Gender: Masculine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “of man, belonging to man.”

The name is derived from the Greek Ανδρεασ (Andreas), which is derived from the Greek word, ανδροσ (andros), a genitive form of the word, ανηρ (aner), meaning, “man.” Hence, it would rougly translate to mean “belonging to man” or “of man.”

It was popularized by one of the twelve Apostles, who is now considered a popular Christian saint. It is suggested that Andreas was a nickname given to him, or possibly just a direct Greek translation of a Hebrew name that had a similar meaning, now lost to history.

Saint Andrew is considered the patron saint of Scotland, Russia, Greece and Romania. According to legend, he was martyred around the Black sea on an X shaped cross. His designated name-day is November 30.

The name has remained a staple in the U.S. top 100. As of 2011, he was the 16th most popular male name. His rankings and his various incarnations in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Andrei, Romania, 2009)
  • # 3 (Andrea, Italy, 2010)
  • # 3 (Andrea, Italian-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 6 (Andreas, Estonia, 2011)
  • # 8 (Andria, Georgia, 2011)
  • # 8 (Andrej, Serbia, 2011)
  • # 9 (Andrey, Russia BabyCenter, 2011)
  • # 10 (Ondřej, Czech Republic, 2011)
  • # 10 (Andre/Andrew/Andrea/Andrei, Malta, 2011)
  • # 12 (Andreas, Norway, 2011)
  • # 25 (András, Hungary, 2011)
  • # 28 (Andreas, Denmark, 2011)
  • # 35 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 38 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 39 (Andrej, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 41 (Andraž, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 46 (Andreas, Austria, 2010)
  • # 57 (Andrija, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 58 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 61 (Andres, Spain, 2010)
  • # 68 (Australia, NSW, 2011)
  • # 70 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 92 (Andrej, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 98 (Andro, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 98 (Anders, Norway, 2011)
  • # 176 (Andres, United States, 2011)
  • # 241 (André, United States, 2011)
  • # 244 (Andrea, France, 2010)
  • # 388 (Andreas, France, 2010)
  • # 950 (Anders, United States, 2011)

Other forms are as follows (listed alphabetically by linguistic origin).

  • Andrees/Andries (Afrikaans/Old Dutch)
  • Andrea (Albanian/Italian)
  • Ndreu (Albanian)
  • Andreyas (Amharic)
  • Andraws/Andraous اندراوس (Arabic/Coptic/Lebanese/Syriac)
  • Andreas (Armenian/Czech/Estonian/German/Greek/Hungarian/Slovak/Scandinavian)
  • Andresu (Asturian)
  • Ander (Basque)
  • Anderl (Baverian)
  • Andrièu (Bearnais/Occitanian/Provencal)
  • Andrivet (Bearnais)
  • Andrej Андрэй (Belarusian)
  • Andreo/Andrev (Breton)
  • Andrei/Andrey Андрей (Bulgarian/Old Church Slavonic/Romanian/Russian/)
  • Andrejko (Bulgarian)
  • Andreu (Catalan/Aragonese)
  • Andria ანდრია (Corsican/Georgian/Sardinian)
  • Andrej (Croatian/Czech/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Andrija (Croatian/Serbian)
  • Andro/Jandre (Croatian)
  • Ondřej (Czech)
  • Anders (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Dres/Dreves/Drevs (Danish)
  • Andries/Adrees (Dutch)
  • Andres (Estonian)
  • Ando/Andre/Andro/Andrus/Andu/Andi/Anti (Estonian)
  • Andras/Andrias (Faroese)
  • Andriou (Fijian)
  • Antero/Tero (Finnish)
  • Antti (Finnish)
  • Andris/Driess (Frisian)
  • André (French/Galician/Ladino/Portuguese)
  • Dria (Genevoese: Dialectical Italian form)
  • Anda (German: dialectical form, Northern Austria)
  • Anekelea (Hawaiian)
  • Andor/András/Endre (Hungarian)
  • Andris (Hungarian/Latvian)
  • Andrés (Icelandic/Spanish)
  • Aindréas/Aindriú (Irish)
  • Andrejs (Latvian)
  • Andriejus/Andrius (Lithuanian)
  • Andrija/Indri (Maltese)
  • Anaru (Maori)
  • Dreesi (Old Swiss German: Basel dialect)
  • Andrzej/Jędrzej (Polish: latter is a very old form)
  • Drewes (Plattdeutsch)
  • Andrea/Andreia/Andri/Andrin/Andriu (Romansch)
  • Ándá/Ándaras/Ándde/Ánde (Saami)
  • Aindrea/Aindreas/Anndra (Scottish)
  • Ondrej (Slovak)
  • Andraž (Slovene)
  • Handrij (Sorbian)
  • Andalea (Swahili)
  • Andriy Андрiй (Ukrainian)
  • Andras (Welsh)

Belorusian diminutives are: Andros, Andruk and Andrus. Czech masculine diminutive forms are Andy, Ondra, Ondrášek, Ondrejko, Ondrík, Ondřejek and Ondříček. French diminutive forms are: Dédé, Ti-Dré, Andi, DéaAndy. A German diminutive form is Andy/Andi and English are Andi, Andie, Andy, Dre and Drew. A Hungarian diminutive is Bandi and Polish diminutive forms are Andrzejek, Jędrek and Jędruś. Scotch diminutive form is Dand.

Note: Andrea is a common feminine form in most European countries outside of Italy and Albania, particularly in Germany and the Anglo-phone world. Whether this is a borrowing from the Italian and was changed, or a coincidental evolution, is unknown. What is known is that Andrea has been used in England as a feminine form since the 17th-century.

Feminine forms are (listed alphabetically by linguistic origin)

  • Andere (Basque)
  • Andrea (Basque/Breton/English/German/Spanish)
  • Andriva/Andriveta (Bearnais/Occitanian)
  • Andersine (Danish)
  • Andrine (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Drine (Danish)
  • Dreesje (Dutch)
  • Andrée (French)
  • Aanasi/Aanarsi/Aanta/Aantariarsi (Greenlandic)
  • Andreina (Italian)
  • Andzeja/Ondzeja (Polish: obscure)
  • Andréia (Portuguese: Brazilian)
  • Andreia (Portuguese: European)
  • Andriano (Provencal)
  • Andreea (Romanian)
  • Andrina (Romansch)
  • Andrijana (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Andreja (Slovene)
  • Andrietta/Andriette (Swedish/Danish: very rare)

Czech diminutive forms are: Adrejka, Andruška, Andra, Rea. English diminutive forms are Andi, Andy, Annie and Drea.


