Gender: Feminine
Origin: Italian/Spanish
Meaning: “sun”

The name is an Italian and Spanish form of the Latin Aeliana which is a feminine form of the Roman cognomen Aelianus which is derived from the Greek helios meaning “sun.”

The name was borne by an early Christian saint and martyr.

Aelia was a very popular female name during the Byzantine Empire.

Alternately, it could be from the Hebrew meaning “my God has answered.” (אֶלִיעַנָה)

Currently, Eliana is the 169th most popular female name in the United States, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Elijana (Croatian)
  • Ailiana Αιλιανα (Greek)
  • Aelia (Latin)
  • Aeliana (Latin)
  • Éliane (French)
  • Éliette (French)
  • Eliana (Italian/Spanish/Portuguese)
  • Liana (Italian/Spanish)

Diminutives include:

  • Ellie (English)
  • Éliette (French)
  • Eli (Italian)
  • Lala (Italian)
  • Lali (Italian)
  • Leli (Italian)
  • Lili (Italian)

Masculine forms include:

  • Elian Елиан (Bulgarian/Russian)
  • Elià (Catalan)
  • Elijan (Croatian)
  • Aelian (English)
  • Élien (French)
  • Älianus (German)
  • Ailianos Αιλιανός (Greek)
  • Aelianus (Latin)
  • Aelius (Latin)
  • Eliano (Italian/Spanish)
  • Eliusz (Polish)


  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/eliana-1


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew אוּרִיאֵל
Meaning: “God is my light.”
Eng (YUR-ee-el)

In post-Exilic rabbinical tradition, Uriel is an angel, he is mostly apocryphal and legendary and is not mentioned in the Jewish or Christian Bible. He appears in the apocryphal Book of Enoch and in the Book of Esdras in which Uriel is sent by God to instruct Ezra.

In Catholic legend, Uriel rescued St. John the Baptist and his mother St. Elizabeth from Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents, miraculously transporting them to be with the Holy Family as depicted in Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks.

In Eastern Orthodox tradition he is considered one of the seven major archangels.

In Jewish legend, Uriel is the Angel of Saturday, the Angel of Poetry and is one of the Holy Sephiroth.

In Anglican tradition, Uriel is an archangel and is the patron saint of the Sacrement of Confirmation.

He also plays a role in Milton’s Paradise Lost.

Currently, Uriel is the 440th most popular male name in the United States, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Uriil Уриил (Bulgarian/Russian)
  • Uriël (Dutch)
  • Uriel ურიელ (Georgian)
  • Uri’yel אוּרִיאֵל(Hebrew)
  • Urielis (Lithuanian)
  • Uril Урил (Macedonian)
  • Urijel Урил  (Serbian)
  • Uryyíl Уриї́л (Ukrainian)


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


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew אוּרִיָה
Meaning: “yahweh is my light.”
Eng (yoo-RIE-ə)

The name is borne by several characters in the Old Testament, one of the most famous being Uriah the Hittite. King David had sent him out in the forefront of battle in the hopes that he would be killed, so that David could marry Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba.

The name also appears in the Bible in the form of Urijah.

The name was always common among Jews but did not catch on in the Christian world until after the Protestant Reformation. It was a fairly common name in early America.

Charles Dickens used the name for an antagonist in his 1850 novel David Copperfield. Due to the character’s reputation, the term Uriah Heep is often used to describe a “yes man.”

Currently, Uriah is the 548th most popular male name in the United States, while his alternative, Urijah, ranked in at # 623, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

Uries (Catalan)
Urijáš (Czech)
Urie (French/Romanian)
Urijah Урия (German/Russian)
Ourias Ουριας (Greek)
Uriyah אוּרִיָה (Hebrew)
Uria (Italian)
Urias (Late Latin)
Uriasz (Polish)
Urias (Portuguese)
Uriáš (Slovakian)
Urijá (Slovakian)
Urías (Spanish)

A common modern Hebrew short form is Uri.


