Rayhana

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Arabic
Meaning: “basil; scented herb; myrtle.”
(ray-HAH-nah)

The name is derived from the Arabic نبات من , (al-rayhan), meaning “basil.” The word itself is derived from the Arabic element,  رائحة (riha) meaning, “odor; fragrance; or myrtle.” This element has entered into several Semitic, Indo-Iranian and Central Asian languages either interchangeably meaning “basil”, “myrtle” or “scented herb.”

Its Arabic form of Rayhana was borne by one of the wives of the Prophet Mohammed. Rayhana was a Jewish woman of dubious origins. Not much is known about her, it is believed that she eventually divorced the prophet and went back to live with her people, other sources suggest that she at first stubbornly refused to convert to Islam but eventually complied.

The word also appears in the Qur’an in Sura Ar-Rahman (the “scented herb” in Ayah no 12) and Sura Al-Waqiah (Ayah no 89).

Its Bosnian form of Rejhana is currently the 91st most popular female name in Bosnia & Herzegovina, (2010) and its Maltese form of Rihanna, which is derived from the Maltese word for the common Myrtle, Riħan, is the 10th most popular female name in Malta, (2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Rejhana (Albanian/Bosnian/Chechen/Kyrgyz/Turkmen)
  • Rihana (Amharic)
  • RahanՐահան (Armenian)
  • Rehan Ռեհան (Armenian)
  • ReyhanՐեյհան (Armenian/Azeri/Romani/Turkish)
  • Rihan Րիհան (Armenian)
  • Rhan Րհան (Armenian)
  • Rekhani რეხანი (Georgian)
  • Raihan Раихан (Kazakh/Tatar)
  • Rihanna/Riħanna (Maltese)
  • Reyhaneh (Persian)
  • Ryhona Райхонa (Tajik/Uzbek)
  • Raiha Раиха (Tatar)
  • Raihana Раихана (Tatar)
  • Mrihani (Swahili)
In Arabic, Rayḥān is used as a male name.

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Sarah, Sara

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “princess.”
Eng (SARE-ah); Heb (SAH-hrah)

Sarah has been a popular choice throughout the English speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. In Medieval Europe, the name seldom got much usage outside the Jewish community.

Currently, Sarah is the 20th most popular female name in the United States-(2008) and the highest she peaked was in 1993 coming in as the 3rd most popular female name.

The lowest she has ever ranked in U.S. history so far was in 1959 when she ranked in as the 119th most popular female name.

In other countries, Sarah and Sara’s rankings are as follows:

  • # 16 (Australia, 2007)
  • # 2 (Austria, 2008)
  • # 6 (Belgium, 2008)
  • # 13 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 72 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 3 (Croatia, 2008)
  • # 9 (Denmark, 2008)
  • # 2 (Faroe Islands, 2008)
  • # 3 (Finland, among Finnish-speakers, 2007)
  • # 10 (Finland, among Swedish-speakers, 2007)
  • # 1 (Iceland, 2004-2007)
  • # 3 (Iran, 2007)
  • # 3 (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 4 (Israel, among Druze girls, 2004)
  • # 4 (Italy, 2007)
  • # 3 (Libya)
  • # 1 (Liechtenstein,2008)
  • # 7 (Luxembourg, 2008)
  • # 34 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 3 (Norway, 2008)
  • # 76 (Poland, Warsaw, 2009)
  • # 24 (Scotland, 2008)
  • # 5 (Serbia, 2009)
  • # 2 (Slovenia, 2008)
  • # 4 (Spain, 2008)
  • # 7 (Spain, Basque Country, 2008)
  • # 9 (Spain, Catalonia, 2008)
  • # 3 (Switzerland, 2008)
  • # 9 (Quebec, Canada, 2008)

The name is found in the Old Testament as the name of the wife of patriarch, Abraham, and the mother of Isaac. Among Jews, Sarah is considered to be an important matriarch and she also plays an important role as the wife of Ibrahim in the Qu’ran.

According to the Old Testament, Sarah was born as Sarai, (either from the Hebrew meaning “contentious” or “my princess”), but after Abraham had made the covenant with God, her name was changed to Sarah שָׂרָה, which is from the Hebrew meaning “a princess” or “a woman of high status”.

In Romani legend, the name is borne by a popular folk saint, known as St. Sarah the Black, it was believed that she was a a servant of St. Mary Magdalen, and that upon their arrival in France, she lived the life a of a beggar. The Romani people took her on as their patron saint.

The name has spun off such offshoots as Sally and Sadie. Both Sally and Sadie started off as English pet forms, but have been in usage as independent given names for centuries.

Currently, Sadie stands in as the 108th most popular female name in the United States, (2008), in Canada, she is the 56th most popular female name.

As for the older, dowdier version of Sally, it has not ranked in the U.S. top 1000 since 2004, when it came in at # 917. The highest she ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1939, when she came in as the 52nd most popular female name.

