Evander

Evander

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “good man”
Gender: Masculine
(ee-VAN-der)

The name is composed of the Greek elements, Greek ευ (eu) meaning “good” and ανηρ (aner, genetive) “man.” It was borne in Roman Mythology by an Arcadian hero who is credited for founding the city of Pallatium and also introducing the alphabet, the Greek religion and laws to the Italian peninsula. It was also borne by a 2nd-3rd-century BCE Greek Philosopher and 1st-Century CE Greek Sculptor.

In Scotland, Evander was adopted as the anglicized form of the Gaelic male name, Iomhair (EE-vor), though an English form (Ivor) already existed and neither Evander or Ivor are really related.

A notable contemporary bearer is American boxer, Evander Holyfield (b.1962).

In the United States, the name only made an appearance in the U.S. Top 1000 one time in 1895, coming in as the 872nd most popular male name.

Short forms include: Evan, Van, and Vandy.

Other forms include:

  • Evandre (Catalan)
  • Evànder (Catalan)
  • Evander (Danish/Dutch/German/English/Hungarian/Norwegian/Portuguese/Swedish)
  • Évandre (French)
  • Euandros (Original Greek form)
  • Evandro (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Euander (Latin)
  • Evandrus (Latin)
  • Ewander (Polish)

A feminine form is Evandra.
Sources

Nova

NovaOrigin: Latin
Meaning: “new”
Gender: Feminine
(NOH-vah)

The name comes directly from the Latin word nova (new). As a given-name, it has been used in Scandinavia, Hungary, France, Quebec, and England since at least the 18th-century. It became even more widespread in the 19th-century. Its use as a given-name in Scandinavia may have been kicked off by Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) when he first described the various types of stars known as novas.

Several baby name sites have listed this name as unisex, though possible, I cannot find any historical records indicating this name was ever used on males. Perhaps this confusion stems from its similarity to the male name Noah.

Nova also occurs as a place name of numerous locations throughout the Western World.

In the United States, the name entered the U.S. Top 1000 in 2011 and has risen exponentially since. As of 2016, Nova was the 136th most popular female name, jumping several hundred spots since its inception in 2011 when it was the 886th most popular female name. In the Netherlands and Sweden, it is among the most popular female names, ranking in at #23 (Netherlands, 2017) and #31 (Sweden 2017).

In the UK, Nova was the 400th most popular female name (2016).

Other forms include:

  • Noova (Greenladic)
  • Nowa (Swedish)

Sources

Sharbel, Charbel

Sharbel, CharbelOrigin: Aramaic
Meaning: uncertain
Gender: Masculine
(shar-BEL)

A traditional Aramaic male name, many sources erroneously list this name as Arabic. Its meaning is illusive, but what is known is that the second element of the name is either from the Aramaic el (God) or Ba’al, meaning “master; lord.”

This is a very common name among Assyrian Christians as it was borne by an early Christian martyr and saint of Syria (known to Western Christians as St. Sarbelius). St. Sarbelius was martyred under the Roman Emperor Trajan.

In the 19th-century, the name was borne by a Lebanese mystic and monk, St. Charbel Makhlouf (1828-1898).

The name is sometimes transliterated as Šarbel or Šarbil.

Since this is the name of a saint venerated among Roman Catholics and Eastern Christians, there are equivalents that appear on several Christian calendars across the world, however, the following names are not necessarily in common use in said languages:

  • Xàrbel (Catalan)
  • Šarbel (Croatian/Czech)
  • Charbel (French, used among French-speakers of Lebanese or Assyrian descent)
  • Scharbel (German)
  • Sarbelius (Latin)
  • Chárbel (Spanish, used among Spanish-speakers of Lebanese descent, especially in Mexico where there is a large Lebanese-Mexican community)
  • Szarbel (Polish: not in use, but appears on the Catholic Saint calendar)

Sources

Harmonia, Harmony

HarmonyOrigin: Greek
Meaning: “harmony”
Gender: Feminine

Harmonia was the name of the Greek goddess of peace and harmony, her Roman counterpart being Concordia.

Harmonia was also the name of a minor in nymph in Greek mythology.

