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.

Jessica, Iscah

Gender: Female
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning “to behold.”
(IS-kuh); (JES-sik-kuh)

The name Jessica is an Anglicization of the Hebrew name, Iscah, which is borne in the Old Testament by a niece of Abraham.

Jessica first appeared in Shakespeare’s, the Merchant of Venice (1596), it is believed that the English author corrupted a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew Yiskah יִסְכָּה, which in the Bible of Shakespeare’s time would have been rendered as Jescha or Jesca. In the Merchant of Venice, Jessica is the name of the beautiful daughter of Shylock.

Yiskah (יסכה)  is said to come from the Hebrew root sachah (סכה), which means “to see.” Adding the yud implies future tense which makes the name imply foresight or clairvoyance.

The famous French rabbincal scholar, Rashi, claimed that Yiskah was another name for Sarah, the wife of Abraham, since she was beautiful to behold and she was known for her prophetic foresight.

The name did not get much usage until the end of the 20th-century, where it became one of the most popular female names in the United States during the 70s, 80s and 90s.

She seems to have steadily rose over a 20 year span between the 1960s and early 1970s. She jumped several places between 1969 and 1970, going from the 134th position in 1969 way up to # 98 in 1970, from thereon, the name continued to rise, peaking at # 3 in 1978. She remained in the top 10 throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, sometimes hitting the 1st place position. In 2001, she dropped all the way down to # 11, and he has been declining since, currently, as of 2010, she is the 92nd most popular female name. In other countries, her rankings are as follows:

  • # 6 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 8 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 11 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 17 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 20 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 29 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 42 (Canada, B.C., 2010)
  • # 43 (German-speaking Switzerland, 2009)
  • # 71 (Mexico, 2010)
  • # 82 (Dzsesszika, Hungary, 2010)
  • # 171 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 262 (France, 2009)
  • # 304 (Netherlands, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Jèssica (Catalan)
  • Jessika/Jesika (Czech/Polish/Slovak: relatively recent in usage, and is becoming more prevalent)
  • Jessa (English: contraction of Jessica)
  • Jessica (English/Dutch/German/Finnish/French/Scandinavian/Spanish: a borrowing from the English and becoming more and more prevalent, sometimes rendered phonetically as Jessika in Germanic countries)
  • Jescha (English: archaic)
  • Iekika (Hawaiian)
  • Iscah/Yiskah יִסְכָּה (Hebrew)
  • Jiska (German: very obscure)
  • Dzsesszika (Hungarian)
  • Jiszká (Hungarian)
  • Gessica (Italian)
  • Džesika (Lithuanian)
  • Dżesika (Polish: phonetic rendition and the more popular form, becoming more common in Poland)
  • Jéssica (Portuguese-Brazilian)
  • Jesica (Spanish)

Diminutive forms are Jessie and Jessy.

The names are borne by pop singer, and actresses Jessica Tandy (b.1908), Jessica Lange (1942), Jessica Simpson (b.1980), Jessica Alba (b.1981), Jessica Biel (1982).

George

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek Γεωργιος
Meaning: “farmer.”
Eng (JORJ)

The name is an English and Romanian form of the Greek, Georgios Γεωργιος, which is derived from the Greek γεωργος (georgos) meaning, “farmer; earth worker.”

The name was borne by a 4th-century Christian saint and martyr, a Roman soldier of Greek ancestry who refused to sacrifice to pagan gods as demanded by the Roman Emperor at the time. He was popularized in the Western Christian Church after the Crusades, when soldiers brought the story back to Western Europe. The saints’ story was embellished and his story appears in the Golden Legend.

The most famous legend was that during the saint’s life, he managed to rescue a maiden who was about to be sacrificed to a dragon by slaying it with his lance. This legend has been the subject of art for centuries.

Though revered as the patron saint of England, the name itself did not catch on in until the 18th-century, following the accession of George I of England. The name has been borne by several kings throughout Europe. It was also borne by the first president of the United States, George Washington.

