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)

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)

Joseph, Josephine

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew יוֹסֵף
Meaning: “He shall add; God shall add.”
Eng (JOH-sef)

The name is derived from the Biblical Hebrew male name, יוֹסֵף (Yosef).

In the Old Testament, the name is borne by the first son of Rachel and the eleventh son of Jacob. After being sold off as a slave by his brothers, Joseph ended up in Egypt, later becoming an important advisor to the pharoah.

In the New Testament, it is borne by the husband of the Virgin Mary. Known as St. Joseph among Catholics, he is a particularly revered saint among Italian Catholics, considered the patron saint of stepfathers and carpenters.

Another important character with this name in the New Testament, is Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Christ and also the man who provided a burial spot for Jesus after his death.

The name has always been very prevalent throughout Europe and the Middle East.

In the United States, its popularity can be due to several factors: it was common among both various Christian and Jewish immigrants. The name is even very common among Muslim families.

Currently, Joseph is the 20th most popular male name in the United States, (2010). In fact, Joseph has never ranked outside of the Top 20. Common English nicknames are Joe and Joey. His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Yusif, Azerbaijan, 2012)
  • # 1 (Yusuf, Turkey, 2010)
  • # 2 (Yusuf, Tajikistan, 2009)
  • # 2 (Youssef, Tunisia)
  • # 3 (Yousef, Arab-World, 2011)
  • # 4 (José, Equitorial Guinea, 2011)
  • # 5 (Joosep, Estonia, 2011)
  • # 5 (Isle of Man, 2009)
  • # 5 (Yousouf, Israel, among Muslim and Christian boys, 2010)
  • # 5 (José, Philippines, 2011)
  • # 5 (Jose, Puerto Rico, 2010)
  • # 7 (Youssef, Morocco)
  • # 8 (Josip, Croatia, 2010)
  • # 8 (Yosef, Israel, among Druze boys, 2004)
  • # 9 (Yosef, Israel, among Jewish boys, 2010)
  • # 14 (Giuseppe, Italy, 2010)
  • # 15 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 16 (Joseph/Giuseppe, Malta, 2010)
  • # 29 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 36 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 37 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 41 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 41 (József, Hungary, 2010)
  • # 43 (José, Spain, 2010)
  • # 44 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 51 (José, United States, 2010)
  • # 62 (Josef, Sweden, 2010)
  • # 68 (Josip, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
  • # 68 (Josep, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 71 (José, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 74 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 149 (France, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Josef (Afrikaans)
  • Isuf (Albanian)
  • Jozef/Jozif (Albanian: Zef is a diminutive form)
  • Sepp (Alsatian)
  • Hovsep Հովսեփ (Armenian)
  • Yūsuf/Youssef/Yussef يوسف, (Arabic)
  • Yusif/Yusuf/Usub (Azeri)
  • Joseba/Josepe (Basque)
  • Joseph ДЖО́ЗЕФ (Belarusian/English/German/French)
  • Josip (Bosnian/Croatian: Joso, Jozo and Joško are diminutive forms)
  • Jusuf (Bosnian)
  • Yosif Йосиф (Bulgarian)
  • Josep (Catalan, Pep is a common diminutive form)
  • Ghjaseppu (Corsican)
  • Jozèf (Creole/Haitian)
  • Josef (Czech)
  • Joep (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Joop (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Joost (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Jozef (Dutch)
  • Joseph (English/French/German)
  • Joséphin (French: obscure)
  • Joosep (Estonian)
  • Jósef (Faroese)
  • Jooseppi (Finnish)
  • Juuso (Finnish)
  • Bepùt/Bepi/Bepo (Fruilian)
  • Xosé (Galician)
  • Ioseb იოსებ (Georgian)
  • Ioses/Joses Ιωσης (Greek: Biblical)
  • Iōséph Ἰωσήφ/Iosepos, Iosipos Ιώσηπος (Greek: Modern)
  • Yosef יוסף (Hebrew)
  • Isuppu (Hindi)
  • József (Hungarian: Jóska is the diminutive form)
  • Yusuf/Yusup/Ucup (Indonesian)
  • Giuseppe (Italian: diminutive forms are Beppe, Peppe and Peppino)
  • Giuseppino (Italian)
  • Pino (Italian: diminutive form now used as an independent given name)
  • Seosamh (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Ujöp (Ladino)
  • Iosephus/Josephus (Latin)
  • Jāzeps (Latvian)
  • Gioxeppe (Ligurian)
  • Joep (Limburgish)
  • Juozapas (Lithuanian)
  • Juozas (Lithuanian)
  • Giüsèpp (Lombard: Pèpp and Bèpp are diminutive forms)
  • Ousep/Ousef/Yosef (Malayalam)
  • Ouseppachen/Kochaappu (Malayalam)
  • Ġużeppi (Maltese: Ġużi, Ġuż, Peppi, Pepp, Żeppi and Żepp are diminutives)
  • Hohepa (Maori)
  • Jupp (Moselfrench)
  • Josef (Norwegian)
  • Josèp (Occitanian)
  • Iosifu Іѡсифъ (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Yūsuf/Youssef/Yussef يوسف, (Persian)
  • Joosef (Plattdeutsch)
  • Józef (Polish)
  • Gèseppe (Puglian)
  • Jüppes/Jüppke (Ripoarisch)
  • Iosif (Romanian)
  • Gisep (Romansch)
  • Iosif/Osip Иосиф (Russian)
  • Jisepu (Sardinian)
  • Josif Јосиф (Serbian)
  • Seòsaidh (Scots-Gaelic)
  • Giuseppi (Sicilian)
  • U’Seppi (Sicilian)
  • Zefel/ Zeflik (Silesian)
  • Jozef (Slovakian)
  • Jožef/Jože (Slovene)
  • Sefer (Swabian)
  • José (Spanish/Portuguese: Pepe and Pepito are the diminutive forms)
  • Yusup/Usup/Ucup (Sudanese)
  • Yoseppu (Tamil)
  • Yusuf (Turkish)
  • Yosyp (Ukrainian)
  • Josep (Valencian)
  • Juxepe (Venetian: diminutives are Bepi and Bepin)
  • Joseff (Welsh)
  • Yissl/Jayzl/Yussel (Yiddish)

