Katia, Katja, Katya

KatiaThe name is a Russian diminutive form of Ekaterina and spun off as a well-established independent given name across Western Europe. In Russian, this is the equivalent of Katie.

In France, Katia appeared among the Top 100 most popular female names between 1968 and 1979. Katia peaked at #42 in 1970. As of 2018, the name has not been in the French Top 1000 since 2004. Likewise, in Italy, it appeared in the Top 200 Most Popular Female Names between 1999 and 2007 and peaked at #141 in 1999. While in the United States, Katia appeared in the Top 1000 between 1996 and 2001 and peaked in 1996 at #772.

In the 1980s, Katja became extremely popular in Northern Europe, especially in Germany and Scandinavian countries.

In English, the name is sometime transliterated as Katya.

Its latinate form of Catia is occassionally used in Italy, Romania, Portuguese-Speaking and Spanish-speaking countries. Cátia and Kátia is used in Brazil.

As an independent given name, it is seldom used in Russia.

Countries/Languages in which Katia is in use: Bulgarian, Danish, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Romanian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish.

Countries/Languages in which Katja is in use: Bosnian, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, German, Latvian, Macedonian, Norwegian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swedish

Sources

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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.

Sources

Lucinda

LucindaOrigin: Spanish Literature
Meaning: “light”
Gender: Feminine
(loo-SIN-dah)

It is believed Lucinda was created by Miguel de Cervantes for his character in Don Quixote of La Mancha (1605). It is believed Cervantes may have been inspired by the Spanish luz (light). The name was later used by Molière in the form of Lucinde for his 1666 play The Doctor in Spite of Himself.

The name subsequently became popular in the English-speaking world starting in the 18th-century.

The name is also used in Portuguese-Speaking countries and Hungary.

Common short forms include: Cinda, Cindy, Lucie, and Lucy.

Sources

Yannick, Yanig

t-shirt-le-petit-bretonOrigin: French, Breton
Meaning: a diminutive form of Yann (Breton form of John)
Gender: masculine, sometimes used as a unisex name outside Brittany
(yah-NEEK)

Yannick is a franconisation of the Breton male Yanig, which is a diminutive form of Yann (John).

Due to the –ick, ique suffix which is traditionally found in French unisex names, it was sometimes bestowed on females. In Bretagne (Brittany) however, the name was always strictly masculine. There is an almost identical Breton female name, Janig (Jeannette) which is sometimes franconized to Jeannick/Jeannique, and this is where the confusion among French-speakers lie, as Janig was also sometimes franconized to Yannick.

The name first entered the Francophone mainstream in the 1920s, and by the 1970s, became an extremely popular male name in France and outside the Hexagone. He was the Jason of France and is now considered a name dated to the 1970s-90s. Thereafter, the name trickled into use in Dutch-speaking, German-speaking, and Portuguese-speaking countries

Yannick was in the French top 100 between 1946-1991. It peaked in popularity 3 years in a row between 1972-1974, coming in as the 31st most popular male name. In 2008, Yannick had burned himself out and disappeared from the popularity charts altogether, and has yet to be seen.

In Belgium, Yannick was in the Top 100 between 2000 and 2001 and peaked at #73 in 2000. In French-speaking Switzerland, he peaked at #34 between 1995-1996. He has made his appearance in Austria, coming and going from the Top 100 between 2005 and 2010 and peaked at #57 in 2006 and 2010. In the Netherlands, he remains in the Top 1000, though not popular, he comes in at a meagre #369.

In Germany, the name appears in the form of Jannik and became wildly popular starting in the mid-80s. In this case, however, the name may be used in reference to a Dutch or Frisian diminutive form of Jan (john), but German parents have occasionally opted for the Yannick spelling if they wanted to be a bit different, and have sometimes even confused the Polish diminutive form Janek as a nice alternative, though in Poland, Janek is never used as an independent given name. An interesting side note, in France and Quebec, Yannick did become slightly popular among Polish immigrant parents due to its similarity to Janek. A notable Franco-Polish bearer is football player, Yannick Stopyra (b. 1961).

