Birth-related names

Seeing as today is my English birthday (my Hebrew birthday was the fifth night of Chanukah, 16–17 December),  here’s a list of names whose meanings relate to the words “birth” and “born.” Many of them are of African origin, particularly from the Akan language.

Unisex:

Abimbola means “born wealthy” in Yoruba.

Abiodun means “born on a festival” in Yoruba.

Abiola means “born in honour” in Yoruba.

Abiona means “born during a journey” in Yoruba.

Anan means “fourth-born child” in Akan, a Central Tano language spoken in Ghana, Benin, and Côte d’Ivoire.

Awotwi means “eighth-born child” in Akan.

Baako means “firstborn child” in Akan.

Dubaku means “eleventh-born child” in Akan.

Enu means “fifth-born child” in Akan.

Idowu means “born after twins” in Yoruba.

Nkruma means “ninth-born child” in Akan.

Nsia means “sixth-born child” in Akan.

Nsonowa means “seventh-born child” in Akan.

Female:

Abena means “born on Tuesday” in Akan.

Abra means “born on Tuesday” in Ewe, a Niger–Congo language spoken in Ghana.

Adwoa means “born on Monday” in Akan.

Afua means “born on Friday” in Akan.

Akinyi means “born in the morning” in Luo, a language spoken in Sudan, Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

Akosua means “born on Sunday” in Akan.

Akua means “born on Wednesday” in Akan.

Ama means “born on Saturday” in Akan.

Antigone is composed of the Greek elements anti (against, compared to, like) and gone (birth). Most people are familiar with this as the name of Oedipus’s firstborn daughter by his mother Jocasta.

Bosede means “born on Sunday” in Yoruba.

Chausiku means “born at night” in Swahili.

Esi means “born on Sunday” in Akan.

Portuguese and Brazilian stage actor Eugénia Câmara, 9 April 1837–28 May 1874

Eugenia is the female form of Eugene, the English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, and Polish form of the Latin Eugenius, which in turn comes from the Greek Eugenios (well-born).

Other forms of the name include Yevgeniya (Russian), with nicknames including Zhenya, GenyaZhenyushka, and GenyushkaEugènie (French); Eugènia (Catalan); Eugénia (Hungarian and Slovak); Eugênia (Portuguese); Uxía (Galician); Evgenia (Greek); Eukene (Basque); Evgenija (Macedonian); Yevheniya (Ukrainian); Jevgeņija, Jevgēņija, Eiženija (Latvian); Evgeniya (Bulgarian); Eugenija (Lithuanian and Croatian); Evženie (Czech); and Yaŭheniya (Belarusian).

Iphigeneia means “strong-born” in Greek. Most people are familiar with this as the name of Agamemnon and Klytemnestra’s oldest daughter, who in some versions of the story was sacrificed to appease Artemis before the Trojan War, and in others became a priestess who rescued her brother Orestes and their cousin Pylades from being sacrificed to Artemis.

Other forms of the name include Iphigenia (Latin), Efigénia (Portuguese), Efigênia (Brazilian–Portuguese), Iphigénie (French), Ifigeniya (Russian), Ifigénia (Portuguese), Ifigenia (modern Greek), and Efigenia (Italian).

Lindita means “the day is born” in Albanian.

Lumusi means “born face-down” in Ewe.

Muirgen means “born of the sea” in Irish.

Mwanajuma means “born on Friday” in Swahili.

Naliaka means “born during the weeding season” in Luhya, a Bantu language spoken in Kenya.

Oni may mean “born in sacred abode” in Yoruba.

Renata is the feminine Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Slovenian, Polish, and Croatian form of the Latin Renatus (born again). Other forms include Renáta (Slovak, Czech, Hungarian), Renée (French), Renate (German, Dutch, Norwegian), and Rena (English).

Yaa means “born on Thursday” in Akan.

Silent actor Renée Adorée, 30 September 1898–5 October 1933

Male:

Abidemi means “born during father’s absence” in Yoruba.