In history, Harmonia was the name of the daughter of Gelo, a 3rd-century Sicilian king. Their story is rather unpleasant to say the least, after her family was slaughtered by their angry subjects, a faithful girl chose to stand in Harmonia’s place and was slaughtered as a result. Harmonia felt so guilty about someone else sacrificing their life for her that she ultimately killed herself.

Harmonia is also the name of a plant species, a species of beetle and butterfly.

Its English counterpart of Harmony has been in use since the 18th-century, being popularized among the Puritans.

Harmony has been in the U.S. top 1000 since 2000 and has steadily risen since then. As of 2016, it was the 191st most popular female name. It is also currently #369 in England & Wales, 2016. Between 2005 and 2010, it was among the top 100 most popular female names in New Zealand, peaking at #70 in 2006.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Harmonia (Catalan/Czech/Dutch/Greek/Hungarian/Polish/Portuguese/Romanian)
  • Harmonie (French)
  • Harmonía/Armonía (Spanish)
  • Armonia (Italian)

Sources

Latin Words That Would Make Awesome Baby Names

Roman Names

I meant to publish this several weeks ago, but never got around it. Here is a list of lovely Latin names that would make awesome female names. What do you think? Would you use any of these?

  • Abellana (hazelnut)
  • Acerra: name of a type of small box that held incense for sacrifices
  • Aerizusa: name of a kind of precious stone, speculated to pertain to “turquoise”
  • Aeruca “verdigris”
  • Aethra: “the upper, pure air; the bright, clear, serene sky; the air, heavens, sky”
  • Alauda “lark”
  • Albuelis: name of a kind of vine
  • Alica: a form of wheat, grits or a type of drink produced from the aformentioned wheat.
  • Alicula: a short tunic with a cape
  • Alsine: “chickweed”
  • Anima “soul”
  • Apella “small bee”
  • Aqua “water”
  • Ara “altar; sanctuary”
  • Aranea “spider; spider web”
  • Ardissa: name of an unknown type of plant
  • Arianis: name of a type of wild plant that grew in what is now Afghanistan
  • Arinca: a kind of grain
  • Aris: name of a plant in the arum family
  • Arista “ear of grain; harvest; summer”
  • Atrusca: name of a kind of grape
  • Auraria “goldmine; female goldsmith”
  • Aurata “golden; gilded; sea bream”
  • Avena “wild oat”
  • Avicella/Avicula “little bird”
  • Avis “bird”
  • Bacalia: name of a type of laurel with berries
  • Banderia “banner; flag”
  • Barneca “barnacle goose”
  • Bellatrix “warrior woman”
  • Bellis “daisy”
  • Berula “watercress”
  • Betula “birch”
  • Bolis: a term for a meteor shaped like an arrow
  • Boria: name of a kind of jasper
  • Brassica “cabbage”
  • Bria “winecup”
  • Brisa “refuse of grapes after pressing”
  • Brontea “thunderstone; precious stone”
  • Bruma “winter solstice; winter cold”
  • Bryonia “bryony”
  • Bucardia: name of a type of precious stone
  • Cacalia “coltsfoot plant”
  • Cadmitis: name of a type of precious stone
  • Caesura “a pause in a verse”
  • Cala “burning log”
  • Calabrix: name of a shrub speculated to be the buckthorn
  • Caliditas “warmth; heat”
  • Callais: name of a precious stone that was green, perhaps the turqoise
  • Callis “path”
  • Caltha “marigold”
  • Camella “wine-goblet”
  • Campana “bell”
  • Canna “reed”
  • Cantatio “charm; spell; music; song”
  • Cantilena “old song; gossip; oft-repeated saying”
  • Cantio “song”
  • Cantrix “songstress”
  • Cappella “cloak; chapel”
  • Caprea “roe deer; wild female goat”
  • Carex “reedgrass; rushes”
  • Carica: name of a type of fig
  • Carissa “artful woman”
  • Cassia “cinnamon”
  • Cassita “crested lark”
  • Castanea “chestnut”
  • Cathedra “ceremonial chair”
  • Cedrus “cedar”
  • Cembra “Swiss pine”
  • Ceraunia: name of a light blue gemstone
  • Cerceris: name of a type of bird, exact translation has been lost in history
  • Ceresia “cherry”
  • Chara: name of a type of root plant, exact translation has been lost in history
  • Chelidonia “celandine swallow”
  • Chelys “tortoise”
  • Chilias “the number one thousand”
  • Cicindela “firefly”
  • Ciconia “stork”
  • Cidaris “diadem; tiara”
  • Cifra “zero”
  • Cinis “cold ashes”
  • Cinnabaris “dragon’s blood; cinnabar”
  • Cynira “10-stringed lyre”
  • Codia “head of the poppy”