Origin: Greek
Meaning: “victory of the people.”

Today is St. Nicholas Day! So, I thought, what a perfect opportunity to blog about the name Nicholas and all his myriad variations.

This is an update of a post I wrote three years ago in December. I thought I would rerun it with some updates.

The name is derived from the Greek, Νικόλαος, (Nikolaos), which is composed of the Greek words νικη (níkē), meaning, “victory” and λαὸς (laos), meaning, “people.” λαὸς (laos) could also derive from the Greek root word, λας (-las) as in “λα-τομεῑο“, which means, “stone” “rock”, as in Greek mythology it was believed that all humans were formed from the stones that Deucalion and Pyrrah threw over their shoulders as they were running.

In the post-Christian world, the name Nicholas was popularized through the cult of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Lycia, (the inspiration for the modern-day Santa Claus). He was known for his acts of charity toward the poor, the most popular story being that he saved a local poor man’s daughters from lives of prostitution by dropping gold nuggets down the man’s chimney so that the man could pay for his debts instead of selling his daughters.

St. Nicholas is a very popular saint in both the Eastern and Western Churches.

The name was introduced into England in the form of Nicholas, though the sans H version has also its share of usage in the Anglophone world. Nicholas first came into usage in England around the 12th-century and remained common even through the period of the Reformation. Currently, Nicholas is the 42nd most popular male name for boys in the United States, (2011). His rankings in all his various forms in other countries are as follows:

  • # 1 (Nika/Nikoloz(i), Georgia, 2011)
  • # 3 (Nikola, Macedonia, 2006)
  • # 3 (Nikola, Serbia, 2011)
  • # 5 (Nikolay, Bulgaria, 2009)
  • # 5 (Nikolaos, Greece, 2010)
  • # 6 (Nicolás, Argentina, 2009)
  • # 9 (Nicolás, Columbia, 2011)
  • # 9 (Nicolás, Mexico, 2011)
  • # 15 (Nicholas/Nick/Nicholai/Nicoló, Malta, 2011)
  • # 16 (Mikołaj, Poland, 2009)
  • # 22 (Nicolò, Italy, 2010)
  • # 22 (Nicolas, Spain, 2010)
  • # 24 (Niklas, Austria, 2010)
  • # 27 (Nikola, Croatia, 2009)
  • # 29 (Nicolas, Belgium, 2008)
  • # 31 (Nikolaj, Denmark, 2011)
  • # 36 (Australia, NSW, 2011)
  • # 36 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 45 (Nikolai, Norway, 2011)
  • # 51 (Nicolas, Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 56 (Nicolas, Austria, 2010)
  • # 69 (Nicolas, France, 2010)
  • # 72 (Miklós, Hungary, 2011)
  • # 75 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 82 (Nikola, Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 93 (Niklas, Norway, 2011)
  • # 94 (Nikola, Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
  • # 168 (Nicolas, United States, 2011)
  • # 181 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 332 (Nicolaas, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 451 (Nicolas, Netherlands, 2011)
  • # 473 (Nikolas, United States, 2011)
  • # 550 (Nickolas, United States, 2011)
  • # 639 (Nikolai, United States, 2011)

Other forms of the name include the following, (divided alphabetically by linguistic origin):

Latinate Forms
Variations used in Latin languages

  • Micolau (Catalan)
  • Nicolau (Catalan/Galician/Occitanian/Portuguese)
  • Niculaiu (Corsican)
  • Nicoty (Brusseler: a French dialect)
  • Colin (French: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name, not to be confused with the Celtic Colin/Collin which has a completely different etymology and pronunciation)
  • Nicolas/Nico (French: diminutive forms are Colas, Coliche, Colineau, Coya, Koni, Nic, Nico and Nikko)
  • Coletto/Colino (Italian: obscure)
  • Niccola/Nicola (Italian: Cola is a diminutive form)
  • Nicolai (Italian)
  • Nicolao (Italian)
  • Niccolò/Niccolo/Nicolò (Italian)
  • Nicoletto (Italian: obscure)
  • Niccolino/Nicolino (Italian: obscure)
  • Nico (Italian/Romanian/Spanish: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Nicolás/Colás (Leonese)
  • Nicu (Leonese/Romanian: originally diminutive forms, used as independent given names)
  • Nicolaus (Late Latin)
  • Nicolinus (Late Latin)
  • Neculai/Nicolae/Niculae (Romanian: diminutive form is Nicoară)
  • Nicușor (Romanian: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Clà/Clau (Romansch)
  • Niclà/Nicolà/Niculin (Romansch)
  • Nigola (Sardinian)
  • Nicolao/Nicolás (Spanish)

Feminine forms ares

  • Nicolaua (Catalan)
  • Colette (French: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Coline (French: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name. The name also coincides with the French word for hill. Diminutive form is Colinette)
  • Nicole (French)
  • Nicolette (French: originally a diminutive form of Nicole, now exclusively used as an independent given name)
  • Nicoline (French)
  • Nicolasa (Galician/Spanish)
  • Nicoletta (Italian)
  • Nicolina (Italian)
  • Nicoleta (Romanian)
  • Nicolina/Niculina (Romanian)
  • Nicoleta/Nicolá (Spanish)

Germanic Forms
Variations used in Germanic based languages

  • Nikolaus (Afrikaans/Old Dutch)
  • Claus/Klaus/Niels (Danish: originally diminutive forms but used as independent given names for centuries)
  • Nicolai/Nikolaus/Nikolaj (Danish)
  • Nilaus/Nis (Danish)
  • Nicolaas/Nikolaas (Dutch)
  • Klaas/Nico/Niek/Niels (Dutch: Originally diminutive forms but have been used as independent given names for centuries)
  • Nicholas/Nicolas (English: diminutive forms include: Cole, Nat, Nick and Nicky)
  • Niklas/Niklái (Faroese)
  • Niklaas (Flemmish)
  • Klaas/Klaes (Frisian)
  • Nickel/Nickels (Frisian)
  • Claus/Claas/Klaas/Klaus/Klas (German: originally diminutive forms but have been used as independent given names for centuries)
  • Nickolaus/Nicolas/Nicolaus/ Niklaus/Nikolaus/Niklas (German)
  • Nico/Niko (German)
  • Neikaulaus (Gothic)
  • Néckel/Kleeschen/Klos (Lexumburgish)
  • Klaos (Limburgish)
  • Nikolaas/Nicolaas (Low Saxon)
  • Nicolai/Nikolai (Norwegian)
  • Niels (Norwegian)
  • Nickel (Plattdeutsch)
  • Michlaus (Swabian)
  • Niclas/Nicklas/Niklas (Swedish)
  • Nels/Nils (Swedish)
  • Klas/Claes (Swedish)
  • Chlaus/Glaus (Swiss-German)

