Gender: Feminine
Origin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “rainbow.”

The name is derived from the Lithuanian word vaivorykštė meaning “rainbow.”

In Lithuanian mythology, the name is borne by a minor goddess of the rainbow.

According to one account, the lightning god, Perkunas, was suppose to marry the goddess Vaiva on a Thursday, but she was kidnapped by the evil Velnias and Perkunas has hunted down Velnias ever since.

Another form of the name is Vaivora.

The designated name-day is June 18.




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Georgian
Meaning: “snowdrop.”

The name is a fairly common female name in Georgia meaning “snowdrop”as in the flower.

The snowdrop flower is in the Galanthus family and they are among the first flowers to bloom in Spring, some can bloom as late as Autumn and Winter and as the name suggests, are very immune to snow.

Dobilas, Dobilė

Origin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “Clover.”
(doh-BIL-ahs; dob-BIL-ay).

Both names are derived from the Lithuanian word dobilas meaning “clover.” Dobilas is the masculine form and Dobile, the feminine. Their designated name-day is November 26.


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Hungarian
Meaning: “flower.”

The name comes directly from the Hungarian word for flower, in 2005, it was the 17th most popular female name in Hungary. Its designated name days are November 26, February 10 and July 29.

Martin, Martina

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “belonging to the god Mars.”

This popular pan-European name is derived from Latin name Martinus, a derivative of the Latin genitive Martis, used in reference to the Roman god Mars. The usage of the genitive case would reflect possession, therefore the name would roughly translate as meaning “belonging to Mars” or “possessed by Mars.”

The name was popularized by a 4th-century bishop and saint, (the patron saint of France), known as Martin of Tours. According to legend, he came upon a beggar in the middle of a harsh and cold winter, Martin cut his only cloak in half and gave it to the beggar, later that night, he had a dream of Christ appearing before him, wearing the other half of his cloak. Saint Martin of Tours was not only a popular devotional saint in France, but in the rest of Europe as well. Today, the surname of Martin is the most common in France, originally the surname was taken in honour of the saint.

Another popular saint who bears the name is St. Martin de Porres, attributed as the first African-American saint, he was born in Peru in the 1500s. He was the son of a Spanish nobleman and an African slave woman. He later became a Dominican and was known for his charity and mystical powers. In Spanish-speaking countries, the name Martin is mostly given in commemoration of him.

The name became popular among protestants, particularly adherents of the Lutheran faith, due to its associations with the German Reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). It was also borne by Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr. 1929-1968).

In Europe today, Martin is still a fairly common choice. Its rankings are as follows:

  • #55 (Belgium 2006)
  • #56 (France 2006)
  • #20 (Hungary 2005)
  • #73 (Ireland 2007)
  • # 72 (Northern Ireland 2007)
  • # 8 (Norway 2007)
  • #32 (Slovenia 2005)
  • #59 (Spain 2006)
  • # 79 (Sweden 2007)

In Chile, he was the 4th most popular male name in 2006, while in the United States he comes in at a meagre # 221. The perfect classic male name for someone looking for something not too odd yet not too popular.

Other forms of the name include (divided alphabetically by origin)

  • Mardig (Armenian)
  • Mattin (Basque: diminutive form is Matxin)
  • Marzhin/Marzin (Breton)
  • Martí (Catalan: 77th most popular male name in Spain in 2006)
  • Martinu (Corsican)
  • Morten (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Maarten/Marten/Martijn (Dutch Pronunciation for the latter:
  • Ties (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Tinus (Dutch: originally a diminutive form of Martinus, now used as an independent given name)
  • Tijn (Dutch: originally a diminutive, now used as an independent given name. It was the 28th most popular male name in the Netherlands in 2008)
  • Madro/Mardi/Mardu/Mart/Märten/Märtin/Märt (Estonian)
  • Martti (Finnish)
  • Merten (Frisian)
  • Marti/Martinni (Greenlandic)
  • Márton (Hungarian: Pronunciation: 31st most popular male name in Hungary 2005. Diminutive is Mártos)
  • Marteinn/Martin (Icelandic)
  • Mairtín (Irish Gaelic)
  • Martiniano (Italian: obscure)
  • Martino (Italian)
  • Martianus (Latin/Dutch)
  • Martinus (Latin/Dutch)
  • Marcis/Martins/Martiņš/Mārtiņš/Marts/Mārts (Latvian)
  • Martynas (Lithuanian)
  • Marcin (Polish. Pronunciation: Diminutive is Marcinek)
  • Martim/Martinho (Portuguese)
  • Martinián (Slovakian)
  • Tinek (Slovenian: initially a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Tine (Slovenian: originally a diminutive form, now a popular independent given name ranking in as the 59th most popular male name in Slovenia as of 2008. The final e is pronounced)
  • Martín (Spanish)
  • Mårten (Swedish)
  • Martyn (Welsh/Ukrainian)

Martin is not only used in English, but is also used in Croatian, Estonian, French, German, Maltese, Scandinavian, Romanian, Russian, Czech, Slovenian, Hungarian and Bulgarian languages as well. German nicknames include Marte, Mart,  Marti or Marty. Maroš is the Czech and Slovakian pet form and Marty is the common English nickname.

