The various forms of Roger (Happy Duran Duran Appreciation Day!)

To mark this special holiday (which is very much real), and because Roger is my favourite member of the band, I thought I’d do a post about the name Roger. This isn’t a name I used to have a high opinion of (since at least when I was younger, it frequently seemed to be given to characters who were bullies and thugs), but I’ve really grown to love the name.

Roger was on the Top 100 in the U.S. from 1921–75, and the Top 50 from 1932–62 and again in 1964 and 1965. It attained its highest rank of #22 in 1945. The name has steadily plummeted in popularity, and was down to #643 in 2016. The alternate spelling Rodger, always less popular, last charted at #921 in 1985.

Roger is used in English, French, the Scandinavian languages, Catalan, Dutch, and German. It means “famous spear,” from the Old Germanic elements hrod (fame) and ger (spear). The name came to England after the Norman conquest of 1066 and the resulting occupation. It replaced the Old English Hroðgar (Hrothgar), which was the name of the legendary Danish king featured in Beowulf.

During the Middle Ages, Roger was a common name in England, though had become rare by the 18th century. Later on, it enjoyed a resurgence in popularity.

Other forms include:

1. Ruggieri is Medieval Italian.

2. Ruggiero is modern Italian.

3. Ruggero is an alternate Italian form.

4. Rogel is Spanish.

5. Rüdiger is German. The parents of my character Roger Brandt-van Acker wanted to name their son this name instead, after his great-great-uncle, but they were pressured into choosing the English form.

6. Rutger is Dutch and Limburgish. The Limburgish nickname is Ruth.

7. Rogier is also Dutch.

8. Rogério is Portuguese.

9. Roar is Norwegian, and obviously not a name I’d recommend in an Anglophone country.

10. Hrodger is the original Ancient Germanic form.

11. Hróarr is Old Norse.

12. Hróðgeirr is also Old Norse.

13. Dodge is a Medieval English nickname.

14. Hodge is another Medieval English nickname, spelt such because of the way in which the English mispronounced the occupying Normans’ R.

15. Roschi is Alsatian.

16. Ruđer is Croatian.

The many Rose names

Rose is currently more popular as a middle name than a forename in the U.S., though it is starting to edge closer to the Top 100. It’s much more popular in France (#20), Australia (#55), Belgium (#64), New Zealand (#56), Scotland (#70), Ireland (#75), and Northern Ireland (Ireland by any other name) (#62).

I’m far from the only name nerd who’s rather surprised this name hasn’t become much more popular as the generation of girls who saw Titanic over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again reached adulthood and started having kids.

Madison for a girl rose to prominence some years after that insipid movie Splash, and Jennifer remained popular well after the era of Love Story. If Rose were going to get popular because of Titanic, it would’ve happened by now.

Other forms of Rose, and names with the “rose” element, include:

1. Roza is Russian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovenian, Georgian, Armenian. The variation Roža is Serbian and Croatian, and Róża is Polish.

2. Rosa is Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Scandinavian, German, and English.

3. Ruža is Serbian, Slovakian, and Croatian. The base nickname is Ružica.

4. Rózsa is Hungarian. The base nickname is Rózsi.

5. Rožė is Lithuanian.

6. Růžena is Czech. The variation Ružena is Slovak.

7. Rosalia is Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. A variant Spanish and Galician form is Rosalía.

8. Rozalia is Polish. The variation Rozália is Slovak and Hungarian.

9. Rosalie is French, English, German, and Dutch.

10. Rozálie is Czech, with the final two letters pronounced separately instead of as one.

11. Rozalija is Slovenian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, and Croatian. A Slovenian nickname is Zala. The variation Rozālija is Latvian.

12. Róis is Irish. The nickname is Róisín, Anglicized as Rosheen.

13. Roos is Dutch, with the nickname Roosje.

14. RaisaRaiza, Reyza, Reysa, Raysa, or Rayza, is Yiddish. The base nickname is alternately transliterated as Rayzel, Rayzl, Raysl, Raisel, Raizel, Raisl, Raizl, Raysel, Reyzel, Reysl, and Reyzl.

15. Rosita is a Spanish diminutive.

16. Rosine is a French diminutive.

17. Roselle is another French nickname.

18. Rosette is also French.

19. Rosabel is an English name created in the 18th century.

20. Rosabella is an elaborated form of Rosabel.

21. Rosella is an Italian diminutive.

22. Rosetta is also Italian.

23. Rosina is another Italian nickname.

24. Rhosyn is a rare Welsh name.

25. Rosalba means “white rose” in Italian. I’ve always loved this name.

26. Rosalind originated as the Old Germanic name Roslindis, meaning “tender horse,” though its modern spelling was influenced by the Latin phrase rosa linda, “beautiful rose.”