Germanic feminine forms are:

  • Nikoline (Danish)
  • Klasina/Klazina (Dutch)
  • Nicole (Dutch/English/German: a borrowing from the French, very popular in the 1980s in German-speaking countries, English-speaking countries, as well as in the Netherlands and Scandinavia. In 1980, Nicole was the 7th most popular female name in the United States)
  • Nicolet (Dutch: a bastardization of the French, Nicolette)
  • Nicolien/Nicoline (Dutch)
  • Nicola/Nichola (English: a name that was particularly popular in Great Britain in the 70s and 80s, not to be confused with the masculine versions which are separate evolutions. This is pronounced NIK-uh-lah, and is most likely a feminization of the Scottish Nichol)
  • Nikolina (Faroese)
  • Nikólína (Icelandic)

Slavic Forms
Forms used in Slavonic languages

  • Mikalai Мікалай (Belarusian)
  • Nikola(y)/Niklen Никола/Николай/Никлен (Bulgarian: diminutive forms are: Kole, Kolyo, Kolyu and Nikùlitza).
  • Nikola/Niko (Croatian: Nikša and Nikica are diminutive forms)
  • Mikoláš/Mikuláš (Czech: short form is Mikula )
  • Nikola (Macedonian: diminutive forms are Kole and Nikolče nee-KOL-che)
  • Mikołaj (Polish: diminutive forms are Kola, Mikcio, Mik, Mikołajek, Miki, Miko, Mikoś, Mikuś, Misza, Nicz, Niki and Niko)
  • Nikolai Николай (Russian: Kolya and Nikita are diminutive forms)
  • Nikola Никола (Serbian)
  • Mikoláš/Mikuláš (Slovakian)
  • Nikolas (Slovakian)
  • Nikita (Slovakian: a borrowing from the Russian, sometimes used as an independent given name in Slovakia)
  • Miklavž/Niko/Nikolaj (Slovene)
  • Mikławš/Klaws (Sorbian)
  • Mykola Микола/Mykolai Миколай (Ukrainian)

Feminine forms are:

  • Nikoleta/Nikolina Николина/Николета (Bulgarian)
  • Nikolina/Nika/Nina (Croatian)
  • Nikoleta (Czech/Polish/Slovakian)
  • Nikola (Czech/Polish/Slovakian: currently very popular in all three countries)
  • Nikol (Czech/Polish: a corruption of the French, Nicole, and is a relatively recent form in the Czech Republic and Poland and is also rapidly increasing in popularity)
  • Nikolina (Czech/Polish)
  • Mikuláška (Slovakian: obscure)
  • Nika/Nikolaja (Slovene)

Celtic Forms
Forms used in Celtic Countries

  • Nikolaz/Nikolazig (Breton)
  • Nikolas (Cornish)
  • Cóilín (Irish)
  • Nicolás/Nioclás (Irish)
  • Neacel/Nichol/Nicol (Scottish)
  • Niclas (Welsh)

Baltic Forms
Forms used in the Baltic

  • Klaus/Laas/Laus (Estonian)
  • Nigol/Nigulas/Nigul (Estonian)
  • Niilas/Niilo/Niilu (Estonian)
  • Niklas/Nikolai/Niko (Estonian)
  • Nikita (Estonian: a borrowing from the Russian, occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Nil/Nillo/Nilo/Nils/Nilus (Estonian)
  • Launo/Niilo/Niklas/Niko (Finnish)
  • Nikolajs/Niks/Nils (Latvian)
  • Klavs/Niklavs (Latvian)
  • Mikalojus/Mikas/Nikalojus (Lithuanian)
  • Miklay Миклай (Mari)
  • Mikuk Микук (Mari)
  • Mikus Микуш (Mari)
  • Nibá (Saami)
  • Nigá/Nigo (Saami)
  • Nihkke/Nihkko (Saami)
  • Niillas/Nilá/Nillá/Nilsa (Saami)

Feminine forms are:

  • Nikolė (Lithuanian)
  • Nikoleta/Nikoletė (Lithuanian)

Other Forms
Forms used in other languages

  • Nikolla/Nikollë/Koll/Kol (Albanian)
  • Nikolas ኒኮላስ (Amharic/Ethiopian)
  • Nikoghayos Նիկողայոս/Nikoghos o Նիկողոս (Armenian)
  • Nikola (Basque)
  • Mikulay/Mikuҫ Микулай, Микуҫ (Chuvash)
  • Nikolaus/Niqwela/Niqewlawes نيقولاوس (Coptic/Lebanese/Syriac)
  • Niko (Fijian)
  • Nikoloz ნიკოლოზ (Georgian)
  • Nikolaos Νικόλαος/Nikolas Νικόλας/Nikos Νίκος /Nikolis Νικολής (Greek Modern)
  • Niilsi/Niisi (Greenlandic)
  • Nikku/Nikkulaat (Greenlandic)
  • Miklós/Nikola (Hungarian)
  • Nikku/ Nikkii/Nikorasu (Japanese)
  • Nikola (Maltese)

Feminine forms are as follows:

  • Níkē Νίκη/Nikoléta Νικολέτα/Νikolína Νικολίνα (Greek: modern)
  • Nikkuliina/Nikkuliit (Greenlandic)
  • Nikolett (Hungarian)

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.

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)


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “who is like God?”
Eng (MI-kel)

One of the most prevalent male names in the Western World, and to a certain extent, the Middle Eastern world, the name is derived from a rhetorical Hebrew question מִיכָאֵל (Mikha’el) meaning “who is like God?” or “who is like El” the answer being that no one is like God.

This is in reference to the legend of when one of God’s most powerful angels, (Lucifer depending on the theological tradition), became so arrogant and prideful that he built an army of angels in order to overthrow the throne of God, thinking that he himself could be like God, Michael is believed to have smite the fallen angel, asking him the question “who is like God?” after casting him out of the gates of heaven.

According Mormon saint theology, “who is like God?” refers to the idea that Michael was Adam before he was created by God in human form. The meaning of the name explains that all humans are created in God’s image.

