Ava

Gender: Feminine
Origin: German/Persian
Eng (AY-vah); Germ/Per (AH-vah)

This vintagy, two syllable name has risen way up to the US top 10, coming in at # 5 most popular female name in the United States, (2010).

The name was relatively rare before 2000, and came out of nowhere, thanks, no doubt, to such Hollywood trendsetters as Heather Locklear and Reese Witherspoon, both of whom used the name for their daughters in the late 1990s. Both actresses named their daughters in honour of actress, Ava Gardner (1922-1990), whose full name was Ava Lavinia Gardner.

The name has several different origins and meanings, the beloved English counterpart is probably derived from a medieval Frankish name, which was borne in the 9th-century by a saint and the daughter of King Pepin II. In this case, it might be derived from the Germanic element avi meaning “desired.” Other sources have related it to the Frisian awa (water) or from the old Saxon, aval (power).

Another notable bearer is Ava of Melk (1060-1127), a Medieval poetess credited as being the first German language writer. Its recent popularity in German-speaking countries may in part be in tribute to her millennial anniversary and in part to Hollywood.

The name is also a popular Persian female name and is commonly used in Iran and throughout Central Asia. It can either be related to the Persian meaning, “sound, voice” or it may be connected with the Avestan word meaning “first.”

In Ireland and Scotland, it is sometimes used as an anglicized form of Aoife.

Its rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 3 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 6 (Canada, B.C., 2010)
  • # 6 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 11 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 14 (Australia, 2010)
  • # 20 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 188 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 246 (France, 2009)
  • # 444 (the Netherlands, 2010)

Adeline

411px-Adelina_Patti_1863Gender: Feminine
Origin: French
Meaning: “noble”
Eng (AD-eh-LINE); Fr (ah-de-LEEN)

The name was a Medieval French diminutive form of Adéle which is from the Germanic Adela meaning “noble.” The name fell out of usage as a diminutive form and has been used as an independent given name in its own right since the late Middle Ages. The name enjoyed a trend in English speaking countries during the 18th and 19th-century. It has since then been creeping back into widespread usage. In 1999, Adeline stood at # 924 in the Top 1000 Female Names, it has risen all the way up to #361 in 2008. The name was borne by Blessed Adeline (b. 1125) a French nun known for her piety. It was also the nickname of Adelina Patti (born Adela Juana Maria Patti 1843). She was a famous opera singer of Italian descent. Other forms of the name excluding Adele are:

  • Aline (French: popularized by a 1950s French pop song sung by Christophe of the same name)
  • Alina (Polish/Russian/German/Finnish: diminutives in Polish include Alinka)
  • Adelina (Spanish/Italian/Romanian/Romansch/Portuguese/Finnish/Bulgarian)
  • Adelita (Spanish diminutive form, occasionally used as an independent given name, especially in Latin American Countries. It was popularized as an independent given name by a Mexican folk song of the same name)

Popular English nicknames include: Addie, Adele, and Del. In France, the designated name-day is October 20.

Lothaire

Gender: Male
Origin: French
Meaning: “famous army.”
Pronunciation (loh-TARE)

The name is comprised of the Germano-Franco elements hlud meaning “fame,” and heri meaning “army.”

The name was borne by a two famous kings. King Lothair I of Hebaye, was crowned as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in the 9th-century. He was the son of Louis I also known as Louis the Pious.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Lothair (English)
  • Chlodochar/Chlothar (Frankish: obscure)
  • Lothar (German)
  • Lotario (Italian/Spanish)
  • Lotário (Portuguese)