  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/uriah
  2. http://books.google.com
  3. http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/yes-man
  4. Magonet, Jonathan (1992) Bible Lives London: SCM, 93 – 4

Holiday Season Names

Originally this post was entitled Christmas names, but I decided to change the topic to Holiday season names in general. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Devali, Hanukkah, Yuletide, Kwanzaa or even Yalda, below are a list of names that have a seasonal feel. Enjoy!

Have a Happy Holiday and a Merry Christmas!


  • Adoración (from the Spanish meaning, “adoration”, the name is usually given in reference to the Adoration of the Magi on January 6th. Adora is another variation)
  • Atiya (an Arabic name, it is a feminine form of Ata, meaning, “gift.”)
  • Amjalina (from the Belarusian word for “mistletoe”, it is also the name of a village in Brest. ahm-yah-LEE-nah)
  • Aoi (from the Japanese  ” meaning “holly.”)
  • Božica (from the Serbian and Croatian word for Christmas and often used on girls born during the Christmas season. boh-ZHEET-sah)
  • Chipo (the name is from the Shona word for “gift”, perhaps a good option for a little girl born during Kwanzaa).
  • Cinnamon
  • Epiphany (January 6th marks the epiphany and traditionally the official end of the Christmas season)
  • Eudora (this option is never listed on the Christmas themed list I see on the baby name blogs. From the Greek, meaning “good gift”, this would make a beautiful and unique choice for a little girl born during the Holiday season).
  • Eve (For a Christmas Eve baby)
  • Ginger
  • Godiva (Godiva Chocolates are occassionally given as a gift during the Holiday season, plus it is from the Anglo-Saxon meaning, “god’s gift.”)
  • Hadiyya (another easily pronounceable Arabic choice meaning “gift.”)
  • Hestia (from the Greek meaning “hearth; fireside.”)
  • Inbal (from the Hebrew meaning “tongue of a bell.” Also would make a great Hanukkah names)
  • Ling (from the Chinese meaning “bell chime”)
  • Metrodora (from the Greek meaning, “mother’s gift”)
  • Mjata (from the Belarusian nature name meaning “mint.” MYAH-tah)
  • Nadzieja (from the Polish and Belarusian word meaning “hope.” nod-JAY-yah)
  • Nina (although often viewed as a form of Anne, this is also a Quecha name meaning, “fire.”)
  • Rei (from the Japanese meaning “bell.”)
  • Saffron (traditionally used in Scandinavia, especially in Sweden, as a holiday spice, especially to flavor the famous lussekatte (St. Lucy buns)
  • Sterre (from the Dutch word for star and currently a very trendy female name in the Netherlands. STER-reh)
  • Suzu (another Japanese name meaning “bell.”)
  • Tisa (from the name of the Slovene river which also coincides with the word for the yew tree. TEE-sah)
  • Tuyet (from the Vietnamese meaning “snow.”)
  • Wigilia (pronounced vee-GEEL-yah, this is the Polish word for Christmas Eve although rare, it is occassionally used as a given name)
  • Yalda (name of the Persian holiday which celebrates the Winter Solstice, it is also a very common female name in Iran).
  • Zavjeja (from the Belarusian nature name meaning “blizzard” zah-VYAY-yah)
  • Zhuravina (from the Belarusian nature name meaning “cranberry.” zhoo-rah-VEE-nah)
  • Aputsiag (from the Greenlandic meaning, “snowflake.”)
  • Ata (from the Arabic, meaning, “gift.”)
  • Bor (from the South Slavic word for “pine tree.”)
  • Bożydar (from the Polish literally meaning “god’s gift.”)
  • Csaba (bonus: it is a Hungarian name that can meaning either shepherd or gift. It is pronounced CHAH-baw and it is currently a very trendy name for Hungarian baby boys).
  • Celyn (from the Welsh meaning “holly” KEL-in)
  • Darko (a South Slavic name literally meaning “little gift.”)
  • Doron (from the Hebrew meaning “gift” this name would also make a great Hanukkah choice.)
  • Edur (from the Basque meaning, “snow.”)
  • Hurik (from the Armenian meaning, “small fire.”)
  • Iker (from the Basque meaning “adoration”, used in reference to the Adoration of the Magi which occurs on January 6th).
  • Ivor (from the Old Norse meaning, “yew tree.”)
  • Joash (from the Biblical Hebrew meaning, “fire of Yahweh”).
  • Kirabo (from the Lagunda meaning, “gift”, the name is also reminiscent of the animal name, Caribou. This may make an interesting choice for a Kwanzaa baby).
  • Mattan (from the Old Hebrew name meaning simply, “gift,” a cool and more unusual alternative to Matthew).
  • Milad (from the Arabic meaning, “Christmas”, the name is sometimes used among Coptic and Arabic Christians as a male given name).
  • Neo (another cool African name meaning “gift” in Tswana, bonus, it also means “new” in Greek, it would also make a great name for a New Years baby.)
  • Oren (from the modern Hebrew meaning, “pine tree.“)
  • Plamen (from the Bulgarian meaning, “flame; fire.“)
  • Pyry (from the Finnish meaning “snowstorm; blizzard.”)
  • Shai (from the Hebrew meaning, “gift”, pronounced as SHY)
  • Yule