Michael is believed to be a powerful angel in Islamic, Christian and Jewish tradition. He appears several times in the Bible, being mentioned in the Book of Daniel, the Book of Jude and the Book of Revelations. He even appears in the apocryphal Book of Enoch.

In Roman Catholicism, Michael is referred to as St. Michael the Archangel and is considered a powerful saint, especially powerful against demonic attacks and is the patron saint of chivalry, the warrior, police officers, paratroopers, firefighters, soldiers and fighter pilots. Among German Catholics, he is the patron saint of Germany, and in Belgium, he considered the patron saint of Brussels.

In the Eastern Christian tradition, is known as Taxiarch Archangel Michael or simply as Archangel Michael.

In Jewish tradition, Michael is the protector and heavenly warrior of Israel and the advocate of the Jews.

In Islam, he is mentioned in the Qu’ran once, in Sura 2:98 and that Michael was a good angel who stood on the left hand of God (Allah’s) throne.

The archangel is also important in the Bahai faith and the New Age religions.

He plays a role in John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost.

There is no reason to explain why Michael is so popular, especially in the U.S. As of 2008, Michael was the 2nd most popular male name. He was moved down from the 1st position down to the 2nd position back in 1999, when he was overthrown by Jacob.

Between the years 1954 and 1999, Michael was the most popular male name. The lowest that Michael ever ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1892 when he came in as the 59th most popular male name in the United States. In other countries, Michael’s rankings are as follows:

  • # 36 (Australia, 2007)
  • # 36 (Canada, B.C. 2008)
  • # 4 (Denmark, 2009)
  • # 52 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 10 (Ireland, 2007)
  • # 239 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 33 (Scotland, 2008)

The Michael form is also used in Afrikaans, Danish, Czech, German and Ripoarisch.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Mëhill/Mhill (Albanian)
  • Mighel (Amazigh/Moroccan)
  • Mikhael/Mikail ميخائيل‎, (Arabic/Coptic)
  • Miguel (Aragonese/Galician/Portuguese/Spanish: mee-GEL)
  • Mikael Միքաել (Armenian)
  • Micael (Asturian)
  • Mikayıl (Azeri)
  • Mikel (Basque)
  • Mitxel (Basque)
  • Miquèu (Bearnais/Occitanian/Gascon/Provençal)
  • Mickaël (Breton)
  • Mikael (Breton/Finnish/Icelandic/Norwegian/Swedish: a Finnish diminutive form is Mika)
  • Mihail Михаил (Bulgarian/Russian: Misha is the most common diminutive form)
  • Michjeli (Calabrian: Chjeli is the diminutive mee-KYAY-lee)
  • Miquel (Catalan: mee-KEL. Quelo is a common diminutive form)
  • Myghal (Cornish)
  • Michal (Czech/Slovak: mee-HAHL: 15th most popular male name in the Czech Republic-2007)
  • Mihajlo/Mihovil (Croatian: diminutive form is Miho)
  • Mihail Михаил (Croatian/Serbian)
  • Mikkel (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish: 6oth most popular male name in Norway-2007)
  • Maikel (Dutch: MY-kel)
  • Michaël (Dutch/Frisian: mee-kah-EL)
  • Michiel (Dutch: 307th most popular male name in the Netherlands-2008)
  • Miikael/Mikhel (Estonian)
  • Mikko (Finnish)
  • Michel (French: MEE-shel)
  • Michêl (Fruilian)
  • Mícheál (Gaelic-Irish)
  • Mìcheal (Gaelic-Scotch)
  • Micheil (Gaelic-Scotch)
  • Mikheil მიხეილი (Georgian)
  • Mikhael/Mikhalis Μιχάλης/Μιχαήλ (Greek: Μίκης (Mikis) is the common pet form))
  • Mikala (Hawaiian)
  • Micha’el מִיכָאֵל‎, (Hebrew)
  • Mihály (Hungarian: 60th most popular male name in Hungary-2008. Misi and Miska are the most common pet forms. MEE-hie)
  • Mikhael (Indonesian)
  • Michea (Italian: obscure/archaic mee-KAY-ah)
  • Michele (Italian: mee-KAY-lay)
  • Michelino (Italian: obscure)
  • Miķelis/Mihails (Latvian)
  • Mykolas (Lithuanian)
  • Mikail (Malayalam)
  • Mikiel (Maltese)
  • Mikaere (Maori)
  • Migueltzin (Nahuatl)
  • Michè (Neopolitan)
  • Miché/Michi (Norman)
  • Miqueu (Occitanian)
  • Mikhailu Мїхаилъ (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Michał (Polish/Sorbian: mee-HOW)
  • Mihai/Mihail (Romanian: diminutive form is Mihaita)
  • Micheli/Mikelli/Migali (Sardinian)
  • Mihailo Михаило (Serbian)
  • Miceli (Sicilian: Celi is a diminutive form. mee-KAY-lee)
  • Miha (Slovene: originally a diminutive form of Mihael, now used exclusively as an independent given name, it was the 11th most popular male name in Slovenia-2005)
  • Mihael (Slovene: 86th most popular male name in Slovenia-2005)
  • Mikâil (Turkish)
  • Mikhailo/Mykhailo Михайло (Ukrainian)
  • Michełe (Venetian)
  • Meical (Welsh)

English diminutive forms are: Mick, Micky, Mike and Mikey. German diminutive forms are Maik (pronounced like Mike), Maiki, Michi and Micki. A Swiss-German dialectical diminutive is is Michu (Bern)

There are also forms that mean “Michael Archangel” and are used in reference to the angel. These are:

  • Michelangelo (Italian)
  • Michelarcangelo (Italian)
  • Michelangiolo (Romansch)
  • Mihangel (Welsh)

Michelangela is an Italian feminine form.

An Italian smush is Michelantonio.

The feminine form of Michelle (an English corruption of the French feminine form Michèle), has been used in the English speaking world since the early 20th-century.

It currently ranks in as the 103rd most popular female name, and the highest it peaked was # 2, in the years 1968, ’69 and again in ’71, ’72.

