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.

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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.

Amalia, Amelia

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Germanic
Meaning: “work.”
(uh-MAHL-yah); (uh-MAHL-ee-ah); (uh-MEE-lee-yah).

Amalia, the pretty, edgy name with the stern meaning, comes from the ancient Germanic word amal, meaning “to work.” However, the name has also been linked to the Greek word amalos, meaning “soft.”

Throughout the centuries, the name has been borne by German nobility and royalty alike. Its more favored form of Amelia was introduced to the English-speaking world when the German Hanover line married into the British royal family in the 18th-century. It was borne by the daughters of George II and III of England.

The name was also borne by Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Amàlia (Catalan)
  • Amálie (Czech/Slovak)
  • Amelie (Danish/Finnish/German/Norwegian)
  • Amalia (Dutch/Estonian/Finnish/Galician/German/Greek/Italian/Polish/Spanish/Romanian/Romansch)
  • Amelia (Dutch/English/Estonian/Finnish/German/Polish/Spanish. Polish diminutive forms are Amelcia, Amelka, Mela, Melcia and Melcia)
  • Amaali (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Amalja (Faroese)
  • Malja (Faroese)
  • Malla (Faroese/Norwegian/Swedish: obscure)
  • Amaalia/Amaliia/Amali/Amu (Finnish)
  • Amakka (Finnish)
  • Amalkka (Finnish)
  • Maali/Maalia (Finnish)
  • Amélie (French)
  • Amke (Frisian)
  • Amalie (German/Scandinavian)
  • Amely (German)
  • Amália/Amál (Hungarian)
  • Amélia (Hungarian/Portuguese/Slovak)
  • Amalía /Amelía (Icelandic)
  • Amālija/Amēlija (Latvian)
  • Amalija (Lithuanian/Slovak/Slovene)
  • Amelija (Lithuanian)
  • Amália (Portuguese)
  • Amelita (Spanish: initially a diminutive form, occassionally used as an independent given name)
  • Amaliya (Russian)
  • Ameliya/Hamaliya (Ukrainian)

In recent years Amelia has spiked in popularity coming in as the 41st most popular female name in the United States,(2010). Amelie, which did not even appeared in the Social Security List before 2001, currently comes in at # 681st most popular female name, (2010). Amelia and her various forms’ rankings in other countries are as follows:

Amelia

  • # 5 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 6 (Poland, 2009)
  • # 8 (Poland, Warsaw, 2010)
  • # 12 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 13 (New Zealand, 2010)
  • # 18 (Canada, B.C., 2010)
  • # 34 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 43 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 132 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 200 (France, 2009)
Amelie/Amélie
  • # 25 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 32 (Belgium, 2008)
  • # 34 (German-speaking, Switerland, 2010)
  • # 55 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 69 (Australia, NSW, 2010)
  • # 80 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 111 (France, 2009)
  • # 297 (Netherlands, 2010)
Amalia/Amalie
  • # 11 (Amalie, Norway, 2010)
  • # 27 (Amalie, Denmark, 2010)
  • # 42 (Amalia, Romania, 2009)

Amalia does not figure in America’s top 1000. With the spotlight of Malia Obama, and the increasingly popularity of its Amelia counterpart, this name might be a potential hit within the next few years.

Possible nickname options include Amy, Mia, Lia, Mali, Malia and Molly.

There is a Scandinavian masculine form: Melius.

(Upper left, Amalie Auguste of Bavaria).

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)

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.

Otto

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German
Meaning: “wealth; riches.”
(OT-to)

The name is derived from the early Germanic Audo. It seems like the quintessential German name, but has been out of favor in German speaking countries until recently, where it seems to be experiencing a revival. The name was borne by four Germanic kings. The first being Otto I, (also known as Otto the Great), the first Holy Roman Emperor. It was also borne by German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898).

To American ears, it might sound a bit quirky, but to hipsters, he might just make the perfect brother to little Gunnar or Atticus. Otto exhibits a certain quality of strength. It wouldn’t be bad to give him a chance, at least as a middle name. Otto has not ranked in the US top 1000 since 1974, when he came in at a measly #969. The highest he has seemed to rank in American history was in 1909, when he came in at a decently high #144. No doubt due to a large influx of German and Swedish immigrants at the time.

In Germany, he hasn’t made it to the top 500 as of yet, but I am happily able to report that, recently, while browing through some German birth announcement from Berlin, I was happy to see a few newborn Ottos, either as their first name or middle name.

Update: As of 2011, Otto was the 30th most popular male name in Finland and in 2010, he was the 92nd most popular male name in Sweden.

In Germany and Austria, his designated name day is September 7th. Similar variations include Otmar which means “possesing of fame” and Ottokar meaning “wealthy and vigilant.” If Otto feels too short for you, then you might want to consider Otmar or Ottokar as a formal version.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ot (Catalan)
  • Ota (Czech)
  • Oto (Czech/Slovak)
  • Otto (Dutch/Estonian/Faroese/Finnish/Frisian/German/Polish/Romansch/Sami/Scandinavian)
  • Ode (English)
  • Eudes (French)
  • Odilon (French/Portuguese)
  • Odon (French/German)
  • Odo (German)
  • Udo (German)
  • Ortu (Greenlandic)
  • Ottó (Hungarian/Icelandic)
  • Oddo (Italian)
  • Ottone (Italian)
  • Ottorino (Italian)
  • Rino (Italian)
  • Audo (Old High German)
  • Odo (Old High German)
  • Otton (Polish)
  • Otte (Scandinavian)
  • Oton (Slovene/Spanish)

A common Czech diminutive form is Otik.

