Bezalel

  • Origin: Hebrew בְּצַלְאֵל
  • Meaning: “in the shadow of God; under the protection of God.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Pronunciation Eng: beh-ZAH-lel

The name is borne in Exodus 31:1-6 by the chief artisan assigned by Moses to build the Tabernacle, Ark of the Covenant, priests’ vestments and other equipment with the assistance of Aholiab. In Exodus 31:1, he is listed as the son of Uri.

The name itself is believed to share a similar etymological construction with the Akkadian male names ina-ṣilli-Bēl and ina-ṣilli-Nabu (in the shadow of Baal or Nabu).

The name has always been used in the Jewish diaspora in Europe and the Middle East. It was borne by the 16th-century Ottoman rabbi and talmudist Bezalel Ashkenazi, and it was the name of the father of the Maharal of Prague,(Judah Loew ben Bezalel circ. 17th-century).

The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design & the Jewish art movement known as the Bezalel School both take their name from the character in the Bible.

Among Russian-Jews, Vasily would have been used as a Russified form, though the names do not share an etymological relationship.

Other forms include:

  • Bezaleël (Dutch)
  • Bezalel (English, German)
  • Béséléel (French)
  • Beseleel Βεσελεήλ (Greek)
  • Bezaleèl (Italian)
  • Becalel (Polish)
  • Besaliel (Portuguese)
  • Veseleíl Веселеи́л (Russian)
  • Becalél’, Becal’ї́l Бецале́ль, Бецал’ї́л (Ukrainian)

Sources

Eliel

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: “my God is God.”
  • Gender: Masculine
  • Pronunciation: Eng (EL-ee-yel; ee-LYE-yel)

The name is composed of the same Hebrew word אל (‘el) meaning “God,” hence, some translate it to mean “my God is God.” The name is borne by several minor characters in the Old Testament.

A notable bearer was Finnish Architect, Eliel Saarinen (1873-1950).

Though an obscure Jewish name, it experienced a peak in popularity in Finland and other Scandinavian countries at the end of the 19th-century.

Eliel recently entered the U.S. Top 1000 Most Popular Male Names in 2019, currently ranking in at #664.

The designated name day in Finland is April 9th

A Dutch form is Eliël.

Sources

Phoebe

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: bright; light
(FEE-bee).

To many Americans, Phoebe brings to mind the wacky yet lovable character of Phoebe Buffay on the popular SitCom, Friends. To the British, she is of an upper crust trendy sort, to Christians, she is an admirable woman in the New Testament, and to the Greeks, she is a classic, featured in both the Greek Orthodox calendar of saints as well as in Greek myth.

The name is derived from the Greek, Phoibus, which means “bright, light.”

In Greek Mythology, Phoebe was a pre-Olympic goddess, a Titan. She was the goddess of the moon and the consort of her own brother Coeus, from him, she mothered Asteria and Leto and was believed to be the grandmother of Artemis and Apollo.

The Greeks later associated her with the goddess Artemis. Phoebe was often used as an epithet for Artemis, while the masculine form, Phoebus, was used for Apollo.

Phoebe was also associated with the Oracle of Delphi.

There are a few other Phoebes mentioned in ancient Greek religion, one was a Heliade nymph, another was the daughter of Leucippus and Philodice.

Phoebe, daughter of Leucippus, and her sister Hilaeira, were priestesses to Artemis and Athena. They were both betrothed to Idras and Lynceus. Castor and Pollux, the divine twins, were so impressed by their beauty, that they fell in love with the two maidens and carried them off for themselves. Idras and Lynceus, outraged, sought the two immortals but were both slain. Nevertheless, Phoebe married Pollux. It was also the name of a sister to Leda.

In the New Testament, the name is borne by a woman of Cenchrae, many scholars argue that she was a deaconess, the Catholic Church especially seems to support this stance. She is also believed to have brought Paul’s Epistle of the Romans to Rome. She is a canonized saint in both the Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches, both rites hold her feast on September 3rd.

Fast forward to the 1500s and you will find the name Phebe, (an older English spelling), as the name of one of Shakespeare’s characters in his play, As You Like It. In the modern American Classic, she is the younger sister of Holden Caulfied in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. Polish Science Fiction writer, Jacek Duraj, uses the name as an acronym for post-human beings in his novel Perfekcyjna niedoskonałość.

Phoebe is also the name of a genus of evergreen tree, a species of bird and a moon of the planet, Saturn.

As of 2010, Phoebe was the 29th most popular female name in England/Wales. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 56 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 90 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 93 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 309 (United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Febe (Asturian/Danish/German/Italian/Norwegian/Polish/Portuguese/Spanish/Swedish)
  • Foibe (Danish)
  • Phoebe (Dutch/English/German)
  • Phœbé/Phébé (French)
  • Phoibe (German)
  • Phoebi/Phoibi (Greek)
  • Feba (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Foibe (Swedish)

Eva, Eve

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “life.”
Eng (EEV); (EE-vuh); Germ/Sp/Pol (EV-ah)

The name is borne in the Bible and in the Quran by the first woman created by God. She and her husband were expelled from the Garden of Eden after eating from the Tree of Knowledge.

