Angelic names

Irish–British–American actress Angela Lansbury, 1925–2022

Names derived from the Greek word angelos (angel; messenger of God) historically have been much more common outside of the Anglophone world. Only in the 20th century did names like Angela, Angelica, and Angelina start becoming popular. On the male side, the name Angel (Ahn-hell) seems to be almost exclusively used on boys from Hispanic families, and Angelo is most frequently used on boys of Italian descent.

Angela is used in English, Italian, German, Dutch, Romanian, Greek, Slovenian, Slovakian, the Scandinavian languages, Estonian, Finnish, Luxembourgish, Flemish, Macedonian, and modern Russian. In all of those languages except English and Italian, it’s pronounced with a hard G. The variant form Angéla is Hungarian; Angèla is Occitan and Gascon; Ángela is Spanish; Àngela is Catalan; and Ângela is Portuguese.

St. Angela Merici of Italy, 1474–1540

Angela was #679 in the U.S. in 1880, the year popularity records began, and gradually rose to the Top 100. It entered that upper echelon in 1956, at #93, and continued climbing upwards very quickly. By 1963, it was already #30, and it was in the Top 10 from 1965–79, holding its highest rank of #5 from 1974–76. The name began a slow descent in popularity in 1980, interrupted a few times by a rise back upwards. In 2021, it was #234.

Angela is also popular in Mexico (#46), Spain (#60), and Italy (#87).

Self-portrait of Swiss artist Angelica Kaufman, 1741–1807

Other forms of the name include:

1. Angelica is Italian, Romanian, Gascon, Provençal, Scandinavian, Romansh, Flemish, Dutch, and German. The variant Angélica is Spanish and Portuguese, and Angèlica is Sicilian.

2. Angélique is French. Without an accent mark, this is also a Dutch name.

3. Anzhelika is the traditional Russian and Ukrainian form.

4. Anzhela is Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, and Belarusian.

5. Angeliki is Greek.

6. Anxhela is Albanian. The sound XH is pronounced like the J in Jupiter.

7. Angyalka is Hungarian. The sound GY is pronounced kind of like the soft, barely perceptible DY sound in due, duel, and during.

8. Ànghela is Sardinian.

9. Anhelina is Ukrainian and Belarusian.

10. Angelina is English, Italian, Greek, Armenian, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Serbian, Bulgarian, Latvian, Croatian, Scandinavian, Provençal, Slovenian, and Russian.

French midwife Angélique du Coudray, ca. 1712–1794

11. Anzhelina is Russian and Ukrainian.

12. Anđela is Serbian and Croatian. Nicknames include Anđa and Anđelka. The variant Anděla is Czech.

13. Aniela is Polish and Kashubian.

14. Angeline is French.

15. Angiola is an Italian variant.

16. Anželika is Latvian and Lithuanian.

17. Andżelika is a Polish variant.

18. Anchela is Aragonese.

19. ʻĀnela is Hawaiian.

20. Ainelag is a rare, modern Manx form.

Polish translator Aniela Zagórska, 1881–1943

21. Andżela is Kashubian.

22. Anelė is Lithuanian.

23. Aela is a modern Breton form.

24. Angele is Scandinavian.

25. Anghjula is Corsican.

26. Àngila is Sicilian.

27. Àngiula is also Sicilian.

28. Ansina is Chuukese, an Austronesian language spoken on the Chuuk islands of the Caroline Islands of Micronesia.

29. Ánxela is Gascon.

30. Ànzela is Sardinian. The variant Anžela is Estonian and Latvian.

American suffragist and mathematician Angeline Stickney (Chloe Angeline Stickney Hall), 1830–92

31. Añjela is a rare Breton form.

32. Aungèle is Norman.

33. Ancèlica is Sicilian.

34. Anchelica is Aragonese.

35. Angilica is Sicilian.

36. Anxélica is Gascon.

37. Anzhalika is Belarusian.

38. Ancilina is Sicilian.

39. Anđelina is Serbian and Croatian.

40. Aungélina is Norman.

American suffragist and abolitionist Angelina Grimké, 1805–79

41. Anghjulina is Corsican.

42. Angilín is Faroese.

43. Angilina is Sicilian.

44. Anxhelina is Albanian.

45. Anzelina is Sardinian.

46. Anxelina is a rare Gascon form.

Italian doctor, parasitologist, hygienist, and philanthropist Angelo Celli (1857–1914)

Male forms of the name include:

1. Ángel is Spanish, and quite popular in that language. The variant Àngel is Catalan, and Angèl is Lengadocian (an Occitan dialect). Without accent marks, this name is sometimes used in Bulgarian, Slovenian, and Macedonian.

