Angelic names

Irish–British–American actress Angela Lansbury, 1925–2022

Names derived from the Greek word angelos (angel; messenger of God) historically have been much more common outside of the Anglophone world. Only in the 20th century did names like Angela, Angelica, and Angelina start becoming popular. On the male side, the name Angel (Ahn-hell) seems to be almost exclusively used on boys from Hispanic families, and Angelo is most frequently used on boys of Italian descent.

Angela is used in English, Italian, German, Dutch, Romanian, Greek, Slovenian, Slovakian, the Scandinavian languages, Estonian, Finnish, Luxembourgish, Flemish, Macedonian, and modern Russian. In all of those languages except English and Italian, it’s pronounced with a hard G. The variant form Angéla is Hungarian; Angèla is Occitan and Gascon; Ángela is Spanish; Àngela is Catalan; and Ângela is Portuguese.

St. Angela Merici of Italy, 1474–1540

Angela was #679 in the U.S. in 1880, the year popularity records began, and gradually rose to the Top 100. It entered that upper echelon in 1956, at #93, and continued climbing upwards very quickly. By 1963, it was already #30, and it was in the Top 10 from 1965–79, holding its highest rank of #5 from 1974–76. The name began a slow descent in popularity in 1980, interrupted a few times by a rise back upwards. In 2021, it was #234.

Angela is also popular in Mexico (#46), Spain (#60), and Italy (#87).

Self-portrait of Swiss artist Angelica Kaufman, 1741–1807

Other forms of the name include:

1. Angelica is Italian, Romanian, Gascon, Provençal, Scandinavian, Romansh, Flemish, Dutch, and German. The variant Angélica is Spanish and Portuguese, and Angèlica is Sicilian.

2. Angélique is French. Without an accent mark, this is also a Dutch name.

3. Anzhelika is the traditional Russian and Ukrainian form.

4. Anzhela is Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, and Belarusian.

5. Angeliki is Greek.

6. Anxhela is Albanian. The sound XH is pronounced like the J in Jupiter.

7. Angyalka is Hungarian. The sound GY is pronounced kind of like the soft, barely perceptible DY sound in due, duel, and during.

8. Ànghela is Sardinian.

9. Anhelina is Ukrainian and Belarusian.

10. Angelina is English, Italian, Greek, Armenian, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Serbian, Bulgarian, Latvian, Croatian, Scandinavian, Provençal, Slovenian, and Russian.

French midwife Angélique du Coudray, ca. 1712–1794

11. Anzhelina is Russian and Ukrainian.

12. Anđela is Serbian and Croatian. Nicknames include Anđa and Anđelka. The variant Anděla is Czech.

13. Aniela is Polish and Kashubian.

14. Angeline is French.

15. Angiola is an Italian variant.

16. Anželika is Latvian and Lithuanian.

17. Andżelika is a Polish variant.

18. Anchela is Aragonese.

19. ʻĀnela is Hawaiian.

20. Ainelag is a rare, modern Manx form.

Polish translator Aniela Zagórska, 1881–1943

21. Andżela is Kashubian.

22. Anelė is Lithuanian.

23. Aela is a modern Breton form.

24. Angele is Scandinavian.

25. Anghjula is Corsican.

26. Àngila is Sicilian.

27. Àngiula is also Sicilian.

28. Ansina is Chuukese, an Austronesian language spoken on the Chuuk islands of the Caroline Islands of Micronesia.

29. Ánxela is Gascon.

30. Ànzela is Sardinian. The variant Anžela is Estonian and Latvian.

American suffragist and mathematician Angeline Stickney (Chloe Angeline Stickney Hall), 1830–92

31. Añjela is a rare Breton form.

32. Aungèle is Norman.

33. Ancèlica is Sicilian.

34. Anchelica is Aragonese.

35. Angilica is Sicilian.

36. Anxélica is Gascon.

37. Anzhalika is Belarusian.

38. Ancilina is Sicilian.

39. Anđelina is Serbian and Croatian.

40. Aungélina is Norman.

American suffragist and abolitionist Angelina Grimké, 1805–79

41. Anghjulina is Corsican.

42. Angilín is Faroese.

43. Angilina is Sicilian.

44. Anxhelina is Albanian.

45. Anzelina is Sardinian.

46. Anxelina is a rare Gascon form.

Italian doctor, parasitologist, hygienist, and philanthropist Angelo Celli (1857–1914)

Male forms of the name include:

1. Ángel is Spanish, and quite popular in that language. The variant Àngel is Catalan, and Angèl is Lengadocian (an Occitan dialect). Without accent marks, this name is sometimes used in Bulgarian, Slovenian, and Macedonian.

