Gareth

GarethOrigin: debated
Meaning: debated
Gender: Masculine
(GARE-eth)

The name first makes an appearance in Sir. Thomas Le Mort D’Arthur (c.1485) as the name of one of the knights of the Round Table. Malory is said to have based the name on Gahariet, which is the name of a knight in the French version of the King Arthur mythos. It is believed by most sources that the name has a Welsh origin and might be related to Geraint (a Welsh form of the Greek Gerontius meaning “old man); or the Welsh word gwaredd (gentleness; kindness). Other sources have connected it with the Welsh word gwyhrt (worth; value), and it has also been suggested to be Franconized form of the Welsh male name, Gwoerydd (Lord of grass; Lord of Hay). The name may not have any Welsh origins at all, the name Garret/Garet have appeared in use in France and Spain since the 7th-century, both names are an early diminutive form of Gerald or Gerard.

In England and Wales, the name appeared in the Top 500 between 1996 and 2005, peaking at #117 in 1996. In Northern Ireland, Gareth cracked into the Top 100 between 2001 and 2003, peaking at #87 in 2001.

Short forms are Gary and Gaz.

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Archibald

ArchibaldOrigin: Germanic
Meaning: “genuine bold”
Gender: Masculine
(AR-che-BALD)

The name is composed of the Old Germanic elements ercan (genuine) and bald (bold). The name has been in use in England since Anglo-Saxon times, its earlier predecessor being the Anglo-Saxon Eorcenbald before being upstaged by the Anglo-Norman Archibald.

Eorcenbald was born by a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon bishop of Wessex, while Erkanbald was borne by a 9th-century bishop of Strasbourg.

By the time of the Normans, the first element of Archibald, Archie, was often associated with the Greek archos αρχος, meaning “master.”

Starting in Medieval times, Archibald became a popular choice among Scottish aristocracy.

In the United States, Archibald appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1880 and 1925 and peaked at #279 in 1890. In the UK, Archibald is currently the 477th most popular male name (2016).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Eorcenbald (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Archibald (Catalan/English/German/Polish)
  • Archambaud/Archambaut/Archimbaud (French)
  • Archambault/Archimbald (French)
  • Archambeau (French)
  • Arcambald/Arcambold (German)
  • Erkanbald/Erchanbald (German)
  • Arcibaldo (Italian)
  • Arcimbaldo/Archimbaldo (Italian)
  • Archibaldo (Italian/Spanish)
  • Archibaldus (Late Latin)
  • Archambałt (Polish)
  • Archambuł (Polish)
  • Erchembod (Polish)
  • Erkinbold (Polish)

Common English diminutive forms include: Archie and Baldie.

A Scottish feminine form is Archina.

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Rigobert, Rigoberto

RigobertOrigin: Germanic
Meaning: “bright ruler”
Gender: Masculine

The name derives from the Old High German, Ricbert, which is composed of the elements, rik (ruler) and behrt (bright).

Rigobert was borne by a late 7th-century Benedictine monk who succeeded St. Rieul as Bishop of Rheims.

Its Spanish and Italian form of Rigoberto is fairly common among Hispanic communities in the United States. It has appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 2000-2009 and peaked at #633 in 2001.

Other forms include:

  • Ricbehrt (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Rigobert (Czech/Dutch/German/French/Hungarian)
  • Ricbert (Dutch)
  • Richbert (German)
  • Ricbraht (German)
  • Ricpert (German)
  • Ricoberto (Italian)
  • Rigoberto (Italian/Spanish)
  • Ricobertus (Late Latin)
  • Rygobert (Polish)
  • Ribert (Swedish)

A French and Spanish short form is Rigo.

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Ciara

CiaraOrigin: Irish Gaelic
Meaning: “black”
Gender: Feminine
(KEER-ah)

The name is from the Irish Gaelic ciar (black) and is borne by a 7th-century Irish saint, a contemporary of St. Brendan’s. According to legend, she founded a nunnery. In the Latin texts, her name was often latinized as Chera, Chier, Ciara, Cyra, Keira, Kiara, Kiera, Cier, and Ciar, but most popularly Cera. 

