Zara

ZaraThe name has recently become a success in several countries, from England to Turkey, it has several possible derivatives and meanings.

Its English use may have been inspired by the Voltaire play, Zara (1732) (Zaïre in French) which may have been a French corruption of the Arabic female name, Zahra. The play recounts the exploits of a Christian woman named Zara or Zaïre, who is enslaved by Muslims. The name became extremely popular in the U.K. after Princess Anne chose this name for her daughter, Zara Phillips (b.1981).

Alternately, the name has recently become popular in many Slavic countries. It is probably a borrowing from the Bulgarian hypochoristic form of Zaharina (a feminine form of Zachary) or it may be from an Old Slavonic element, žar (fervor, ardor, ember).

Zara currently ranks in several countries’ top female names. Her rankings across the world are as follows:

  • #11 (Malaysia, 2016)
  • #22 (Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2016)
  • #23 (Australia, 2017)
  • #38 (New Zealand, 2016)
  • #40 (Scotland, 2016)
  • #46 (Slovenia, 2016)
  • #56 (Ireland, 2016)
  • #68 (England/Wales, 2016)
  • #197 (Netherlands, 2016)
  • #318 (United States, 2016)

Zara is also the name of a clothing store.

Sources

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Majd, Majda

MajdOrigin: Arabic مجد
Meaning: exaltation; glory
Arab (MADGE); Serbo-Cro/Slov. (MYE-dah)

Majd is a traditional unisex Arabic name meaning “glory; exaltation.”

Majd is the acronym for the Algerian political party Mouvement Algérien pour la Justice et le Développement. Majd is also the name of a Lebanese political party.

Majda is also used among Bosnian Muslims as a Slavonic exclusive feminine form of the Arabic Majd; it is also used by Serbian, Croatians and Slovenes as a contracted form of Magdalena.

Another transliteration is Magd.

Sources

 

Myron

Myron

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “myrrh; perfume”
Gender: Masculine
Eng. (MY-ron); GRK (MEE-rone)

The name comes from the Greek meaning “myrrh; perfume.” It was borne by a 5th-century B.C.E Greek sculptor as well as several Christian saints.

In the United States, especially at the turn of the century, it was used among Jewish families as a form of the Hebrew Meir.

Myron is also the name of a genus of snakes.

For 100 years, between 1900-2000, it was in the U.S. Top 1000 Most popular male name. Myron peaked in 1931 when it was the 192nd most popular male name.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mirón (Asturian/Galician/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Miran Міран (Belarussian)
  • Miron Ми́рон (Bulgarian/Croatian/Romanian/Russian/Serbian/Slovenian/Ukrainian)
  • Miró (Catalan)
  • Myrón (Czech)
  • Myron (Dutch/English/French/German/Polish)
  • Mürón (Hungarian)
  • Mýron (Icelandic)
  • Mirone (Italian)
  • Mironi მირონი (Georgian)
  • Mironas (Lithuanian)

A feminine form is Myra.

Sources

 

Vuk

VukOrigin: Serbo-Croatian
Meaning: “wolf”
Gender: Masculine
(VOOK)

The name comes directly from the Serbo-Croatian word for “wolf” and has been in use since at least the 13th-century. According to tradition, the name was used on a child who had been born after multiple infant deaths, it was used as a sort of token against evil spirits.

The name was borne by several Medieval Serbian rulers and military leaders.

Vuk is also the name a novel and of the title character in the Hungarian children’s novella by István Fekete (1965).

Medieval feminine forms include: Vlkava and Vlčenka.

Sources

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

Darian, Dariana

DarianOrigin: various
(Eng. DARE-ee-en; Slov/Bul. DAR-yahn)

Darian is of several different origins and meanings.

The most solid source is that is an Eastern Slavic form of Darij (Darius) or based on the Slavic element, dar (gift).

Its use in the English-speaking world is far more convoluted.

Many sources believe this name is just an elaborate form of Darren, which itself is a name of uncertain origins. Sources indicate this name has been in use since at least the 16th-century in England. Variations that appear in 16th-century records include Darens and Doran in Cornwall. The latter may be from the Cornish element, dor (ground, earth), however, it is unknown if Darian is linked with Doran. The earliest use of Darian as a given name is from Spain (circ. 1572).

Darin appears a few times in 16th-century German and Swiss records. Darin is a another South Slavic name that shares the same element as Darian, but it is doubtful that this is the same source that appears in German and Swiss records. In what is now Croatia, Darian appears in records as early as the 17th-century.

Its feminine form of Dariana is used in all South Slavic countries and Romania and has also been in occasional use among English-speakers of non-Eastern European roots. Dariana appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 Female Names one time in 2000, ranking in as the 837th most popular female name.

In the U.S., Darian has also been in occasional use as a female name. It even appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 Female Names between 1992 and 2002 and peaked at #313 in 1994. For males, the name has been in the U.S. Top 1000 since 1965. Darian currently ranks in as the 846th most popular male name. It peaked at #358 in 1994.

Another English form of Darian is Darien.

Sources

 

Cvijeta

cvijeta_zuzori_Origin: Serbo-Croatian
Meaning: “flower”
Gender: feminine
(TVEE-yet-tah)

The name comes directly from the Serbo-Croatian word for flower and was used as a vernacular form of the Latin Flora.

The name was born by Cvijeta Zuzorić (1552-1648), a Croatian lyric poetess who was able to write in Croatian, Latin and Italian.

The designated name day is January 3rd.