  • Coris “hypericon plant”
  • Dabla “Arabian date palm”
  • Damalio “calf”
  • Damma “fallow deer”
  • Dammula “small deer”
  • Dextra “right hand”
  • Docis: meteor in the form of a beam
  • Dolba “caterpiller”
  • Dos “gift; dowry; endowment”
  • Dracaena “she-dragon”
  • Dracontia: name of a precious stone allegedly found in serpent heads
  • Dravoca “darnel grass”
  • Eclipsis “solar eclipse”
  • Emys: name of a type of tortoise
  • Equa “mare”
  • Erice “heath
  • Fabella “story; play”
  • Fera “wild animal; beast”
  • Feria “festival; holiday”
  • Ferula “fennel”
  • Filiola “young daughter”
  • Filix “fern”
  • Fulica “waterfowl”
  • Galbina: name of a type of small bird
  • Gallina “hen”
  • Gavia: name of a type of bird
  • Gelela “bitter apple”
  • Gemmula “small plant; small gem”
  • Genista “broom plant”
  • Glena “a bundle of ears of grain”
  • Glis “dormouse”
  • Hadra “stone”
  • Harena “sand”
  • Helix “ivy; willow”
  • Iberis “cress”
  • Ilex “holm oak”
  • Irio: name of a type of plant
  • Isatis “woad”
  • Lada: name of a type of shrub
  • Lanterna “torch; lantern”
  • Lapsana: name of a type of plant similar to mustard
  • Larix “larch”
  • Laurea “laurel tree”
  • Laus “praise; glory”
  • Lautitia “elegance; splendour”
  • Leaena “lioness”
  • Leros: name of a kind of precious stone
  • Lex “law”
  • Lexis “word”
  • Libellula “dragonfly”
  • Libra “a pound; balance; scale”
  • Loba “nightshade”
  • Luella “atonement”
  • Luma “thorn”
  • Lunula: moon-shaped ornament
  • Lutra “otter”
  • Lux “light”
  • Lychnis: name of a type of rose or precious stone
  • Macaerinthe “rosemary”
  • Maena “a small sea-fish”
  • Magia “magic; sorcery”
  • Martes “marten”
  • Mataxa “silk”
  • Meles “badger”
  • Mellilla “sweetheart”
  • Mellinia “sweetness”
  • Melongena “aubergine”
  • Merenda “taste” also a small evening meal
  • Merula “blackbird”
  • Musica “music”
  • Nabla: name of a type of lyre
  • Narita: name of a type of sea-snail
  • Natula “little daughter”
  • Natura “nature”
  • Nebula “cloud; fog”
  • Nepa “scorpion; crab”
  • Nitela “brightness; splendour”
  • Nix “snow”
  • Noticula “moon; candle; lamp; lantern”
  • Noctua “owl”
  • Nodia: name of a type of plant
  • Nox “night”
  • Nubes “stormcloud”
  • Nubicula “little cloud”
  • Nux “tree-nut”
  • Olea “olive”
  • Olla “pot; jar”
  • Olyra “spelt”
  • Ombria: name of a precious stone
  • Ononis “restharrow” a type of shrub”
  • Palara: name of a type of bird
  • Pandia: name of a precious stone
  • Penna “feather”
  • Persica “walnut; peach”
  • Phalaena “moth”
  • Pluvia “rain”
  • Poetria “poem; poesy; poetess”
  • Porphirio: name of a type of bird “purple swampen.”
  • Principissa “princess”
  • Quiescentia “quiet; rest”
  • Rana “frog”
  • Rhodora: name of a type of plant
  • Rica “veil”
  • Rubecula “robin”
  • Rubia “red dye; madder”
  • Rubrica “red ochre; rubric”
  • Runa “dart; javelin”
  • Sacristia “vestry”
  • Saeta “silk; bristle”
  • Saga “sage; fortune-teller”
  • Sagitta “arrow”
  • Salina “salt”
  • Saliunca “nard-tree”
  • Salix “willow”
  • Salvia “sage-plant”
  • Samara: name of a plant
  • Sambuca: name of a type of harp
  • Sampsa: “olive pomace”
  • Sapphirus “sapphire”
  • Sarissa: name of a type of pike or weapon
  • Satureia “savory herb”
  • Seris: name of a type of Chicory
  • Seselis “saxifrage”
  • Sitella “voting urn”
  • Sozusa “artemisia plant”
  • Sphaera “globe; sphere”
  • Spica “ear of grain”
  • Spuma “foam”
  • Stiria “icicle”
  • Taeda “pinewood; torch”
  • Taleola “small shoot”
  • Talpa “mole (animal)”
  • Talpona: name of a type of vine
  • Tamarix “tamarisk”
  • Tarrupia: name of a type of grape
  • Tela “web; loom”
  • Telis “fenugreek”
  • Terra “earth; soil; world”
  • Thymbra “savory”
  • Tiara “turban; ornamental headdress”
  • Tilia “linden tree”
  • Tisana “pearl barley”
  • Umbra “shadow; ghost”
  • Unda “wave”
  • Uria: name of a type of seabird
  • Ursa “female bear”
  • Urtica “stinging nettle”
  • Vallis “valley”
  • Venia “indulgence; kindness; grace; mercy”
  • Verbena “herb”
  • Virga “twig; magical wand”
  • Vox “voice; accent”
  • Zea “emmer wheat; rosemary”
  • Zeta: the Letter Z
  • Zmintha: name of a type of mint
  • Zona “belt; girdle”
  • Zura “seed; Christ’s Thorn (type of plant)”

