Polish & French Nature Names

Here is my second list of Polish and French nature names. Please keep in mind that many of these are hypothetical. I would be honored if someone actually found inspirations and used these on their children. What do you think? Hypothetical names will have an asterisk. Names whose meanings are obvious will not have their meaning in parenthesis.

French

Female

  • Abeille (bee, a-BAY)
  • Achillée (yarrow)
  • Adansonie** (baobob)
  • Adiante** (maidenhair)
  • Amarelle** (type of cherry)
  • Amèrise** (wild cherry)
  • Anagallis** (pimpernel)
  • Aralie (aralia)
  • Ardoise** (slate)
  • Armérie/Statice  ** (sea-pink)
  • Aronde** (swallow)
  • Aube (dawn)
  • Aubépine (hawthorn)
  • Balsamine (balsam/balm)
  • Belladone
  • Bergamote
  • Bluette (blueberry)
  • Brebis** (ewe)
  • Brume/Brumeuse** (mist/misty)
  • Bruyère (heather)
  • Cannelle (cinnamon)
  • Capucine (nasturtium)
  • Cardamome ** (cardamom)
  • Cascade**
  • Cascavelle** (jequirity)
  • Cenelle** (hawthorn berry)
  • Chanson** (song)
  • Chênette** (white dryad)
  • Cinabre** (cinnabar)
  • Colibrie** (hummingbird)
  • Cornaline** (carnelian)
  • Coquille** (seashell)
  • Crécerelle** (kestrel)
  • Dauphine (dolphin)
  • Dune
  • Éclaire** (lightning)
  • Épicéa/Épinette** (spruce)
  • Élodée ** (pondweed)
  • Ensoleillée** (sunny)
  • Érable** (maple)
  • Étoile (star)
  • Faune (fauna)
  • Galaxie**
  • Galène** (galena)
  • Ganteline ** (dane’s blood)
  • Garance (madder)
  • Gazanie** (gazania)
  • Gelée** (frost)
  • Glaïeule** (gladiolus)
  • Guirlande** (garland)
  • Glycine** (wisteria)
  • Griotte** (sour cherry)
  • Hottonie** (water-violet)
  • Ipomée** (morning glory)
  • Isatis (artic fox, EE-zah-TEEZ)
  • Ivoire** (ivory)
  • Jaspe** (jasper)
  • Lavande (lavender)
  • Lilas (lilac)
  • Linaigrette** (cottongrass)
  • Linotte** (linnet)
  • Liseron (morning glory)
  • Luciole (firefly)
  • Marasque** (maraschino cherry)
  • Marée** (tide)
  • Mélèze** (larch)
  • Menthe (mint)
  • Mirabelle (mirabelle plum)
  • Mûre ** (blackberry)
  • Myrrhe**
  • Myrtille (bilberry)
  • Nachi** (asian pear)
  • Narthécie** (bog bean)
  • Neige (snow)
  • Nerprune** (buckthorn)
  • Nivéole**(lily-of-the-valley)
  • Noisette (hazelnut)
  • Obsidienne** (obsidian)
  • Orchidée (orchid)
  • Oseille** (sorrel)
  • Perce-neige** (snowdrop)
  • Pervenche (periwinkle)
  • Péridot/Péridotte **
  • Pétale**
  • Phalène** (moth)
  • Pivoine (peony)
  • Plume (feather)
  • Poème** (poem)
  • Poésie** (poetry)
  • Pruche ** (spruce tree; PREUSH; Cajun French)
  • Prune (plum)
  • Raiponce (rampion)
  • Réglisse (licorice)
  • Renarde (vixen)
  • Renoncule** (buttercup)
  • Roncière (bramble)
  • Rossignole** (nightingale)
  • Rue**
  • Sable** (sand)
  • Sabline** (sandwort)
  • Sagittaire** (katniss)
  • Sainfoine ** (french honeysuckle)
  • Saison** (season)
  • Sansonnette** (starling)
  • Soirée** (evening)
  • Soleirole** (angel’s tears)
  • Solstice**
  • Térébinthe** (terebinth)
  • Terre ** (land, earth)
  • Trésore** (treasure)
  • Tulipe (tulip)
  • Umé ** (asian plum)
  • Vague** (wave)
  • Valériane
  • Vanille (vanilla)
  • Vergerette** (fleabane)
  • Viorne** (viburnum)
  • Vipérine ** (viper’s bugloss)
  • Zibeline** (sable)

