Memorable names

To mark the upcoming Memorial Day, here’s a list of names whose meanings relate to the words “memory” and “remember.” Many of the names I found are Greek and Lithuanian.


Chikumbutso means “memory” in Chewa, a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.

Kumbukani means “remember” in Chewa.

Oluranti, or Oluwaranti, means “God remembers” in Yoruba.

Remember was a Virtue name in the Pilgrim/Puritan era.


Algminas comes from the Lithuanian alga (reward; salary) and minėti (to remember, to commemorate; to celebrate).

Alminas comes from the Lithuanian al (everything) and minėti.

Almintas comes from the Lithuanian al and mintis (thought). The latter element is related to minti (to remember, to recall).

Arminas, as an independent Lithuanian name instead of the Lithuanian form of the German Armin, comes from ar (also) and minėti.

Darmintas comes from the Lithuanian daryti (to act, to d0, to work) and mintis.

Daugmintas comes from the Lithuanian daug (much) and mintis.

Domintas is a rare Lithuanian name derived from the Old Lithuanian dovis or dotas (present, gift) and mintis.

Ekiye means “remember me” in Ijaw, a language spoken in Nigeria.

Funganayi means “remember each other” in Shona, a Bantu language spoken in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Gailiminas comes from the Old Lithuanian gailas (potent, strong; remorseful, sorrowful, miserable; jagged, sharp; violent, fierce, angry), and the modern Lithuanian galia (force, might, power). The second element is minėtiMingailas is a flipped form.

Gaudminas comes from the Lithuanian gaudyti (to take, to hunt, to catch) or gaudus (sonorous, echoing, loud, ringing, resonant), and minėtiMingaudas is a flipped form.

Gedmintas comes from the Old Lithuanian gedauti (to ask) or modern Lithuanian gedėti (to grieve, to mourn, to miss, to long, to yearn, to pine), and mintisMingedas is a flipped form.

Gosminas is a rare Lithuanian name derived from the Old Lithuanian gosti or gostis (to crave, to desire; to seek, to strive, to pursue) and minėti.

Ituaton means “remember me” in Ijaw.

Kęsminas is derived from the Lithuanian kęsti (to cope; to suffer, to endure, to undergo) and minėti.

Kujtim means “remembrance” in Albanian.

Liaudminas comes from the Lithuanian liaudis (people, folk) and minėti.

Mantminas comes from the Lithuanian mantus (intelligent), or manta (property, estate, riches, fortune, wealth), and minėti. A flipped form is Minmantas.

Mímir means ” memory” in Old Norse, and was the name of a god with omniscient knowledge and wisdom.

Mimulf is an Ancient Germanic name also derived from the element mímir, coupled with the Gothic vulfs (wolf).

Minalgas comes from minėti or mintis, and alga.

Mingintas comes from mintis or minėti, and ginti (to defend, to protect).

Mingirdas comes from mintis or minėti, and girdas (rumour).

Minjotas comes from mintis or minėti, and joti (to ride horseback).

Mintautus comes from the Baltic tauta (nation, people) and minėti. The flipped form is Tautminas.

Minvaidas is a rare Lithuanian name derived from mintis or minėti, and the Old Lithuanian vaidyti (to appear, to visit). The flipped form is Vaidminas.

Minvainas comes from mintis or minėti, and the Old Lithuanian vaina (fault; cause, reason).

Minvilas comes from mintis or minėti, and the Baltic vil (hope).

Minvydas comes from mintis or minėti, and the Baltic vyd (to see). The flipped form is Vydminas.

Mnemon means “mindful” in Greek, derived from mneme (memory, remembrance), and ultimately from mnaomai (to remember, to be mindful of).

Mnesarchos is derived from the Greek mnesios (of memory), which itself is derived from mnemoneuo (to remember, to call to mind, to think of). In turn, mnemoneuo is derived from mnaomai. The second element may be either archos (leader, master) or arche (source, origin, beginning).

Mnesikles is derived from mnesios (of memory) and kleos (glory).

Mnesitheos is derived from mnesios and theos (God).

Mnesos is also derived from mnesios.

Muninn comes from the Old Norse munr (mind), and is the name of one of Odin’s two ravens. Muninn symbolizes Memory. Every day, he and the other raven, Huginn, fly all over the world to get information and news for Odin.