Ancient Roman Place Names

  • Adrana: from the Latin name for the Eder River in Germany
  • Aleria: name of a city in Corsica
  • Allia: name of a river in Latium
  • Alsa: Latin name for the Ausa River in Venetia
  • Alyzia: name of a town in Ancient Greece
  • Ameria: name of an ancient city in Umbria
  • Ancyra: Latin name for Ankara, Turkey
  • Aprusia: name of a small river in Umbria
  • Avara: Latin name for the Yèvre river in France
  • Aveia: name of a city near L’Aquila, Italy
  • Brixia: Latin name for Brescia
  • Caralis: Latin name for Cagliari
  • Calauria: name of an island of the Saronic golf
  • Caledonia: Latin name for Scotland
  • Calela: name of a town in Apulia
  • Caletra: name of an Etruscan city
  • Edeta: name of a city in what is now Spain
  • Hibernia “Ireland”
  • Letoia: name of an island in the Ionian sea mentioned by Pliny
  • Lutetia: ancient name for Paris
  • Narnia: Latin name for Narni, Italy
  • Nebrissa: name of a town in what is now Spain
  • Noeta: name of a town in what is now Spain
  • Priene: name of a town in Greece
  • Prinoessa: name of an island on the Ionian sea
  • Robrica: name of a town in what is now Belgium
  • Rura: Latin name for the River Ruhr in Germany
  • Saba: Latin name for Sheba
  • Sabaria: name of a town in Pannonia
  • Sabora: name of a town in what is now Andalusia
  • Sabrata: name of a town in North Africa
  • Sabrina: Latin name for the Severn river
  • Samara: Latin name for the river Somme
  • Samaria: Ancient city in the West Bank
  • Samarobriva: Latin name for Amiens
  • Sicoris: Latin name for the Segre river in Spain
  • Silana: name of a town in Greece
  • Silpia: name of a town in Spain
  • Sina: Latin name for China
  • Sinuessa: name of a town in Lazio
  • Snelandia: Latin name for Iceland
  • Talamina: name of a town in Spain
  • Tamaris: name of the Tambre river in Spain
  • Taruenna: Latin name for Thérouanne, a town in Belgium

Boys names to come soon…
Sources

Miles, Myles, Milo

Miles, MiloMiles is of debated origin and meaning, as is Milo, both names are often listed as being derivatives of each other, while many sources claim that these two names are not related at all. What is known as that both Miles and Milo appeared in use in England after the Norman Conquest.