Male

  • Acier** (steel)
  • Blaireau** (badger)
  • Brin ** (blade of grass)
  • Champ ** (field)
  • Charbon** (coal)
  • Chardon** (thistle)
  • Corbeau** (crow, raven)
  • Coton** (cotton)
  • Daim** (buck)
  • Dard** (sting)
  • Glouton** (wolverine)
  • Gui** (mistletoe)
  • Gryf** (griffin)
  • Houblon** (hop)
  • Houx** (holly; HOO)
  • Jais** (jet, ZHAY)
  • Macis ** (mace)
  • Mercure (mercury)
  • Milan (kite)
  • Moisson** (harvest)
  • Nord** (north)
  • Ours (bear)
  • Pin** (pine)
  • Pré ** (field)
  • Récif** (reef)
  • Renard (fox)
  • Requin** (shark)
  • Saumon ** (salmon)
  • Terrain** (field, terrain)
  • Turquoise**
  • Vallon** (glen)

Unisex

  • Coriandre** (coriander)
  • Piaf ** (sparrow)

Polish

Female

  • Alstremeria** (inca lily)
  • Ałycza** (cherry plum (ah-WITCH-chah)
  • Bąbela** (honeycomb, BONE-beh-lah)
  • Bawełna** (cotton, bah-VEU-nah)
  • Bergamota**
  • Biała (white; BYOW-wah; medieval name)
  • Borówka (blueberry)
  • Bryza ** (breeze)
  • Czapla** (heron, CHAP-lah)
  • Czeremcha** (bird cherry, cheh-REM-hah)
  • Cynia** (zinnia)
  • Dąbrówka (bugle flower, dome-BROOF-kah)
  • Delfina (dolphin)
  • Dolina** (valley; glen)
  • Fala (wave)
  • Firtletka** (flower of Bristol)
  • Fuksja ** (fuchsia)
  • Glicynia** (wisteria)
  • Glina ** (clay)
  • Grusza** (pear, GROO-shah)
  • Jara (poetic word for the month of spring, YAH-rah)
  • Jasna (clear, YAHS-nah)
  • Jemioła** (mistletoe)
  • Jeziora** (shore)
  • Jeżyna (bramble, yeh-ZHIH-nah)
  • Jutrzenka (aurora, morning star, venus, yoot-JANE-kah)
  • Kalina (viburnum)
  • Kaskada ** (cascade)
  • Kolendra** (coriander)
  • Kolibra** (hummingbird_
  • Koniczyna** (clover, KOH-nich-CHIN-nah)
  • Ketmia ** (hibiscus)
  • Konwalia ** (lily-of-the-valley).
  • Łąka** (meadow, WONE-kah)
  • Łania** (doe, WAHN-yah)
  • Lawenda** (lavender)
  • Lepnica** (notthingham catchfly)
  • Lilak** (lilac)
  • Lonicera** (honeysuckle)
  • Malina (raspberry)
  • Marzanna (madder; mar-ZHAHN-neh-nah)
  • Mięta** (mint)
  • Moczarka** (pondweed, mo-CHAR-kah)
  • Morela (abricot)
  • Muszla** (seashell, MOOSH-lah)
  • Niezapominajka** (forget-me-not; NYEZ-ah-PO-mee-NYE-kah)
  • Olsza ** (alder tree, OLE-shah)
  • Ostróżka** (larkspur, o-STROOSH-kah)
  • Ożyna** (blackberry, oh-ZHIN-nah)
  • Pietruszka** (parsley)
  • Piosenka** (song)
  • Piwonia** (peony)
  • Poezja** (poetry)
  • Pola (fields, meadows)
  • Pszczoła (bee; PSHCHOH-wah; medieval name, used as a vernacular form of Deborah)
  • Przyroda** (wildlife, pshih-ROH-dah)
  • Rafa (reef)
  • Rana ** (morning)
  • Rosiczka ** (sundew)
  • Roślina** (plant; roshe-LEE-nah)
  • Różana** (pink, roo-ZHAH-nah)
  • Ruta (rue)
  • Sasanka** (pasque-flower; anemone)
  • Solanka** (brine)
  • Sosna ** (pine)
  • Ślęzawa ** (mallow wart, shlen-ZAH-vah)
  • Śliwka (plum, SHLEEF-kah)
  • Śnieguła ** (snow bunting, snowflake, shnyeh-GOO-wah)
  • Śnieżyca** (lily-of-the-valley, shnyeh-JIT-sah)
  • Świrzepa** (bastard cabbage, shvee-ZHE-pah)
  • Sójka** (blue jay, SOY-kah)
  • Szarówka** (dusk; shah-ROOF-kah)
  • Tęcza** (rainbow, TEN-chah)
  • Ulewa ** (downpour, oo-LEH-vah)
  • Walerianna (valerian; VAH-lare-ee-AHN-neh-nah)
  • Wichura** (gale, vee-HOO-rah)
  • Wełnianka** (cottongrass)
  • Werbena**
  • Wilga** (oriole; VEEL-ga)
  • Wydma** (dune, VID-mah)
  • Zarośla** (thicket; zah-ROSHE-lah)
  • Zerwa** (rampion, ZARE-vah)
  • Ziemia** (land, earth; ZYEH-myah)
  • Żniwa** (ZHNEE-vah)
  • Żurawka** (alumroot, zhoo-RAHF-kah)
  • Życica** (rye-grass, zhi-TSEET-sah)

