name-day is November 30.

The name has remained a staple in the U.S. top 100. As of 2011, he was the 16th most popular male name. His rankings and his various incarnations in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Andrei, Romania, 2009)
  • # 3 (Andrea, Italy, 2010)
  • # 3 (Andrea, Italian-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 6 (Andreas, Estonia, 2011)
  • # 8 (Andria, Georgia, 2011)
  • # 8 (Andrej, Serbia, 2011)
  • # 9 (Andrey, Russia BabyCenter, 2011)
  • # 10 (Ondřej, Czech Republic, 2011)
  • # 10 (Andre/Andrew/Andrea/Andrei, Malta, 2011)
  • # 12 (Andreas, Norway, 2011)
  • # 25 (András, Hungary, 2011)
  • # 28 (Andreas, Denmark, 2011)
  • # 35 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 38 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 39 (Andrej, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 41 (Andraž, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 46 (Andreas, Austria, 2010)
  • # 57 (Andrija, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 58 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 61 (Andres, Spain, 2010)
  • # 68 (Australia, NSW, 2011)
  • # 70 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 92 (Andrej, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 98 (Andro, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 98 (Anders, Norway, 2011)
  • # 176 (Andres, United States, 2011)
  • # 241 (André, United States, 2011)
  • # 244 (Andrea, France, 2010)
  • # 388 (Andreas, France, 2010)
  • # 950 (Anders, United States, 2011)

Other forms are as follows (listed alphabetically by linguistic origin).

  • Andrees/Andries (Afrikaans/Old Dutch)
  • Andrea (Albanian/Italian)
  • Ndreu (Albanian)
  • Andreyas (Amharic)
  • Andraws/Andraous اندراوس (Arabic/Coptic/Lebanese/Syriac)
  • Andreas (Armenian/Czech/Estonian/German/Greek/Hungarian/Slovak/Scandinavian)
  • Andresu (Asturian)
  • Ander (Basque)
  • Anderl (Baverian)
  • Andrièu (Bearnais/Occitanian/Provencal)
  • Andrivet (Bearnais)
  • Andrej Андрэй (Belarusian)
  • Andreo/Andrev (Breton)
  • Andrei/Andrey Андрей (Bulgarian/Old Church Slavonic/Romanian/Russian/)
  • Andrejko (Bulgarian)
  • Andreu (Catalan/Aragonese)
  • Andria ანდრია (Corsican/Georgian/Sardinian)
  • Andrej (Croatian/Czech/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Andrija (Croatian/Serbian)
  • Andro/Jandre (Croatian)
  • Ondřej (Czech)
  • Anders (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Dres/Dreves/Drevs (Danish)
  • Andries/Adrees (Dutch)
  • Andres (Estonian)
  • Ando/Andre/Andro/Andrus/Andu/Andi/Anti (Estonian)
  • Andras/Andrias (Faroese)
  • Andriou (Fijian)
  • Antero/Tero (Finnish)
  • Antti (Finnish)
  • Andris/Driess (Frisian)
  • André (French/Galician/Ladino/Portuguese)
  • Dria (Genevoese: Dialectical Italian form)
  • Anda (German: dialectical form, Northern Austria)
  • Anekelea (Hawaiian)
  • Andor/András/Endre (Hungarian)
  • Andris (Hungarian/Latvian)
  • Andrés (Icelandic/Spanish)
  • Aindréas/Aindriú (Irish)
  • Andrejs (Latvian)
  • Andriejus/Andrius (Lithuanian)
  • Andrija/Indri (Maltese)
  • Anaru (Maori)
  • Dreesi (Old Swiss German: Basel dialect)
  • Andrzej/Jędrzej (Polish: latter is a very old form)
  • Drewes (Plattdeutsch)
  • Andrea/Andreia/Andri/Andrin/Andriu (Romansch)
  • Ándá/Ándaras/Ándde/Ánde (Saami)
  • Aindrea/Aindreas/Anndra (Scottish)
  • Ondrej (Slovak)
  • Andraž (Slovene)
  • Handrij (Sorbian)
  • Andalea (Swahili)
  • Andriy Андрiй (Ukrainian)
  • Andras (Welsh)

Belorusian diminutives are: Andros, Andruk and Andrus. Czech masculine diminutive forms are Andy, Ondra, Ondrášek, Ondrejko, Ondrík, Ondřejek and Ondříček. French diminutive forms are: Dédé, Ti-Dré, Andi, DéaAndy. A German diminutive form is Andy/Andi and English are Andi, Andie, Andy, Dre and Drew. A Hungarian diminutive is Bandi and Polish diminutive forms are Andrzejek, Jędrek and Jędruś. Scotch diminutive form is Dand.

Note: Andrea is a common feminine form in most European countries outside of Italy and Albania, particularly in Germany and the Anglo-phone world. Whether this is a borrowing from the Italian and was changed, or a coincidental evolution, is unknown. What is known is that Andrea has been used in England as a feminine form since the 17th-century.

Feminine forms are (listed alphabetically by linguistic origin)

  • Andere (Basque)
  • Andrea (Basque/Breton/English/German/Spanish)
  • Andriva/Andriveta (Bearnais/Occitanian)
  • Andersine (Danish)
  • Andrine (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Drine (Danish)
  • Dreesje (Dutch)
  • Andrée (French)
  • Aanasi/Aanarsi/Aanta/Aantariarsi (Greenlandic)
  • Andreina (Italian)
  • Andzeja/Ondzeja (Polish: obscure)
  • Andréia (Portuguese: Brazilian)
  • Andreia (Portuguese: European)
  • Andriano (Provencal)
  • Andreea (Romanian)
  • Andrina (Romansch)
  • Andrijana (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Andreja (Slovene)
  • Andrietta/Andriette (Swedish/Danish: very rare)

Czech diminutive forms are: Adrejka, Andruška, Andra, Rea. English diminutive forms are Andi, Andy, Annie and Drea.

Advertisements

Simeon, Simon

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Biblical, Hebrew
Meaning: “he has heard.”
Eng (SIE-mun)

Simeon first appears in the Old Testament as a patriach of the Simeonite tribe and one of the 12 sons of Jacob.

The name origins are debated. The Torah claims that the name is in reference to Leah’s cry of anguish to God over her husband’s deference to her. Being a derivative of the Hebrew shama’on meaning “he has heard my suffering.” In this case, the name would share the same etymology as the name Ishmael (God has heard).

In some classical Rabbinical texts the name is sometimes translated to mean “he who listens to the words of God.” It has even been suggested that it is derived from the Hebrew sham’in meaning “there is sin” which is in reference to Zimri, an ancestor of Simeon’s, who committed the sin of having a relationship with a Midianite woman.

The name was borne by several other characters in the Old and New Testament, in the forms of Simeon and Simon. Simon later became associated with St. Peter. During the early Christian era, the Greek world took the name to mean “snub nosed” due to its similarity in sound to the Greek word σιμοσ (simos).