The name-days are:

  • March 1 (Bulgaria)
  • November 11 (Czech Republic/France/Germany/Poland/Lithuania/Slovakia)
  • November 10 (Sweden/Estonia/Latvia)

    Dutch children celebrating St. Martin's Day

    In some parts of Holland,  Belgium, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, children celebrate St. Maarten’s Day (November 11) by carrying lanterns from door-to-door and getting sweets in exchange for song. The same holiday is observed under the name of Mardispäev in Estonia, Jum San Martin in Malta and to a lesser extent, the holiday is celebrated in the greater region of Poland, particularly in Poznan. Only on this day, instead of it being a children’s holiday, it is more of a day to get a traditional poppy-filled croissant sold by bakers just on that one day of the year, occasionally there are concerts held in the city.

    The most common feminine form is usually Martina, which has experienced wide usage in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dutch-speaking countries, Estonia, Faroe Islands, German-speaking countries, Italy, Portuguese-speaking countries, Romania, Scandinavia, Serbia, Slovakia and Spanish-speaking countries. It was borne by a 3rd-century Roman saint and martyr as well as a 6th-century Byzantine empress.


    It is interesting to note that in Bulgaria, the designated name-day is March 1, and Martin, as well as Martina, have historically been connected to the Bulgarian word mart (meaning March). In this case, the names are sometimes bestowed upon a March baby or children born on March 1. The Holiday of Baba Marta (meaning “grandmother March.”) is a traditional Bulgarian festival that celebrates the arrival of spring and the end of winter, Baba Marta is the harbinger of good weather and if she is displeased, she will continue to bring stormy weather. Baba Marta is considered a moody and fickle old woman, so one must always be careful not to displease her, one way of doing this is the exchange of martenitsi, (white and red tassles which are pinned to clothing), this is used as a way to ask Baba Marta for mercy. A martinitsa is worn either till the end of March or until the wearer spots a stork or a blooming tree, with this, the bearer knows that Baba Marta is pleased, afterwards, they are hung on trees in order to transfer luck onto the tree. The martenitsa symbolizes new life, fertility and spring.

    The rankings of Martinas popularity from country to country are as follows:

    • # 1 (Chile, 2006)
    • # 2 (Malta, 2007)
    • # 76 (Slovenia, 2005)
    • # 34 (Spain, 2006)

    Other feminine forms are:

    • Marzhina (Breton)
    • Maatje/Maartje/Martien/Martijntje (Dutch)
    • Tieneke/Tineke/Tine/Tini (Dutch diminutive forms, used as an independent given names)
    • Martine (French/Estonian/Norwegian/Danish: an obscure French feminine diminutive form is Martinette, the name is very popular in Norway coming in as the 28th most popular female name in 2007, in the Danish/Norwegian case, the final e is pronounced).
    • Martinka (Hungarian: initially used as a diminutive, occassionally used as an independent given name)
    • Martína (Icelandic)
    • Martana (Italian: obscure)
    • Martinella (Italian: obscure)
    • Marcina (Polish: the original Polish feminine form, this form has always been unusual and its latinized counterpart of Martyna has recently enjoyed popularity)
    • Martyna (Polish: popularized by a popular French children series known as Martine in French and Martynka in Polish written by Belgian authors Marcel Marlier and Gilbert Delahaye, published (1954). In Polish Martyna is pronounced (mahr-TIH-nah) the Y is akin to the i sound in pig, but not exactly so. Martyna is also the Ukrainian and Lithuanian version, but in those cases, it is pronounced with the long i sound (mahr-TEE-nah).\
    • Martinha (Portuguese)

    Other famous bearers of the name include: Martina von Trapp (1921-1951) is immortalized in the Sound of Music as Gretl von Trapp, she was named for the manor house she was born in, Martinschlössel (Martin’s Castle in English). Czech-American tennis player, Martina Návratilová (b.1956). American country-Western singer Martina McBride (b.1966). Italian actress, Martina Stella (b.1984).

    The name-days are:

    • March 1 (Bulgaria)
    • July 17 (Czech Republic)
    • January 30 (Germany/Hungary)
    • September 9 (Slovakia)
    • November 10 (Sweden)

    Renata, Renatus, René, Renée

    Origin: Latin
    Meaning: “rebirth.”

    The origins of René and Renée can be traced back to the Late Latin male name Renatus, meaning “rebirth; born again.” The name is borne by several saints in both its Latin masculine form and feminine Latin form. The French forms have experienced usage in the Netherlands, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic as well as Anglo-phone countries.

    Renée enjoyed a short spout of popularity in the United States during the late 60s and early 70s, the highest it peaked was in 1967 coming in at # 62. As of 2008, she came in at # 734. Surprisingly, its masculine version ranked in higher in the top 1000, coming in as the 561st most popular male name in 2008. René is still somewhat prevalent among the Cajun and Creole communities of Louisiana.

    In 2005, he was the 57th most popular male name in Slovenia.

