Frank

Dagobert III, King of the Franks


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “Frankish, free”
  • Gender: Masculine

From the name of an ancient Germanic people who ultimately settled in what is now France and the Netherlands, the origin of the name itself is somewhat disputed. A popular etymology is that it comes from the Old German frank (free). Others contend that it comes from a Germanic word for “javelin” or its linked with an Old Germanic root word meaning “bold, fierce; insolent.”

As a given-name, it has been in use since the 8th-century, preceding the use of the name of Francis, of which Frank later became a popular diminutive. The name of the country of France and its old currency of francs, gets its name from the Franks.

Frank was a very popular name in the U.S. at the turn of the 20th-century. Its appeared in the U.S. Top 10 between 1881-1922, peaking at #6 between 1880-1892. As of 2018, it was the 392nd most popular male name. His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #32 (Sweden, 2018)
  • #155 (England & Wales, 2018)

Frank is also used in Estonia, Finland, French-speaking countries, Dutch-speaking countries, German-speaking countries and Scandinavia.


Other forms include:

  • Franker (Danish)
  • Franck (French)
  • Frang (Gaelic, Scandinavian)
  • Franko (German)
  • Franco (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Francen (Dutch, archaic)
  • Vranck (Dutch, archaic)
  • Frake (Finnish)
  • Frankku, Prankku (Finnish)
  • Fränk (Letzbergerisch)
  • Vranken (Middle Dutch)

Feminine forms include:

  • Franka (Czech, German, Dutch)
  • France (French)
  • Franca (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)

Sources

Vala

Velléda_contemplant_la_demeure_d'Eudore,_29_March_2016

Detail of a sculpture of the Germanic seeress Veleda, Hippolyte Maindron, 1844

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Gender: feminine

The name is Old Norse and can either be derived from the Old Norse vǫlva meaning “fortune-teller, prophet,” or a short form of any Norse name beginning in the Valr element, which might relate to valr “slain” as in Valhalla (hall of the slain) or the Old High Germanic, walah meaning foreigner; stranger”; later “Welsh.”

The name’s use was first recorded in Sweden in 1876, but may have been used in Norse times as well.

Another form is Valva.


Sources

Barnabas, Barnaby, Barney

180px-San_Barnaba


The name is borne by St. Barnabas, a companion of St. Paul who was instrumental in converting gentiles to the new Christian faith. St. Barnabas was believed to be a Cypriot Jew whose true name was Joseph but he is referred to as Barnabas in Acts 4:36, which describes the name to mean “son of consolation,” possibly being linked with the Aramaic בר נחמה, bar neḥmā of the same meaning. Many linguists contradict this meaning and claim that the latter part of the name might actually be derived from the Hebrew nabī נביא meaning “prophet.”

St. Barnabas is considered an early apostle and the founder of the Christian Church in Cyprus who was eventually stoned to death by an angry mob in Syria. He is considered the patron saint of Cyprus and his feast day is June 11th.

As a given-name, Barnaby has been the preferred form in England since medieval times. Its usage spread to the rest of the English-speaking world through colonialism. It spawned the diminutive off-shoot of Barney, which has been used as an independent given-name in its own right.

To millennials, Barney is often associated with the beloved purple dinosaur of their childhood. However, he appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1880-1976. Never a huge hit, the highest he ever ranked in the U.S. Charts was #201 in 1887. He hasn’t been seen in the charts since 1976, but in England & Wales he currently ranks in as the #492nd Most Popular Males Name (2018).

Barnaby is currently the 251st Most Popular Male Name in England & Wales (2018). Whereas Barnabás is currently the 32nd Most Popular Male Name in Hungary (2018).


Other forms include:

  • Barnabana برنابا (Arabic, Persian)
  • Barnabas Բառնաբաս ബർണബാസ് (Armenian, Coptic, Dutch, English, Finnish, Frisian, German, Greek, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Scandinavian, Syriac, Welsh)
  • Bernaba (Basque)
  • Varnáva Варна́ва (Bulgarian)
  • Bernabé (Catalan, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Barnaba ბარნაბა (Croatian, Georgian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian)
  • Barnabáš (Czech/Slovak)
  • Barnaby (English, Plattdeutsch)
  • Barnabé (French)
  • Balló (Hungarian)
  • Barna (Hungarian)
  • Barnabás (Hungarian)
  • Barnabà (Lombard)
  • Varnava Варнава (Macedonian, Serbian, Russian, Ukrainian)

An obscure Spanish feminine form is Bernabea.