Simon has always been prevalent in the Western World, it is currently very trendy in continental Europe. The rankings of popularity in various countries are as follows:

  • # 3 (Poland, Szymon, 2010)
  • # 7 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 10 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 12 (Italy, Simone, 2008)
  • # 26 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 32 (Denmark, 2010)
  • # 37 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 49 (France, 2009)
  • # 56 (the Netherlands, Siem, 2010)
  • # 60 (Croatian, Šimun, 2010)
  • # 60 (Norway, Simen, 2010)
  • # 64 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 71 (Croatia, Šime, 2010)
  • # 75 (the Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 91 (Hungary, 2010)

Other forms of the name include (divided alphabetically by origin)

  • Simeon Սիմէօն (Albanian/Armenian/Bulgarian)
  • Simon Симон Սիմոն (Albanian/Armenian/English/Finnish/German/Hungarian/Macedonian/Malayalan/Norwegian/Occitanian/Slovenian/Swedish/ Romanian)
  • Samān (Arabic)
  • Semaan  سمعان (Assyrian/Coptic/Lebanese/Syrian)
  • Şımon (Azeri)
  • Ximun (Basque)
  • Shyman Шыман (Belarusian)
  • Symon Сымон (Belarusian)
  • Simó (Catalan)
  • Simone (Corsican/Italian)
  • Šime (Croatian)
  • Šimo (Croatian)
  • Šimun (Croatian)
  • Šimon (Czech/Prekmurian/Slovak)
  • Simion (Danish/Romanian)
  • Simoen (Danish)
  • Siemen (Dutch/Frisian)
  • Siem (Dutch)
  • Siimon (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Smeon ስምዖን, (Ethiopian)
  • Símeon /Símun (Faroese)
  • Sema (Finnish)
  • Semen (Finnish/Gascon)
  • Semjon (Finnish)
  • Semoi (Finnish)
  • Siim (Finnish)
  • Siimoni (Finnish)
  • Simeoni (Finnish)
  • Simo (Finnish/Serbian)
  • Symeon Συμεών (Greek)
  • Symeonos Συμεώνος (Greek)
  • Siimuut (Greenlandic)
  • Shimon שמעון (Hebrew)
  • Símon (Icelandic)
  • Síomón (Irish)
  • Sshimeoni (Kosovar)
  • Sīmanis (Latvian) 
  • Sīmans (Latvian)
  • Simons (Latvian)
  • Saimonas (Lithuanian)
  • Saimontas (Lithuanian)
  • Simanas (Lithuanian)
  • Simas (Lithuanian)
  • Simeonas (Lithuanian)
  • Simonas(Lithuanian)
  • Sime Симе (Macedonian)
  • Shimon (Malayalam)
  • Simen/Simian (Norwegian)
  • Simå (Norwegian dialectical form: Norrland & Østerdalen)
  • Sømjo (Norwegian dialectical form: Rogaland)
  • Simonu/Symeonu (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Symeon (Polish)
  • Szymon (Polish: Szymek and Szymuś are diminutives)
  • Simão (Portuguese)
  • Simeão (Portuguese)
  • Simun (Quecha)
  • Schimun (Romansch)
  • Semyon Семён (Russian)
  • Sim (Scottish)
  • Šimej (Slovene)
  • Simón (Spanish)
  • Jimeno (Spanish)
  • Ximeno (Spanish)
  • Simoni (Swahili)
  • Shemod (Syrian)
  • Shimeon (Syrian)
  • Semen/Symon Симон (Ukrainian)
  • Mişon (Turkish)
  • Seimon (Welsh)
  • Simwnt (Welsh)
  • Shimmel (Yiddish)

Feminine forms include:

  • Simona (Czech/Italian/Portuguese/Romanian/Slovak/Slovenian)
  • Simonia/Simonie (Danish)
  • Simoona (Finnish)
  • Simone (French)
  • Simonette (French)
  • Szimóna (Hungarian)
  • Szimonetta (Hungarian)
  • Símonía (Icelandic)
  • Simonetta (Italian)
  • Sima (Lithuanian)
  • Simonė (Lithuanian)
  • Szymona (Polish)
  • Simoneta (Portuguese)
  • Ximena (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Simoneta/Šimona (Slovak)
  • Simeona (Slovene)
  • Jimena (Spanish)

The designated name-day is October 28, and October 30 in Slovakia.

Mary, Maria, Miriam

Mary and its various forms has to be one of the quintessential, classic female names of all time, she has been used in Protestant England in the form of Mary, in the Islamic world as Maryam, in Jewish communities in the form of Miriam and in the Catholic world as Maria, Marie or Mary.

In the United States, she has never quite detracted from the top 100, if Mary is not in fashion then it is usually one of her other forms that may take her place, such as Molly, Mariah, Maria or Mia, all depending on the flavor of the day.

Currently, Mary is the 97th most popular female name in the United States, (2008). Mary’s rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 7 (Armenia, 2008)
  • # 57 (Ireland, 2007)

Its French form of Marie is popular outside the Hexagon, she currently ranks in as the 546th most popular female name in the United States, but in other countries, she appears in the top 10. Her rankings are as follows:

  • # 9 (Armenian, 2008)
  • # 4 (Belgium, 2008)
  • # 17 (Czech Republic, 2008)
  • # 24 (Denmark, 2008)
  • # 20 (France, 2009)
  • # 9 (Germany, 2009)
  • # 270 (the Netherlands, 2008)

The continental form of Maria is extremely popular across Europe and Latin America, her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 4 (Argentina, 2009)
  • # 8 (Basque Country, Spain, 2008)
  • # 3 (Belarus, 2005)
  • # 3 (Bulgaria, 2008)
  • # 89 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 6 (Catalonia, Spain, 2008)
  • # 8 (Chile, 2008)
  • # 91 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 6 (Estonia, 2007)
  • # 4 (Faroe Islands, 2008)
  • # 59 (Germany, 2009)
  • # 1 (Greece, 2004)
  • # 90 (Hungary, 2008)
  • # 5 (Iceland, 2004-2007)
  • # 49 (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 1 (Israel, among Christian girls, 2004)
  • # 9 Marija (Latvia, 2005)
  • # 1 Marija (Macedonia, 2006)
  • # 1 (Malta, 2008)
  • # 39 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 14 (Norway, 2008)
  • # 17 (Poland, 2009)
  • # 1 (Portugal, 2008)
  • # 2 (Romania, 2008)
  • # 2 (Russia, 2007)
  • # 99 (Scotland, 2008)
  • # 1 (Slovakia, 2004)
  • # 2 (Spain, 2008)
  • # 96 (Sweden, 2008)
  • # 7 (Ukraine, 2009)
  • # 64 (United States, 2008)

Her diminutive offshoot of Mia, has also been quite trendy the last 10 years, as of 2008, she was the 14th most popular female name in the United States. In other countries, her rankings are as follows:

  • # 1 (Australia, 2008)
  • # 25 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 44 (Chile, 2006)
  • # 11 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 1 (Germany, 2009)
  • # 23 (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 5 (Isle of Man, 2009)
  • # 350 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 24 (New Zealand, 2009)
  • # 12 (Norway, 2008)
  • # 26 (Scotland, 2008)
  • # 46 (Slovenia, 2005)
  • # 3 (Switzerland, among Romansch-speakers, 2008)

Another common diminutive offshoot, is Molly, which is mostly used in the English speaking world, but has also shifted over to some of the Scandinavian countries. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 57 (Australia, 2007)
  • # 84 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 32 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 25 (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 33 (New Zealand, 2009)
  • # 39 (Scotland, 2008)
  • # 11 (Sweden, 2008)
  • # 104 (United States, 2008)

Miriam is another common choice which is popular throughout Europe and the Middle East. Her rankings are as follows:

  • # 1 Mariam (Georgia, 2008)
  • # 6 Maryam (Iran, 2007)
  • # 4 Maryam (Israel, among Muslim girls, 2004)
  • # 6 Maryam (Pakistan)
  • # 48 Miriam (Spain, 2008)
  • # 1 Mariam (Tunisia, 2005)
  • # 309 Miriam (United States, 2008)

As for its meaning and derivation, though the its origins can be traced back to the Bible, its lingustic and etymological meaning has long been debated. Many hypothesis include that the name could be a derivative of the Hebrew meri, ‘rebel’ related to the Hebrew verb MRH, mara or Marah which means’ to be “rebellious.” Or that it is related to the Hebrew word מרא (MRA, mara) which means ‘well-fed’, something which would have been considered a comely attribute in Biblical times.

