Girls’ names ending in O

Girls’ names ending in the letter O seem to be fairly uncommon in much of the world, across most languages. However, there are still more than a few names falling into this category.

The obvious, probably best-known exception is Japanese, which has a plethora of female names ending in O. For the sake of brevity and spotlighting a wider variety of names, none of them will be featured here. It’s similar to the reason I deliberately excluded Polish names ending in SZ and Hebrew names ending in TZ when I did my post about names ending in Z, since they’re so common they would’ve overwhelmed the list.

Aino (Finnish) means “the only one.”

Callisto/Kallisto (Greek) means “most beautiful.” This was the name of a nymph whom Zeus seduced, and who was later turned into a bear by Hera. She ultimately became the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) constellation.

Calypso/Kalypso (Greek) probably means “she who conceals.” This was the name of another nymph, who detained Odysseus on her island for seven years.

Cielo (Spanish) means “sky.”

Cleo (English), Cléo (French) is a short form of Cleopatra/Cléopâtre.

Clio (Italian) is the Latinate form of Kleio, a Greek name meaning “glory.”

Consuelo (Spanish) means “consolation.”

Dido is of possibly Phoenician origin, and unknown etymology. This was the name of the legendary Queen of Carthage, who married Aeneas while he was on his way to Rome.

Echo (Greek) is the source of the word “echo,” and the name of a nymph who could only repeat what other people said. Then she fell in unrequited love with Narcissus and wasted away until only her voice remained.

Hero (Greek) was the lover of Leander, who drownt while swimming across the river to see her one night. For obvious reasons, I wouldn’t recommend this as a first name in an Anglophone country.

Ildikó (Hungarian) may be a form of Hilda (battle).

Ilo (Estonian) means “delight, happiness, joy” and “beauty.” This is the name of a minor goddess of feasts.

Indigo (English), the name of a purplish-blue colour, derives from the Greek word indikon (India, from India).

Ino (Greek) means “white goddess.” This was the name of a Theban queen and the aunt of Dionysus, whom she raised after her sister Semele’s untimely death during pregnancy.

Io (Greek) possibly means “moon.” She was yet another of Zeus’s conquests and punished by Hera, who turned her into a cow. Eventually she was changed back into a human.

Juno (Latin) may mean “youth,” from an Indo–European root, or may be of Etruscan origin. This was the Roman name for Hera.

Leelo (Estonian) means “folk song.”

Lilo (Hawaiian) means “generous.”

Lucero (Latin American Spanish) means “luminary.”

Nino (Georgian, Armenian) is possibly a feminine form of the Greek name Ninos, which probably derives from the Assyrian city Nineveh and thus may be related to the Akkadian root nunu (fish). Despite the very similar spellings, it’s unrelated to Nina.

Rocío (Spanish) means “dew.”

Rosario (Spanish) means “rosary.”

Socorro (Spanish) means “succour, help, relief.”

Are there any other names you’d add to the list?

Name theft

While no one can claim sole ownership of a name, and there are cases of friends and relatives giving their kids the same names without malicious intentions, common decency dictates not deliberately taking a name.

Let’s explore what name theft is and isn’t.

Name theft isn’t:

1. Using the same names in a culture where it’s common to name children after relatives, esp. if there’s a fairly small pool of names to work with. E.g., Great-Grandma Julia and Great-Uncle Roger might have 10+ namesakes in the same generation because they were so beloved and everyone wanted to name kids after them.

2. You’re part of a religion and/or culture where just about everyone has a family with multiple people named for the same saints, important historical figures, rabbis, rebbetzins, holy people, etc. It’s pretty much a given, for example, that every single Lubavitcher family will have a Chaya Mushka (which has a myriad of nicknames by necessity) and Menachem Mendel. If there are no kids with those names, that means they belong to the parents instead. Many Catholic families also have sons named for Pope John Paul II.

3. You and your best friend, cousin, etc., coincidentally happen to have always adored the same name, maybe for different reasons. Daniel has been your favourite male name since you can remember, while the other person had a dear grandfather by that name.

4. Not everyone is a name nerd who’s been passionately researching and making lists of names for years. If several people in the same group of friends or cousins are taking their cues from the Top 100 and the latest trends, it shouldn’t be a big shock if they all happen to end up with children named Madison, Jayden, Liam, and Isabella, particularly if they all get filler middle names like Marie, Anne, Michael, and John.

5. You fell in love with one name combo on a list of potential names someone was considering, and had no idea that person would end up using that one too.

