AlaiaOrigin: Basque
Meaning: “joy; happy”
Gender: Feminine

The name comes directly from the Basque word for “joy; happy.”

It is also the name of a type of surf board and it is the surname of French fashion designer, Azzedine Alaïa.

In the United States, the name has appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 only the last 2 years. It first entered in 2015 and is currently the 615th most popular female name (2016).

In France, the name is sometimes franconized as Alaïa.




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hungarian/Finnish Илона
Hung (EE-loh-naw); Fin (EE-loh-nah); Germ/Pol (ee-LOH-nah)

The name was initially a Hungarian form of Helen, but its usage has spread throughout Eastern Europe and as even appeared north as Finland.

In Finland and Estonian, its etymology has often been traced to the Finnish ilona, the essive of the word, ilo, meaning, “joy.”

In Hungarian, it is a translation of Helen, via the Slavic, Jelena, in Old Hungarian it was Jelona. However, it has been suggested that it may be derived from an old Magyar source of uncertain etymology. The name appears quite often in Hungarian folklore.

Ilona is one of the few Hungarian names that has made a name for itself in other cultures, (no pun intended). It is a common female name in Albania, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, France, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Ukraine, the former Yugoslavian Republics and it is occasionally used in some Spanish-speaking countries.

As of 2011, Ilona was the 37th most popular female name in Finland. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 178 (France, 2009)
  • # 478 (the Netherlands, 2010)

A few notable bearers include Ilona Zrinyi (1643-1703), a national heroine in both Hungary and Croatia, a representative of national freedom for both nations. She is famous for opposing the advances of the Habsburg takeover.

A common Hungarian diminutive is Ilonka.


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Arabic
Meaning: “joy”
Per (fah-RAH); Eng (FAIR-uh)

The name is of Arabic origins but is very popular in Iran and Afghanistan. It is borne by former Empress of Iran, Farah Pahlavi (b. 1938-). She was the first empress to be crowned in Iran since the Arab invasion in the 7th century.

The name was also borne by actress Farrah Fawcett (1947-2009), who claimes that her mother made up the name because it sounded good with her surname.

Currently, Farrah does not rank in the U.S. top 1000, but back in 1977, she was the 177th most popular female name in the United States, which may have been due to current popularity of actress Farrah Fawcett, and also the constant coverage of the Iranian queen of the same name.

As of 2010, Farah was the 56th most popular female name in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 157 (France, 2009)
  • # 244 (Netherlands, 2010)

The name is used throughout the Middle East and Central Asia.

Other forms of the name include, the Azeri: Fereh and Farakh.


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “happiness; joy.”
Eng (luh-TISH-ah)

The name is an English form of the Latin female name, Laetitia, which is derived from laeta meaning, “joy; happiness.”

The name was popularized by an early Christian Spanish saint. In Medieval England, the name was used in the form of Lettice, (sounds like lettuce). After the Reformation, it went out of usage but was revived in the 18th-century in the more elaborate incarnation of Letitia. It remained a very popular name in England and the United States between the 18th-century and the 19th-century, leading to the diminutive offshoot of Lettie, which also appears as an an independent given name in records of the same period.

In Rome, it was the name of a minor goddess of gaiety. In modern Italian, the word survives in the form of letizia (joy) and is also used as a given name. Letizia was also the name of Napoleon Bonaparte’s mother.

Currently, its Portuguese form of Letícia is the 20th most popular female name in Brazil, (2011). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #320 (France, Laëtitia, 2009)
The name is currently borne by Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano (b.1972), the wife of Crown Prince Felipe of Spain.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Levenez (Breton)
  • Letícia (Catalan/Hungarian/Portuguese)
  • Letizia (Corsican/Italian)
  • Lettice (English)
  • Letitia (English)
  • Laëtitia (French)
  • Laetitia (German)
  • Letiţia (Moldovan/Romanian)
  • Letycja (Polish)
  • Leticia (Spanish)
  • Leta (Swiss-German)



Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “joyful” עַלִיזָה

The name comes directly from the Hebrew word meaning “joyful.” It was borne by Aliza Begin (1920-1982), the wife of former Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin.

The name is currently the 823rd most popular female name in the United States.




Gender: Masculine
Origin: Estonian
Meaning: “joy.”

The name is derived from the Livonian element, ilo, meaning “joy.” The name appears in the Chronicle of Henry of Livonia, in the form of the latinized, Ylo. The name was derived in the 19th-century.

It can also be associated with the modern Estonian words, ülev (exalted) and üllas (noble).

Other forms of the name include:


The designated name-day is September 1.