Its Latinate feminine form has recently sparked in popularity as well (see Michaela for more details)

Other feminine forms include:

  • Micaela (Asturian)
  • Mikelle (Basque)
  • Miquèla (Bearnais)
  • Mikaela (Breton)
  • Miquela (Catalan/Occitanian/Gascon/Provençal)
  • Michelle (English/German: a phonetic corruption of the French Michèle)
  • Michèle (French)
  • Michéline (French: mee-shay-LEEN)
  • Michaelina/Michaeline (Irish: an Irish corruption of the French Micheline and the Italian, Michelina, common diminutive form is Micki/Micky. MY-keh-LEEN-ah; MY-keh-LEEN)
  • Michela (Italian: mee-KAY-lah)
  • Michelina (Italian: mee-kay-LEE-nah)
  • Michalina (Polish: mee-ha-LEE-nah: Michalinka and Misia are the diminutive forms)
  • Miguela (Spanish)
  • Miguelina (Spanish)

The designated name-day for Michael is September 29.


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “beloved.”

The name is derived from the Hebrew דָּוִד (Dawid), which is derived from the Hebrew word דוד (dwd) meaning “beloved.”

The name is borne in the Old Testament by King David, he is considered to be the greatest Jewish king in history, he is famous for defeating the evil Philistine, Goliath and several other endeavors mentioned in the Bible. He also plays a part in the Qu’ran and in Christian tradition, is considered an ancestor of Jesus.

In the English speaking world, the name has been in usage since the Middle Ages, it was borne by two Scottish Kings and St. Dewi (known as St. David in English) is considered the patron saint of Wales.

In the United States, the name currently ranks in as the 14th most popular male name, actually, David has been in the U.S. top 20 since 1880, and he peaked in 1960, coming in at # 1. In other countries, his popularity is as follows:

  • # 2 Davit (Armenia, 2008)
  • # 74 (Australia, 2007)
  • # 6 (Austria, 2008)
  • # 7 (Catalonia, Spain, 2008)
  • # 87 (Belgium, 2006)
  • # 53 (Canada, B.C. 2008)
  • # 31 (Chile, 2006)
  • # 64 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 1 (Faroe Islands, 2008)
  • # 96 (France, 2006)
  • # 6 (Hungary, 2008)
  • # 16 (Ireland, 2007)
  • # 4 (Israel, among Jewish boys, 2008)
  • #  9 Davide (Italy, 2007)
  • # 1 (Liechtenstein)
  • # 4 Dovydas (Lithuanian)
  • # 41 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 51 (Norway, 2007)
  • # 8 Dawid (Poland, 2008)
  • # 4 (Romania, 2008)
  • # 27 (Scotland, 2008)
  • # 9 (Slovenia, 2005)
  • # 4 (Spain, 2008)
  • # 40 (Sweden 2007)
  • # 4 (Switzerland, among German-speakers, 2008)
  • # 6 (Switzerland, among French-speakers, 2008)
  • # 5 Davide (Switzerland, among Italian-speakers, 2008)

The David form is used in Albanian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, Galician, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish and Swedish.

Other forms of the name are:

  • Davidi (Albanian)
  • Da’ud/Da’oud/Da’wud/Da’wood داؤود (Arabic)
  • Davit Դավիթ (Armenian)
  • Davud (Azeri)
  • Davud/Daud/Daut (Bosnian)
  • Daveth (Cornish)
  • Taavet/Taave/Taavi/Taavo/Tavo (Estonian)
  • Daavid (Finnish)
  • Taavetti/Taavi (Finnish)
  • Dáibhead/Dáibheid/Daithí/Davy (Gaelic/Irish)
  • Dawit/Dato დავით (Georgian)
  • David Δαβίδ (Greek)
  • Dávid (Hungarian/Faroese/Slovak)
  • Davíð (Icelandic)
  • Daud (Indonesian)
  • Davide (Italian: Davidino and Daviduccio are obscure diminutive forms that were occasionally used as independent given names)
  • Daudi (Kiswahili)
  • Dawid (Kurdish)
  • Dāvids/Dāvis (Latvian)
  • Dovydas (Lithuanian)
  • Davidu Давідъ(Old Church Slavonic)
  • Davud داوود (Persian)
  • Dawid (Polish: DAH-veed)
  • David Давид (Russian/Belarusian)
  • Davíd (Spanish)
  • Dàibheid/Dàibhidh/Daividh (Scottish)
  • Davud/Dâvud (Turkish)
  • Davyd (Ukrainian)
  • Dai (Welsh: a Welsh diminutive form of David, occasionally used as an independent given name)
  • Dafydd/Dewi (Welsh)
  • Dewydd (Welsh: archaic)
  • Dovid (Yiddish)
  • Dudel (Yiddish)
  • Tavel (Yiddish)

Feminine forms are:

  • Davida (English/Scottish)
  • Davina/Davinia (English/Scottish)

Designated name-days are December 29 and December 30.

Martin, Martina

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “belonging to the god Mars.”

This popular pan-European name is derived from Latin name Martinus, a derivative of the Latin genitive Martis, used in reference to the Roman god Mars. The usage of the genitive case would reflect possession, therefore the name would roughly translate as meaning “belonging to Mars” or “possessed by Mars.”

The name was popularized by a 4th-century bishop and saint, (the patron saint of France), known as Martin of Tours. According to legend, he came upon a beggar in the middle of a harsh and cold winter, Martin cut his only cloak in half and gave it to the beggar, later that night, he had a dream of Christ appearing before him, wearing the other half of his cloak. Saint Martin of Tours was not only a popular devotional saint in France, but in the rest of Europe as well. Today, the surname of Martin is the most common in France, originally the surname was taken in honour of the saint.

Another popular saint who bears the name is St. Martin de Porres, attributed as the first African-American saint, he was born in Peru in the 1500s. He was the son of a Spanish nobleman and an African slave woman. He later became a Dominican and was known for his charity and mystical powers. In Spanish-speaking countries, the name Martin is mostly given in commemoration of him.

The name became popular among protestants, particularly adherents of the Lutheran faith, due to its associations with the German Reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). It was also borne by Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr. 1929-1968).

In Europe today, Martin is still a fairly common choice. Its rankings are as follows:

  • #55 (Belgium 2006)
  • #56 (France 2006)
  • #20 (Hungary 2005)
  • #73 (Ireland 2007)
  • # 72 (Northern Ireland 2007)
  • # 8 (Norway 2007)
  • #32 (Slovenia 2005)
  • #59 (Spain 2006)
  • # 79 (Sweden 2007)

In Chile, he was the 4th most popular male name in 2006, while in the United States he comes in at a meagre # 221. The perfect classic male name for someone looking for something not too odd yet not too popular.