Sources

Marcus, Mark

Il_Pordenone_-_San_Marco_-_Budapest


From one of the most common Roman praenomen, its origin and meaning is uncertain. A popular etymology is that it relates to Mars, others suggest it may be from the Etruscan Marce, which may come from mar (to harvest). It is said the name was originally bestowed on those who were born in March.

Marcellus and the name of the month of March likely shares the same etymological root.

It was borne by several notable Romans, including Mark Antony, Marcus Aurelius & Cicero.

It was the name of one of the Evangelists who authored the eponymous Gospel, known as St. Mark in the Christian world, he is revered as the founder of Christianity in Africa and is traditionally believed to have founded the Church in Alexandria. Coptic Christians hold him in high regard. His bones were smuggled out of Egypt in a barrel of pork fat by Venetian merchants from Alexandria when Egypt fell under Islamic rule and were transported back to Venice where they were eventually installed and dedicated in the Basilica of San Marco.

The name was borne by a 2nd-century pope as well.


Marcus, Mark and Marc have been quite popular in several countries. Marcus was in the U.S. Top 100 between 1970-2000, Sweden’s between 1998-2008, New Zealand’s between 2008-2014, England & Wales between 1996-2003, and in Denmark’s between 1994-2006. Currently, his rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #54 (Canada, BC, 2018)
  • #87 (Australia, 2018)
  • #100 (Norway, 2018)
  • #209 (United States, 2018)
  • #213 (France, 2018)
  • #236 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #406 (Netherlands, 2018)

Its latinate form of Marco, which started off as a mainly Italian form, became widespread across the continent. His rankings in the following countries are as follows:

  • #11 (Galicia, Spain, 2018)
  • #16 (Spain, 2018_
  • #23 (Italy, 2018)
  • #65 (Catalonia, Spain, 2018)
  • #81 (Portugal, 2018)
  • #358 (United States, 2018)
  • #436 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #446 (France, 2018)

It’s English form of Mark appears in the legend of Tristan & Isolde as the name of the King of Cornwall, supposedly the name was not common in the English-speaking world until the 19th-century, but became a hit by the Mid-1900s. Mark appeared in the U.S. Top 100 between 1944-2002, which is quite a long stretch. Mark peaked the highest in popularity between 1955-1970, peaking at #6, six years in a row between 1959-1964.  Marks’s rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #5 (Slovenia, 2018)
  • #6 (Moscow, Russia, 2018)
  • #21 (Hungary, 2018)
  • #83 (Ireland, 2018)
  • #210 (U.S., 2018)
  • #253 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #298 (the Netherlands, 2018)

Marc is the French, Catalan & Welsh form and has been popularly used in the English-speaking world, it is currently the most popular male name in Catalonia, 2018 and between 1968-1976 it was in the U.S. Top 100. Marc’s rankings in the popularity charts are as follows

  • #26 (Spain, 2018)
  • #313 (France, 2018)
  • #825 (US, 2018)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mark Марк (Albanian, Belarusian, Breton, Dutch, English, Maltese, Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Marḳos ማርቆስ (Amharic)
  • Marqus مَرْقُس‎ (Arabic, mainly used among Arab-Christians)
  • Marghos (Armenian)
  • Marko (Basque)
  • Marko Марко (Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Finnish, Macedonian, Serbian, Slovene, Ukrainian)
  • Markos Μαρκος Ⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ (Coptic, Greek)
  • Margh (Cornish)
  • Marcu (Corsican, Romanian)
  • Mokus (Croatian, Serbian)
  • Marek (Czech, Polish, Slovak)
  • Marco (Catalan, Dutch, Galician, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Marc (Catalan, French, Occitanian, Welsh)
  • Marcus (Dutch, English, German, French, Scandinavian)
  • Markus (Dutch, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, Frisian, German, Scandinavian)
  • Marghus (Estonian)
  • Markko, Markku (Finnish)
  • Marke (Finnish)
  • Marcas (Gaelic)
  • Marx (German, archaic)
  • Maleko (Hawaiian)
  • Márk (Hungarian)
  • Markús (Icelandic)
  • Marchino (Italian)
  • Marcolino (Italian)
  • Marcuccio (Italian)
  • Mareks (Latvian)
  • Marks (Latvian)
  • Markuss (Latvian)
  • Markas, Morkus (Lithuanian)
  • March (Lombard)
  • Markys (Manx)
  • Marquét (Poitvin, diminutive form)
  • Marcos (Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Kusi (Swiss-German diminutive form)
  • Marqōs ܡܪܩܘܣ‎ (Syriac)
  • Mår (Walloon)

It’s feminine forms include Marca but and sometimes Marcia was used as a feminine form, though it is more the feminine equivalent of Marcius.

