Gender: Feminine
Origin: Arabic فاطمة
Meaning: “to abstain.”
Sp (FAH-tee-mah); Arab (FAH-TEE-MAH)

The name comes Arabic meaning “to abstain.”

It is an extremely popular name throughout the Islamic world, and is especially popular among Shia Muslims. It was borne by the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed, who was also known as Fatima Zahra (Fatima the Illustrious).

Among Muslims, she is revered as an exemplar among women.

The name is also used among Portuguese and Spanish-speaking Christians in reference to a shrine in Portugal in which the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared. The name shares the same etymology as the town was named for a Moorish princess who converted to Christianity and was subsequently persecuted by her family.

Currently, its Turkic form of Fatma is the 3rd most popular female name in Azerbaijan, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Fatemah, Iran, 2007)
  • # 1 (Morocco, 2007)
  • # 1 (Pakistan)
  • # 1 (United Arab Emirates)
  • # 8 (Libya
  • # 13 (Fatma, Turkey, 2010)
  • # 38 (Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
  • # 71 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 87 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 92 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 211 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 255 (France, 2009)
  • # 270 (United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Fatima (Albanian/Arabic/Assyrian/Bosnian/Chechen/Chuvash/Cypriot/Egyptian/Indian/Kazakh/Kyrgyz/Lebanese/Moroccan/Pashtun/Syrian/Tajik/Tatar/Urdu/Uzbek)
  • Fatma (Algerian/Azeri/Moroccan/Senegalese/Tanzanian/Turkish/Zazaki)
  • Fadime (Azeri/Kurdish/Tunisian/Turkish)
  • Fatimə (Azeri)
  • Faḍma (Berber/Kabyle)
  • Fadumo (Ethiopian)
  • Fatimah (Indonesian/Javanese/Malaysian/Swahili)
  • Fatemah فاطمه (Persian)
  • Fátima (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Faduma (Somali)
  • Fátímọ̀ (Yoruban)
  • Fatıma (Zazaki)



Gender: Masculine
Origin: Biblical
Meaning: debated

The name appears in the Old Testament as the name of the brother of Moses, (Exodus 6:16-20). Aaron was appointed by God to be the spokesperson for Moses and was also the first High Priest of the Israelites.

The name is of debated origin and meaning, many sources agree that it is of an unknown Egyptian source. It has also been linked with the Hebrew har-on meaning “exalted” or “mountain of strength” but this has often been debunked as a folk etymology.

In most of the Western World, its usage as a given name was exclusive among Jews until after the Protestant Reformation, when it became quite fashionable among Christians. Among Eastern Christians, the name has always been in usage.

The name is also popular among Muslims, in the forms of Haroun, Haron or Harun. It is borne by Harun al-Rashid, a 9th-century Caliph.

Currently, Aaron is the 50th most popular male name in the United States, (2008). His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 69 (Australia, 2008)
  • # 65 (Belgium, 2008)
  • # 62 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 55  (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 12 (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 158 (the Netherlands, 2009)
  • # 7 (Scotland, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Haroun/Haron/Harun هارون (Arabic)
  • Aaron/Aharon Аарон/Ахарон (Belarusian/Bulgarian)
  • Aihran (Breton)
  • Aaron Ααρών Ааро́н (Catalan/English/Estonian/Finnish/French/German/Greek/Romanian/Russian/Slovene/Ukrainian)
  • Aron Арон (Croatian/Danish/Norwegian/Polish/Serbian/Swedish)
  • Árón/Áron (Czech)
  • Aäron (Dutch)
  • Aharon אַהֲרֹן (Hebrew)
  • Áron (Hungarian/Slovak)
  • Aronne (Italian)
  • Aroni (Kiswahili)
  • Aaronas (Lithuanian)
  • Aarão/Arão (Portuguese)
  • Aarón (Spanish)
  • Áárọ́nì (Yoruba)

The name was borne by several Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic saints.

An obscure Spanish feminine form is Aárona.

The designated name-days are: July 1 (France/Poland).


  1. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/aaron?view=uk
  2. http://www.behindthename.com/php/find.php?name=aaron
  3. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%206:16-20;&version=NIV;KJV;YLT
  4. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia_(1913)/Aaron
  5. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=4&letter=A&search=aaron#18
  6. Scofield Reference Bible, Proper Names

Yemoja, Yemaya

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Yoruba
Meaning: “mother whose children are like fish.”

