Erez

  • Origin: Hebrew אֶרֶז
  • Meaning: “cedar.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Pronunciation: ER-ehz

The name comes directly from the Hebrew word for the cedar tree אֶרֶז. This name did not come into use as a masculine given-name among Jews until after the creation of the State of Israel in 1945. It may have been popularized by Aleksander Zederbaum (1816-1893), a Polish-Jewish journalist who founded the Hebrew language newspaper, Ha-Melitz who often used “Erez” as a pseudonym in his writings.

It is also the name of a Kibbutz and of Erez Crossing, the latter being the name of a border crossing on the Israeli-Gaza border.

Sources

Erlis, Erlisa

  • Origin: Albanian
  • Meaning: “scent of the oak.”
  • Pron (AIR-lees; air-LEE-sah)

Erlis is an Albanian male name which is composed of the Albanian words, erë (wind, scent) and lis (oak).

Erlis is also used as a male name in Kyrgyzstan, being a borrowing from the Albanian from Soviet times.

Its feminine form is Erlisa.

Sources

Lubna

  • Origin: Arabic لبنى
  • Gender: feminine
  • Meaning: “storax tree.”
  • Pronunciation: LOOB-nah

The name comes directly from the Arabic word for the storax tree. This is an old poetic name, it appears in a 7th-century Arabic love poem, Lubna & Qays.

It was also reportedly borne by Lubna of Córdoba, a 10th-century Andalusian poet.

Another transliteration is Loubna.

Sources

Ilana

Origin: Hebrew אִילָנָה
Meaning: “tree”.
(ee-LAH-nah).

The name comes directly from the Hebrew word for tree. Another female form is Ilanit (ee-LAH-neet) אִילָנִית. She is borne by Israeli pop-singer, known simply as Ilanit (b.1947) her real name being Hanna Drezner-Tzakh.

As of 2010, Ilana was the 255th most popular female name in France. While in the Netherlands, she comes in as the 321st most popular female name, (2011).

The masculine form is Ilan.

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)

Pinja

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Estonian/Finnish
Meaning: “pine.”

The name is derived from the Finnish word for a species of pine tree known as pinus pinea. This might be the perfect autumnal name. Its designate name-day is October 6.

As of 2011, Pinja was the 35th most popular female name in Finland.

Björk, Bjørk

Gender: feminine
Origin: Icelandic/Faroese
Meaning: “birch, birch tree.”
(BYERK) Pronunciation can be heard here: http://www.forvo.com/word/björk/

Indie rock star, Björk Guðmundsdóttir (b.1965), made this one a household name, though it is now a recognized name outside of Iceland, it will probably always be associated with the singer to non-Icelanders.

Björk is the Icelandic word for birch tree, when spelled Bjørk, it has the same meaning in both Faroese and Norwegian. It is interesting to note that björk is the modern Swedish word for birch tree, though neither nouns are used as a given names in Swedish or Norwegian. However, it is a very common and ordinary female name in both Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

As of 2010, Bjørk was the 8th most popular female name in the Faroe Islands.

Tisa

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Slovenian
Meaning: “Yew tree”
(TEE-sah)

The name comes directly from the Slovenian word for Yew Tree and is also the name of a river in Slovenia. In 2005, Tisa was the 91st most popular female name in Slovenia.

Fura

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Icelandic
Meaning: “pine tree.”
(FEU-rah) the u is somewhat akin to the French eu sound.

The name comes from the Icelandic word for pine tree, according to the Icelandic Registry, only 3 women bore the name as of 2007.

Eik

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Icelandic/Faroese
Meaning: “oak”
Ice (AKE)

The name is an Icelandic and Faroese female name and comes from the Old Norse word for “oak”. It remains the word for oak in Dutch, Norwegian, Icelandic and Faroese. However, its usage as a female given name is exclusive to both Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The Danish word for oak (eg), the Swedish word for oak (ek) and the German word for oak (eiche) share the same etymological root.

According to the Icelandic Registry, 18 women bore Eik as a first name and 110 bore it as a middle name.