Normintas comes from the Lithuanian noras (desire, wish) and mintis.

Oroitz means “memory” in Basque.

Tonderai means “remember” in Shona.

Vaimintas is a rare Lithuanian name derived from the Old Lithuanian vajoti (to pursue, to chase), or vajys (courier, messenger), and mintis.

Virminas comes from the Lithuanian vyrauti (to prevail, to dominate) and minėti.

Visminas comes from the Baltic vis (all) and minėti.

Yozachar means “God remembered” in Hebrew.

Žadminas is a rare Lithuanian name derived from žadėti (to promise) and minėti.

Zechariah, or Zachariah, is the Anglicized form of the Hebrew Zecharyah, which means “God remembers.” Other forms include Zacharias (Greek), Zakariás (Hungarian), Zacharie (French), Zachariasz (Polish), Zakaria (Georgian and Arabic), Zaccharias (Latin), Zakariya and Zakariyya (Arabic), Zakhar (Russian), Zahari (Bulgarian), Zacarías (Spanish), ZacharyZachery, and Zackary (English), Sachairi (Scottish), Sakari (Finnish), Zaharija and Zakarije (Serbian and Croatian), Zakar (Armenian and Mordvin), Zakarija (Croatian), Zaccaria (Italian), Zakaría (Icelandic), and Zekeriya (Turkish).

Zichri means “remembrance” in Hebrew.


Coventina was a British Celtic goddess of springs and water. Her name derives from Proto–Celtic kom-men (memory) and ti-ni (to melt, to disappear).

Jadyrah, or Zhadyrah, is a Kazakh name possibly derived from jad/zhad (memory).

Khatereh means “memory” in Persian.

Mimigard is an Ancient Germanic name derived from the Old Norse mímir (memory) and gardan (to fence in, to hedge in, to enclose). Mímir was also the name of a god who had omniscient knowledge and wisdom.

Mneme means “memory” in Greek.

Mnemosyne means “remembrance” in Greek. She was the Muse of memory.

Mnesarete roughly means “commemorating virtue.” It comes from the Greek mnesios (of memory), which is in turn derived from mnemoneuo and mnaomai; and arete (goodness, skill, excellence, virtue).

Remembrance was a Virtue name in the Puritan/Pilgrim world.

Smriti means “memory” in Sanskrit.

Tizita means “memory” in Amharic, the language spoken in Ethiopia.

Yeukai means “remember” in Shona.

Zacharine is a rare feminine form of Zachary, found in English, Norwegian, and German.

Musical names

When it comes to music-related names, there are so many to choose from. Not only are there names whose meanings relate to song and music, but there are also names inspired by actual aspects of music, like the popular Melody and Harmony.


Liron means “song for me” or “joy for me” in Hebrew.

Ron (pronounced like the English word “roan,” not the nickname for Ronald) means “song” and “joy” in Hebrew.

Shir means “song” in Hebrew. Though it used to be exclusively feminine, it’s slowly begun to be used for boys as well in recent years. The word itself is masculine.


Herod comes from the Greek name Heroides, meaning “song of the hero.”

Hesiod is the Latinized form of the original Greek Hesiodos, which means “to throw song.” Probably its most famous bearer was a Greek poet from the 8th Century BCE.

Ronen means “song” and “joy” in Hebrew.

Shadi means “singer” in Arabic.

Yaron means “to sing/shout” in Hebrew.

Zimri means “my music” or “my praise” in Hebrew.



Aoide means “song” in Greek. Its original bearer was the Muse of song. The Latinized form is Aoede.


Beste means “melody” in Turkish.


Cadenza means “falling” in Italian, and refers to an ornamental passage near the end of a song or opera solo.

Calliope means “beautiful voice” in Greek. The original bearer was the Muse of eloquence and epic poetry.

Chantal is a French, Dutch, and English name taken from a geographically-derived French surname meaning “stony.” Over the years, it became associated with the French word chant, “song.”

Concordia means “harmony” in Latin, after the Roman goddess of peace and harmony.

Daina means “song” in Latvian and Lithuanian.

Doina means “folk song” in Romanian.

Eumalia means “melody” in Greek. The original form of the name was Eumeleia.

