Gender: Feminine
Origin: German
Meaning: “labour; work.”
Eng (I-dah); Germ/Swe (EE-da)

The name is derived from the Germanic element, id, meaning “work; labour.”

The name was introduced into England by the Normans and fell out of usage by the late Middle Ages. It experienced a revival during the 19th-century, possibly due to the heroin of the Lord Tennyson poem, The Princess (1847); which was later adapted into a play entitled Princess Ida.

The name could also, likewise, be related to the Greek female name, which is found in Greek Mythology as the name of a nymph who nursed Zeus. Mount Ida on Crete is supposedly named after her.

In Hinduism it is the name of an earth goddess.

The name does not appear in the U.S. top 1000, the highest she has ranked in U.S. naming history was between 1880-1882, where she consecutively came in as the 7th most popular female name. She is, however, the 2nd most popular female name in Denmark, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 7 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 8 (Iida, Finland, 2010)
  • # 17 (Sweden, 2010)

The name was borne by St. Ida of Lorraine (1040-1115); Russian ballerina, Ida Rubenstein (1885-1960); First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley (1847-1907); African-American Journalist and Early Civil Rights Activist, Ida B. Wells (1862-1931).

Ida is used across Europe, and rarely deviates from the original form. In Finnish she is rendered as Iida, and there is a very archaic Polish form of Hida, no longer in usage.

The designated name-days are: February 16 (Slovakia); March 14 (Czech Republic); September 4 (Germany, Norway, Poland); September 14 (Finland/Sweden).




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Various
Eng (TAH-rah; TARE-uh)

The name can be of several different origins and meanings depending on the bearer of the name. It could be from the Sanskrit and Hindi तारा meaning, “star.”

In Hinduisim, Tara (Devi), a Mahavidya of Mahadevi, Kali or Parvati is a star goddess, she is considered one of the Great Wisdom goddesses.

In Buddhism, Tara is the name of a tantric meditation goddess.

In the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, it is the name of the wife of the monkey king, Vali, who married the king’s brother, Sugriva, after Vali’s death.

Among the Irish Diaspora, the name was usually used in reference to the sacred hill, Tara, where the high kings were usually coronated. In this case, the name is an anglicized form of the Gaelic, Teamhair, meaning, “elevated place.”

It may have been further popularized in the English-speaking world by the 1936 Margaret Mitchell novel, Gone with the Wind, in which the plantation is called Tara, in honour of the hill in Ireland.

In South Slavic languages, it could either be a contracted form of Tamara, or it could be taken from the name of the river which runs through Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is also the name of a river in Russia.

As of 2009, Tara was the 30th most popular female name in Croatia. Her popularity in other countries are as follows:

  • # 50 (Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 62 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 77 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 126 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 774 (United States, 2010)

It is also the name of a sea goddess in Polynesian Mythology.


The name could be of a few different etymologies depending on the bearer of the name.

In Hinduism, it is an epithet for the goddess, Parvati, said to be derived from the Sanskrit exclamation,  उ मा  (u ma) meaning, “oh don’t” a reprimand from the goddess’ mother from severe austerity.

It could also be a Hebrew name meaning, “nation.”

The name is currently very popular in Bosnia & Herzegovina, coming in as the 81st most popular female name, (2010). In this case, the name may be a borrowing from the Sanskrit or it could be a short form of the Bosnian female name, Umihana, which is a Bosnian form of the Islamic epithet, Umm-ul-Banin, meaning (mother of several sons). Umm-ul-Banin was the epithet of Fatimah, the second wife of Ali. Another Bosnian form is Umija.

The name was brought to the spotlight, in the Western World, via American actress, Uma Thurman (b.1970). In the actress’ case, she was named for the Tibetan Dbuma Chenpo, the db being silent.


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Sanskrit  इन्दिरा Индира
Meaning: “beauty.”

The name comes from the Sanskrit element, Indu, meaning “beauty.” In Hinduism, it is one of the many names of the goddess Lakshmi.

The name was popularized outside of India via India’s first female Prime Minister, Indira Ghandi (1917-1984).

The name has become quite popular in Central Asia, particularly in the former Soviet Republics after Indira Ghandi had established close relations with the Soviet Union. The name is currently the 6th most popular female name in Tajikistan, (2010).

It is also occasionally used in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia.


The name is of several different origins and meanings. It could be a German and Swedish short form of any name ending in –lina.

In Lithuanian, it is the feminine form of Linas, meaning, “flax.” It is also the Estonian and Finnish word for flax, and is used as a given name in both countries.