Name theft IS:

Only deciding to use a name after someone close to you announced it, despite having no personal connection to it and not thinking of it on your own, and then making it even worse by insisting the couple who chose it first can no longer use it, since you claimed it. If they use it anyway when their child is born a few months or weeks after yours, you accuse them of being the name thieves and acting like spoilt children.

I’ve heard so many stories like this, and they always make me so angry on behalf of the parents!

Truly, were there no other names, and name combos, in the entire world you could use instead? It’s one thing if it’s a rather common name like Sarah Jane, James Robert, William Peter, or Emily Rachel, but when both names are lesser-used, AND chosen to honour special people you never knew, that’s such a dirty deed.

How would you feel if you asked your parents about your naming story and were told their now-former friends or estranged relatives decided to name their baby after a dear sibling who died young and a great-grandparent they had a special relationship with, or a historical figure they always admired and a character from their all-time fave book, but those names meant zilch to you beyond sounding cool or pretty?

I have more respect for people who just randomly choose names from the Top 100, a names book, or names shuffled in a hat! At least they’re honest about how they approach naming. Not everyone wants to name kids after relatives, heroes, or fictional characters. They care more about the sound and/or popularity, not deep personal meaning.

If you truly fell in love with that name and aren’t just a lazy, unethical copycat, why not look for names with a similar sound or meaning? Or use the first name as a middle name on a later child?

The existence of name thieves makes me glad I’m old-fashioned and don’t want to find out the sex of a potential child until the moment of birth. It’s also an excellent reason to not announce the name until it’s on the birth certificate. That way, if anyone still steals it, their intentions will be obvious.

A versatile, international classic

Catherine (Yekaterina) the Great (née Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg) as a Grand Duchess

Though I’ve previously featured the many nicknames for Katherine in all its forms, and my personal favourite forms of the name, I’ve never done a post on the name itself in all of its many international variations.

Katherine derives from the Greek name Aikaterine, which has a disputed etymology. It may come from another Greek name, Hekaterine, with the root hekateros (each of the two), or be derived from Hecate/Hekate (possibly from the root hekas, far off). It also may come from the Greek word aikia (torture), or a Coptic name meaning “my consecration of your name.” Eventually, it became associated with the Greek word katharos (pure), and the Latin spelling was thus changed from Katerina to Katharina.

The name has been extraordinarily popular ever since the fourth century, on account of St. Catherine of Alexandria, an early Christian martyr. Because some scholars believe she was fictitious or confused with Neo-Platonist philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria and St. Dorothea of Alexandria, she was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969. In 2002, she was put back in as an optional memorial.

Princess Katarina Konstantinović of Serbia, 1848–1910

The spelling Katherine has long been a staple of the U.S. Top 100, from 1880–1934, in 1936, and 1940–2016. Its highest rank to date was #25 in 1991. The spelling Catherine (which is also French) has also long been a Top 100 mainstay, from 1880–1997 and 1999–2001. It was in the Top 50 until 1939, and then again from 1942–61, with its highest rank of #18 in 1914 and 1917.

Kathryn was in the U.S. Top 100 from 1881–1928, 1941–68, and 1974–2001. Its highest rank was #45 in 1951.

Other forms of the name include:

1. Katharina is German and Scandinavian.

2. Katarina is Scandinavian, German, Slovenian, Sorbian, Serbian, and Croatian. The alternate form Katarína is Slovak.

3. Katarzyna is Polish.

4. Kateryna is Ukrainian.

5. Katsyaryna is Belarusian.

6. Katariina is Estonian and Finnish.

7. Katerina is Macedonian, Bulgarian, Russian, and Greek. Kateřina is Czech, and Katerína is Icelandic.

8. Katarin is Breton.

9. Katelijn is Flemish.

10. Katelijne is also Flemish.

Hungarian singer and actor Katalin Karády (1910–1990), who was posthumously honoured by Yad Vashem in 2004 as Righteous Among the Nations for hiding a group of Jewish children in her apartment

