The many forms of Gabriel and Gabriella

Gabriel entered the U.S. Top 100 in 1976, at #81, and stayed near the lower reaches of the chart till falling out in 1988. It re-entered at #82 in 1991, and began steadily climbing up the charts. Its highest position to date has been #21, in 2010. As of 2016, it was #25.

The name is also rather popular in France (#1), Switzerland (#4), Romania (#4), Belgium (#11), Portugal (#11), Croatia (#19), Chile (#19), Galicia (#25), Canada (#27), Italy (#27), Mexico (#35), Iceland (#37), Austria (#38), Spain (#39), Sweden (#42), Poland (#46), Norway (#47), Catalonia (#55), Slovenia (#66), England and Wales (#67), Australia (#78), New Zealand (#89), and the Czech Republic (#92).

This spelling is used in English, French, Finnish, the Scandinavian languages, Slovak, Czech, German, Georgian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish. The alternate form Gabriël is Dutch, Gábriel is Hungarian, and Gabríel is Icelandic.

Gabrielle, one of the feminine forms, is English and French. In France, it’s #74, and in the U.S., it’s fallen to #225, after peaking at #46 in 1999. The alternate form Gabriëlle is Dutch.

Gabriella is English, Hungarian, Swedish, and Italian. In the U.S., it’s #61, down from a peak of #33 from 2009–11. The alternate form Gabriëlla is Dutch, and Gabríella is Icelandic.

Gabriela is Polish, Bulgarian, Slovak, Czech, German, Spanish, Romanian, Portuguese, and Croatian. It’s #8 in Romania, #19 in Poland, #29 in Portugal, #30 in the Czech Republic, #36 in Croatia, #50 in Mexico, #56 in Chile, #73 in Spain, and #252 in the U.S. The alternate form Gabríela is Icelandic.

Other forms include:

Male:

1. Gabriels is Latvian.

2. Gabrielius is Lithuanian.

3. Gavriel is the original Hebrew. It means “God is my strong man.”

4. Gavrel is Yiddish.

5. Gavriil is Russian.

6. Gavril is Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Romanian.

7. Gavrail is Bulgarian.

8. Gábor is Hungarian.

9. Gavrilo is Serbian. This form was famously borne by Gavrilo Princip, who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand and started the First World War.

10. Gabrijel is Slovenian and Croatian.

11. Havryyil is Ukrainian.

12. Kaapo is Finnish. An alternate form is Kaappo.

13. Kaapro is also Finnish.

14. Gabriele is Italian.

15. Jabril is Arabic.

16. Jibril is also Arabic.

17. Dzhabrail is Chechen.

18. Cabbrieli is Sicilian.

19. Djibril is Western African.

20. Džibril is Bosnian.

21. Cebraîl is Kurdish.

22. Cəbrayil is Azeri.

23. Crabiele is Sardinian.

24. Gabirel is Basque.

25. Gabrielo is Esperanto.

26. Gābriyēl is Telugu.

27. Kapriel is Armenian.

28. Gabriyel is also Armenian.

29. Gaibrial is Irish.

30. Gavrylo is Ukrainian.

31. Gēbriyal is Kannadan.

32. Gēbriyala is Hindi and Gujarati.

33. Habryyel is Belarusian.

34. Haŭryil is also Belarusian.

35. Jebreil is Persian.

36. Jiboraeel is Bengali.

37. Jibriil is Somali.

38. Kapeliela is Hawaiian.

39. Kâpriale is Greenlandic.

40. Kēpriyal is Tamil.

41. Xhebraili is Albanian. The XH sound is pronounced like the J in Jupiter.

42. Zibrail is Sylheti.

43. Cebrail is Turkish.

Female:

1. Gavriela, or Gavriella, is Hebrew.

2. Gavrilla is an alternate Hebrew form.

3. Gavrela is Yiddish.

4. Havyryyila is Ukrainian.

5. Kaapriella is Finnish.

6. Gabrielė is Lithuanian.

7. Gabriele is German.

8. Gabrijela is Croatian.

9. Gavrila is Romanian. An alternate form is Gavrilă.

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The many forms of Charles and Charlotte

Charles has been a very popular Top 100 name in the U.S. since at least 1880, and spent 1880–1954 in the Top 10. Many of those years were also spent in the Top 5, with its highest rank of #4 coming in 1880 and 1883. It fell out of the Top 20 in 1970, and in 2016, it was down to #51.

