Thurstan, Torsten

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: “Thor’s stone.”
  • Gender: masculine

Both names are derived from the Old Norse male name, Þórsteinn, literally meaning “Thor’s stone.” The name is attested as early as the 5th-century in Medieval Scandinavia and appears in the Norse saga, Draumr Þorsteins Síðu-Hallssonar.

It was transported to England by Anglo-Saxon & Norse settlers, the Anglo-Saxon form being Thurstan, and remained prevalent even after the conquest of the Normans, who themselves also used the name due to their original Norse heritage. Thurstan was borne by an 11th-century Bishop of York. Thurstan is the progenitor of the English surnames Thurston and Dustin.

Torsten appeared in Germany’s Top 100 Most Popular Male Names between 1960 and 1978, and peaked at #6 between 1964-68. While Torstein was in and out of the Norwegian Top 100 Male Names between 1947-1991, peaking at #84 in 1948. It’s original Old Norse form of Þórsteinn ranked in at #46 in Iceland’s Top 100 Male Names in 2012.

Forms include:

  • Turstin (Anglo-Norman, French)
  • Thurstan (English)
  • Tórstein (Faroese)
  • Torstein, Thorstein (Faroese, Norwegian)
  • Toro, Torro (Finnish, Scandinavian)
  • Torste,Torsti (Finnish)
  • Toutain (French, archaic)
  • Torsten (German, Scandinavian)
  • Thorsten (German, Scandinavian)
  • Torstene, Torsteni (Greenlandic)
  • Þórsteinn (Icelandic, Old Norse)
  • Turstino (Italian, Spanish)
  • Turstanus, Tursteinus, Turstinus (Late Latin)
  • Twyste (Middle Low German)
  • Tostein (Norwegian)
  • Dorste (Sami)
  • Toste (Scandinavian)
  • Tosten, Thosten (Swedish, archaic)

Sources

Ardal, Ardgal

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: “high valour.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • AR-dahl

Ardghal is composed of the Gaelic àrd (high; tall) and gal (valour). The name was borne by Ardgal mac Conaill (circ. 6th-century), the 3rd king of Uisnech.

A notable modern bearer is Irish actor, Ardal O’Hanlon.

Other forms include:

  • Ardal (English)
  • Árdghal (Gaelic)
  • Ardghar (Gaelic)
  • Ardgalus (Late Latin)

Sources

Faolán, Phelan, Fillin

  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: “little wolf.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Gaelic (FWAY-lahn); Eng (FAY-len; FIL-lin)

The name is derived from the Gaelic, faol, meaning “wolf” and the diminutive suffix –án. It is borne by 3 Medieval Saints from Ireland, 2 who settled in Scotland and another that did missionary work in Frankish Brabant.

There is a Cathedral dedicated to St. Foillan of Brabant in Aachen, Germany.

It is the ancestor of several Irish and Scottish surnames, such as Fylan, Hyland, MacClellan, MacClelland, Mac Giolla Fhaoláin, McClellan, McClelland, Ó Faoláin, Phelan, Whalen & Whelan.

Fillan is also the name of a place in Norway, but the name is probably of a separate etymology.

Other forms include:

  • Foillan (Dutch, French, German)
  • Phillan (English)
  • Feuillien (French)
  • Folien (French)
  • Foilan (French)
  • Pholien (French)
  • Foillano (Italian)
  • Fillano (Italian)
  • Foilanus/Foillanus (Late Latin)
  • Fáelán (Old Irish)
  • Felano (Spanish)

Sources

Pippin, Pépin

The name is Germanic and of disputed meaning. It is most likely derived from a Germanic element bib- meaning “to tremble,” which formed an etymological basis for the Late Latin nickname, pippinus (little child). This same root is related to the modern French word, pépin, which means “seed” or “pulp” in French, but also a “glitch” in modern French slang.

This was a name that appeared among the Carolingian rulers of the Franks. It was most notably borne by King Pepin the Short (8th-century CE), father of Charlemagne, as well as Pepin of Landen, an ancestor, who was revered as a saint in Belgium (6th-century CE).