11. Katharine is German and English.

12. Katalin is Hungarian and Basque.

13. Kattalin is also Basque.

14. Kotryna is Lithuanian.

15. Katrina is English. The alternate form Katrīna is Latvian; Katrína is Icelandic; and Katrîna is Greenlandic.

16. Kakalina is Hawaiian. For obvious reasons, I wouldn’t recommend this name in an Anglophone area.

17. Katell is Breton.

18. Kateri is Mohawk, pronounced Gah-deh-lee.

19. Katarzëna is Kashubian.

20. Kateryn is Manx.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha, 1656–1680

21. Kattrin is a rare Coptic form.

22. Catarina is Portuguese, Galician, Gascon, Occitan, Provençal, Languedocian, Aragonese, and Sicilian.

23. Caterina is Italian, Galician, and Romanian.

24. Catrin is Welsh.

25. Catalina is Spanish, Corsican, Sardinian, Occitan, Catalan, and Galician. The alternate form Cǎtǎlina is Romanian.

26. Caderina is Sardinian.

27. Caitrìona is Scottish.

28. Catriona is Irish and Scottish.

29. Catala is Asturian.

30. Gadarine is a rare Armenian form.

Russian human rights activist and humanitarian Yekaterina Pavlovna Peshkova, 1887–1965

31. Kaa’dren is Sami Skolt.

32. Kasia is Vilamovian. This is also a Polish nickname for Katarzyna.

33. Catheleine is Picard.

34. Cathrène is Norman.

35. Cath’rinne is Jèrriaias.

36. Katel is a rare Cornish form.

37. Katarino is Esperanto.

38. Keteriine is Yakut.

39. Chatrina is Romansh.

40. Ekaterine is Georgian.

41. Ekaterina is Bulgarian and Macedonian.

42. Yekaterina is Russian.

A to Z reflections 2021

This was my eighth year doing the A to Z Challenge with this blog, my tenth with two blogs. Much to my disappointment, for the fourth year in a row I had to suffice with a fairly simple theme, one I didn’t need to do a huge amount of research for. I remain hopeful I can return to more research-intensive themes in the coming years.

For the third year running, I didn’t start writing and researching my posts on either blog till March. Maybe someday I’ll be at liberty to resume my former habit of putting my posts together many months in advance, and returning to more research-heavy themes on my names blog. There’s just such a theme I’ve been wanting to do here since 2017, and I’ve not forgotten about it.

As always, I featured both female and male names on each day, unless I failed to find names for both, and alternated which sex each post started with. Though I’ve done six each the last few years, there were a number of days this year I ended up with fewer than six, or more than six.

Since Italian doesn’t have certain letters, K, Q, W, X, and Y had to be wildcard days.

Seeing as this year, 2021, is Dante’s 700th Jahrzeit (death anniversary) year, I considered revisiting my 2016 theme of Divine Comedy names. There were plenty of names I had on my list but opted against, and I could’ve easily done wildcards for the few letters without any names or whose few names I already did. But since I didn’t have much lead time, and have never repeated a theme on either blog, I decided to go with the related theme of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names.

For whatever reason, I’ve tended to have bad luck when clicking on links in the master A to Z list the last few years. Many bloggers gave up early or never started, and I even found one without a link. The theme sounded great, but there was no way to check it out from a hyperlink!

Also annoying are blogs without the option to comment or where we have to sign up with a unique-to-the-blogger commenting service, or a really uncommon commenting interface.

As other people have been noticing, participation does seem down in recent years. Then again, the medium of blogging itself has undergone a lot of changes over the past decade. Many of the bloggers I knew 5–10 years ago have entirely stopped blogging or moved to a much more infrequent schedule.

Post recap:

The As of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Bs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Cs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ds of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Es of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Fs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Gs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Hs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Is of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Js of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ks of Medieval German names
The Ls of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ms of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ns of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Os of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ps of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Qs of Medieval Mongolian, Arabic, Dutch, English, and Scandinavian names
The Rs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ses of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ts of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Us of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Vs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names
The Ws of Medieval English, German, Slavic, French, Norman, Flemish, and Cornish names
The Xs of Medieval Galician, Spanish, and Basque names
The Ys of Medieval Scandinavian, Breton, Basque, Flemish, French, Cornish, Galician, and Spanish names
The Zs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names

The Zs of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names

Female names:

Zaneta (T) is a diminutive of Giovanna, a feminine form of John.

Zebaina (I)

Zelante (T)

Zuana (T) is a feminine form of Zuane, a Venetian form of Giovanni (i.e., John). It means “God is gracious.”

Male names:

Zane (I) is a Venetian form of Gianni, a short form of Giovanni.

Zilio (T) is a form of Gilio, which I suspect ultimately derives from Giles. Its origins are the Latin name Aegidus and the Greek word aigidion (young goat).

Zorzi (I) is a form of Giorgio (i.e., George), and means “farmer.” This is a surname in modern Italy.