Abioye means “born into royalty” in Yoruba.

Afolabi means “born into wealth” in Yoruba.

Akpan means “firstborn son” in Ibibio, a language spoken in Nigeria.

Amadi means “seemed destined to die at birth” in Yoruba.

Anuj means “born later, younger” in Sanskrit. This name is traditionally given to a younger brother.

Cináed (KIN-ahj) is a Scottish and Irish name meaning “born of fire.” It’s typically Anglicized as Kenneth, which is also the Anglicization of Coinneach (handsome).

Comhghán (COV-an) means “born together” in Irish.

Diogenes means “born of Zeus” in Greek.

Eoghan may mean “born from the yew tree” in Irish.

Eugene is the male form of Eugenia. Other forms include Eugène (French), Eugen (German, Romanian, Slovak, Czech, Croatian), Eugenio (Spanish) and Italian, Eugeniusz (Polish), Eugenijus (Lithuanian), Ugène (Norman), Yevgeniy (Russian), Evžen (Czech), Eižens, Jevgeņijs, Jevgēņijs (Latvian), Uxío (Galician), Yevhen, Yevheniy (Ukrainian), Owain, Owen (Welsh), Evgeni (Bulgarian), Eugeni (Catalan), and Üschén (Alsatian).

South African writer Eugène Marais, 3 January 1871–29 March 1936

Gwydion means “born of trees” in Welsh.

Jumaane means “born on Thursday” in Swahili.

Kevin is the Anglicized form of the Irish Caoimhín, which in turn is derived from the Old Irish Cóemgein, “kind/gentle/handsome birth.”

Khamisi means “born on Thursday” in Swahili.

Kofi means “born on Friday” in Akan.

Kwabena means “born on Saturday” in Akan.

Kwadwo means “born on Monday” in Akan.

Kwaku means “born on Wednesday” in Akan.

Kwame means “born on Saturday” in Akan.

Kwasi means “born on Sunday” in Akan.

Manoja means “born of the mind” in Sanskrit.

Niraj means “water-born” in Sanskrit.

Nyongesa means “born on Saturday” in Luhya.

Ochieng means “born when the Sun shines” in Luo.

Odhiambo means “born on Afor [a day of the week]” in Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.

Okeke means “born on Eke [a day of the week]” in Igbo.

Okonkwo means “born on Nkwo [a day of the week]” in Igbo.

Okorie means ” born on Orie [a day of the week]” in Igbo.

Omondi means “born early in the morning” in Luo.

Otieno means “born at night” in Luo.

Pankaja means “born of mud” in Sanskrit.

French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist René Descartes, 31 March 1596–11 February 1650

Renato is the male Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Croatian form of Renata. Other forms include Renat (Russian), Renátó (Hungarian), Rinat (Tatar and Bashkir), and René (French, German, Spanish, Czech, Slovak).

Simiyu means “born during the dry season” in Luhya.

Sosigenes means “born safely” in Greek.

Suchart means “born into a good life” in Thai.

Taner means “born at dawn” in Turkish.

Urien means “privileged birth” in Welsh. Unfortunately, this is one of those names which I wouldn’t recommend in the Anglophone world, due to its similarity to the word “urine.”

Wafula means “born during the rainy season” in Luhya.

Wamalwa means “born during the brewing season” in Luhya.

Wanjala means “born during famine” in Luhya.

Wanyonyi means “born during the weeding season” in Luhya.

Wekesa means “born during harvest” in Luhya.

Yao means “born on Thursday” in Ewe.

Yaw means “born on Thursday” in Akan.

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The many forms of Robert

Robert is a perennially popular, timeless classic, the likes of David or Charles. It’s never been out of the Top 100 in the U.S. since records started in 1880. It was #10 when name records began being kept, and, except for being #11 in 1881, was in the Top 10 until 1988. Robert was in the Top 5 for many of those years. From 1924–39, and in 1953, it was #1. For the last few years, it’s held steady in the lower 60s. It was #62 in 2016.