The name is believed to be derived from the Hebrew roots חַוָּה, Ḥavvāh, from the Hebrew root ḥāyâ meaning “life” and the Semitic element, ḥyw “to live.” Both the Hebrew word chavah meaning “to live” and chayah meaning “to breath” share the same root.

Despite Eve’s fall from Grace in the Bible, the name was always in usage among Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. In England, its usage can be traced back to the 12th-century. Its Latinate form of Eva, has always been a classic in continental Europe, especially in Germany, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

As of 2010, Eva was the most popular female name in the Faroe Islanda and in Slovenia. Eve, Eva and all her various forms’ rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 3 (Iceland, 2010)
  • # 4 (French-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 5 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 7 (Ieva, Lithuania, 2010)
  • # 10 (Armenia, 2010)
  • # 10 (Evie, England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 14 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 15 (France, 2009)
  • # 17 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 20 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 24 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 26 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 29 (Croatia, 2010)
  • # 31 (Evie, Scotland, 2010)
  • # 33 (Evie, Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 37 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 44 (Eevi, Finland among Finnish-speakers, 2010)
  • # 44 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 46 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 47 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 48 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 55 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 55 (Éabha, Ireland, 2010)
  • # 56 (Eve, Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 59 (Eve, Ireland, 2010)
  • # 86 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 91 (United States, 2010)
  • # 92 (Eve, England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 99 (Eve, Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 201 (Eve, France, 2009)
  • # 589 (Eve, United States, 2010)
  • # 705 (Evie, United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Eva Ева ევა
    (Afrikaans/Albanian/Armenian/Basque/Belarusian/Bosnian/Catalan/Croatian/Czech/Dutch/Faroese/French/Frisian/Galician/Georgian/German/Icelandic/Italian/Portuguese/Romansch/Spanish/Scandinavian)
  • Evis (Albanian)
  • Mahalet/Mahlet (Amharic)
  • Hawa حواء Хауа (Arabic)
  • Yeva (Armenian)
  • Həvva (Azeri)
  • Yeva Ева Эва (Belarusian/Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Yevga Евга (Belarusian)
  • Hava (Bosnian)
  • Evy (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish: initially a diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Eveke (Dutch: initially a diminutive form, used as an independent given name, EV-eh-ke)
  • Eve (English/Estonian/Walon)
  • Evie (English)
  • Hawat/Hewa (Egyptian/Coptic)
  • Eeva (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Eevi (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Evi (Estonian)
  • Ivi/Iivi (Estonian)
  • Iivika (Estonian)
  • Ève (French)
  • Eefje, Eefke (Frisian)
  • Hawwa ሕይዋን (Ge-ez)
  • Eua Ευα (Greek)
  • Chava חַוָה (Hebrew: Modern: KHAH-vah, gutteral CH sound)
  • Éva (Hungarian: AY-vaw, diminutive form is Évike)
  • Hawa (Indonesian/Malayalam)
  • Éabha (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Ieva (Latvian/Lithuanian: YEH-vah)
  • Evuzus (Malaysian)
  • Aaue (Manx)
  • Èva (Occitanian)
  • Ewa (Polish: EH-vah, diminutive forms are Ewka, Ewunia and Ewusia)
  • Evá (Sami)
  • Evelia (Spanish)
  • Evita (Spanish)
  • Eba (Tagalog)
  • Havva (Turkish)
  • Efa (Welsh)

Italian masculine form is Evo.

Traditionally, in most European countries, the name-day for Adam and Eve is December 24.

Anna, Anne

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “grace.”
(ANN; AHN). (ANN-uh; AHN-nah). (HANN-uh; HAHN-nah)

Anne is possibly one of the quintessential classic English and French female names. Prior to the 18th-century, it seems that every other girl born in England was either named Anne, Jane or Mary. There were several British and French queens who bore this simplistic moniker, including the ill fated Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth I. The history of Anne is rather long and complicated.

It was foremost popularized through the cult of St. Anne, a legendary figure who was said to be the mother of the Virgin Mary and the grandmother of Christ.

In Brittany, the name became especially popular because it happened to coincide with the name of an ancient Celtic goddess, her cult being replaced by St. Anne’s. In fact, it was borne by one Breton Princess, Anne of Brittany.

The name was introduced into Britain by the French-Normans after the invasion in 1066. Previously, there had been a minor Saxon king named Anna, but in this case the name is related to the Saxon arn (eagle). Anna and Anne are still occasionally used as male given names in Friesland.

Other than the apocryphal saint, the name Anne can be traced directly back to the Bible. In the New Testament, it is the name of a prophetess who predicts the Crucifixion of Christ.