In Medieval times, English troops would chant “by George“, as a invocation to the saint to protect them in battle.

Between 1880 and 1937, George remained in the U.S. top 10. As of 2010, he only ranked in as the 164th most popular male name. His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Georgi, Bulgaria, 2007)
  • # 1 (Georgios, Greece, 2010)
  • # 2 (Giorgi, Georgia, 2011)
  • # 5 (Yegor, Belarus, 2011)
  • # 9 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 12 (Yegor, Russia, 2011)
  • # 16 (Jorge, Spain, 2010)
  • # 19 (Jiří, Czech Republic, 2010)
  • # 20 (Romania, 2009)
  • # 22 (Jordi, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 27 (Jure, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 42 (Jorge, Chile, 2010)
  • # 53 (Juraj, Croatia, 2010)
  • # 69 (Jure, Croatia, 2010)
  • # 73 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 75 (Jurij, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 76 (Jørgen, Norway, 2010)
  • # 78 (Jorge, Mexico, 2010)
  • # 80 (Joris, Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 82 (Jordi, Spain, 2010)
  • # 84 (Jurica, Croatia, 2010)
  • # 100 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 168 (Jorge, United States, 2010)
  • # 233 (Joris, France, 2009)
  • # 420 (Jordi, Netherlands, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Gjergj (Albanian)
  • Jorgo (Albanian)
  • Giorgis ጊዮርጊስ (Amharic)
  • Jurj(us)  جرج  جرجس (Arabic)
  • George  جورج (Arabic/English/Romanian)
  • Khodor  خضر (Arabic)
  • Chorche (Aragonese)
  • Gev(or) Գեվ Գեվոր (Armenian)
  • Gevorg Գեվորգ (Armenian)
  • Kevork Գեւորգ (Armenian)
  • Xurde (Asturian)
  • Gorka (Basque)
  • Jury Юры (Belarusian)
  • Yegor Егор (Belarusian/Russian)
  • Jord (Breton)
  • Jorj (Breton)
  • Georgi Георги (Bulgarian)
  • Jordi (Catalan)
  • Juraj (Croatian/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Jurica (Croatian)
  • Jure (Croatian/Slovene)
  • Jiří (Czech)
  • Jørgen (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Joris (Dutch/Frisian)
  • Sjors (Dutch)
  • Georg (Faroese/Estonian/German/Icelandic/Romansch/Scandinavian)
  • Jurjen (Frisian)
  • Jüri (Estonian/Volapuk)
  • Jørundur (Faroese)
  • Jokora (Finnish)
  • Jori (Finnish)
  • Jyr(k)i (Finnish)
  • Yrjänä (Finnish)
  • Yrjö (Finnish)
  • Georges (French)
  • Xurxo (Galician)
  • Giorgi გიორგი (Georgian/Monegasque)
  • Jörgen (German/Swedish)
  • Jörg (German/Swedish)
  • Jürgen (German)
  • Jürg (German)
  • Georgios Γεώργιος (Greek)
  • Joorut (Greenlandic)
  • Juulut (Greenlandic)
  • Keoki (Hawaiian)
  • György (Hungarian)
  • Seoirse (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Giorgio (Italian/Venetian)
  • Georgius (Latin)
  • Jur(g)is (Latvian)
  • Jurgis (Lithuanian)
  • Gjoko  Ѓок (Macedonian)
  • Gjorgje Ѓорѓе (Macedonian)
  • Gjorgji  Ѓорѓи (Macedonian)
  • Gheevargees ഗീവര്‍ഗീസ് (  (Malayalam)
  • Gheevarugees ഗീവറുഗീസ് ( (Malayalam)
  • Varghees വര്‍ഗീസ്‌ (Malayalam)
  • Verghese വെര്‍ഗീസ് (Malayalam)
  • Varughese വറുഗീസ് (Malayalam)
  • Ġorġ (Maltese)
  • Jore (Norman)
  • Jørn (Norwegian)
  • Ørjan (Norwegian)
  • Jordi (Occitanian/Provençal)
  • Jerzy (Polish)
  • Jorge (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Gheorghe (Romanian)
  • Georgy Георгий (Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Yuri Юрий (Russian)
  • Deòrsa (Scottish)
  • Seòrsa (Scottish)
  • Đorđe Ђорђе (Serbian)
  • Đorđo Ђорђо (Serbian)
  • Đurađ Ђурађ(Serbian)
  • Jurij (Slovene)
  • Göran (Swedish)
  • Örjan (Swedish)
  • Gewarges ܓܝܘܪܓܣ(Syriac)
  • Gorges ܓܪܓܣ (Syriac)
  • Yorgo (Turkish)
  • Heorhiy Георгій (Ukrainian)
  • Yur Юр (Ukrainian)
  • Sior (Welsh)
In ancient Greece, Georgos may have also been used as an epithet for Zeus.
As for its feminine forms, I shall save that for a separate post 🙂