It could also be from the Arabic لينا meaning “palm tree” or “tender.”

In Sanskrit लीना it means “absorbed; united.”

The name is also used in Chinese, being a composition of the words 丽 (Li) meaning “pretty” and 娜 (Na), meaning “elegant.”

Currently, Lina is the 7th most popular female name in Germany, (2011). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 15 (German-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 19 (France, 2009)
  • # 20 (Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 25 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 36 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 61 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 84 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 91 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 848 (United States, 2010)


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “victory.”

The name is a Russian and Macedonian form of the Greek, Nicetas, which is derived from νικη (nike) meaning, “victory.”

It was borne by a 5th-century Serbian saint, considered the patron saint of Romania.

In more recent years it has been associated with Russian General Secretary and Premier of the Soviet Union during the 1950s and 1960s, Nikita Krushchev (1894-1971).

In Russian folklore, it is borne by Nikita the Tanner, who is believed to have rescued a Kievan princess from the clutches of an evil dragon.

Currently, Nikita is the 10th most popular male name in Moscow, Russia (2010) and the 176th most popular male name in Germany, (2011).

In the West, the name has occasionally been used for females, however, it is uncertain if this is a borrowing from the Russian or if it in fact a borrowing from the Indian. The name is coincidentally a feminine Indian name, which is derived from the Sanskrit meaning “earth” or “sleep.” It is sometimes transliterated as Nikhita.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Nikita Никита Նիկիտա ნიქითა (Armenian/Bulgarian/Chuvash/Georgian/Macedonian/Romanian/Serbian)
  • Mikita мікіта (Belarusian)
  • Niketas Νικήτας (Greek)
  • Nicetas (Latin/Polish)
  • Mykyta Микита (Ukrainian)


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Arabic; Sanskrit  سميرة‎, समीर

The name is a feminine form of the Arabic or Sanskrit male name, Samir.

Currently, Samira is the 89th most popular female name in Germany, (2011).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Samira Самира (Azeri/Chechen/Kazakh/Kyrgyz/Tatar/Tajik/Turkmen/Uzbek)
  • Zamira Замира (Azeri/Chechen/Kazakh/Russian/Tajik/Turkmen)
  • Samira  مخملباف (Farsi)
  • Sameera (Indian)
  • Semra (Bosnian/Turkish)

Samira is used in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, throughout Central Asia and within the Middle East.


The name can either be from the Sanskrit meaning “illusion.” In this case it is the name of a concept found both in Hinduisim and Sikhism. It is also another name for the goddess Durga.

In Buddhism it is the name of the mother of Buddha.

It could also be a contraction of Maria.

In Eastern European languages, it is the word for May and may be used in reference to the month.

Currently, Maya is the 19th most popular female name in the United States, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 46 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 51 (Belgium, 2010)
  • # 57 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 64 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 67 (United States, 2010)
  • # 75 (France, 2009)
  • # 84 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 91 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 193 (the Netherlands, 2010)

Spelled Maja she is one of the most popular female names on continental Europe. Her rankings are as follows:

  • # 1 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 2 (Poland, 2010)
  • # 7 (Denmark, 2010)
  • # 10 (Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 19 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 26 (Croatia, 2010)
  • # 35 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 37 (Hungary, 2010)
  • # 54 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 277 (the Netherlands, 2010)
Another form is the Finnish Maija.




The name can have several different etymologies, in Sanskrit it is derived from the word  लीला (lilá) meaning, “play; amusement; sport.” In Hinduisim, lila is used to describe how the Universe is a playground for the Gods.

In English it could be an abbreviated form of Delilah, sometimes also spelled Lilah.

In German, Finnish, French and Spanish, it may be taken directly for the word for purple or lilac.

Currently, Lila is the 105th most popular female name in France and the 155th most popular in the United States. In English it is pronounced (LIE-lah) but in all other languages (LEE-lah).




Gender: Masculine
Origin: Indian रोहण
Meaning: “to ascend”

The name is derived from the Sanskrit word, रोहण  (rohana) describing the act of ascending, mounting, riding, standing, or sitting on. It can be used to describe the act of coming into being, production or healing of a wound and it is the name of a medicinal herb.  It is also the name of a mountain in Ceylon known in English as Adam’s Peak.

Coincidentally, the name appears in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings where it is the name of a place in Middle Earth meaning “horse country” in Sindarin.

It is also the name of a place in Brittany and in Malta.

Currently, Rohan is the 434th most popular male name in the Netherlands and the 536th most popular in the United States, (2010).

The feminine form is Rohana.