One of the most popular etymological theories is its association with the Hebrew מר (MR, mar), meaning. “bitter” or “bitterness, and another very well established hypothesis suggests that it is from an Egyptian source, mry “beloved” or mr meaning “love.”

Other possible theories include:

That is it a combination of the Hebrew words מר (MR, mar), meaning “bitter” or the Hebrew (mar) meaning, “drop”; or (mor) meaning, “myrrh” or ” (mari ) meaning “mistress’.

The name is borne by several female characters in both the Old and New Testament.

Among Jews, the name was originally used in honour of the sister of Aaron, Miriam the Prophetess.

Among Muslims and Christians, (particularly Catholics and Eastern Orthodox), the name is usually used in honour of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.

However, in certain eras and cultures, Mary or Maria was considered too sacred of a name to use on a child, and in other cultures, the name Maria is so honorable to have, that it is even bestowed upon males, usually in conjunction with a male name or as a middle name. This is especially so in Spanish-speaking countries, French speaking countries and occasionally done in other predominate Catholic countries such as Ireland, Poland and in Bavaria, Germany.

The name has made is presence known in British royalty as well as in the continental ruling houses. Other forms are as follows:

Latinate Forms
Forms used in Latin-based languages

  • Marieta (Catalan: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name in Spanish-speaking countries)
  • Miryam (Catalan: archaic form from the 13th-century)
  • Maria (Corsican/Italian/Occitanian/Portuguese/Romanian/Romansch/Latin)
  • Manon (French: originally a diminutive form of Marie, the name has been used as an independent given name for centuries. In fact, it currently ranks in as the 7th most popular female name in Belgium (2006), the 4th most popular female name in France (2006), and the 184th most popular female name in the Netherlands (2008). Pronunciation can be heard here: http://www.forvo.com/search/Manon/)
  • Marie (French: she is one of the most popular middle names in the English speaking world. In French, this form is bestowed on males in conjunction with other male names or as a middle name. There are several common French female names used in conjunction with Marie, as well. Those of which, I will save for future postings).
  • Marielle (French: originally a diminutive form of Marie, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Mariette (French: a diminutive form of Marie, occasionally used as an independent given name, now considered dated in French-speaking countries).
  • Mariolle(French: obscure, very old diminutive form of Marie, the inspiration of the Polish offshoot, Mariola).
  • Marion (French: a medieval French diminutive form of Marie, now exclusively used as an independent given name, the name was borne in legend by the love interest of Robin Hood, Maid Marion, and is borne by French actress, Marion Cotillard. In France, it is the 59th most popular female name (2006)
  • Myriam (French: form of the Biblical, Miriam, she ranks in as the 95th most popular female name in France (2006)
  • Mariella (Italian: originally a diminutive form of Maria, now exclusively used as an independent given name)
  • Marietta (Italian: a diminutive form of Maria, occasionally used as an independent given name).
  • Marigia (Italian: obscure)
  • Mariuzza/Maruzziella (Italian: obscure)
  • Mariana (Portuguese: Mariana is usually considered a name of a seperate etymology, but is used in Portuguese and Spanish as a form of Miriam. She is the 73rd most popular female name in Chile, 2006).
  • María (Spanish/Galician).
  • Marita (Spanish: a diminutive form of Maria, now often used as an independent given name)
  • Maritza (Spanish: a Latin American spin-off of Maria, originally a diminutive form, now a trendy given name, especially among Mexican-Americans, she is currently the 560th most popular female name in the United States).
  • Mareye (Walon)

An Italian diminutive form is Mimi. A Portuguese diminutive form is Mariazinha.

Masculine forms are:

  • Mari (Catalan)
  • Mariu (Corsican)
  • Mario (Italian/Galician)
  • Marius (Latin/French/Romanian)
  • Mário (Portuguese)

Germanic Forms
Forms used in Germanic-speaking countries

  • Maiken/Majken (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish: originally a diminutive form of Maria, now used exclusively as an independent given name).
  • Maria (Danish/Dutch/English/Faroese/Frisian/German/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Marie (Danish/German/Norwegian/Swedish: a borrowing from the French)
  • Mari (Danish)
  • Maaike/Maike (Dutch/Frisian/German: originally a diminutive form, used exclusively as an independent given name. In 2008, it was the 98th most popular female name in the Netherlands)
  • Marieke(Dutch: originally a diminutive form, now exclusively used as an independent given name. In 2008, it was the 188th most popular female name in the Netherlands)
  • Marijke (Dutch: mah-RYE-keh)
  • Marike (Dutch: originally a diminutive form of Maria, now used exclusively as an independent given name, pronounced mah-REE-keh)
  • Marja (Dutch/Faroese/Gothic/Limburgish: MAHR-yah).
  • Meike (Dutch/German: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name, it was the 53rd most popular female name in the Netherlands of 2008.)
  • Mia (Dutch/German/English/Scandinavian: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Mieke (Dutch/Limburgish: originally a diminutive form, used exclusively as an independent given name MEE-keh)
  • Miep(Dutch: a diminutive form, but occasionally used as an independent given name MEEP).
  • Miet (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent given name MEET).
  • Mirjam (Dutch/German/Swedish: form of the Biblical Miriam).
  • Mariel (English: just an anglicized form of the French, Marielle).
  • Mariota (English: archaic, form used in the 13th-century)
  • Mary (English)
  • Molly/Mollie (English: originally a diminutive form, now used more often as an independent given name)
  • Polly (English: originally a diminutive form, now used more often as an independent given name)
  • Marý(Faroese)
  • Mareike (Frisian/German: originally a diminutive form of Maria, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Maja (German/Scandinavian: originally a diminutive form of Maria, used exclusively as an independent given name. It is the 2nd most popular female name in Sweden, (2008)
  • Mariele(German: originally diminutive form of Maria, used exclusively as an independent given name, pronounced mah-REE-leh).
  • Miriam(German/English: Biblical form, often used in German and English speaking countries)
  • Mitzi (German/English: not really used as an independent given name in German speaking countries, but experienced a short usage of popularity as an independent given name in the United States).
  • Ria(German/Dutch: originally diminutive forms, occasionally used as independent given names)
  • Mæja (Icelandic: originally a diminutive form of Maria, used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • María(Icelandic)
  • Mies (Limburgish: diminutive form of Maria, used as an independent given name in the Netherlands. MEES)
  • Mathie (Normand: mah-TEE)
  • My(Swedish: originally a diminutive form of Maria, now used as an independent given name MEE. In 2007, it was the 79th most popular female name in Sweden).
  • Mirele מִירֶעל(Yiddish: a form of Miriam. MEER-eh-leh)

Common English diminutives include May, Mayme, Mare, Mia, Molle, Molly, Moll and Polly, German diminutive forms are Mariechen and Mitzi.

Masculine forms include:

  • Marius (Dutch/German/English/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Marjus (Faroese)
  • Maríus (Icelandic)

Baltic Forms
Variations used in Baltic countries.