Anna (Αννα), is the Greek translation of the early Hebrew Channah חַנָּה, usually transliterated as Hannah, meaning “grace.”

Hannah is borne in the Old Testament by the faithful mother of the prophet, Samuel.

Hannah has always been popular among Jewish families, but was virtually unheard of among non-Jews before the Reformation, except in some cases where it may have been used as a diminutive form of Johanna, spelled Hanna.

It was the Byzantines who had introduced the Anna form to the world, making it popular throughout Eastern and Southern Europe. It was a very popular name among the Byzantine royal family and it was borne by the majestic Anna of Byzantium.

Anna may be the more melodic form of the bunch, but Anne’s minimalistic qualities are charming. Short, to the point, no frills. It’s not a bad name, though it does lack some spice, which is why parents are probably more attracted to its more exotic alternatives. In fact, Anne only comes in at # 608 in the top 1000 female names of the United States. It is safe to say, however, that she is very much loved in the middle name spot.

Anna is currently one of the most popular female names in Europe and abroad. Her rankings are as follows:

  • # 1 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 1 (Estonia, 2011)
  • # 2 (Hungary, 2010)
  • # 3 (Ana, Georgia, 2010)
  • # 3 (Iceland, 2010)
  • # 4 (Ana, Croatia, 2010)
  • # 4 (Czech Republic, 2010)
  • # 4 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 4 (Ukraine, 2010)
  • # 5 (Faroe Islands, 2010)
  • # 5 (Ana, Portugal, 2010)
  • # 6 (Armenia, 2010)
  • # 6 (Ane, Greenland, 2002-2003)
  • # 6 (Ana, Romania, 2009)
  • # 6 (Ana, Serbia, 2010)
  • # 7 (Latvia, 2011)
  • # 7 (Russia, 2011)
  • # 8 (German-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 9 (Denmark, 2011)
  • # 10 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 10 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 10 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 11 (Italy, 2010)
  • # 12 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 14 (Poland, 2010)
  • # 16 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 26 (Canada, B.C., 2010)
  • # 28 (Italian-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 28 (United States, 2010)
  • # 29 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 40 (France, 2009)
  • # 46 (French-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 53 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 63 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 71 (Australia, 2010)
  • # 81 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 83 (Spain, 2010)
Other forms of the name include:
  • Anneen (Afrikaans/Low German)
  • Anna Анна (Afrikaans/Albanian/Armenian/Breton/Bulgarian/Catalan/Corsican/Czech/Dutch/English/Estonian/Faroese/Finnish/French/Frisian/German/Greek/Hungarian/Icelandic/Italian/Latvian/Limburgish/Maltese/Polish/Russian/Ukrainian/Scandinavian/Slovak)
  • Anne (Basque/Dutch/English/French/Scandinavian)
  • Gánna Га́нна (Belarusian)
  • Annaig (Breton)
  • Annick (Breton)
  • Maina (Breton)
  • Mannaig (Breton)
  • Mannick (Breton)
  • Naig (Breton)
  • Ana Ана ანა (Bulgarian/Croatian/Galician/Georgian/Lombard/Macedonian/Portuguese/Romanian/Samogaitian/Serbian/Slovene/Spanish/Venetian)
  • Jana (Croatian/Ladino)
  • Aneta (Czech/Polish/Samogaitian/Slovak)
  • Aina (Catalan)
  • Anica (Croatian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Ane (Danish)
  • Anika (Danish)
  • Anneke (Dutch)
  • Anneken (Dutch)
  • Annika (Dutch/Finnish/German/Latvian/Scandinavian)
  • Anka (Dutch/Frisian/German)
  • An(n)ke (Dutch/Frisian)
  • Anouk (Dutch/French)
  • Ans (Dutch)
  • Enneke (Dutch)
  • Enneken (Dutch)
  • Anita (English/German/Polish/Spanish)
  • Annette (English/French/German)
  • Anissa (English)
  • Annelle/Annella (Estonian)
  • Anete (Estonian/Latvian)
  • Anett (Estonian)
  • Anu (Estonian)
  • Anni (Finnish)
  • Annikki (Finnish)
  • Anniina (Finnish)
  • Annukka (Finnish)
  • Niina (Finnish)
  • Anaïs (French/Provençal)
  • Annouche (French)
  • Ninette (French)
  • Ninon (French)
  • Ninouk (French)
  • Anje (Frisian)
  • Ankea (Frisian)
  • Antje (Frisian)
  • Antjen (Frisian)
  • Anute (Fruilian)
  • Anano (Georgian)
  • Annchen (German)
  • Annel (German)
  • Annele (German/Latvian)
  • Anneli(e) (German/Finnish/Swedish)
  • Annet (German)
  • Anina (German)
  • Anja (German/Slovene)
  • Anouschka (German/Italian/Russian)
  • Annaki (Greek)
  • Annoula (Greek)
  • Noula (Greek)
  • Anikó (Hungarian)
  • Annuska (Hungarian)
  • Panni (Hungarian)
  • Áine (Irish)
  • Ánna (Irish)
  • Annarella (Italian)
  • Annella (Italian)
  • Annetta (Italian)
  • Annettina (Italian)
  • Nona (Italian/Romansch)
  • Ance (Latvian)
  • Annija (Latvian)
  • Anninya (Latvian)
  • Ona (Lithuanian)
  • Annamma (Malayalam)
  • Annam (Malayalam)
  • Onnee (Manx)
  • Âone (Norman)
  • Aenna/Aenne (Old High German)
  • Annehe (Old High German)
  • Änna/Änne (Old High German)
  • Neta (Piedmontese)
  • Noto (Piedmontese)
  • Anke (Plattdeutsch)
  • Anneke(n) (Plattdeutsch)
  • Analia (Romansch/Spanish)
  • Annina (Romansch)
  • Annotta (Romansch)
  • Anca (Romanian)
  • Anicuta (Romanian)
  • Anėta (Samogaitian)
  • Anėkė (Samogaitian)
  • Annag (Scottish)
  • Ghianna (Sicilian)
  • Janna (Sicilian)
  • Nanna (Sicilian)
  • Anniken (Swedish)
  • Ann (Welsh)
  • Nan (Welsh)
  • Nanno (Welsh)
  • Nanw (Welsh)
  • Aana (Wolof)
As for the Hannah forms