Male

  • Bagno** (fen)
  • Baran** (ram)
  • Borsuk** (badger)
  • Buk** (beech)
  • Chmiel** (hop)
  • Dąb** (oak, DOMP)
  • Drzewko** (sapling, JEF-ko)
  • Gagat** (jet)
  • Grom (thunderclap; medieval name)
  • Huk** (thunder)
  • Jawor ** (sycamore)
  • Karneol** (carnelian)
  • Kobalt**
  • Klon** (maple)
  • Kruk (crow) – medieval name
  • Kwarc** (quartz)
  • Lasek** (grove)
  • Las** (forest)
  • Len** (flax)
  • Lew (lion; LEV)
  • Lis** (fox)
  • Łupek ** (slate, WOO-pek)
  • Miedź** (copper, MYEDGE)
  • Miki** (mica)
  • Modrzew** (larch, MODE-jev)
  • Mróz** (frost, MROOZ)
  • Niedźwiedź (bear; NYEDGE-vyedge) -this was used in Medieval Times, now obsolete
  • Nikiel** (nickel)
  • Obsydian** (obsidian)
  • Piolun (absinthe tree)
  • Piorun (lightning; PYO-roon; name of a Slavic god, medieval name)
  • Potok** (stream)
  • Rekin** (shark)
  • Rosomak** (wolverine)
  • Rtęć** (mercury, rTENCH)
  • Turkus** (turquoise)
  • Skarb (treasure)
  • Skowronek** (skylark, sko-VRONE-nek)
  • Słowik ** (nightengale)
  • Świt** (dawn; SHVEET)
  • Szron** (hoarfrost, SHRONE)
  • Wieczór** (evening; VYET-choor)
  • Wróbel ** (sparrow, VROO-bel)
  • Żar ** (flame, ZHAR)
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Polish & French Nature names

Here is a list of French and Polish nature names. Some of these are hypothetical, some of them are actually used. Hypothetical names are italicized. Note: many of the legit nature names are very archaic.

French

Females

  • Acacie
  • Améthyste
  • Argentine (silver)
  • Automne
  • Azalée
  • Azure
  • Baie (bay)
  • Bijou (jewel)
  • Bleue
  • Branche
  • Capucine (nasturtium)
  • Cèdre (cedar)
  • Ciel (sky)
  • Chênaie (oak grove)
  • Colombe (dove)
  • Chrysanthème (mum)
  • Diamante
  • Émeraude
  • Épine (thorn)
  • Érine (alpine flower)
  • Étoile (star)
  • Falaise (cliff)
  • Fauve (fawn colour)
  • Fée (fairy)
  • Flambée (blaze)
  • Garance (hawthorn)
  • Gingembre (ginger)
  • Hiver (winter)
  • Joyau (jewel)
  • Lauréole (daphne laurel)
  • Lierre (ivy)
  • Lune (moon)
  • Miel (honey)
  • Muguette (lily-of-the-valley)
  • Nuage (cloud)
  • Océane (ocean)
  • Opale
  • Ombre (shadow)
  • Onagre (evening primrose)
  • Pavotte (poppy)
  • Perle
  • Pluie (rain)
  • Primevère (primrose)
  • Primerose (hollyhock)
  • Printemps (spring)
  • Rivière (river)
  • Rubine (ruby)
  • Safrane (saffron)
  • Saphire
  • Sarcelle (teal-duck)
  • Sauge (sage)
  • Saule (willow)
  • Serre (talon)
  • Soleil (sun)
  • Tempête (tempest)
  • Topaze (topaz)
  • Tonnelle (arbor)

Males

  • Bleu
  • Éclat (blaze)
  • Faucon (falcon)
  • Faon (fawn-animal)
  • Foin (hay)
  • Bouleau (birch)
  • Laurier (laurel)
  • Loup (wolf)
  • Pierre (stone, rock)
  • Silex (flint)
  • Tremble (aspen)

