Iris

IrisOrigin: Greek Ιρις
Meaning: “rainbow”
Gender: Feminine

The name is derived from the Greek “Îris (Ἶρις) Írídos (ίρίδος) “rainbow” and is borne in Greek mythology by the goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the Olympian gods. It later became associated with the body part, the flower, and a colour, all of which were named for the Greek goddess.

In recent years, the name has experienced a surge in popularity in several countries. Its rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #21 (Iceland 2017, Íris)
  • #25 (Portugal, 2016, Íris)
  • #31 (Sweden, 2017)
  • #32 (France, Paris, 2016)
  • #56 (Catalonia, 2016)
  • #73 (Spain, 2016)
  • #84 (England/Wales, 2016)
  • #85 (Netherlands, 2017)
  • #85 (Slovenia, 2016)
  • #116 (Norway, 2016)
  • #121 (France, entire country, 2016)
  • #186 (United States, 2016)
  • #199 (Scotland, 2016)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Iris Ирис Իրիս (Armenian/Bulgarian/Catalan/Czech/Danish/Dutch/English/Estonian/Finnish/French/German/Greek/Italian/Serbo-Croatian/Norwegian/Polish/Romanian/Slovenian/Spanish/Swedish)
  • Iryda Ірыда (Belarusian/Polish)
  • Irida Ирида (Bulgarian/Croatian/Greek/Italian/Russian/Serbian)
  • Iiku (Finnish)
  • Iiri (Finnish)
  • Iiris (Finnish)
  • Írisz (Hungarian)
  • Íris (Icelandic/Portuguese/Slovak)
  • Iride (Italian)
  • Iridė (Lithuanian)
  • Yryda Ирида (Ukrainian)

Sources

 

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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

Myron

Myron

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “myrrh; perfume”
Gender: Masculine
Eng. (MY-ron); GRK (MEE-rone)

The name comes from the Greek meaning “myrrh; perfume.” It was borne by a 5th-century B.C.E Greek sculptor as well as several Christian saints.

In the United States, especially at the turn of the century, it was used among Jewish families as a form of the Hebrew Meir.

Myron is also the name of a genus of snakes.

For 100 years, between 1900-2000, it was in the U.S. Top 1000 Most popular male name. Myron peaked in 1931 when it was the 192nd most popular male name.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mirón (Asturian/Galician/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Miran Міран (Belarussian)
  • Miron Ми́рон (Bulgarian/Croatian/Romanian/Russian/Serbian/Slovenian/Ukrainian)
  • Miró (Catalan)
  • Myrón (Czech)
  • Myron (Dutch/English/French/German/Polish)
  • Mürón (Hungarian)
  • Mýron (Icelandic)
  • Mirone (Italian)
  • Mironi მირონი (Georgian)
  • Mironas (Lithuanian)

A feminine form is Myra.

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)

Azalea

George_Taber_azaleaFrom the name of a flowering shrub, the name itself derives from the Greek,  αζαλεος (azaleos), meaning, “dry.”

Its use as a given name can be traced as far back as 18th-century England, and it has also been used in other countries such as Greece, Hungary, France and Spanish-Speaking countries.

The name first entered the U.S. Top 1000 in 2012 and has been steadily rising since then. As of 2016, Azalea was the 585th most popular female name.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Azalija Азалия (Bulgarian/Lithuanian/Russian)
  • Azalea (Catalan/Greek/Spanish)
  • Azalée (French)
  • Azálea (Hungarian)
  • Açelya (Turkish)

Sources

Jericho

JerichoFrom the name of a city mentioned in the Bible which is now located in Palestine. The meaning of the name is debated, some sources claim the name is from a Caananite word reah meaning “fragant” or the Canaanite word for moon (yareah), as the city was once the centre of worship for the Caananite moon-god Yarikh. Yarikh’s name also appears as Jarah, Jerah and Jorah. In modern times, the name is referred to as ʼArīḥā, in Arabic, meaning “fragrant.”

It’s use as a given name can possibly be traced to the 16th-century. Records indicate a scattering of Jereachs and Jerichs in England, and Jerigos in Germany is attested to many times, though I cannot tell if these are related to Jericho or if they are a form of George or Jeorg. Jericho definitely comes up in records by the 18th-century both in England and the United States.

The name first appeared in the U.S. top 1000 in 2013 and currently ranks in as the 932nd most popular male name.

A possible short form is Jerry.

The name appears in other languages in the following manner, though keep in mind that most of these are anecdotal.

Chericó (Aragonese)
Ijeryhon/Jeryhon Іерыхон Ерыхон (Belarusian)
Jerihon Йерихон (Bulgarian/Serbo-Croatian)
Jericó (Catalan/Portuguese/Spanish)
Ierihón Иерихо́н (Chuvash)
Jericho (Czech/Dutch/English/German/Slovak)
Jeriko (Danish/Finnish/Norwegian/Swedish)
Jeeriko (Estonian)
Jéricho (French)
Xericó (Galician)
Ierikoni იერიქონი (Georgian)
Jerikó (Hungarian)
Ireachó (Irish-Gaelic)
Gerico (Italian)
Jerichò (Kashubian)
Jērika/Jerihona (Latvian)
Jerichas (Lithuanian)
Iericho Ιεριχώ (Modern Greek)
Jerico (Occitanian)
Jerycho (Polish)
Ierihon Иерихон (Romanian/Russian)
Yeriko (Swahili)
Yeryxon Єрихон (Ukrainian)

Sources

https://www.behindthename.com
https://www.ssa.gov
https://www.familysearch.org
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jericho
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/hitchcock/bible_names

Calliope

Origin: Greek
Meaning: beautiful voiced
Gender: Female
Pronunciation: kuh-LIE-uh-pee

The name is composed of the Greek elements, καλλος (kallos) “beauty” and οψ (ops) “voice.” It is borne in Greek mythology by the muse of epic poetry and eloquence. She was said to be the mother of Orpheus and was said to be the chief among the muses by Hesiod and Ovid.

The name is also borne by a Catholic and Christian Orthodox saint who was tortured and martyred for refusing a suitor who wanted her hand in marriage as well as for her to renounce her faith.

It is also the name of a type of musical instrument as well as genus of hummingbird.

In recent years, it is the full name of a fictional character on the popular tv series, Grey’s Anatomy, Callie Torres, portrayed by Sara Ramirez.

In the English-speaking world, the name first came into use in the early 18th-century.

The name recently entered the U.S. Top 1000 Female Names, coming in as the 939th most popular female name.

A common short form is: Callie.

Other forms include:
Kalliope Կալլիոպե(Armenian/Danish/Dutch/Finnish/German/Estonian/Norwegian/Polish/Romanian/Swedish)
Kalіё́pa Каліё́па(Belarusian)
Kaliopa Калиопа(Bulgarian/Serbo-Croatian/Slovenian)
Cal·líope (Catalan)
Kalliopé (Czech/Hungarian/Slovak)
Calliope (French/English/Italian)
K’aliop’e კალიოპე (Georgian)
Kalliόph Καλλιόπη (Modern Greek)
Kallíópa (Icelandic)
Kaliopė (Lithuanian)
Calíope (Portuguese/Spanish)
Kalliopa Каллиопа(Russian/Ukrainian)

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calliope
https://www.behindthename.com
https://www.familysearch.org
https://www.ssa.gov
http://www.theoi.com

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)