Hanna without an H is the prefered form on Continental Europe, usually pronounced (HAHN-nah) and in French like Anna. Hanna and Hanne (HAHN-neh) are also used as diminutive forms of Johanna/Johanne in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany. There is the Hungarian Hajna pronounced (HOY-no). The Czech/Slovak form of Hana nickname Hanka. There are the Yiddish forms of Heyna, Hayna, Hejna (all pronounced like HAY-nah) including the diminutive forms of HenaHende, Hendel and Henye.  The Polish diminutive form of Hania, which might make an interesting alternative to Anya or Hannah. Hannah, Hanna and Henna are all used in the Middle East.

Of course, how could we ever forget the popular diminutive forms of Annie and Nan.

Titus

Titus (Roman Emperor)Gender: Masculine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “title of honour.”
Eng (TY-tus)

The name comes from the Roman praenomen which is derived from the Latin, titulus, meaning “title of honour.”

In Ancient History, the name is borne by Titus Flavius Vespasianus, the tenth Roman emperor in the Roman Empire and the second of the Flavian Dynasty.

In the New Testament, the name is borne by a companion of St. Paul who later became the first bishop of Crete and was a recipient of one of Paul’s epistles.

The name was also used by Shakespeare for his tragedy Titus Andronicus (1593).

Currently, Titus is the 253rd most popular male name in Germany, (2011) and the 397th most popular in the United States, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Tito (Aragonese/Basque/Galician/Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Titus (Czech/Danish/Dutch/English/French/German/Latin/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Tiitus (Finnish)
  • Tite (French)
  • Titos Τιτος (Greek Biblical)
  • Titou τιτου (Greek Modern)
  • Titusz (Hungarian)
  • Títus (Icelandic/Slovak)
  • Titas (Lithuanian)
  • Titu Тітъ (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Tytus (Polish)
  • Tit Тит (Romanian/Russian/Croatian/Slovene)

An Italian, Portuguese and Spanish feminine form is Tita.

The designated name-day is January 4th.

Daniel, Danielle

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “God is my Judge.”

If you are like me, you probably think Daniel is dull and overused. Then there is the other camp who might think this is a wonderful classic. It has the youthful nickname options of Dan and Danny and its used in just about every European country with such variants as the Italian Daniele and the Czech and Polish diminutive forms of Danek. Another plus is that, while the name has religious connotations, its doesn’t adhere to a specific denomination. It is fair game for both Jewish and Christian parents alike, Catholic and Protestant. It is even used among Muslims.

The name Daniel is found in the Old Testament, (it has its own book), composed of the Hebrew elements dan meaning “judge” and the 1st person possessive singular suffix of i plus El which was a reference to God.

As for the Biblical Daniel himself, according to the Bible, he was a Jewish boy who was captured by the Babylonians and employed as a sort of dream-reader, (sounds like a pretty cool job). Daniel was so good at his job that he eventually became famous, even among his Persian and Babylonian captives. Due to his prestige and influence, Daniel was also able to persuade his captors to release the Jews back to their homeland. There is far more to the Biblical Daniel’s story than I will write here, but he is probably most noted for his steadfast loyalty to his faith and people as well as his miraculous survival after being thrown in a den of lions.

In the United States, Daniel has been steadfast in its popularity. He currently comes in at # 5. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, he comes in at # 7. In Scotland at # 3. In Ireland # 4. While in Spain he comes in at a whopping # 2.