Other feminine forms include:

  • Markusine (German, obscure)
  • Marchina (Italian)
  • Marcolina (Italian)
  • Marcuccia (Italian)

Sources

Jemima, Jemimah

800px-Job_and_His_Daughters_Butts_set

Job & his 3 Daughters by William Blake


The name is mentioned in Job 43:14 as the name of the eldest daughter of Job after his tribulations. It derives from the Hebrew יְמִימָה‎, (Yemimah), meaning “dove.”

As a given-name, it came into popular use after the Protestant Reformation, especially in England, though it appears in occasional use by the 19th-century in Finland, Scandinavia & Protestant parts of Germany and the Netherlands.

Among Jews, this name was never used, though the Yiddish Taube and Toybe (dove) does exist. It is not certain if the latter is used in reference to Jemimah, Jonah or an earlier Medieval German female name that fell out of use among Christians but remained common among Ashkenazi Jews. It should be noted that in some German translations of the Bible, Jemimah is merely referred to as Täubchen (turtledove; also a term of endearment).

It is the same case in other languages where the passage in which the name appears is translated literally as Columba (Italian), Touterelle (French), Dies (Vulgate Latin translation) & Täuberl (Bavarian).

The name was quite common in England and Colonial America in the 18th-century. It was borne by the daughter of Daniel Boone, who is famous for being captured by Native Americans in 1776. Other early notable bearers include Jemima Yorke, 2nd Marchioness Grey and Countess of Hardwicke (1723-1797); Scottish painter, Jemima Blackburn (1823-1901); and Irish writer, Baroness Jemima von Tautphoeus (1807-1893). It was the birth name of the non-binary Quaker preacher known as the Public Universal Friend (1752-1819) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Universal_Friend (interesting story).

Today, in the United States the name has somewhat loaded racial connotations, due to its associations with ‘Aunt Jemima’ (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Aunt_Jemima)

However, in England, the name has remained a posh favourite. It is currently borne by British actress, Jemima Kirke (b. 1985).

The name is also a common favorite in many African countries.

Currently, Jemima is 297th Most Popular Female Name in England & Wales.

Common English short forms are Mima, Mimi, Jem, Jemmy.


Other forms include:

  • Emima Емима (Bulgarian, Russian)
  • Jemima (Czech, Dutch, English, German, Scandinavian)
  • Jemimah (English)
  • Mima (English)
  • Jemina (German, Finnish, Polish, Scandinavian, Spanish)
  • Jémina (French)
  • Gemima (Italian)
  • Jémima (Hungarian, Icelandic)
  • Jamima (Lithuanian)
  • Hemaima (Maori)
  • Yemima יְמִימָה (Modern Hebrew)
  • Iemima (Romanian)
  • Jamina (Scandinavian)
  • Jemine (Scandinavian)
  • Jemi (Scandinavian)

Sources

Rudy, Rudolph, Rolf

200px-Rudolf_IV


  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: “famous wolf.”
  • Gender: Masculine

The name is derived from the Germanic Hrodulf, which is composed of the elements hrod (fame) and wulf (wolf). The name was borne by several European rulers.

In England, it has been in use since Anglo-Saxon times, its Anglo-Saxon form of Hroðulf was usurped by the Norman Rudolph and Rodolph in the 11th-century.

In the English-speaking world, the name has come to be associated with the Christmas folk hero, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, based on a children’s book written by Robert L. May in 1939.

Rudolf appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1887-1932, and peaked at # 715 in 1916. He appeared 3 times in the French Top 1000 in 1914, 1931 and again in 1933, peaking at #454 in 1934. He was in the German Top 20 between 1893 and 1936, peaking at #11 in 1899 and in 1916.

In France, it’s native form of Rodolphe appeared in the Top 1000 between 1900 and 2001 and peaked at #79 in 1970.

Its contracted form of Rolf has been in occasional use in England since the 11th-century. It was a favorite in German-speaking countries in the 1920s-50s, peaking at #11 in 1947. In Norway, it peaked at #14 in 1945. Rolf has also appeared in the American and French charts, though not very high. Rolf peaked at #210 in France in 1943 and #772 in 1960 in the U.S.