Bavarian diminutive forms are Pepi, Perperl, SeppSeppiSeppl and Söpp.

Other German diminutives include: Seb, Seffi and Beppal is a Swiss-German diminutive form.

A Rheinish diminutive is Jupp.

Czech diminutives are: Pepík, Pepek, Pepan and Pepin.

Dutch short forms are Jef, Zef and Jos.

A common Hebrew short form is Yosi.

Italian diminutives and its dialectical forms include: Scepp (Calabrian); Pepp’, Pè, Peppiniéllo, Peppì, Peppinié (Campanese); Gioxe, Bepi, Bepin (Ligurian); Gepe and Pinin (Piedmontese); Seppud, Bapèpp, Peppo, Peppin, G’sip, Giusè, Pinucc, Peppon, ‘Mbà Peppe and P’pen (Puglian); Peppe and Pippo (Sicilian); Bepi and Beppe (Tuscan) and  Bepìn and Bepo (Venetian).

Standard Italian diminutives are: Bepi, Beppe, Beppino, Geppetto, Geppino, Peppe, Peppenuzzo, Peppi, Peppino, Peppinello, Peppiniello, Peppinetto, Peppo, Peppuccio, Pino Pinello, Pinuccio, Peppone, Pippo Puccio and Seppe.

Portuguese diminutives include: Zé, Zézinho, Zéca and Zécinha.

Slovakian diminutives are: Jožko, Jojo and Dodo.

Slovene short forms are: Pepe, Pepi and Pepc.

A common Spanish compound name is José Maria

Its more common feminine form of Josephine became prevalent throughout Europe at the end of the 18th-century and at the beginning of the 19th-century, due to the popularity of Josephine Bonaparte, (1763-1814), the wife of Napoleon.

Originally, Joséphine was a French diminutive form of Josèphe. Joséphine became the standard form around the same time Josephine Bonaparte became famous and has remained the more common French feminine form of Joseph, since.

Currently, in the United States, she is the 186th most popular female name, (2010). In the Netherlands, she was the 153rd most popular female name, (2010).

