Eder, Ederne

Eder,EderneOrigin: Basque or Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “handsome; beautiful;” or “flock.”
Basque (ED-er); Sp/Por (EY-deer). Fem. (ed-DER-neh)

The name comes from the Basque word for “handsome; beautiful.”

Alternately, Eder can also be from the Biblical Hebrew עֵדֶר; (flock). In the Bible, this is the name of the son of Beriah and of a place where it is said Rachel was buried.

Eder is also the name of a river that flows through Germany. It was first mentioned by Tacitus as the place the Romans crossed before destroying the Chatti stronghold of Mattium. It was referred to in Latin as Adarna, Aderna and Adrina. The etymology is unknown.

In Basque, Eder is techinically unisex but is more often used on males. It has crossed over in the Spanish-Speaking and Portuguese-Speaking world where it is popular rendered as Éder. The exclusive feminine forms include: Ederne and Eider.




JoahOrigin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “Yahweh is brother; brother of Yahweh”
Gender: Masculine

The name is composed of the Hebrew elements,יַהְוֶה‬(Yahweh) and אָח (ach) meaning “brother.”

Joah is borne by 4 minor characters in the Old Testament.

In the English-speaking world, Joah has been in sporadic use since the 17th-century. A notable bearer was English musician, Joah Bates (1741–1799).

Another form is Joach.



TamirOrigin: Hebrew
Meaning: “secret; hidden”; “tall.”
Gender: Masculine

The name is related to two different Hebrew words,  טמיר (secret; hidden), or תָּמִיר (tall). This is one of the many modern Hebrew vocabulary names that came into use after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948



Adiel (1)Origin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: debated; most likely “ornament/jewel of God.”
Gender: Masculine
(AH-dee-el; ENG. AY-dee-el)

This is the name of 3 minor characters in the Bible, one is the name of the father of Maasai, a Cohen (or Jewish priest), the other is the name of the head of the tribe of Simeon, and the 3rd is the father of Azmaveth who was a treasurer under King David. All of the aforementioned appear in the Book of Chronicles.

As for its meaning, it has traditionally been believed to mean “ornament of God; jewel of God,” being composed of the Hebrew (עדה) adi meaning “ornament” or “jewel” and  אל (‘el) pertaining to elohim. However, the  first element may actually relate to the root word  אל (ad) meaning “witness” and also “forever; eternity,” and “booty.” The same root word also relates to “congregation, community, parish, denomination; swarm, flock.” Somehow, the original root word of all of the above are related. Compare the name to the modern Hebrew Unisex name Adi עדי (jewel, ornament).

Among non-Jews, the name has been in use across Europe since the Protestant Reformation, around the 16th-century. It has been in occasional use in Scandinavia, Finland, the Netherlands, U.K, the Americas and Australia. It has come in recent use in Latin America as well.

Ironically the name was not revived among Jews until modern times. There doesn’t seem to be any records for this name among Jews from Medieval Times to pre-WWII in Europe, the Ottoman Empire or the Middle East. It seems to have become widespread after the creation of Israel in 1948. Since the 1960s, its French feminine form of Adielle has appeared in occasional use among Jews in French-speaking countries such as France and Canada.

Another form is the Dutch Adiël (male) and Adiëlle (female).

Modern Hebrew female forms include Adiela (also Spanish) and Adielit.



Shai.jpgOrigin: Hebrew שַׁי
Meaning: “gift”
Gender: masculine

The name comes directly from the Hebrew word for “gift,” but is often used as a diminutive form of Isaiah (Hebrew Yeshayah/Yeshaiah). Sometimes the name is transliterated as Shay. In recent years, the name has occasionally been given to females.

Alternately, in Egyptian mythology, Shai was the name of the personification of fate. Shai was a sort of deity who was believed to decide the span of man’s life at birth and is one of the dieties present upon judgment of the deceased’s soul.


Ziv, Ziva, Zivit

800px-Cloud_in_the_sunlightZiv is a male Hebrew name which comes directly from the Hebrew word זִיו (ziv) meaning, “brightness, radiance, splendor. In the Bible, this was the name of second month of the Jewish Calendar  (1 Kings 6:1, 6:37), which in modern times is known as Iyar.

Ziva and Zivit are its feminine forms, though Ziv has also been occasionally used on girls.