It is argued that Miles itself comes from the Latin word for “soldier,” whereas Milo may be a hypochoristic form of any Germanic name beginning with the Old Germanic element *mildijaz (mild; good, generous). Other sources claim it was borrowed by the Germans from the common Slavic male name, Milan, which is derived from the Slavic milu (gracious; dear) and was spread across Medieval Europe by the Germans in the form of Milo.

A notable Medieval bearer was the French Bishop of Rheims, Milo of Trier (d. 762/763).

In Ancient Roman comic theatre, Miles Glorioso (braggert-soldier) was the name of a stock character.

The name is sometimes spelled, Myles, in which case it takes on a completely new etymology altogether. Myles is found in Greek mythology as the name of a king of Laconia. In this case, its meaning is unknown.

Miles is currently 105th most popular male name in the United States (2016), the 179th most popular in England and Wales (2016) and the 483rd most popular in the Netherlands (2016).

Its offshoot of Milo appears in the Top 100 in several countries, its rankings are as follows:

  • #60 (Sweden, 2017)
  • #83 (France, 2016)
  • #93 (Belgium, 2015)
  • #123 (England/Wales, 2016)
  • #248 (United States, 2016)

Myles is currently the 230th most popular male name in the United States (2016) and the 211th most popular in England and Wales (2016).

Other forms and its language of use are as follows:

  • Milo (Dutch/English/Finnish/French/German/Italian/Swedish)
  • Miles (Dutch/English)
  • Milon (French)
  • Myles (English/Greek)
  • Mylo (English)
  • Milone (Italian)

Sources

Diamond

DiamondBelieve it or not, Diamond is a legitimate name, it has been in use as a female given name across Europe since at least early Medieval Times, and it also has its slew of masculine forms.

The name ultimately comes from the Ancient Greek ἀδάμας adámas, meaning “unbreakable,” “proper,” or “unalterable.” It has been used among the Greeks in the form of Adamantine (f) and Adamantos (m) since Ancient Times. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed if worn, the diamond was a ward against evil.

In 13th-century England, there are records for women named Diamanda (the vernacular for most likely being the Anglo-Norman, Diamant). Its usage seemed to have died out by the 15th-century, but was revived once again during the Victorian Era.

In Italy, Diamante was a popular female name between the 13th and 18th-centuries. Notable examples include the Italian poet, Diamante Medaglia Faini (1724-1770) and Italian opera singer, Diamante Maria Scarabelli (1675-1725).

And of course, there is the traditional Arabic female name of Almas (diamond), which has been used across the Islamic world for centuries.

In the United States, Diamond appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 2000 and 2014 and peaked at #162 in 2000.

Other forms include:

  • Diamant (Anglo-Norman)
  • Almast Ալմաստ (Armenian)
  • Admantia Αδαμαντία (Greek)
  • Admantine (Greek/French)
  • Diamantō Διαμαντω (Greek)
  • Almas (Arabic)
  • Intan (Indonesian)
  • Diamanda (Late Latin)
  • Adamantis (Latin)
  • Diamantina Διαμαντινα (Greek/Italian)
  • Deimantė (Lithuanian)
  • Elmas (Turkish)

Masculine forms

  • Adamantios Αδαμάντιος (Greek)
  • Diamantino (Italian)
  • Adamantius (Latin)
  • Deimantas (Lithuanian)

Sources

January Names

JanuaryI thought at the beginning of each month, I would post a list of names associated with the that particular month. Below is a list of names I have previously written about associated with January

 

Agnes: January 21st is the feast of St. Agnes and according to folklore, on January 20th, which John Keats’ was inspired to write a poem about, unmarried girls are supposed to see a future glimpse of their husband in their dreams the night before, provided they do not eat that day.

Frost: January is often associated with cold temperatures and frosty weather. Here are some name associated with frost

Sarma, Sarmite: These 2 Latvian lovelies come directly from the Latvian word for hoarfrost. The latter is pronounced sar-MEE-teh.

Kirsi: This Finnish female name is associated with the cherry fruit but also means “frost” in Finnish.

