The Cs of Slavic names

Female:

Ćazima is Bosnian. The male form is Ćazim. I suspect these names derive from the Persian Kazem, which ultimately comes from the Arabic word kazim (he who controls his anger).

Celestyna is the Polish form of Latin name Caelestinus, which in turn derives from Caelestis (heavenly, of the sky).

Cerera is a rare Croatian and Lithuanian form of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. It derives from Indo–European root *ker (to grow).

Chekhina is an archaic Russian name meaning “female Czech.”

Cheresha is a rare Bulgarian name meaning “cherry.”

Cirila is the Slovenian feminine form of Cyril/Kirill, which derives from Greek name Kyrillos, and ultimately from the word kyrios (lord).

Male:

Ćejvan is a rare Bosnian name which may mean “one who guards a high/elevated position.”

Celeryn is a rare Polish name derived from a Latin word meaning “swift, speedy, quick, rapid, fast.” The feminine form is Celeryna.

Chavdar is Bulgarian, derived from a Persian word meaning “dignitary, leader.”

Chedo (Macedonian), Čedo (Serbian, Croatian) means “a child.”

Ctirad is Czech and Slovak, derived from the roots chisti (honour) and rad (happy, willing).

Czcibor (Polish), Ctibor (Czech) derives from the roots chisti and borti (battle). The feminine form is Czcibora.

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The many forms of Christopher and Christina

Saint-Christophe, by Claude Bassot, 1607

Christopher, which comes from the Greek Christophoros (Christ-bearer), has been an extremely popular name since the Middle Ages. Contemporary evidence shows the Saint Christopher of legend may have actually been the historical Saint Minas of Egypt. Though he was removed from the liturgical calendar in 1969, Christopher is still very much a saint. Decanonization isn’t a thing.

The name began rising in popularity in the U.S. in 1939, and entered the Top 100 in 1949. It continued rising, and broke the Top 10 at #9 in 1967. Christopher was #3 and #2 from 1972–95, and remained in the Top 10 till 2009. In 2017, it was #38.

Danish statesman Christoffer Gabel (1617–73), by Karel van Mander III

Other forms include:

1. Christoffer is Scandinavian.

2. Cristoforo is Italian.

3. Cristóvão is Portuguese.

4. Cristóbal is Spanish.

5. Christoffel is Dutch.

6. Christophe is French.

7. Críostóir is Irish.

8. Christoph is German.

9. Kristoffer is Scandinavian.

10. Kristóf is Hungarian. The variant Krištof is Slovenian and Slovak.

King Christopher of Scandinavia, 1416–48

11. Kristaps is Latvian.

12. Kristupas is Lithuanian.

13. Krzysztof is Polish, with nicknames including Krzyś and Krzysiek. RZ is pronounced like the Russian ZH and the other Polish letter Ż, though I’m told RZ and Ż were historically pronounced slightly differently.

14. Kristofor is Croatian.

15. Hristofor is Bulgarian and Macedonian.

16. Risto is Finnish.

17. Ħamallu is Maltese.

18. Christoli is Gascon.

19. Crìsdean is Scottish.

20. Cristofanu is Corsican.

Polish military leader and poet Krzysztof Arciszewski, 1592–1656

21. Cristofo is Aragonese.

22. Cristòfuru is Sicilian.

23. Cristoc’h is Breton.

24. Cristolu is Sardinian.

25. Cristovo is Galician.

26. Cristovam is Brazilian–Portuguese.

27. Karistorfe is Greenlandic.

28. Kilikopela is Hawaiian.

29. Kristdapor is Armenian.

30. Kristafár is Faroese.

Self-portrait of Venezuelan painter Cristóbal Rojas, 1857–90

31. Kristapor is Armenian.

32. Kristobal is Basque.

33. Kristepore is Georgian.

34. Kito is Sorbian.

35. Khristofor is Russian.

36. Khrystofor is Ukrainian.

37. Kristófer is Icelandic.

38. Kristoforas is Lithuanian.

39. Kristoffur is Faroese.

40. Kristoforid is Albanian.

Duke Christoph of Württemberg, 1515–68

41. Kristoforo is Esperanto.

42. Kristofru is Maltese.

43. Krisztofer is Hungarian.

44. Stöffu is Swiss–German.

Queen Kristina of Sweden (1626–89), by Sébastien Bourdon

Christina has its origins in the Latin name Christiana, a feminine form of Christian. It was Top 100 in the U.S. from 1964–2002, with its highest rank of #12 in 1985. By 2017, it had plummeted to #408.