  • Maaja (Estonian)
  • Maare/Maari (Estonian)
  • Maarika (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Maaria/Maarja (Estonian)
  • Maie/Maiu (Estonian: initially diminutive forms, now used as independent given names, MY-eh, MY-oo)
  • Maila/Maili/Mailu (Estonian: Maili is pronounced somewhat like Miley)
  • Mari (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Marjam (Estonian)
  • Marje/Marjen (Estonian)
  • Marjette (Estonian)
  • Mary (Estonian)
  • Maija/Maiju (Finnish)
  • Maikki (Finnish: a Finnicized form of the Sweden and Danish Majken, pronounced somewhat like Mikey)
  • Maaria/Maria (Finnish)
  • Marika (Finnish)
  • Maritta (Finnish)
  • Marjatta (Finnish: can also mean “without a berry” in Finnish, and is the name of a character in the Kalevala, but is often used as a variation of Maria; also used in Estonia)
  • Marjo (Finnish)
  • Marjukka (Finnish)
  • Marjut (Finnish)
  • Miia (Finnish)
  • Mirja (Finnish: translation of Miriam)
  • Mirjam/Mirjami (Finnish)
  • Maija (Latvian)
  • Maila (Latvian: MY-lah)
  • Mairita/Mairīta/Mairīte (Latvian)
  • Mairuta (Latvian)
  • Mare (Latvian: final E is pronounced)
  • Mareka (Latvian)
  • Mareta/Māreta (Latvian)
  • Marī (Latvian)
  • Mārica (Latvian)
  • Mariela (Latvian)
  • Mārieta (Latvian)
  • Marija (Latvian/Lithuanian)
  • Mārika (Latvian)
  • Marite/Mārita/Mārīte/Marīte (Latvian)
  • Marjama (Latvian)
  • Maruta/Māruta/Marute (Latvian)
  • Mare (Lithuanian)
  • Maryte (Lithuanian)

Masculine forms are:

  • Maarius/Mairo/Mario (Estonian)
  • Marijus/Marius (Lithuanian)

Slavic Forms
Forms used in Slavic countries

  • Merjem (Bosnian)
  • Mirjana (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian/Slovene: translation of Miriam)
  • Mariya (Bulgarian/Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Marija (Croatian/Macedonian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Marie (Czech: MAHR-yeh)
  • Maria (Polish)
  • Marieta (Polish)
  • Mariola (Polish: mahr-YOLE-ah)
  • Marita (Polish)
  • Maryla (Polish: mah-RIH-lah)
  • Marzena (Polish: not really etymologically related, but has had a historical usage as a variation of Maria in Poland. The name is actually the name of an ancient Polish goddess and it may be linked with the either Polish word for “hope; dream” or with the Old Slavonic word for “death.” mahr-ZHEH-nah, diminutive form is Marzenka).
  • Mária (Slovakian)
  • Marika (Slovakian)
  • Marica (Slovene: initially a diminutive form, used as an independent given name in Slovenia, but is also used as a diminutive form in Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Czech and Slovakian, mah-REET-sah).
  • Mojca (Slovene: initially a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name in Slovenia. MOY-tsah)
  • Marya Марья (Russian)

Czech and Slovak diminutive forms are: Mája, MáňaMaruška and Maryška. Serbian and Slovene diminutives are Maša. Russian diminutives are Manya, Masha, Mashenka and Mashka. Polish diminutives are MasiaMarysia (mah-RISH-ah) and Maryska.

Masculine forms are:

  • Marian (Polish)
  • Mariusz (Polish)
  • Marij/Mario (Slovene)

Celtic Forms
Forms used in Celtic Languages

  • Mari (Breton)
  • Mallaidh (Irish-Gaelic: translation of Molly)
  • Maira/Máire (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Mairenn/Máirín (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Muire (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Mariod/Mariot (Manx)
  • Moirrey/Voirrey (Manx)
  • Màiri (Scotch-Gaelic)
  • Mhari (Scotch-Gaelic)
  • Mhairi/Mhairie (Scotch-Gaelic)
  • Moire (Scotch-Gaelic)
  • Mair (Welsh)

Other Forms
Forms used in other languages not listed in the above

  • Maria (Albanian/Kiswahili)
  • Maryam مريم (Arabic)
  • Mariam (Armenian)
  • Məryəm (Azeri)
  • Maia (Basque)
  • Miren (Basque)
  • Mariam (Coptic/Egyptian)
  • Mariami (Georgian)
  • Maria Μαρία (Greek: Modern)
  • Maroula/Roula (Greek: Modern: initially diminutive forms)
  • Malia (Hawaiian/Zuni)
  • Mária (Hungarian)
  • Maria (Indonesian)
  • Meryem (Kurdish/Turkish)
  • Mariam/Mariamma/Mariamme (Malayalam)
  • Marija (Maltese)
  • Mere (Maori)
  • Miriama (Maori)

The name has several name-days.

Michael

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “who is like God?”
Eng (MI-kel)

One of the most prevalent male names in the Western World, and to a certain extent, the Middle Eastern world, the name is derived from a rhetorical Hebrew question מִיכָאֵל (Mikha’el) meaning “who is like God?” or “who is like El” the answer being that no one is like God.

This is in reference to the legend of when one of God’s most powerful angels, (Lucifer depending on the theological tradition), became so arrogant and prideful that he built an army of angels in order to overthrow the throne of God, thinking that he himself could be like God, Michael is believed to have smite the fallen angel, asking him the question “who is like God?” after casting him out of the gates of heaven.

According Mormon saint theology, “who is like God?” refers to the idea that Michael was Adam before he was created by God in human form. The meaning of the name explains that all humans are created in God’s image.

Michael is believed to be a powerful angel in Islamic, Christian and Jewish tradition. He appears several times in the Bible, being mentioned in the Book of Daniel, the Book of Jude and the Book of Revelations. He even appears in the apocryphal Book of Enoch.

In Roman Catholicism, Michael is referred to as St. Michael the Archangel and is considered a powerful saint, especially powerful against demonic attacks and is the patron saint of chivalry, the warrior, police officers, paratroopers, firefighters, soldiers and fighter pilots. Among German Catholics, he is the patron saint of Germany, and in Belgium, he considered the patron saint of Brussels.

In the Eastern Christian tradition, is known as Taxiarch Archangel Michael or simply as Archangel Michael.

In Jewish tradition, Michael is the protector and heavenly warrior of Israel and the advocate of the Jews.

In Islam, he is mentioned in the Qu’ran once, in Sura 2:98 and that Michael was a good angel who stood on the left hand of God (Allah’s) throne.

The archangel is also important in the Bahai faith and the New Age religions.

He plays a role in John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost.

There is no reason to explain why Michael is so popular, especially in the U.S. As of 2008, Michael was the 2nd most popular male name. He was moved down from the 1st position down to the 2nd position back in 1999, when he was overthrown by Jacob.