Through the years, the name has been borne by several notable personalities, some of the most notable being French tennis player, Yannick Noah (b. 1960), Canadian actor, Yannich Bisson (b.1969), Portuguese football player, Yannick dos Santos Djaló (b. 1986); French olympic Swimmer, Yannick Aignel (b. 1992), and Belgian football player, Yannick Ferreira Carrasco (b. 1993).

Other spellings include: Yannig, Yanik, Yanick, Yannik and the particular favorite among Quebecois, Yanic.

Sources

 

Mordecai

MordecaiOrigin: Biblical
Meaning: debated
Gender: Masculine

The name is of debated origin and meaning. It is found in the Book of Esther as the name of the adopted father of Esther, the son of Jair of the tribe of Benjamin. Mordecai was a Persian subject of Jewish extraction who refused to bow down before Haman, who as a result, proclaimed an edict to kill all Jews. Through the successful plotting of Mordecai and his adopted daughter Esther, they were both able to entrust themselves to the Persian king who upon marrying Esther, foiled Haman’s plot to annihilate the Jews.

The meaning and origin of the name itself seems to be debated. A popular theory is that it is from a Persian name, Marduku, which simply means “servant of Marduk” or “belonging to Marduk.” Marduk was the name of the supreme Sumerian creator diety who had been worshipped in Ancient Persia and Babylon. According to scholars, it would not have been unlikely for Jews to bear the name of a pagan diety as many exiled Jews took the names of their captors; among ancient Persian Jews, Marduk would have just been a general translation of “God.”

Other theories propound that it comes from various Hebrew root words, such as

  • מַר, מָרִיר (mar) “bitter”
  • from a Hebrew source r-d-d “bruising”
  • from a Hebrew source m-r-d “contrition”

According to rabbinic literature, a Midrashic interpretation of Mordecai is that the name is from the Hebrew words, mara dochi, meaning “pure myrrh.” It is also suggested that  Mordecai’s name was actually Mordecai Bilshan, based on Ezra 2:2 and Nehemiah 7:7, and thus the name has also been interpreted as meaning “master of many languages” due to the latter element, reminding readers that Mordecai was highly learned.

In the English-speaking world, Mordecai has been in use since at least the 16th-century, and seems to come into popular use after the Protestant Reformation.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mardec’hai (Breton)
  • Mordechai (German/Dutch)
  • Mardoqueo (Spanish)
  • Mardochée (French)
  • Mardocheo (Italian)
  • Mordekai (Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Mardocheusz (Polish)
  • Mordecai (Portuguese)
  • Mardohej Мардохей (Russian)
  • Mordekaj (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Mordokai (Finnish)
  • Mardohaj Мордехай (Ukrainian)

Mordecai has not appeared in the U.S. top 1000, but Mordechai has. The latter entered the U.S. top 1000 in 2003 when it came in as the 963rd most popular male name. Mordechai disappeared and reentered in 2016 as the 998th most popular male name.

Nicknames include:

  • Mordy
  • Chai/Kai

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

Lyra

Cygnus, LyraOrigin: Greek
Meaning: “lyre.”
Gender: Feminine
Pronunciation: LIE-rah

The name comes from the Greek meaning “lyre.” It is the name of a constellation which was named for the lyre of Orpheus, which was said to quell the voices of sirens.

Lyra is also the name of a type of ancient Musical instrument.

The name first came into use in the English-speaking world in the 19th-century. It first appeared in the U.S. Top 1000’s Most Popular Female names in 2015. As of 2016, it was the 932nd most popular female name. It’s recent appearance may be influenced by Philip Pullman’s popular trilogy, His Dark Materials (1995), in which it is the name of one of the main characters, Lyra Belacqua.

The lovely Breton, Lourenn (loo-RENN) would also make a wonderful alternative.

Other forms include:

Lourenn (Breton)
Lira (Catalan/Italian/Latvian/Occitanian/Romanian/Polish/Slovenian)
Lüüra (Estonian)
Lyra (English/Portuguese/Spanish)
Lyyra (Finnish)
Lyre (French)

Sources

https://www.behindthename.com/name/lyra
https://www.ssa.gov
https://www.familysearch.org
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyra

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)

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)