Edward

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Anglo-Saxon
Meaning: “wealthy guardian.”
Eng (ED-werd; ED-word)

The name is composed of the Anglo-Saxon elements, ead (rich; waelthy) and weard (guard). Due to the popularity of St. Edward the Confessor, the name was one of the few Anglo-Saxon names to have survived the Norman Conquest and to have spread to non-Anglo-Saxon countries.

The name has remained common in the British Royal Family.

As of 2010, Edward was the 43rd most popular male name in England/Wales. His rankings in other countries, in his various forms, are as follows:

  • # 3 (Eetu, Finland, 2011)
  • # 20 (Duarte, Portugal, 2010)
  • # 21 (Eduard, Romania, 2009)
  • # 28 (Edoardo, Italy, 2010)
  • # 61 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 72 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 79 (Eduardo, Spain, 2010)
  • # 94 (Eduard, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 97 (Edvard, Norway, 2010)
  • # 136 (United States, 2010)
  • # 153 (Eduardo, United States, 2010)
  • # 169 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 226 (Édouard, France, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Eduard Էդվարդ Эдуард ედუარდ Эдуард Едуард (Afrikaans/Albanian/Armenian/Belarusian/Bosnian/Catalan/Croatian/Czech/Dutch/Estonian/Georgian/German/Romanian/Romansch/Russian/Slovak/Ukrainian)
  • Ēadƿeard (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Idward إدوارد (Arabic: used primarily among Christians)
  • Edorta (Basque)
  • Edvard Эдвард Эдвард Едвард (Belarusian/Czech/Faroese/Finnish/Russian/Scandinavian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Edouarzh (Breton)
  • Eduardu (Corsican/Sardinian)
  • Edward (English/German/Polish)
  • Eetu (Finnish)
  • Eetvartti (Finnish)
  • Etuate (Fijian)
  • Édouard (French)
  • Edo (Frisian)
  • Edzard (Frisian)
  • Eide (Frisian/Plattdeutsch)
  • Eido (Frisian)
  • Eduardos Εδουάρδος (Greek)
  • Ekewaka (Hawaiian)
  • Eduárd (Hungarian)
  • Edvárd (Hungarian)
  • Eðvarð(ur) (Icelandic)
  • Játvarður (Icelandic)
  • Éadbhard (Irish)
  • Éamonn (Irish)
  • Edoardo (Italian)
  • Eduardo (Italian/Spanish/Portuguese)
  • Odoardo (Italian: Tuscan)
  • Eduards (Latvian)
  • Edvards (Latvian)
  • Eduardas (Lithuanian)
  • Edvardas (Lithuanian)
  • Eruera (Maori)
  • Dwardu (Maltese)
  • Duarte (Portuguese)
  • Eideard (Scottish)
  • Eudard (Scottish)
Common diminutives include:
  • Edi (Albanian/Bosnian/Croatian/Slovene/Spanish)
  • Ed (Dutch/English/German/Scandinavian)
  • Eddie (English/German/Scandinavian)
  • Ned (English)
  • Ted (English)
  • Teddy (English)
  • Edek (Polish)
  • Dadu (Portuguese)
  • Du (Portuguese)
  • Edu (Portuguese)
  • Lalo (Spanish)
In recent years, especially in the United States, the name has possibly risen in popularity due to the Twilight Series, in which one of the protagonists is named Edward.
There are a few feminine forms, namely the Spanish and Italian, Eduarda, which I shall save for another post.