Between the years 1954 and 1999, Michael was the most popular male name. The lowest that Michael ever ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1892 when he came in as the 59th most popular male name in the United States. In other countries, Michael’s rankings are as follows:

  • # 36 (Australia, 2007)
  • # 36 (Canada, B.C. 2008)
  • # 4 (Denmark, 2009)
  • # 52 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 10 (Ireland, 2007)
  • # 239 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 33 (Scotland, 2008)

The Michael form is also used in Afrikaans, Danish, Czech, German and Ripoarisch.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mëhill/Mhill (Albanian)
  • Mighel (Amazigh/Moroccan)
  • Mikhael/Mikail ميخائيل‎, (Arabic/Coptic)
  • Miguel (Aragonese/Galician/Portuguese/Spanish: mee-GEL)
  • Mikael Միքաել (Armenian)
  • Micael (Asturian)
  • Mikayıl (Azeri)
  • Mikel (Basque)
  • Mitxel (Basque)
  • Miquèu (Bearnais/Occitanian/Gascon/Provençal)
  • Mickaël (Breton)
  • Mikael (Breton/Finnish/Icelandic/Norwegian/Swedish: a Finnish diminutive form is Mika)
  • Mihail Михаил (Bulgarian/Russian: Misha is the most common diminutive form)
  • Michjeli (Calabrian: Chjeli is the diminutive mee-KYAY-lee)
  • Miquel (Catalan: mee-KEL. Quelo is a common diminutive form)
  • Myghal (Cornish)
  • Michal (Czech/Slovak: mee-HAHL: 15th most popular male name in the Czech Republic-2007)
  • Mihajlo/Mihovil (Croatian: diminutive form is Miho)
  • Mihail Михаил (Croatian/Serbian)
  • Mikkel (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish: 6oth most popular male name in Norway-2007)
  • Maikel (Dutch: MY-kel)
  • Michaël (Dutch/Frisian: mee-kah-EL)
  • Michiel (Dutch: 307th most popular male name in the Netherlands-2008)
  • Miikael/Mikhel (Estonian)
  • Mikko (Finnish)
  • Michel (French: MEE-shel)
  • Michêl (Fruilian)
  • Mícheál (Gaelic-Irish)
  • Mìcheal (Gaelic-Scotch)
  • Micheil (Gaelic-Scotch)
  • Mikheil მიხეილი (Georgian)
  • Mikhael/Mikhalis Μιχάλης/Μιχαήλ (Greek: Μίκης (Mikis) is the common pet form))
  • Mikala (Hawaiian)
  • Micha’el מִיכָאֵל‎, (Hebrew)
  • Mihály (Hungarian: 60th most popular male name in Hungary-2008. Misi and Miska are the most common pet forms. MEE-hie)
  • Mikhael (Indonesian)
  • Michea (Italian: obscure/archaic mee-KAY-ah)
  • Michele (Italian: mee-KAY-lay)
  • Michelino (Italian: obscure)
  • Miķelis/Mihails (Latvian)
  • Mykolas (Lithuanian)
  • Mikail (Malayalam)
  • Mikiel (Maltese)
  • Mikaere (Maori)
  • Migueltzin (Nahuatl)
  • Michè (Neopolitan)
  • Miché/Michi (Norman)
  • Miqueu (Occitanian)
  • Mikhailu Мїхаилъ (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Michał (Polish/Sorbian: mee-HOW)
  • Mihai/Mihail (Romanian: diminutive form is Mihaita)
  • Micheli/Mikelli/Migali (Sardinian)
  • Mihailo Михаило (Serbian)
  • Miceli (Sicilian: Celi is a diminutive form. mee-KAY-lee)
  • Miha (Slovene: originally a diminutive form of Mihael, now used exclusively as an independent given name, it was the 11th most popular male name in Slovenia-2005)
  • Mihael (Slovene: 86th most popular male name in Slovenia-2005)
  • Mikâil (Turkish)
  • Mikhailo/Mykhailo Михайло (Ukrainian)
  • Michełe (Venetian)
  • Meical (Welsh)

English diminutive forms are: Mick, Micky, Mike and Mikey. German diminutive forms are Maik (pronounced like Mike), Maiki, Michi and Micki. A Swiss-German dialectical diminutive is is Michu (Bern)

There are also forms that mean “Michael Archangel” and are used in reference to the angel. These are:

  • Michelangelo (Italian)
  • Michelarcangelo (Italian)
  • Michelangiolo (Romansch)
  • Mihangel (Welsh)

Michelangela is an Italian feminine form.

An Italian smush is Michelantonio.

The feminine form of Michelle (an English corruption of the French feminine form Michèle), has been used in the English speaking world since the early 20th-century.

It currently ranks in as the 103rd most popular female name, and the highest it peaked was # 2, in the years 1968, ’69 and again in ’71, ’72.

Its Latinate feminine form has recently sparked in popularity as well (see Michaela for more details)

Other feminine forms include:

  • Micaela (Asturian)
  • Mikelle (Basque)
  • Miquèla (Bearnais)
  • Mikaela (Breton)
  • Miquela (Catalan/Occitanian/Gascon/Provençal)
  • Michelle (English/German: a phonetic corruption of the French Michèle)
  • Michèle (French)
  • Michéline (French: mee-shay-LEEN)
  • Michaelina/Michaeline (Irish: an Irish corruption of the French Micheline and the Italian, Michelina, common diminutive form is Micki/Micky. MY-keh-LEEN-ah; MY-keh-LEEN)
  • Michela (Italian: mee-KAY-lah)
  • Michelina (Italian: mee-kay-LEE-nah)
  • Michalina (Polish: mee-ha-LEE-nah: Michalinka and Misia are the diminutive forms)
  • Miguela (Spanish)
  • Miguelina (Spanish)

The designated name-day for Michael is September 29.

Elisabeth, Elizabeth

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “God is my oath; God is abundance.”

The name is a transliterated form of the Biblical Greek Ελισβετ (Elisabet), which is a Hellenized version of the Biblical Hebrew feminine name, אֱלִישֶׁבַע‎ (Elisheva).

Elizabeth appears twice in the Bible, once in the Old Testament as the name of Aaron’s wife and once in the New Testament as the wife of Zachariah and the mother of John the Baptist.

Elizabeth has remained fairly consistent in the U.S top 100 for over a hundred years. She currently ranks in at # 9 and the lowest she has ever come in the U.S. charts was in 1945 at # 26.

In Australia she is the 37th most popular female name (2007), in Canada, she ranks in at # 20 (2008), in England/Wales she came in at # 40 (2008), in Ireland at # 63 (2007) and in Scotland at # 68 (2008).

The name was borne by several saints and European royalty. Among the most notable bearers were, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, a 12th-century Hungarian princess who was known for her acts of kindness and charity toward the poor and Queen Elizabeth I of England, including the current reigning Queen, Elizabeth II.

The name Isabel/Isabella are relatives, but have becomes so far apart from its original source, that they often occur concurrently in many European countries with Elizabeth, hence is why I shall devote a different post to Isabel/Isabella, but I shall cite her several times in this article as a variation whenever needed.

I believe one of the reasons why Elizabeth has been a long time favorite, is because of her versatility. She can be shortened to a variety of different nicknames, especially in English. The most popular are: (I have cited the ones that have commonly been used as independent given name with a black club)

Bess, Bessie, Beth♣, Bets, Betsy, Bet, Bettie/Betty, Bezzy, Bit, Bitsy, Biz, Buffy, Elisa♣, Elise♣, Elle♣, Eliza♣, Ella♣, Ellie, Elsa♣, Elsie♣, Ibbie, Lib, Libby, Lilly, Lisa♣, Liz, Lizzie, Liza♣, Tetty, Tibby and Tizzy.

