Hercules

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek Ἡρακλῆς
Meaning: “glory of Hera.”

Hercules is the Latin form of the Greek, Herakles. Herakles is composed of the Greek elements, Hera (as in the goddess) and cleos (κλεος) meaning, “glory; fame.”

The name was of course borne in Greek mythology by the divine hero, son of Zeus and Alcmene. In a rage of jealousy and to spite Zeus, Hera cursed Hercules into madness, driving him to kill his own children. In order to atone for his sins, Hercules performed twelve seemingly impossible feats, which he successfully accomplished thereafter becoming divine.

Hercules was a popular figure in Ancient Greece and later enjoyed popularity in the Roman Empire. His festival of Heraklea occurred between July and August. Thus the name may make an interesting choice for a child born during these months.

The name remained common even after the introduction of Christianity. It is especially common in Southeastern Europe and Greece.

Irakli, the Georgian form of the name, was borne by two Georgian Kings, the most notable being Irakli II (1720-1798).

As of 2011, Irakli was the 11th most popular male name in the Republic of Georgia.

In the English-speaking world, Hercules had some usage between the 16th and 19th-centuries. Notable bearers include:

  • Hercules Huncks (circ. 1600s) one of the Regicides of King Charles I of England.
  • Hercules Ross (1745-1816) a Scots tradesmen and abolitionist.
  • Hercules Brabazon Sharpe, (1821-1906) a British artist
  • Hercules Robinson, 1st Baron Rosmead, (1824-1897) the 5th governor of Hong Kong.
  • Hercules Linton (1837-1900) a famous Scottish shipbuilder and designer.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Herakliu (Albanian)
  • Gjerakl Геракл (Belarusian)
  • Herakl Херакъл (Bulgarian)
  • Hèracles (Catalan)
  • Hèrcules (Catalan)
  • Heraklo (Croatian)
  • Herkul (Croatian/Macedonian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Héraklés (Czech)
  • Hercule (French)
  • Earcail (Gaelic)
  • Irakli ირაქლი (Georgian)
  • Herakles Ηρακλης (German/Greek/Polish/Scandinavian)
  • Eracle (Italian)
  • Ercole (Italian)
  • Hērakls (Latvian)
  • Heraklis (Lithuanian)
  • Eracles (Occitanian)
  • Éracle (Piedmontese)
  • Héracles (Portuguese)
  • Heracle (Romanian)
  • Gerakl Гера́кл (Russian)
  • Erculi (Sicilian)
  • Heraclio (Spanish)
  • Ercwlff (Welsh)

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.

Nicholas

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “victory of the people.”

Today is St. Nicholas Day! So, I thought, what a perfect opportunity to blog about the name Nicholas and all his myriad variations.

This is an update of a post I wrote three years ago in December. I thought I would rerun it with some updates.

The name is derived from the Greek, Νικόλαος, (Nikolaos), which is composed of the Greek words νικη (níkē), meaning, “victory” and λαὸς (laos), meaning, “people.” λαὸς (laos) could also derive from the Greek root word, λας (-las) as in “λα-τομεῑο“, which means, “stone” “rock”, as in Greek mythology it was believed that all humans were formed from the stones that Deucalion and Pyrrah threw over their shoulders as they were running.

In the post-Christian world, the name Nicholas was popularized through the cult of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Lycia, (the inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus). He was known for his acts of charity toward the poor, the most popular story being that he saved a local poor man’s daughters from lives of prostitution by dropping gold nuggets down the man’s chimney so that the man could pay for his debts instead of selling his daughters.

St. Nicholas is a very popular saint in both the Eastern and Western Churches.

The name was introduced into England in the form of Nicholas, though the sans H version has also its share of usage in the Anglophone world. Nicholas first came into usage in England around the 12th-century and remained common even through the period of the Reformation. Currently, Nicholas is the 42nd most popular male name for boys in the United States, (2011). His rankings in all his various forms in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Nika/Nikoloz(i), Georgia, 2011)
  • # 3 (Nikola, Macedonia, 2006)
  • # 3 (Nikola, Serbia, 2011)
  • # 5 (Nikolay, Bulgaria, 2009)
  • # 5 (Nikolaos, Greece, 2010)
  • # 6 (Nicolás, Argentina, 2009)
  • # 9 (Nicolás, Columbia, 2011)
  • # 9 (Nicolás, Mexico, 2011)
  • # 15 (Nicholas/Nick/Nicholai/Nicoló, Malta, 2011)
  • # 16 (Mikołaj, Poland, 2009)
  • # 22 (Nicolò, Italy, 2010)
  • # 22 (Nicolas, Spain, 2010)
  • # 24 (Niklas, Austria, 2010)
  • # 27 (Nikola, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 29 (Nicolas, Belgium, 2008)
  • # 31 (Nikolaj, Denmark, 2011)
  • # 36 (Australia, NSW, 2011)
  • # 36 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 45 (Nikolai, Norway, 2011)
  • # 51 (Nicolas, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 56 (Nicolas, Austria, 2010)
  • # 69 (Nicolas, France, 2010)
  • # 72 (Miklós, Hungary, 2011)
  • # 75 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 82 (Nikola, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 93 (Niklas, Norway, 2011)
  • # 94 (Nikola, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
  • # 168 (Nicolas, United States, 2011)
  • # 181 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 332 (Nicolaas, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 451 (Nicolas, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 473 (Nikolas, United States, 2011)
  • # 550 (Nickolas, United States, 2011)
  • # 639 (Nikolai, United States, 2011)