Jair, Yair

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew יָאִיר
Meaning: “he shines.”
Heb (YAH-eer); Eng (JAY-er).

The name is found in the Old Testament as both the name of a judge of the Israelites and a son of Manasseh. Its Latin version of Jairus appears in the New Testament as the name of the father of a dead girl who was brought back to life by Jesus.

In modern times, due to its meaning, the name has been used by Jewish families for children born during the Hanukkah season.

Its Hebrew version of Yair is currently the 970th most popular male name in the United States, while Jair ranks a bit higher at 859 (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

Jaïr (Catalan/Dutch/French/German)
Yayyr ر انجیل (Farsi)
Iair/Iairos (Greek: Biblical)
Iair/Iairus/Jairus (Latin)
Jair/Jairo (Spanish)


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


Origin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “celebrated; praise.”

Judah is a Greek form of the Hebrew name, Yehuda יְהוּדָה, which is the name of several characters in the Old Testament and at least two figures in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the original Judah was said to be the fourth son of Leah and Jacob, the progenitor of the Judah tribe, and he is also traditionally believed to be a direct ancestor of Jesus. In Biblical Greek, Judah, Judas and Jude were all interchangeable, since in Greek, Yehudah was translated as Ioudas, but for convenience sake, especially in English, Judas is usually used to refer to the ex Apostle, Judas Iscariot, who is known for his betrayal of Christ, and due to these associations, this form of the name has extremely dubious connotations, especially among Christians. However, Jude is used in reference to another apostle, known as St. Jude Thaddeus, who is a very popular saint among Roman Catholics.

In Jewish circles, Judah is usually used in reference to the tribe, or in reference to Judah, the fourth son of Leah and Jacob. It is sometimes bestowed upon boys born around the festival of Hanukkah, which is used in honour of Judah Maccabeus, who is considered to be one of the greatest warriors in Jewish history. He was the son of Mattathias, a Cohen, and was known for his uprising against the Seleucid Empire in 167 BCE-160 BCE. The Jewish feast and holiday, known as Hanukkah, (Hebrew for “dedication”), commemorates the restoration of the temple in Jerusalem after Judah Maccabeus removed Pagan statuary from the Temple.

The name Jude has increased in popularity the last 10 years, as of 2008, he ranked in as the # 224th most popular male name in the United States.

Its feminine form of Judith, Hebrew יְהוּדִית Yehudit, was borne in the Old Testament by a wife of Esau, but is probably most closely associated with the protagonist found in the Book of Judith, which is a deuterocanonical book, included in the Septuagint and in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christian Old Testament of the Bible. The book is rejected by Protestant Christians and Jews since it is mostly apocryphal and believed to be more of a morality tale versus anything based on historical fact, however, though the book is not considered historically accurate by Jews, Judith remained a popular Jewish heroine and symbol. In fact, the name’s popularity among Jews is probably more in association with her than of the wife of Esau. Judith is known for her beheading of the evil, Assyrian invader, Holofernes. She was a popular subject of artists for centuries.

