To mark the 28th anniversary of the crushing of the Tiananmen Square protests I thought I’d put together a list of names whose meaning relates to the words “freedom” and “free.” That image of the lone man facing down a line of tanks (not just the one most commonly shown) has stayed with me and given me goosebumps since it made the news when I was nine years old.
Azadeh means “freedom” in Persian.
Hürriyet means “liberty, freedom” in Turkish.
Kainoa means “sea of freedom” in Hawaiian.
Kanoa means “the free one” in Hawaiian.
Liri, or Lirian, means “freedom” in Albanian.
Liron means “our freedom” in Albanian. This isn’t to be confused with the Hebrew name Liron, which means “joy for me” or “song for me.”
Ominira means “freedom, independence” in Yoruba.
Serey means “freedom” in Khmer, as well as “peace,” power, authority,” and “charm, beauty.”
Wanangwa means “freedom” in Tumbuka, a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania.
Aditi means “freedom, security” or “entire, boundless” in Sanskrit. She’s the mother of all the Hindu deities, and goddess of fertility and the sky.
Cherut, or Herut, means “freedom” in Hebrew.
Eleuthera is a rare English name derived from the Ancient Greek Eleutheris, meaning “freedom, liberty.”
Elira means “to be free” in Albanian.
Isaree means “freedom” in Thai.
Libertad means “freedom, liberty” in Spanish.
Libertas means “freedom, liberty” in Latin. She was the goddess of liberty.
Lirija means “freedom” in Albanian.
Malaya means “free, independent” in Tagalog.
Nonkululeko means “freedom” in Zulu.
Qhispi means “free, freedom” in Quechan, a native South American language.
Saoirse (SEER-sha) means “freedom” in Irish.
Slobodanka means “freedom” in Serbian, Macedonian, and Croatian. A rarer form is Sloboda.
Dror means “freedom” in Hebrew. This name also means “sparrow.”
Ilir is an Albanian name derived from the Illyrian tribe from whom the present-day Albanian people are descended. It’s believed to mean “freedom” or “the free.”
Irek means “free” in Tatar and Bashkir.
Laisvydas is a rare Lithuanian name meaning “to see freedom.”
Liridon means “desire for freedom” in Albanian.
Merdeka means “free, independent” in Malay.
Neberd means “free” in Kurdish.
Nebez also means “free” in Kurdish.
Serbest means “freedom” in Kurdish.
Slobodan means “freedom” in Serbian, Macedonian, and Croatian. The nickname is Boban.
Volya is a rare Russian name meaning “freedom, will.”