Phaedra

  • Origin: Greek Φαίδρα
  • Meaning: “bright.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pronunciation: Eng (FAY-drah, FYE-drah, FEED-rah)

The name comes directly from the Greek word φαιδρός meaning, “bright.”

It is borne in Greek mythology by the sister of Ariadne and the wife of Theseus. There are several versions of her tragic tale, one is that Aphrodite drove Phaedra to fall madly in love with the latter’s step-son, Hippolytus who rejects Phaedra, and in retaliation, Phaedra claims that Hippolytus attempted to rape her. Theseus who was granted 3 wishes by Poseidon wishes his own’s son death by having Poseidon summon 3 bulls from the sea who subsequently dragged Hippolytus to death. In another version of the tale, Phaedra falls in love with Hippolytus of her own free-will but he rejects her, and the story follows the same sequence of events as above.

The story was retold by Ovid and Senece the Younger and later became the popular subject of plays throughout Europe.

In England and France, the name became more widespread after its use in Jean Racine’s 1677 play, Phèdre and later Algernon Charles Swinborn’s1866 play, Phaedra. Friedrich Schiller also wrote a play and recently it was the subject of the opera written by German playwrite, Hans Werner Henze.

It is also another name for the plant, Bernardia, as well as the name of a genus of butterfly and an asteroid.

In France, Phèdre is a unisex name as it is a translation of both Phaedra & Phaedrus.

Phaedra appeared in the Top 100 Most Popular Female Names in Belgium, ranking in at #87 in 1997.

A masculine form is Phaedrus and Phaidros.

Forms and use include:

  • Fedra Федра (Catalan, Corsican, Italian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovene, Spanish, Ukrainian)
  • Faidra (Czech, Finnish, Hungarian, Slovakian, Swedish)
  • Fædra (Danish)
  • Phaedra (Dutch, English, Latin)
  • Phèdre (French)
  • Phaidra Φαίδρα (German, Greek)
  • Phädra (German)

Sources

Lieba, Liba, Lieber

Liba can have a few meanings, it is firstly a polonized form of the Yiddish ליבאַ Lieba (love), which is identical to the German word. It may have also been influenced by the Czech word libý (nice; pleasant). It was popular among Eastern-European Jews as it also coincided with the Czech-Slovak name Líba, which is a contracted form of names like Libuše & Liběna.

Also sometimes spelled Liebe.

It was sometimes anglicized by Jewish immigrants to Leeba.

A Yiddish masculine form is Liber or Lieber.

In Latvia, the designated name-day is April 19, though in this case, it is probably a borrowing from the Czech & Slovak use.

Sources

Adonis, Adonija, Adonise

Adonis is borne in Greek mythology by the god of beauty and desire. According to the most popular myth, he was born of the incestuous union of Theias and his daughter Myrrha. Myrrha had tricked her own father into having sex with her. The gods transformed Myrrha into a myrrh tree after Theias attempted to kill her whilst pregnant with Adonis. Adonis was beloved of Aphrodite and mothered by Persephone, but he was subsequently killed by a boar when Artemis, or in some versions, Ares, sent a boar to kill Adonis out of jealousy. When Adonis died, Aphrodite cried tears which mingled with Adonis’ blood, producing the Anemone flower. Aphrodite instituted the Adonia festival in his commemoration, whereby all women had a mass mock funeral of Adonis by growing plants in potsherds on their rooftops and performing a mass funeral ritual as soon as the plants sprouted.

It is likely Adonis was imported by the Greeks from the Phoenicians, the latter being the descendants of the Sumerians, Mesopotamians & Babylonians. It is believed by most scholars that Adonis is an adaptation of the Sumerian story of Dumuzid & Inanna (later Tammuz & Ishtar), in which a ritual funeral rite was also performed by women across the former Babylonian empire. Adonis itself is a Hellenized form of the Canaanite, adon, which means “lord” and was often used as an appellation by the Canaanites for the god Tammuz. The Jews adopted this appellation for Yahweh in the form of Adonai (my lord).