It his diminutive form of Rudy, often used as an independent given-name, is the one which has gained some traction in recent years. Rudy appeared in the French Top 100 between 1979-1984, and peaked at #76 in 1980. Rudy’s current rankings in the popularity charts are as follows:

  • #271 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #822 (U.S.A., 2018)

Rudolf is used in Albanian, Armenian, Czech-Slovak, Dutch, Hungarian, Icelandic, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene, the Scandinavian languages and Russian.

Other forms include:

  • Hroðulf, Hrothulf (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Roel, Roelof, Ruud (Dutch)
  • Rodolf (Catalan)
  • Rolph (English)
  • Rudo, Ruudo, Ruudolf (Estonian)
  • Róðolvur (Faroese)
  • Ruuto, Ruutolffi, Ruutolhvi, Ruutolppi (Finnish)
  • Rodolphe (French)
  • Roele, Roelef, Roelf, Rolef, Rolof, Roloff, Roluf, Roolof (Frisian)
  • Rudolp რუდოლფ (Georgian)
  • Roff (German)
  • Rudi (German, Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian)
  • Rudo (German)
  • Rul (German)
  • Rûtulfe, Ruutuulfi (Greenlandic)
  • Rhodólphos Ροδόλφος (Greek)
  • Rúdólf (Icelandic)
  • Rodolfino (Italian)
  • Rodolfo (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Ridolfo (Italian)
  • Rudolphus (Latin)
  • Rūdolfs, Rūdis (Latvian)
  • Rudolfas, Rudas (Lithuanian)
  • Doffen (Norwegian)
  • Roffe (Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Hróðólfr, Hrólfr (Old Norse)
  • Rudulf (Polish, archaic)
  • Duff, Dusch, Riedi, Ruosch (Romansch)
  • Ruedi (Swiss-German, diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent form)

Feminine forms include:

  • Rudolfia (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Rodolphine (French)
  • Rudolfine (German, Scandinavian)
  • Rodolfa, Rodolfina (Italian, Spanish)
  • Rodolfetta (Italian)
  • Rudolfa (Polish, Scandinavian)
  • Rudolfina (Hungarian, Polish, Scandinavian)

Sources

Dollie, Dolly

220px-Dolley_Madison


The name is a diminutive form of Dorothy but has been used as an independent given-name since the 18th-century. A notable example was American First Lady, Dolley Madison (1768-1849), whose birth name was just Dolley.

The common English noun for the plaything, doll, actually derives from the name. Doll was a common short form of Dorothy the same way Moll was for Mary starting in the 16th-century. By the early 1600s, doll came to refer to a mistress or paramour and by the 1640s, it became synonymous with a slattern. Around 1700, the term doll came to be specifically associated with a child’s plaything and lost any association with slattern or mistress. Today, doll is sometimes used as a term of endearment, especially in the American South.

Dolly appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1880-1971, she peaked at #277 in 1881, while Dollie peaked even higher at #151 the same year.

Currently, Dolly is the 303rd Most Popular Female Name in England & Wales, (2018).

Another notable bearer is country music singer and actress, Dolly Parton (b. 1948).

Since the late 19th-century, Dolly/Dollie has also experienced some usage in German-speaking countries, French-speaking countries, and Scandinavia.

It has also been used as a diminutive form of Dolores.

Other forms include:

  • Doll (English, Scandinavian)
  • Dolley (English)
  • Dolli (Finnish/Scandinvian)
  • Dollý (Icelandic)

Sources

Igor, Ingvar

Radzivill_Igor-945


Ingvar is the modern Scandinavian form of the Old Norse, Yngvarr, meaning “Ing’s warrior.” It was introduced into Russia in the 10th-century by the Varangians, which gave the world the Igor form. The latter was borne by 2 Grand Princes of Kiev and has been a favorite in several Slavic countries since.

Currently, Igor is the 19th Most Popular Male Name in Poland (2018) and the 48th Most Popular in Moscow, Russia (2018), while in England he currently ranks quite low at #497 (2018).