Polish

Female

  • Akacja
  • Ametysta 
  • Azalia (azalea)
  • Bazylia
  • Burza (storm)
  • Brzoza (birch: BJOH-zah)
  • Chryzantema (mum)
  • Chmura (cloud, HMOO-rah)
  • Cyranka (teal-duck)
  • Gwiazda (star)
  • Jagoda (berry)
  • Jagna (lamb, YAHG-nah)
  • Klejnota (jewel)
  • Koralia (coral)
  • Kwiata (flower, KFYAH-tah)
  • Jesienna (autumn, yeh-SHYEN-nah, yeh-SHYANE-nah)
  • Łabędz (Swan, WA-benj, pre-Christian name)
  • Nasturcja (nasturtium)
  • Nefryta (jade)
  • Niebiana (heavenly)
  • Niebieska (blue)
  • Osika (aspen, ah-SHEE-kah)
  • Pergola (arbor)
  • Perła (pearl)
  • Pogoda (weather)
  • Poziomka (strawberry, paw-ZHOME-kah)
  • Rubina (ruby)
  • Rzeka (river, ZHEH-kah)
  • Sekwoja (sequoia)
  • Skarpa (cliff)
  • Slońce (sun, SWOINs-TSEH)
  • Szafrana (saffron)
  • Szafira (sapphire)
  • Szałwia (sage)
  • Szmaragda (emerald)
  • Stokrotka (daisy)
  • Wierzba (willow, VYEZH-bah)
  • Wisenna/Wiosenna (spring, vi-SEN-nah and vyoh-SEN-nah)
  • Wróżka (fairy, VROOSH-kah)
  • Wyprawa (journey, VIP-prah-vah)
  • Zima (winter, ZHEE-mah)

Male

  • Cień (shadow, Chang)
  • Dereń (dogwood, DEH-reng)
  • Deszcz (rain)
  • Gałąź (branch; GAH-wonshe)
  • Imbir (ginger)
  • Jelonek (fawn animal)
  • Jesion (ash-tree, YEH-shone)
  • Kamień (stone, rock)
  • Kanion (canyon)
  • Kolec (thorn)
  • Kwiatostan (blossom)
  • Płomień (blaze, PWOH-myang)
  • Lasek (grove)
  • Lesota (forest)
  • Mak (poppy)
  • Niebo (heaven)
  • Orzeł (eagle, Aw-jeu)
  • Popiół (ash from a fire, POPE-pyeu)
  • Rudzik (robin)
  • Siano (hay, SHAH-no)
  • Sokół (falcon, SO-keu)
  • Srebro (silver)
  • Sztorm (storm)
  • Żegota (blaze)
  • Źebrak (colt, ZHEH-brahk)
  • Wawrzyn (laurel, VAHF-zhin)
  • Wilk (wolf)

Polish & French Equivalents of the U.S. Top 1000 from 1880 and Beyond

There are some interesting names from the U.S. Top 1000 from yesteryear. Here are hypothetical Polish and French equivalents. Note, any name that is not listed that you know of is exactly because it exists. I focused on names that have no equivalents. What do you think? Can you think of better translations? This time I put the original forms in parenthesis for the least obvious translations.

French

  • Avice
  • Dochie
  • Elmine
  • Elnore
  • Érie
  • Étèle
  • Éthéline
  • Léotie
  • Louëlle
  • Lilise
  • Loulou
  • Madore
  • Mentholée (Minty)
  • Nacrée (Pearlie)
  • Paralie
  • Parthénie
  • Permélie
  • Rosâtre (Pinkey)
  • Sabre
  • Vérone

Polish

  • Ailina
  • Awisa
  • Dosja
  • Dikcja (Dixie)
  • Beryla
  • Delfia
  • Dicja
  • Eria
  • Estela
  • Etela
  • Etelina
  • Feja/Faja
  • Ineza
  • Kadja (Caddie)
  • Klarencja
  • Klarynda
  • Klasja
  • Klejnota (Jewel)
  • Kordia
  • Lilisa
  • Luela
  • Lueta
  • Mabela
  • Marieta
  • Merla
  • Mirta
  • Mozela
  • Muriela
  • Ocja
  • Opala (Opal)
  • Oryla
  • Paralia
  • Partenia
  • Różowawa (Pinkey)
  • Rozela
  • Rozeta
  • Rozyna
  • Szirla
  • Tela
  • Tresja
  • Tursa
  • Werona
  • Wiśnia (Cherry)
  • Zylfia/Zylfa

Polonisations

Here is the Polish edition. This what some popular names would look like if they were hypothetically translated into Polish. What do you think? Would you use any of these? Do you recognize any of them? Please note, traditionally Polish feminine names always end in an -a. Again, based off the U.S. Top 1000. Any names not listed is due to them already existing in use.