Other forms of the name include the following, (divided alphabetically by linguistic origin):

Latinate Forms
Variations used in Latin languages

  • Micolau (Catalan)
  • Nicolau (Catalan/Galician/Occitanian/Portuguese)
  • Niculaiu (Corsican)
  • Nicoty (Brusseler: a French dialect)
  • Colin (French: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name, not to be confused with the Celtic Colin/Collin which has a completely different etymology and pronunciation)
  • Nicolas/Nico (French: diminutive forms are Colas, Coliche, Colineau, Coya, Koni, Nic, Nico and Nikko)
  • Coletto/Colino (Italian: obscure)
  • Niccola/Nicola (Italian: Cola is a diminutive form)
  • Nicolai (Italian)
  • Nicolao (Italian)
  • Niccolò/Niccolo/Nicolò (Italian)
  • Nicoletto (Italian: obscure)
  • Niccolino/Nicolino (Italian: obscure)
  • Nico (Italian/Romanian/Spanish: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Nicolás/Colás (Leonese)
  • Nicu (Leonese/Romanian: originally diminutive forms, used as independent given names)
  • Nicolaus (Late Latin)
  • Nicolinus (Late Latin)
  • Neculai/Nicolae/Niculae (Romanian: diminutive form is Nicoară)
  • Nicușor (Romanian: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Clà/Clau (Romansch)
  • Niclà/Nicolà/Niculin (Romansch)
  • Nigola (Sardinian)
  • Nicolao/Nicolás (Spanish)

Feminine forms ares

  • Nicolaua (Catalan)
  • Colette (French: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Coline (French: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name. The name also coincides with the French word for hill. Diminutive form is Colinette)
  • Nicole (French)
  • Nicolette (French: originally a diminutive form of Nicole, now exclusively used as an independent given name)
  • Nicoline (French)
  • Nicolasa (Galician/Spanish)
  • Nicoletta (Italian)
  • Nicolina (Italian)
  • Nicoleta (Romanian)
  • Nicolina/Niculina (Romanian)
  • Nicoleta/Nicolá (Spanish)

Germanic Forms
Variations used in Germanic based languages

  • Nikolaus (Afrikaans/Old Dutch)
  • Claus/Klaus/Niels (Danish: originally diminutive forms but used as independent given names for centuries)
  • Nicolai/Nikolaus/Nikolaj (Danish)
  • Nilaus/Nis (Danish)
  • Nicolaas/Nikolaas (Dutch)
  • Klaas/Nico/Niek/Niels (Dutch: Originally diminutive forms but have been used as independent given names for centuries)
  • Nicholas/Nicolas (English: diminutive forms include: Cole, Nat, Nick and Nicky)
  • Niklas/Niklái (Faroese)
  • Niklaas (Flemmish)
  • Klaas/Klaes (Frisian)
  • Nickel/Nickels (Frisian)
  • Claus/Claas/Klaas/Klaus/Klas (German: originally diminutive forms but have been used as independent given names for centuries)
  • Nickolaus/Nicolas/Nicolaus/ Niklaus/Nikolaus/Niklas (German)
  • Nico/Niko (German)
  • Neikaulaus (Gothic)
  • Néckel/Kleeschen/Klos (Lexumburgish)
  • Klaos (Limburgish)
  • Nikolaas/Nicolaas (Low Saxon)
  • Nicolai/Nikolai (Norwegian)
  • Niels (Norwegian)
  • Nickel (Plattdeutsch)
  • Michlaus (Swabian)
  • Niclas/Nicklas/Niklas (Swedish)
  • Nels/Nils (Swedish)
  • Klas/Claes (Swedish)
  • Chlaus/Glaus (Swiss-German)

Germanic feminine forms are:

  • Nikoline (Danish)
  • Klasina/Klazina (Dutch)
  • Nicole (Dutch/English/German: a borrowing from the French, very popular in the 1980s in German-speaking countries, English-speaking countries, as well as in the Netherlands and Scandinavia. In 1980, Nicole was the 7th most popular female name in the United States)
  • Nicolet (Dutch: a bastardization of the French, Nicolette)
  • Nicolien/Nicoline (Dutch)
  • Nicola/Nichola (English: a name that was particularly popular in Great Britain in the 70s and 80s, not to be confused with the masculine versions which are separate evolutions. This is pronounced NIK-uh-lah, and is most likely a feminization of the Scottish Nichol)
  • Nikolina (Faroese)
  • Nikólína (Icelandic)

Slavic Forms
Forms used in Slavonic languages

  • Mikalai Мікалай (Belarusian)
  • Nikola(y)/Niklen Никола/Николай/Никлен (Bulgarian: diminutive forms are: Kole, Kolyo, Kolyu and Nikùlitza).
  • Nikola/Niko (Croatian: Nikša and Nikica are diminutive forms)
  • Mikoláš/Mikuláš (Czech: short form is Mikula )
  • Nikola (Macedonian: diminutive forms are Kole and Nikolče nee-KOL-che)
  • Mikołaj (Polish: diminutive forms are Kola, Mikcio, Mik, Mikołajek, Miki, Miko, Mikoś, Mikuś, Misza, Nicz, Niki and Niko)
  • Nikolai Николай (Russian: Kolya and Nikita are diminutive forms)
  • Nikola Никола (Serbian)
  • Mikoláš/Mikuláš (Slovakian)
  • Nikolas (Slovakian)
  • Nikita (Slovakian: a borrowing from the Russian, sometimes used as an independent given name in Slovakia)
  • Miklavž/Niko/Nikolaj (Slovene)
  • Mikławš/Klaws (Sorbian)
  • Mykola Микола/Mykolai Миколай (Ukrainian)

Feminine forms are:

  • Nikoleta/Nikolina Николина/Николета (Bulgarian)
  • Nikolina/Nika/Nina (Croatian)
  • Nikoleta (Czech/Polish/Slovakian)
  • Nikola (Czech/Polish/Slovakian: currently very popular in all three countries)
  • Nikol (Czech/Polish: a corruption of the French, Nicole, and is a relatively recent form in the Czech Republic and Poland and is also rapidly increasing in popularity)
  • Nikolina (Czech/Polish)
  • Mikuláška (Slovakian: obscure)
  • Nika/Nikolaja (Slovene)

Celtic Forms
Forms used in Celtic Countries

  • Nikolaz/Nikolazig (Breton)
  • Nikolas (Cornish)
  • Cóilín (Irish)
  • Nicolás/Nioclás (Irish)
  • Neacel/Nichol/Nicol (Scottish)
  • Niclas (Welsh)

Baltic Forms
Forms used in the Baltic

  • Klaus/Laas/Laus (Estonian)
  • Nigol/Nigulas/Nigul (Estonian)
  • Niilas/Niilo/Niilu (Estonian)
  • Niklas/Nikolai/Niko (Estonian)
  • Nikita (Estonian: a borrowing from the Russian, occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Nil/Nillo/Nilo/Nils/Nilus (Estonian)
  • Launo/Niilo/Niklas/Niko (Finnish)
  • Nikolajs/Niks/Nils (Latvian)
  • Klavs/Niklavs (Latvian)
  • Mikalojus/Mikas/Nikalojus (Lithuanian)
  • Miklay Миклай (Mari)
  • Mikuk Микук (Mari)
  • Mikus Микуш (Mari)
  • Nibá (Saami)
  • Nigá/Nigo (Saami)
  • Nihkke/Nihkko (Saami)
  • Niillas/Nilá/Nillá/Nilsa (Saami)

Feminine forms are:

  • Nikolė (Lithuanian)
  • Nikoleta/Nikoletė (Lithuanian)

Other Forms
Forms used in other languages

  • Nikolla/Nikollë/Koll/Kol (Albanian)
  • Nikolas ኒኮላስ (Amharic/Ethiopian)
  • Nikoghayos Նիկողայոս/Nikoghos o Նիկողոս (Armenian)
  • Nikola (Basque)
  • Mikulay/Mikuҫ Микулай, Микуҫ (Chuvash)
  • Nikolaus/Niqwela/Niqewlawes نيقولاوس (Coptic/Lebanese/Syriac)
  • Niko (Fijian)
  • Nikoloz ნიკოლოზ (Georgian)
  • Nikolaos Νικόλαος/Nikolas Νικόλας/Nikos Νίκος /Nikolis Νικολής (Greek Modern)
  • Niilsi/Niisi (Greenlandic)
  • Nikku/Nikkulaat (Greenlandic)
  • Miklós/Nikola (Hungarian)
  • Nikku/ Nikkii/Nikorasu (Japanese)
  • Nikola (Maltese)

