Élodie

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Germanic
Meaning: debated
Fre (ay-lo-DEE); Eng (EL-o-DEE)

The name is of debated origin and meaning but is possibly derived from the Germanic elements ala meaning “other; foreign” and od meaning “riches, wealth.” Other sources list it as a derivative of the Franconian al-ôd meaning “inheritance, estate; property.”

It was also the name of an ancient Nubian kingdom and one of the first kingdoms to become Christian and is the name of a species of aquatic plant, also spelled Elodea.

The name was popularized by a 9th-century Spanish saint who was martyred with her sister Nunilona. In the 1980s, Élodie was very popular in France. In 2000, she ranked as high as # 39, now she only ranks in as the 215th most popular female name in France, (2010). But, she may sound fresh and appealing to anglophone parents; if you are curious as to how to best pronounce this in English, think Melody sans M.

Elodie has had some history of usage in the United States, though very sparse. She appears in the census records as early as the 18th-century; most Elodies seems to have been located in Louisiana, (no surprise there). Other interesting variations which appear in the American census records include: Eloda, Eloida, Elodia, and Elodi.

She appears in the U.S. top 1000 3 times, once in 1881, 1883 and then again in 1886. She has not been seen since.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Elodi (Basque)
  • Alòdia (Catalan)
  • Elodia (Corsican/Spanish)
  • Elodie (English)
  • Eloida (English)
  • Lodi (French: diminutive form)
  • Alodia (Italian/Polish/Spanish)
  • Aloida (Latvian)
  • Alodija/Aliodija (Lithuanian)
  • Alódia (Portuguese)

The name was borne by Elodie Lawton Mijatović (1825-1908) a British-Serbian author known for her books on Serbian history and culture as well as her prolific works translating books from Serbian-English and English-Serbian.  It is also borne by French actress Élodie Bouchez-Bangalter (b.1973), French singer Élodie Frégé (b.1982) and French-Canadian radio personality Élodie (Didi) Gagnon

Masculine forms include Alodius and Alodiusz (Polish).

Thibault

 

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German/French
Meaning: “bold people.”
Fre (tee-BO)

This classic French male name is a derivative of the Germanic, Theobald, which is comprised of the elements theud meaning “people” and bald meaning “brave; bold.”

The German form of Theobald was very popular in the Middle Ages but is now considered rather old fashioned in most German-speaking countries. The name was introduced into England by the Normans in the form of Tybalt, (TIGH-bolt), and appears in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.

In England, the name eventually fizzled out and became rather unusual, but may make an appealing choice for a parent or parents looking for an alternative to the currently popular Tyler.

Thibault is currently very common in French-speaking countries, as of 2010, he was the 68th most popular male name in France.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Theobald (Dutch/German/English)
  • Tybalt (English)
  • Thibaud/Thibaut (French)
  • Thibault (French)
  • Teobold (Hungarian/Polish)
  • Baldo (Italian)
  • Tebaldo (Italian)
  • Teobaldo (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Tébaud (Poitvin)

A common French nickname is Titi.

The name was borne by the husband of Blanche of Navarre, Thibault V Count of Champagne and Brie as well as by his son Thibault Postume (circ. 12 century). The designated name day is July 8.

Gaétan

 

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German/Polish/Italian/French
Meaning: “from Caieta.”
It (guy-TAH-no); Fre (GAH-eh-TAWn); Pol/Germ (KYE-eh-TAHN)

The name is derived from the Latin place name, Caietanus, meaning,  “from Caieta”. Caieta is now known as Gaeta.

In ancient Greece, this was a town where prisoners were taken to be executed. The town probably got its name from the wet nurse of Zeus in Greek myth.

It was borne by a 16th-century Italian saint, which spurred the popularity of the name throughout Europe. It has been in usage in German speaking countries as well as in Poland in the form of Kajetan and Cajetan, the name Kaj was later spun off from this name, now being more popular than its formal form in Sweden and Denmark.

As of 2010, its French form of Gaétan was the 122nd most popular male name in France.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Caitanu (Asturian)
  • Kaitan (Basque)
  • Gaietà (Catalan)
  • Gaitanu (Corsican)
  • Kajetán (Czech/Hungarian/Slovak)
  • Cajetaan (Dutch)
  • Gaétan (French)
  • Gaëtan (French)
  • Gaetano (Galician/Italian)
  • Kayetan (German)
  • Kajetan (German/Polish/Scandinavian)
  • Gaïtános Γαϊτάνος (Greek)
  • Caietanus (Latin)
  • Kajetonas (Lithuanian)
  • Aitano (Neopolitan)
  • Gaitano (Neopolitan)
  • Caetano (Portuguese)
  • Caetan (Romanian)
  • Cajetan (Romansch)
  • Kaetan Каетан (Russian)
  • Gajetànu (Sardinian)
  • Cayetano (Spanish)

Feminine forms are:

  • Gaetana (Italian)
  • Gaétane (French)
  • Gaëtane (French)
  • Kajetana (German/Polish)
  • Kaia (German)
  • Kaja (German/Polish)
  • Caietana (Latin)

Its designated name day is August 7.