The French form Christine was Top 100 in the U.S. from 1942–93, with the highest rank of #14 from 1967–70. In 2017, it was #785. The name was also hugely popular in France from 1943–83, with a high of #3 in 1960–61. Today, it’s no longer on the charts.

Kristina enjoyed somewhat more modest popularity in the U.S. during the Seventies and Eighties, with a high of #57 in 1985. This spelling is also German, Scandinavian, Russian, Bulgarian, Slovenian, Czech, Serbian, Lithuanian, Faroese, and Croatian. The variant Kristína is Slovak; Kristīna is Latvian; and Kristîna is Greenlandic.

Norwegian biologist Kristine Bonnevie, Norway’s first female professor, 1872–1948

Other forms include:

1. Krystyna is Polish, and my favourite form of the name. I love how Polish names often use Y in place of I. I also love the nickname Krysia.

2. Kristine is German and Scandinavian. The variant Kristīne is Latvian.

3. Krisztina is Hungarian.

4. Kristýna is Czech.

5. Kristiina is Estonian and Finnish.

6. Kristiana is Scandinavian and Croatian. The alternate form Kristiāna is Latvian.

7. Kristjana is Icelandic. Another Icelandic form is Kristín.

8. Kistiñe is Basque.

9. Cristiana is Italian and Portuguese.

10. Cristina is Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian.

Medieval French feminist writer Christine de Pizan, 1364–1430

11. Khrystyna is Ukrainian.

12. Kirsten is Danish and Norwegian.

13. Kjerstin is Swedish and Norwegian.

14. Kerstin is Swedish.

15. Krystiana is Polish.

16. Kilikina is Hawaiian.

17. Hristina is Serbian, Bulgarian, and Macedonian.

18. Christiane is French and German.

19. Cairistìona is Scottish.

20. Kristiane is German.

British poet Christina Rossetti (1830–94), by her brother Dante Gabriel

21. Cristíona is Irish.

22. Kristiinná is Sami.

23. Kristin is German and Scandinavian.

The Cs of Medieval names

Unisex:

Creature (English): “Living being,” from the Latin creatura. Given to infants who survived just long enough to be baptized. At least one such infant, female Creature Cheseman, survived into adulthood. Other forms were Creature-of-Christ and Creature-of-God.

Female:

Calomaria (Italian): “Beautiful Maria,” from the Greek kalos (beautiful) and the name Maria.

Caradonna (Judeo–Italian): “Precious lady,” from the Latin cara (precious, dear, beloved, costly, valued) and Italian donna (lady).

Chichäk (Khazar): “Flower.”

Christoffelina (Flemish): Feminine form of Christopher.

Coblaith (Irish): “Victorious sovereignty.”

Comitessa (English): “Countess,” from the Latin comitissa.

Corelia (Italian).

Crestienne (French): Christian.

Cristofana (Tuscan Italian): Feminine form of Christopher.

Male:

Calandro (Italian): “Beautiful man,” from the Greek kalos andros. The feminine form, Calandra, is a rarely-used modern name.

Chedomir (Slavic): “Child of peace” and “child of the world,” from roots chedo (child) and miru (world, peace). The modern form Čedomir is Macedonian, Serbian, and Croatian.