27. Rosalinda is Italian.

28. Rosalina is Spanish.

29. Rosaline is Medieval English.

30. Rozenn is Breton.

31. Rosamund originated as the Old Germanic name Rosmunda, meaning “horse protection,” though it later became associated with the Latin phrase rosa munda, “pure rose.” A variation is Rosamond.

32. Rosemonde is French.

33. Rhoswen means “pure rose” in Welsh.

34. Roosi is Estonian.

35. Rós is Icelandic.

36. Rosal is Filipino, and a unisex name.

37. Rosanella is French.

38. Rosanie is French.

39. Rósar means “rose army” in Icelandic.

40. Rosaura is an Italian and Spanish name derived from the Latin rosa aurea, “golden rose.” I love this name!

41. Roseda is a Spanish name derived from the Latin rosetum, “rose garden.”

42. Rosena is Bulgarian and English.

43. Rosenwyn is a rare, modern Cornish name meaning “white rose.”

44. Rósey means “rose island” in Icelandic.

45. Rosiliria means “rose lily” in Spanish.

46. Rozuko means “child of a rose” in Japanese.

47. Ruusu is Finnish.

48. Særós means “sea rose” in Icelandic.

49. Vered is Hebrew.

50. Vardan is Armenian. This is a male name.

51. Vardo is Georgian.

52. Sirvard means “love rose” in Armenian.

53. Sarnai is Mongolian.

54. Varduhi means “rose lady” in Armenian.

55. Ruvsá is Sami, a language spoken in northwestern Russia and northern Finland, Sweden, and Norway.

56. Snærós means “snow rose” in Icelandic. This is a modern, invented name.

57. Vardiella means “rose of God” in Hebrew.

58. Varteni means “rose tree” in Armenian.

59. Warda, Wardah, or Wardi is Arabic.

60. Gol is Persian. The Turkish form is Gül, and the Urdu and Pashto form is Gul. This element appears in many, many names.

61. Kolab is Khmer.

62. Mawar is Indonesian and Malaysian.

63. Kulap is Thai. This name is unisex.

64. Nasrin means “wild rose” in Persian.

The many forms of Rebecca

Rebecca has been a Top 200 mainstay in the U.S. since at least 1880. Its popularity has fluctuated up and down, but it’s never been out of the Top 200 until 2016, when it was #207. It slowly but surely began rising in popularity starting in 1938, when it jumped to #145 from #166.

It entered the Top 30 in 1952, and attained its highest rank of #10 in 1973 and 1974. In 1998, it slowly began losing popularity, and dropped out of the Top 100 in 2007. However, it’s still a solid classic that ages very well, and has Biblical appeal for those religiously inclined.

Rebecca is the spelling used in English and Italian, and may come from a root meaning “snare, joint, tie.” The variation Rébecca is French. Other forms of the name are:

1. Rivkah, or Rivka, is the Hebrew original. This was the name of the Patriarch Isaac (Yitzchak)’s wife. A very disturbing Midrash (rabbinic elaboration on the straight Torah text) claims they married when Rivkah was three and Yitzchak was forty, but that’s not a mainstream belief outside of the ultra-Orthodox world, thankfully.

2. Rebekka is Finnish, German, Scandinavian, Faroese, Dutch, Icelandic, and Ukrainian.

3. Rifke (alternately spelt Rifkeh, Rifka, and Rifkah) is Yiddish. The nicknames are Riva, Riki, and Rika.

4. Rebeka is Hungarian, Polish, Belarusian, Serbian, Macedonian, and Czech.

5. Rebecka is a Swedish variation.

6. Rebekah is a variant form used in some Bible translations.

7. Rebeca is Spanish, Portuguese, Galician, Romanian, and Welsh.

8. Acca is Malayalam, a language spoken in India.

9. Reveka is Romanian, Bulgarian, and Georgian.

10. Rhebecca is a rare Welsh variant form, inspired by the RH in many other Welsh names.

11. Revekka is modern Greek.

12. Ribka is Indonesian.

13. Ripeka is Maori. This also means “to crucify” in Maori.

14. Rywka is the Polish form of Rikvah.

15. Lepeka is Hawaiian.

16. Rabqa, or Rabka, is Arabic. Another Arabic variation is Rafqa, or Rafka.

17. Rebeque is French.

18. Revekka is Russian.

The many forms of Rachel

As common as the name is, I’ve always really liked the name Rachel and its various pronunciations. Perhaps one of these alternate forms will strike your fancy, either on its own or if you want to name your baby after a special Rachel but feel held back by its popularity.