2. Angelo is Italian. The variant Ângelo is Portuguese; Anĝelo is Esperanto; and Ángelo is Spanish.

3. Anghel is Romanian.

4. Angiolo is Italian.

5. Ànghelu is Sardinian.

6. Anđelko is Serbian and Croatian.

7. Anđelo is Croatian.

8. Aingeru is Basque.

9. Anxo is Galician.

10. Angelos is Greek.

Romanian historian, writer, and literary critic Anghel Demetriescu, 1847–1903

11. Ankelo is Albanian.

12. Angeoul is Gascon.

13. Angé is also Gascon.

14. Anxhelo is Albanian.

15. Angyal is Hungarian.

16. Ánxel is Asturian.

17. Ánxelu is also Asturian.

18. Àncilu is Sicilian.

19. Angelu is also Sicilian.

20. Àngilu is another Sicilian form.

Bosnian Franciscan friar Anđeo Zvizdović, who negotiated for religious freedom after the Ottoman conquest and occupation of Bosnia (ca. 1420–98)

21. Anđeo is a rare Bosnian and Croatian form.

22. Angiulu is Sicilian.

23. Anzolo is Venetian.

24. Ael is a modern Breton form.

25. Aggelos is modern Greek.

26. Agnul is Friulian.

27. Angelico is Italian and Filipino.

28. Ancilinu is Sicilian.

29. Ánchel is Aragonese.

30. Ancèlicu is Sicilian.

Italian Augustine monk, bibliophile, and scholar Angelico (né Ludovico) Aprosio, 1607–81

31. Ancilinu is Sicilian.

32. Anděl is Czech. The rare, variant form Anđel is Serbian and Croatian.

33. Angelas is Lithuanian.

34. Angèlicu is Sicilian.

35. Angelu is also Sicilian.

36. Angelusz is Hungarian.

37. Anġlu is Maltese.

38. Anzelinu is Sardinian.

39. Ànzelu is also Sardinian.

40. Anxelo is a rare Gascon form.

Unisex forms:

1. Angel is English, though predominantly feminine in that language.

2. Ange is French.

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All about Adrian and Adriana

Legendary MGM costume designer Adrian Adolph Greenburg (1903–1959), known simply as Adrian

I absolutely adore the name Adrian, whether it’s pronounced with long As in the European and Latin American style, or the more common Anglo way AY-dree-yan. It derives from the equally-awesome Latin name Hadrian, which in turn derives from the Latin term Hadrianus, “from Hadria.” Hadria was a Northern Italian town from whence the Adriatic Sea derives its name.

Adrian is used in English, Polish, Russian, Romanian, German, and the Scandinavian languages. The alternate form Adrián is Hungarian, Spanish, Slovakian, Czech, Catalan, and Galician. Adrían is Icelandic.

Pope Adrian VI (1459–1523), painted circa 1625

Though the name has been used in the Anglophone world since the Middle Ages, and was borne by the only English Pope to date, it only became popular fairly recently. It was #403 in the U.S. in 1880, the first year name popularity records were kept, and remained fluctuating among the 300s, 400s, and 500s until 1959, when it began a slow and steady rise from #354 to a respectable high of #56 in 2008, 2010, and 2019. It’s gone up and down in rank since entering the Top 100 in 1985, at #93, but hasn’t been out of the Top 100 since 1989.

Adrian is also currently popular in Spain (#13), Sweden (#24), Galicia (#25), Croatia (#37), Norway (#40), Mexico (#41), Basque County, Spain (#43), Austria (#53), Catalonia (#56), Poland (#59), Canada (#70 in 2019), the Czech Republic (#78 in 2016), Hungary (#82), Switzerland (#92), and Slovenia (#96).

German artist Adrian Ludwig Richter (1803–1884), painted 1836 by Wilhelm von Kügelgen

Other forms of the name include:

1. Adriano is Portuguese and Italian.

2. Adrians is Latvian.

3. Adriaan is Dutch.

4. Adrien is French.

5. Adrijan is Macedonian and Croatian.

6. Adrianus is the more formal Dutch form, though almost no one in The Netherlands goes by a Latin form of their name in everyday life.

7. Arjan, also spelt Arian and Ariaan, is Dutch. This started as a short form of Adriaan, but has become very popular as a given name in its own right. Originally, Arian was the most popular spelling, but now Arjan has eclipsed it.