This forms is also used in the Czech Republic, Finland, French-speaking countries, German-speaking countries, Poland, Portuguese-speaking countries, Romania,  Scandinavia, Slovakia and Spanish-speaking countries

Other forms include :

  • Dana (Afrikaans)
  • Danieli (Albanian)
  • Danyal دانيال (Arabic)
  • Taniel (Armenian)
  • Danel (Basque)
  • Danilo (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian)
  • Deniel (Breton)
  • Danail Данаил (Bulgarian)
  • Danelu (Corsican/Sardinian/Sicilian)
  • Daan (Dutch/Limburgish)
  • Daniël (Dutch)
  • Daaniel/Taaniel (Estonian)
  • Tanel/Tani (Estonian)
  • Taano/Tanno (Estonian)
  • Taneli/Tatu (Finnish)
  • Dāniyyêl דָּנִיֵּאל (Hebrew: Modern)
  • Dániel (Hungarian)
  • Daniló (Hungarian)
  • Dános (Hungarian)
  • Daniele (Italian: dahn-YAY-lay)
  • Daniello (Italian: an archaic version which died out in the 17th-century)
  • Danilo/Danilio (Italian: obscure)
  • Danielius (Lithuanian)
  • Daniilu Данїилъ (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Dani داني (Persian)
  • Daniyal دانيال (Persian)
  • Danil/Dănuṭ (Romanian: duh-NOOTS)
  • Daniil Даниил (Russian)
  • Daniele/Danijel (Slovene)
  • Dani/Däne/Dänu/Danü (Swiss-German: Bern dialect)
  • Danyal/Danyel(Turkish)
  • Deiniol (Welsh)

Czech diminutives are: Dan, Daník, Daneček, Danoušek, Danny, Dandýsek, Dady, Danda, Dáda, Danda, Dannys, Danušík and Dandýsek, Italian diminutive forms are: Nilo, Danio, Danino and Nilio.

Danya Даня is a common Russian and Ukrainian diminutive form.

Let us not forget its feminine versions of Daniella, Daniela and Danielle. As of 2010, its Spanish and Slavic diminutive form of Dania reached the top 1000, coming in as the 999th most popular female name in the United States.

The French Danielle, does not have the same staying power as its masculine counterpart. Though always more common as a middle name, Danielle is one of the quintessential names of the 1980s. In 1987, she came close to reaching the top 10 by hitting # 14. In the last popularity census, Danielle still comes in rather high at # 144.  Its Latinate counterpart of Daniela comes in a tad bit higher at # 121, while the Italian Daniella is all the way down at # 303.

Other forms are:

  • Danijela (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Danaila (Bulgarian)
  • Daniela (Czech/German/Polish/Portuguese/Romanian/Scandinavian/Slovene/Spanish)
  • Danielle (English)
  • Danièle (French)
  • Danelia (Italian: obscure)
  • Daniella (Italian)
  • Danila/Danilla (Italian: obscure)

Italian feminine diminutives are : Dana, Dania and Nila.

Designated name-days are: July 21 (Germany/Hungary/Slovakia), December 10 (Poland/Lithuanian), December 11 (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden), December 17 (Greec/Czech Republic)

Sarah, Sara

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “princess.”
Eng (SARE-ah); Heb (SAH-hrah)

Sarah has been a popular choice throughout the English speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. In Medieval Europe, the name seldom got much usage outside the Jewish community.

Currently, Sarah is the 20th most popular female name in the United States-(2008) and the highest she peaked was in 1993 coming in as the 3rd most popular female name.

The lowest she has ever ranked in U.S. history so far was in 1959 when she ranked in as the 119th most popular female name.

In other countries, Sarah and Sara’s rankings are as follows:

  • # 16 (Australia, 2007)
  • # 2 (Austria, 2008)
  • # 6 (Belgium, 2008)
  • # 13 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 72 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 3 (Croatia, 2008)
  • # 9 (Denmark, 2008)
  • # 2 (Faroe Islands, 2008)
  • # 3 (Finland, among Finnish-speakers, 2007)
  • # 10 (Finland, among Swedish-speakers, 2007)
  • # 1 (Iceland, 2004-2007)
  • # 3 (Iran, 2007)
  • # 3 (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 4 (Israel, among Druze girls, 2004)
  • # 4 (Italy, 2007)
  • # 3 (Libya)
  • # 1 (Liechtenstein,2008)
  • # 7 (Luxembourg, 2008)
  • # 34 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 3 (Norway, 2008)
  • # 76 (Poland, Warsaw, 2009)
  • # 24 (Scotland, 2008)
  • # 5 (Serbia, 2009)
  • # 2 (Slovenia, 2008)
  • # 4 (Spain, 2008)
  • # 7 (Spain, Basque Country, 2008)
  • # 9 (Spain, Catalonia, 2008)
  • # 3 (Switzerland, 2008)
  • # 9 (Quebec, Canada, 2008)

The name is found in the Old Testament as the name of the wife of patriarch, Abraham, and the mother of Isaac. Among Jews, Sarah is considered to be an important matriarch and she also plays an important role as the wife of Ibrahim in the Qu’ran.