Feminine forms are so numerous that I shall save those for a separate entry, stay tuned 🙂

Malte

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German/Scandinavian
(MAHL-teh)

The name is derived from the Germanic name, Helmold, which is composed of the elements helm (helmut) and wald (ruler).

Malte‘s appearance was first recorded during the 1400s in Eastern Denmark and its popularity reached Sweden and Norway.

As of 2010, its Danish form of Malthe was the 15th most popular male name in Denmark, while Malte was the 56th most popular male name in Sweden, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Malte (German/Scandinavian)
  • Malti (Danish)
  • Molte (Danish)
  • Molti (Danish)

Bruno

 

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German
Meaning: “brown.”
(BROO-no)

The name has a Latin sound but is actually of German origins. It is derived from the German word brun meaning “brown.” A follower of my blog, Capucine, informed me that the meaning of the name was originally a euphemism for a bear.
It has also been suggested that the name maybe related to the Old High German, brunja, meaning, “breastplate.”
According to askoxford.com, the name has been borne by German royalty and nobility alike. It was also borne by a 10th-century saint and the son of Emperor Henry the Fowler as well as by the Saxon Duke who gave his name to the town of Brunswick (in German Braunschweig).
The name has also experienced popular usage in Spanish speaking countries, as well as in Italy, Portugal and Poland. The only English speaking country the name has ever gotten much usage in is the United States. Thanks to the influx of German immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century it reached # 260 way back in 1915. The highest it has ever reached in the Social Security list. It currently comes in at a mere # 753. His rankings in other countries are as follows:
  • # 35 (Croatia, 2009)
  • # 43 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 46 (Chile, 2010)
  • # 56 (Spain, 2010)
Other forms of the name include:
  • Bruno (Croatian/Czech/Dutch/Finnish/French/German/Icelandic/Italian/Polish/Portuguese/Romansch/Scandinavian/Slovak/Slovene/Spanish)
  • Brun (German)
  • Brúnó (Hungarian)
  • Brunone (Italian)
  • Broen (Limbergish)
  • Brunon (Occitanian/Polish)
The feminine form of Bruna is a popular name in Brazil, Italy and Croatia.
Other feminine forms are Brunonia, which is borne by author, Brunonia Barry, and the Polish Brunona a feminine form of the more obscure masculine Polish form of Brunon. Both forms are seldom heard in Poland these days, but it’s listed on their name-day Calender.
Italian feminine form is Brunella a derivative of the Italian masculine diminutive form Brunello.
Its designated name day is July 12.

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.

Nadia

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Slavonic/Arabic نديّة
Meaning: see below
(NAHD-yah); (NAH-dee-uh)

Nadia has a touch of class, a mysterious vibe and an exotic appeal. Nadia is also very cross-cultural, she has two different origins and meanings and can easily be used in virtually every country in the world.

First, we have Slavic Nadia, a derivative of the Russian Nadezhda, meaning, “hope.” If that meaning isn’t sweet enough for you, then you might like Nadia’s meaning in Arabic, “delicate; tender; moist.” Though its Arabic version is sometimes transliterated as Nadiyya نديّة, its pronounced exactly the same way as its Slavic homonym.

During the Soviet era of Russia, Nadia was used as a neologism, that is one of the hundreds of Russian given names created during the Russian Revolution to celebrate communistic ideas. In this case, Nadia was suppose to be a formation of nad (above) and ia/ija (era).

Nadia has enjoyed popularity outside of the East. It suddenly became vogue in France in the 19th century, possibly due to the Ballet Russe, where it was later francanized to Nadine. In Germany, it is often rendered as Nadja (NAHD-yah). The name is very popular throughout Eastern Europe.

The name is borne by Nadia Comaneci a famous Romanian Olympic gold gymnast.

Currently, Nadja is the 86th most popular female name in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Her Nadia counterpart’s rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 22 (Poland, 2010)
  • # 69 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 96 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 240 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 247 (United States, 2010)
  • # 444 (France, 2009)

Other forms include:

  • Nadia Надя Ναδια Nადია (Albanian/Bulgarian/Dutch/English/Georgian/German/Greek/Lithuanian/Macedonian/Polish/Romanian/Scandinavian/Spanish)
  • Nadiyya (Arabic: variant transcripted form)
  • NadyaՆադյա (Arabic/Armenian/Persian)
  • Nadiye (Azeri/Kurdish/Turkish)
  • Nadja Надя (Bosnian/Chechen/Circassian/Croatian/Estonian/German/Kazakh/Kyrgyz/Latvian/Serbian/Slovene/Russian/Tatar/Turkmen/Ukrainian)
  • Naďa (Czech/Slovak)
  • Nadine (French/English)
  • Nádja (Hungarian)
  • Nadinka (Hungarian)
  • Nadea (Italian: obscure)
  • Nadiana (Italian: obscure)
  • Nadina (Italian)
  • Nádia (Portuguese)
  • Nodja Нодя (Tajik/Uzbek)

Unusual Italian masculine forms are: Naddo/Naddo, Nadio and Nadino.

Designated name-days are: January 17 (Italy), August 1 (Hungary/Spain), August 18 (Poland), September 30/December 18 (German),