The Ps of Ukrainian names

Male names:

Pakhomiy comes from Greek name Pachomios, which ultimately derives from Ancient Egyptian name Pakhom (he of the holy falcon).

Panko is a folk form or diminutive of Greek name Panteleimon (all-compassionate).

Pavlo is the Ukrainian form of Paul, which comes from Roman family name Paulus and means “humble” or “small.”

Pavsekakiy is a rare version of the Greek name Pausikakos (ending evils).

Petro is the Ukrainian form of Peter, which derives from Greek name Petros (stone).

Porfyriy comes from Greek name Porphyrios (purple dye). This is a rare name.

Potap comes from Greek name Potapios, which may derive from root potapos (a word used in the Bible to imply rhetorical admiration).

Pylyp is the Ukrainian form of Philip, which comes from Greek name Philippos (friend of horses).

Female names:

Palahna comes from Greek name Pelagia, the feminine form of Pelagios (the sea).

Paraska is a diminutive of Praskoviya, which derives from Greek root paraskeue (“preparation” or “Friday” [Friday being the day of preparation]).

Polyna is the Ukrainian form of Paula.

Prakseda is an archaic form of Greek name Praxedes, which derives from root praxis (a success, doing, accomplishment).

Priska is a folk form of Euphrosyne (merriment, mirth).


The Ps of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names

Female names:

Pace (I) means “peace.” It’s pronounced PAH-chey, not like the English word “pace.”

Pacifica (I) means “peacemaker.”

Pasca (I) derives from the Latin word Pascha, Passover. The Jewish holiday often falls out near Easter, and many Indo–European languages’ word for Easter derives from that Latin root. Traditionally, the name was given to girls born or baptised on or near Easter. This is also a Medieval Cornish name.

Pasquina (I) similarly derives from Pasqua, the Italian name for Easter.

Patientia (I) means “suffering, patience.”

Pleneria (I) means “plenary.”

Pomellina (I) means “little fruit” and “little apple.”

Primavera (I) means “spring.”

Pulisena (T) is a form of Latin name Polyxena (many guests, very hospitable), derived from original Greek name Polyxene and roots polys (many) and xenos (guest, foreigner). The modern Italian form is Polissena.

Male names:

Palmerio (I) means “pilgrim,” from Latin word palma (palm tree). Pilgrims often returned from Israel with palm fronds to prove they’d visited. The feminine form is Palmeria.

Pangratio (I) looks like it means “all grace” or “all thanks.”

Placentius (I) means “satisfying, pleasing, giving pleasure.” This is also Medieval Spanish.

Polo (I) is most likely a form of Paolo, the Italian form of Paul (small).

Priamo (I) is a form of Greek name Priamos, the ill-fated King of Troy. It possibly means “redeemed.”

Preietto, Proietto (I) are forms of Latin name Praejectus, which comes from the word praejacio (to throw).

The Ps of Estonian names


Päärn, Päären, and Pääru are Estonian forms of Bernard (brave bear).

Paavo is the Estonian form of Paul (small; humble). The Russian form Pavel is also used, and was the 43rd most popular male name in 2018.

Pearu may be related to the word pea (head).

Pjotr is adopted from the Russian name Pyotr, a form of Peter (rock). The native Estonian form is Peeter. Both names are rather popular.

Platon is adopted from Russian, and means “broad-shouldered” in Greek.

Priidu, or Priidrik, is the Estonian form of Frederick (peaceful ruler).


Pärle means “pearl.”

Piia is adopted from German and the Scandinavian languages, and means “pious; dutiful.”

Piibe means “lily of the valley.”

Pille may be an Estonian short form of the German name Sybille, which ultimately comes from the Greek Sibylla (ten female prophets who worked at holy sites).

Pilvi, or Pilve, means “cloud.”

Polina is adopted from Russian, and ultimately comes from Paulina (humble; small).

Happy Halloween!—Orange names

Happy Halloween! Here’s a list of names whose meanings relate to the word “orange” (the colour). In some languages, the word for the fruit and colour are identical, while in others they’re different. As always, some of these names might sound much better on pets, stuffed animals, dolls, or fictional characters. I obviously wouldn’t recommend using some of these word names on real people in countries where that language is spoken.

Alani is Hawaiian, and refers to the colour, fruit, and flower.

Arancia is Italian.

Aranciu is Corsican.

Kamala is Bengali.

Karaka is Maori.

Kesari is Marathi.

Lalanje is Nyanja, a Bantu language primarily spoken in Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Laranja is Basque and Portuguese.

Laranxa is Galician.

Namunu is Southern Sotho.

Naranja is Spanish.

Narıncı is Azeri.

Narinja is Telugu.

Oren is Malaysian and Welsh. This has a completely different etymology from the Hebrew name meaning “pine tree.”

Orenji is Japanese. I’m 99% sure this is a very modern, unusual name inspired by the English word, not a historic, native Japanese name.