8. Jadran is Serbian, Slovenian, and Croatian.

9. Jadranko is also Serbian, Slovenian, and Croatian.

10. Adrià is Catalan.

Flemish composer Adriaan Willaert (circa 1490–1562)

11. Adrao is a rare Galician form.

12. Adriam is Brazilian–Portuguese.

13. Adrianas is Lithuanian.

14. Adrianos is Greek.

15. Adrianu is Corsican, Sicilian, and Sardinian.

16. Adrión is Kashubian.

17. Aidrian is Irish.

18. Atrianu is Sicilian.

19. Adriyan is Russian and Bulgarian.

20. Entěrian is Chuvash.

21. Adorján is Hungarian.

Italian composer Adriana Basile (circa 1580–1640), drawn by Nicolas Perrey

Adriana is probably the most common feminine form. It’s used in English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Portuguese, Dutch, Bulgarian, Czech, Slovakian, Polish, Galician, Albanian, Occitan, Ukrainian, Kashubian, Gascon, Provençal, Swedish, Dutch, and Armenian. The alternate form Adriána is Hungarian and Slovakian; Adriāna is Latvian; and Adríana is Icelandic.

The name enjoys popularity in Armenia (#18), Spain (#33), the Czech Republic (#37 in 2016), Galicia (#42), Catalonia (#68), Latvia (#77), Mexico (#82), and Portugal (#87 in 2018).

Other forms include:

1. Adrienne is French.

2. Adriene is Brazilian–Portuguese.

3. Adrianna is Polish.

4. Adrijana is Serbian, Slovenian, Macedonian, and Croatian.

5. Adrienn is Hungarian.

6. Hadriana is Latin.

7. Adriena is Slovakian.

8. Adriyana is Bulgarian and Russian.

9. Adriane is a rare German form.

10. Adirane is Basque.

French actor Adrienne Lecouvreur, 1692–1730

11. Adryyana is Belarusian.

12. Akaliana, or Akaliane, is Hawaiian.

13. Atriana is Sicilian.

14. Odriana is Medieval Flemish.

2022 stats in review

My utmost apologies for totally dropping the ball yet again! Despite wanting to get back into consistently posting as much as I used to, I totally neglected this blog after my A to Z 2022 Reflections post. My primary blog, my writing, and my YouTube videos were my major focus of the year. Let’s hope I finally get back into the habit of writing at least one post a week here in the coming year!

I still have a number of topics I’ve not yet gotten around to, which I’ve really been keen to cover, and would love to hear readers’ suggestions for other topics. It’s ridiculous that I have to even mention this, but if you’re going to leave a comment, suggestion, or correction, I kind of expect you to be polite instead of personally insulting me and acting like I’m some ignorant hack who just spent five minutes Googling instead of doing a lot of thoughtful research.

If I ever make a mistake, publish a post with a wrong autocorrect I didn’t notice, or post something that’s unclear or not as accurate as it could be, it was not intentional or meant to insult and offend anyone.

My Top 10 most-viewed posts in 2022 were:

“Doll and puppet names,” published 12 October 2020, at 7,103 views in 2022 and 10,675 overall. This has become my next-most-viewed post.

“Steely, metallic names,” published 23 June 2017, at 2,352 views in 2022 and 12,168 overall. This is still my most-viewed post of all time. (Always the ones you least suspect!)

“The great and powerful Ing (and the names he spawned),” published 3 December 2017, at 1,883 views in 2022 and 5,984 overall. This has become my third-most viewed post of all time.

“The many forms of Joshua,” published 21 November 2019, at 1,483 views in 2022 and 2,475 overall. This is now my tenth-most viewed post of all time.

“Masked names,” a new addition to the Top 10, published 13 October 2019, at 1,386 views in 2022 and 1,815 overall. This is currently my fourteenth-most viewed post ever.

“Thor-inspired names,” published 23 February 2019, at 1,320 views in 2022 and 2,799 overall. Norse mythology has become very popular, particularly on account of the movies featuring Norse deities like Thor and Loki. This is now my seventh-most-viewed post.

“The many forms of Joseph,” another new addition to the year’s Top 10, published 22 February 2017, at 1,154 views in 2022 and 1,211 overall. It’s all the way down at #26 of all time, but perhaps that’ll change if this post continues rising.

“Apple names,” published 21 October 2017, at 1,143 views in 2022 and 7,338 overall. For a long time, this was my next-most-viewed post ever, but now it’s down to my third.

“The many forms of Sarah,” yet another new addition, published 14 July 2017, at 1,138 views in 2022 and 1,473 overall. This is now my twentieth-most viewed post ever.

“The many forms of Anastasia,” the last new addition to the list, published 13 March 2017, at 1,137 views in 2022 and 2,394 overall. This is now my eleventh-most viewed post ever.