    Renata has experienced usage from South America to Eastern Europe, she is a common choice in Poland, Germany, Italy and Brazil. In 2006, she was the 34th most popular female name in Chile and the 68th most popular female name in Hungary.

    Other forms of the name include:

    • Renata (Czech, Croatian, German, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish. Polish diminutive forms are: Rena, Renatka and Renia. Spanish diminutive form is Renita, often used as an independent given name)
    • Renate (Dutch/German)
    • Renáta (Hungarian/Czech/Slovak)

    Masculine forms include:

    • René (French, Czech, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Slovakian, Slovenian)
    • Renát (Hungarian/Slovakian)
    • Röné (Hungarian)
    • Renato (Italian/Spanish)
    • Renatus (Late Latin)
    • Renáto (Slovakian)
    • Renátus (Slovakian)

    The designated name-day is November 6 in Slovakia, October 19 in France, November 12 in Poland and Lithuania, November 28 in the Czech Republic (Renata is October 13); October 6 in Hungary and January 23 in Estonia.

    The name is borne by French mathematician and philosopher René Descartes and French painter René Magritte and American actress Renée Zellweger.

    Rosalia, Rosalie

    Gender: Feminine
    Origin: French
    Meaning: “rose festival.”
    (ROZE-uh-LEE-uh); (ROZE-uh-LEE)

    Rosalie Cullen is described as an utterly beautiful yet cold creature. She is the more stand-offish of the Cullen bunch. If you don’t know what I am talking about, I am referring to a character in the popular Stephanie Meyer books, Twilight.

    For a character that was supposedly born at the turn of the century, Ms. Meyer certainly named her character well, since Rosalie has not been in the top 1000 names since 1988, coming in at a mere # 942 when it was last seen. In fact, the highest the name ever reached was # 66 back in 1938!

    If Rosalie Cullen doesn’t hold enough supernatural appeal for you, then you might want to look into the history of this rare little gem, as the name has enough gothic and romantic charm behind it to fit a beautiful vampire.

    It is assumed that the name is just an elaboration of the name Rose, but in actuality, it comes directly from the name of an ancient Roman and Greek festival, the rosalia. Known to the Greeks as the Anthesteria, the celebrations usually took place around the 11th to 13th of January or February. It was basically the celebration of the maturing of the wine stored in previous years. During the festival, the vintages were opened, representing the beginning of Spring. Likewise, on these days, slaves and masters reversed their roles, it was the one and only festival where slaves were allowed to participate. It was also a day that celebrated the expulsion of the lost wondering souls of the dead. It had many similar aspects to Hallow e’en and Mardi Gras. Though a popular festival, the name was never used as a human moniker till perhaps the Middle Ages.

    As a give name, it seems to have first appeared around the 1600s after the bones of a mysterious hermit saint were found in a cave in Sicily.

    Known affectionately in Sicily as La Santuzza, (the Little Saint), all that is known of St. Rosalie is that she and her family were of noble blood and were French-Norman immigrants who had settled in the city of Palermo.

    St. Rosalie chose to live a life as a hermit, and tucked herself away in a cave till she died.

    Legend has it that she was lead to the cave by angels. On the cave wall, she wrote, “I, Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of the Roses, and Quisquina, have taken the resolution to live in this cave for the love of my lord, Jesus Christ.” (

    In the 1600s, Palermo had been struck by the plague, and, according to legend, the saint appeared to a hunter dying from the pestilence. She led him to the cave where her bones were found. Rosalia then instructed the hunter to transport her bones back to Palermo and to have them carried in a procession throughout the city. The hunter did what she asked and supposedly, the hunter, and the city, were cured of the plague. Since then, St. Rosalie is honoured as the patron saint of Palermo, and each July 15, a huge festival is held in her honour to commemorate the event.

    Known as the festino, it is still a big holiday in Sicily, and even throughout the United States, the same festival is celebrated by Italian Americans, only it has been switched to honour Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, while St. Rosalie’s feast is held off till the beginning of September.

    Another interesting side note is that St. Rosalie is also designated as the patron saint of evolutionary studies, due to the fact that a scientist by the name of G.E. Hutchinson conducted a study of a pool by the saint’s cave where he observed water boatmen.

    The name was never really used in the English speaking world till the influx of Italian immigrants to the United States at the turn of the century.

    In 2006 French popularity lists, Rosalie came in at # 342.

    Currently, in Slovenia, its contracted form of Zala is the 8th most popular female name, (2008).

    Other forms of the name include:

    • Rosalia (Afrikaans/Catalan/German/Italian/Sardinian)
    • Rozalija (Croatian/Latvian/Serbian/Slovene)
    • Rozálie (Czech: raw-ZAHL-yeh)
    • Rosalie (Danish/Dutch/French/English)
    • Rozália (Hungarian/Slovak)
    • Rosolia (Italian: obscure)
    • Rozalia (Polish/Slovene)
    • Rosália (Portuguese)
    • Rusulìa (Sicilian)
    • Zala (Slovene: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
    • Rosalía (Spanish)

    An Italian masculine form is Rosalio.