  • Abrila
  • Adisona/Adysyna
  • Adja
  • Aja
  • Ajanna
  • Ajla
  • Ajlina
  • Ajtanna
  • Ajwa/Bluszczyna
  • Alaja
  • Alania
  • Aleksysa
  • Alianna
  • Alisona/Alysyna
  • Amaja
  • Amania
  • Amarysa
  • Ambera/Bursztyna/Jantara
  • Amia
  • Anahia
  • Annabela
  • Annalisa/Annaliza
  • Anika
  • Anistona
  • Aprila
  • Araja
  • Ardena
  • Arja
  • Armania
  • Aslina
  • Aspena/Osika
  • Aszlia/Aszla
  • Aszlina
  • Aubra/Alberyka
  • Aubriela
  • Autumna/Jesienna
  • Awa
  • Aweria
  • Awianna
  • Azalia
  • Astryda
  • Becksla
  • Belena
  • Betania
  • Bejlia/Bejla (also a Yiddish name that used to be very common prior to WWII).
  • Blaira
  • Brajla
  • Brejlina
  • Brianna
  • Briara
  • Briela
  • Brytania
  • Bruka/Strumyczka
  • Bruklina
  • Brinla/Brynla
  • Bristola
  • Brynna
  • Cielsa
  • Cierisza
  • Cirsia/Sirsia
  • Cuda
  • Czandlera
  • Dalaria
  • Dalejza
  • Dalasa
  • Dawina
  • Delanna
  • Demia
  • Dejanna
  • Destyna
  • Dezireja
  • Dulsja
  • Dylanna
  • Dżada/Nefryta
  • Dżanna
  • Dżaslina/Jaslina/Żaslina
  • Dżejla
  • Dżejlina
  • Dżejsa
  • Dżelina
  • Dżema/Klejnota/Żema
  • Dżenna
  • Dżessa
  • Dżija
  • Dżilianna/Jilianna
  • Dżolena/Jolena/Żolena
  • Dżordzia
  • Dżorna/Wyprawa
  • Dżunipera/Junipera
  • Edena
  • Eliota
  • Embera
  • Emeria
  • Emersona/Emersyna
  • Emoria/Emora
  • Enzla
  • Erina/Eryna
  • Estela
  • Estrela/Gwiazda
  • Ewerla/Ewerlia
  • Ezmeja
  • Fara
  • Feja
  • Feniksa
  • Finlia
  • Freja
  • Geneza
  • Gracelina
  • Hadla/Hadlia
  • Hallia
  • Harla/Harlia
  • Harpera/Harfa/Harfera
  • Harmonia/Zgoda
  • Harla
  • Harlowa
  • Hata
  • Hawena/Schroniska
  • Hejdenna/Hedenna
  • Hejla
  • Henla
  • Hetera
  • Holanda
  • Holia
  • Huntera
  • Icejanna
  • Icela/Iszela
  • Imania
  • Iworia/Kiela
  • Jadena
  • Jamileta
  • Jarecja
  • Janela/Dżanela/Żanela
  • Jarelia
  • Jarzębina/Rowanna
  • Jocelina/Gozlina
  • Joela/Żoela
  • Jojsa
  • Jordanna
  • Julisa/Juliza
  • Justycja
  • Kadencja/Rytma
  • Kajlia
  • Kajla
  • Kajria
  • Kalla/Kallia
  • Kamerona
  • Kamryna
  • Karena
  • Karmena
  • Karsyna
  • Kartera/Furmanka
  • Kasja
  • Kassyda
  • Katalina
  • Katlina
  • Katleja
  • Kalania
  • Kajlania
  • Kejla (actually, this name was popular among the Jewish community prior to WWII).
  • Kejtlina
  • Kela
  • Kelsa
  • Kendała/Kendela
  • Kenneda/Kennedia
  • Kenzja
  • Kianna
  • Kinzla/Kynzla
  • Kinla
  • Kolynsa
  • Koralina
  • Koria
  • Kortna
  • Kryształa
  • Kwinna
  • Kymbera
  • Lacja/Koronka/Koronkowa
  • Lajla
  • Landra/Landria
  • Łaska/Mercja
  • Laurena/Lauryna
  • Lejlanna
  • Leksja
  • Lenona
  • Lenoksja
  • Letona
  • Lezlia
  • Lianna
  • Lincja
  • Liwa
  • Lizbieta/Lizbeta
  • Loganna
  • Londyna
  • Loreleia
  • Lyryka/Liryczna
  • Mabela
  • Madisona/Madysyna
  • Majla
  • Majra
  • Maka/Poppia
  • Makenna
  • Makenzja
  • Makinla
  • Maksyna
  • Malaja
  • Malezja
  • Maloria
  • Maraja
  • Marena
  • Marilyna
  • Marisola
  • Marysa
  • Marżoria
  • Mawysa
  • Medowa/Łąka
  • Melodia
  • Mejwa
  • Mejsa
  • Meganna
  • Meredyta
  • Miszela
  • Molia
  • Moncerata
  • Monrowa
  • Moria
  • Naja
  • Najla
  • Najelia
  • Nalania
  • Nancja
  • Neweja/Nieba/Raja
  • Noela/Wigilia
  • Nowa
  • Nowalia
  • Oliwka
  • Okla
  • Parysa
  • Passeleta/Pejzla
  • Parkera
  • Pejdzia
  • Pejtona
  • Penia
  • Perła
  • Pipera
  • Prezlia/Prezla
  • Radość
  • Rajlia/Rajla/Ragała
  • Rawenna
  • Regana/Reganna
  • Reja
  • Rejna
  • Relina
  • Remia
  • Remintona
  • Rianna
  • Rija
  • Riwera/Rzeka
  • Risa
  • Roria/Rorja
  • Rozmaryna
  • Rozelina
  • Rubina
  • Rylanna
  • Saraja
  • Sawanna
  • Sawiera/Traczka
  • Sejda
  • Sejlora
  • Sela
  • Serenyta/Spokoja
  • Sjena
  • Skaja
  • Skajla
  • Skajlara
  • Sloanna
  • Smagliczka
  • Stokrota/Dejzja
  • Sumera/Letnia
  • Suttona
  • Swoboda/Liberta
  • Syjona
  • Szajanna
  • Szałwia
  • Szanela
  • Szarona
  • Szelba
  • Szejla
  • Szilona
  • Szkarłata
  • Szmaragda
  • Tabita
  • Tatuma
  • Tęczówka
  • Tiffanna
  • Tegana/Teganna
  • Tejlora/Krawcowa
  • Tenla
  • Toria
  • Wawrzyna/Laurela
  • Wenda
  • Wienna
  • Wilowa/Wierzba
  • Witnia/Witna
  • Wrenna
  • Wyntera/Zima
  • Żamia
  • Zaraja
  • Zejlia/Zelia
  • Zendeja
  • Żolia
  • Zuria