Other forms of the name include (divided alphabetically by origin)

  • Mardig (Armenian)
  • Mattin (Basque: diminutive form is Matxin)
  • Marzhin/Marzin (Breton)
  • Martí (Catalan: 77th most popular male name in Spain in 2006)
  • Martinu (Corsican)
  • Morten (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Maarten/Marten/Martijn (Dutch Pronunciation for the latter:
  • Ties (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Tinus (Dutch: originally a diminutive form of Martinus, now used as an independent given name)
  • Tijn (Dutch: originally a diminutive, now used as an independent given name. It was the 28th most popular male name in the Netherlands in 2008)
  • Madro/Mardi/Mardu/Mart/Märten/Märtin/Märt (Estonian)
  • Martti (Finnish)
  • Merten (Frisian)
  • Marti/Martinni (Greenlandic)
  • Márton (Hungarian: Pronunciation: 31st most popular male name in Hungary 2005. Diminutive is Mártos)
  • Marteinn/Martin (Icelandic)
  • Mairtín (Irish Gaelic)
  • Martiniano (Italian: obscure)
  • Martino (Italian)
  • Martianus (Latin/Dutch)
  • Martinus (Latin/Dutch)
  • Marcis/Martins/Martiņš/Mārtiņš/Marts/Mārts (Latvian)
  • Martynas (Lithuanian)
  • Marcin (Polish. Pronunciation: Diminutive is Marcinek)
  • Martim/Martinho (Portuguese)
  • Martinián (Slovakian)
  • Tinek (Slovenian: initially a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Tine (Slovenian: originally a diminutive form, now a popular independent given name ranking in as the 59th most popular male name in Slovenia as of 2008. The final e is pronounced)
  • Martín (Spanish)
  • Mårten (Swedish)
  • Martyn (Welsh/Ukrainian)

Martin is not only used in English, but is also used in Croatian, Estonian, French, German, Maltese, Scandinavian, Romanian, Russian, Czech, Slovenian, Hungarian and Bulgarian languages as well. German nicknames include Marte, Mart,  Marti or Marty. Maroš is the Czech and Slovakian pet form and Marty is the common English nickname.

The name-days are:

  • March 1 (Bulgaria)
  • November 11 (Czech Republic/France/Germany/Poland/Lithuania/Slovakia)
  • November 10 (Sweden/Estonia/Latvia)

    Dutch children celebrating St. Martin's Day

    In some parts of Holland,  Belgium, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, children celebrate St. Maarten’s Day (November 11) by carrying lanterns from door-to-door and getting sweets in exchange for song. The same holiday is observed under the name of Mardispäev in Estonia, Jum San Martin in Malta and to a lesser extent, the holiday is celebrated in the greater region of Poland, particularly in Poznan. Only on this day, instead of it being a children’s holiday, it is more of a day to get a traditional poppy-filled croissant sold by bakers just on that one day of the year, occasionally there are concerts held in the city.

    The most common feminine form is usually Martina, which has experienced wide usage in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dutch-speaking countries, Estonia, Faroe Islands, German-speaking countries, Italy, Portuguese-speaking countries, Romania, Scandinavia, Serbia, Slovakia and Spanish-speaking countries. It was borne by a 3rd-century Roman saint and martyr as well as a 6th-century Byzantine empress.


    It is interesting to note that in Bulgaria, the designated name-day is March 1, and Martin, as well as Martina, have historically been connected to the Bulgarian word mart (meaning March). In this case, the names are sometimes bestowed upon a March baby or children born on March 1. The Holiday of Baba Marta (meaning “grandmother March.”) is a traditional Bulgarian festival that celebrates the arrival of spring and the end of winter, Baba Marta is the harbinger of good weather and if she is displeased, she will continue to bring stormy weather. Baba Marta is considered a moody and fickle old woman, so one must always be careful not to displease her, one way of doing this is the exchange of martenitsi, (white and red tassles which are pinned to clothing), this is used as a way to ask Baba Marta for mercy. A martinitsa is worn either till the end of March or until the wearer spots a stork or a blooming tree, with this, the bearer knows that Baba Marta is pleased, afterwards, they are hung on trees in order to transfer luck onto the tree. The martenitsa symbolizes new life, fertility and spring.

    The rankings of Martinas popularity from country to country are as follows:

    • # 1 (Chile, 2006)
    • # 2 (Malta, 2007)
    • # 76 (Slovenia, 2005)
    • # 34 (Spain, 2006)

    Other feminine forms are:

    • Marzhina (Breton)
    • Maatje/Maartje/Martien/Martijntje (Dutch)
    • Tieneke/Tineke/Tine/Tini (Dutch diminutive forms, used as an independent given names)
    • Martine (French/Estonian/Norwegian/Danish: an obscure French feminine diminutive form is Martinette, the name is very popular in Norway coming in as the 28th most popular female name in 2007, in the Danish/Norwegian case, the final e is pronounced).
    • Martinka (Hungarian: initially used as a diminutive, occassionally used as an independent given name)
    • Martína (Icelandic)
    • Martana (Italian: obscure)
    • Martinella (Italian: obscure)
    • Marcina (Polish: the original Polish feminine form, this form has always been unusual and its latinized counterpart of Martyna has recently enjoyed popularity)
    • Martyna (Polish: popularized by a popular French children series known as Martine in French and Martynka in Polish written by Belgian authors Marcel Marlier and Gilbert Delahaye, published (1954). In Polish Martyna is pronounced (mahr-TIH-nah) the Y is akin to the i sound in pig, but not exactly so. Martyna is also the Ukrainian and Lithuanian version, but in those cases, it is pronounced with the long i sound (mahr-TEE-nah).\
    • Martinha (Portuguese)

    Other famous bearers of the name include: Martina von Trapp (1921-1951) is immortalized in the Sound of Music as Gretl von Trapp, she was named for the manor house she was born in, Martinschlössel (Martin’s Castle in English). Czech-American tennis player, Martina Návratilová (b.1956). American country-Western singer Martina McBride (b.1966). Italian actress, Martina Stella (b.1984).

    The name-days are:

    • March 1 (Bulgaria)
    • July 17 (Czech Republic)
    • January 30 (Germany/Hungary)
    • September 9 (Slovakia)
    • November 10 (Sweden)

    Henry, Harry, Harriet, Henrietta

    Origin: English/Germanic
    Meaning: home ruler

    Henry, an age old classic male name, is an anglicized version of the Germanic Heimric, which is composed of the elements heim meaning “home” and ric meaning “ruler.” The name evolved into the modern German Heinrich, the Scandinavian Henrik, the Polish Henryk, the French Henri, the Spanish Enrique and the Italian Enzo.