Cecilia, Cecily

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latin
Meaning “blind”
Eng (seh-SEE-lee-yuh); Lat (kay-KEE-lyah); Italian (chay-CHEEL-yah).

This four syllable, melodic name has been in usage throughout the Western World since the early Middle Ages. Thanks to the cult of Saint Cecilia, an early Christian martyr, considered to be the patron saint of music and musicians.

Geoffrey Chaucer made the saint a subject of his writings and refers to the name as meaning “lily of heaven”; “the way for the blind”; “contemplation of heaven and an active life”; “as if lacking in blindness”; “a heaven for people to gaze upon.”

However, these were only epithets used by the early English writer describing the wondrous attributes and virtues of the saint, and should not be confused for its real meaning.

The name is a feminine form of the Latin Caecilius which comes from the word caecus meaning blind.

The name was introduced into England after the Norman conquest in the form of Cecily (SES-ih-LEE). The name was very popular in England until the Protestant Reformation where it fell out of usage.

Its Latin counterpart of Cecilia was not introduced into the English speaking world until the 18th-century, afterwards, its early English form of Cecily became quite popular during Victorian England.

As of 2010, its Danish form of Cecilie was the 30th most popular female name in Denmark. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 39 (Silje, Denmark, 2010)
  • # 65 (Silje, Norway, 2010)
  • # 277 (Cecilia, United States, 2010)
  • # 385 (Cécile, France, 2009)
  • # 486 (Cecilia, France, 2009)
  • # 741 (Cecelia, United States, 2010)

There is the masculine English form of Cecil. Other forms of the name include:

  • Aziliz (Breton)
  • Cicilia (Corsican)
  • Cecilija (Croatian)
  • Cila (Croatian)
  • Cecílie (Czech: tset-TSEEL-yeh)
  • Cecilie (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Cille (Danish)
  • Sille (Danish)
  • Cecile/Ceciel (Dutch)
  • Cecilia (Dutch/Finnish/German/Italian/Romanian/Spanish/Swedish)
  • Cilla (Dutch/Swedish)
  • Cecelia (English)
  • Säsil (Estonian)
  • Sesilia (Faroese)
  • Selja/Silja (Finnish)
  • Cécile (French)
  • Silke (Frisian/German: ZIL-kə)
  • Síle (Gaelic)
  • Kek’ik’ilia კიკილია (Georgia)
  • Cäcilia/Caecilia (German: tsay-TSEEL-yah or tsay-TSEE-lee-yah)
  • Cäcilie (German: tsay-TSEEL-yə or tsay-TSEE-lee-yə)
  • Zilla (German: originally a diminutive form sometimes used as an independent given name, another diminutive is Zilly)
  • Kekilia (Greek Modern)
  • Sissiilia/Sissii (Greenlandic)
  • Kikilia (Hawaiian)
  • Cecília (Hungarian/Portuguese/Slovak)
  • Cili (Hungarian/Slovene)
  • Szöszill (Hungarian)
  • Seselía, Sesilía, Sesselía, Sessilía (Icelandic)
  • Sisilia (Indonesian)
  • Sheila (Irish)
  • Caecilia (Latin)
  • Cecilė/Cilė(Lithuanian)
  • Cissolt (Manx: SIS-solt)
  • Sidsel (Norwegian/Danish)
  • Silje (Norwegian/Danish)
  • Sissel (Norwegian/Danish)
  • Cilgia (Romansch)
  • Tsetsiliya (Russian)
  • Sìleas (Scottish)
  • Cecília (Slovakian)
  • Šejla (Slovakian)
  • Cecilija (Slovenian)
  • Cilika (Slovenian)
  • Cilka (Slovenian)
  • Sisel (Yiddish)
  • Zisel (Yiddish)

Male forms include

  • Cecil (English)
  • Cecilio (Italian/Spanish)
  • Caecilius (Latin)
  • Cecilijus (Lithuanian)
  • Cecilián (Slovakian)

Czech diminutive forms are: Cecilka, Celia, Cilia, Cilka and Cilinka.