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)

Thaïs

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek Θαις
Meaning: “headband; band.”
Eng (tye-YEES); Fre (tah-YEEZ); Por (TAH-ees)

The name is derived from the Greek root for a band worn around the head. It was borne by a 3rd-century B.C.E. Greek hetaera who was credited as being the burner of Persopolis. She is sometimes believed to have been a lover of Alexander the Great, but there is no conclusive evidence that the two were ever together, what is known for sure is that she was the courtesan of Ptolomy Soter I, Alexander’s general. Her character later inspired other characters of the same name in both Classical Roman and post-Classical literature. She appears in Terence’s Eunuchas, her lines were later quoted by Cicero and a Thaïs is mentioned in Dante’s Inferno. In more recent history, she was the inspiration of Ivan Eframov’s novel, Thaïs of Athens (1975).

The name was also borne by a legendary Egyptian Christian saint who was believed to have originally been a prostitute. She was converted by St. Paphnutius who had disguised himself as a “customer.” Thaïs became a fervent Christian, abandoning her comfortable life as a high-end prostitute and spending three years in repentance eventually dying in peace as a hermit in the Egyptian desert. Her story is the inspiration behind the Anatole France novel Thaïs (1890) which was later adapted into an opera of the same name. Demetre Chiparus famous sculpture, Thaïs, was in turn inspired by the Opera.

Due to the cult of St. Thaïs of Egypt, the name remained in use throughout the former Byzantine Empire. She was used to a certain extent on the continent and in 18th-century England during the Romantic Period.