Other feminine forms include:

  • Jozefina (Albanian)
  • Josepa (Catalan: diminutive is Pepa)
  • Josipa (Croatian)
  • Josefa (Czech/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Josefina (Czech)
  • Jozefien (Dutch)
  • Joetta (English)
  • Josephina/Josephine (English)
  • Josefiina (Finnish)
  • Josée (French)
  • Josèphe (French)
  • Joséphine (French)
  • Josette (French)
  • Josefine (German/Danish)
  • Josepha (German)
  • Iosiphina Ιωσηφίνα (Greek: Modern)
  • Jozefa (Hungarian/Slovene)
  • Jósefína (Icelandic)
  • Seosaimhín (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Giosetta (Italian)
  • Giuseppa/Giuseppina (Italian)
  • Iosephina (Latin)
  • Ġużeppa (Maltese: Ġuża is the diminutive form)
  • Józefa (Polish)
  • Józefina (Polish)
  • Jožefina/Jožefa/Joža (Slovene)
  • Jožica (Slovene: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Josefa/Josefina (Spanish)
  • Josefin/Josefine (Swedish)
  • Yosipa/Osipa/Yuzefa (Ukrainian)

Croatian diminutive form is Pepica.

Czech diminutives are: Pepa, Pepca, Pepicka, Pepina, Pepka, Jóža, Jožka and Jóžin.

Common English short forms for Josephine include: Fifi, Jo, Jody, Jojo, Josie and Posey.

Common French diminutive forms are Fifi and Fifette.

German diminutives are Pepa.

Italian diminutives are: Giusy, Pina, Pinuccia, Pinella and Pippa.

Slovene diminutive form is Pepca

Marie-Josée is a common French compound form.

Designated name-days are March 19 and May 1.

Billa

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Dutch/German/Scandinavian
(BIL-lah)

The name could be of a few different sources, it could be a Dutch and Limburgish short form of Sibilla. In Scandinavia, it is often viewed as either a short form of Ilsebill, Berit or even just a feminine form of Billy.

As of 2010, Billa was the 8th most popular female name in the Faroe Islands.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Billan (Swedish)
  • Bille (Swedish)

Bruno

 

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German
Meaning: “brown.”
(BROO-no)

The name has a Latin sound but is actually of German origins. It is derived from the German word brun meaning “brown.” A follower of my blog, Capucine, informed me that the meaning of the name was originally a euphemism for a bear.
It has also been suggested that the name maybe related to the Old High German, brunja, meaning, “breastplate.”
According to askoxford.com, the name has been borne by German royalty and nobility alike. It was also borne by a 10th-century saint and the son of Emperor Henry the Fowler as well as by the Saxon Duke who gave his name to the town of Brunswick (in German Braunschweig).
The name has also experienced popular usage in Spanish speaking countries, as well as in Italy, Portugal and Poland. The only English speaking country the name has ever gotten much usage in is the United States. Thanks to the influx of German immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century it reached # 260 way back in 1915. The highest it has ever reached in the Social Security list. It currently comes in at a mere # 753. His rankings in other countries are as follows:
  • # 35 (Croatia, 2009)
  • # 43 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 46 (Chile, 2010)
  • # 56 (Spain, 2010)
Other forms of the name include:
  • Bruno (Croatian/Czech/Dutch/Finnish/French/German/Icelandic/Italian/Polish/Portuguese/Romansch/Scandinavian/Slovak/Slovene/Spanish)
  • Brun (German)
  • Brúnó (Hungarian)
  • Brunone (Italian)
  • Broen (Limbergish)
  • Brunon (Occitanian/Polish)
The feminine form of Bruna is a popular name in Brazil, Italy and Croatia.
Other feminine forms are Brunonia, which is borne by author, Brunonia Barry, and the Polish Brunona a feminine form of the more obscure masculine Polish form of Brunon. Both forms are seldom heard in Poland these days, but it’s listed on their name-day Calender.
Italian feminine form is Brunella a derivative of the Italian masculine diminutive form Brunello.
Its designated name day is July 12.

Anna, Anne

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “grace.”
(ANN; AHN). (ANN-uh; AHN-nah). (HANN-uh; HAHN-nah)

Anne is possibly one of the quintessential classic English and French female names. Prior to the 18th-century, it seems that every other girl born in England was either named Anne, Jane or Mary. There were several British and French queens who bore this simplistic moniker, including the ill fated Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth I. The history of Anne is rather long and complicated.

It was foremost popularized through the cult of St. Anne, a legendary figure who was said to be the mother of the Virgin Mary and the grandmother of Christ.

In Brittany, the name became especially popular because it happened to coincide with the name of an ancient Celtic goddess, her cult being replaced by St. Anne’s. In fact, it was borne by one Breton Princess, Anne of Brittany.

The name was introduced into Britain by the French-Normans after the invasion in 1066. Previously, there had been a minor Saxon king named Anna, but in this case the name is related to the Saxon arn (eagle). Anna and Anne are still occasionally used as male given names in Friesland.