Other forms of the Sarah include:

  • Sara سارة (Arabic)
  • Sahra/Saro (Aramaic)
  • SaraAzeri/Catalan/Dutch/Finnish/French/German/Indonesian/Italian/Latvian/Lithuanian/Polish/Portuguese/Spanish/Scandinavian Turkish)
  • Sára (Czech/Faroese/Icelandic/Slovak: SAH-rah)
  • Saara (Estonian/Finnish/Baloch)
  • Saare (Estonian)
  • Saija (Finnish)
  • Sari (Finnish)
  • Saar/Saarke/Saartje (Frisian)
  • Sarah שָׂרָ֖ה (German/English/Hebrew)
  • Sára Σάρα (Greek)
  • Saala/Saalat (Greenlandic)
  • Kala (Hawaiian)
  • Sarit שָׂרִית (Hebrew: modern form)
  • Sára (Hungarian: SHAH-rah)
  • Sári/Sárika (Hungarian: SHAH-ree, SHAH-ree-ko: originally diminutive forms, now used as independent given name)
  • Saretta (Italian: obscure form)
  • Sarina (Italian: obscure form)
  • Sarita (Italian/Lithuanian/Spanish: obscure diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Saruccia (Italian: Medieval diminutive form occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Sasotta (Italian: obscure form)
  • Sarina (Ossetian/Georgian)
  • Sara  سارا(Persian/Iranian)
  • Sara Сара (Russian/Serbian/Bulgarian)
  • Sarê (Kurdish)
  • Suri (Yiddish)
  • Tzeitel (Yiddish: TSITE-el)

The designated name-days are: January 19 (Poland/Hungary), July 19 (Sweden), October 4/22 (France), October 9 (Czech Republic).

Famous Sarahs include: French Stage Actress, Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (b.1959), American actress, Sarah Michelle Gellar (b.1977), American nominee for Vice-President and former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin (b.1964). American actress and star of Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker (b.1965).

Thomas

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Aramaic
Meaning: “twin”
(TOM-us)

The Latinized form of the Aramaic Tau’ma which is derived from the word T’oma (תאומא) meaning “twin.” The name was introduced to the world via St. Thomas the Apostle, a character that plays a prominent role in the New Testament. He is best known for his disbelief when he first heard that Christ had resurrected from the dead, hence the saying “doubting Thomas.”

Tau’ma was a nickname given to him to differentiate him from Judas Iscariot, (Thomas’ real name being Judas or Jude). He is also known as Didymos, (the Greek word for twin), and Jude. His evangelization was attributed to the area of Persia and India. Thomas is a very popular name among Indian Christians and Persian Christians. His feast is celebrated on July 3rd. The name was introduced into the English speaking world via the Normans after they had conquered England. Since that time Thomas has been a relatively popular male name.

  • Tomas (Albanian)
  • Touma توما‎, (Arabic)
  • Tovmas (Armenian)
  • Foma (Azeri/Russian)
  • Tomás (Aragonese/Asturian/Spanish)
  • Tomas (Basque)
  • Dammerl (Baverian)
  • Tòmas (Bearnais)
  • Tamaš Тамаш (Belarusian)
  • Toma Тома (Bosnian/Bulgarian/Georgian)
  • Tomaz (Breton)
  • 多馬 Duoma (Chinese Biblical)
  • 湯瑪斯 Tangmasi, 湯瑪士 Tangmashi, 托馬斯 Tuomasi, (Chinese General Translation)
  • Tumasgiu (Corsican)
  • Tomo/Tome (Croatian: occassionally Tomislav is used as a translation, though technically it has no etymological relation to Thomas)
  • Tomáš (Czech)
  • Thomas (Danish/Dutch/English/French/German/Indonesian/Latin/Luxemborgish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Maas (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, sometimes used as an independent given name)
  • Toomas (Estonian)
  • Tummas (Faroese)
  • Tuomas/Tuomo (Finnish)
  • Maes (Flemmish)
  • Tomas (Filipino/Tagalog)
  • Theumis (Frisian)
  • Tomé (Galician)
  • Thōmâs Θωμᾶς/Thomás Θωμάς/Didymos Δίδυμος (Greek: Modern)
  • Teom (Hebrew)
  • Tamás (Hungarian)
  • Tómas (Icelandic)
  • Tomás (Irish)
  • Tommasso (Italian)
  • Tommassino (Italian)
  • Tomasiello/Tommasuccio (Italian: obscure)
  • トーマス Tomasu (Japanese)
  • Tomas (Karakalpak: a Turkic language spoken in Uzbekistan)
  • 도마 Doma /Toma (Korean Biblical)
  • 토머스 Tomeoseu/T’omŏsŭ (Korean: General Translation)
  • Thomasê (Kurdish)
  • Toms (Latvian)
  • Tomas (Lithuanian)
  • Томислав, Τоми, Томо, Томас, Τоме (Macedonian)
  • Thoma/Thommen/Oummen/Thommy (Malayalam)
  • Tamihana (Maori)
  • Tumas (Maltese)
  • Tuami (Moroccan-Arabic)
  • Thomé (Occitanian)
  • توماس Tomasp (Persian)
  • Tomasz (Polish: Tomek is a popular diminutive, equivalent to Tommy or Tom)
  • Tomás, Tomé (Portuguese)
  • Tomašis/Tomerdos (Romani: language of the Roma people)
  • Tumasch (Romansch)
  • Tuoms (Saimogaitian: a dialect of Lithuanian)
  • Tomasi (Samoan)
  • Tomasso (Sardinian)
  • Tam/Tòmas (Scottish)
  • Тома Toma (Serbian)
  • Tomáš (Slovakian)
  • Tomaž (Slovene)
  • Tomás (Spanish)
  • Thoma (Swahili)
  • Tāmas தாமஸ்/Tōmā தோமா (Tamil)
  • To-mus โทมัส (Thai)
  • Choma (Ukrainian)
  • Tomaš (Upper Sorbian)
  • Tomaxo (Venetian)
  • Tomos/Twm (Welsh)
  • Teomo (Yiddish)

 

  • Thomasina, Thomasine, Thomazina and Tammy, Tamsin. Popular nicknames include Tom and Tommy.