Charlotte enjoyed modest popularity in the first half of the 20th century, but fell out of the Top 100 in 1953, and sank lower and lower. Some years it was more popular than others, but it didn’t begin dramatically climbing in popularity till 2000. It vaulted up the charts at amazing speeds, and in 2016, it achieved its highest rank of #7.

Caroline has also been enjoying a noticeable uptick in popularity, and was #56 in 2016. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this is one of those “replacement” names people use when they’re off-put by another name’s popularity. Think of Madison and Madeline; Jennifer and Jessica; or Emily and Emma, Amelia, and Amalia. The replacement name often overtakes the original popular name.

Forms of Charles:

1. Charles is English and French. English nicknames are Charlie, Charley, Chuck, Chas, Chaz, and Chip. The French nickname is Charlot, which is how the French people refer to Charlie Chaplin.

2. Karl is German, Russian, Scandinavian, Finnish, and English, and the original form of the name. It either means “man” or “army, warrior.” The Swedish and Finnish nickname is Kalle, and the Russian nickname is Karlik.

3. Carl is English, as well as an alternate German and Scandinavian form.

4. Carlos is Spanish, Portuguese, and Catalan.

5. Carles is Catalan.

6. Carol is Romanian, and the name of the scummy King Carol II.

7. Carlo is Italian.

8. Karolis is Lithuanian.

9. Kaarel is Estonian

10. Kaarle is Finnish.

11. Kaarlo is also Finnish.

12. Karol is Polish, Slovak, and Slovenian. Most people know this was the birth name of the popular Pope John Paul II.

13. Karlo is Georgian and Croatian.

14. Karel is Slovenian, Czech, and Dutch.

15. Séarlas is Irish.

16. Carlu is Corsican.

17. Charel is Luxembourgish.

18. Charl is South African.

19. Karle is Gascon.

20. Kārlis is Latvian.

21. Kale is Hawaiian.

22. Sjarel is Limburgish.

23. Siarl is Welsh.

24. Karles is Icelandic, Swedish, and Norwegian.

25. Karolos is Greek.

26. Scharri is Alsatian.

27. Xarles is Basque.

28. Kârale is Greenlandic.

29. Kárral is Sami.

30. Käru is Swiss–German.

31. Korla is Sorbian.

32. Károly (KAH-roy) is Hungarian.

Forms of Charlotte:

1. Charlotte is French, English, German, Dutch, and Scandinavian.

2. Charlotta is Swedish.

3. Karla is Slavic, German, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Yiddish, and Scandinavian.

4. Carla is Spanish, Italian, Catalan, Portuguese, English, German, and Dutch.

5. Karola is Polish, German, Hungarian, Latvian, Yiddish, and Croatian.

6. Caroline is French, English, German, Dutch, and Scandinavian.

7. Carolina is Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, English, and Swedish.

8. Karolina is Polish, Hungarian, Slovenian, Scandinavian, German, Macedonian, Russian, Lithuanian, Serbian, Greek, Bulgarian, and Croatian. The variation Karolína is Czech, with the nickname Kája. The Icelandic variation is Karólína, and Karolīna is Latvian.

9. Carola is Italian, German, Dutch, and Swedish.

10. Carlotta is Italian.

11. Carlota is Spanish and Portuguese.

12. Charlize is Afrikaans.

13. Karoliina is Finnish. Nicknames include Iina and Liina.

14. Karoline is German, Danish, and Norwegian. Nicknames are Ina, Lina, and Line.

15. Séarlait is Irish.

16. Karlota is Greek.

17. Karlotte is Estonian.

18. Kalaki is Hawaiian.

19. Sālote is Tongan.

20. Šarlota is Czech.

21. Šarlote is Latvian.

22. Seàrlaid is Scottish.

23. Sjarlot is Limburgish..

24. Szarlota is Polish.

25. Kalolaina is Hawaiian and Fijian.

26. Kararaina is Maori.

27. Karolyna is Polish.

28. Kealalaina is Hawaiian.

29. Charlene originated as an English nickname, but now is more commonly used as a full name in its own right.

30. Charline is a French diminutive form of Charlotte, but now often used as a full name in French and English.

31. Carole is French and English.

32. Charla is English.

Klytemnestra and Kronos

Klytemnestra (Clytemnestra, Clytaemnestra, Klytaimnḗstra, Klytaimḗstra) was the wife of the great hero Agamemnon, mother of Iphigenia, ElektraOrestes, and Chrysothemis, and Queen of Mycenae. Her parents were King Tyndareus and Queen Leda of Sparta.