Pépin appeared in the French Top 500 between 1902-1945, peaking at #358 in 1942.

Its Dutch form of Pepijn (PEP-pine) currently appears in Netherlands’ Top 100, coming in as the 64th most popular male name in the Netherlands (2019).

Forms and usages in other languages are as follows:

  • Pepyn (Afrikaans, Frisian)
  • Pippin (Alemmanish, English, Estonian, German, Letzburgerish, Swedish)
  • Pepín (Aragonese)
  • Pipí (Catalan)
  • Pepin (Czech, English, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Walloon)
  • Pipin (Danish, English, Finnish, German, Norwegian)
  • Pepijn, Pippijn (Dutch)
  • Pépin (French, Gaelic)
  • Pipino (Italian, Spanish)
  • Pêpenê (Kurdish)
  • Pippinus (Late Latin)
  • Pepinas, Pipinas (Lithuanian)
  • Pepino (Portuguese)

Sources

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

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

Cathasach

Tara_stone

Tara Stone


  • Origin: Irish-Gaelic
  • Meaning: “vigilant.”
  • Gender: Masculine
  • Pronunciation: KATH-e-Sakh

The name is derived from the Gaelic word for “vigilant,” and was a relatively common name in Medieval Ireland. It was borne by a 7th-century Irish king of Ulster. It is sometimes spelled as Cathassach. Today it is very rare but its legacy has been left behind in the surname of Casey (meaning descendant of Cathesach), which is also sometimes used as a unisex given-name in the English-speaking world, though it is not recommended.


Sources

Ciarán, Kieran, Ciar

 

 

Ciaran


  • Origin: Gaelic
  • Meaning: “black”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Pronunciation: KEER-an; KYAIR-en, KEER

Ciarán is a diminutive form of Ciar, which comes directly from the Gaelic word for black.

In Irish legend, Ciar mac Fergus was the son of Fergus mac Róich. He was legendary progenitor of the Ciarraid people who gave their name to County Kerry in Ireland.

The name is borne by two Irish saints who are considered 2 of the 12 Apostles of Ireland, Ciarán the Elder & Ciarán the Younger (5th-century C.E.).

St. Ciarán the Elder was believed to be a contemporary of St. Patrick and he is often lauded as the first native born Irish saint. According to legend, his mother Liadán swallowed a star while pregnant with him and was told by the Druid priests that it meant her child would grow up to be an important man. Scholars debated whether he preceded Patrick in converting to Christianity or even met him or if he was converted by St. Patrick himself and was considered one of his helpers; the latter hypothesis seems to be the most popular.

St. Ciarán the Younger was the founder of the monastery in Clonmacnoise, one of the most important Christian centres in Medieval Ireland.

Other forms include:

  • Kenerin (Breton)
  • Kerne (Breton)
  • Kerrier (Breton)
  • Kyran (Breton)
  • Piran (Cornish)
  • Queranus (Dutch, Latin, German)
  • Keiran (English)
  • Kieran (English, French, Scots)
  • Kieron (English)
  • Queran (English, French, German)
  • Chiarain (French)
  • Kiéran (French)
  • Cirán (Galician)
  • Kiaran (German, Polish)
  • Ciarano (Italian, chyah-RAH-no, Spanish, syah-RAH-no, thyah-RAH-no)
  • Chierano (Italian, kyeh-RAH-no)
  • Ciaranus, Kyaranus (Late Latin)
  • Cieran (Welsh)

In the British Isles, Ciarán was quite popular in the early 2000s. In Northern Ireland, he peaked at #28 in 2000, #58 in 2004 in Scotland and #127 in England & Wales in 1997. In Ireland, it was the same case, peaking at #28 in 2002 and fell off the charts in 2017. Its anglicized form of Kieran currently ranks in the following countries:

  • #380 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #496 (USA, 2018)

Its feminine form is Ciara

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