Ezgi means “melody” in Turkish.

Gita means “song” in Sanskrit.

Harmonia is Greek.

Honoka can mean “harmony flower” in Japanese.

Kyrie means “Lord” in Greek, as in the Kyrie Eleison (Lord, Have Mercy) chant used in worship.

Leelo means “folk song” in Estonian. The Estonian people love their music, particularly considering they sang for their freedom starting in the 19th century.



Mele means “song” in Hawaiian, though it’s also used as a Hawaiian and Samoan form of Mary.

Melpomene comes from the Greek melpo. “to sing, to celebrate with song.” Its original bearer was one of the nine Muses, representing tragedy. The modern Greek form is Melpomeni.

Polymnia means “abounding in song” in Greek. The Latinized form is Polyhymnia. The original bearer was the Muse of dance and sacred songs.

Rani, or Roni, means “my song” or “my joy” in Hebrew.

Rhapsody. I know many folks would deride this name as outlandish and ridiculous, but I really think it could work on the right person.

Riya means “singer” in Sanskrit.

Setsuko can mean “melody child” in Japanese.

Shira means “singing” or “poetry” in Hebrew.

Shiri means “my song” in Hebrew.


Tarana means “song, music” in Persian, but is mostly used in Azerbaijan.


Wakana is a Japanese name composed of the elements wa (harmony) and kana (complete, play music). Like just about all East Asian names, other meanings are possible, depending upon which characters are used.

Tree names

Though the name Tree seems very odd in the English-speaking world, there are lots of lovely names with tree meanings in other languages. It seems as though Ash, Laurel, Ebony, Willow, and Rowan are the most normal-sounding, common tree-related names in the Anglophone world. Aspen has also become rather trendy, and Olive is starting to creep towards the Top 100.


Mu can mean “wood, tree” in Chinese.


Acacia means “point, thorn” in Greek. This is probably my favorite English tree name.

Alona means “oak tree” in Hebrew.

Anargul means “blooming pomegranate tree” in Kazakh.

Björk means “birch tree” in Icelandic.

Eglë means “spruce tree” in Lithuanian.

Elah means “oak tree” or “terebinth tree” in Hebrew.

Elowen is a contemporary Cornish name meaning “elm tree.”

Hadassah, or Hadas, means “myrtle tree” in Hebrew, and is the Hebrew form of the Persian name Esther.

Hazel might be getting rather trendy, but I loved it way before Julia Roberts used it on her daughter. I’m always annoyed when a name I loved for years becomes super-trendy and used by folks who’d never heard or it or were laughing at it not long ago.

Ilana, or Ilanit, means “tree” in Hebrew.


Kalina means “viburnum tree” in Polish, Bulgarian, and Macedonian.

Kiri means “skin of a tree or fruit” in Maori.

Lina means “palm tree” or “tender” in Arabic.

Lubna means “storax tree” in Arabic.

Melia means “ash tree” in Greek.

Ornella is an Italian name created by author Gabriele d’Annunzio in 1904, for his novel La Figlia di Jorio. It comes from the Tuscan Italian word ornello, “flowering ash tree.”

Palmira means “pilgrim” in Italian, derived from palma (palm tree). Pilgrims had a custom of bringing palm fronds home.

Pihla means “rowan tree” in Finnish.

Pinja means “stone pine” in Finnish.

Pomona means “fruit tree” in Latin, after the Roman goddess of fruit trees.

Randa means “scented tree” in Arabic.


Taimi means “young tree, sapling” in Finnish.

Tamar means “palm tree” in Hebrew. This name is also Georgian, and was borne by Queen Tamar the Great of Georgia’s Golden Age. Tamari is a Georgian variation, and Tamara is the Slavic, Spanish, Dutch, and Italian form.


Alon means “oak tree” in Hebrew.

Arvid is the modern Scandinavian form of the Old Norse Arnviðr, which derives from the elements arn (eagle) and viðr (tree).

Bai can mean “cedar, cypress tree” in Chinese.

Daiki can mean “big/great tree” in Japanese. Unfortunately, I can’t see this name working well in an Anglophone country, since many people would doubtless mispronounce it like “dykey.”

Dara means “oak tree” in Irish. This isn’t to be confused with the unisex Khmer name meaning “star,” nor the male Persian name meaning “wealthy.”