Zeus famously took on the form of a swan to couple with Leda. Since Leda slept with both Tyndareus and Zeus on that same night, she produced two eggs, with two kids each. One egg produced Klytemnestra and Helen; the other produced Castor and Pollux.

Accounts vary on who fathered whom, and which ones were Divine and which half-immortal. The only consistencies are that Helen was fathered by Zeus, and that if only one of the boy/boy twins is Divine, it’s Pollux.

Leda and the Swan, by Francesco Bacchiacca

Klytemnestra married Agamemnon, and Helen married his brother Menelaus, when they were hiding from their double-cousin Aegisthus. He’d murdered their father, King Atreus, and sworn gruesome revenge upon his children.

According to Euripides, Klytemnestra’s first husband was King Tantalus of Pisa, whom Agamemnon murdered before marrying her. The infant son she’d had with Tantalus was also murdered by Agamemnon. In another version, Klytemnestra’s first husband was the King of Lydia.

Before the Trojan War, Agamemnon killed a deer in a sacred grove of Artemis. She punished Agamemnon by interfering with the winds and making it impossible for his fleet to sail to Troy.

The seer Calchas told Agamemnon to sacrifice his oldest daughter Iphigenia to appease Artemis. This horrified Agamemnon, and he refused to do it until he succumbed to intense pressure from the other commanders. Iphigenia was tricked into coming to Aulis with Klytemnestra, believing she was going to marry Achilles.

The Anger of Achilles, by Jacques-Louis David, 1819

Agamemnon tried to back out of it, and Achilles was pissed when he discovered he’d been used as part of this most dastardly plot. He and Klytemnestra pled with Agamemnon to spare Iphigenia. In some versions, Iphigenia was spared.

During the ten years of the Trojan War, Klytemnestra began an affair with Agamemnon’s evil cousin Aegisthus. Her heart burnt with hatred on account of Iphigenia’s sacrifice, and her first husband’s murder.

Agamemnon arrived home with his own side lover, the seer Kassandra, who had a horrible vision of their murders. Sadly, no one believed her prophecies, due to a curse from Apollo. In the best-known version, Klytemnestra murders Agamemnon in the bathtub. Aegisthus then took the throne, and had three kids with Klytemnestra.

Clytemnestra Hesitates Before Killing the Sleeping Agamemnon, by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, 1817

Klytemnestra’s only son by Agamemnon, Orestes, eventually murdered her and his half-brother Aletes.

Klytemnestra is derived from klytos (noble, famous) and mnester (wooer, courter). The original form, Klytaimestra, may have a link to medomai (to scheme, to court).

Kronos was the youngest of the first generation of Titans, the son/nephew of Gaia and Uranus, and the father of Zeus. His Roman name is Saturn.

Uranus hated his kids, and hid them within Gaia’s body, causing her great pain. That all changed when Gaia made an adamantine sickle for Kronos and bade him hide in ambush. When Uranus approached Gaia to couple with her, Kronos sprang out and castrated him. The dripping blood produced the Furies, Meliae (ash tree nymphs), and Giants. Aphrodite was born from Uranus’s severed genitals falling into the sea.

Kronos’s queen was his sister Rhea. They ruled Ancient Greece’s Golden Age, the first of five Ages of Man [sic]. We’re currently in the Iron Age, a period of sadness, strife, turmoil, and brute force, comparable to Hinduism’s Kali Yuga. There was no need for laws during the Golden Age, since everyone did the right thing automatically.

Kronos knew he’d be overthrown by his kids, just as he’d overthrown Uranus. Thus, he swallowed each right after birth. With Gaia’s help, Rhea switched Zeus with a stone wrapped in swaddling-clothes. After Zeus grew to manhood, raised away from Kronos, he either cut Kronos’s stomach open or gave him an emetic to free his older siblings Poseidon, Demeter, Hades, Hera, and Hestia.

Zeus and his siblings waged war against Kronos and the other Titans, with the help of their newly-freed siblings the Cyclopses and Hecatonchires (Hundred-Handed Ones). All but six of the Titans were imprisoned in Tartarus. Accounts vary on Kronos’s fate.

Kronos may be derived from the Proto–Indo–European ker, “to cut.”

Chronos and Circe

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Marble statue of Chronos in the Knight’s Hall (Warsaw Royal Castle), Copyright Kalinka261015

Chronos, not to be confused with Zeus’s father Cronus (Kronos), is the personification of Time in Greek mythology. Indeed, his very name means “time.”

According to the Orphic tradition, Chronos, who never ages, produced Chaos and Aether, two of the fifteen primordial deities. Chronos himself is also a primordial deity. Aether (i.e., Ether) personifies the pure upper air which the other deities breathe, and Chaos was the first thing to come into existence.