Other than the apocryphal saint, the name Anne can be traced directly back to the Bible. In the New Testament, it is the name of a prophetess who predicts the Crucifixion of Christ.

Anna (Αννα), is the Greek translation of the early Hebrew Channah חַנָּה, usually transliterated as Hannah, meaning “grace.”

Hannah is borne in the Old Testament by the faithful mother of the prophet, Samuel.

Hannah has always been popular among Jewish families, but was virtually unheard of among non-Jews before the Reformation, except in some cases where it may have been used as a diminutive form of Johanna, spelled Hanna.

It was the Byzantines who had introduced the Anna form to the world, making it popular throughout Eastern and Southern Europe. It was a very popular name among the Byzantine royal family and it was borne by the majestic Anna of Byzantium.

Anna may be the more melodic form of the bunch, but Anne’s minimalistic qualities are charming. Short, to the point, no frills. It’s not a bad name, though it does lack some spice, which is why parents are probably more attracted to its more exotic alternatives. In fact, Anne only comes in at # 608 in the top 1000 female names of the United States. It is safe to say, however, that she is very much loved in the middle name spot.

Anna is currently one of the most popular female names in Europe and abroad. Her rankings are as follows:

  • # 1 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 1 (Estonia, 2011)
  • # 2 (Hungary, 2010)
  • # 3 (Ana, Georgia, 2010)
  • # 3 (Iceland, 2010)
  • # 4 (Ana, Croatia, 2010)
  • # 4 (Czech Republic, 2010)
  • # 4 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 4 (Ukraine, 2010)
  • # 5 (Faroe Islands, 2010)
  • # 5 (Ana, Portugal, 2010)
  • # 6 (Armenia, 2010)
  • # 6 (Ane, Greenland, 2002-2003)
  • # 6 (Ana, Romania, 2009)
  • # 6 (Ana, Serbia, 2010)
  • # 7 (Latvia, 2011)
  • # 7 (Russia, 2011)
  • # 8 (German-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 9 (Denmark, 2011)
  • # 10 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 10 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 10 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 11 (Italy, 2010)
  • # 12 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 14 (Poland, 2010)
  • # 16 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 26 (Canada, B.C., 2010)
  • # 28 (Italian-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 28 (United States, 2010)
  • # 29 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 40 (France, 2009)
  • # 46 (French-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 53 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 63 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 71 (Australia, 2010)
  • # 81 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 83 (Spain, 2010)
Other forms of the name include:
  • Anneen (Afrikaans/Low German)
  • Anna Анна (Afrikaans/Albanian/Armenian/Breton/Bulgarian/Catalan/Corsican/Czech/Dutch/English/Estonian/Faroese/Finnish/French/Frisian/German/Greek/Hungarian/Icelandic/Italian/Latvian/Limburgish/Maltese/Polish/Russian/Ukrainian/Scandinavian/Slovak)
  • Anne (Basque/Dutch/English/French/Scandinavian)
  • Gánna Га́нна (Belarusian)
  • Annaig (Breton)
  • Annick (Breton)
  • Maina (Breton)
  • Mannaig (Breton)
  • Mannick (Breton)
  • Naig (Breton)
  • Ana Ана ანა (Bulgarian/Croatian/Galician/Georgian/Lombard/Macedonian/Portuguese/Romanian/Samogaitian/Serbian/Slovene/Spanish/Venetian)
  • Jana (Croatian/Ladino)
  • Aneta (Czech/Polish/Samogaitian/Slovak)
  • Aina (Catalan)
  • Anica (Croatian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Ane (Danish)
  • Anika (Danish)
  • Anneke (Dutch)
  • Anneken (Dutch)
  • Annika (Dutch/Finnish/German/Latvian/Scandinavian)
  • Anka (Dutch/Frisian/German)
  • An(n)ke (Dutch/Frisian)
  • Anouk (Dutch/French)
  • Ans (Dutch)
  • Enneke (Dutch)
  • Enneken (Dutch)
  • Anita (English/German/Polish/Spanish)
  • Annette (English/French/German)
  • Anissa (English)
  • Annelle/Annella (Estonian)
  • Anete (Estonian/Latvian)
  • Anett (Estonian)
  • Anu (Estonian)
  • Anni (Finnish)
  • Annikki (Finnish)
  • Anniina (Finnish)
  • Annukka (Finnish)
  • Niina (Finnish)
  • Anaïs (French/Provençal)
  • Annouche (French)
  • Ninette (French)
  • Ninon (French)
  • Ninouk (French)
  • Anje (Frisian)
  • Ankea (Frisian)
  • Antje (Frisian)
  • Antjen (Frisian)
  • Anute (Fruilian)
  • Anano (Georgian)
  • Annchen (German)
  • Annel (German)
  • Annele (German/Latvian)
  • Anneli(e) (German/Finnish/Swedish)
  • Annet (German)
  • Anina (German)
  • Anja (German/Slovene)
  • Anouschka (German/Italian/Russian)
  • Annaki (Greek)
  • Annoula (Greek)
  • Noula (Greek)
  • Anikó (Hungarian)
  • Annuska (Hungarian)
  • Panni (Hungarian)
  • Áine (Irish)
  • Ánna (Irish)
  • Annarella (Italian)
  • Annella (Italian)
  • Annetta (Italian)
  • Annettina (Italian)
  • Nona (Italian/Romansch)
  • Ance (Latvian)
  • Annija (Latvian)
  • Anninya (Latvian)
  • Ona (Lithuanian)
  • Annamma (Malayalam)
  • Annam (Malayalam)
  • Onnee (Manx)
  • Âone (Norman)
  • Aenna/Aenne (Old High German)
  • Annehe (Old High German)
  • Änna/Änne (Old High German)
  • Neta (Piedmontese)
  • Noto (Piedmontese)
  • Anke (Plattdeutsch)
  • Anneke(n) (Plattdeutsch)
  • Analia (Romansch/Spanish)
  • Annina (Romansch)
  • Annotta (Romansch)
  • Anca (Romanian)
  • Anicuta (Romanian)
  • Anėta (Samogaitian)
  • Anėkė (Samogaitian)
  • Annag (Scottish)
  • Ghianna (Sicilian)
  • Janna (Sicilian)
  • Nanna (Sicilian)
  • Anniken (Swedish)
  • Ann (Welsh)
  • Nan (Welsh)
  • Nanno (Welsh)
  • Nanw (Welsh)
  • Aana (Wolof)
As for the Hannah forms