Feminine forms are as follows:

  • Níkē Νίκη/Nikoléta Νικολέτα/Νikolína Νικολίνα (Greek: modern)
  • Nikkuliina/Nikkuliit (Greenlandic)
  • Nikolett (Hungarian)

Lucas, Luke

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “from Lucania.”
Eng (LOOK); Fre IPA (LUYK)

Both names are derived from the Greek, Λουκας (Loucas), which means, “from Lucania”, the name of a region in Italy.

The name was popularized throughout the Christian world due to the fame and renown of St. Luke, a Christian convert, gentile and doctor. He is credited as being the author of the Acts and the third Gospel in the New Testament.

In the English speaking world, Luke has been in usage since the 12th-century, he is currently the 39th most popular male name in the United States, (2011). His latinate form of Lucas is the 29th most popular male name. Their rankings in other countries are as follows:

For Luke/Luc

  • # 1 (Luke, Malta, 2010)
  • # 5 (Luuk, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 9 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 17 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 24 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 33 (Australia, NSW, 2011)
  • # 38 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 50 (Lluc, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 56 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 45 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 99 (Luc, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 249 (Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 253 (Luc, France, 2010)

For Luca(s)

  • # 1 (Luka, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 1 (Luca, Malta, 2010)
  • # 1 (Luka, Serbia, 2011)
  • # 1 (Luka, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 2 (Australia, NSW, 2011)
  • # 2 (France, 2010)
  • # 2 (Luca, German-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 2 (Monaco, 2009)
  • # 2 (Sweden, 2011)
  • # 3 (Belgium, 2008)
  • # 3 (Denmark, 2011)
  • # 3 (Faroe Islands, 2010)
  • # 3 (Luca, French-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 3 (Luka, Georgia, 2011)
  • # 3 (Lucas/Lukas, Germany, 2011)
  • # 3 (Luca(s), Liechtenstein, 2010)
  • # 3 (Lukas, Lithuania, 2011)
  • # 4 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 4 (Lukáš, Czech Republic, 2010)
  • # 4 (Luca, Luxembourg, 2010)
  • # 5 (Lucas, Brazil, 2011)
  • # 5 (Lucas, French-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 5 (Lukáš, Slovakia, 2011)
  • # 6 (Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 9 (Luca, Italian-speaking, Switerland, 2010)
  • # 12 (Luca, Italy, 2009)
  • # 13 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 17 (Norway, 2011)
  • # 19 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 21 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 22 (Luca, Austria, 2010)
  • # 22 (Luca, Belgium, 2008)
  • # 28 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 32 (Luca, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 36 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 38 (Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
  • # 38 (Łukasz, Poland, 2009)
  • # 70 (Luca, England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 79 (Luca, Australia, NSW, 2011)
  • # 79 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 95 (Luka, Belgium, 2008)
  • # 96 (Luca, Scotland, 2010)
  • # 100 (Luca, France, 2010)
  • # 112 (Luka, France, 2010)
  • # 182 (Luka, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 260 (Luca, United States, 2011)
  • # 743 (Luka, United States, 2011)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Luka Лука ლუკა (Albanian/Belarusian/Croatian/Georgian/Macedonian/Old Church Slavonic/Russian/Serbian/Slovene/Ukrainian)
  • GhukasՂուկաս (Armenian)
  • Lucas Лукас لوکا (Belarusian/Dutch/English/Farsi/French/German/Portuguese/Romansch/Scandinavian/Spanish)
  • Lukaz (Breton)
  • Lluc (Catalan)
  • Lukáš (Czech/Slovak)
  • Luuk (Dutch)
  • Luke (English/Dutch)
  • Luuka(s) (Finnish)
  • Luc (French/Galician)
  • Lukas (German/Latvian/Lithuanian/Scandinavian)
  • Loukas Λουκάς (Greek)
  • Lukács (Hungarian)
  • Lúkas (Icelandic)
  • Luca (Italian/Maltese/Romanian/Sardinian)
  • Lucano (Italian: obscure)
  • Luchino (Italian: obscure)
  • Luchetto (Italian: obscure)
  • Lucone (Italian: obscure)
  • Lúcás (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Luch (Piedmontese)
  • Łukasz (Polish)
  • Lücha (Romansch)
  • Łuca (Venetian)
  • Luk (Walon)

An Italian feminine form is Luchina.

In English, Lucky is occasionally used as a pet form.

