Anil, Anila

Anila is from the Sanskrit आनिल (wind), in Hinduism it is an epithet for the wind God, Vayu. In contemporary India, both names are unisex.

Anıl is a Turkish unisex name meaning “the memory; to be remembered,” in Turkish. Anil is also a popular Albanian & Bosnian male name, while Anila is the feminine form that is exclusively used in Albania & Bosnia.

Anıl appeared in the Top 100 Most Popular Male Names in Turkey between 1990 and 2012, peaking at #51 in 1991.

Sources

Sariyah, Sarya

  • Origin: Arabic سارية
  • Urdu: سریا
  • Hindi:  सरिया
  • Bengla: সারিয়া
  • Meaning: “clouds at night.”
  • Gender: feminine

Sariyah سارية is from an Arabic word that means “clouds at night.”

It is derived from the Arabic root S-R-A, and can be associated with “night rain” or “night travel.”

Saria and Sarya is the Urdu transliteration and is popular in Pakistan and India among Muslims.

Other forms include:

  • Sarija Сария (Abkhazian, Albanian, Azeri, Bashkir, Bosnian, Chechen, Circassian, Dagestani, Kazakh, Ossetian, Tajik)
  • Sәrija Сәрия (Tatar)

Sources

Sihana

  • Origin: Albanian
  • Meaning: “like the moon.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pronunciation: (sih-HAH-nah)

The name is composed of the Albanian elements, si (like) and hëna (moon).

The name is borne by Albanian supermodel, Sihana Shalaj.

Sources

Kimia, Kimiya

  • Origin: Persian کیمیا
  • Meaning: “alchemy; rare; unique; elixir.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pronunciation: KEEM-yaw

The name comes directly from the Farsi word کیمیا (kimia), which originally had a connotation of something rare or unique but later came to form the base word and concept of alchemy. It appears in Persian literature, starting in the 10th-century (CE).

Another spelling is Kimya.

Among the Persian diaspora in Western countries, the name is often shortened to Kim.

Alternately, Kimiya can also be a Japanese male name that changes meaning, depending on the kanji used.

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

Ilana

Origin: Hebrew אִילָנָה
Meaning: “tree”.
(ee-LAH-nah).

The name comes directly from the Hebrew word for tree. Another female form is Ilanit (ee-LAH-neet) אִילָנִית. She is borne by Israeli pop-singer, known simply as Ilanit (b.1947) her real name being Hanna Drezner-Tzakh.

As of 2010, Ilana was the 255th most popular female name in France. While in the Netherlands, she comes in as the 321st most popular female name, (2011).

The masculine form is Ilan.

Björk, Bjørk

Gender: feminine
Origin: Icelandic/Faroese
Meaning: “birch, birch tree.”
(BYERK) Pronunciation can be heard here: http://www.forvo.com/word/björk/

Indie rock star, Björk Guðmundsdóttir (b.1965), made this one a household name, though it is now a recognized name outside of Iceland, it will probably always be associated with the singer to non-Icelanders.

Björk is the Icelandic word for birch tree, when spelled Bjørk, it has the same meaning in both Faroese and Norwegian. It is interesting to note that björk is the modern Swedish word for birch tree, though neither nouns are used as a given names in Swedish or Norwegian. However, it is a very common and ordinary female name in both Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

As of 2010, Bjørk was the 8th most popular female name in the Faroe Islands.

Dunja

quinceGender: Feminine
Origin: South Slavic Дуња
Meaning: “quince fruit.”
(DOON-yah)

The name comes directly from the South Slavic word for the quince fruit. The quince is usually ready to fall from its stems from early October all the way to November, it is considered an autumnal fruit.

Coincidentally, the name could also be a Russian diminutive form of Avdotya which is a Russian form of the Greek name Eudoxia meaning “good fame.”  The spelling is also sometimes transliterated as Dunya.

As of 2009, Dunja was the 97th most popular female name in Croatia.

The name is borne by Russian violinist Dunja (Avdotya) Lavrova (b.1985).

Amber

418px-Gouttes-drops-resine-2Gender: Feminine
Origin: English

September is almost over and the season of Fall is really starting to hit home. The trees are finally shedding their leaves and some are even exposing their yellow brown colors before falling off the branches. The name Amber has always brought to mind the autumnal season for me. Possibly due to her brownish yellow hues that she is known for, though Amber also comes in spring greens and bright yellows. The appellation itself gets somewhat of a bad rap. I have heard her being classified as “trashy” and even as an “exotic dancer” name. She didn’t seem to hit big really till the late 1970s to early-mid 1980s. Ever curious as to the origins and beginnings of all given names, I decided to track her down. How and when did Amber begin to be used as a first name? I know that in other cultures, the equivalent forms such as Dzintra in Latvian, Gintare in Lithuanian have been used as given names for centuries. Evidently, Amber is derived from an Arabic word ‘anbar. Amber of course is the word for the fossilized resin used in jewellery as well as the name of a colour. Its usage seems to have begun around the 19th-century. It was brought to the spot-light thanks to Katherine Winsor’s explicit 1944 novel Forever Amber. It was later turned into a movie, and the book sparked quite a bit of controversy at the time of its publication. Forever Amber tells the story of  a woman by the name of Amber St. Clair, living in 17th-century England, who manages to sleep her way to the top by hanging around with British aristocrats. I found this very interesting since Amber does seem to have those associations for many people, and I truly wonder if Katherine Winsor is the culprit for Amber’s sullied reputation. I suppose we will never know.

As for her popularity, the highest that Amber ever reached in the United States was #13 way back in 1986. I found this rather surprising as I don’t know many girls born in that same year named Amber. Compare that to this past year, Amber remains in the top 1000, but has slid down to # 224 (2010). Surprisingly, Amber is quite popular in both the Netherlands and Belgium. In Belgium alone, she came in at #24 for the most popular female names in Belgium, (2008). Meanwhile, over in the Netherlands, she stands at # 36 as of 2010. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 45 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 52 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 65 (Northern Ireland 2010)
  • # 71 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 80 (Australia, NSW, 2010)

The French form of Ambre has recently become a trend in France, in 2009, she was the 29th most popular female name in France. There is the more elaborate French form of Ambrine. In Italian there is the form of Ambra. Another interesting fact is that the Greek female given name of Electra is related to the word for amber in Greek, which is electron. In Hebrew, the name is Inbar, and in recent years, has been used as a given name. Ámbar is the Spanish form, also occasionally used as a given name in Spanish-speaking countries.

The name has been given to the United State’s Child Abduction Emergency code the Amber Alert. Originally named for Amber Hangermann the term is now used as a backronym for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.

Endzela

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Georgian
Meaning: “snowdrop.”
ენძელა

The name is a fairly common female name in Georgia meaning “snowdrop”as in the flower.

The snowdrop flower is in the Galanthus family and they are among the first flowers to bloom in Spring, some can bloom as late as Autumn and Winter and as the name suggests, are very immune to snow.