Evander

Evander

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “good man”
Gender: Masculine
(ee-VAN-der)

The name is composed of the Greek elements, Greek ευ (eu) meaning “good” and ανηρ (aner, genetive) “man.” It was borne in Roman Mythology by an Arcadian hero who is credited for founding the city of Pallatium and also introducing the alphabet, the Greek religion and laws to the Italian peninsula. It was also borne by a 2nd-3rd-century BCE Greek Philosopher and 1st-Century CE Greek Sculptor.

In Scotland, Evander was adopted as the anglicized form of the Gaelic male name, Iomhair (EE-vor), though an English form (Ivor) already existed and neither Evander or Ivor are really related.

A notable contemporary bearer is American boxer, Evander Holyfield (b.1962).

In the United States, the name only made an appearance in the U.S. Top 1000 one time in 1895, coming in as the 872nd most popular male name.

Short forms include: Evan, Van, and Vandy.

Other forms include:

  • Evandre (Catalan)
  • Evànder (Catalan)
  • Evander (Danish/Dutch/German/English/Hungarian/Norwegian/Portuguese/Swedish)
  • Évandre (French)
  • Euandros (Original Greek form)
  • Evandro (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Euander (Latin)
  • Evandrus (Latin)
  • Ewander (Polish)

A feminine form is Evandra.
Sources

Iris

IrisOrigin: Greek Ιρις
Meaning: “rainbow”
Gender: Feminine

The name is derived from the Greek “Îris (Ἶρις) Írídos (ίρίδος) “rainbow” and is borne in Greek mythology by the goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the Olympian gods. It later became associated with the body part, the flower, and a colour, all of which were named for the Greek goddess.

In recent years, the name has experienced a surge in popularity in several countries. Its rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #21 (Iceland 2017, Íris)
  • #25 (Portugal, 2016, Íris)
  • #31 (Sweden, 2017)
  • #32 (France, Paris, 2016)
  • #56 (Catalonia, 2016)
  • #73 (Spain, 2016)
  • #84 (England/Wales, 2016)
  • #85 (Netherlands, 2017)
  • #85 (Slovenia, 2016)
  • #116 (Norway, 2016)
  • #121 (France, entire country, 2016)
  • #186 (United States, 2016)
  • #199 (Scotland, 2016)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Iris Ирис Իրիս (Armenian/Bulgarian/Catalan/Czech/Danish/Dutch/English/Estonian/Finnish/French/German/Greek/Italian/Serbo-Croatian/Norwegian/Polish/Romanian/Slovenian/Spanish/Swedish)
  • Iryda Ірыда (Belarusian/Polish)
  • Irida Ирида (Bulgarian/Croatian/Greek/Italian/Russian/Serbian)
  • Iiku (Finnish)
  • Iiri (Finnish)
  • Iiris (Finnish)
  • Írisz (Hungarian)
  • Íris (Icelandic/Portuguese/Slovak)
  • Iride (Italian)
  • Iridė (Lithuanian)
  • Yryda Ирида (Ukrainian)

Sources

 

Harmonia, Harmony

HarmonyOrigin: Greek
Meaning: “harmony”
Gender: Feminine

Harmonia was the name of the Greek goddess of peace and harmony, her Roman counterpart being Concordia.

Harmonia was also the name of a minor in nymph in Greek mythology.

In history, Harmonia was the name of the daughter of Gelo, a 3rd-century Sicilian king. Their story is rather unpleasant to say the least, after her family was slaughtered by their angry subjects, a faithful girl chose to stand in Harmonia’s place and was slaughtered as a result. Harmonia felt so guilty about someone else sacrificing their life for her that she ultimately killed herself.

Harmonia is also the name of a plant species, a species of beetle and butterfly.

Its English counterpart of Harmony has been in use since the 18th-century, being popularized among the Puritans.

Harmony has been in the U.S. top 1000 since 2000 and has steadily risen since then. As of 2016, it was the 191st most popular female name. It is also currently #369 in England & Wales, 2016. Between 2005 and 2010, it was among the top 100 most popular female names in New Zealand, peaking at #70 in 2006.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Harmonia (Catalan/Czech/Dutch/Greek/Hungarian/Polish/Portuguese/Romanian)
  • Harmonie (French)
  • Harmonía/Armonía (Spanish)
  • Armonia (Italian)

Sources

Miles, Myles, Milo

Miles, MiloMiles is of debated origin and meaning, as is Milo, both names are often listed as being derivatives of each other, while many sources claim that these two names are not related at all. What is known as that both Miles and Milo appeared in use in England after the Norman Conquest.