Other forms of the name include:

Latinate Forms
Forms found in Latinate/Romance languages

  • Sabela (Asturian)
  • Elisabèt, Lisabèt (Bearnais)
  • Elisabet (Catalan)
  • Babette (French: originally a diminutive form, used as independent given name, now considered extremely dated)
  • Élisabeth (French)
  • Élise (French)
  • Lise (French)
  • Lisette (French: originally a diminutive form but exclusively used as an independent given name)
  • Bettina (Italian)
  • Elisa (Italian/French/Portuguese: appears in Boccaccio’s Decameron as the name of one of the female story tellers).
  • Elisabella (Italian: obscure)
  • Elisabetta (Italian/Romansch)
  • Elisa (Italian/Sardinian/Spanish)
  • Elisanna/Elisena (Italian: obscure)
  • Elisetta (Italian)
  • Lelisa (Italian: obscure)
  • Lisa (Italian/Spanish)
  • Lisella (Italian: obscure)
  • Lisena (Italian: obscure)
  • Lisetta (Italian)
  • Lisina/Lisinda (Italian: obscure)
  • Lisanna (Italian)
  • Elisabetha (Late Latin)
  • Elizabetta (Liguru: a minor language spoken in Italy)
  • Elisabeta/Elisèu/Eliso (Occitanian)
  • Elisabete/Elisete/Elsa (Portuguese)
  • Babèu/Eisabèu/ Lisabèu (Provencal: Babeu is a diminutive)
  • Elisabeta (Romanian/Spanish)
  • Lisabetta (Romansch/Corsican)
  • Lisabbetta (Sicilian)
  • Isabel/Ysabel (Spanish/Aragonese/Catalan/Galician/Portuguese)

Germanic Forms
Forms used in Germanic languages

  • Elsabe (Afrikaans)
  • Liesel (Alsatian)
  • Elisabet (Danish/Faroese/Swedish/Norwegian)
  • Elsebeth (Danish)
  • Else (Danish)
  • Lise (Danish/German)
  • Lis (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Lisbet (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Lisbeth (Danish/German)
  • Els (Dutch: a diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent give name)
  • Elsa (Dutch/German/Swedish)
  • Liesbeth/Lijsbeth (Dutch)
  • Liesje (Dutch)
  • Eliza (English: originally a diminutive, exclusively used as an independent given name)
  • Elsba/Elsbet/Elsuba/Elusbet (Faroese)
  • Elspa (Faroese)
  • Lisabet/Lisbet (Faroese)
  • Elsebe/Elsche/Eske/Telsa (Frisian)
  • Bettina/Bettine (German: a borrowing from the Italian)
  • Elisa (German: a borrowing from Romance languages)
  • Elisabeth (German/Dutch)
  • Elise (German/Danish/Dutch/English/Norwegian: a borrowing from the French)
  • Elli (German: diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Elsbeth (German/Swiss-German dialectical form)
  • Ilsa/Ilse (German/Dutch: initially a diminutive form, popularly bestowed as an independent given name, now considered dated. il-SEH)
  • Lies/Liesa/Liese (German/Dutch)
  • Liesel/Liesl (German: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name, now considered dated)
  • Lilli (German: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name due to its association with the flower)
  • Lisa/Lise (German/Dutch/English/Swedish/Danish/Norwegian)
  • Sabeth (German: obscure)
  • Aileisabaiþ (Gothic)
  • Elísabet (Icelandic)
  • Ellisif/Ellisiv (Norwegian)
  • Lieken, Lüke, Lücken (Plattdeutsch)
  • Bettan (Swedish: originally a diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent given name, but now considered dated)
  • Lisen (Swedish: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)

German diminutive forms are Betti, Elis, Elli, Elschen, and Lieschen.

Slavic Forms
Forms used in Slavic speaking countries

  • Elisaveta Елисавета (Bulgarian)
  • Elizabeta (Croatian)
  • Alžběta (Czech: alzh-BYEH-tah)
  • Eliška (Czech: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given. eh-LEESH-kah)
  • Elisabeti Елїсабеть (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Eliza (Polish: eh-LEE-zah)
  • Elżbieta (Polish: elsh-BYEH-tah)
  • Halszka (Polish: archaic. HAHLSH-kah)
  • Halżbieta (Polish: archaic. halsh-BYEH-tah)
  • Elizaveta/Yelizaveta Елизавета (Russian)
  • Jelisaveta (Serbian)
  • Alžbeta (Slovak)
  • Ažbeta (Slovene)
  • Betina (Slovene)
  • Elica (Slovene: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name. eh-LEET-sah)
  • Elisa/Elis (Slovene)
  • Elizabeta/Elizabet (Slovene)
  • Elza (Slovene)
  • Jelisava (Slovene)
  • Lizabeta (Slovene)
  • Špela (Slovene: originally a diminutive form, exclusively used as an independent given name. SHPEH-lah)
  • Hilža (Sorbian)
  • Lisaveta/Yelysaveta (Ukrainian)

Czech diminutive forms are Běta, Bětka, Bětuška, Betynka, Bětuše, Betyna, and Líza. Slovakian diminutives include: Beta, Betka, Betuška, Betinka, Betuša and Betina. Polish diminutive forms are Bieta, Ela (the most prevalent), Elka, Elunia and Elżunia. Slovene diminutives are: Beta, Beti, Betika, Ela, Eli, Elzi, Špelca, Špelica, Špelka, Jelica, Lili, and Lizika.

Baltic Forms
Forms used in the Baltic States

  • Eliisabet (Estonian)
  • Elts (Estonian)
  • Etti (Estonian)
  • Ilze (Estonian)
  • Liisa/Liisi/Liis (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Liisu (Estonian)
  • Eliisa (Finnish)
  • Elizabete (Latvian)
  • Līze/Lizina (Latvian)
  • Elžbieta (Lithuanian)
  • Eliissá/Liisá/Liissá (Saami)

Celtic Forms
Forms used in Celtic based languages

  • Elesbed (Breton)
  • Eilís (Irish: IE-leesh)
  • Ealisaid (Manx: ALE-is-sed)
  • Ealee (Manx)
  • Ealish (Manx)
  • Ealasaid (Scottish)
  • Elspeth (Scottish)
  • Bethan/Betsan (Welsh)

Other forms

  • Elizabeta (Albanian)
  • Ilizabith إليزابيث (Arabic)
  • Il-Shvai ܐܠܝܫܒܥ \ܐܠܝܫܒܚ (Aramaic)
  • Elsapet (Armenian)
  • Yeghisapet (Armenian)
  • Zabel (Armenian)
  • Elixabete/Elixabet/Elizabete (Basque: former are pronounced eh-LEE-sheh-BEH-tah and eh-LEE-shah-Bet)
  • Elixi (Basque: eh-LEE-shee)
  • Elisheba (Biblical Hebrew)
  • Eliso ელისო (Georgian)
  • Lizi (Georgian)
  • Elisavet Ελισαβετ(Greek: Modern)
  • Zeta (Greek: Modern)
  • Ilsipat (Greenlandic)
  • Elikapeka (Hawaiian)
  • Elisheva (Hebrew: see Hebrew script above)
  • Lizzamma (Hindi/Indian)
  • Erzsébet/Orzebet (Hungarian: ER-zhey-bet)
  • Aley/Aleyamma/Aleykutty (Malayalam)
  • Eli/Eliamma (Malayalam)
  • Elizabetta (Maltese)
  • Erihapeti (Maori)
  • Elizabet (Turkish)

Hungarian nicknames includes Bözsi, Erzsi (ER-zhee), and Zsóka (ZHO-kaw).