Adonis is borne by an 8th-century French saint of Vienne. He is also listed as Adon & Ado. Adonis has sporadically been used as a given-name in Greece, anglophone, francophone & hispanophone countries. The French feminine off-shoots, though rare these days, are Adonise (AH-do-NEEZ) and Adonie, and were actually prevalent in 18th-centurry Quebec & New Orleans. An obscure Italian feminine form is Adonella.

There is the male Biblical Hebrew name, Adonijah meaning (my lord is Yahweh). It is borne by a son of King David and was Hellenized in the Septuagint as Adonias.

Other forms include:

  • Adonies (Catalan)
  • Adonia (Dutch, Italian, Swedish)
  • Adonija Адония (French, German, Russian)
  • Adonias Αδωνίας (French, Greek, Portuguese)
  • Adonías (Galician)
  • Adonja (Norwegian)
  • Adoniasz (Polish)
  • Adonías (Spanish)
  • Adoniya Адонія (Ukrainian)

Currently, Adonis is the 242nd most popular male name in the United States and the 461st most popular in France.

Other forms include:

  • Adonisi ადონისი (Albanian, Georgian)
  • Adonis Адонис Адоніс Άδωνις Ադոնիս (Armenian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, Macedonian, German, Greek, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Scandinavian, Serbian, Slovene, Spanish, Turkish)
  • Adónis Адо́ніс (Belarusian, Continental-Portuguese, Czech, Slovak)
  • Adó (Catalan)
  • Adónisz (Hungarian)
  • Adone, Adon (Italian)
  • Adônis (Brazilian-Portuguese)
  • Adón (Spanish)

Sources

Lubomir, Lubomira

  • Origin: Slavic
  • Gender: masculine
  • Meaning: “love & peace.”

Lubomir is composed of the Slavic elements, lubo (love) & mir (peace).

Its Czech form of Lubomír was one of the most popular male names in the Czech Republic between 1935-2006, it peaked at #16 in 1959.

Other forms include:

  • Ljubomir Љубомир Љубомир (Bosnian, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene)
  • Lubomir Любомир (Bulgarian, Polish)
  • Lyubomir Лыѹбомир (Old Church Slavonic, Russian)
  • Lubomierz (Polish)
  • Ľubomír (Slovakian)
  • Lyubomyr (Ukrainian)

Diminutives & Short Forms

  • Ljubiša, Ljubo (Bosnian, Bulgarian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene)
  • Luboš (Czech)
  • Ljube, Ljupcho, Ljupčo (Macedonian)
  • Ľuboš (Slovakian)

Feminine forms are

  • Ljubomira (Bosnian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovene)
  • Lubomíra (Czech)
  • Lubomira (Medieval Slavic, Polish)
  • L’ubomíra (Slovak)
  • Lyubomyra (Ukrainian)

Sources

Plamen, Plamena

Plamen Пламен (Bulgarian & Serbian) is primarily South Slavic in the contemporary world, but comes from a pan-Slavic word meaning, “flame.” The feminine form is Plamena.

It was potentially Płomień in Medieval Polish. Płamen (male) and Płamena (female) are also modern Polish transliterations of the Bulgarian.

In Bulgaria, the designated name-day is November 8th.

Sources

Sławomir

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  • Origin: Polish
  • Meaning: “glorious peace; glorious world.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • (SWAH-vo-MEER)

The name is composed of the Old Polish elements, sławo (glory, fame, prestige) and mir (peace, serenity, world). It is the reverse form of Mirosław.


Its Germanic form of Sclaomir was borne by the brother of Drasco, an Obrodite prince who acted as a vassal for the Franks in the 9th-century.

Its Czech form of Slavomír was borne by a 9th-century Moravian duke who was known for leading a revolt against the Franks.


Designated name-days in Poland are May 17th, November 5th and December 23rd.


A common short form is Sławek.

The feminine form is Sławomira, with the diminutives Sława and Sławka.