Names in my all-time Top 10 that didn’t make the 2022 Top 10:

“The many nicknames for Katherine,” published 8 February 2017, at 475 views in 2022 and 4,320 overall. This is now my fifth-most-viewed post of all time, and #24 for 2022.

“Nocturnal names,” published 5 October 2016, at 315 views in 2022 and 3,031 overall. This is my sixth-most-viewed post ever, but dropped down to #33 in 2022.

“Dusty, screaming shrieking names,” published 12 October 2017, at 815 views in 2022 and 2,576 overall. This is still my ninth-most viewed post, and was #12 in 2022.

“Silvery, golden names,” published 26 June 2017, at 127 in 2022 and 2,569 overall. This is my tenth-most viewed post ever, and was #61 in 2022.

A to Z Reflections 2022

This was my ninth year doing the Challenge with this blog, and my eleventh year with two blogs. For the fifth year in a row, I had a fairly simple theme instead of a research-heavy one like I used to. However, this year’s theme was too important and timely for me to feel disappointed; on the contrary, doing anything other than Ukrainian names would’ve felt wrong.

For the fourth year, I didn’t start writing and researching my posts on either blog till March. The posts on my main blog took up so much time, I only had a few days to research, write, and edit the posts here. The few remaining letters that weren’t done by the end of March were completed early on April first. Since this wasn’t a research-heavy theme like Greek mythology or names from a classic work of literature, I was more than able to complete all 26 posts without compromising their content.

Someday I do hope 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. Until such time, it’ll remain a secret.

As always, I featured both female and male names on each day, and alternated which sex each post started with. Though I used to feature six each when I did names from a particular language or era, I’ve now abandoned that habit. If I find more than six great, interesting, or noteworthy names, why not include them all? And there are also some days where I unfortunately just couldn’t find more than a few, or could only find one.

Since Ukrainian doesn’t have certain letters, J, Q, W, and X had to be wildcard days. In the interests of staying as close to my theme as possible, I chose names from languages which experienced cultural osmosis during Polish, Austrian, and Tatar rule. Many upper-class Ukrainians also became very Polonified and Germanized during these periods, though there was far less willing adaptation of Tatar culture!

I initially hoped to feature Ukrainian-specific names only, but that soon proved very difficult to adhere to. Because of so much cultural osmosis at best and forced adoption of foreign culture at worst, many Ukrainian names are shared in common with other Slavic languages. Oftentimes, the thing that makes a Slavic name specifically Ukrainian is the spelling or the nickname forms.

It’s always frustrating to encounter bloggers who gave up early or never started, and some don’t even have a link, or the right link. Also annoying are blogs without the option to comment, moderation of all comments (not just the first one by a new reader), having to sign up with a unique-to-the-blogger commenting service, or a really uncommon commenting interface.

I’m not the only one who notices participation seems down in recent years. Perhaps this is mainly down to how the medium of blogging itself has undergone a lot of changes over the past decade. Many of my blogging buddies from 5–10 years ago have moved to other social media platforms, transitioned to a more infrequent blogging schedule, or quit blogging and social media altogether.

Post recap:

The As of Ukrainian names
The Bs of Ukrainian names
The Cs of Ukrainian names
The Ds of Ukrainian names
The Es of Ukrainian names
The Fs of Ukrainian names
The Gs of Ukrainian names
The Hs of Ukrainian names
The Is of Ukrainian names
The Js of Polish names
The Ks of Ukrainian names
The Ls of Ukrainian names
The Ms of Ukrainian names
The Ns of Ukrainian names
The Os of Ukrainian names
The Ps of Ukrainian names
The Qs of German names
The Rs of Ukrainian names
The Ses of Ukrainian names
The Ts of Ukrainian names
The Us of Ukrainian names
The Vs of Ukrainian names
The Ws of Polish names
The Xes of Tatar names
The Ys of Ukrainian names
The Zs of Ukrainian names

The Zs of Ukrainian names

Male names:

Zhadan means “desired, welcomed, wished-for,” derived from a contracted participle of the verb zhadaty. It possibly may be a Ukrainian form of the Latin name Desiderius, derived from desiderium (desire, longing).

Zoreslav means “dawn glory.”

Zoryan means “star.”

Female names:

Zinayida is a rare form of Zinaida, which comes from the Greek name Zenais and ultimately Zeus (“shine” or “sky”).

Zlatyslava means “golden and glorious.”

Zoreslava, or Zorislava, means “dawn glory.”

Zoriana derives from zora, the South and West Slavic word for “dawn, daybreak, aurora.” The Zorya are two guardian goddesses in the form of evening stars and the morning star in Slavic mythology.

Zoryana means “star.”