Hanna without an H is the prefered form on Continental Europe, usually pronounced (HAHN-nah) and in French like Anna. Hanna and Hanne (HAHN-neh) are also used as diminutive forms of Johanna/Johanne in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany. There is the Hungarian Hajna pronounced (HOY-no). The Czech/Slovak form of Hana nickname Hanka. There are the Yiddish forms of Heyna, Hayna, Hejna (all pronounced like HAY-nah) including the diminutive forms of HenaHende, Hendel and Henye.  The Polish diminutive form of Hania, which might make an interesting alternative to Anya or Hannah. Hannah, Hanna and Henna are all used in the Middle East.

Of course, how could we ever forget the popular diminutive forms of Annie and Nan.

Paul

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “short; small; humble; few.”
Eng (PAWL)

The name is derived from the Latin Roman family name, Paulus, which could translate as meaning, “small, short; humble; few.”

Paul and his various forms has to be one of the most common male names used throughout the Christian world. It has been used equally among Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics and Protestants.

Its most famous bearer was Paul of Tarsus, whose real name was Saul. St. Paul, as referred to by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, is attributed as being the author of much of the New Testament.

The name was borne by several popes, royals and saints thereafter.

Currently, its Germanic form of Paul is the 8th most popular male name in Germany, (2011). His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 13 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 22 (France, 2009)
  • # 41 (Romania, 2009)
  • # 90 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 130 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 178 (United States, 2010)
  • # 485 (Netherlands, 2010)
His foreign equivalents rankings are as follows:
  • # 3 (Pablo, Spain, 2010)
  • # 4 (Páll, Faroe Island, 2010)
  • # 4 (Pau, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 17 (Paweł, Poland, 2010)
  • # 26 (Pablo, Chile, 2010)
  • # 29 (Pavel, Czech Republic, 2010)
  • # 31 (Pablo, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 44 (Pau, Spain, 2010)
  • # 91 (Pál, Hungary, 2010)
  • # 144 (Pablo, France, 2009)
  • # 202 (Paolo, France, 2009)
  • # 361 (Pablo, United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Pali (Albanian)
  • Paulë (Albanian)
  • Boulos/Bulos بولس (Arabic)
  • Faulus (Aramaic)
  • Boghos Պողոս (Armenian)
  • Poghos Պողոս (Armenian)
  • Paul (Basque/Dutch/English/Estonian/German/French/Romanian/Scandinavian/Silesian)
  • Paweł Павeл (Belarusian/Polish)
  • Polus (Berber)
  • Paol (Breton)
  • Pavel Павел (Bulgarian/Czech/Russian/Slovene)
  • Pavolo (Calabrian)
  • Pavulu (Calabrian)
  • Pau (Catalan/Occitanian)
  • Pawl (Cornish/Welsh)
  • Paulu (Corsican/Sardinian/Sicilian)
  • Pavao (Croatian)
  • Pavle პავლე Павле (Croatian/Georgian/Macedonian/Serbian)
  • Pavo (Croatian)
  • Palle (Danish)
  • Poul (Danish)
  • Pauwel (Dutch)
  • Paavel (Estonian)
  • Paavo (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Páll (Faroese/Icelandic)
  • Paavali (Finnish)
  • Pauli (Finnish)
  • Pol (Flemmish/Romansch)
  • Paale (Frisian)
  • Pals (Frisian)
  • Paulus पौलुस (Frisian/Hindi/Latin)
  • Pay (Frisian)
  • Powles (Frisian)
  • Pouw (Frisian)
  • Pauli (Fruilian)
  • Pódhl (Gaelic)
  • Pól (Gaelic)
  • Paulo (Galician)
