Masuma

  • Origin: Arabic معصومة
  • Meaning: “innocent; sinless.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pronunciation: MAH-soo-mah

The name is from the Arabic word meaning “innocent; sinless.” It was the sobriquet of a Shia Muslim saint by the name of Fatimah bint Musa, known as Fatimah al-Masumah (circ. 7th-century CE). She was the daughter of the seventh Twelver Shi’a Imam, Musa al-Kadhim and the sister of the eight Twelver Shia Imam, Ali al-Rida. Her shrine, which is located in Qom, Iran, is an important point of pilgrimage for many Shi’a Muslims.

The name was also borne by Masuma Sultan Begun (d. 1509), the Queen Consort of the Ferghana Valley & Samarkand & the fourth wife of Emperor Babur, founder of the Mughul Dynasty.

A variant transliteration is Massouma.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Məsumə (Azeri)
  • Masoumeh معصومه (Persian)
  • Masume (Turkish)

Sources

Anna, Anne

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “grace.”
(ANN; AHN). (ANN-uh; AHN-nah). (HANN-uh; HAHN-nah)

Anne is possibly one of the quintessential classic English and French female names. Prior to the 18th-century, it seems that every other girl born in England was either named Anne, Jane or Mary. There were several British and French queens who bore this simplistic moniker, including the ill fated Anne Boleyn, the mother of Elizabeth I. The history of Anne is rather long and complicated.

It was foremost popularized through the cult of St. Anne, a legendary figure who was said to be the mother of the Virgin Mary and the grandmother of Christ.

In Brittany, the name became especially popular because it happened to coincide with the name of an ancient Celtic goddess, her cult being replaced by St. Anne’s. In fact, it was borne by one Breton Princess, Anne of Brittany.

The name was introduced into Britain by the French-Normans after the invasion in 1066. Previously, there had been a minor Saxon king named Anna, but in this case the name is related to the Saxon arn (eagle). Anna and Anne are still occasionally used as male given names in Friesland.

Other than the apocryphal saint, the name Anne can be traced directly back to the Bible. In the New Testament, it is the name of a prophetess who predicts the Crucifixion of Christ.

Anna (Αννα), is the Greek translation of the early Hebrew Channah חַנָּה, usually transliterated as Hannah, meaning “grace.”

Hannah is borne in the Old Testament by the faithful mother of the prophet, Samuel.

Hannah has always been popular among Jewish families, but was virtually unheard of among non-Jews before the Reformation, except in some cases where it may have been used as a diminutive form of Johanna, spelled Hanna.

It was the Byzantines who had introduced the Anna form to the world, making it popular throughout Eastern and Southern Europe. It was a very popular name among the Byzantine royal family and it was borne by the majestic Anna of Byzantium.

Anna may be the more melodic form of the bunch, but Anne’s minimalistic qualities are charming. Short, to the point, no frills. It’s not a bad name, though it does lack some spice, which is why parents are probably more attracted to its more exotic alternatives. In fact, Anne only comes in at # 608 in the top 1000 female names of the United States. It is safe to say, however, that she is very much loved in the middle name spot.

Anna is currently one of the most popular female names in Europe and abroad. Her rankings are as follows:

  • # 1 (Austria, 2010)
  • # 1 (Estonia, 2011)
  • # 2 (Hungary, 2010)
  • # 3 (Ana, Georgia, 2010)
  • # 3 (Iceland, 2010)
  • # 4 (Ana, Croatia, 2010)
  • # 4 (Czech Republic, 2010)
  • # 4 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 4 (Ukraine, 2010)
  • # 5 (Faroe Islands, 2010)
  • # 5 (Ana, Portugal, 2010)
  • # 6 (Armenia, 2010)
  • # 6 (Ane, Greenland, 2002-2003)
  • # 6 (Ana, Romania, 2009)
  • # 6 (Ana, Serbia, 2010)
  • # 7 (Latvia, 2011)
  • # 7 (Russia, 2011)
  • # 8 (German-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 9 (Denmark, 2011)
  • # 10 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 10 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 10 (Norway, 2010)
  • # 11 (Italy, 2010)
  • # 12 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 14 (Poland, 2010)
  • # 16 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 26 (Canada, B.C., 2010)
  • # 28 (Italian-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 28 (United States, 2010)
  • # 29 (Scotland, 2010)
  • # 40 (France, 2009)
  • # 46 (French-speaking Switzerland, 2010)
  • # 53 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 63 (England/Wales, 2010)
  • # 71 (Australia, 2010)
  • # 81 (Sweden, 2010)
  • # 83 (Spain, 2010)
Other forms of the name include:
  • Anneen (Afrikaans/Low German)
  • Anna Анна (Afrikaans/Albanian/Armenian/Breton/Bulgarian/Catalan/Corsican/Czech/Dutch/English/Estonian/Faroese/Finnish/French/Frisian/German/Greek/Hungarian/Icelandic/Italian/Latvian/Limburgish/Maltese/Polish/Russian/Ukrainian/Scandinavian/Slovak)
  • Anne (Basque/Dutch/English/French/Scandinavian)
  • Gánna Га́нна (Belarusian)
  • Annaig (Breton)
  • Annick (Breton)
  • Maina (Breton)
  • Mannaig (Breton)
  • Mannick (Breton)
  • Naig (Breton)
  • Ana Ана ანა (Bulgarian/Croatian/Galician/Georgian/Lombard/Macedonian/Portuguese/Romanian/Samogaitian/Serbian/Slovene/Spanish/Venetian)
  • Jana (Croatian/Ladino)
  • Aneta (Czech/Polish/Samogaitian/Slovak)
  • Aina (Catalan)
  • Anica (Croatian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Ane (Danish)
  • Anika (Danish)
  • Anneke (Dutch)
  • Anneken (Dutch)
  • Annika (Dutch/Finnish/German/Latvian/Scandinavian)
  • Anka (Dutch/Frisian/German)
  • An(n)ke (Dutch/Frisian)
  • Anouk (Dutch/French)
  • Ans (Dutch)
  • Enneke (Dutch)
  • Enneken (Dutch)
  • Anita (English/German/Polish/Spanish)
  • Annette (English/French/German)
  • Anissa (English)
  • Annelle/Annella (Estonian)
  • Anete (Estonian/Latvian)
  • Anett (Estonian)
  • Anu (Estonian)
  • Anni (Finnish)
  • Annikki (Finnish)
  • Anniina (Finnish)
  • Annukka (Finnish)
  • Niina (Finnish)
  • Anaïs (French/Provençal)
  • Annouche (French)
  • Ninette (French)
  • Ninon (French)
  • Ninouk (French)
  • Anje (Frisian)
  • Ankea (Frisian)
  • Antje (Frisian)
  • Antjen (Frisian)
  • Anute (Fruilian)
  • Anano (Georgian)
  • Annchen (German)
  • Annel (German)
  • Annele (German/Latvian)
  • Anneli(e) (German/Finnish/Swedish)
  • Annet (German)
  • Anina (German)
  • Anja (German/Slovene)
  • Anouschka (German/Italian/Russian)
  • Annaki (Greek)
  • Annoula (Greek)
  • Noula (Greek)
  • Anikó (Hungarian)
  • Annuska (Hungarian)
  • Panni (Hungarian)
  • Áine (Irish)
  • Ánna (Irish)
  • Annarella (Italian)
  • Annella (Italian)
  • Annetta (Italian)
  • Annettina (Italian)
  • Nona (Italian/Romansch)
  • Ance (Latvian)
  • Annija (Latvian)
  • Anninya (Latvian)
  • Ona (Lithuanian)
  • Annamma (Malayalam)
  • Annam (Malayalam)
  • Onnee (Manx)
  • Âone (Norman)
  • Aenna/Aenne (Old High German)
  • Annehe (Old High German)
  • Änna/Änne (Old High German)
  • Neta (Piedmontese)
  • Noto (Piedmontese)
  • Anke (Plattdeutsch)
  • Anneke(n) (Plattdeutsch)
  • Analia (Romansch/Spanish)
  • Annina (Romansch)
  • Annotta (Romansch)
  • Anca (Romanian)
  • Anicuta (Romanian)
  • Anėta (Samogaitian)
  • Anėkė (Samogaitian)
  • Annag (Scottish)
  • Ghianna (Sicilian)
  • Janna (Sicilian)
  • Nanna (Sicilian)
  • Anniken (Swedish)
  • Ann (Welsh)
  • Nan (Welsh)
  • Nanno (Welsh)
  • Nanw (Welsh)
  • Aana (Wolof)
As for the Hannah forms

Hanna without an H is the prefered form on Continental Europe, usually pronounced (HAHN-nah) and in French like Anna. Hanna and Hanne (HAHN-neh) are also used as diminutive forms of Johanna/Johanne in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany. There is the Hungarian Hajna pronounced (HOY-no). The Czech/Slovak form of Hana nickname Hanka. There are the Yiddish forms of Heyna, Hayna, Hejna (all pronounced like HAY-nah) including the diminutive forms of HenaHende, Hendel and Henye.  The Polish diminutive form of Hania, which might make an interesting alternative to Anya or Hannah. Hannah, Hanna and Henna are all used in the Middle East.

Of course, how could we ever forget the popular diminutive forms of Annie and Nan.

Verena

 

The name is possibly derived from the Latin, verus, meaning “true.” Others have suggested that the name may actually be of some unknown Egyptian source.

The name was borne by a 3rd-century Egyptian saint who found her way to Switzerland while marching along with the Theban legions. She is considered the patron saint of hairdressers as she was known for converting young native Swiss women to Christianity while washing and styling their hair. There is a shrine dedicated to St. Verena in Zurich, Switzerland.