Yemaya is the name of an Orisha in Candomblé, Lucumí/Santería and Vodou. An Orisha is a spirit or diety that reflects an aspect of God. Followers of the above religions are most likely of African heritage and are mostly found in the American south, the Caribbean and in Latin America.

The origins of Yemaya can be traced back to Africa, in Yoruban mythology, Yemoja is a type of mother goddess who lives in the Ogun River. She is considered a special patron of pregnant women and the mother of all dieties and spirits.

Her name is believed to be a contraction of the Yoruba phrase, yeye emo eja, which means, “mother whose children are like fish.”

Her cult was brought to the shores of the New World with African slaves, today, she is often synchronized with the Virgin Mary, in particular Stella Maris (Star of the Sea), and festivals are held in her honour throughout Latin America. In Brazil, especially in Bahía state, her festival usually occurs on February 2, in which devotees send out small offerings to sea, in tiny rafts. Afterwards, a huge festival takes place.

Yemaya and Yemoja are her more common names. She is also known by the following, depending on the religion and country:

  • Yemanjá/Iemanjá/Janaína (Brazil)
  • Yemaya/Iemanya (Cuba)
  • Yemalla/Yemaya (Creole-New Orleans)
  • Imanja (Uruaguay).

The name is occasionally used among devotees, in honour of the orisha.


  1. http://www.clicrbs.com.br/zerohora/jsp/default.jsp?uf=1&local=1&section=Geral&newsID=a1754874.xml
  2. http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemanjá_no_Xambá
  3. http://zerohora.clicrbs.com.br/zerohora/jsp/default2.jsp?uf=1&local=1&source=a1755838.xml&template=3898.dwt&edition=9234&section=74
  4. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1310/is_1991_August-Sept/ai_11322122/
  5. Verger, Pierre. Dieux D’Afrique. Paris: Paul Hartmann (1st edition, 1954; 2nd edition, 1995).

Jacob, James, Jacqueline

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: debated
Eng: (JAKE-ub); (JAMEZ)

Since it is the beginning of the year, I thought I would start doing the most popular names of 2008.

In the United States, Jacob is currently the most popular male name, coming in at # 1 in 2008.

Actually, Jacob has held on to the number 1 spot, for the last decade, since 1999. The lowest that Jacob has ever ranked in U.S. naming history was back in 1967 ranking in at # 353.

Jacob’s rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 21 (Australia, 2007)
  • # 3 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 20 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 94 (Ireland, 2007)
  • # 122 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 89 (Norway, 2007)
  • # 79 (Scotland, 2008)
  • # 29 (Sweden, 2007)

Jacob is a Biblical name of Hebrew origin, borne by an important Jewish patriarch, the meaning of the name is somewhat debated. Though many sources agree that it is derived from the Hebrew ‎עקב (aqabaqav), which means “to seize by the heel”, “to circumvent” or ” to restrain” and may possibly be a word-play of the Hebrew עקבה‎ (iqqebahiqqbah) meaning, “heel,” since in the Bible, Jacob was born holding onto the heel of his twin brother Esau. In Hebrew, the act of holding the heel was associated with deception, so the name has been suggested to take on the meaning of “deception.”

Other sources have suggested it to mean “may God protect”, being a derivative of the Hebrew יַעֲקֹבְאֵל (Ya’aqov’el).

In the Bible, Jacob was the younger twin son of Rebekah and Isaac, by deceiving his elder brother Esau into selling his birthright, Jacob received his father’s blessing before Isaac’s death.

Jacob later became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.

His episode of dreaming of a ladder to heaven is called “Jacob’s Ladder” and his wrestling with the angel, after which God gave Jacob the name of Israel ,meaning, “struggles with God” or “God contended.”

The name later appears in the New Testament by several other characters, one of them being the name of the Apostle James, (also known as Jacob since both names are related).

In English, both Jacob and James are derived from the Biblical Greek, Ιακωβος (Iakobos) later being latinized to Iacomus, (from which James is an anglicized a corruption).

James and Jacob have been used in England interchangeably since the Middle Ages, James became a common name in English and Scottish royalty.