Tiffany, Theophania

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “God appears; manifestation of God; epiphany.”
Eng (TIFF-uh-NEE); (thee-o-FAH-nee-ah)

Tiffany, now considered a name of the 80s, is actually an early English Medieval form of the Greek female name Theophania, which means “God appears”, being composed of the Greek elements, θεος (theos), meaning, “God” and φανης (phanes), meaning “appears.”

The name was usually bestowed upon girls born on the feast of the Epiphany (January 6), which celebrates when the Three Wise Men visited the Christ Child.

The name was popular in Medieval England and fell out of usage, being introduced into England via the Normans in the form of Tiphaine.

A few English matronymic surnames developed from it, Tiffany being the most notable, becoming one of very few female given names to appear in an English surname. A few other female names being: Alice, Isemay and Maude.

At of the turn of the last century, the name came to be associated with Tiffany & Co, which was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1837.

The name may have caught the public attention via the company, but most likely, its popularity was sparked after the publication of the Truman Capote novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958), which was later made into a film, starring Audrey Hepburn, in 1961.

Tiffany appeared in the U.S. top 1000 the following year. In 1962, she was the 783rd most popular female name. The highest she peaked was in 1982, coming in as the 13th most popular female name. She peaked again in 1988, coming in at # 13.

As of 2010, she ranks in as 311th most popular female name in the United States, while in France she ranked in as the 432nd most popular (2009).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Tiffany (French/English)
  • Tiphaine (French)
  • Theophania Θεοφανια (Greek)
  • Teofánia (Hungarian)
  • Tifani (Hungarian)
  • Teofania (Italian/Polish)
  • Feofania (Russian)
  • Epifanía (Spanish)

Males forms are:

  • Theophanes/Theophanis Θεοφανης (Greek)
  • Teofan (Polish)
  • Feofan Феофан (Russian)
  • Epifanío (Spanish)

Cedric

Gender: Masculine
Origin: English
Eng (SEE-drik); Fre (say-DREEK)

The name first appeared in Sir Walter Scott’s 1819 novel, Ivanhoe.

It is generally believed that Scott derived the name from the Celtic Cerdic, which is related to the Welsh, caredig, meaning, “love.”

In history, Cerdic was borne by a 6th-century king of Wessex.

The name was also used by Frances Hodgson Burnett for his protaganist in his novel, Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886).

Recently, it is the name of a character in J.K. Rowlings’ Harry Potter Series.

Cédric was extremely popular in France during the 1970s-80s. Between 1976-77, it was the 10th most popular male name in France, then rose two place in 1979 to # 5. Between 1980 and 1986, he went up and down between 5th and 6th place and then dropped drastically in 1988 to # 20. He currently comes in as the 370th most popular male name in France, (2009). As of 2010, he was the 726th most popular male name in the United States.

In France, his sudden popularity may have been due to a popular French comic strip of the same name.

Other forms include:

  • Cédric (French)
  • Cedrik (Swedish)

In France, the designated name-day is January 7.

The name is borne by American Comedian, Cedric the Entertainer (b.1964)

Elouan

 

Gender: Masculine
Origin: French/Breton
Meaning: “light.”

Rising in popularity in France, this trendy male name is actually of Breton origins, meaning “light”, it was the name of an Irish hermit who took up residence in 7th century Brittany. Canonized as a saint, a small chapel is dedicated to him in St-Guen where his tomb can be found. As of 2006, the name stood as 126 in the popularity charts, but has probably since risen. I can’t find statistical data from France since after 2006, but I have noticed its frequent appearance in French birth announcements. I have also noted the feminine form of Elouane. The designated name day is August 28th.

Update: Well, I guess I called that one wrong. As of 2009, Elouan dropped down to # 447.

Emmerich

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German
Meaning: “industrious ruler or universal ruler.”
(EH-meh-RIKH)

This ancient Germanic name is composed of the elements ermen or amal (its debated) and ric which means ruler and is a common component in many ancient Germanic names. If the first element is from ermen then it would mean “whole; universal” + ric. If it is derived from amal then it would mean “labour; work; industry” + ric. In Germany, its designated name-day is September 2nd. The names Amerigo and America are distant relatives and cognates include the Hungarian Imre, the Swedish/Norwegian Emerik and the French Émeric.

