Loredana

  • Origin: Italian
  • Meaning: unknown
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pron: (LOH-ray-DAH-nah)

The name is of uncertain origin or meaning, but has been attested in Venice since the 16th-century. It was the name of Loredana Marcello (d. 1572), the wife of Doge Mocenigo of Venice. It is suspected to be derived from the surname, Loredan, which was the family name of a noble family in the Republic of Venice. According to legend, they derived their name from the Latin Laureati, Lauretani (laureled), owing to the idea that they descended from “fame and glory.”

The name went from being an obscure regional name to a popular name throughout Italy due to Luciano Zuccoli’s novel, L’amore di Loredana (1908). It was also used earlier by French author George Sand in her novel, Mattea (1833), but the name never became widespread in the French-speaking world.

At the turn of the 20th-century, when it first became popular in Italy, it may have been used by devout Catholic families, especially in the South of Italy, who mistakenly believed it referenced, Loreto, as in Our Lady of Loreto.

The designated name-day in Italy is December 10th.

The name is also used in Albania, Romania, Slovenia and the other former Yugoslav countries.

Slovenian forms include: Loridina, Lorica (loh-REET-sah) & Lorka.

An obscure Italian variation is Oredana and the masculine Oredano.

The French form is Lorédane and its masculine form of Lorédan.

Italian short forms include: Dana, Lora & Lori.

There is an Italian masculine form, though rare, which is Loredano and also the Croatian, Lordan.

It is borne by Swiss female rapper of Albanian descent, known simply as Loredana (b. 1995).

Sources

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

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

Atreus

  • Origin: Greek Ἀτρεύς
  • Meaning: “to not tremble; fearless.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Pronunciation: Eng (AY-tree-us); Grek (ah-TRAY-oos)

The name is composed of the Greek elements, ἀ-, “no” and τρέω, “tremble,” hence meaning, “fearless.”

The name is borne in Greek mythology by the son of Pelops & Hippodamia and the father of Agammennon & Menelaus. Atreus and his brother were expelled from their kingdom after killing their elder brother for the throne. Atreus took refuge in Mycenae where he sat-in as a temporary king while Eurystheus was fighting in a war, but ultimately, Atreus took over the the throne. His descendants thereafter are known as Atreides.

In Frank Herbert’s Dune Series, House of Atreides is the name of one of the great houses.

The name has recently entered the U.S. Top 1000 in 2019, currently ranking in as the 788th most popular name in the United States.

Other forms include:

  • Atreüs (Breton)
  • Atreu (Catalan, Portuguese, Romanian)
  • Atreus (Dutch, English, German, Latin, Scandinavian)
  • Atrée (French)
  • At’revsi ატრევსი (Georgian)
  • Atreusz (Hungarian, Polish)
  • Atreos Ατρέας (Modern Greek)
  • Atreifur (Icelandic)
  • Atreo (Italian, Spanish)
  • Atrėjas (Lithuanian)
  • Atrey Атрей (Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Atrej (Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian)

Sources

Sławomir

images (1)


  • 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

Deianeira

Deianeira_and_the_dying_centaur_Nessus_1888


  • Origin: Greek Δηιανειρα, Δῃανειρα
  • Meaning: “slayer of man; husband slayer.”
  • Gender: Female
  • (DAY-a-NEER-ah; DIE-yah-NEER-ah)

The name is composed of the Greek elements δηιοω (deioo) & ανηρ (aner) meaning “man.”

The name is most notably borne in Greek mythology by the wife of Hercules who was tricked by the Centaur of Nessus into believing his poisoned blood would cure Hercules of infidelity but ended up being fatal to the man-god. It is also borne by an Amazon who was killed by Hercules during his quest to obtain the golden girdle of Hippolyta.

In recent years, its Spanish form of Deyanira has been popular in Latin American countries. A common Spanish short form is Deya (DIE-ah).

Other forms include:

  • Dejanira Деянира Дэяніра Деянира (Belarusian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Slovene, Ukrainian, Russian)
  • Deianira (Catalan, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Latin, Romanian, Scandinavian)
  • Déianeira (Czech, Hungarian)
  • Déjanire (French)
  • Deïaneira (German, Greek)
  • Deyanira (Spanish)

Sources

Thisbe

Thisbe_-_John_William_Waterhouse

Thisbe by John William Waterhouse


  • Origin: Greek, Semitic
  • Meaning: unknown
  • Gender: feminine
  • (THIZ-bee)

The name is of uncertain origin and meaning but possibly has a Semitic origin. Thisbe is the name of the lover of Pyramus in Ancient Classical literature, their story is recounted in Ovid’s Metamorphosis. Basically, they are 2 start-crossed Babylonian lovers who end up dying in a similar vein as Romeo & Juliet.

It is also the name of a city mentioned in the Bible, the birth place of the prophet Elijah and it is sometimes transliterated as Tishbe.

Thisbe is also the name of a nymph in Greek mythology who gave her the name to the town in Boeotia of the same name, it’s contemporary Greek form being Thisvi.

As for its usage, I found a record for a Thisby Gilbank born in 1604 in Suffolk, England, but became extremely widespread in England and the American colonies by the 18th-century. It may have been used in reference to both the Greek character and the place in the Bible.

Other forms include:

  • Tisbe (Catalan, Galician, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Thisbe (Dutch, English, German, Scandinavian)
  • Thisbé (French)
  • Thiszbé (Hungarian)
  • Tisbèa (Occitanian)
  • Tysbe (Polish)
  • Fisba Фисба (Russian)
  • Tisba Тісба (Slovenian, Ukrainian)

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