The name experienced some usage in Catholic Europe during the Middle Ages, since Judith was considered as much a heroine among Christians as she was among Jews. The highest Judith ranked in the U.S. popularity charts, was at # 4 in 1940. As of 2008, she ranks in at a measly # 713. In 2006, she was the 6oth most popular female name in Spain.

Other forms of Judah and Jude include:

  • Chudas (Aragonese)
  • Judes (Catalan)
  • Judas (Danish/Dutch/German/Lithuanian/Norwegian/Portuguese/Spanish/Swedish: Portuguese ZHOO-dazh)
  • Jude (English/French)
  • Juudas (Finnish)
  • Juda (German/Czech/Croatian/Slovene)
  • Ioudas Ιουδας (Greek: Modern/Biblical)
  • Yehudah יְהוּדָה (Hebrew)
  • Júdás (Hungarian)
  • Yudas (Indonesian)
  • Iúdás (Irish)
  • Giuda (Italian)
  • Yuda (Kiswahili)
  • Iudas (Late Latin)
  • Juda/Judasz (Polish)
  • Júda (Slovakian)
  • Judá (Spanish/Portuguese: Spanish hoo-DAH, Portuguese zhoo-DAH)
  • Hudas (Tagalog/Filipino)
  • Yudel/Yidel (Yiddish)

Other forms of Judith include:

  • Ioudith Ιουδιθ (Biblical Greek)
  • Iudith (Biblical Latin)
  • Jitka (Czech: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name YEET-kah).
  • Judita (Czech/Romansch/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Júdit (Czech)
  • Judit (Danish/Catalan/Hungarian/Norwegian/Spanish/Swedish)
  • Jytte (Danish)
  • Jutka (Dutch/Hungarian: originally diminutive forms, used as independent given names)
  • Juut (Dutch)
  • Judith (English/Dutch/Icelandic: English nickname is usually Judy)
  • Juudit/Juta (Estonian)
  • Judith/Judithe (French: diminutive is Juju)
  • Xudit (Galician)
  • Juditha (German: Jüdie is a diminutive form)
  • Jutta/Jutte (German/Dutch/Polish: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name, now considered dated)
  • Yehudit יְהוּדִית (Hebrew)
  • Yudit (Indonesian)
  • Giuditta (Italian: joo-DEET-tah)
  • Yuditi (Kiswahili)
  • Ita (Polish)
  • Judyta (Polish: yoo-DIH-tah)
  • Judite (Portuguese/Latvian: Portuguese pronunciation: zhoo-DEET, Brazilian Portuguese zhoo-JEE-che )
  • Juditta (Romansch)
  • Yudif/Yudita (Russian)
  • Judetta/Judina (Spanish)
  • Hudes (Yiddish)
  • Yutke (Yiddish)

Other notable bearers of the name include Judah Benjamin (1811-1884), former Attorney General of the Confederacy and the first Jewish American to be seriously considered for the Supreme Court and the first Jewish American to serve as a U.S. Senator. It is also borne by British actor, Jude Law (b.1972).

Notable Judiths include:

Judge Judith Scheindlin (b. 1942) an American judge, TV personality and author, and Judy Jetson of the 1950s cartoon series, The Jetsons.

Designated name-days are: October 28 (France: for Jude), May 5 (France: Judith), December 5th (Czech Republic), December 10 (Estonia, Hungary and Latvia).


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew/Greek
Meaning: “gift.

The name can either be from the Hebrew, meaning “gift” or “present,” or it can trace its roots back to the Greek. Doron and Dorio was a city mentioned by Pliny, which was said to have been located in Cilicia Tracheia.