Medieval Forms
Forms no longer in usage from Medieval Europe

  • Ysabel/Ysabet (Catalan, Valencia, 16th-century)
  • Elisaued (Cornwall, England, 10th-century)
  • Elizabez (England, 13th-century)
  • Lylie/Lilion (England, 13th-century, possibly nicknames)
  • Elisota (England, 14th-century)
  • Elseby (Finland)
  • Isabelot (France, Paris, 13th-century)
  • Yzabé (France, Bordeaux, 15th-century)
  • Besina (14th-century Italy, Venice, possibly a diminutive form)
  • Isabetta (Italy, Florence 15th-century)
  • Bechte (Germany, 15th-century, most likely a diminutive form)
  • Beth (Germany, 15th-century, diminutive form)
  • Bettlin (Germany, 15th-century, probably a diminutive form)
  • Bytzel (Germany, 15th-century, diminutive form)
  • Els (Germany, 15th-century, diminutive form)
  • Elsslein (Germany, late 15th-century)
  • Elsslin (Germany, 15th-century, probably a diminutive form)
  • Eltzabet (Germany, late 15th-century)
  • Lyse (Germany, 15th-century, diminutive form)
  • Elsebeth (Germany, 15th-century)
  • Elzebeth (German, in Silesia, 14th-century)
  • Nele/Neleke (German, in Silesia, 14th-century, most likely than not, diminutive forms)
  • Elysant (Normandy, 1190)
  • Helisent (Normandy, 1221)
  • Isabellis (Normandy, 12th-century)
  • Ysabels/Yzabels/Yzabela (Occitan, Saint Flour, 14th-century)
  • Elitze (Sweden, 15th-century)
  • Elsika/Elsiko/Elzeke (Sweden, 15th-century)
  • Elsby/Elzeby (Sweden, 16th-century)
  • Aleseta (Switzerland, Sion, 14th-century)

Name-days are: November 17 and November 19.

Catherine/Katherine

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Debated
Meaning: Debated

Katherine and Catherine have to be one of the quintessential female classics of the Western World, according to the United States Social Security Administration’s popularity charts, Katherine has not fallen out of the top 100 for over a 100 years. She has remained a staple, bouncing the lowest to 105th position in 1938 and bouncing the highest to the 25th place in 1991. She currently ranks in as the 45th most popular female name in the United States (2008). Her elder English and French counterpart, Catherine, comes in slightly lower, but has remained fairly high in the American charts since 1880. Her highest position being at # 18 in 1914 and then again in 1917 and came in the lowest just this past year, ranking in at # 149.

In other countries, the rankings of Katherine are as follows:

# 78 (Canada-BC, 2008)
# 63 (Chile, 2006)

Her popularity in other incarnations are as follows: (divided alphabetically by cited country)

Katharina (# 8, Austria, 2008)
Catalina (# 3, Chile, 2006)
Kateřina (# 7, Czech Republic, 2008)
Katrin (# 6, Faroe Islands, 2008)
Aikaterini (# 3, Greece, 2004)
Katrín (# 4, Iceland, 2004-2007)
Katie (# 2, Ireland, 2008)
Kate (# 10, Ireland, 2008)
Karin (9th most popular female name among Palestinian Christians in Israel, 2004)
Katharina (# 5, Liechtenstein, 2008)
Katerina (# 10, Macedonia, 2006)
Katie (# 1, Northern Ireland, 2008)
Yekaterina (# 1, Russia-St. Petersburg, 2003)
Yekaterina (# 6, Russia-Moscow, 2007)
Katie (# 8, Scotland, 2008)
Katarina (# 7, Serbia, 2005)
Katarína (# 4, Slovakia, 2004)
Kaitlyn (# 10, United States-Combined Spellings, 2007)

As for the etymology of the name, it has always been popularly believed to mean “pure” but its history and origins are far more complicated and muddled. There are several theories as to its derivations and linguistic origins, the most popular are that it is either derived from the Greek  word, ΚαΘαροσ, (katharos), meaning, “pure”, or the Greek Εεκατερινε, (Hekaterine), a feminine form of the Greek, Hekáteros, meaning “each of the two; singly.” It has also been suggested that it is a form of the Greek goddess name, Hecate, which means “from a far”, or it is possibly from the Greek word, αικια (aikia) meaning, “torture; injurious treatment.” According to Behindthename, another theory suggests that it could be from a Coptic name meaning “my consecration of your name.”

The name was introduced into Western Europe after European Crusaders encountered the Christians of the Middle East, among them, the devotion of a popular 4th-century, Christian saint was discovered, St. Katherine of Alexandria. According to legend, the saint was spiked and tortured on a wheel after refusing to deny her Christian convictions and converting several members of the Alexandrian royal family to Christianity. Her cult was very popular among Christians in Syria, many centuries before her story even reached Europe. After its introduction, European Latin scholars assumed that the name was associated with the Greek Katharos meaning “pure.”

The name was first recorded in England in 1196. It was thereafter an extremely popular name in Christian Europe.

Catherine has several name-days, but the most popular, and the most widely celebrated during the Middle Ages, took place on November 25th. There is an old French celebration that took place on November 25th.  It was a day for unmarried women, twenty-five years and older, (labelled Catherinette’s in French). They would make caps, attend balls and crown the local St. Catherine of Alexandria statue with a custom hat. This was to ensure that the saint would provide the single ladies a partner by the end of the year. The term “capping st. Catherine” was used in reference to a single woman 25 years and up. This tradition died out somewhat, but remains a popular festivity among hat-makers and dress-makers even till today, particularly in the 2nd arrondisment of Paris. Any women who is single, working in the fashion industry, 25 years old and older, can attend a ball in a specially made hat, and go to the City Hall to present their creations for judging.

Though the term is a bit old fashioned, catherinette is a French word used to refer to a single women who is 25 years and older.

Other notable bearers, place and things include:

Catherine of Aragon

Catherina is the name of a crater on the moon, named for St. Catherine of Alexandria.

The Monastery of St. Catherine’s in Sinai Egypt, which is said to be the oldest Christian monastery and boasts one of the largest collections codices and manuscripts in the world.

St. Katherine Municipality lies in the North Sinai Governorate of Egypt, its city is St. Katherine’s.

Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), a renowned Catholic saint, theologian, Doctor of the Church and tertiary of the Dominican order. She was known for her mystical experiences and her papal counseling.

St. Catherine of Bologna (1413-1463) another Italian saint, she is considered the patron saint of Bologna, artists and against temptations.

Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536) the first wife of Henry VII of England. Actually, Henry went on to marry two other Catherines, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) was a Catholic Algonquin woman affectionately termed Lily of the Mohawks, she was also the daughter of a chief. At a young age she was ravished by the scars of small-pox and lived a life of devotion till she died at the age of 24.

Now to delve into her sundry variations.

Latinate Forms

Variations from various Romance based languages

  • Catèlena (Artapan)
  • Catin/Catineta/Catinon (Bearnais)
  • Caterina (Catalan/Italian/Spanish)
  • Catalina (Corsican/Gascon/Occitanian/Spanish)
  • Catherine (French)
  • Katia (Italian: a borrowing from the Russian but very popular in Italy)
  • Rina (Italian diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Catharina (Late Latin)
  • Catarina (Portuguese/Occitanian/Galician/Romansch)
  • Cátia (Portuguese: originally a diminutive form or either a Portugeusized form of the Slavic Katya, particularly common in Brazil, where it was most likely introduced by Russian and Ukrainian immigrants)
  • Catarino (Provencal)
  • Ninoun (Provencal: originally a diminutive, now becoming more common as an independent given name)
  • Cătălina/Ecaterina (Romanian)
  • Catinca (Romanian: a romanianized form of the Russian diminutive, Katinka, used as an independent given name)
  • Catina (Romanian/Sicilian)
  • Catrina (Romanian)
  • Catrina/Chatrina (Romansch)
  • Caderina/Catellina (Sardinian)

Obscure French diminiutives are Catherinette, Trinette and Rinette.