English diminutive forms are: Cece, Celia and Sissy.

The designated name-day is November 22nd.

Lana

The name appears in various languages. It could be from the Arabic meaning, “tender.”

In Russia and the Ukraine, it is used as a short form of Svetlana and Ruslana.

In South Eastern Europe this short form has carried over as a popular independent given name. As of 2009, Lana was the most popular female name in Croatia. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 2 (Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 19 (Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
  • # 52 (France, 2009)
  • # 90 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 169 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 480 (United States, 2010)
It is the name of a river in Albania and this fact may also be the inspiration behind the name’s popularity in South Eastern Europe.

Lana can also be Hawaiian, meaning, “floating; calm; still as water.” It has even been linked with the Spanish word for wool.

In the United States, it was brought to attention via actress, Lana Turner (1921-1995).

Louis, Lewis

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Germanic
Meaning: “famous warrior.”
Eng (LOO-ee; LOO-is); Fre (LOU-ee)

The name is a franconized form of the German name, Ludwig, which is composed of the ancient Germanic elements, hlud (fame) and wig (warrior). The name is a cognate of the Frankish male name Chlodovech or Clovis.

It was a very popular name among the French monarchs, being borne by 18 kings of France, one of whom was canonized as a saint.

The name was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest and was usually rendered as Lewis. The name fell out of usage after the Protestant Reformation and was revived in 19th-century America, the more popular form being its French counterpart of Louis.

In France, the name fell out of usage after the French Revolution but immediately gained popularity by the 19th-century remaining a French classic.

As of 2009, Louis was the 4th most popular male name in France and the 5th most popular in Belgium. His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 2 (Lewis, Scotland, 2010)
  • # 27 (Lewis, England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 30 (Lewis, Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 51 (Luis, Spain, 2010)
  • # 55 (Luis, Austria, 2010)
  • # 69 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 78 (Luis, United States, 2010)
  • # 91 (Luis, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 334 (Luis, France, 2009)
  • # 343 (United States, 2010)
  • # 434 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 717 (Lewis, United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ludovik (Albanian)
  • Luigj (Albanian)
  • Hloþwig (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Lluís (Asturian/Catalan)
  • Aloxi (Basque)
  • Koldo (Basque)
  • Koldobika (Basque)
  • Luki (Basque)
  • Loeiz (Breton)
  • Alojzije (Croatian)
  • Ljudevit (Croatian/Slovene)
  • Ludovik (Croatian)
  • Luj Луј (Croatian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Ludvík (Czech)
  • Lodewijk (Dutch)
  • Lode (Dutch)
  • Lowie (Dutch)
  • Aloysius (English/Latin)
  • Louis (English/French)
  • Lewis (English)
  • Ludovic (English)
  • Lois (Galician)
  • Luís (Galician/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Khlodvigi ხლოდვიგი (Georgian)
  • Alois (German)
  • Ludwig (German)
  • Luis (German/Romansch)
  • Loudovikos Λουδοβίκος (Greek)
  • Lui (Hawaiian)
  • Lajos (Hungarian)
  • Loðvík (Icelandic)
  • Alaois (Irish)
  • Alabhaois (Irish)
  • Lughaidh (Irish)
  • Luigi (Italian)
  • Lodovico/Ludovico (Italian)
  • Lujs (Latvian)
  • Liudvikas (Lithuanian)
  • Loís (Occitanian)
  • Ludwik (Polish)
  • Aloísio (Portuguese)
  • Aluísio (Portuguese)
  • Liset (Poitvin)
  • Ludovico (Portuguese)
  • Luiz (Portuguese: archaic)
  • Aloys (Provençal)
  • Ludovic (Romanian)
  • Duitg (Romansch)
  • Ludivic (Romansch)
  • Lyudovik Людовик (Russian)
  • Ludvig (Scandinavian)
  • Ľudovít (Slovak)
  • Alojz (Slovene)
  • Lojze (Slovene)
  • Love (Swedish)
  • Lüìs (Tuscan)
Diminutive forms include:
  • Luděk (Czech)
  • Lou (English)
  • Ludek (Polish)
  • Lucho (Spanish)
  • Luisito (Spanish)
  • Wicho (Spanish)
Feminine forms include:
  • Loeiza (Breton)
  • Lluïsa (Catalan)
  • Luisa (German/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Louise (English/French/Scandinavian)
  • Louisette (French)
  • Louison (French)
  • Ludovica (Italian/Portuguese/Romanian)
  • Luigia (Italian)
  • Lise (Poitvin)
  • Lisète (Poitvin)
  • Ludwika (Polish)
  • Luiza (Polish)
  • Ludivica (Romansch)
  • Luisia (Romansch)
  • Lovisa/Lovise (Scandinavian)
  • Lova (Swedish)