Update: As of 2009, Émeric was the 476th most popular male name in France. While its Hungarian form of Imre was the 70th most popular male name in Hungary.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Imrich (Czech/Slovak)
  • Emmerik (Dutch)
  • Emerico (Italian/Spanish)
  • Emeryk (Polish)
  • Américo (Portuguese)
  • Emeric (Romanian)
  • Emérico (Spanish)

America shares the same etymology.

Oliver, Olivier

Gender: Masculine
Origin: debated
Meaning: debated
Eng (AHL-ih-VER); Fre (oh-LEE-vyay)

This name has a very interesting past. Its origins and meaning are debated, despite its obvious similarity with the word “olive”, many sources believe that is is either derived from one or two Old Norse names, Alfihar or OleifrAlfihar meaning “elf army” or Oleifr meaning “ancestral relic,” while other sources argue that it is indeed related to the Latin word oliverus meaning “olive tree.”

The name first appears in the French epic poem, Le Chanson de Roland. Olivier is the one of the better retainers of Roland. The name was introduced into England by the Normans and was consequently anglicized as Oliver.

The name has been in and out of usage in the English-speaking world since the Middle Ages. There was a time in England when the name went out of favor due to the bloody exploits of Oliver Cromwell. It was revived in the 19th-century due to Dicken’s lovable orphaned character of Oliver Twist.

In recent years, the name has seemed to go through a revival in both the United States and the United Kingdom. In 1979, Oliver ranked in at # 396 for the most popular male names in the United States, in 2010, however, he cracked into the top 100, making it all the way up to # 88. No doubt thanks to the popularity of its seemingly feminine form of Olivia.

As of 2010, he was the most popular male name in England/Wales. His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 3 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 3 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 6 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 7 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 8 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 9 (Denmark, 2010)
  • # 10 (Finland, 2011)
  • # 12 (Ólafur, Iceland, 2010)
  • # 16 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 23 (Canada, BC, 2010)
  • # 25 (Oliwier, Poland, 2009)
  • # 38 (Olivér, Hungary, 2010)
  • # 48 (Óliver, Iceland, 2010)
  • # 51 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 52 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 55 (Olivier, Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 86 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 269 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 305 (Olivier, France, 2009)

The name is used throughout continental Europe. Its French form of Olivier is still fairly common in France and it is occassionally found in the Bayous of Louisiana among Cajun families, along with its lovely accented drawled out pronunciation of (oh-LIV-ee-AY).

In Poland it is rendered as Oliwer pronounced the same way as in English though the final R is rolled. In Iceland the popular male name of Olafur may be related. Pronounced (OH-lahf-ER), it has a feminine form of Olafia (OH-lah-FEE-ah).

Popular English nicknames are Ollie and the less common Noll.

Its designated name day is July 12.

Other forms include:

  • Olivier (Afrikaans/Dutch/French/Frisian)
  • Oliver Оливер (Croatian/Czech/Dutch/English/Estonian/Finnish/German/Hungarian/Macedonian/Portuguese/Russian/Serbian/Slovak/Spanish)
  • Fier (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Oluvier (Dutch)
  • Olivur (Faroese)
  • Ólivar (Faroese)
  • Olivér (Hungarian)
  • Ólafur (Icelandic)
  • Óliver (Icelandic)
  • Ólíver (Icelandic)
  • Oilibhéar (Irish)
  • Oliviero (Italian)
  • Olivarius/Oliverus (Latin)
  • Alfher (Old High German)
  • Áleifr (Old Norse)
  • Oliwer/Oliwier (Polish)
  • Oliwir/Olwer/Olwir (Polish: obscure)
  • Oliveiros (Portuguese)
  • Olaghair (Scottish)
  • Oilbhreis (Scottish)

Cecilia, Cecily

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latin
Meaning “blind”
Eng (seh-SEE-lee-yuh); Lat (kay-KEE-lyah); Italian (chay-CHEEL-yah).

This four syllable, melodic name has been in usage throughout the Western World since the early Middle Ages. Thanks to the cult of Saint Cecilia, an early Christian martyr, considered to be the patron saint of music and musicians.

Geoffrey Chaucer made the saint a subject of his writings and refers to the name as meaning “lily of heaven”; “the way for the blind”; “contemplation of heaven and an active life”; “as if lacking in blindness”; “a heaven for people to gaze upon.”

However, these were only epithets used by the early English writer describing the wondrous attributes and virtues of the saint, and should not be confused for its real meaning.

The name is a feminine form of the Latin Caecilius which comes from the word caecus meaning blind.

The name was introduced into England after the Norman conquest in the form of Cecily (SES-ih-LEE). The name was very popular in England until the Protestant Reformation where it fell out of usage.