It is interesting to note that the Kiara form has appeared in most Slavic derived Roman Catholic calendars for centuries, but only recently became more popular in Slovenia and Croatia, where it is claimed the name is a corruption of the Italian Chiara, or is it?

The usage of Ciara, pronounced (see-AR-ah), was most likely inspired by the 1973 perfum of the same name, which was named for the initials of Charles Revson. In the United States, the former became popular in the African American community, while the Gaelic form pronounced (KEER-ah) is not unheard of in Irish-American communities. A notable bearer is American R&B singer, Ciara Princess Harris (b. 1983).

Ciara (CHAH-rah) is also a Polish surname, which comes from the Polish dialectial ciarać (się) “to roll.”

Currently, Ciara is the 39th most popular female name in Ireland (2016) and the 406th most popular in England and Wales.

In the United States, Ciara was in the U.S. Top 1000 between 2000-2016, and peaked at #282 in 2000.

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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)

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Darwin

DARWINGender: Masculine
Origin: Anglo-Saxon
Meaning: “wild friend; wild animal friend.”
(Dar-win)

The name is a modern English form of the Anglo-Saxon Déorwin which means “wild friend” or “dear friend.” The name fell out of use by the Anglo-Norman period, but survived as a surname, a notable bearer being the English naturalist and writer, Charles Darwin (1806-1882). It is also the name of a city in Australia.

Deorwin is the name of a character who is mentioned briefly in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. Another form is Derwin.

In the United States, Darwin appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 2001 and 2016 and peaked in 2010 at #734.

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)

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Aveline

AvelineOrigin: French
Meaning: “hazelnut”
Gender: Feminine
Fre. (AH-ve-LEEN; Eng. (AVE-e-LINE)

The name is most likely from the old French word for hazelnut, though other sources contend it is a Medieval diminutive form of Ava . The name was introduced into England by the Anglo-Norman in the 11th-century. A notable bearer was Aveline de Forz (1259-1274).

Over the centuries, the name has spun off as a surname, denoting someone who is descended from a woman named “Aveline.”

In contemporary France, it is the name of the eponymous heroine from the French comic strip, La Fée Aveline (Aveline, the fairy) by René Goscinny.

Another form is:

  • Avelina Авели́на (German/Italian/Russian/Spanish).

Sources

Vuk

VukOrigin: Serbo-Croatian
Meaning: “wolf”
Gender: Masculine
(VOOK)

The name comes directly from the Serbo-Croatian word for “wolf” and has been in use since at least the 13th-century. According to tradition, the name was used on a child who had been born after multiple infant deaths, it was used as a sort of token against evil spirits.

The name was borne by several Medieval Serbian rulers and military leaders.

Vuk is also the name a novel and of the title character in the Hungarian children’s novella by István Fekete (1965).

Medieval feminine forms include: Vlkava and Vlčenka.

Sources

Braulio

800px-Braulio_de_Zaragoza_e_Isidoro_de_SevillaOrigin: Spanish
Meaning: unknown
Gender: Masculine
(BROW-lee-oh)

The name can be traced to Visigothic Spain, when it was introduced by the 6th-century Spanish saint, Braulio of Zaragoza (590-651). A popular theory is that the name derives from the Germanic, Brandila, which is diminutive form of Brant (sword; fire). Another theory is that it is related to the Latin pravus (ferocious).

Through colonisation, its usage spread throughout the Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking world.

In the Spanish-speaking world, a notable bearer is Canarian singer/songwriter, Braulio (born Braulio Antonio García Bautista b. 1946).

Through the Catholic Church, the name appears on the calendar in most Catholic nations in various forms, though it has not experienced much use outside of Latin-American and Iberian countries, the other forms include:

  • Brauli (Catalan)
  • Braule (French)
  • Braulione (Italian)
  • Braulion (Polish)
  • Bráulio (Portuguese)

Feminine forms are Braulia (Spanish) and Bráulia (Portuguese).

Ironically, though popularly attributed as a name of Germanic origin, there doesn’t seem to be any obscure modern Germanic forms.

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