Currently, James is the 17th most popular male name in the United States, the highest he has peaked was between 1940 and 1952, coming in at # 1. The lowest he has peaked was at # 19 in 1999 and then again in 2001.

James has never detracted from the U.S. top 20.

In other countries, his rankings are as follows:

  • # 8 (Australia, 2007)
  • # 10 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 9 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 5 (Ireland, 2007)
  • # 332 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 5 (Scotland, 2008)

The designated name-days for Jacob are December 20 (France), July 25.

Other forms of both names include:

  • Jakob (Afrikaans/Danish/Dutch/German/Norwegian/Slovene/Swedish: 12th most popular male name in Slovenia-2005; 39th most popular in Norway-2007 and the 3o9th most popular in the United States-2008)
  • Japku/Jakup/Jakub/Jakob/Jakov (Albanian)
  • Ya’eqob (Amharic/Ethiopian)
  • يعقوب Yaʿqūb/Yakub (Arabic)
  • Chaime (Aragonese)
  • Ya`iqob/Ukba/Ukva ያዕቆብ (Aramaic)
  • Hagop/Hakob/Jakob Հակոբ/Յակոբ (Armenian)
  • Aqob/Jakobos (Assyrian)
  • Yəqub (Azeri)
  • Jacobe/Jagoba/Jakes/Jakoma/Yaku/Yagoba/Xanti (Basque)
  • Jåggl (Bavarian)
  • Jakub/Jakaŭ/Jakuš (Bielorusian)
  • Jakub (Bosnian/Polish/Slovak/Slovene/Sorbian: common Polish diminutive forms are Kuba and Kubuś)
  • Jacut/Jagu/Jagut/Jak/Jakez/Jakezig/Jakou (Breton)
  • Yakov/Zhekov Жеков (Bulgarian)
  • Iacovo/Iacoviello/Coviello (Calabrian: Southern Italian dialect)
  • Jacob (Catalan/Dutch/English/Lexumburgish/Limburgish/Portuguese)
  • Jaume/Jaumet (Catalan)
  • Jacca/Jago/Jamma/Jammes (Cornish)
  • Giacumu (Corsican)
  • Jakov/Jako Јаков (Croatian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Jákob (Czech/Hungarian: Kuba and Kubík are the diminutive forms)
  • Jacobus/Jakobus (Dutch/Limburgish: Jacobus is currently the 233rd most popular male name in the Netherlands-2008)
  • Coos/Kobe/Kobus/Jaap (Dutch: initially diminutive forms, used as independent given names)
  • Coby (English: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name. He currently ranks in as the 832nd most popular male name-2008)
  • Jaagup/Jaak/Jakkab/Jakkob/Jakob (Estonian)
  • Jákup (Faroese)
  • Jaakob/Jaakoppi/Jaakko (Finnish: Jaska is the diminutive form)
  • Jacopo (Florentine: Northern Italian dialectical form, Lapo and Puccio are diminutives)
  • Jacques (French)
  • Iaquet/Jaco/Jacot/Jacquot/Jacquet (French: archaic, medieval forms)
  • Jacquemin/Jacqueminot (French: archaic, medieval forms)
  • Jabbo/Coob (Frisian)
  • Jakip (Frisian)
  • Iacun (Fruilian)
  • Sacun (Fruilian: literally meaning “Saint James.”)
  • Xacobe/Xaime (Galician)
  • Iakob იაკობ (Georgian)
  • Iákovos Ιακωβος/Iakóv Ιακώβ/Yángos Γιάγκος (Greek)
  • Iakopa/Iakopo/Kimo (Hawaiian)
  • Akiba/Akiva עֲקִיבָא (Hebrew)
  • Ya’akov יעקב (Hebrew)
  • Akkoobjee (Hindi)
  • Jakab (Hungarian)
  • Yakob/Yakobus (Indonesian)
  • Seamus/Séamus (Irish-Gaelic: SHAY-mus: Séimí and Séimín are diminutive forms. Currently the 748th most popular male name in the United States)
  • Giacobbe (Italian)