According to the Old Testament, Sarah was born as Sarai, (either from the Hebrew meaning “contentious” or “my princess”), but after Abraham had made the covenant with God, her name was changed to Sarah שָׂרָה, which is from the Hebrew meaning “a princess” or “a woman of high status”.

In Romani legend, the name is borne by a popular folk saint, known as St. Sarah the Black, it was believed that she was a a servant of St. Mary Magdalen, and that upon their arrival in France, she lived the life a of a beggar. The Romani people took her on as their patron saint.

The name has spun off such offshoots as Sally and Sadie. Both Sally and Sadie started off as English pet forms, but have been in usage as independent given names for centuries.

Currently, Sadie stands in as the 108th most popular female name in the United States, (2008), in Canada, she is the 56th most popular female name.

As for the older, dowdier version of Sally, it has not ranked in the U.S. top 1000 since 2004, when it came in at # 917. The highest she ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1939, when she came in as the 52nd most popular female name.

Other forms of the Sarah include:

  • Sara سارة (Arabic)
  • Sahra/Saro (Aramaic)
  • SaraAzeri/Catalan/Dutch/Finnish/French/German/Indonesian/Italian/Latvian/Lithuanian/Polish/Portuguese/Spanish/Scandinavian Turkish)
  • Sára (Czech/Faroese/Icelandic/Slovak: SAH-rah)
  • Saara (Estonian/Finnish/Baloch)
  • Saare (Estonian)
  • Saija (Finnish)
  • Sari (Finnish)
  • Saar/Saarke/Saartje (Frisian)
  • Sarah שָׂרָ֖ה (German/English/Hebrew)
  • Sára Σάρα (Greek)
  • Saala/Saalat (Greenlandic)
  • Kala (Hawaiian)
  • Sarit שָׂרִית (Hebrew: modern form)
  • Sára (Hungarian: SHAH-rah)
  • Sári/Sárika (Hungarian: SHAH-ree, SHAH-ree-ko: originally diminutive forms, now used as independent given name)
  • Saretta (Italian: obscure form)
  • Sarina (Italian: obscure form)
  • Sarita (Italian/Lithuanian/Spanish: obscure diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Saruccia (Italian: Medieval diminutive form occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Sasotta (Italian: obscure form)
  • Sarina (Ossetian/Georgian)
  • Sara  سارا(Persian/Iranian)
  • Sara Сара (Russian/Serbian/Bulgarian)
  • Sarê (Kurdish)
  • Suri (Yiddish)
  • Tzeitel (Yiddish: TSITE-el)

The designated name-days are: January 19 (Poland/Hungary), July 19 (Sweden), October 4/22 (France), October 9 (Czech Republic).

Famous Sarahs include: French Stage Actress, Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (b.1959), American actress, Sarah Michelle Gellar (b.1977), American nominee for Vice-President and former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin (b.1964). American actress and star of Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker (b.1965).

Chloe, Chloë, Chloé

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “young green shoot.”
Χλοη
Eng (KLO-wee); Fre (klo-AY)

Currently the 10th most popular female name in the United States, the name is of Greek origin and its meaning refers to a recently budding plant.

In Ancient Greece, the name was used as an epithet for the Greek goddess Demeter.

The name also appears in the New Testament, where it is the name of a woman mentioned by Paul in one of his epistles.

The name also appears in Ancient Greek romance written by Longus, Daphnis & Chloe.

In the English speaking world, the name has been in and out of usage since at least the 18th-century. Between 1944 and 1981, Chloe did not even make it to the U.S. top 1000. For the last decade, Chloe has been one of the most popular female names in the English speaking world.

In other countries, its popularity is as follows:

  • # 2 (Australia, 2008)
  • # 17 (Belgium, 2006)
  • # 2 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 6 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 4 (France, 2009)
  • # 9 (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 6 (Isle of Man, 2008)
  • # 9 (Northern Ireland, 2009)
  • # 6 (Scotland, 2009)
  • # 2 (Switzerland, among French-speakers, 2008)

Chloë and Chloe are both used in the English speaking world, without the diacritic (that is the two dots over the E), she is used in Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia.

Other forms include:

  • Chloé (French)
  • Kloé (Hungarian)
  • Cloe (Italian)
  • Cloé (Portuguese)

The name is borne by actress American actress, Chloë Sevigny (b.1974)

Alexander, Alexandra

Origin: Greek
Meaning: “defender of man.”

The name is composed of the Greek elements, ἀλέξω (alexos), meaning “to defend; to help” and the genitive Greek noun, ἀνδρός (andros) “belonging to man.” Hence, the name would roughly translate as “defender of man” or “helper of man.”