The name has been popular in Germany and Switzerland and has even experienced some usage in the United States during the 18th and 19th-centuries, no doubt, brought over by German immigrants. It is also an especially common name among Mennonite, Hutterite and Amish families and is a popular name among Egyptian Christians.

It is also the name of a fictional goddess in the popular fantasy/video game series Warhammer. She is the goddess of healing and learning and is based on both Minerva and Athena.

Currently, Verena is the 383rd most popular female name in Germany, (2011).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Virina (Coptic)
  • Vérène (French)
  • Verena Верена (English/German/Italian/Russian/Slovene)
  • Werena (Polish)
  • Frena (Romansch)
  • Varena (Romansch)
  • Vreni (Swiss-German)
  • Vreneli (Swiss-German)


Kantvilas, Kantvilė

Origin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “patient hope.”
(kahnt-VIHL-as; kahnt-VIL-ay)

The names are composed of the Lithuanian elements -kant (kantus, kantrus) meaning “patient” and vil-(viltis) meaning “hope.” Kantvilas is masculine and Kantvilė feminine. Their designated name-day is December 28.

Joy

Gender: Feminine
Origin: English

The name comes directly from the English word and has been in usage since at least the 16th-century. In the United States, Joy ranked in as the # 548th most popular female name. Another variation is the Italian Gioia, (JOY-ah).

The name is borne by TV host of the View, (nee Josephina Victoria b.1042) and Italian pop singer, Gioia Bruno (b.1963)

Trygve, Trygg

  • Gender: Masculine
  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: “trusty; true; safe;
  • Nor (TRIG-veh); (TRIGG)

pictured: Trygve Lie

Whatever your personal political views, many were a bit baffled when former Republican VP candidate and former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, chose the name Trig for her youngest son. When I first heard the name, I knew I heard the name somewhere before, but I couldn’t remember where. I racked my brain, then I suddenly remembered where. In college, I was a Scandinavian Studies major, I concentrated in Viking Mythology and Scandinavian languages. As a result, I ended up living in Sweden. That is where I remembered hearing the name. I remember meeting a few Norwegian fellows named Trygve and an older Swedish man named Trygg. Sarah Palin claimed herself that her son’s name was Old Norse for “true.” She is not entirely wrong, though the spelling she chose is wrong. Trygg is derived from the Old Norse tryggr meaning “trusty; true or safe.” Trygve itself is just another form of the name, though a more popular version in Norway. The name appears in the Heimskringla, as the name of Tryggve Olafsson (d.963), a ruthless viking who was known for ravaging the spoils and countryside of Ireland and Scotland. He himself eventually met a bloody death when he was killed by Harald Greyhide.

Trygve, Tryggve and Tryggvi have also been borne by the following: Tryggve Anderson, a Norwegian author and story teller (1866-1920). Tryggve Gran, a Norwegian explorer, aviator and author (1889-1980). Trygve Lie (1896-1968) the first elected general of the United Nations. Tryggvi Þórhallsson, prime minister of Iceland (1889-1935). As for the name Trygg itself, it doesn’t seem to have been as popular, although, it seems to be a common surname in Sweden, derived from a patronymic. It is also the name of a popular comic book series: Trygg the Sorcerer, and a type of torpedo boat constructed by the Norwegian navy in the early 20th-century. Other forms of both names include Trygge (that extra e is pronounced); the Finnish Rykve, the Faroese Trygvi, the Icelandic Tryggvi and the Swedish/Norwegian Tryggve. There are a few Icelandic feminine forms: Tryggva and Tryggvína.

Its name day in Norway is September 9th. Trygve is still a relatively common name in Norway. According to the Central Bureau of Norwegian Stastics, approximately 6,086 men bore the name Trygve as of 2008. To hear how Trygve is pronounced in Norwegian, you can go here: http://www.forvo.com/search/Trygve/

Tova, Tove, Tofa

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Old Norse
Meaning: “beautiful Thor.”

The name is derived from the Old Norse Tófa, which is a short form of Þórfríðr which in turn is composed of the elements Thor and fríðr meaning “beautiful.” In 2006, Tove ranked in at # 98 in the Top 100 female names of Sweden. While in 2007, its other form of Tova came in at # 87.

Tova is coincidentally a Hebrew female ( טוֹבָה) name meaning “good”, which is sometimes transliterated as Tovah.

In Sweden, the designated name day for Tove and Tova is September 10, while in Norway it is November 2.

Ansa

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: “trap or; virtue.”
(AHN-sah)

      The name is either derived from the Finnish word ansio meaning “virtue” or the Finnish word ansa meaning “trap.” It has even been attributed as a pet form of Anna. The name was borne by Russian born Finnish actress, Ansa Ikonen (1913-1989) pictured left. Its designated name day is September 4th.

      Digna

      Gender: Feminine
      Origin: Latvian/Spanish/Portuguese
      Meaning: “dignity.”
      (DEEG-nah); (DEENG-yah).

      The name is derived from the Latin dignum meaning “dignified.” It was borne by an early Christian martyr. Its designated name day is July 19