Medieval Polish feminine forms found in 14th-century records are Sławna, Sławnica, Sławomirz, Sławomirza and Sławocha.

Other masculine forms include:

  • Slavamir Славамір (Belarusian)
  • Slavomir Славомир (Bosnian, Croatian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian)
  • Slavomír (Czech/Slovak)
  • Sclaomir (German, archaic)
  • Sławòmir (Kashubian)
  • Sławomiar (Polish)
  • Eslavomir (Spanish)
  • Slavomyr Славомир (Ukrainian)

Feminine forms in other languages are Slavomíra (Czech & Slovak) and Slavomira (Bosnian, Croatian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian)


Sources

Amabel, Amabilis, Mabel

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Amabilis is a Late Latin unisex name derived from the Latin word for “lovable.” It was used throughout Medieval Western Europe on both males and females, and was borne by a St. Amabilis of Riom (a 5th-century male French saint known in his native language as Amable) and St. Amabilis of Rouen, a 7th-century female French saint.

Amable, Amabel, Mabel have been used exclusively on females in England since Medieval times and was introduced by the Anglo-Normans in the 11th-century. They have gone in and out of popularity since the 11th-century, especially Mabel.

Between 1880-1922, Mabel was among the top 100 most popular female names, peaking at #15 in 1891 and is currently the 435th most popular female name (2018).

In England & Wales, Mabel is currently the 104th most popular female name (2018).

in Ireland, it was often used as an anglicized form of Maeve and it is often speculated that Annabel is an offshoot.

Mabel is the name of a character in C.M. Yonge’s 1854 novel, The Heir of Radclyffe.

Mabel is also used in Dutch, Czech & Slovak, Galician, German & Spanish.

It was borne by several early Anglo-Norman countesses and other notable bearers include: 13th-century English embroiderer, Mable of Bury St. Edmund; Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau (b. 1968); and British pop-singer Mabel (b. 1996).

Other forms include:

  • Amabel, Amabil, Amiable (Anglo-Norman, English)
  • Mabinka, Mejbl (Czech, Slovak)
  • Mabella, Mabelle, Mable, Maybelline (English)
  • Amabilie, Mabile, Mabilie (French, archaic)
  • Mábel (Hungarian)
  • Amabilia (Italian, Late Latin, Swedish)
  • Mabilia (Italian, Late Latin, English)

Amable & Aimable are male names in France, while Amabile is an Italian unisex form. Caradec or Karadeg are Breton masculine forms that is directly translated from the Latin.


Sources

Barnabas, Barnaby, Barney

180px-San_Barnaba


The name is borne by St. Barnabas, a companion of St. Paul who was instrumental in converting gentiles to the new Christian faith. St. Barnabas was believed to be a Cypriot Jew whose true name was Joseph but he is referred to as Barnabas in Acts 4:36, which describes the name to mean “son of consolation,” possibly being linked with the Aramaic בר נחמה, bar neḥmā of the same meaning. Many linguists contradict this meaning and claim that the latter part of the name might actually be derived from the Hebrew nabī נביא meaning “prophet.”

St. Barnabas is considered an early apostle and the founder of the Christian Church in Cyprus who was eventually stoned to death by an angry mob in Syria. He is considered the patron saint of Cyprus and his feast day is June 11th.

As a given-name, Barnaby has been the preferred form in England since medieval times. Its usage spread to the rest of the English-speaking world through colonialism. It spawned the diminutive off-shoot of Barney, which has been used as an independent given-name in its own right.

To millennials, Barney is often associated with the beloved purple dinosaur of their childhood. However, he appeared in the U.S. Top 1000 between 1880-1976. Never a huge hit, the highest he ever ranked in the U.S. Charts was #201 in 1887. He hasn’t been seen in the charts since 1976, but in England & Wales he currently ranks in as the #492nd Most Popular Males Name (2018).

Barnaby is currently the 251st Most Popular Male Name in England & Wales (2018). Whereas Barnabás is currently the 32nd Most Popular Male Name in Hungary (2018).


