As of 2010, Jeppe was the 44th most popular male name in Denmark.
Dutch (KOH-beh); Eng (KOH-bee)
The name is a Dutch short form of Jacobus, now commonly used as an independent given name.
As of 2008, Kobe was the 18th most popular male name in Belgium, while in the U.S. he ranked in as the 426th most popular male name (2010).
In the case of Kobe Bryant, he was named for the city in Japan after his parents had seen kobe beef advertised on a menu in a restaurant.
Coincidentally, Kobe is also a Swahili male name meaning, “tortoise.”
This weeks International Name Over View will focus on Basque Names.
The Basque are an ethnic group that inhabit the Pyrenees of Northwestern Spain and the bordering region of Southern France. Their language has yet to be categorized, often a topic of hot debate among Linguists. While some theorists have connected Basque from Georgian to Etruscan, the most widely accepted consensus is that Basque is closely related to the now extinct Aquitanian (spoken in France). It is in fact an indigenous European language. That is, it is not related to any of the Indo-European languages. It is considered an Isolate Language and it was most likely spoken in Europe long before the mass migration of the Indos.
Though either French or Spanish citizens, the Basque are fiercely proud of their language and culture. In the last century, there has been a strong push for autonomy. The Basque have fought hard to keep their language alive, most recently fighting oppression during the Franco regime, and are currently experiencing a revival. The Basque language is spoken by approximately 665,800 people. Not a lot, but believe it or not, the Basque and their language have actually left an impact in Spanish and even English.
Some of the more common Spanish surnames seen among Spanish-speakers are actually of Basque and not of Spanish origin. For example: Aldana, Loyola and Zuñiga.
Since the Basque were valuable in shepherding, fishing and mercantilism, a vast population of them immigrated to the Americas, leaving their imprint on modern Hispanic culture.
The country of Chile boasts Basque as their largest European ethnic group. The largest Basque-American population resides in Boise, Idaho. A fair amount of the Mexican population can claim Basque heritage to some extent.
As a result, several place names throughout the Americas are Basque, like Durango (Mexico), Nuevo Santander, (Mexico), Jalapa (Guatemala) and it is even argued that Arizona is derived from the Basque elements, aritz ona meaning “good oak.”
Our very own Xavier, which appears in the U.S. top 100 most popular male names was inspired by a Basque surname. Its usage as a given name was popularized by the notoriety of the Basque saint, Francis Xavier. Another notable Basque Saint is Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus.
One of the ways that the Basque people have expressed their culture is through their first names. The Basque have a unique array of names, one feature that seems unique among them is their usage of place names. Unlike Anglo-phone parents who tend to use place names because of “cuteness” or sonority, the Basque use place names due to religious significance. Basque culture has a strong emphasis on Catholicism, so any place or thing associated with the Virgin Mary is often used as a given name.
For a good idea of what the Basque in Spain are currently naming their children, check out the Top 10 listed below:
Top 10 Male Names in Basque Country, Spain 2008
Top 10 Female Names in the Basque Country, Spain 2008
Mikel, Pablo, Adrián, Iñaki, Sara, María, Ane, Lucía and Paula are all derived from Biblical or saints names.
Aitor (good fathers) is a name taken from Basque folklore, he is believed to have been the first man and the progenitor of the Basque people.
Iker is the vernacular form of Visitación, an unusual Spanish name used in reference to the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of the Visitation). This is the same case with the female Irati, which is a place-name associated with a shrine to the Virgin Mary, which literally means “fern field”; and Uxue taken from the name of a Catholic shrine, but is also associated with the Basque word for dove. Ainhoa is a religious place-name name and even appears in the Spanish Top 100, coming in as the 31st most popular female name in all of Spain. Aitana is a Spanish place-name of unknown meaning. Leyre is the Spanish form of Leire, the name of a place in the Basque country associated with a Catholic monastery.
Nahia is from a Basque word meaning, “wish; desire.”
Unai is an indigenous Basque name with no Spanish or English equivalent, meaning “cowherd.”
Asier is from the Basque hasiera meaning “beginning.”
I have yet to find any information on Aimar, but subsequent searches led me to several notable Basque bearers, so I am assuming that he is Basque too. If anyone has anymore info on him, please step forward 🙂
You might be one of the many Latinas or Americans who claim Basque heritage, or perhaps you are just looking for a cool and different name that is actually legitimate. Below are a list of names I have compiled for the Anglo-phone parent. Basque names that would be easy for an English-speaking child to wear. Enjoy 🙂
Easy to say Basque alternatives to common English names
Instead of Caitlin try Catalin
Instead of Emma try out Ama
Instead of Madison or Madelyn, you might like Maialen or Malen
Like Olivia, try Olaria
Loving Ella, then you might like Elaia (swallow)
Considering Hannah well you just might like Oihana (forest)
Like Nevaeh check out Nerea
Here is a selection of Basque names compatible with English:
Basque Equivalents to Common English Given Names
What are your favorite Basque names? Would you use any of the above?