The name is extremely ancient, and possibly, even pre-Hellenistic, the oldest record of the name dates back to the Mycenean period, where the feminine form of Alexandra, is found written in Linear B.

In Greek mythology, Alexander was another name used for the hero, Paris and Alexandra was used as an epithet for the goddess, Hera.

The name is also found several times in the Bible and the most famous bearer in history has to possibly be attributed to Alexander the Great, a 4th-century Greek emperor who expanded his empire as far away as Asia, spreading his fame and his name.

Later the name was borne by several saints and kings throughout Europe, including Tsar Alexander I of Russia.

Currently, Alexander is the 6th most popular male name for boys in the United States, (2008), the lowest that Alexander ever ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1959, coming in at # 233.

In other countries, his rankings are as follows:

  • # 19 (Australia, 2008)
  • # 8 (Austria, 2008)
  • # 37 (Belgium, 2006)
  • # 3 (Bulgaria, 2008)
  • # 14 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 44 (Chile, 2006)
  • # 19 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 1 (Estonia, 2007)
  • # 9 (Finland, among Finnish-speakers)
  • # 99 (Hungary, 2008)
  • # 5 (Iceland, 2004-2007)
  • # 5 (Isle of Man, 2008)
  • # 2  Alessandro (Italy, 2007)
  • # 4 Alecsander/Alessandro (Liechtenstein, 2008)
  • # 1 Aleksander (Macedonia, 2006)
  • # 5  Alejandro (Mexico, 2008)
  • # 97 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 10 (Norway, 2008)
  • # 14 Aleksander (Poland, Warsaw, 2009)
  • # 2 Alexandru (Romania, 2008)
  • # 1  (Russia, Moscow, 2007)
  • # 11 (Scotland, 2008)
  • # 2 Alejandro (Spain, 2008)
  • # 2 Àlex (Spain, Catalonia, 2008)
  • # 6 (Sweden, 2008)
  • # 1 Alessandro (Switzerland, among Italian-speakers, 2008)

Other forms of Alexander include:

  • Aleksandër/Sandër/Skënder (Albanian: Aleko, Aleks, Leka, Lekë, Leksi and Leks are diminutive forms)
  • Eskender (Amharic/Ethiopian)
  • Iskander الاسكندر / اسكندر (Arabic)
  • Alixandre (Aragonese)
  • Aleksandr/Alexandr Ալեքսանդր (Armenian)
  • Aleksan/Alexan Ալեքսան (Armenian)
  • Aleq/Alik Ալեք/ Ալիկ (Armenian: originally diminutive forms, now used as independent given names)
  • Alexandru (Asturian/Romanian)
  • İsgəndər (Azeri)
  • Alakshendra/Alekzandar (Bangali)
  • Iskandar/Skandar (Bangali)
  • Iskәndәr Искәндәр (Bashkir)
  • Alesander (Basque)
  • Aliaksandr Аляксандp (Belarusian: Aleś Алeсь is usually the diminutive form)
  • Alaksander Аляксандаp (Belarusian: Tarashkevitsa spelling)
  • Aleksandar (Bosnian/Croatian: Saša is the diminutive form)
  • Aleksandar Александър (Bulgarian: Sasho Сашо and Aleks Aлекс are the diminutives)
  • Alexandre/Àlex/Xandre (Catalan/Galician)
  • Lisandru (Corsican/Lombard)
  • Alexandr (Czech)
  • Alexander (Czech/Dutch/English/Estonian/German/Icelandic/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Alexander/Aleksander (Danish)
  • Xander (English)
  • Sander (Dutch/Estonian/Norwegian: contracted form)
  • Aleksander (Estonian)
  • Alejandru (Extrumaduran: a dialect of Spanish)
  • Aleksandur (Faroese)
  • Aleksanteri (Finnish)
  • Santeri/Santtu (Finnish: contracted forms)
  • Alexandre (French)
  • Aleksander (Frisian)
  • Alexandré/Aleksandre ალექსანდრე (Georgian)
  • Aleko ალეკო/Lexo ლექსო (Georgian: contracted forms)
  • Aléxandros Αλέξανδρος (Greek: Modern)
  • Alakshendra अलक्षेन्द्र (Hindi)
  • Sándor (Hungarian)
  • Iskandar (Indonesian/Malay)
  • Alasandar/Alastar/Alsander (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Alessandro (Italian: Ale is a diminutive form)
  • Alessandrino (Italian: obscure)
  • Sandro (Italian: a diminutive form now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Sandrino (Italian: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name, obscure)
  • Askander/Eskander/Îskenderê (Kurdish)
  • İskender Искендер (Kyrgyz)
  • Aleksandrs (Latvian)
  • Alexandrus (Latin)
  • Aleksandras (Lithuanian)
  • Lisandor (Lombard)
  • Aleksandar Александар (Macedonian: Alek Алек, Atse Аце, Atso Ацо and Sasho Сашо are diminutive forms)
  • Chandy ചാണ്ടി (Malayalam)
  • Lixandru (Maltese)
  • Alxandre (Mirandese: a dialect of Portuguese)
  • Aleksandr/Alexandr Алєѯандръ (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Sikandar سکندر (Persian)
  • Aleksander (Polish: more common form, diminutives include, Alek, Aleks and Olek.)
  • Oleksander (Polish: archaic form)
  • Alexandre (Portuguese)
  • Alexandro (Portuguese: obscure)
  • Alesch (Romansch)
  • Alexi (Romansch)
  • Aleksandr Александр (Russian: diminutive forms include: Alik Алик, Sasha Саша, Sashka Сашка, Sashok Сашок, Sashkin Сашкин, Shura Шура, Shurik Шурик and Sanyok Санёк )
  • Alasdair/Alastair/Alistair/Alisdair/Aldair (Scotch-Gaelic)
  • Aleksandar Александар (Serbian: Aca Аца, Aleks Алекс, Sale Сале, and Saša Саша are diminutives)
  • Alessandru (Sardinian)
  • Alissandru (Sicilian)
  • Lisciànniru/Lisciànnuru/Lisciànnaru (Sicilian)
  • Aleksander (Slovene: Aleks, Sandi and Sašo are the diminutives)
  • Alejandro (Spanish: Alejo, Alex, Jano and Jandro are the diminutive forms)
  • Aleksandar (Tamil)
  • İskender (Turkish)
  • Olexandr/Oleksandr Олександр (Ukrainian: Oles Олесь and Sashko Сашко are the diminutives)
  • Iskandar (Uzbek)
  • Alecsander (Welsh)
  • Sender/Senderl סענדער (Yiddish)