Other forms include:

  • Barnabana برنابا (Arabic, Persian)
  • Barnabas Բառնաբաս ബർണബാസ് (Armenian, Coptic, Dutch, English, Finnish, Frisian, German, Greek, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malayalam, Scandinavian, Syriac, Welsh)
  • Bernaba (Basque)
  • Varnáva Варна́ва (Bulgarian)
  • Bernabé (Catalan, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Barnaba ბარნაბა (Croatian, Georgian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian)
  • Barnabáš (Czech/Slovak)
  • Barnaby (English, Plattdeutsch)
  • Barnabé (French)
  • Balló (Hungarian)
  • Barna (Hungarian)
  • Barnabás (Hungarian)
  • Barnabà (Lombard)
  • Varnava Варнава (Macedonian, Serbian, Russian, Ukrainian)

An obscure Spanish feminine form is Bernabea.

Sources

Marcus, Mark

Il_Pordenone_-_San_Marco_-_Budapest


From one of the most common Roman praenomen, its origin and meaning is uncertain. A popular etymology is that it relates to Mars, others suggest it may be from the Etruscan Marce, which may come from mar (to harvest). It is said the name was originally bestowed on those who were born in March.

Marcellus and the name of the month of March likely shares the same etymological root.

It was borne by several notable Romans, including Mark Antony, Marcus Aurelius & Cicero.

It was the name of one of the Evangelists who authored the eponymous Gospel, known as St. Mark in the Christian world, he is revered as the founder of Christianity in Africa and is traditionally believed to have founded the Church in Alexandria. Coptic Christians hold him in high regard. His bones were smuggled out of Egypt in a barrel of pork fat by Venetian merchants from Alexandria when Egypt fell under Islamic rule and were transported back to Venice where they were eventually installed and dedicated in the Basilica of San Marco.

The name was borne by a 2nd-century pope as well.


Marcus, Mark and Marc have been quite popular in several countries. Marcus was in the U.S. Top 100 between 1970-2000, Sweden’s between 1998-2008, New Zealand’s between 2008-2014, England & Wales between 1996-2003, and in Denmark’s between 1994-2006. Currently, his rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #54 (Canada, BC, 2018)
  • #87 (Australia, 2018)
  • #100 (Norway, 2018)
  • #209 (United States, 2018)
  • #213 (France, 2018)
  • #236 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #406 (Netherlands, 2018)

Its latinate form of Marco, which started off as a mainly Italian form, became widespread across the continent. His rankings in the following countries are as follows:

  • #11 (Galicia, Spain, 2018)
  • #16 (Spain, 2018_
  • #23 (Italy, 2018)
  • #65 (Catalonia, Spain, 2018)
  • #81 (Portugal, 2018)
  • #358 (United States, 2018)
  • #436 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #446 (France, 2018)

It’s English form of Mark appears in the legend of Tristan & Isolde as the name of the King of Cornwall, supposedly the name was not common in the English-speaking world until the 19th-century, but became a hit by the Mid-1900s. Mark appeared in the U.S. Top 100 between 1944-2002, which is quite a long stretch. Mark peaked the highest in popularity between 1955-1970, peaking at #6, six years in a row between 1959-1964.  Marks’s rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #5 (Slovenia, 2018)
  • #6 (Moscow, Russia, 2018)
  • #21 (Hungary, 2018)
  • #83 (Ireland, 2018)
  • #210 (U.S., 2018)
  • #253 (England & Wales, 2018)
  • #298 (the Netherlands, 2018)

Marc is the French, Catalan & Welsh form and has been popularly used in the English-speaking world, it is currently the most popular male name in Catalonia, 2018 and between 1968-1976 it was in the U.S. Top 100. Marc’s rankings in the popularity charts are as follows