In 2016, Rachel was #173 in the U.S., after a very long, impressive run in the Top 100. It entered at #92 in 1968, and continued to both rise and fluctuate until hitting its peak of #9 in 1996. It stayed very popular in the coming years, though its rank steadily dropped. Its final year in the Top 100 was 2010, when it was #99.

Rachel means “ewe” in Hebrew, and, as most people know, was the name of the Patriarch Jakob’s favourite wife. Besides Hebrew, this spelling is also used in English, German, French (where it’s pronounced Rah-SHEL), and Dutch (where the pronunciation is something like Rah-GHEL, with a hard, guttural GH). Other forms include:

1. Rachael is perhaps the most common spelling variation in English, though it’s never been nearly as popular as the traditional Rachel.

2. Ráhel is Hungarian. The base nickname form is Rahi.

3. Rakhil is Russian.

4. Rahela is Serbian and Romanian. I love this form!

5. Raakel is Finnish.

6. Raquel is Spanish, Catalan, Galician, and Portuguese.

7. Rakel is Scandinavian, Icelandic, and Sinhalese.

8. Rachele (Rah-KEH-le) is Italian,

9. Ráichéal is Irish.

10. Rochel is Yiddish.

11. Ruchel is also Yiddish. It all depends upon the dialect. Some regions pronounced A as an O, while others used a U sound.

12. Lahela is Hawaiian.

13. Râché is Jèrriais.

14. Errakel is Basque.

15. Rachela is Polish and a rare Italian variation.

16. Rahil is Medieval Judeo-Arabic.

17. Rāhera is Maori.

18. Râkile is Greenlandic.

19. Rakul is Faroese.

20. Raqel is Armenian.

21. Raheleh is Persian.

22. Raahel is Malayalam, a language spoken in India.

23. Rachil is modern Greek.

24. Raichel is Tamil.

25. Rachelle is French.

26. Rakhila is another Russian form.

27. Raaheel, or Raahil, is Arabic,

28. Raquele is Brazilian–Portuguese.

29. Raquella is a rare Filipino form.

Rhadamanthus and Rhea

Rhadamanthus (Rhadamanthys) is the son of Zeus and Europa, brother of King Minos of Crete, and one of the judges of the dead. He was raised by Asterion, Europa’s husband. After Asterion bequeathed his kingdom to Minos, Minos drove his brothers out of Crete. He was jealous of their popularity.

Sarpedon found shelter with their uncle Kilix, while Rhadamanthus fled to the town of Okalea in Boeotia. Rhadamanthus married Alkmene, the widowed mother of Hercules. In some traditions, Rhadamanthus was a tutor to Hercules.

Some traditions say Rhadamanthus, not Dionysus, was the husband of Minos’s daughter Ariadne. Ariadne was thus Rhadamanthus’s niece, but almost everyone in Greek mythology kept it in the family. Many couples are siblings, cousins, aunt and nephew, or uncle and niece.

Drawn by Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard Grandville, 1868

Rhadamanthus, Minos, and King Aiakos of Aigina became judges of the underworld. In particular, Rhadamanthus was chosen because of his unyielding integrity. He judged the souls of easterners, while Aiakos judged westerners. Minos cast the deciding vote.

In The Aeneid, Rhadamanthus is depicted as a judge and punisher in Tartarus, an underworld dungeon and prison for the Titans. The awesome poet Pindar named him as Kronos’s right-hand man in Elysium, and sole judge of the dead. Over the centuries, he’s made many other appearances in literature.

The etymology of Rhadamanthus is uncertain. It may be derived from rhadamnos (branch) and anthos (blossom), or from Rho-t-Amenti (King of Amenti, the realm of the dead), an epithet of the Egyptian god Osiris. His name is the origin of the English adjective “rhadamanthine,” inflexibly just or severe.

Rhea (Rheia) is the mother of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia, as well as the wife and sister of Kronos, daughter of Gaia and Uranus, and a Titan. The Romans identified her with Ops and Magna Mater (Kybele/Cybele).

Kronos knew that, just as he’d overthrown his father Uranus, so too would he in turn be overthrown by his own kids. Thus, he swallowed each as soon as it was born. When Rhea birthed her sixth child, Zeus, she went to her mother Gaia for help. The newborn Zeus was switched with a stone wrapped in swaddling-clothes, and Kronos swallowed the stone.

Zeus grew up in a cave on Mount Ida, where Rhea’s attendants guarded him. After he grew up, he came home and either gave Kronos an emetic or cut his stomach open to free the five siblings who were still inside.

Rhea’s cult of worship was strongest in Crete. She’s often depicted with a pair of lions. In 1672, Saturn’s next-largest moon was discovered and named after her.

The etymology of Rhea is uncertain. The name may be derived from era (ground), rheo (to flow), or rhoa (pomegranate).