  • Giacomo (Italian: more common form)
  • Jacopo (Italian: archaic form)
  • Aqo/Ya’qub (Kurd)
  • Iacobus/Iacomus/Jacobus (Latin)
  • Jēkabs (Latvian)
  • Jaokob (Limburgish)
  • Cobus/Keub/Keube/Kuub/Kuèb (Limburgish: initially diminutive forms, now used as independent given names)
  • Zjaak/Jaco (Limburgish: initially diminutive forms, now used as independent given names)
  • Jokūbas (Lithuanian)
  • Jakov/Jakle/Jako (Macedonian)
  • Chacko/Yakob (Malayalam)
  • Ġakbu (Maltese)
  • Jayms (Manx)
  • Hemi (Maori)
  • Sak (Mohawk)
  • Jacuvo/Jacuviello/Cuviello (Neopolitan: Southern Italian dialect)
  • Gemme/Gemmes/Jacque (Norman)
  • Jacme (Occitanian/Provençal)
  • Jammes/Jaume (Occitanian)
  • Iakovu Іакѡвъ (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Yaghoub (Persian)
  • Giaco (Piedmontese: Northern Italian dialect)
  • Diogo (Portuguese: variation of Tiago)
  • Iago (Portuguese)
  • Jacó (Portuguese)
  • Jácomo (Portuguese)
  • Jaime (Portuguese/Spanish: Jaime is currently the 321st most popular male name in the United States-2008. He is the 97th most popular in Chile-2006 and the 33rd most popular in Spain-2006)
  • Thiago (Portuguese-Brazilian)
  • Tiago (Portuguese-European: a contraction of the Spanish Santiago, which literally means “Saint James”)
  • Köbes (Ripoarisch)
  • Iacob (Romanian)
  • Jacomo (Romanesque: a Northern Italian dialect spoken in the region of Tuscany)
  • Giachem/Giachen/Jachen (Romansch)
  • Giacumin (Romansch)
  • Yakov Иаков/Яков (Russian: Yasha is a diminutive form)
  • Iakopo (Samoan)
  • Hamish (Scottish-Gaelic: an anglicization of Seumas)
  • Jaikie (Scottish-Gaelic)
  • Jamie (Scottish: low lands Scots contraction, currently the 669th most popular male name in the United States; the 17th most popular male name in Scotland-2008; the 51st most popular in England and Wales-2008; 17th most popular in Ireland-2007; the 12st most popular in the Netherlands and the 96th most popular in Australia)
  • Seumas (Scottish-Gaelic)
  • Simidh (Scottish-Gaelic)
  • Jaka (Slovene: this was the 10th most popular male name in Slovenia-2005)
  • Diego (Spanish: a contraction of Santiago. Diego currently ranks in as the 68th most popular male name in the United States-2008. In Belgium he is the 48th-2006; in Chile, the 7th-2006; in France the 78-2006. In the Netherlands he comes in as the 189th most popular male name-2008 and in Spain he is the 10th most popular male name-2006 )
  • Jacobo (Spanish: archaic form: Jaime or Diego are the preferred forms)
  • Santiago (Spanish: literally meaning “Saint James” the name is usually bestowed in honour of St. James the Apostle. Currently, it is the 171st most popular male name in the United States. In Chile, he is the 55th most popular-2006 and in Spain, the 66th most popular-2006)
  • Yago (Spanish: archaic form)
  • Yakubu (Swahili)
  • Köbi (Swiss-German dialectical diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Yaqub ܝܰܥܩܽܘܒ (Syrian)
  • Yakup (Turkish: Yascha is a diminutive form)
  • Yakiv Яків (Ukrainian)
  • Iago/Siam (Welsh)
  • Coppel/Kapel/Koppel (Yiddish)
  • Yankev/Yankl/Yankel/Yankele (Yiddish)

