Keanu

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hawaiian
Meaning: “cool breeze; the coolness”
(kay-AH-noo)

The name is composed of the Hawaiian words ke meaning (the) and anu (cool).

The name should be pronounced (kay-AH-noo) vs (KEE-ah-NOO). The name first caught the world’s attention through actor, Keanu Reeves (b. 1964).

Currently, Keanu is the 325th most popular male name in Germany, (2011).

Matthew

Matthew_Evangelist

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “Gift from Yahweh.”

A bit dull and overused, he sits in the U.S  Top Ten. He is quite a hit in other English speaking countries as well. Just over the border in Canada, he comes in even higher at # 6. Down under in Australia, he comes in at # 16. While in Great Britain and Ireland he sits at # 24. Over in Bonnie Scotland # 9 and in the Republic of Northern Ireland he comes in at the highest at resting at # 2. Matthew may seem to be just the ordinary every day guy type of name, but the name itself has avery long and rich history. Matthew is the English form of the Latinization Mattheus a translation of the Greek Μαθαιος (Mathaios). Mathaios is a vulgar Greek transliteration of the Aramaic diminutive name Maty or Mattay מתי which is ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Matatyahu or Mattathias מתתיהו. Other Biblical forms of the name include Matanyahu מתניהו and Netanyahu נתניהו. Yehonatan, the original form of Jonathan, is an anagram Netanyahu. The name was introduced into the Western World through the veneration of  St. Matthew the Evangelist. He was one of the 12 Apostles of Christ and is credited by most Christian denominations as the author of the Gospel of Matthew. In the Western Churches, St. Matthew’s feast is held on September 21, while in the Eastern Calender it is set for November 16th. We cannot forget the different variations the name has spun off over the centuries. Including the following:

  • Mathyu (Arabic)
  • Mateu (Catalan)
  • Matiša (Croatian)
  • Matouš (Czech)
  • Mads (Danish): originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent name throughout Scandinavia
  • Matthieu (French): 98th most popular name in Belgium and 48th most popular name in France (2006)
  • Maitiú (Gaelic)
  • Matthäus (German)
  • Makaio (Hawaiian)
  • Máté (Hungarian): Máté was the 2nd most popular male name in Hungary of 2005
  • Matteo (Italian)
  • Matiss (Latvian)
  • Modris (Latvian)
  • Matas (Lithuanian)
  • Mats (Norwegian/Swedish): Orginally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name
  • Mateusz (Polish)
  • Mateus (Portuguese)
  • Matej (Czech-Slovak/Slovenian/Croatian): In Slovenia, Matej was the 22nd most popular male name of 2005. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, this name is used in reference to the Apostle Mathias who replaced Judas Iscariot and not in reference to the Apostle Matthew the Evangelist. In Croatia and Slovenia, Matej is used in reference to the latter.
  • Mateja (Serbian): In Slovenia Mateja is considered the feminine form of Matej
  • Matúš (Slovakian)-this form is used to refer to St. Matthew the Apostle
  • Matevz (Slovenian): 38th most popular name in Slovenia (2005)
  • Mateo (Spanish)-In the United States Mateo came in #251 in the popularity charts. In Spain he stands at #73 (2006). Chile at # 65 (2006) and France he comes in at # 67 (2006).
  • Matteus (Swedish/Norwegian)
  • Matfey (Russian)

You are probably wondering why I have not mentioned Mathias or Matthias. Though Mathias/Matthias are related etymologically to Matthew, I felt that they deserved a post all of their own. Therefore, stay tuned, and I will further discuss them in a future installment. An older English form of the name includes Mathew. Matt is the most popular diminutive form used in the English speaking world.

Halia, Leucothea

Gender: Female
Origin: Greek
Meaning “briny.”
(HAHL-yah; HAY-lee-ah); (loo-KO-thee-uh)

The name is found in Greek mythology as the name of a sea nymph native to the Isle of Rhodes, sometimes believed to be one of the original Telchines (indigenous Rhodian gods).

According to Olympic-Rhodian legend, Halia was the favorite of Poseidon and was believed to be the personification of sea salt. She had six sons and one daughter: Rhode.

Her six sons’ forbade the goddess, Aphrodite, from landing on their island. In retaliation, Aphrodite drove the six boys into such madness that they raped their own mother. Halia committed suicide by throwing herself into the sea. Her sons were buried in the deep sea caves beneath the island, and it was believed by the Rhodians that Halia was reincarnated as the goddess Leucothea, who they worshipped with great honour.

Leucothea means “white goddess.” It believed that Leucothea was a title given to various sea nymphs who were later transformed as goddesses.

Coincidentally, hali’a, a Hawaiian word turned given name, is from the Hawaiian verb meaning “to remember one fondly.” Or if spelled halia, it is a past imperfect verb of hali meaning “to carry”, or “to bear.”

Other forms of Leucothea include the original Greek Leukothea (Λευκοθέα), the Spanish Leucótea (very obscure) and the Lithuanian Leukotėja (also very obscure).