It is argued that Miles itself comes from the Latin word for “soldier,” whereas Milo may be a hypochoristic form of any Germanic name beginning with the Old Germanic element *mildijaz (mild; good, generous). Other sources claim it was borrowed by the Germans from the common Slavic male name, Milan, which is derived from the Slavic milu (gracious; dear) and was spread across Medieval Europe by the Germans in the form of Milo.

A notable Medieval bearer was the French Bishop of Rheims, Milo of Trier (d. 762/763).

In Ancient Roman comic theatre, Miles Glorioso (braggert-soldier) was the name of a stock character.

The name is sometimes spelled, Myles, in which case it takes on a completely new etymology altogether. Myles is found in Greek mythology as the name of a king of Laconia. In this case, its meaning is unknown.

Miles is currently 105th most popular male name in the United States (2016), the 179th most popular in England and Wales (2016) and the 483rd most popular in the Netherlands (2016).

Its offshoot of Milo appears in the Top 100 in several countries, its rankings are as follows:

  • #60 (Sweden, 2017)
  • #83 (France, 2016)
  • #93 (Belgium, 2015)
  • #123 (England/Wales, 2016)
  • #248 (United States, 2016)

Myles is currently the 230th most popular male name in the United States (2016) and the 211th most popular in England and Wales (2016).

Other forms and its language of use are as follows:

  • Milo (Dutch/English/Finnish/French/German/Italian/Swedish)
  • Miles (Dutch/English)
  • Milon (French)
  • Myles (English/Greek)
  • Mylo (English)
  • Milone (Italian)

Sources

Diamond

DiamondBelieve it or not, Diamond is a legitimate name, it has been in use as a female given name across Europe since at least early Medieval Times, and it also has its slew of masculine forms.

The name ultimately comes from the Ancient Greek ἀδάμας adámas, meaning “unbreakable,” “proper,” or “unalterable.” It has been used among the Greeks in the form of Adamantine (f) and Adamantos (m) since Ancient Times. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed if worn, the diamond was a ward against evil.

In 13th-century England, there are records for women named Diamanda (the vernacular for most likely being the Anglo-Norman, Diamant). Its usage seemed to have died out by the 15th-century, but was revived once again during the Victorian Era.

In Italy, Diamante was a popular female name between the 13th and 18th-centuries. Notable examples include the Italian poet, Diamante Medaglia Faini (1724-1770) and Italian opera singer, Diamante Maria Scarabelli (1675-1725).

And of course, there is the traditional Arabic female name of Almas (diamond), which has been used across the Islamic world for centuries.

In the United States, Diamond appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 2000 and 2014 and peaked at #162 in 2000.

Other forms include:

  • Diamant (Anglo-Norman)
  • Almast Ալմաստ (Armenian)
  • Admantia Αδαμαντία (Greek)
  • Admantine (Greek/French)
  • Diamantō Διαμαντω (Greek)
  • Almas (Arabic)
  • Intan (Indonesian)
  • Diamanda (Late Latin)
  • Adamantis (Latin)
  • Diamantina Διαμαντινα (Greek/Italian)
  • Deimantė (Lithuanian)
  • Elmas (Turkish)

Masculine forms

  • Adamantios Αδαμάντιος (Greek)
  • Diamantino (Italian)
  • Adamantius (Latin)
  • Deimantas (Lithuanian)

Sources

Myron

Myron

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “myrrh; perfume”
Gender: Masculine
Eng. (MY-ron); GRK (MEE-rone)

The name comes from the Greek meaning “myrrh; perfume.” It was borne by a 5th-century B.C.E Greek sculptor as well as several Christian saints.

In the United States, especially at the turn of the century, it was used among Jewish families as a form of the Hebrew Meir.

Myron is also the name of a genus of snakes.

For 100 years, between 1900-2000, it was in the U.S. Top 1000 Most popular male name. Myron peaked in 1931 when it was the 192nd most popular male name.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mirón (Asturian/Galician/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Miran Міран (Belarussian)
  • Miron Ми́рон (Bulgarian/Croatian/Romanian/Russian/Serbian/Slovenian/Ukrainian)
  • Miró (Catalan)
  • Myrón (Czech)
  • Myron (Dutch/English/French/German/Polish)
  • Mürón (Hungarian)
  • Mýron (Icelandic)
  • Mirone (Italian)
  • Mironi მირონი (Georgian)
  • Mironas (Lithuanian)

A feminine form is Myra.