Sources

  1. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Luke
  2. http://www.behindthename.com/php/find.php?name=luke
  3. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/luke?view=uk
  4. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Luke
  5. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/specials/babiesnames_boys.asp
  6. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=76

Gabriel, Gabriella

Origin: Hebrew גַבְרִיאֵל  Γαβριηλ
Meaning: “strong man of God.”
Eng (GABE-ree-el); (gah-bree-EL-ah); Fre (gah-bree-EL); Germ (GAHP-ree-el); Pol (GAHP-ryel)

The name is derived from the Biblical Hebrew, גַבְרִיאֵל (Gavri-el) meaning, “strong man of God.”

In Judeo-Christian religions, it is the name of a powerful archangel, who is often viewed as a messenger of God. He appears several times in the Old and New Testaments.

Among Christians, one of his most important messages was relayed to the Virgin Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus. Islamic tradition also believes the same, and in Islam, it was the angel Gabriel who revealed the Qu’ran, (through God), to Mohammed.

In Mormon theology, Gabriel is believed to be the embodiment of Noah in the afterlife.

Gabriel is a fairly common name among Christians, Jews and Muslims, making him an extremely cross-cultural portable name.

Currently, in the United States, his popularity has been rising. He is the 24th most popular male name, (2011). In other countries, his rankings in all his various forms are as follows:

  • # 2 (Gabriel(e), Liechtenstein, 2010)
  • # 3 (Brazil, 2011)
  • # 4 (Romania, 2009)
  • # 6 (Gabriele, Italy, 2009)
  • # 7 (France, 2010)
  • # 9 (Quebec, Canada, 2011)
  • # 19 (Croatia, 2009)
  • # 26 (Belgium, 2008)
  • # 28 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 28 (Mexico, 2010)
  • # 29 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 35 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 40 (Poland, 2009)
  • # 47 (Sweden, 2011)
  • # 48 (Norway, 2011)
  • # 52 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 78 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 95 (Australia, NSW, 2011)
  • # 124 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 189 (Djibril, France, 2010)
  • # 313 (Jibril, France, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Jibrail/Jibrīl جبرائيل ጂብሪል (Arabic/Ethiopian)
  • Gabriel გაბრიელი ገብርኤል
    (Armenian/Catalan/Coptic/Czech/Danish/English/Ethiopian/Finnish/French/Georgian/German/Norwegian/Polish/Portuguese/Romanian/Romansch/Spanish/Swedish)
  • Gavrik (Armenian)
  • Cəbrayıl/Cibril (Azeri)
  • Gawryil Гаўрыіл (Belarusian)
  • Džibril/Džebrail (Bosnian)
  • Gavrail Гавраил (Bulgarian)
  • Zheberejil Жәбірейіл (Central Asian)
  • Gabrijel (Croatian/Maltese/Serbian)
  • Gabriël (Dutch)
  • Gaabriel (Estonian)
  • Gabrel (Ethiopian)
  • Kaapo/Kaapro (Finnish)
  • Gabriél Γαβριήλ (Greek)
  • Gavril Γαβριηλ (Greek)
  • Gavriel גַּבְרִיאֵל (Hebrew)
  • Gábriel (Hungarian)
  • Gábor (Hungarian)
  • Gabríel (Icelandic)
  • Jibril (Indonesian)
  • Gaibriéil (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Gabo/Gabbo (Italian)
  • Gabriele (Italian: more common form)
  • Gabriellino (Italian)
  • Gabriello (Italian)
  • Gabrio (Italian)
  • Cibrayîl (Kurdish)
  • Gabrielus (Latin)
  • Gabriels (Latvian)
  • Gabrielius (Lithuanian)
  • Jibrail (Malaysian)
  • Gavriilu Гаврїилъ (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Khabbriele (Puglian)
  • Gabin (Provençal)
  • Gavril Гавриил (Romanian/Russian)
  • Crabiele/Gabilele/Gabriello (Sardinian)
  • Cabbrieli (Sicilian)
  • Gabri’el ܠܒܪܝܐܝܠ (Syrian)
  • Gebrael (Syrian)
  • Cebrâîl (Turkish)
  • Gavrel גַאבְֿרֶעל (Yiddish)

English short form is Gabe.