Dekel means “palm tree” in Hebrew.

Hideki can mean “fine/excellent tree” in Japanese.

Hiroki can mean “great/big tree” in Japanese.

Ilan means “tree” in Hebrew.

Itsuki can mean “tree” in Japanese.

Javor means “maple tree” in the South Slavic languages (Serbian, Slovenian, Croatian).

Kazuki can mean “one tree” and “peace/harmony tree” in Japanese.

Koa means “warrior, koa tree” in Hawaiian.

Linden is an English name derived from a German surname taken from the word linde (lime tree).

Linford comes from an English surname descended from an Old English place name meaning either “lime tree ford” or “flax ford.” Linton and Lyndon are variant forms of this name.

Naoki can mean “straight tree” in Japanese.

Oren means “pine tree” in Hebrew.

Palmiro is the masculine form of Palmira.

Soma (SHO-mah) means “cornel tree, dogwood” in Hungarian. This isn’t to be confused with a unisex Sanskrit name meaning “lunar nectar.”

Taiki can mean “big/great tree” in Japanese.

Tomer means “palm tree” in Hebrew.

Vesa means “sprout, young tree” in Finnish.

Yasen means “ash tree” and “serene, clean” in Bulgarian.

Joy names

Joy is one of the relative few Virtue names still in widespread use, long after other Virtue names like Happiness, Honesty, Courage, Fear, Thanksgiving, Increase, Reliance, and Amnesty have fallen out of fashion. Besides the English name, there are also a lot of other names meaning “joy” or “joyful.”


Adedayo means “the crown becomes joy” in Yoruba, a language spoken in Nigeria.

Ayo is Yoruba.

Ayodele means “my joy has arrived” in Yoruba.

Ayotunde means “joy has returned” in Yoruba.

Boitumelo is Tswana, a Bantu language spoken in Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Namibia.

Chimwemwe is Chewa, a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Dayo means “joy arrives” in Yoruba.

Desta is Amharic, a language spoken in Ethiopia.

Ekundayo means “sorrow becomes joy” in Yoruba.

Farah is Arabic.

Gili means “my joy” in Hebrew.

Itumeleng is Tswana.

Jingyi is a Chinese name composed of the characters jing (quiet, gentle, still) and yi (harmony, joy).

Liron means “joy for me” or “song for me” in Hebrew.

Olufunmilayo means “God gave me joy” in Yoruba.

Ron (pronounced like the English word “roan,” not the nickname for Ronald) means “song” and “joy” in Hebrew.

Simcha is Hebrew.

Xinyi is Chinese, composed of the characters xin (happy, delighted, joyous) and yi (harmony, joy). Xin may also mean “soul, heart, mind.”

Yijun is Chinese, from the elements yi and jun (ruler, king).


Alaia means “happy, joyful” in Basque.

Alizah means “joyful” in Hebrew.

Avigayil is the Hebrew form of Abigail, which means “my father is joy.”

Añuli is Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria.

Chara is Greek.

Etsuko is Japanese, from the characters etsu (pleased, joy) and ko (child).

Fraida (with a number of alternative spellings, depending upon the transliteration style) is Yiddish. I’ve never really been keen on either the Yiddish language or Yiddish names, but this is one of the ones I like.

Furaha is Swahili.

Gioia is Italian.

Ibithaj is Arabic.

Kalea is Hawaiian.

Letitia is an English name derived from the Latin Laetitia, meaning “happiness, joy.” Other variants are Letizia (Italian), Leticia (Spanish), and Letícia (Portuguese).

Priti means “joy, pleasure, love” in Sanskrit.

Rani, or Roni, means “my joy” or “my song” in Hebrew.

Rina is Hebrew.

Rowena is believed to be a Latinized form of a Germanic name derived from the elements hrod (fame) and wunn (bliss, joy).

Sevinc is Azeri. The Turkish form is Sevinç.

Sharmila means “joy, comfort, protection” in Sanskrit.

Ssanyu is Luganda, a language spoken in Uganda.


Adebayo means “the crown meets joy” in Yoruba.

Ayokunle means “joy has filled the home” in Yoruba.

Batbayar means “strong joy” in Mongolian.