The name is also currently popular in Romania (#15), Iceland (#31), Ireland (#54), Hungary (#55), Scotland (#59), Croatia (#70), and Poland (#71).

Robert is used in English, French (pronounced Ro-BEHR), the Scandinavian languages, German, Dutch, Czech, Polish, Russian, Slovenian, Romanian, and Croatian. The variation Róbert is Hungarian, Slovak, and Icelandic.

The name’s origin is the Old Germanic Hrodebert, “bright fame,” derived from the elements hrod (fame) and beraht (bright). It was introduced to England by the Normans, as a replacement for the Old English Hreodbeorht.

Other forms of the name include:

1. Roberto is Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

2. Robertas is Lithuanian.

3. Robrecht is Dutch.

4. Roberts is Latvian.

5. Ruprecht is German.

6. Roparzh is Breton.

7. Roibeárd is Irish.

8. Raibeart is Scottish.

9. Roopertti is Finnish. Nicknames include Pertti and Roope.

10. Robat is Welsh.

11. Robe is Sami.

12. Robearta is also Sami.

13. Robertos is Greek.

14. Rovertus is an alternate Greek form.

15. Robertus is Dutch. A Latinized form like this would only be used on official documents, not in everyday life.

16. Rudbert is West Frisian.

17. Rûperte is Greenlandic.

18. Lopaka is Hawaiian.

19. Hopcyn is a Welsh nickname.

20. Dobbin is a Medieval English nickname.

21. Dobinet is another Medieval English nickname.

22. Hobelot is also Medieval English.

23. Robelot is Medieval English too. I obviously wouldn’t recommend this one in modern English, since it sounds like “rob a lot.”

24. Hob is also Medieval English.

25. Hopkin is yet another Medieval English nickname. Many of their diminutives don’t appear to make any sense to contemporaries, but they’re not so difficult to understand if one knows it was common to substitute letters; e.g., Bob from Rob, Peg from Meg, Dick from Rick.

26. Rhobert is the more formal Welsh form.

Feminine forms:

1. Roberta is English, Spanish, and Italian.

2. Roberte is French.

3. Ruberta is an alternate English, Dutch, and German form.

4. Roverta is Greek.

When Z replaces S

I love the flair and extra personality brought to a name when Z is used in place of S. Whereas names using K instead of C tend to be from a wider range of languages, switching out S for Z seems to be mostly a feature of Slavic languages, Hungarian, Armenian, Lithuanian, and Latvian.

Elizabeth seems about evenly split. A Z is used in English, Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Slovenian, Polish, and Croatian, while S is used in most other languages’ versions.  Over time, I’ve grown to far prefer the spelling Elisabeth, and love variants such as Eliisabet, Elisabeta, and Elisabetta.

Names using Z in place of the S expected in the Anglophone world include:

Female:

Anastazija, Anastazie, Anastázia, Anasztázia

Izabella, Izabela, Izabelė

Izaura

Izida (most Slavic languages’ form of Isis), Izīda (Latvian form), Izidė (Lithuanian form), Izyda (Polish form)

Izolda

Izydora, Izidóra

Jazmín

Jozefa, Jožefa, Józefa

Jozefina, Józefina, Jozefína, Jozefien, Jozefine

Jozette

Jozina, Jozine, Jozien

Kazimiera, Kazimira

Luiza, Louiza

Roza, Róža, Róża, Ruža, Róza, Rožė, Růžena

Rozalia, Rozalija, Rozalie, Rozália, Rozālija, Rozálie

Tereza, Terezie, Teréz, Terézia, Terezija

Zabel (Armenian form of Isabella)

Zofia, Zsófia, Žofia, Žofie

Zsuzsanna, Zuzana, Zuzanna, Zane

Male:

Ambroży, Ambrož, Ambrozije

Anastazy

Izaak, Izsák, Izaäk, Izák, Izak, Izaokas

Izaiaš, Izaija

Izydor, Izidorius

Jozef, Józef, Jožef, József, Jozefo

Jozias

Jozue (Czech and Slovak form of Joshua), Jozuė (Lithuanian form)