Its feminine form of Gabriella/Gabriela is also rising in popularity. Currently, Gabriella is the 34th most popular female name in the United States, (2011). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 3 (Gabriela, Bulgaria, 2009)
  • # 5 (Gabrielė, Lithuania, 2011)
  • # 5 (Gabrielle, Philippines, 2011)
  • # 7 (Gabriela, Columbia, 2011)
  • # 8 (Gabriela, Romania, 2009)
  • # 9 (Gabriela, Puerto Rico, 2011)
  • # 10 (Gabriela, Brazil, 2010)
  • # 13 (Gabriela, Poland, Warsaw, 2010)
  • # 19 (Gabriela, Poland, 2009)
  • # 28 (Gabrijela, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 30 (Gabriela, Mexico, 2010)
  • # 30 (Gabrielly, Brazil, 2010)
  • # 36 (Gabriela, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 38 (Gabriela, Chile, 2010)
  • # 64 (Australia, NSW, 2011)
  • # 64 (Gabriela, Spain, 2010)
  • # 67 (Gabrielle, France, 2010)
  • # 72 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 94 (Gabrielle, Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 119 (Gabrielle, United States, 2011)
  • # 466 (France, 2010)

Other feminine forms include:

  • Gebre’elwa ገብርኤሏ (Amharic/Ethiopian)
  • Gabriela (Bulgarian/Croatian/Czech/German/Polish/Portuguese/Romanian/Scandinavian/Slovak/Spanish)
  • Brielle (Cajun: abbreviated form of Gabrielle)
  • Gabrijela (Croatian/Serbian)
  • Gabriëlle (Dutch)
  • Briella/Briela (English)
  • Gabrielle (French/English)
  • Gabria (Italian)
  • Gabrielina (Italian)
  • Gabriella (Italian/English/Hungarian/Scandinavian: more common form in Italy)
  • Gabrielė (Lithuanian)
  • Gavriila Гавриила (Russian)

Czech diminutives are: Gába, Gabika, Gábina, Gabrina and Gabby.

A Polish diminutive is Gabrysia (gah-BRIH-shah).

English short forms are: Gabby and Ella.

Designated name-days are: February 10/27 (Poland), February 19 (Sweden), March 24 (Czech/Finland/Poland/Slovakia/Sweden), September 29 (France/Germany), December 12 (Hungary)

Raphael

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew רָפָאֵל Ραφαηλ
Meaning: “God is healer.”
Fre (ra-fa-EL); Eng (RAF-ee-el; RAY-fee-əl)

The name is found in Judeo-Christian and Islamic legend as the name of a major archangel. In the Bible, he is mentioned in the Book of Tobit, which is considered canonical in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican tradition. Due to Raphael’s deliverance of Sarah from the demon Asmodeus (who killed every husband she married before consumation), Raphael has been invoked as a matchmaker by Catholics.

Raphael also appears in the non-canonical Book of Enoch in which he is responsible for binding the fallen angel Azazel

In Islamic tradition, he is known as Israfel/Israfil and it is believed that he will blow the trumpet on Judgement Day.

It is interesting to note that the modern Hebrew word for a medical doctor is  דוֹקטוֹר (rophe), compare to the first element of Raphael.

Raphael is currently a trend across Europe, in France, Raphaël is the 11th most popular male name, (2010). His rankings in his various forms are as follows:

  • # 3 (Liechtenstein, 2010)
  • # 11 (Rafael, Brazil, 2010)
  • # 17 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 40 (Rafał, Warsaw, Poland, 2010)
  • # 48 (Rafał, Poland, 2009)
  • # 50 (German-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 54 (Raphaël, Belgium, 2008)
  • # 55 (Rafael, Spain, 2010)
  • # 56 (Rafael, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 63 (Rafael, France, 2010)
  • # 189 (Rafaël, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 274 (Rafael, United States, 2011)
  • # 668 (United States, 2011)

Its feminine form of Rafaela is currently the 8th most popular female name in Brazil, (2010), while the French form of Raphaëlle ranked in as the 273rd most popular female name in France, (2010).

Other forms of the masculine include:

  • Rafael (Albanian/Armenian/Catalan/Croatian/Czech/Finnish/Hungarian/Portuguese/Romanian/Romansch/Scandinavian/Slovene/Spanish)
  • Raphel ሩፋኤል (Amharic/Ethiopian)
  • Rupha(e)l ራፋኤል (Amharic/Ethiopian)
  • Israfil اسرافيل, Исрафил (Arabic/Central Asian: used among Muslims)
  • Rapael რაფაელ (Armenian/Georgian)
  • Rafail Рафаил Ραφαήλ (Bulgarian/Greek/Macedonian/RomanianRussian/Serbian)
  • Rafel (Catalan)
  • Raphael (Coptic/English/German)
  • Rafaël (Dutch)
  • Raafael (Estonian)
  • Raphaël (French)
  • Raiféal (Gaelic)
  • Raffaele (Italian)
  • Raffaello (Italian)
  • Raffaelino (Italian)
  • Îsrafîl (Kurdish)
  • Rafla (Lebanese/Syrian: used among Christians)
  • Rafaelis (Lithuanian)
  • Rapolas (Lithuanian)
  • Rafel (Maltese)
  • Rafał (Polish)
  • Arrafieli (Sardinian)
  • Rafiele (Sardinian)
  • İsrafil (Turkish)
  • Rafayil Рафаї́л (Ukrainian)
Common diminiutives are: Raf (Dutch); Rafe (English); Ralph (English); Rafinha (Brazilian-Portuguese); Rafa (Spanish).
Feminine forms include:
  • Rafaela (Croatian/Macedonian/Portuguese/Romansch/Slovene/Spanish)
  • Raphaëlle (French)
  • Raphaela (German)
  • Raphaele (German)
  • Raffaella (Italian)
  • Raffaellina (Italian)
The name was also notably borne by Raphael, or Raffaello Sanzio (1483–1520), an Italian master painter.