Igor is used in Bulgarian, Czech-Slovak, Dutch, Estonian, German, Hungarian, Italian, Macedonian, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbo-Croatian, all modern Scandinavian languages, Slovene, & Spanish

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ihar Ігар (Belarusian)
  • Ingvar (Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Iku (Finnish)
  • Ingwar, Ingwer (German)
  • Ingvaari (Greelandic)
  • Ingvâre (Greenlandic)
  • Ígor (Icelandic)
  • Inguarus (Late Latin)
  • Ingvars, Igors (Latvian)
  • Igoris (Lithuanian)
  • Ignar (Nowegian)
  • Yngvar (Norwegian)
  • Yngvarr (Old Norse)
  • Ingwar (Polish)
  • Inguar (Portuguese)
  • Ingor (Swedish)
  • Ihor Ігор  (Ukrainian)

Sources

Alfred, Alfreda

alfred


The name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon, Ælfræd, which is composed of the Anglo-Saxon elements, ælf  “elf” and ræd “counsel. A notable bearer was the 9th-century Anglo-Saxon King, Alfred the Great.

This is one of the few Anglo-Saxon male names to survive popular usage after the Norman Conquest and slowly waned in use by the end of the Middle Ages, but was revived in the 18th-century.

Though quite uncommon in the United States in this day and age, it has never completely fallen outside the U.S. Top 1000, and once reigned in the U.S. Top 100 between 1880 and 1951. Alfred peaked at # 32 in 1886.

Alfred reigns supreme in the Scandinavian charts, he is currently the 8th Most Popular Male Name in Denmark (2018), the 12th Most Popular in Sweden (2018) and the 42nd Most Popular in Norway (2018).

He ranks much lower in the U.K., coming in at #106 and even lower in France, ranking in as the 491st Most Popular Male Name (2018).

Alfie, a diminutive form which has become a much loved independent given-name in the U.K, is currently in England & Wales’ Top 100 Baby Names, ranking in at #15 (2018).

Alfred is used in Danish, Dutch, German, Polish, Norwegian & Swedish

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ælfræd (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Alfredo (Aragonese, Galician, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Alfredu (Asturian)
  • Alperda (Basque)
  • Aofred (Breton)
  • Alfréd (Czech, Hungarian, Slovak)
  • Alfie (English)
  • Alfre (Finnish, Greenlandic)
  • Alfreeti, Alfreetti (Finnish)
  • Alfrédos Αλφρέδος (Greek)
  • Alfreð (Icelandic)
  • Alfredino (Italian)
  • Alfredus (Late Latin)
  • Alfrēds (Latvian)
  • Alfredas (Lithuanian)
  • Al’fred Альфред (Russian)
  • Alfrid, Allfrid (Scandinavian)
  • Arfredu (Sicilian)

Its feminine form of Alfreda also has an Anglo-Saxon counterpart in the form of Ælfthryth. It was borne by a 9th-century English saint.

Alfreda is used in Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish & Swedish.

Other forms of the female form include:

  • Alfrede (Danish)
  • Elfrida (Croatian, Italian, Spanish)
  • Alfriede, Alfrieda (German, Scandinavian)
  • Elfriede (German)
  • Alfrède (French)
  • Alfrédie (French)
  • Alfride (French)
  • Alfreðsína (Icelandic)
  • Afreda (Italian)
  • Alfredina (Italian)
  • Alfrida (Scandinavian)

Sources

Frida

Frida_Kahlo,_by_Guillermo_Kahlo


The name is either derived from the Old Norse fríðr (beautiful; loved) or the German fried (peace, joy), (which is also the same case in Yiddish). In modern Swedish, Danish & Norwegian, the name may also be associated with the word frid, which also means peace.

The name has been imported into several cultures. It is not only used in Northern Europe, but has experienced usage in Anglophone, Francophone & Hispanophone countries. A notable bearer from the latter was Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954).

It is currently the 7th Most Popular Female Name in Norway & the 19th Most Popular in Denmark (2018).

In the United States, it currently comes in as the 693rd Most Popular Female Name.

The Frida form is used in the following languages: Danish, Dutch, Czech/Slovak, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, Hungarian, German, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Yiddish

Other forms include:

  • Fritha (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Fryd (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Freda (English, German, Spanish)
  • Frieda (Estonian, German)
  • Friida (Finnish)
  • Riitu (Finnish)
  • Friede (German)
  • Friedel, Friedl (German, Yiddish)
  • Fríða FREE-thah (Icelandic, Old Norse)
  • Fríður FREE-thoor (Icelandic)
  • Frid (Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Fryda (Polish, Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Freyda, Frejda (Yiddish)

Sources