Kazimir, Kazimierz, Kázmér, Kazimír, Kazimieras

Zelig

Zurab (Georgian form of Sohrab, which means “shining” or “red water” in Persian)

Zygfryd

Zygmunt, Zikmund, Zsigmond, Žigmund, Žiga

Apple names

Continuing with this month’s theme of names related to the symbols of Halloween and/or October, here’s a list of names whose meanings relate to the word “apple.” Almost all of the names I discovered are Japanese. I tried to leave out most of the Japanese names which are names in other cultures but completely unrelated etymologically, like Marianna, Moana, Mona, and Anna.

Unless otherwise noted, all the names are Japanese.

Unisex:

Chamomile, though a herb used for tea, literally means “earth apple” in Greek.

Hinami can mean, among many other things, “beautiful apple tree fruit.”

Izana can mean, roughly, “thin silk clothing of the apple tree.”

Kanaru can mean, roughly, “poetry/song of the lapis lazuli apple tree.”

Naiki can mean “apple tree queen/princess,” “apple tree radiance,” “rare apple tree,” “genuine apple tree,” “apple tree longevity,” and “apple tree shine.”

Omena means “apple” in Finnish.

Pomaikalani may mean “apple of the heavens” in Hawaiian.

Ringo can mean “apple” and “peace be with you.” Given the strong association with Ringo Starr in the Anglophone world, I’d recommend this more for a pet’s name.

Senna can mean “deep red apple tree,” “a thousand apple trees,” “immortal apple tree,” “transcendent apple tree,” “fairy apple tree,” and “celestial being apple tree.”

Female:

Abhlach means “of the apples” or “plain of apples” in Irish.

Aeracura was a Roman goddess of Celtic origin, associated with Proserpina and Dis Pater. As a Celtic goddess, she may have been an earth goddess whose symbols included an apple basket and cornucopia. The name may mean “copper/bronze/wealth/money mistress.”

Akana can mean “deep red apple tree,” “crimson apple tree,” and “vermillion apple tree.”

Almabikä is a Bashkir name, whose first element, alma, means “apple.”

Almila means “red apple” in Turkish.

Amena can mean “candy apple tree.”

Ana can mean “second apple tree,” “quiet apple tree,” and “apple tree peace.”

Annamomoka can mean “apple tree flower.”

Atsuna can mean “second apple tree.”

Ayuna can mean, among many other things, “scarlet evening apple tree,” “peaceful apple tree friend,” and “second apple tree dream.”

Erena can mean “beautiful apple tree poem,” “beautiful apple tree blessing,” and “picture of a beautiful apple tree.”

Fumina can mean “apple tree sentence.”

Fuuna can mean “apple tree wind.”

Gurina can mean “apple tree and pear shrine.”

Harukana can mean “distant/remote apple tree.”

Harunako can mean “spring apple tree child.”

Hibikana can mean “beautiful apple tree sound.”

Hinako, among many other things, can mean “scarlet apple tree child,” “queen/princess apple tree rainbow,” and “beauty of the apple tree happiness.”

Honami can mean “to protect the apple tree.”

Isana can mean “brave apple tree.”

Izuna is a very rare name which can mean “fountain of wild apples.”

Joanna can mean “to seem like an apple tree.”

Jurina can mean “apple tree profit.”

Kaena can mean “summer apple tree benefit,” “to increase the benefit of the apple tree,” and “summer painting of the apple tree.”

Kamina can mean “birch reality of the apple tree.”

Kanasa can mean “beautiful apple tree blossom.”

Kanata can mean “beautiful, numerous wild apples.” Depending upon the kanji, it can also be unisex or masculine.

Karena can mean “beautiful tinkling of jade apple tree” and “fragrant tinkling of jade apple tree.”