(For a moral thorough list of its feminine forms and trends please go to Louise).

Luana

The name is of a few different meanings and origins.

It could come directly from the Albanian meaning, “lioness.”

The name is found in several Romanian folktales as a name of a princess/heroine. In this case, the origins of the name are not clear.

It could be an Italian contraction of Luisa and Anna.

In Hawaiian, it comes directly from the word meaning “to be at leisure; to relax.”

Currently, in German-speaking Switzerland, it is the 21st most popular female name, (2010). Its popularity in Switzerland may be due to a popular Swiss rapper known simply as Luana.

 

Keanu

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hawaiian
Meaning: “cool breeze; the coolness”
(kay-AH-noo)

The name is composed of the Hawaiian words ke meaning (the) and anu (cool).

The name should be pronounced (kay-AH-noo) vs (KEE-ah-NOO). The name first caught the world’s attention through actor, Keanu Reeves (b. 1964).

Currently, Keanu is the 325th most popular male name in Germany, (2011).

Melissa

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek Μέλισσα
Meaning: “honey-bee.”
Eng (meh-LIS-sah)

The name comes directly from the Greek word μέλισσα (melissa) which shares a root with the Greek word for honey μέλι (meli). In fact, the Hititte word, melit (honey) shares the same etymological root.

The name is borne in Greek mythology by a nymph who taught mankind how to harvest honey, it is believed that this same nymph also nursed the god Zeus. It is actually borne by several characters in Greek mythology, including a priestess of Demeter who was murdered when she refused to release the secrets of initiation rights of Demeter.

It seems the name was common in ancient Greece, as it was also borne by a female Pythagorean philosopher (6th-century, CE).

The Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto used it as a name for the good witch who helps Ruggiero escape from the evil Alcina in Orlando Furioso (1516).

Melissa is also the scientific name of the lemon balm plant.

In the English-speaking world, the name caught on during the 18th-century and remained a common name since. The highest she ranked in U.S. naming history was between 1977 and 1979 when it was the 2nd most popular female name. Currently, she is the 157th most popular female name in the United States, (2010).

In Brazil, she is the 37th most popular female name, (2011). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 49 (France, 2009)
  • # 74 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 80 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 97 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 142 (the Netherlands, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Melisa (Albanian/Kurdish/Polish/Spanish/Turkish)
  • Melissa ميليسا (Catalan/Dutch/English/French/German/Greek/Italian/Lebanese/Portuguese/Scandinavian/Slovak)
  • Mélissa (French)
  • Melitta (German/Greek)
  • Melika (Hawaiian)
A common English diminutive is Missy, in Polish is it Melcia or Meliska.