As for its feminine form, it has also been borne by several monarchs and saints throughout history. Currently, she is the 61st most popular female name in the United States, the highest she ranked was at # 26 in 1995-1996, the lowest she ever ranked was in 1936 coming in as the 991st most popular female name. Her rankings in other countries is as follows:

  • # 74 (Australia, 2007)
  • # 5 (Bulgaria, 2008)
  • # 53 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 45 (Chile, 2006)
  • # 90 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 21 (Hungary, 2008)
  • # 67 (Ireland, 2007)
  • # 7 (Macedonia, 2006)
  • # 397 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 99 (Norway, 2007)
  • # 8 Aleksandra (Poland, 2oo8)
  • # 4 (Romania, 2008)
  • # 77 (Sweden, 2007)

Alexandra has also spun off Sandra, which is currently the 7th most popular female name in Estonia, and ranks in as the # 441st most popular female name in the United States.

In the United States, the highest she peaked was in 1947, coming in as the 5th most popular female name. Sandy is the preferred pet form.

In other countries, her rankings are as follows:

  • # 58 (Norway, 2008)
  • # 30 (Spain, 2006)

Its more elaborated version of Alexandria, currently ranks in as the 189th most popular female name in the United States (2008).

Other forms of Alexandra include:

  • Aleksandra Александра (Bulgarian/Croatian/Estonian/Polish/Russian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Aleksandrina Александрина (Bulgarian/Russian)
  • Alexandra (Catalan/Czech/Dutch/English/French/German/Greek/Hungarian/Portuguese/Romanian/Scandinavian/Slovak)
  • Alexandrine (Danish/French/German)
  • Sandra (Dutch/English/Finnish/German/Italian/Latvian/Lithuanian/Portuguese/Scandinavian/Slovene)
  • Xandra (Dutch)
  • Alexandria (English/German)
  • Alexandrina (English: the first name of Queen Victoria)
  • Sandrine (French)
  • Szandra (Hungarian)
  • Alessandra (Italian)
  • Alessandrina (Italian)
  • Sandrina (Italian/Spanish)
  • Lisandra (Maltese)
  • Alexandreina (Romanian)
  • Sanda (Romanian/Croatian)
  • Alastríona/Alastrina (Scotch-Gaelic)
  • Alissandra (Sicilian)
  • Alejandra (Spanish)
  • Oleksandra Олександра (Romanian)

Common English diminutive forms for both genders are Alex, Lex, and Sandy. For males, Ander, Andy and Xander, for females, Alexa, Lexa, Lexie, Sandra and Xandra.

The designated name-days for Alexander are: February 27 (Slovakia), November 19 (Russia) and December 12 (Sweden).

The designated name-days for Alexandra are: April 21st (Czech Republic), May 6/31 (Russia), May 18 (Hungary), June 23 (Russia), August 30 (Greece), Janury 2nd (Slovakia) and February 17 (Sweden)

A Hungarian male diminutive is Sanyi.

Polish diminutives are: Ola, Olka and Olusia.

In Russian, common unisexual diminutives, are Sasha and Shura. Popular feminine diminutives are: Lesya Леся,

A Romanian male diminutive form is Sandu.

An obscure Scottish male diminutive is Sawney.