    Henry has a lot of staying power in virtually most European countries. Like many of the other classic English names, this name came to England not through any Anglo-Saxon Germanic connections but through the conquering French Normans. It is has been a very popular choice among British and German royalty alike. It has been borne by the infamous Henry VIII all the way to our very present, Prince Henry, (aka Prince Harry), of England.

    Henry has given to the world its diminutive form of Harry, which in many respects, is seen as an independent name in its own right. In Medieval England, Harry was considered the vulgar or everyday form of the name, most of England’s King Henrys were known affectionately as Harry. At one time, the name Henry was so common in the English speaking world, that the phrase, “Every Tom, Dick and Harry,” arose.

    Harry is the title character of J.K. Rowling’s wizardry series, Harry Potter and again most the world knows the charming prince by his nickname versus his full name, given it a new appeal to young parents. Once seen as a stodgy and stuffy old man name, it is now seen as a classy and chic choice. Harry has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Currently, Harry sits at # 644 in the 2008 most popular male names of the United States, while Henry comes in at # 76, and seems to be rising. Meanwhile, in Great Britain, Harry came in at a whopping # 5, while Henry at # 34. In France’s top male names of 2006, Henri came in at # 330, while its Italian version of Enzo, seems to be the more preferred version in recent years, Enzo came in as the # 1 most popular male name of France!

    Other popular nicknames are Hal and Hank.

    It also has feminine forms of Harriet and Henrietta, from both female versions the nicknames Hattie, Hettie and Etta came about. There is also the French form of Henriette, and the Italian feminine form of Enza.

    Likes its male counterpart, Harriet seems to be enjoying a recent surge in popularity. In Britain and Wales’ top 100 female names of 2008, she came in at # 73, while in the United States, she still has some ways to go, in fact, she has not been in the top 1000 for at least 9 years. The name was borne by Harriet Beacher Stowe.

    The designated name day for all forms of this name is July 13.

    Other forms include:

    • Hanrí هنري (Arabic: primarily used among Arab Christians)
    • Endika (Basque)
    • Enric (Catalan)
    • Henrik (Croatian/German/Hungarian/Scandinavian/Slovene)
    • Jindřich (Czech)
    • Hynek (Czech: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
    • Henderik (Danish)
    • Henning (Danish/German/Norwegian/Swedish)
    • Driek/Dricus (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
    • Dries (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
    • Hein (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
    • Heino (Dutch/Estonian)
    • Hendrik (Dutch/Estonian/German)
    • Henk (Dutch/Limburgish: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
    • Hal (English: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
    • Hank (English: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
    • Enrico (Estonian)
    • Harri (Finnish/Welsh)
    • Heikki (Finnish)
    • Henrikki (Finnish)
    • Henri (French)
    • Haio (Frisian)
    • Aiko/Eiko/Haiko/Heiko (Frisian)
    • Heink (Frisian)
    • Henner (Frisian)
    • Hinrich (Frisian)
    • Hainrixi ჰაინრიხი (Georgian)
    • Heimo (German)
    • Heiner (German: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
    • Heinrich (German)
    • Heinz (German: diminutive form occasionally used as an independent given name)
    • Errikos (Greek)
    • Hinrik (Icelandic)
    • Anraí/Einrí (Irish-Gaelic)
    • Anrico (Italian)
    • Arrigo/Errigo (Italian)
    • Enrichetto (Italian)
    • Enrico (Italian)
    • Enzo/Enzio (Italian)
    • Richetto (Italian)
    • Rico (Italian: contracted form)
    • Rigo (Italian)
    • Henricus (Latin)
    • Indriķis (Latvian)
    • Herkus (Latvian)
    • Endrikis (Lithuanian)
    • Henrikas (Lithuanian)
    • Heng/Hari (Lexumbourgish)
    • Henno (Low German)
    • Hinderk/Hinnerk (Low German)
    • Jendrik (Low German)
    • Heimrich (Old German)
    • Hinnerk (Plattdeutsch)
    • Henryk (Polish)
    • Henrique (Portuguese/Galician)
    • Henric (Romanian)
    • Andri/Andrin (Romansch)
    • Gendrich/Genrich (Russian)
    • Eanraig (Scottish-Gaelic)
    • Hendry (Scottish)
    • Heinri/Heiri (Swiss-German: dialectical form)
    • Henrich (Slovak)
    • Hendrich (Sorbian)
    • Enrique (Spanish)
    • Hersh (Yiddish)

    Female forms include:

    • Drika (Dutch)
    • Heintje (Dutch)
    • Hendrika/Hendrikje (Dutch)
    • Henriëtte (Dutch)
    • Jetta/Jette (Dutch/German: Originally diminutive forms, now used exclusively as independent given names)
    • Etta (English: contracted form)
    • Harriet (English)
    • Hattie (English: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
    • Henrietta (English)
    • Hettie (English: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
    • Henna (Finnish)
    • Henriikka (Finnish)
    • Henriette (French)
    • Hinriette (Frisian)
    • Heinriette (German: obscure)
    • Heinrike (German)
    • Henrike (German/Danish/Norwegian)
    • Enrica (Italian)
    • Enrichetta (Italian)
    • Enza (Italian)
    • Errichetta (Italian)
    • Rica (Italian)
    • Henryka (Polish)
    • Andrina (Romansch)
    • Henrika (Swedish)

    Margaret, Margarita, Marguerite, Margherita

    Gender: Feminine
    Origin: Greek
    Meaning: ‘pearl’
    Eng: (MAR-gret); Fre: (mar-GUR-eet); It/Sp (mar-gay-REE-tah).

    The name is derived from the Greek word μαργαρίτης, (margarites), meaning, “pearl.” It is believed that the Greek word itself is derived from the Persian word Marg, Marq or Marka meaning bird, possibly due to the resemblance of the pearl to birds’ eggs.

    The name was popularized in late antiquity due to the cult of St. Margaret of Antioch.

    Legend has it that she was the daughter of a powerful Antiochian priest. Due to her Christianity, she was disowned by her father and lived as a shepherdess in the hills of Turkey. A nobleman went to her father and asked for her hand in marriage. Her father consented and sent the suitor to the Turkish hills to find Margaret. There, the suitor begged her to turn away from her religion and to marry him. When Margaret said no, the nobleman had her tortured. One legend has it, that while being tortured, she had a vision of Satan appearing to her in the form of a dragon and swallowing her whole. The beast regurgitated her back up due to the golden cross she was wearing. She was finally beheaded. Her death is set around 304 A.D. and her feast is usually held around the middle of July.