Alternately, Ziva is can be a latinate form of the Slavic Živa



zabdielOrigin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: bestowed by God; gift of God
Gender: Masculine

The name is composed of the Hebrew elements, zeved זבד (gift, bestowal) and el אל (elohim; God).

The name is borne in the Old Testament by 2 very minor characters.

  • In (1 Chronicles 27:2) Zabdiel is mentioned as the father of Jeshobeam and one of the 12 commanders of the subdivisions in Israel.
  • In (Nehemiah 11:14), Zabdiel is the son of Heggedolim.

In the English-speaking world, the name came into sporadic use in the 16th-century, around the time of the Protestant Reformation. Notable bearers include early American physician Zabdiel Boylston 1679-1766 (who is noted as the first person to perform a surgical operation in the U.S.), and Massachusetts representative, Zabdiel Sampson (1781-1828).



Rembrandt_Abraham_Serving_the_Three_AngelsOrigin: Hebrew
Meaning: “my father; father; patriarch; ancestor; bud; young shoot
Gender: Masculine
Pronunciation: AH-vee

The name initially started off as a short form of Avraham or Avram, but now it is a popular independent male name which is from the Hebrew אֵב (avi) which means “my father; father; patriarch; ancestor” and also “flowering bud or young shoot.”

The name first appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 Male Names in 2015 and is currently the 944th most popular male name in the United States (2016).



WatchtowerOrigin: Hebrew; Finnish; Russian; Sanskrit
Hebrew Meaning: fear of God; watchful; making bare; pointing out
Sanskrit Meaning: various
Finnish meaning: a diminutive offshoot of Irene.
Russian meaning: a diminutive offshoot of Irenej/Irina
Pronunciation: I-rah; EE-rah
Gender: Hebrew: Male; Russian: unisex; Sanskrit: Unisex; Finnish: Female

The name is cross-cultural and can either be male or female depending on the language it stems from.

It is found in the Old Testament/Torah as the name of 2 minor characters. It was the name of King David’s High Priest or chief minister, and also the name of one of King David’s mighty warriors. In its Hebrew context, Ira’s meaning is debated. I mostly found sources stating the name means “watchful,” but there have been no Hebrew sources I could find establishing this. A modern Hebrew dictionary lists the word ירא (ira) as meaning “fearful” and also “a person who fears the lord,” as well as “respectful;” and “venerating.” Hitchcock Bible Names listed several other possible meanings as listed above. Wikipedia has listed the name as also possibly meaning “wild ass,” but again, I could find no other sources supporting the latter claim.

Its use as male given name in the English-speaking world started to sporadically occur both in England and in the United States in the 17th-century. The name has always been mainly used by Russian-Jewish families, and not until the late 1800s when the U.S. and England experienced mass immigration of Russian-Jews. The few records that do occur in the 17th-century were mostly likely of Protestant Christians.

As for other Jewish communities, it doesn’t seem to have ever been popular. There is some record for Ira’s use among Medieval Middle Eastern Jews, but among Medieval Western and Southern European Jews, there is no record of it ever being used, or at least none that I can find. It seems to have become common in the late 19th-century, specifically among Russian and Polish-Jews, possibly due to its similarity to the Polish diminutive male name Irek (dim. of Ireneusz) and the Russian male diminutive Ira (dim. of Irenej). Early Russian-American Jews often anglicized the name as Irving, though these two names have no etymological relation.

The name can also be a Finnish female name (pronounced EE-rah), which is a diminutive form of Iriina, and has long been in use as an independent name.

In Sanskrit, depending on the script used, the name can be associated with the Sanskrit word ईर (wind) (masculine), and is associated with the Hindu god, Vayu.

According to Hindu legend, Ira is the name of one of the 62 daughters of Daksha and was married to the sage Kashyaba. It is uncertain which Sanskrit source this particular name relates to.

It is also used as another name for the Goddess Sarasvati and is perhaps related to the Sanskrit feminine word इरा (earth).

A notable bearer of the name was American lyricist, Ira Gershwin, whose birth name was actually Israel.

In the United States, the name has been in and of the U.S. Top 1000 Most Popular Male Names since the 1900s. It peaked at 101 in 1900 and fell off the charts in 1992. It recently re-emerged and is currently the 950th most popular male name in the United States.




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.