Amanda, Amandus

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “must be loved.”

If you are an 80s baby like myself, Amanda is just another run-of-the-mill, female name that was ever-present throughout high school and college.

Amanda is the name of your lab partner in chemistry, she is the head cheerleader, she might even be your best friend, or maybe its your own name.

In the United States, the name is ubiquitous among females between the ages of 35 and 16. Between 1976 and 1992, she ranked in the top 10. Today, her popularity has gone down to # 188, (2010). She is borne by a variety of young female celebrities. There is Mandy Moore (b.1984) and Amanda Bynes (b.1986) just to name a few. While I personally never got the chance to appreciate this name, I understand the appeal for the parent of the 1970s and 80s. She has a romantic quality about her, the same appeal as the Shakespearean Miranda, and while the latter often gets shortened to the tom-boyish Randy, Amanda is easily shortened to the more girlish Mandy. Poor Amanda has also spun off her own teasable play on words from “I need Amanda Love”  to “it’s a man, duh!”

Amanda is a Latin female gerundive verb meaning “to be loved”, the female form seems to have first appeared on a birth record from Warwickshire England in 1212.  Other than that, she was seldom heard of other than in plays and poems till the end of the 20th-century. It is the name of a character in Colley Cibber’s play Love’s Last Shift (1696).

There is a masculine form, Amandus, which is the name of two saints and is currently rising in popularity in Scandinavia. Amandus might make an interesting choice for the hipster parent looking to such names as Augustus and Atticus for inspiration.

As of 2011, Amanda was the 21st most popular female name in Finland. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 18 (Chile, 2010)
  • # 25 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 32 (Brazil, 2010)
  • # 52 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 53 (Hungary, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Amanta (Catalan)
  • Amandina (Corsican/Italian)
  • Amanda (Czech/Dutch/English/Estonian/Finnish/German/Hungarian/Icelandic/Italian/Latvian/Polish/Portuguese/Romanian/Scandinavian/Slovene/Spanish)
  • Manda (Estonian/Finnish/German/Hungarian/Scandinavian)
  • Mandy (English: occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Manja (Finnish)
  • Manta (Finnish)
  • Amande (French: also the French word for almond)
  • Amandine (French)
  • Mendi (Hungarian)
  • Amândia (Portuguese: obscure)

Male forms are:

  • Amand (German/Czech/Polish/Slovak)
  • Amandino (Italian)
  • Amando (Spanish/Italian)
  • Amândio (Portuguese: obscure)

Its designated name day in most countries is October 26. Common English nickname is Mandy. The nickname has been the subject of such songs as Barry Manilow’s Mandy and the 1919 rag-time by Irving Berlin.

Czech diminutives forms are Ama, Amka and Amaduška.


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Old Norse
Meaning: “to love.”

The name comes directly from the Old Norse verb, unna, meaning, “to love.”

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

Other forms of the name include:

  • Unna (Faroese/Icelandic/Scandinavian)
  • Udna (Norwegian)

A masculine form is Unne.


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Turkish
Meaning: “love; passion; longing.”

The name comes from the Turkish and Bosnian word meaning, “love; passion; longing.”

In Bosnian, the element can be found in the word for a type of folk music known as sevdalinka.

In Bulgaria, the designated name-day is September 17.

The name is borne by Azeri pop songstress, Sevda Alakbarzadeh (b.1977).

Currently, Sevda is the 6th most popular name among the general population in Azerbaijan.




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Zapotec
Meaning: “I love you.”

The name comes directly from the Zapotec phrase meaning, “I love you,” it is a name that has appeared among the the Aztec Revival in Latin America, particularly Mexico. It is currently the 67th most popular female name in Puerto Rico and the 387th most popular in the United States, (2010).




The name can either be a derivative of the Latin word for a ship keel, or from the Latin word carus meaning (dear), or it may be from the Italian adjective carina (nice; pretty; sweet). Or it can be a contraction of the name Catharina. It has also been suggested to be a feminine form of the Greek male name, Carinos, one of the many epithets of the God, Apollo.