    In Medieval England, Margaret’s cult became especially popular. She was considered protector of pregnant women, possibly due to her incident with the dragon. She is considered to be one of the Holy Helpers who appeared to Joan of Arc.

    In the English speaking world, she has been in usage since the Middle Ages, also producing the English offshoot of Margery or Marjorie, which was popular in the early Middle Ages and was revived in the 18th-century. The last time Marjorie was seen in the U.S. top 1000 was in 1994, coming in as the # 991st most popular female name. The highest she ever ranked in U.S. naming history was between 1921 and 1924 when she came in as the 16th most popular female name.

    In United States naming history, she peaked 7 years in a row coming in at as the 3rd most popular female name between 1905 and 1911. Currently, she comes in as the 180th most popular female name, and other forms have outranked her.

    For instance, the Welsh form of Megan, is currently the 100th most popular female name in the United States, but in previous years, she has ranked even higher, in 1985, she was the 10th most popular female name. In other countries, Megan’s rankings are as follows:

    • # 47 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
    • # 15 (England/Wales, 2008)
    • # 30 (Ireland, 2007)
    • # 170 (the Netherlands, 2008)
    • # 31 (Scotland, 2008)

    In addition to her, there are several other saints who bear this name. Throughout history the name has been borne by several English and French Monarchs.

    Other forms of the name include:

    • Margarid (Armenian)
    • Maharyta/Maharèta (Belarusian)
    • Marc’harid (Breton)
    • Mégane (Breton)
    • Margarita Маргарита (Bulgarian/Late Latin/Lithuanian/Russian/Spanish)
    • Margrethe (Danish/Norwegian)
    • Margretje (Danish)
    • Merete/Meret (Danish)
    • Merit/Merrit (Danish)
    • Mette (Danish/Norwegian)
    • Margreet/Margriet (Dutch/Limburgish)
    • Margaretja (Dutch)
    • Margalida (Catalan)
    • Markéta (Czech/Slovak)
    • Markit (Czech: obscure form)
    • Muchlina (Czech: obscure form)
    • Margaret (English)
    • Margo (English)
    • Marga (Estonian/Catalan)
    • Maret/Mareta (Estonian)
    • Maarit (Finnish)
    • Margareeta/Margareetta (Finnish)
    • Margariita/Margariitta (Finnish)
    • Marjatta (Finnish)
    • Marketta (Finnish)
    • Margaux/Margot (French)
    • Maguy (French: medieval diminutive form occasionally used as an independent given name. mah-GEE)
    • Marguerite (French: also the French word for daisy)
    • Margarida (Galician/Portuguese: also coincides with the Galician and Portuguese word for daisy)
    • Margalita (Georgian)
    • Margareta (German/Dutch/Finnish/Romanian/Scandinavian/Slovene)
    • Margarete/Margret (German)
    • Margaretha (German/Dutch)
    • Margarethe (German/Danish)
    • Margrit (German)
    • Margott (German)
    • Meta (German/Scandinavian: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
    • Margarita Μαργαρίτα (Greek: Modern)
    • Margalit (Hebrew: also the modern Hebrew word for pearl)
    • Margaréta (Hungarian)
    • Margita (Hungarian/Slovakian)
    • Margit (Hungarian/Scandinavian)
    • Margrét (Icelandic)
    • Mairéad (Irish-Gaelic)
    • Pegeen (Irish-Gaelic: Gaelicization of the English diminutive Peggy, used as an independent given name)
    • Margherita (Italian: also the Italian word for cheese pizza and the daisy)
    • Malgozata (Lithuanian)
    • Margaid (Manx)
    • Margrete (Norwegian)
    • Marit (Norwegian/Swedish)
    • Magalòna (Occitanian)
    • Małgorzata (Polish)
    • Magali (Provençal)
    • Marghareta (Romanian)
    • Marghita (Romanian)
    • Maighread (Scotch-Gaelic)
    • Maisie (Scotch-Gaelic: originally a diminutive form of Maighread and Margaret, the name has a long history of usage as an independent given name. Pronounced like (MAY-zee), rhymes with Daisy).
    • Chmarietta (Slovene)
    • Marjeta (Slovene)
    • Merit (Swedish)
    • Makalesi (Tongan)
    • Marged (Welsh)
    • Mared (Welsh)
    • Megan (Welsh)
    • Mererid (Welsh)

    There is also the Germanic off spring of Greta and all her various forms, once used as a diminutive form, Greta and all her variations have a long history of being used as independent given names.

    In the United States, Greta is currently the 694th most popular female name, her German sister of Gretchen currently ranks in as the 945th most popular female name.

    • Greta (Danish/German/English/Plattdeutsch/Norwegian/Romansch/Swedish)
    • Grete (Danish/German/Plattdeutsch)
    • Grethe (Danish/Norwegian)
    • Greet/Griet (Dutch/Limburgish)
    • Greetje (Dutch)
    • Gretje/Grietje (Frisian)
    • Gretta (English)
    • Gretchen (German/English)
    • Gretel/Gretl (German)
    • Gréta (Hungarian/Icelandic)
    • Ghita (Italian)
    • Grieta (Latvian)
    • Greetke (Plattdeutsch)
    • Greth (Plattdeutsch)
    • Gretje (Plattdeutsch)
    • Gretjen (Plattdeutsch)
    • Grettina (Romansch)

    Another diminutive offspring that has a history as an independent name is Rita, which originated as a Spanish and Italian contracted form and is now used in English, German, Hungarian, Portuguese, and the Scandinavian languages, Reeta/Reetta are Finnish forms.

    There is the Italian masculine form of Margherito.

    Common English diminutives are Daisy, Madge, Mae,  Maggie, Mamie, Marge, Margie, Mayme, Meg, Meggie, Midge, Peg, Peggy, and Jorie (for Marjory).

    Czech diminutives are: Gita, Gitka and Gituška, Polish diminutives are Gosia, Gośka, Małgorzatka, Małgosia and Małgośka.

    A Hungarian diminutive is Manci, a Spanish pet form is Tita and a Manx diminutive is Paaie.

    A Swiss-German dialectical diminutive is Gretli.