  • Pavlos Παυλος (Greek)
  • Pāl पॉल (Hindi)
  • Pál (Hungarian)
  • Pósa (Hungarian)
  • Paolo (Italian/Portuguese)
  • Paolino (Italian/Portuguese)
  • Paulinus (Latin)
  • Pāvils (Latvian)
  • Paulius (Lithuanian)
  • Povilas (Lithuanian)
  • Paol (Lombard)
  • Paulose (Malayalam)
  • Pawl (Maltese)
  • Pawlu (Maltese)
  • Payl (Manx)
  • Paora (Maori)
  • Pål (Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Pavel (Romanian)
  • Paulin (Romansch)
  • Polet (Romansch)
  • Polin (Romansch)
  • Pulegn (Romansch)
  • Pàl (Scots-Gaelic)
  • Pawůł (Silesian)
  • Pavol (Slovak)
  • Pawoł (Sorbian)
  • Pablo (Spanish)
  • Paoro (Tahitian)
  • Pàul (Tuscan)
  • Pavlo Павло (Ukrainian)

For a Reference a Female forms See Paula and Paulina (soon to come)

Mia

The name could be of several different meanings and origins, but its most popular usage is from the Northern Germanic diminutive form of Maria.

In the English-speaking world, the name was introduced via actress, Mia Farrow (b.1945) whose full name is Maria de Lourdes. The name did not even appear in the U.S. top 1000 the year Mia Farrow was born, but started to rise in popularity in the late 1990s. Currently, Mia is the 10th most popular female name in the United States, (2010) and her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 2 (German-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 2 (Romansch-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 3 (Faroe Islands, 2010)
  • # 4 (Isle of Man, 2009)
  • # 4 (Liechtenstein, 2010)
  • # 5 (Luxembourg, 2010)
  • # 6 (Australia, 2010)
  • # 7 (Croatia, 2010)
  • # 13 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 15 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 15 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 16 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 17 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 18 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 20 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 25 (Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 27 (Canada, B.C., 2010)
  • # 37 (Chile, 2010)
  • # 38 (Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
  • # 49 (Denmark, 2010)
  • # 40 (French-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 40 (Italian-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 206 (France, 2009)
  • # 221 (Netherlands, 2010)

In the case of its usage in Southern Slavic countries, it is most likely derived from a diminutive form of any Slavic name containing the mio element, meaning “dear.”

In English-speaking countries, it was often used as a diminutive form of Amelia, Emilia and Hermione.

In Romansch, it was originally used as a diminutive form of Anna Maria.

Coincidentally, mia is also the feminine Italian and Spanish pronoun meaning “mine”, but the name was originally never used in reference to the pronoun.

 

Ina

Gender: Feminine
Origin: English/German/Scandinavian
Germ (EE-nah); Eng (I-nah)

The name is a contracted form of any female given name ending in -ina.

In the United States, the name was fairly prevalent at the beginning of the 20th-century, the highest she ever ranked was in 1881 coming in as the 151st most popular female name.

Currently, Ina is the 192nd most popular female name in Germany, (2011).

Coincidentally, the name could also be an Anglo-Saxon male name meaning, “fire.” It was borne by an 8th-century Anglo-Saxon king.

Common German double names include Ina-Maria and Ina-Alice.