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

January Names

JanuaryI thought at the beginning of each month, I would post a list of names associated with the that particular month. Below is a list of names I have previously written about associated with January

 

Agnes: January 21st is the feast of St. Agnes and according to folklore, on January 20th, which John Keats’ was inspired to write a poem about, unmarried girls are supposed to see a future glimpse of their husband in their dreams the night before, provided they do not eat that day.

Frost: January is often associated with cold temperatures and frosty weather. Here are some name associated with frost

Sarma, Sarmite: These 2 Latvian lovelies come directly from the Latvian word for hoarfrost. The latter is pronounced sar-MEE-teh.

Kirsi: This Finnish female name is associated with the cherry fruit but also means “frost” in Finnish.

Other names that mean “frost” or words for frost from other languages include:

Male

  • Antizgar (Basque)
  • Dér (Hungarian)
  • Hall (Estonian)
  • Reif (German)
  • Rijp (Dutch)
  • Rio (Manx)
  • Šerkšnas (Lithuanian)
  • Sioc (Gaelic)
  • Szron (Polish, SHRONE)
  • Barrug (Welsh)

Female

  • Blancada (Occitanian)
  • Brina (Italian)
  • Bryma (Albanian)
  • Chelata (Aragonese)
  • Geada (Portuguese)
  • Gelada (Catalan)
  • Eláda (Guarani)
  • Escarcha (Spanish)
  • Jinovatka (Czech)
  • Pruina (Latin)
  • Salna (Latvian)
  • Slana (Slovenian)

Snow: Also one of the snowiest months of the year, some names that mean “snow.”

Other names meaning snow that I have yet to write about include

Male

  • Erc’h (Breton)
  • Jur (Chuvash)
  • Kar (Turkish)
  • Lov (Erzya)
  • Nix (Latin)
  • Yas (Navajo)

Female

  • Dëbora (Albanian)
  • Fiòca (Piedmontese)
  • Kavi (Faroese)
  • Neige (French)
  • Neva (Neapolitan)
  • Neve (Galician/Italian)
  • Parsla (Latvian)

Ice, the following are names that mean “ice”

Male

  • Buz (Turkish)
  • Izotz (Basque)
  • Jég (Hungarian)
  • Led (Czech, Serbo-Croatian)
  • Păr (Chuvash)
  • Siku (Inupiak)
  • Ledas (Lithuanian)
  • Ledus (Latvian)
  • Tin (Navajo)
  • Xeo (Galician)
  • Ysbran

Female

  • Cetl (Nahuatl)
  • (Welsh)
  • Ma’ome (Cheyenne)

Epiphany: January 6th officially marks the end of the Christmas season, when the Magi finally were able to locate the Christ child and bestow gifts upon him.

Garnet is the birthstone of January. Below is a list of words from other languages that mean “garnet” and would make awesome names

  • Gernete (Anglo-Norman)
  • Granate (Asturian/Basque/Spanish)
  • Grenat (French)
  • Gairnéad (Gaelic)
  • Granato (Italian)
  • Granatas (Lithuanian)
  • Granada (Portuguese)

Likewise, Carnation is the birthflower, its Latin name is Dianthus, which was a name before it was a flower. Below is a list of words from other languages that mean “carnation” and would make awesome names. Also mixed in are some names with the meaning of “carnation” or just have carnation associations

  • Diantha
  • Clavel (Asturian/Spanish)
  • Krabelin (Basque)
  • Clavellina (Catalan)
  • Havenellike (Danish)
  • Caraveleira (Galician)
  • Landnelke (German)
  • Nellika (Icelandic)
  • Caxtillān (Nahuatl)
  • Penigan (Welsh)

And for boys, other than Dianthus, there is the Italian Garafano

The Chinese plum is the flower emblam for Spring, in Chinese it is called Meihua and its Japanese name is Ume. In Korean it is called Maesil and Vietnamese it is called Mai.

In Japan, the flower emblem for January is the Camellia

Another January birthflower is the snowdrop

  1. Çeçpĕl (Chuvash)
  2. Sněženka (Czech)
  3. Perce-Neige (French)
  4. Endzela (Georgian)
  5. Bucaneve (Italian)
  6. Snieguole (Lithuanian)
  7. Śnieżyczka (Polish)
  8. Sněgulka (Sorbian)
  9. Kardelen (Turkish)
  10. Eirlys (Welsh)

The Zodiac signs associated with January are Capricorn and Aquarius. Capricorn means goat and Aquarius waterbearer. Some names that mean both

The ruling planet of Capricorn and Aquarius is Saturn, so Saturnina or Saturnin/Saturnino are also names to consider.

Finally, here are names that mean “January,” some come directly from words, others are a translation of the Latin male name Januarius.

Male

  • Chinero (Aragonese)
  • Xineru (Asturian)
  • Urtarril (Basque)
  • Genver (Breton/Cornish)
  • Gener (Catalan)
  • Kărlach (Chuvash)
  • Ghjennaghju (Corsican)
  • Leden (Czech)
  • Znêr (Emiliano-Romagnolo)
  • Janvier (French)
  • Zenâr (Friulian)
  • Xaneiro (Galician)
  • Gennaro (Italian)
  • Jenero (Ladino)
  • Januarius (Latin)
  • Sausis (Latvian)
  • Jannar (Maltese)
  • Genièr (Occitanian)
  • Yenner (Pennsylviana German)
  • Janeiro (Portuguese)
  • Bennàlzu (Sardinian)
  • Enero (Spanish)
  • Ocak (Turkish)
  • Lonawr (Welsh)

Female

  • Jenna (Bavarian)
  • January (English)
  • Tammikuu (Finnish)
  • Janvière (French)
  • Gennara (Italian)
  • Januaria (Latin)
  • Zennâ (Ligurian)

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