Conomor (Breton): Possibly derived from *Cunomāros, a Brythonic name which in turn derived from Common Celtic roots *kwon- (hound) or *kuno- (high), and *māros (great). This name was borne by 6th century King Conomor the Cursed, who appears as a villain in Breton folklore. He’s believed to be the inspiration for Bluebeard, and King Mark of Cornwall in the tale of Tristan and Isolde.

Costelin (English)

Cresconio (Spanish)

Cresques (Judeo–Provençal, Judeo–Catalan, Occitan): Form of Latin Crescens, from crescere (to grow). It also means “growing,” from Catalan adjective creixent and verb créixer (to grow). In Medieval Occitania, it was a form of the Hebrew Tzemach.

The K brings so much personality

I’ve always been personally drawn to spellings of names using K instead of C, though some fellow name nerds (who act more like name snobs) automatically dismiss K spellings as illiterate, kreatyv, and obnoxious. Yes, some people using a spelling like Krystyna or Klaudia probably don’t realize those are established spellings in certain languages, but that doesn’t mean they’re totally bogus and without merit. They’re not like, e.g., Kolin or Konnor, swapping out the traditional C for a K when there’s no long history of such etymology in any culture.

I’ve heard a rumour about people in the KKK changing traditional spellings of words and names to feature Ks instead of Cs, to advertise their affiliations to those in the know, but I can’t find any compelling citations proving this was a widespread custom.

C spellings are traditional in the Romance languages and English, while K spellings are traditional in the Slavic, Finno–Ugric, Germanic, Scandinavian, Greek, Armenian, Kartvelian, Albanian, and Basque languages. Some names can go either way in the Germanic and Scandinavian languages, while Dutch can use both but historically has tended towards the C.

Some of these legit K variations include:

Female:

Angelika, Anzhelika

Arkadia, Arkadiya, Arkadija

Benedikta, Benedykta

Bianka

Blanka

Dominika

Erika, Eerika

Eunika (Polish and Hungarian form of Eunice, which I like much more than the English form)

Franziska, Franciska, Františka, Frantziska, Frantzisca, Frančiška, Franciszka

Kalliope

Kamilla

Kapitolina

Kara

Karina

Karla

Karola

Karolina, Karoline, Karoliina

Kassandra

Katarina, Katarine, Katharina, Katharine, Katherina, Katerina, Kataryna, Katarzyna, Kateryna

Katherine

Katriana, Katriyana

Katrin

Katrina

Klara

Klarisa

Klaudia

Klementina, Klementyna

Kleopatra

Klytemnestra

Konstantina, Konstancja, Konstanze

Kornelia

Kreszentia, Kreszcencia

Kristina, Krystyna, Kristiina, Krisztina, Khrystyna, Kristiane

Kristine

Leokadia

Lukiana, Lukina

Monika

Nikola (a feminine name in German, Polish, Slovak, and Czech; masculine in most other European languages)

Ulrika, Ulrikka, Ulrike, Ulriikka, Ulrikke

Veronika, Weronika

Viktoria, Viktoriya, Viktorija, Wiktoria

Male:

Benedek, Benedikt, Benedykt, Benedikte

Dominik

Erik

Isaak, Izaak, Isak, Izaäk, Izsák

Jakob, Jakub, Jákáb, Jákup, Jakov, Jaakob, Iakob, Yakov, Yaakov

Joakim, Yakim

Kajetan

Karl, Karel, Kaarel, Karol, Károly, Kaarlo, Kaarle

Kaspar, Kasper

Kazimir

Kirill, Kiril, Kyrylo

Klaus

Klement, Kliment, Klemens, Klemen

Konrad

Konstantin, Konstantine, Konstantyn, Konstantinos, Kostyantyn, Konstanty

Korbinian

Kristjan, Kristian, Karsten, Kristijan, Kresten, Krystyn, Krystian

Kristoffer, Krzysztof, Krištof, Kristóf

Kurt

Ludwik, Ludvik

Luka, Lukas, Luukas, Lukács, Lukáš, Loukas, Łukasz

Mikael

Nikolas, Nikola

Oskar

Viktor, Wiktor

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.