Germanic Forms
Variation from various Germanic based languages

  • Caja (Danish)
  • Catharina/Cathrine/Katarina/Katherina (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Karen (Danish)
  • Karin (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Katharine (Danish)
  • Katrina/Katrine/Kathrina/Kathrin (Danish)
  • Trine (Danish)
  • Catharina (Dutch/Swedish)
  • Cato (Dutch)
  • Kaatje (Dutch)
  • Katelijne/Katelijn (Dutch)
  • Katrien (Dutch)
  • Katrijn (Dutch)
  • Nienke (Dutch)
  • Tineke (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Toos/Truus (Dutch: initially diminutive forms, used as independent given names)
  • Trijn/Trijntje (Dutch)
  • Kate/Katie (English: originally diminutive forms, now often used as independent given names in most English speaking countries)
  • Katherine/Karen (English)
  • Katarina/Katrin (Faroese/Danish)
  • Katrina (Faroese)
  • Kaja (Frisian)
  • Käthe/Caatje (Frisian)
  • Katryntje (Frisian)
  • Keetje (Frisian)
  • Nine/Nynke (Frisian)
  • Cathrin/Catrin/Kathrin (German)
  • Carin/Karin/Karina/Karine (German/Swedish/Norwegian/Danish)
  • Katarina/Katerine/Katharina (German)
  • Kathrein (German)
  • Katinka (German/Dutch: Germanized form of the Russian diminutive, Katenka)
  • Katja (German)
  • Trina (German)
  • Kaðlín (Icelandic: kahth-LEEN)
  • Karín (Icelandic)
  • Kata/Katarína/Katrín (Icelandic)
  • Kett (Lëtzebuergesch)
  • Kaia (Norwegian)
  • Kari (Norwegian)
  • Trina (Plauttdeutsch)
  • Cajsa/Kajsa (Swedish)
  • Katarina (Swedish)
  • Reina (Yiddish)

Obscure German diminutive forms are Käthchen and Trinchen. A Swiss German dialectical diminutive is Käti. English diminutive forms are Cat, Cathy, Kate, Kathy, Katie, Kay, Kiki, (also used in Sweden and Norway), Kit and Kitty.

Celtic Forms
Variations from various Celtic based languages

  • Katarin (Breton)
  • Katell/Kattelig (Breton: latter is pronounced kah-tel-LEEK)
  • Katik (Breton: kah-TEEK)
  • Katou (Breton: kah-TOO)
  • Cáit/Cáitín (Irish)
  • Catraoine/Caiterína (Irish)
  • Caitlín (Irish)
  • Caitria/Caitrín (Irish)
  • Caitríona (Irish)
  • Cathleen/Kathleen (Irish: anglicized form of Caitlin)
  • Catreena/Catreeney (Manx)
  • Catrìona (Scottish)
  • Cadi (Welsh)
  • Catrin (Welsh)

Slavic Forms
Variation used in Slavonic based languages

  • Kacjaryna (Belorusian: kahts-yah-REE-nah)
  • Ekaterina (Bulgarian/Macedonian/Russian)
  • Kateřina (Czech: kah-teh-ZHEE-nah)
  • Katarzyna (Polish: kah-tah-ZHIH-nah)
  • Jekaterina/Yekaterina (Russian)
  • Katarina (Serbo-Croatian/Slovenian)
  • Katarína (Slovakian)
  • Katica (Slovenian: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name. kah-TEET-sah)
  • Katja (Slovenian: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name. KAHT-yah)
  • Katherine/Kateryna (Ukrainian)

Russian Diminutives include: Katenka, Katiusha and Katya, Czech pet forms are,Káťa, Kačka, Káča, Kačí, Kačenka, Kača, Kačaba, Kačík, Kačuda, Kaťulka, Katerinka, Katica, Katja, Katka, Katla, Katuška and Rina. The most popular diminutive form in Poland is Kasia (KAH-shuh), but there is also Kachna, Kaśka, Kasienka and Kasiunia. Serbo-Croatian diminiutive forms are Kata, Kate (final E is pronounced), Katica, Katja, Katarincica and Rina. A Bulgarian diminutives is Katriška.Ukrainian diminutives are: Katrusya, Katya and Katerynka. Belorusian diminutive forms are Kasja and Katra.

Baltic Forms
Various forms used in the Baltic States

  • Kaarin (Estonian)
  • Kadi/Kadri/Kadrin (Estonian)
  • Kairi/Kari (Estonian)
  • Kaisa/Kaisu (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Katre/Katri/Katrin (Estonian)
  • Triina/Triin/Triinu (Estonian)
  • Kaija (Finnish)
  • Kata (Finnish)
  • Katariina (Finnish/Estonian)
  • Kati (Finnish)
  • Katja (Finnish)
  • Katri/Katriina (Finnish)
  • Riina (Finnish)
  • Jekaterina (Latvian)
  • Kate (Latvian: final E is pronounced)
  • Katrīna (Latvian)
  • Trine (Latvian: final E is pronounced)
  • Katerina/Katrina (Lithuanian)
  • Katrė (Lithuanian)
  • Katryna (Lithuanian)
  • Kotryna (Lithuanian)

Other Languages

  • Katarina/Katjusha/Katerina/Katha (Albanian)
  • Gadara/Gadarine/Kadara/Kadarine (Armenian)
  • Karine (Armenian)
  • Katalina (Basque)
  • Katalin (Basque/Hungarian)
  • Katarin (Basque)
  • Ekaterina (Georgian)
  • Kattak (Greenlandic)
  • Aikaterine/Aikaterini (Greek Modern)
  • Katerina (Greek Modern)
  • Katina (Greek Modern)
  • Kakalina/Kalena/Kalina (Hawaiian)
  • Kathani (Hindi/Arabic)
  • Katarina (Hungarian/Turkish)
  • Kasari (Japanese)
  • Katarina (Maltese)
  • Kataraina (Maori)
  • Kateri (Mohawk)
  • Gáddjá (Saami)
  • Gáhte (Saami)
  • Gáhteriinná/Káhtariinná (Saami)
  • Gáre/Káre (Saami)
  • Gáren (Saami)
  • Kasrin ܟܐܣܪܝܢ (Syriac/Assyrian)
  • Akaterina (Turkish)

Hungarian diminutive forms include Kata, Kati, Katica, Katinka, Kató, Katóka, Kitti and Koto.


Medieval Forms
Variations used in the Middle Ages and are most likely out of usage
  • Catelinòta (Bearnais)
  • Cathelinen (Dutch, 14th-century)
  • Verkateline (Dutch, 13th-14th centuries)
  • Catelina/Catelin/Catlin (English 12th-century)
  • Cattel/Cattle/Catin (English 12th-century)
  • Katelina/Kateline/Katelin/Katlin (English 12th-century)
  • Caterina/Katerina/Katerine (English 14th-century)
  • Kateryna/Kateryn (English 15th-century)
  • Catant (French, obscure medieval diminutive form)
  • Cateline/Catelot/Caterine (French in Paris, 13th-century, the final T on Catelot is silent).
  • Cathereau (French; obscure medieval form; KAH-teh-RO)
  • Kateline/Katerine (French, in Paris, 13th-century)
  • Ka(e)therlin/Ketlin/Keterlin/Ketterlin (German 15th-century)
  • Keth/Ketherlein (German 15th-century)
  • Katusch/Kethe/Keterlyn (German in Silesia, 13th-century)
  • Kaþareina (Gothic, extinct Germanic language)
  • Quataryna/Quatalina (Provencal, 16th-century)
  • Kaithren (Scottish, 15th-century)
  • Katrein (Scottish, 16th-17th-centuries)
  • Kadrin (Swedish 12th-century)
  • Karinae (Swedish 12th-15th centuries)
  • Katena (Swedish 14th-century)
  • Kättilö (Swedish 14th-century, though may also be a corruption of the Old Norse Katla)

 

There are a few masculine forms, the Italian Caterino, Catterino, Cattalino, Catinu (Sicilian dialectical form), and the Romanian Cătălin.