Sources

 

Katia, Katja, Katya

KatiaThe name is a Russian diminutive form of Ekaterina and spun off as a well-established independent given name across Western Europe. In Russian, this is the equivalent of Katie.

In France, Katia appeared among the Top 100 most popular female names between 1968 and 1979. Katia peaked at #42 in 1970. As of 2018, the name has not been in the French Top 1000 since 2004. Likewise, in Italy, it appeared in the Top 200 Most Popular Female Names between 1999 and 2007 and peaked at #141 in 1999. While in the United States, Katia appeared in the Top 1000 between 1996 and 2001 and peaked in 1996 at #772.

In the 1980s, Katja became extremely popular in Northern Europe, especially in Germany and Scandinavian countries.

In English, the name is sometime transliterated as Katya.

Its latinate form of Catia is occassionally used in Italy, Romania, Portuguese-Speaking and Spanish-speaking countries. Cátia and Kátia is used in Brazil.

As an independent given name, it is seldom used in Russia.

Countries/Languages in which Katia is in use: Bulgarian, Danish, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Romanian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish.

Countries/Languages in which Katja is in use: Bosnian, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, German, Latvian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swedish

Sources

Damia

DamiaOrigin: Greek
Meaning: “earth mother”
Gender: Feminine
Pronunciation: It. Grk. Fre. Eng. (DAH-mee-ah); Eng. (duh-MEE-ah).

This is the name of an obscure Greek goddess who is sometimes associated with Demeter. According to legend, Damia and Auxesia were two Cretan maidens who were stoned death in a revolt. Their persecutors felt so guilty for what they did, that they turned the two maidens into goddesses, erecting shrines in their honor and holding festivals. Other sources report that Damia (of the earth) and Auxesia (of the growth) were two goddesses who personified fertility. Damia was sometimes synchronized with Demeter, and Auxesia with her daughter Persephone.

The name itself is most likely composed of the Greek elements, da, dê, gê (earth) and maia (mother nature).

In more recent history, Damia was the stage name of French actress and singer, Marie-Louise Damien (1889-1978). During the peak of her career, the name experienced some minor use in French-speaking countries, thought it never became very popular. In France, Damia is considered third greatest singer of chansons réalistes after Édith Piaf and Barbara.

The name also appears in the Old Testament as the name of a village in Jordan also known as the City of Adam, mentioned briefly in (Joshua 3:16).

Alternately, Damià (dah-mee-AH) is the Catalan form of Damian. It is borne by Spanish football player, Damià Abella Pérez (b. 1982).

Sources

 

New Year, New Names

new-year-2018-eve-greetingTo help usher in the New Year, here are some baby names that mean “new” or have some sort of association with the New Year.

Male

  • Arata “new; fresh” (Japanese)
  • Athanaric “year of power” (Old German)
  • Gēar “year” (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Navin “new” (Sanskrit)
  • Neo “new” (Greek)
  • Primo “first” (Italian)
  • Ro’y “year” (Guarani)
  • Silvester/Sylvester, used as the term for New Year’s Day in many European countries as this was the feast of St. Sylvester

Female

  • Dagny “new day” (Old Norse)
  • Estraine “new year” (Anglo-Norman)
  • Gabonzahar “New Year’s Eve (Basque)
  • Mara “year” (Aymara)
  • Nova “new” (Latin)
  • Novella “little new one” (Latin)
  • Oighrigh “new speckled one” (Gaelic) pronounced OY-rik
  • Prima “first” (Italian)
  • Nochevieja “New Year’s Eve” (Spanish)
  • Noitevella “New Year’s Eve” (Galician)
  • Renef “New year” (Anglo-Norman)
  • Réveillon “New Year’s Eve” (French)
  • Silvestra/Sylvestra, used as the term for New Year’s Day in many European countries as this was the feast of St. Sylvester

Azalea

George_Taber_azaleaFrom the name of a flowering shrub, the name itself derives from the Greek,  αζαλεος (azaleos), meaning, “dry.”

Its use as a given name can be traced as far back as 18th-century England, and it has also been used in other countries such as Greece, Hungary, France and Spanish-Speaking countries.

The name first entered the U.S. Top 1000 in 2012 and has been steadily rising since then. As of 2016, Azalea was the 585th most popular female name.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Azalija Азалия (Bulgarian/Lithuanian/Russian)
  • Azalea (Catalan/Greek/Spanish)
  • Azalée (French)
  • Azálea (Hungarian)
  • Açelya (Turkish)

Sources