Karina can mean “beautiful village apple tree,” “beautiful summer apple tree,” and “song of the lovely apple tree.”

Keina can mean “apple tree view” and “beautiful apple tree.”

Kenna can mean “intelligent apple tree” and “silk apple tree.”

Kiena can mean “century apple tree.”

Kikuna can mean “chrysanthemum apple tree.”

Kimina can mean “apple tree noble.”

Kiyona can mean “rejoice at generations of apple trees.”

Kona can mean “yellow apple tree,” “apple tree fragrance,” and “small apple tree.”

Konami can mean “beautiful apple tree lake,” “beautiful apple tree fruit,” and “beautiful apple tree ocean.”

Kurena can mean “crimson apple tree” and “summer crimson apple tree.”

Kyona can mean “red apple.”

Madona can mean “round apple tree.”

Mahina can mean “genuine apple tree empress.”

Manaka can mean “true flower of the apple tree” and “ten thousand wild apples’ fruit.”

Manamina can mean, roughly, “love of a beautiful apple tree.”

Marina can mean “true village apple tree.”

Miana can mean “soul of a second apple tree.”

Mikina can mean “tree trunk of an apple tree,” “fruit of a beautiful apple tree,” and “soul of a majestic apple tree.”

Mikuna can mean “beautiful nine apple trees.”

Monaka can mean “apple tree sprout fragrance.”

Monami can mean “luxuriant wild apple fruit.”

Na can mean “apple tree.”

Nabi can mean “beautiful apple tree.”

Nadzuna can mean “to pluck greens from an apple tree.”

Nagiha can mean “apple tree shrub leaf.”

Naia can mean “apple tree compared to Asia.”

Naira can mean “lightweight fabric clothing of an apple tree.”

Nairo can mean “apple tree colour.”

Nakoto can mean “apple tree koto [harp-like instrument].”

Namimi can mean “apple tree seed’s seed.”

Namino can mean “my apple tree harvest” and “beautiful apple tree field.”

Nanagi can mean “calm apple tree.”

Nanana can mean “apple tree vegetable apple tree.”

Nanaru can mean “apple tree’s apple tree stays.”

Natari can mean “gentle, glassy apple tree.”

Natsuno can mean “my apple tree moon” and “apple tree haven field.”

Nau can mean “apple tree poetry.”

Nazuna can mean “apple tree sand” and “apple tree metropolis apple tree.”

Nichina can mean “to know kindness of the apple tree.”

Nina can mean “two apple trees.”

Olma means “apple” in Uzbek.

Paannsee means “apple” in Burmese.

Pomellina means “little apple” in Medieval Italian.

Pommeline means “little apple” in French.

Reana can mean “beautiful colour of the apple tree.”

Renami can mean “beautiful tinkling of jade apple tree.”

Renona can mean “my apple tree command.”

Riena can mean “painting of a village apple tree.”

Rinako can mean “glassy apple tree child.”

Riona can mean “plum, cherry blossom, apple tree.”

Ririna can mean ” plum, pear, apple tree.”

Ritsuna can mean “chestnut tree, apple tree.”

Rubina can mean “to flow by a beautiful apple tree.”

Rumina can mean “water flows by apple tree.”

Runa can mean “apple tree moon.”

Sakuna can mean “apple tree blossom.”

Senako can mean “holy apple tree child” and “world apple tree soul.”

Serina can mean “west village apple tree.”

Shinna can mean “genuine apple tree.”

Shizuna can mean “apple tree’s aspiration to long life.”

Sorana can mean “sky apple tree.”

Sukina can mean “long life apple tree princess.”

Suna can mean “pleasing apple tree.”

Tekina can mean “suitable apple tree.”

Tsudzuna can mean “moon’s moon apple tree.”

Wawana can mean “apple tree peace flower.”

Yanako can mean “long time apple tree child.”

Yoshina can mean “virtuous apple tree.”

Yumina can mean “apple tree archery.”

Yuzuna can mean “grapefruit, apple tree.”

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.