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

Jashan

  • Origin: Hindi जशन
  • Meaning: “festivities.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • Pronunciation: JAH-shahn

The name comes directly from the Hindi word जशन meaning, “festivities.”

Sources

Bayram, Bajram

  • Origin: Turkic
  • Meaning: “festival; holiday.”
  • Gender: masculine
  • BY-rahm

The name comes directly from the Turkic word referring to any festival or public holiday, whether religious or secular.

Between 1980-2004, the name appeared in the Top 100 Most Popular Turkish Male Names, and peaked at #42 in 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.

Rota

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latvian
Meaning: “ornament; adornment; trinket.”

The name comes directly from the Latvian word for ornament or adornment and its designated name-day is January 7th.

As of 2008, approximately 208 women in Latvia bore this name.

Melchior

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Debated
Meaning: Debated

The name is of uncertain origin or meaning, but may be related to the Phoenician deity name, Melqart, which means “king city” or possibly even to the Hebrew components, malki (my king) and or (light), which would roughly translate as “my king is light.”

According to Christian lore, it is the name of one of the Three Wise Men (Magi) who visited Christ.

Its designated name-day is January 6th.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Meltxor (Basque)
  • Melcion/Melcior (Catalan)
  • Melchioru (Corsican)
  • Melkior (Croatian/Serbian/Slovene)
  • Melker (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish: currently very popular in Sweden, in 2007, it was the 54th most popular male name in Sweden)
  • Melchior (English/French/German/Polish/Slovak)
  • Malchior (German/Polish: older forms)
  • Marchal/Melcher (German: archaic)
  • Melchiorre (Italian)
  • Melchioras/Melkijoras (Lithuanian)
  • Merkelis (Lithuanian)
  • Melkjor (Maltese)
  • Marchion (Occitanian)
  • Melhior (Polish: very obscure)
  • Belchior (Portuguese)
  • Melkhior (Russian)
  • Melichar (Slovak)
  • Melchor (Spanish/Galician)

an obscure feminine form is Melchiora.

Balthazar

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Phoenician
Meaning: “Ba’al protects the king.”
Eng (Bel-the-Zar)

The name is believed to be a corruption of the Biblical Phoenician name, Belshazzar, which appears in the Book of Daniel as the name of a Babylonian king.

In Christian folklore, the name is attributed to one of the Three Wise Men, in both the Eastern and Western Christian Church, Balthazar is honored as a saint.

The designated name-day is January 6th.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Baltasar (Basque/Galician/Maltese/Spanish)
  • Hausl (Bavarian)
  • Balthazar (Catalan/English/French/Dutch/German)
  • Baltazaru (Corsican)
  • Baltazar (Croatian/Czech/Polish)
  • Hauser (German: Austrian dialectical form)
  • Boldizsár/Baltazár (Hungarian)
  • Baldasarre (Italian)
  • Baltazaras (Lithuanian)
  • Bautesar (Occitanian)
  • Balser/Balzer (Romansch)
  • Valtasar (Russian)
  • Baltazár (Slovak)
  • Boltežar (Slovene)
  • Baltsar (Swedish)

As for nicknames, Bolt might make an interesting choice.

Sylvester/Silvester

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “wooded, wild.”

Sylvester is an English corruption of the Latin name Silvester, which is derived from the Latin word silvestis meaning “wooded” or “wild.”

The name is borne by several saints and popes, “Silvester” became synonymous with the name for New Years Eve in some countries, since December 31st is the feast of St. Silvester.

Silvester is used in Danish, German, English, Slovene and Slovak.

Before the Reformation, Sylvester was a fairly common male name in England, but went out of usage due to its strong papal associations at the time.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Silvestre (Catalan/Spanish)
  • Silivestru (Corsican)
  • Silvestar (Croatian)
  • Silvestr/Sylvestr (Czech)
  • Sylvester (English/Finnish/Swedish/Ukrainian)
  • Silvar/Silver (Estonian)
  • Sylvestre (French)
  • Fester (Frisian/Limburgish)
  • Szilveszter (Hungarian)
  • Silvestro (Italian)
  • Silvester (Latin/Estonian)
  • Silvestrs (Latvian)
  • Vester (Limburgish)
  • Silvestras (Lithuanian)
  • Sylfest/Sølfest (Norwegian)
  • Sylwester (Polish: diminutive forms are: Syc, Syczek, Syczko, Sych, Sychno, Sychta, Sysz, Syszek, Syszka and Syszko)

An Italian and Slovene feminine form is Silvestra.

The name is currently borne by American actor, Sylvester Stallone (b.1946).

In American popular culture, it was borne by the animated cat named for the the felis silvestris catus, a subspecies of wildcat that was believed to be related to the domesticated cat, at the time. Later scientific evidence established them as two separate species..

A common English nickname is Sly.