Philomena

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: debated
Eng (FIL-uh-MEE-nah); It (FEE-lo-MAY-nah); Fre (fee-loh-MEN)

The name is of debated meaning, though most definitely of Greek origin. It first came to the spotlight in the 19th-century when an excavation of a tomb in Rome on the Via Salerna revealed the remains of an early Christian martyr.

Some sources believe it is composed of the Greek elements, philo, meaning, “lover” and menos, meaning ,”strength.”

Others believe that it may be derived from the Greek word, philomene, meaning, “loved.” While others contend that it is a mixture of the Greek, philo (lover) and of the Latin, lumen, meaning, “light.”

When the tomb of St. Philomena was first discovered, the name was spelled Philumina, hence the reason why it is sometimes believed to mean “lover of light,” vs “lover of strength” or “loved.”

The story behind the saint is both interesting and controversial. In 1802 a tomb was discovered bearing the remains of a thirteen year old girl, her name, and symbols on the tomb indicating that she died a martyr.

There was virtually nothing known of her story. The saint’s relics were catalogued and put in storage in the Vatican archives till, in 1805, a priest from Mugnano Sicily ran into the relics while visiting the archives. He was suddenly struck with a weird sensation when he encountered the bones and requested that he take the bones back to his parish in Mugnano to enshrine them. After taking the relics back to his village, reports of miraculous cures of cancer and other diseases became attributed to the bones of the saint.

A young French woman who was stricken with a horrible cancer, by the name of Venerable Pauline Jaricot, in a desperate last attempt, made a pilgramage to the saint’s shrine. After visiting the bones of the saint, Jaricot was miraculously cured and lived to an old age.

The controversy comes in here: a nun by the name of Sister Maria Luisa di Gesù, claimed she had a dream concerning the saint’s life.

According to her dream, Philomena was a girl of Greek nobility. Her parents took her on a business trip to Rome and while there, they were invited to one of the Emperor Diocletian’s lavish parties. There the young girl caught the attention of the greedy old emperor. Diocletian was known for his persecutions of the Christians and when he asked for Philomena’s hand in marriage, the girl refused, stating that she was a Christian and would not marry such a horrible man.

Philomena was sentenced to death and the nun claimed that in her dream she saw the saint with an anchor tied around her neck and before being thrown into the Tiber.

According to some sources, the saint was removed from the Calender after Vatican II, which lead to a huge misunderstanding that the Church no longer recognized her veneration. The Church still recognizes her cult as a saint, it was confirmed however, that the Church could never prove if she ever really existed. For more information of this strange tale, you can read the story here: http://www.philomena.us/.

I will not go into many more details of the story of the illusive saint, but I would like to point out that on the above website, there is an animated gallery of some really cool renditions of the saint. She is the only saint whose life is unknown yet who was canonized based on the numerous miracles attributed to her bones.

On some calenders, her feast is celebrated on July 5th, while others, September 9th.

The name is very popular in Southern Italy and Sicily where the name is rendered as Filumena. In France, her cause was imported, thanks to the devotion of St. John Vianney and there she was known as Philomène (FEE-loh-MEHN). In the 50s, the name was somewhat popular in Ireland.

As of 2010, Philomène was the 449th most popular female name in France.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Philomena (English)
  • Philomène (French)
  • Philoumène (French)
  • Filoména (Hungarian/Slovakian)
  • Filena (Italian)
  • Filomena (Italian/Polish/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Filumena (Latin/Neopolitan)

A masculine Italian form is, Filomeno.

Ambrose

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “immortal.”
Eng (AM-broze); Fre (ahm-BWAHZ)

Ambrose is an English version of the Late Latin, Ambrosius, which is a form of the Greek male name Αμβροσιος (Ambrosios), meaning, “immortal.”

