416px-Französischer_Meister_um_1675_001Gender: masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: 8th month of the Jewish calender which corresponds with October-November in the Gregorian Calender. Possibly meaning “bitter month.”
(HESH-vahn; the CH is very gutteral).

Cheshvan is the second month of the civil year and the eight month of the ecclesiastical year, it is an autumn month that corresponds with October and November in the Gregorian calendar and it is usually composed of 29 days. In complete years it is 30 days.

The name of the month is believed to be of Akkadian origins and is composed of the Semitic roots y-r-ḥ which means “moon; month”  and s-m-n the Semitic root for “eight.” Originally the month’s name was Marcheshvan, the first two letters מַר (mar) were interpreted as meaning “bitter” since the month had no holidays or celebrations.

It is traditionally believed that the Great Flood started on Cheshvan. In the Old Testament, before the great Babylonian Exile, the original name of the month was Bul.

Today in Israel, and among Jewish families, the name is used for baby boys born during the month of Cheshvan.



1154833112559_Autumn_sInvitationII2476FlAd001Gender: Feminine
Origin: Russian
Meaning: “October.”

The name seems to have been invented during the Soviet Period, invented in honour of the 1917 Revolution. There is an old Soviet film (1924) entitled the Adventures of Oktyabrina. Unlike other invented Soviet names, this one seemed to have caught on, possibly more likely due to its pleasant sound and its reference to the month of October versus any political connotations. The name has become especially popular in Central Asia and Armenia. Nicknames include Okta. The name was borne by Oktyabrina Bolotova, a Mongolian-Russian olympic archer. It is also the name of a town in Magadanskaya Oblast Russia. The name is sometime transliterated is Oktjabrina and Oktiabrina. There also seems to be a masculine version Oktyaber, another one that seems quite prevalent in Central Asia.


800px-Opal_from_Yowah,_Queensland,_Australia_2Gender: Feminine
Origin: English

The name comes directly from the name of the gemstone. October is the birthstone for the Opal. The origins of the word itself are derived from the Sanskrit word upala meaning “jewel.” The name does not appear in the U.S top 1000, and the highest it ever ranked in American naming history was back in 1911, coming in at # 81.

The Opal was often seen as a source of bad luck in modern superstition, this was most likely due to a book published in 1820, entitled Anne of Geierstein by Walter Scott, the novel recounts the story of the Baroness of Arnheim who wears a magical opal talisman, when holy water is poured on the stone, the stone turns into its signature opaque white and the baroness dies. In the Middle Ages, the stone had far more auspicious connotations, it was believed that the stone brought great luck, since it sparkled several different colours, it was believed to hold the powers of every precious stone, making it a very powerful amulet.

The name is borne by Opal Whitely (1897-1992), a curious woman who wrote a diary in which she reveals her true origins as the scion of French royalty. The story is a famous part of American unsolved mysteries and she has had people debunking her as a fraud to admiring fans who support her claims known as Opalites.

With the rising popularity of the name Ruby, this might make an appealing alternative. There is the French form Opaline.



The name can either be a Polish diminutive form of Antonina, a Sanskrit name meaning “balance” or a Khmer name meaning “October.” Coincidentally, spelled Tóla, it is an Irish male name meaning “flood” or “abundance” and is the name of a Saint, also known as Tolanus or Thola.