A common Russian hypothesis is that it derived from the ancient Slavic name, Karna (to cry). Karna also known as Karina was the Slavic goddess of mourning and funeral rites

It is the name of a constellation in the southern sky as well as an early Greek Christian martyr. As of 2010, it was the 60th most popular female name in Austria. While in the United States, it only ranked in at #948.

Karina ranks higher in the United States, coming in at # 288 (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

Carine/Karine Կարինե (Armenian/Dutch/French)
Karina Кари́на (Bulgarian/Czech/German/Greek/Latvian/Lithuanian/Polish/Scandinavian/Ukrainian/Russian/Slovak)
Carina (Estonian/English/German/Italian/Portuguese/Romanian/Scandinavian/Spanish)
Kaarina (Finnish)
Karīna (Latvian)
Karine (Norwegian)
Karyna (Polish)

Designated name-days are: January 2 (Czech Republic), March 17 (Latvia), March 24 (Hungary), May 7 (Sweden), August 2 (Poland), November 7 (Lithuania).




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “love.”
Eng (AG-uh-PEE); Grk (ah-GAH-pey)

The name comes from the Greek word αγαπη (agape), literally meaning love, but in Christian theology, was used to describe the all-encompassing, self-sacrificial love of God for mankind.

The term, (in the plural form) was also used to describe a type of feast celebrated by early Christians.

The name was borne by two early Greek saints.

As a given name, it is rarely used outside Greek, but other forms do include:

Àgape (Catalan)
Agape (English/French/German/Italian/Latvian)
Agápē αγάπη (Greek)
Agapa (Polish)

Male forms include: Agapios Αγαπιος and Agapito.

The designated name-days are: April 14 (Latvia); September 15 (Greece)




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Old Norse
Meaning: “to cover; secrecy; lovable, sweet.”


Origin: Hebrew Biblical
Meaning: “weasel.”


The name can be traced both Norse Mythology and the Hebrew Bible.

In Norse, the name is derived from the word, hulda, meaning “hiding; secrecy.” In modern Swedish, the name is often associated with the archaic Swedish term of endearment, huld, meaning “sweet; lovable.”

In Norse Mythology, the name was borne by a völva, a Norse shamanic seeress. She is mentioned sporadically in the Ynglinga Saga and the Sturlunga Saga.

This same figure remained quite alive in both modern German and Swedish folklore.

In Scandinavian folklore, she evolved into the huldra, a type of spirit that appears to young men in the form of a beautiful and seductive woman. In some traditions she is evil and in others she is just looking for companionship with a human. She was also known to be particularly fond of colliers.

In German folklore, she is known as Holda, and is considered the supernatural guardian of anything related to female domesticity. In other German traditions, she is referred to as Frau Holle. The most famous account of Holda was written by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, entitled Mother Hulda.

In Biblical tradition, Huldah was the name of a prophetess mentioned briefly in the Old Testament, 2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 34. In this case, the name is derived from the Old Hebrew word for weasel.

Huldah prophesized to King Josiah the destruction of Israel.

Another notable bearer includes Hulda (1881-1946), a renowned Icelandic poet.

The name was quite common in Germany during the 19th and early 20th century, where it was also particularly common among German Jews.

The name also appears in the U.S. top 1000 in the late 19th-century, in fact, in 1891, the name was the 194th most popular female name.

The name has experienced a recent revival in both Sweden and Norway.

The designated name-day is September 8 (Sweden).

Other forms of the name include:

Huldà (Catalan)
Chulda (Czech/Modern Hebrew)
Hulda (Danish/Dutch/English/Faroese/Frisian/German/Icelandic/Norwegian/Swedish)
Hulra (Finnish)
Hulta/Hulti/Hultu/Hultukka (Finnish)
Holda (German)
Holle (German)
Huld (Icelandic/Swedish)
Hulð (Old Norse)
Aldama/Aldana Олдама Олдана (Russian)

An Icelandic male form is Huldar.




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “love.”

The name comes directly from the Lithuanian meaning, “love.”

The name was borne by Meilė Lukšienė, a famous Lithuanian political activist (1913-2009).

Another form is Meilutė.

The designated name-day is May 1.