The name was borne by a 4th-century Christian saint, a contemporary of St. Augustine of Hippo. He is considered a Doctor of the Church and the patron saint of Milan.

As of 2010, its French form of Ambroise was the 391st most popular male name in France.

The designated name-day is December 7.

There is a feminine version as well, Ambrosia, and in Greek mythology, it is borne by the daughter of Atlas and Pleione. It was also the name of the food of the gods eaten on Mount Olympos.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ambrozi (Albanian)
  • Ambrosiu (Asturian)
  • Anbortsi (Basque)
  • Ambroaz (Breton)
  • Amvrosij Амвросий (Bulgarian/Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Ambròs (Catalan)
  • Ambrosgiu (Corsican)
  • Ambrozije (Croatian)
  • Ambrož (Czech/Slovene)
  • Ambroos (Dutch)
  • Broos (Dutch/Limburgish)
  • Ambroise (French)
  • Ambros (German/Romansch)
  • Ambrosios Αμβροσιος (Greek)
  • אמברוזיוס Ambrwzyws (Hebrew)
  • Ambrus (Hungarian)
  • Ambrósíus (Icelandic)
  • Ambróis (Irish)
  • Bosone (Italian: obscure)
  • Ambrogio/Ambrogino (Italian: more common forms)
  • Ambrosino (Italian: obscure)
  • Ambrosi (Kiswahili)
  • Ambrosius (Late Latin/Danish/Dutch/Finnish/German/Estonian/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Ambrozijs (Latvian)
  • Ambraziejus (Lithuanian)
  • Ambroeus (Lombard)
  • Ambroży (Polish)
  • Ambrósio (Portuguese)
  • Ambrozie (Romanian)
  • Ambrosi(Romansch)
  • Ambròsu (Sardinian)
  • Ambroggiu (Sicilian)
  • Ambróz (Slovakian)
  • Ambrosio (Spanish/Galician/Italian/Venetian)
  • Emrys (Welsh)

Feminine forms include:

  • Ambroisine/Ambrosine (French)
  • Ambrogia/Ambrogina (Italian)
  • Ambrosina (Italian)
  • Ambrosia (Greek/Italian)
  • Ambrozja (Polish)
  • Ambrozija (Slovene)

Nola

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Gaelic
(NOH-lah)

The name is a contracted form of Fionnuala but has been used as an indepedent given name since at least the 19th-century.

In recent years, it may also be bestowed in reference to New Orleans, Louisiana, which is often abbreviated to NOLA by local.

The highest Nola ever ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1894 when it was the 294th most popular female name.

As of 2010, she was the 491st most popular female name in France, while in 2011, she was the 886th most popular female name in the United States.

Nola is also the name of a few cities and of a genus of moth.

The Gaelic spelling is Nuala.

Virgil

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: unknown
Eng (VUR-jəl); Fre (vare-ZHEEL)

The name was borne by famous Latin poet, Publius Vergilius Maro (70–19 BCE), the author of the Aenead, credited for being one of Rome’s most epic poems.

Dante used Virgil as the guide in his Inferno and part of Purgatorio.

The origins of the name are unclear, Virgil itself is derived from the Latin, Virgilius/Vergilius, a Roman family name of uncertain meaning.

At one time, Virgil was one of the most popular male names in the United States. The highest he ranked was in 1907 coming in as the 93rd most popular male name. As of 2010, Virgil no longer appears in the U.S. top 1000

As of 2009, its French counterpart of Virgile was the 333rd most popular male name in France.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Virgiliu (Albanian/Romanian/Sicilian)
  • Virchilio (Aragonese)
  • Virxiliu (Asturian)
  • Virgili (Catalan/Lombard/Occitanian)
  • Virgilije Вергилиј (Croatian/Macedonian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Virgilius (Dutch/Latin)
  • Vergil (English/German/Plattdeutsch/Ripoarisch/Scandinavian)
  • Virgil (English/Romanian)
  • Vergíliu (Extramaduran)
  • Virgile (French)
  • Virgjili (Frulian)
  • Feirgil/Veirgil (Gaelic)
  • Virxilio (Galician)
  • Virgill (Icelandic)
  • Virgilio (Italian/Spanish)
  • Vergilius (Latin)
  • Vergīlijs (Latvian)
  • Virgilijus (Lithuanian)
  • Virġilju (Maltese)
  • Bergílio (Mirandese)
  • Wergiliusz (Polish)
  • Virgílio (Portuguese)
  • Vergėlėjos (Samogaitian)
  • Vergílius (Slovak)
  • Fyrsil (Welsh)
The name was also borne by an 8th-century Irish saint and missionary, Virgil of Salzburg.