Other names that mean “frost” or words for frost from other languages include:

Male

  • Antizgar (Basque)
  • Dér (Hungarian)
  • Hall (Estonian)
  • Reif (German)
  • Rijp (Dutch)
  • Rio (Manx)
  • Šerkšnas (Lithuanian)
  • Sioc (Gaelic)
  • Szron (Polish, SHRONE)
  • Barrug (Welsh)

Female

  • Blancada (Occitanian)
  • Brina (Italian)
  • Bryma (Albanian)
  • Chelata (Aragonese)
  • Geada (Portuguese)
  • Gelada (Catalan)
  • Eláda (Guarani)
  • Escarcha (Spanish)
  • Jinovatka (Czech)
  • Pruina (Latin)
  • Salna (Latvian)
  • Slana (Slovenian)

Snow: Also one of the snowiest months of the year, some names that mean “snow.”

Other names meaning snow that I have yet to write about include

Male

  • Erc’h (Breton)
  • Jur (Chuvash)
  • Kar (Turkish)
  • Lov (Erzya)
  • Nix (Latin)
  • Yas (Navajo)

Female

  • Dëbora (Albanian)
  • Fiòca (Piedmontese)
  • Kavi (Faroese)
  • Neige (French)
  • Neva (Neapolitan)
  • Neve (Galician/Italian)
  • Parsla (Latvian)

Ice, the following are names that mean “ice”

Male

  • Buz (Turkish)
  • Izotz (Basque)
  • Jég (Hungarian)
  • Led (Czech, Serbo-Croatian)
  • Păr (Chuvash)
  • Siku (Inupiak)
  • Ledas (Lithuanian)
  • Ledus (Latvian)
  • Tin (Navajo)
  • Xeo (Galician)
  • Ysbran

Female

  • Cetl (Nahuatl)
  • (Welsh)
  • Ma’ome (Cheyenne)

Epiphany: January 6th officially marks the end of the Christmas season, when the Magi finally were able to locate the Christ child and bestow gifts upon him.

Garnet is the birthstone of January. Below is a list of words from other languages that mean “garnet” and would make awesome names

  • Gernete (Anglo-Norman)
  • Granate (Asturian/Basque/Spanish)
  • Grenat (French)
  • Gairnéad (Gaelic)
  • Granato (Italian)
  • Granatas (Lithuanian)
  • Granada (Portuguese)

Likewise, Carnation is the birthflower, its Latin name is Dianthus, which was a name before it was a flower. Below is a list of words from other languages that mean “carnation” and would make awesome names. Also mixed in are some names with the meaning of “carnation” or just have carnation associations

  • Diantha
  • Clavel (Asturian/Spanish)
  • Krabelin (Basque)
  • Clavellina (Catalan)
  • Havenellike (Danish)
  • Caraveleira (Galician)
  • Landnelke (German)
  • Nellika (Icelandic)
  • Caxtillān (Nahuatl)
  • Penigan (Welsh)

And for boys, other than Dianthus, there is the Italian Garafano

The Chinese plum is the flower emblam for Spring, in Chinese it is called Meihua and its Japanese name is Ume. In Korean it is called Maesil and Vietnamese it is called Mai.

In Japan, the flower emblem for January is the Camellia

Another January birthflower is the snowdrop

  1. Çeçpĕl (Chuvash)
  2. Sněženka (Czech)
  3. Perce-Neige (French)
  4. Endzela (Georgian)
  5. Bucaneve (Italian)
  6. Snieguole (Lithuanian)
  7. Śnieżyczka (Polish)
  8. Sněgulka (Sorbian)
  9. Kardelen (Turkish)
  10. Eirlys (Welsh)

The Zodiac signs associated with January are Capricorn and Aquarius. Capricorn means goat and Aquarius waterbearer. Some names that mean both

The ruling planet of Capricorn and Aquarius is Saturn, so Saturnina or Saturnin/Saturnino are also names to consider.

Finally, here are names that mean “January,” some come directly from words, others are a translation of the Latin male name Januarius.