As of 2010, Thaïs was the 97th most popular female name in France. Her Slovene form of Tajda was the 74th most popular female name in Slovenia, (2010), while Taja came in as the 23rd most popular female name in Slovenia, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Taisija/Taisiya (Bulgarian/Macedonian/Serbian/Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Taís (Catalan/Spanish)
  • Tayys تاييس (Coptic/Lebanese/Syrian)
  • Thaïs (English/French/German/Greek)
  • Thaisia (German)
  • Thaisis (German)
  • Taide (Italian)
  • Taisia (Italian)
  • Taida (Polish)
  • Tais (Polish)
  • Taisja (Polish)
  • Tesja (Polish)
  • Thaís (Portuguese)
  • Taja (Slovene)
  • Tajana (Slovene)
  • Tajda (Slovene)
  • Tajka (Slovene)
  • Tajša (Slovene)

Apolena, Apolline, Appollonia

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “belonging to Apollo.”
Fre (Pronunciation); Czech (ah-poh-LEY-nah); Pol (ah-paw-LAW-nee-ah); Germ/Hung (ah-poh-LONE-ee-ah); It (ah-poh-LONE-yah)

She is sweet, fruity and portable, with the possible nickname options of the avant-garde Apple or the more subtle, Polly, who couldn’t resist this pearl?

Appollonia is a feminine form of the Greek male name, Appollonios πολλωνιος , which means “belonging to Apollo.” It was a very common name in Ancient Greece and is fairly common in modern Greece.

Its feminine form, however, was borne by a legendary saint. St. Appollonia was an early Christian Greek martyr. According to tradition, she was a deaconess and when she left her Church she was approached by a gang looking to kill Christians. Before being killed, she was tortured by either having her teeth pulled out one by one or more likely, she took such a hard blow to the face from her attackers that her teeth were knocked out. She has been revered as the patron saint of dentists and invoked against tooth ache by both the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.

There is evidence to suggest that Appollonia, or at least a form of it, was used in England before the Protestant Reformation. The cult of the saint was fairly popular in Medieval England, and though I cannot conclude that they are related for sure, I have found records of the female name Apelyn as early as the 15th-century in England. Another form of Appelin appears a few times in the mid 19th-century U.S. census records. Both Apelyn or Appelin may make interesting yet legitimate trendy alternatives to Adelyn or any name currently popular name ending in -lyn.

Appollonia is a common enough name in Greece and Southern Italy, many of you may be familiar with the name via The Godfather in which it is the name of the ill-fated Sicilian first wife of Michael Corleone.

As of 2010, its French form of Apolline was the 98th most popular female name in France. Its Polish offshoot of Pola ranked in as the 46th most popular female name in Poland in 2009. In this case, the name may be used in reference to its associations with the Polish noun, pole (field).

Another interesting Polish offshoot is Polonia, which is rare in Poland these days but might make an interesting choice for Polish-American parents who want to honour their heritage as polonia is a term used to describe the Polish diaspora in the United States. She may be the Polish-American answer to the Irish-American, Erin.

Then there is the lovely Czech variant of Apolena, which would make an interesting alternative to Elena or Magdalena.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Apollonia Απολλωνια (Albanian/Dutch/German/Greek/Italian/Romanian/Romansch/Scandinavian)
  • Ap(p)olonija Аполлония (Bulgarian/Croatian/Macedonian/Polish/Russian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Apol·lònia (Catalan)
  • Abelone (Danish)
  • Lone (Danish)
  • Apolline (French)
  • Apollonie (French)
  • Pollonie (French)
  • Abelena (German)
  • Appolonia (German)
  • Apol (Hungarian)
  • Apolka (Hungarian)
  • Apollinária (Hungarian)
  • Apollónia (Hungarian)
  • Pólika (Hungarian)
  • Polina Полина (Hungarian/Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Polla (Hungarian)
  • Apollònia (Occitanian)
  • Apolinaria (Polish)
  • Apolla (Polish)
  • Apollina (Polish)
  • Apollona (Polish)
  • Apolonia (Polish/Serbian/Spanish)
  • Pola (Polish)
  • Polonia (Polish)
  • Apolônia (Portuguese: Brazilian)
  • Apolónia (Portuguese: European)
  • Balugna (Romansch)
  • Paluongia (Romansch)
  • Apollinárija Аполлина́рия (Russian)
  • Apolónia (Slovak)
  • Apoliena (Slovak: ah-poh-LYEH-nah)
  • Polona (Slovene)

Polish diminutives include: Pola, Polka, Polunia, Polusia, Polonka, Połonka, Lonia

Appollonia is also the name of several ancient cities throughout the former Greek colonies.