Older Polish forms include: Jakub, Jakób, Jakob, Jakow, Jekub, Jokob, Jokub and Jakusz.

Less common Polish diminutive forms include: Jakuszek, Jakubek, Jakubko, Kusz, Kuszęt, Kubek, (in modern Polish this means “cup” and has fallen out of usage as a diminutive form of Jacob), and Jaksa.

English diminutives of Jacob include: Jack, Jake, Jay, Cobb, Coby and Cubby. Diminutives for James include: Jack, Jamie, Jay, Jeb, Jem, Jemmy, Jim and Jimmy.

A Danish and Dutch diminutive form is Ib and Jeppe, Sjaak and Sjakie are also Dutch diminutives.

Slovene diminutive forms include: Jak, Jakec, Jaki, Jaša, Žak and Žaki.

Jacob has spawned various feminine forms that are worth noting.

There is the French, Jacqueline, (said like JACK-eh-lin), in English, but pronounced as (ZHAHK-e-LEEN) in French.

The name has a long history of usage in the English speaking world and is also used the German-speaking world and is occasionally used in Spanish-speaking countries.

Jacqueline is currently the 152nd most popular name for females in the United States. The highest she ranked was in 1961 coming in as the 37th most popular female name.

For Americans, a notable bearer is former First Lady and fashion trend-setter, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.

A common English diminutive form is Jackie.

Other feminine forms include:

  • Jakuba (Czech)
  • Bine (Danish/German)
  • Jacobine/Jakobine (Danish/Norwegian/German/Swedish)
  • Jacoba/Coba (Dutch)
  • Jacobien (Dutch)
  • Jacomina (Dutch)
  • Jacquetta (English)
  • Jacquemine (French: archaic form)
  • Jacquette (French)
  • Jakoba/Jakobe (German)
  • Yaakova (Hebrew)
  • Giachetta (Italian)
  • Giacobba (Italian)
  • Giacometta (Italian)
  • Giacoma/Giacomina (Italian)
  • Jacobella/Jacomella/Jacovella (Italian: obscure/archaic forms)
  • Iacobina (Latin)
  • Jakubina (P0lish)
  • Żaklina (Polish: corruption of the French, Jacqueline)
  • Jacobina (Romansch)
  • Jacobea (Romansch)
  • Jamesina/Jamesine (Scottish)
  • Jakoba/Jakobina (Slovene)
  • Jakica/Jakovica (Slovene: initially a diminutive forms, used as independent given names yah-KEET-sah, yah-koh-VEET-sah)
  • Žaklin/Žaklina (Slovene: corruptions of the French, Jacqueline zhahk-LEEN; zhahk-LEE-nah)
  • Jacquelina (Spanish: corruption of the French, Jacqueline)


Gender: Hebrew
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “companion.”

The name is derived from the Biblical Hebrew word רְעוּת (re’ut), which means “friend; companion.”

In the Old Testament, the name is borne by the central character of the Book of Ruth, a Moabite woman who later became a loyal and faithful Jew. She is considered the ancestress of King David, and in Christian tradition, she is also considered an ancestor of Jesus.

Since Ruth is considered an ideal heroine in Judaism, the name has always been common in the Jewish community, among Christians, the name did not catch on until after the Reformation, especially in the Anglo-phone world, where the name became especially common among Puritans.

The highest the name ever ranked in U.S. naming history was back in 1893, where she came in as the 3rd most popular female name.

Currently, she ranks in as the 362nd most popular female name.

In other countries, her rankings are as follows:

  • # 94 (Ireland, 2006)
  • # 488 (the Netherlands, 2008)

The Ruth form is also used in Catalan, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Norwegian and Swedish.

Other forms include:

  • Rut (Afrikaans/Aragonese/Catalan/German/Hungarian/Indonesian/Italian/Javanese/Maltese/Polish/Spanish/Swedish)
  • Rút (Czech)
  • Ruut (Finnish/Estonian)
  • Rutt (Estonian)
  • Routh Ρουθ (Greek)
  • Rut רות (Hebrew Modern: In Israel, Ruti is the common diminutive form)
  • Rúth (Hungarian)
  • Rǘt (Irish Gaelic)
  • Ruthu (Kiswahili)
  • Rūta (Lithuanian: also coincides with the Lithuanian word for the rue plant)
  • Rūtenė (Lithuanian)
  • Ruthi Рѹѳь (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Ruta (Polish/Croatian)
  • Rute (Portuguese)
  • Ruf Руфь (Russian)
  • Ruthven (Scottish)
  • Rutu (Yoruban)

A common English diminutive, which is also sometimes bestowed as an independent given name is Ruthie. Ruthanne/Ruth-Anne is a common English compound form.

A Lithuanian masculine form is Rūtenis.

The name was borne by former first daughter of the United States, “Baby” Ruth Cleveland, daughter of President Grover Cleveland (1891-1904)

The designated name-day is January 4.