The Orphic tradition goes on to depict Chronos as having created a silvery egg in the Divine Aether. This egg produced Phanes, the hermaphroditic deity of procreation and the generation of new life. Phanes birthed the first generation of official deities, and thus became the ultimate creator of the cosmos.

Pherecydes of Syros believed Chronos to be one of the three eternal principles, the others being Zeus and Chthonie (who ruled the subterranean realm). In this version of events, Chronos’s semen was put in recesses, from whence it produced the first official generation of deities.

Painted by Beatrice Offor, 1911

Circe is a goddess of magic, and alternately depicted as a witch, sorcerer, enchanter, or nymph. Most sources name her as the daughter of sun god Helios and Oceanid Perse, though a few sources say her mother was Hecate, goddess of witchcraft.

Circe was known far and wide for her most extensive knowledge of herbs and potions. With her potions, herbs, and magic wand, she transformed her enemies, and those who offended her, into animals. Perhaps most famously, she transformed Odysseus’s men into pigs in Homer’s Odyssey.

Some traditions say Helios and her subjects exiled her to the mythological island of Aeaea (a.k.a. Eëa or Aiaía) for killing her husband, the prince of Colchis. Aeaea is the setting of the Circe episode in The Odyssey. Later traditions depict Circe leaving or destroying the island and moving to Italy.

The Wine of Circe, by Edward Burne-Jones

When Odysseus and his men arrived on Aeaea, they found Circe in a mansion in the middle of a clearing in a dense forest. They were very taken aback at how docile the wolves and lions wandering around were, not suspecting they were Circe’s victims.

By supper, Circe laced the food with one of her magical potions and served from an enchanted cup. After Odysseus’s men made figurative pigs of themselves, Circe turned them into literal pigs with her magic wand. Eurylochus, the second-in-command of the ship going home to Ithaca, suspected a trick, and escaped.

When he went back to the ship to warn Odysseus and the others who’d stayed behind, Odysseus went to rescue his men. On his way to Circe’s mansion, Athena sent the messenger god Hermes with special instructions. Odysseus was to use the holy herb moly to protect himself from Circe’s spells, and then to draw his sword and make as if he were going to attack her.

Odysseus chasing Circe. Lower tier of an Attic red-figure calyx-krater, Copyright Marie-Lan Nguyen (2011)

Odysseus managed to free his men, but he couldn’t resist the temptations of the flesh. He stayed on Aeaea for a year, with Circe as his mistress. He wasn’t exactly as faithful as Penelope during his 10-year voyage home, even if he was true to her in his heart while he was boinking all these other women.

Some traditions say Circe and Odysseus had three sons, given various names. Circe has also been a very popular subject for artists, writers, musicians, and dancers over the centuries.

Circe is the Latinized form of Kirke, which may possibly mean “bird.”

The many forms of Claudia

I’ve always really liked the name Claudia, and am really glad it’s so low down in the Top 1000. It would be a shame if such a lovely, underrated name shoots up the charts and becomes super-trendy overnight. In the U.S., it was #714 in 2015, and #314 in England and Wales. The name is more popular in Catalonia (#12), Galicia (#24), Italy (#65), Spain (#14), and Romania (#49).

The spelling Claudia is used in English, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, German, and Dutch. The variation Cláudia is Portuguese, and Clàudia is Catalan. Other forms include:

1. Klaudia is Polish, Hungarian, Slovak, Czech, and German. One of my Hungarian characters is named Klaudia, with the less-common nickname Udika. More common Hungarian nicknames are Dia, Klaudi, and Klau.

2. Klavdia is Greek and Georgian.

3. Klavdiya is Russian, Bulgarian, and Ukrainian, with nicknames including Klava, Klasha, Klasya, Ava, Klanya, Klavdyusha, Klavdyunya, Klakha, and Klavdyukha.

4. Klaudie is Czech. The last two letters are said separately, not as one.

5. Claudie is French.

6. Claudette is a variant French form.

7. Claudine is also French.

8. Claude is a unisex French name.

9. Klavdija is Slovenian.

10. Klaudija is Croatian.

11. Gladys is Welsh.

12. Gwladys is a Welsh variation.

13. Gwladus is the original Welsh form.

14. Claudiana is Brazilian–Portuguese.

15. Kládía is Icelandic.

16. Klaoda is Breton.

17. Klääša is Sami, a native Siberian language.

18. Klaudyna is Polish.