Eng: (JAKE-ub); (JAMEZ)
Since it is the beginning of the year, I thought I would start doing the most popular names of 2008.
In the United States, Jacob is currently the most popular male name, coming in at # 1 in 2008.
Actually, Jacob has held on to the number 1 spot, for the last decade, since 1999. The lowest that Jacob has ever ranked in U.S. naming history was back in 1967 ranking in at # 353.
Jacob’s rankings in other countries are as follows:
Jacob is a Biblical name of Hebrew origin, borne by an important Jewish patriarch, the meaning of the name is somewhat debated. Though many sources agree that it is derived from the Hebrew עקב (aqab; aqav), which means “to seize by the heel”, “to circumvent” or ” to restrain” and may possibly be a word-play of the Hebrew עקבה (iqqebah; iqqbah) meaning, “heel,” since in the Bible, Jacob was born holding onto the heel of his twin brother Esau. In Hebrew, the act of holding the heel was associated with deception, so the name has been suggested to take on the meaning of “deception.”
Other sources have suggested it to mean “may God protect”, being a derivative of the Hebrew יַעֲקֹבְאֵל (Ya’aqov’el).
In the Bible, Jacob was the younger twin son of Rebekah and Isaac, by deceiving his elder brother Esau into selling his birthright, Jacob received his father’s blessing before Isaac’s death.
Jacob later became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.
His episode of dreaming of a ladder to heaven is called “Jacob’s Ladder” and his wrestling with the angel, after which God gave Jacob the name of Israel ,meaning, “struggles with God” or “God contended.”
The name later appears in the New Testament by several other characters, one of them being the name of the Apostle James, (also known as Jacob since both names are related).
In English, both Jacob and James are derived from the Biblical Greek, Ιακωβος (Iakobos) later being latinized to Iacomus, (from which James is an anglicized a corruption).
James and Jacob have been used in England interchangeably since the Middle Ages, James became a common name in English and Scottish royalty.
Currently, James is the 17th most popular male name in the United States, the highest he has peaked was between 1940 and 1952, coming in at # 1. The lowest he has peaked was at # 19 in 1999 and then again in 2001.
James has never detracted from the U.S. top 20.
In other countries, his rankings are as follows:
The designated name-days for Jacob are December 20 (France), July 25.
Other forms of both names include:
Older Polish forms include: Jakub, Jakób, Jakob, Jakow, Jekub, Jokob, Jokub and Jakusz.
Less common Polish diminutive forms include: Jakuszek, Jakubek, Jakubko, Kusz, Kuszęt, Kubek, (in modern Polish this means “cup” and has fallen out of usage as a diminutive form of Jacob), and Jaksa.
English diminutives of Jacob include: Jack, Jake, Jay, Cobb, Coby and Cubby. Diminutives for James include: Jack, Jamie, Jay, Jeb, Jem, Jemmy, Jim and Jimmy.
A Danish and Dutch diminutive form is Ib and Jeppe, Sjaak and Sjakie are also Dutch diminutives.
Slovene diminutive forms include: Jak, Jakec, Jaki, Jaša, Žak and Žaki.
Jacob has spawned various feminine forms that are worth noting.
There is the French, Jacqueline, (said like JACK-eh-lin), in English, but pronounced as (ZHAHK-e-LEEN) in French.
The name has a long history of usage in the English speaking world and is also used the German-speaking world and is occasionally used in Spanish-speaking countries.
Jacqueline is currently the 152nd most popular name for females in the United States. The highest she ranked was in 1961 coming in as the 37th most popular female name.
For Americans, a notable bearer is former First Lady and fashion trend-setter, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.
A common English diminutive form is Jackie.
Other feminine forms include:
Origin and Meaning: unclear
The name is of uncertain meaning or origin.
It first appeared in a famous ballet entitled Coppélia, which premiered in 1870.
The ballet was based off of a story written by German author, E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822), in which a character by the name of Dr. Coppelius creates a beautiful, life-like, dancing doll which he names Coppélia.
It is highly speculated that the name Coppelius was a latinization of the Yiddish nickname Koppel, (a nickname for Jacob).