Male

  • Chinero (Aragonese)
  • Xineru (Asturian)
  • Urtarril (Basque)
  • Genver (Breton/Cornish)
  • Gener (Catalan)
  • Kărlach (Chuvash)
  • Ghjennaghju (Corsican)
  • Leden (Czech)
  • Znêr (Emiliano-Romagnolo)
  • Janvier (French)
  • Zenâr (Friulian)
  • Xaneiro (Galician)
  • Gennaro (Italian)
  • Jenero (Ladino)
  • Januarius (Latin)
  • Sausis (Latvian)
  • Jannar (Maltese)
  • Genièr (Occitanian)
  • Yenner (Pennsylviana German)
  • Janeiro (Portuguese)
  • Bennàlzu (Sardinian)
  • Enero (Spanish)
  • Ocak (Turkish)
  • Lonawr (Welsh)

Female

  • Jenna (Bavarian)
  • January (English)
  • Tammikuu (Finnish)
  • Janvière (French)
  • Gennara (Italian)
  • Januaria (Latin)
  • Zennâ (Ligurian)

New Year, New Names

new-year-2018-eve-greetingTo help usher in the New Year, here are some baby names that mean “new” or have some sort of association with the New Year.

Male

  • Arata “new; fresh” (Japanese)
  • Athanaric “year of power” (Old German)
  • Gēar “year” (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Navin “new” (Sanskrit)
  • Neo “new” (Greek)
  • Primo “first” (Italian)
  • Ro’y “year” (Guarani)
  • Silvester/Sylvester, used as the term for New Year’s Day in many European countries as this was the feast of St. Sylvester

Female

  • Dagny “new day” (Old Norse)
  • Estraine “new year” (Anglo-Norman)
  • Gabonzahar “New Year’s Eve (Basque)
  • Mara “year” (Aymara)
  • Nova “new” (Latin)
  • Novella “little new one” (Latin)
  • Oighrigh “new speckled one” (Gaelic) pronounced OY-rik
  • Prima “first” (Italian)
  • Nochevieja “New Year’s Eve” (Spanish)
  • Noitevella “New Year’s Eve” (Galician)
  • Renef “New year” (Anglo-Norman)
  • Réveillon “New Year’s Eve” (French)
  • Silvestra/Sylvestra, used as the term for New Year’s Day in many European countries as this was the feast of St. Sylvester

Thaïs

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek Θαις
Meaning: “headband; band.”
Eng (tye-YEES); Fre (tah-YEEZ); Por (TAH-ees)

The name is derived from the Greek root for a band worn around the head. It was borne by a 3rd-century B.C.E. Greek hetaera who was credited as being the burner of Persopolis. She is sometimes believed to have been a lover of Alexander the Great, but there is no conclusive evidence that the two were ever together, what is known for sure is that she was the courtesan of Ptolomy Soter I, Alexander’s general. Her character later inspired other characters of the same name in both Classical Roman and post-Classical literature. She appears in Terence’s Eunuchas, her lines were later quoted by Cicero and a Thaïs is mentioned in Dante’s Inferno. In more recent history, she was the inspiration of Ivan Eframov’s novel, Thaïs of Athens (1975).

The name was also borne by a legendary Egyptian Christian saint who was believed to have originally been a prostitute. She was converted by St. Paphnutius who had disguised himself as a “customer.” Thaïs became a fervent Christian, abandoning her comfortable life as a high-end prostitute and spending three years in repentance eventually dying in peace as a hermit in the Egyptian desert. Her story is the inspiration behind the Anatole France novel Thaïs (1890) which was later adapted into an opera of the same name. Demetre Chiparus famous sculpture, Thaïs, was in turn inspired by the Opera.

Due to the cult of St. Thaïs of Egypt, the name remained in use throughout the former Byzantine Empire. She was used to a certain extent on the continent and in 18th-century England during the Romantic Period.

As of 2010, Thaïs was the 97th most popular female name in France. Her Slovene form of Tajda was the 74th most popular female name in Slovenia, (2010), while Taja came in as the 23rd most popular female name in Slovenia, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Taisija/Taisiya (Bulgarian/Macedonian/Serbian/Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Taís (Catalan/Spanish)
  • Tayys تاييس (Coptic/Lebanese/Syrian)
  • Thaïs (English/French/German/Greek)
  • Thaisia (German)
  • Thaisis (German)
  • Taide (Italian)
  • Taisia (Italian)
  • Taida (Polish)
  • Tais (Polish)
  • Taisja (Polish)
  • Tesja (Polish)
  • Thaís (Portuguese)
  • Taja (Slovene)
  • Tajana (Slovene)
  • Tajda (Slovene)
  • Tajka (Slovene)
  • Tajša (Slovene)