Its Latin counterpart of Cecilia was not introduced into the English speaking world until the 18th-century, afterwards, its early English form of Cecily became quite popular during Victorian England.

As of 2010, its Danish form of Cecilie was the 30th most popular female name in Denmark. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 39 (Silje, Denmark, 2010)
  • # 65 (Silje, Norway, 2010)
  • # 277 (Cecilia, United States, 2010)
  • # 385 (Cécile, France, 2009)
  • # 486 (Cecilia, France, 2009)
  • # 741 (Cecelia, United States, 2010)

There is the masculine English form of Cecil. Other forms of the name include:

  • Aziliz (Breton)
  • Cicilia (Corsican)
  • Cecilija (Croatian)
  • Cila (Croatian)
  • Cecílie (Czech: tset-TSEEL-yeh)
  • Cecilie (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Cille (Danish)
  • Sille (Danish)
  • Cecile/Ceciel (Dutch)
  • Cecilia (Dutch/Finnish/German/Italian/Romanian/Spanish/Swedish)
  • Cilla (Dutch/Swedish)
  • Cecelia (English)
  • Säsil (Estonian)
  • Sesilia (Faroese)
  • Selja/Silja (Finnish)
  • Cécile (French)
  • Silke (Frisian/German: ZIL-kə)
  • Síle (Gaelic)
  • Kek’ik’ilia კიკილია (Georgia)
  • Cäcilia/Caecilia (German: tsay-TSEEL-yah or tsay-TSEE-lee-yah)
  • Cäcilie (German: tsay-TSEEL-yə or tsay-TSEE-lee-yə)
  • Zilla (German: originally a diminutive form sometimes used as an independent given name, another diminutive is Zilly)
  • Kekilia (Greek Modern)
  • Sissiilia/Sissii (Greenlandic)
  • Kikilia (Hawaiian)
  • Cecília (Hungarian/Portuguese/Slovak)
  • Cili (Hungarian/Slovene)
  • Szöszill (Hungarian)
  • Seselía, Sesilía, Sesselía, Sessilía (Icelandic)
  • Sisilia (Indonesian)
  • Sheila (Irish)
  • Caecilia (Latin)
  • Cecilė/Cilė(Lithuanian)
  • Cissolt (Manx: SIS-solt)
  • Sidsel (Norwegian/Danish)
  • Silje (Norwegian/Danish)
  • Sissel (Norwegian/Danish)
  • Cilgia (Romansch)
  • Tsetsiliya (Russian)
  • Sìleas (Scottish)
  • Cecília (Slovakian)
  • Šejla (Slovakian)
  • Cecilija (Slovenian)
  • Cilika (Slovenian)
  • Cilka (Slovenian)
  • Sisel (Yiddish)
  • Zisel (Yiddish)

Male forms include

  • Cecil (English)
  • Cecilio (Italian/Spanish)
  • Caecilius (Latin)
  • Cecilijus (Lithuanian)
  • Cecilián (Slovakian)

Czech diminutive forms are: Cecilka, Celia, Cilia, Cilka and Cilinka.

English diminutive forms are: Cece, Celia and Sissy.

The designated name-day is November 22nd.

Corinna

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “little maiden.”
Germ/Eng (koh-RIN-nah); Grk (koh-REEN-nah)

The name is from the ancient Greek Κοριννα (Korinna) which is derived from the Greek, κορη (kore), meaning “maiden.” There is the diminutive sufix of -inna attached, so it more likely means “little maiden” “little girl.” The name is related to Cora, a name which I will go further into in a seperate entry.

The name was borne by a 5th-century BCE Greek poetess and it is the name of the title character in Ovid’s Amores. It is also the name of the title character in Robert Herrick’s 17th-century poem Corinna’s going a-Maying.

Its French form of Corinne was popularized via the eponymous novel by Madame de Staël (1807)

As of 2009, Korina was the 73rd most popular female name in Croatia. While its French form of Corinne ranked in as the 728th most popular female name in the United States, (2010).

The designated name-day in Germany is October 22. The Corinna form is also used in Italy.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Korilla (Boetian)
  • Corinna (Catalan/English/Italian)
  • Korina Корина (Croatian/Czech/Latvian/Greek/Serbian/Slovakian/Slovene)
  • Corine (Dutch/French: koh-REEN)
  • Korinna Коринна  (German/Greek/Hungarian/Russian)
  • Corinne (French:  koh-RIN)
  • Corina (German/Italian/Portuguese/Romanian/Romansch/Spanish)
  • Coranna (Italian)
  • Corilla (Italian)
  • Korynna (Polish)
  • Koryna (Polish/Lithuanian)

There is a modern Greek masculine form: Korinos and an Italian masculine version of Corinno.