Gil is Hebrew.

Kayode means “he brought joy” in Yoruba.

Kivanç means “pride, joy” in Turkish.

Nanda is Sanskrit.

Otgonbayar means “youngest joy” in Mongolian.

Pramoda is Sanskrit.

Ronen means “song” and “joy” in Hebrew.

Sharma means “joy, comfort, protection” in Sanskrit.

Thabo is Tswana.

Winston is an English name, derived from the Old English Wynnstan, “joy stone.”

Wojciech is Polish, from the elements voji (soldier) and tekha (joy, solace, comfort). Obviously, there might be a lot of problems with pronunciation in the Anglophone world. The common nickname form is Wojtek.

Peace names

“Peace” is such a beautiful meaning for a name, and there are numerous names meaning “peace” in all sorts of languages. While the English name Peace might strike some as too hippyish or Pilgrimy, those same people might like other names with the same meaning. A lot of what appeals or doesn’t appeal to us in a name often comes down to what we’re used to. One era or culture’s outlandish name is another culture or era’s normal or beautiful.

For the sake of brevity, I won’t be including all the Slavic names with the -mir(a) element, since there are so many of them. Those merit their own post. Since mir also means “world,” their meanings can be read multiple ways.


Kagiso is Tswana, a Bantu language spoken in Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Namibia.

Aştî is Kurdish.

Udo is Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria and parts of Equatorial Guinea.

Mtendere is Chewa, another Bantu language. It’s spoken in Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

Emem is Ibibio, a language spoken in southern Nigeria.

Ning and Ping are Chinese.

Ufuoma is Urhobo, an Edoid language spoken in southern Nigeria.

Yasu is Japanese.

An is Vietnamese and Chinese.

Akpofure means “life is peaceful” in Urhobo.


Shalom is Hebrew.

Avshalom, Abshalom, or Absalom means “my father is peace” in Hebrew.

Barış is Turkish.

Dietfried means “peace of the people” in German.

Fredenand means “brave peace” or “daring peace” in Ancient Germanic.

Frederick (one of my favoritest names!) is the English form of Friduric, a name meaning “peaceful ruler” in Germanic. Other forms of the name include Friedrich (German), Fryderyk (Polish), Frigyes (Hungarian), Frederik (Danish and Dutch), Frédéric (French), Fredrik (Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish), Friderik (Slovenian), Federigo (Italian), Federico (Spanish), Frederico (Portuguese), Fricis (Latvian), and Friðrik (Icelandic). The German name Friedhold has the same meaning.

Fridenot is Ancient Germanic for “need peace.”

Fridumar is Ancient Germanic for “famous peace.”

Manfred is a German, Dutch, and Polish name composed of the elements “strength” and “peace.”

Wilfred is an English name meaning “desiring peace,” from Old English origins.

Xolani is Zulu.


Enkhtuya means “ray of peace” in Mongolian.

Enkhjargal means “peace blessing” in Mongolian.

Irene is an English name which comes from the original Greek Eirene, the goddess of peace. Other forms are Irène (French), Irén (Hungarian), Irena (Polish, Croatian, Lithuanian, Czech, Dutch, Serbian, Slovenian), Irina (Russian, Bulgarian, Georgian, Macedonian, Romanian, Finnish), and Iryna (Ukrainian). While I know this name was most popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, I’ve never considered it dated like some people do. It’s consistently been in the Top 1000, and has never gone lower than #695 in 2010.

Mirembe is Luganda, a language spoken in Uganda.

Pacífica means “peacemaker” in Spanish.

Pax is Latin, after the goddess of peace.

Paz is Spanish.

Rauha is Finnish.

Sakina means both “calmness” and “peace” in Arabic.

Salome is an English name derived from the Hebrew word shalom. Other forms are Salomé (French, Portuguese, Spanish) and Salomea (Polish). Though many people associate this name with the daughter of King Herod who asked for John the Baptist’s head on a platter, no name is actually given in the Bible itself. It was the historian Josephus who named her as Salome, and many modern-day scholars believe much of Josephus’s writings were politically motivated instead of entirely factually accurate.

Shanti is Sanskrit.

Shlomit and Shulamit mean “peaceful” in Hebrew.

Yên means “calm” and “peaceful” in Vietnamese.