  • #26 (Spain, 2018)
  • #313 (France, 2018)
  • #825 (US, 2018)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mark Марк (Albanian, Belarusian, Breton, Dutch, English, Maltese, Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Marḳos ማርቆስ (Amharic)
  • Marqus مَرْقُس‎ (Arabic, mainly used among Arab-Christians)
  • Marghos (Armenian)
  • Marko (Basque)
  • Marko Марко (Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Finnish, Macedonian, Serbian, Slovene, Ukrainian)
  • Markos Μαρκος Ⲙⲁⲣⲕⲟⲥ (Coptic, Greek)
  • Margh (Cornish)
  • Marcu (Corsican, Romanian)
  • Mokus (Croatian, Serbian)
  • Marek (Czech, Polish, Slovak)
  • Marco (Catalan, Dutch, Galician, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Marc (Catalan, French, Occitanian, Welsh)
  • Marcus (Dutch, English, German, French, Scandinavian)
  • Markus (Dutch, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, Frisian, German, Scandinavian)
  • Marghus (Estonian)
  • Markko, Markku (Finnish)
  • Marke (Finnish)
  • Marcas (Gaelic)
  • Marx (German, archaic)
  • Maleko (Hawaiian)
  • Márk (Hungarian)
  • Markús (Icelandic)
  • Marchino (Italian)
  • Marcolino (Italian)
  • Marcuccio (Italian)
  • Mareks (Latvian)
  • Marks (Latvian)
  • Markuss (Latvian)
  • Markas, Morkus (Lithuanian)
  • March (Lombard)
  • Markys (Manx)
  • Marquét (Poitvin, diminutive form)
  • Marcos (Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Kusi (Swiss-German diminutive form)
  • Marqōs ܡܪܩܘܣ‎ (Syriac)
  • Mår (Walloon)

It’s feminine forms include Marca but and sometimes Marcia was used as a feminine form, though it is more the feminine equivalent of Marcius.

Other feminine forms include:

  • Markusine (German, obscure)
  • Marchina (Italian)
  • Marcolina (Italian)
  • Marcuccia (Italian)

Sources

Rufus, Rufina

220px-William_II_of_England

King William II


The name comes directly from the Latin word meaning “red-headed.” It was a common Roman cognomen and was borne by a man who is referenced in Romans 16:13 and another who is referenced in Mark 15:21. According to Eastern Orthodox tradition, the aforementioned are one and the same person and is venerated as one of the Seventy Disciples mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. He is also popularly believed to be the son of Simon of Cyrene.

The name is borne by several other saints.

It was the nickname of King William II of England, known as William Rufus III on account of his red-hair.

The name appeared in the U.S. Top 100 2 times, in 1880 & 1882, peaking at #88 in 1880. It remained in the Top 1000 1988.

In England & Wales, the name was the 264th Most Popular Male Name in 2018.

Rufus is used in Dutch, Czech, English, Finnish, German, Latvian, Polish & the Scandinavian languages.

Other forms include:

  • Rufit (Albanian)
  • R’owp’osy Ռուփոսյ (Armenian)
  • Rufess (Bavarian)
  • Ruf Руф (Bulgarian, Catalan, French, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian)
  • Roufaous (Coptic)
  • Rufinus (Dutch, German, Latin, Scandinavian)
  • Ruffe (Finnish)
  • Ruuhva, Ruuhvus (Finnish)
  • Ryffe, Ryyfys (Finnish)
  • Rufin (French, German, Polish)
  • Rhouphon Ροῦφον (Greek)
  • Rúfusz (Hungarian)
  • Ruffo (Italian)
  • Rufillo, Ruffillo (Italian)
  • Rufino (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Rufo (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Rufinus (Latin)
  • Rufas (Lithuanian)
  • Rupuha (Maori)
  • Rúfus (Slovak)

150px-Santa_RufinaIts feminine form of Rufina was borne by a couple of early saints, one of whom was from Seville, she was a pottery maker who refused to sell her wares for a pagan festival.

Feminine forms include

  • Roufina (Coptic)
  • Rufe (French)
  • Rufine (French)
  • Rufina Руфина (Dutch, English, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Scandinavian, Spanish)
  • Rufa (Italian)
  • Rufilla (Italian)

Sources