Mishika

  • Origin: Sanskrit मिषिका
  • Meaning: “spikenard; Nardostachys Jatamansi.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pron: (MEE-shee-kah)

The name comes directly from the Sanskrit word for the plant Nardostachys Jatamansi, known as “spikenard,” a plant endemic to the Himalayas.

Sources

Tulsi

  • Origin: Sanskrit तुलसी
  • Hindi/Nepali: तुलसी; Bengali টালসি
  • Meaning: “holy basil.”
  • Gender: unisex
  • Pronunciation: TULL-see

The name is derived from the Sanskrit तुलसी (holy basil). It is the name of a type of perennial plant in the family Lamicae and is endemic to the Indian subcontinent.

Tulsi is considered sacred plant in Hinduism, it is worshipped as an avatar for the goddess Lakshmi and the plant is traditionally planted in the center of courtyards to Hindu houses or next to Hanuman temples.

It is worshipped in Vaishnavism and holds an importance in Ayuverda traditions.

A notable bearer is American politician Tulsi Gabbard (b. 1981).

Sources

Minttu

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: “mint.”

The name comes directly from the Finnish word for mint.

Its designated name-day is October 6.

The name is borne by Finnish actress Minttu Mustakaillo (b.1973). It is also the name of a popular Finnish peppermint-flavored liqueur, despite the liqueur associations, the name seems to be fairly common in Finland.

The Holidays aren’t too far off and if you due around that time and are considering a Holiday-themed name with a bit of an edge, this might be just what you are looking for.

Update: As of 2011, Minttu is the 43rd most popular female name in Finland.

Basil

Gender: Masculine

The name, coincidentally, has two different origins and meanings.

It could either be from the Greek, Vassilios, which in itself is derived from the Greek Βασιλειος (Basileos), meaning “king.” The words: basilica, basilisk and the name of the herb, Basil, share the same etymology.

The name was borne by Saint Basil the Great, a 4th-century bishop of Caesarea. He is considered the father of the early Christian Church among both Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics.

In Russian Folklore, its feminine version of Vasilisa appears in a popular Russian fairytale, entitled Vasilisa the Beautiful, the tale shares similar features to the Western European Cinderella Story.

The designated name-day is often January 2.

Another etymology of the name is the Arabic باسل (Basil), which means “valiant” or “brave.”

Other forms of the first form, include:

  • Vasil (Bulgarian/Albanian)
  • Veselin (Bulgarian)
  • Bazilije (Croatian)
  • Basil/Bazil (Czech/Slovak)
  • Vasilij (Czech)
  • Pasi (Finnish)
  • Basile (French)
  • Breasal (Gaelic/Irish)
  • Basil/Basilius (German/Dutch)
  • Wassili (German)
  • Basileios Βασιλειος (Greek Ancient)
  • Vasílios Βασίλειος/Vasílis Βασίλης (Greek Modern)
  • Bazil (Hungarian)
  • Vászoly (Hungarian)
  • Vazul (Hungarian)
  • Basile/Basileo (Italian)
  • Basilio (Italian: most common form)
  • Basilius (Latin)
  • Basilijus/Bazilijus (Lithuanian)
  • Vasilii Василии (Old Church Slavonic)
  • Bazyli (Polish)
  • Bazylid/Bazylis (Polish)
  • Bazyliusz (Polish)
  • Wasyl/Wasyli (Polish: archaic forms)
  • Basílio (Portuguese)
  • Vasile (Romanian: Vasilica is a diminutive)
  • Baseli (Romansch)
  • Vasily Василий (Russian: Vaska and Vasya are usually the diminutives)
  • Basili (Sardinian)
  • Vasilije Василије (Serbian)
  • Vasil (Slovak)
  • Bazilij (Slovene)
  • Basilio/Basiléo (Spanish)
  • Vasyl Василь (Ukrainian)

Feminine forms include:

  • Vasilka Василка (Bulgarian)
  • Vasilena/Veselina (Bulgarian)
  • Vesela (Bulgarian)
  • Veliki (Croatian)
  • Basilissa (Greek Ancient/Romansch)
  • Vasiliki Βασιλικη (Greek Modern)
  • Basilia (Italian)
  • Basilea/Basiliola (Italian)
  • Bazilė (Lithuanian)
  • Bazyla/Bazylia/Bazylisa (Polish)
  • Vasilisa Василиса (Russian)
  • Vasylyna Василина (Ukrainian)

Rūta

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Lithuanian/Latvian
Meaning: “rue.”
(ROO-tah).

The name has a very similar sound to Ruth but is actually derived from the Lithuanian word for the rue plant, albeit, it is occasionally used as a cognate for Ruth, (see Ruth).

Its name day in Latvia is July 31.

Mádara

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latvian
Meaning: “cleavers.”
(MAH-duh-ruh)

This sweet, exotic and uber feminine, Baltic gem, is derived from the Latvian plural word meaning, “cleavers”, a type of flowering plant indigenous to Latvia.

In ancient Baltic folk medicine, the plant was used to cure and treat skin diseases and other ailments. The name has inspired a Latvian cosmetics company. Mádara, which is an eco-based brand of cosmetics, differs from other European cosmetic chains as it claims to use 100% natural plants indigenous to the Baltic countries.

The name is also a very popular Latvian first name.

Its designated name day in Latvia is July 29.

Hazel

Gender: Feminine
Origin: English
(HAY-zul)

The name comes directly from the English word for the plant or shrub which is classified in the birch family and produces the flavorful nut known as hazelnut.

The word itself is derived from the Anglo-saxon Haesel. Like many popular floral names, Hazel first came into usage in the 19th-century. The word hazel is also used to describe a type of eye colour that is a mixture of green and brown.

The highest she has ranked in the U.S. top 1000 is in 1897 when she came in at # 18. Hazel completely fell out of the top 1000 in 1975 and reappeared in 1998 coming in at # 940. She currently rests at # 343 and seems to be rising. In Ireland she is quite popular, coming in at # 87 in 2007.

It was the name of a popular sitcom of the 1960s.