Porteqalî is Kurdish.

Portokalea, or Portokali, is Greek.

Portokhali is Georgian.

Santara is Hindi.

Satara is Punjabi.

Sienna is a modern English name meaning “orange-red,” derived from the Italian city Siena. The city’s clay is sienna in colour.

Suntala is Nepali.

Taronja is Catalan.

Male names of literary origin, N–Z

American aviation pioneer Orville Wright, 1871–1948

Nemo means “nobody” in Latin. Jules Verne created it for the captain of Nautilus in his 1870 novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

Nerle is a character in L. Frank Baum’s 1903 novel The Enchanted Island of Yew. It may be based on Merle, a variant of Merrill or Muriel (“pleasant hill” or “bright sea”).

Oberon is the King of the Fairies in Shakespeare’s 1595 play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s based on Norman French name Auberon, which in turn derives from Ancient Germanic Alberich (elf power).

Orville was coined by 18th century writer Fanny Burney, who may have meant it to mean “golden city” in French.

Othello may be a diminutive of Italian name Otho, of unknown etymology. Shakespeare famously used it as the title character of his 1603 tragedy.

Pantagruel is one of the title characters of 16th century French writer François Rabelais’s The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel series. It derives from Greek pantes (all) and Hagarene gruel (thirsty). Pantagruel was born during a great drought. Rabelais invented hundreds of new words in these novels, based on Ancient Greek. Some of them became part of the French language.

Percival was created by 12th century French poet Chrétien de Troyes for Perceval, the Story of the Grail, which follows a Knight of the Round Table. It was probably based on Welsh name Peredur, which may mean “hard spears.” The spelling was possibly changed to resemble Old French percer val (to pierce the valley).

Pirkka was created by Finnish poet Eino Leino for “Orjan Poka. It derives from pirkkalaiset (a Medieval Finnish group who controlled taxation in Lapland).

Radames is a character in the 1871 opera Aida. Since it’s set in Ancient Egypt, librettist Antonio Ghislanzoni may have included the element Ra (Sun) to sound plausibly Egyptian.

Radúz is a rare Czech name which was created by writer Julius Zeyer for his 1898 play Radúz and Mahulena. It derives from rád (glad, happy).

Ruslan is Russian, Chechen, Ingush, Avar, Tatar, Circassian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Bashkir, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Uzbek, Armenian, and Ossetian. It was used by great Russian poet Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin for his 1820 work Ruslan and Lyudmila, based on the name of Tatar and Russian folk hero Yeruslan Lazarevich. Its ultimate origin is Tatar name Uruslan, possibly from Turkic arslan (lion).

1887 illustration of Ruslan and Lyudmila

Saridan is a king in the 12th century Georgian epic poem The Knight in the Panther’s Skin, by Shota Rustaveli. It’s unclear which Persian root he based it off of, but possible candidates include srudan (to sing, to recite) and srayidan (to protect). Unlike many other names in the poem, Saridan has never been very common.

Sémaphore means “semaphore” (a visual signalling system) in French, ultimately derived from Ancient Greek roots sema (sign, token, mark) and phero (to carry, to bear). Thus, it roughly means “sign-bearer.” This is the name of a character in Franco–Belgian comic Cubitus. Sémaphore owns canine protagonist Cubitus.

Siyavash is a prince in 11th century Persian epic The Shahnameh. The name means “possessing black stallions” in Avestan.

Tuovi (a unisex name) was invented by Finnish writer Yrjö Sakari Yrjö-Koskinen for his 1859 novel Pohjan-Piltti. It derives from village Tuovila (village of Tove).

Urizen was created by English poet William Blake for the personification of conventional reason and law. It’s a play on “your reason,” and possibly also derived from Greek horizein (horizon).

Vahur means “brave” in Estonian. The name was invented by writer Edward Börnhohe for his 1880 novel Tasuja. I have a character by this name.

Vambola is the title character of a novel by Estonian writer Andres Saal. It may be derived from Varbola Castle or the Old Estonian word vambas (mace).

Siyavash, Copyright Aryzad at Wiki Commons

Winnetou is an Apache chief in several of German novelist Karl May’s books. It may mean “burning water.”

Ylermi is another name created by Eino Leino, for the protagonist of his poem Helkavirsiä I.

Yorick is derived from Danish and Norwegian nickname Jørg (i.e., George). Shakespeare used it for a dead court jester in Hamlet (1600).

Yvain is another creation of Chrétien de Troyes, based on Welsh name Owain (possibly a form of Eugene, “well-born”).

Zalán was created by Hungarian writer Mihály Vörösmarty for his 1823 epic Zalán Futása. The name may come from Hungary’s Zala region, which in turn takes its name from the Zala River.

Zorro means “fox” in Spanish, and became famous as the name of a character created by Johnston McCulley.