Masculine forms include:

  • Apollinarij/Apollinary Аполлинарий (Bulgarian/Russian)
  • Apol-loni (Catalan)
  • Apolinár (Czech)
  • Appollonius (Dutch/Latin/Romansch)
  • Apollinaire (French)
  • Apolonio (Galician/Spanish)
  • Apollinaris Απολλιναρις (Greek/Romansch)
  • Apollonios Απολλωνιος (Greek)
  • Apollóniosz (Hungarian)
  • Apollinare (Italian)
  • Appollonio (Italian)
  • Apolinary (Polish)
  • Apoloniusz (Polish)
  • Apolinário (Portuguese)
  • Apolônio (Portuguese: Brazilian)
  • Apolónio (Portuguese: European)
  • Apollinar (Romansch/Spanish)
  • Apollinari (Romansch)
  • Balun (Romansch)

Marina, Marine

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “sea; of the sea”
(mah-REE-nah); Fre (mah-REEN)

The name is borne by a very famous and legendary Middle Eastern Christian saint. Known as Saint Marina the Monk, or St. Marina of Bithynia, (also known as Mariam), legend has it that as a girl, her father disguised her as a boy and left her at a monastery to live with monks. She grew up among the monks, who always believed she was a boy, and she became a role model for the monastic community. She caught the eye of a local girl who, believing she was a man, tried to seduce her, when Marina refused the advances, the girl accused her of making her pregnant. The monastery banished Marina and she was forced to raise the child of the woman who had accused her of being the father. She raised the boy and the boy grew up to join the order and become a pious monk himself, but Marina continued to be ostracized by her former community. It wasn’t until she died that her true identity as a woman was revealed and the monastery realized that she could have never made the woman pregnant, and that the child was not her son. Since she continued to live in humility and raised the child as her own even when he was not, she was seen as a great suffering saint. Her feast is held on July 18th in the Coptic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. The Catholic Church holds her feast on June 18th. Her cult is especially popular among marionite Lebanese Christians.

As a result, the name is fairly popular throughout the Christian Orthodox World, including Russia, Greece, Lebanon and Syria.

Other forms include:

  • Marina Марина მარინა Μαρινα (Bulgarian/Catalan/Croatian/Dutch/Georgian/German/Greek/Italian/Latin/Macedonian/Portuguese/Romanian/Russian/Scandinavian/Serbian/Slovene/Spanish)
  • Marína (Czech/Slovak)
  • Maren (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Marna (Danish)
  • Marine (French)
  • Marinella/Marinetta (Italian)
  • Maryna (Polish: diminutive form is Marynka).
  • Marinela/Marinka (Slovene)
Her French form of Marine also coincides with the French word for “navy blue” and for the female form of marin, meaning, “sailor.” She may make an interesting choice for someone looking for a more feminine and legit alternative to Sailor or even Navy.
As of 2010, Marine was the 100th most popular female name in France. Marina’s rankings in other countries are as follows:
  • # 27 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 27 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 33 (Brazil, 2010)
  • # 59 (Croatia, 2009)
  • # 71 (Maren, Norway, 2011)
  • # 266 (France, 2010)
  • # 321 (Maren, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 616 (United States, 2011)

Masculine form is Marinus.

Cassandra

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek Κασσανδρα
Meaning: debated
Eng (kə-SAN-drə; kə-SAHN-drə)

There are a few theories as to the origins of this name, one is that it is composed of the Greek elements, kekesmai (κεκασμαι), “shining” and the genitive Greek, aner, (ανηρ) “man.” Another possibility to the first element is that it is from the Greek, kasis (κάσις) meaning, “sister.” If either of these theories are to be considered, Cassandra may either mean “shining upon man” or “man’s sister.” The third possibility is that it is a Greek corruption of the ancient Persian female name, Cassandane, which is of uncertain meaning but was the name of a wife of Cyrus the Great. The name is still used in modern Iran in the form of Kasandan.

The name is borne in Greek mythology by the daughter of King Priam. She was cursed by Apollo to predict future events which nobody would believe. Hence the modern term “cassandra” to describe a valid warning which is dismissed or unheeded. Cassandra’s story has been the subject of literature, music and art for the last 2,000 years.

The name was fairly common in Medieval England and was revived in the 18th-century. It was borne by Cassandra Austen (1773-1845) a British artist and the sister of Jane Austen.

The highest the name ranked in U.S. history was in 1990, coming in as the 49th most popular female name. As of 2011, she was the 411th most popular female name.

As of 2010, Cassandra was the 116th most popular female name while her actual French form of Cassandre came in as the 145th most popular name.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Kasandra Касандра (Bosnian/Bulgarian/Croatian/Macedonian/Polish/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Cassandra (Catalan/English/French/Italian/Portuguese/Scandinavian)
  • Kassandra Κασσάνδρα Кассандра (Dutch/Czech/German/Greek/Russian/Scandinavian)
  • Cassandre (French)
  • Kasszandra (Hungarian)
  • Casandra (Spanish)
Common English short forms are Cassie and Sandy.

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.