2. Angelo is Italian. The variant Ângelo is Portuguese; Anĝelo is Esperanto; and Ángelo is Spanish.

3. Anghel is Romanian.

4. Angiolo is Italian.

5. Ànghelu is Sardinian.

6. Anđelko is Serbian and Croatian.

7. Anđelo is Croatian.

8. Aingeru is Basque.

9. Anxo is Galician.

10. Angelos is Greek.

Romanian historian, writer, and literary critic Anghel Demetriescu, 1847–1903

11. Ankelo is Albanian.

12. Angeoul is Gascon.

13. Angé is also Gascon.

14. Anxhelo is Albanian.

15. Angyal is Hungarian.

16. Ánxel is Asturian.

17. Ánxelu is also Asturian.

18. Àncilu is Sicilian.

19. Angelu is also Sicilian.

20. Àngilu is another Sicilian form.

Bosnian Franciscan friar Anđeo Zvizdović, who negotiated for religious freedom after the Ottoman conquest and occupation of Bosnia (ca. 1420–98)

21. Anđeo is a rare Bosnian and Croatian form.

22. Angiulu is Sicilian.

23. Anzolo is Venetian.

24. Ael is a modern Breton form.

25. Aggelos is modern Greek.

26. Agnul is Friulian.

27. Angelico is Italian and Filipino.

28. Ancilinu is Sicilian.

29. Ánchel is Aragonese.

30. Ancèlicu is Sicilian.

Italian Augustine monk, bibliophile, and scholar Angelico (né Ludovico) Aprosio, 1607–81

31. Ancilinu is Sicilian.

32. Anděl is Czech. The rare, variant form Anđel is Serbian and Croatian.

33. Angelas is Lithuanian.

34. Angèlicu is Sicilian.

35. Angelu is also Sicilian.

36. Angelusz is Hungarian.

37. Anġlu is Maltese.

38. Anzelinu is Sardinian.

39. Ànzelu is also Sardinian.

40. Anxelo is a rare Gascon form.

Unisex forms:

1. Angel is English, though predominantly feminine in that language.

2. Ange is French.

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All about Adrian and Adriana

Legendary MGM costume designer Adrian Adolph Greenburg (1903–1959), known simply as Adrian

I absolutely adore the name Adrian, whether it’s pronounced with long As in the European and Latin American style, or the more common Anglo way AY-dree-yan. It derives from the equally-awesome Latin name Hadrian, which in turn derives from the Latin term Hadrianus, “from Hadria.” Hadria was a Northern Italian town from whence the Adriatic Sea derives its name.

Adrian is used in English, Polish, Russian, Romanian, German, and the Scandinavian languages. The alternate form Adrián is Hungarian, Spanish, Slovakian, Czech, Catalan, and Galician. Adrían is Icelandic.

Pope Adrian VI (1459–1523), painted circa 1625

Though the name has been used in the Anglophone world since the Middle Ages, and was borne by the only English Pope to date, it only became popular fairly recently. It was #403 in the U.S. in 1880, the first year name popularity records were kept, and remained fluctuating among the 300s, 400s, and 500s until 1959, when it began a slow and steady rise from #354 to a respectable high of #56 in 2008, 2010, and 2019. It’s gone up and down in rank since entering the Top 100 in 1985, at #93, but hasn’t been out of the Top 100 since 1989.

Adrian is also currently popular in Spain (#13), Sweden (#24), Galicia (#25), Croatia (#37), Norway (#40), Mexico (#41), Basque County, Spain (#43), Austria (#53), Catalonia (#56), Poland (#59), Canada (#70 in 2019), the Czech Republic (#78 in 2016), Hungary (#82), Switzerland (#92), and Slovenia (#96).

German artist Adrian Ludwig Richter (1803–1884), painted 1836 by Wilhelm von Kügelgen

Other forms of the name include:

1. Adriano is Portuguese and Italian.

2. Adrians is Latvian.

3. Adriaan is Dutch.

4. Adrien is French.

5. Adrijan is Macedonian and Croatian.

6. Adrianus is the more formal Dutch form, though almost no one in The Netherlands goes by a Latin form of their name in everyday life.

7. Arjan, also spelt Arian and Ariaan, is Dutch. This started as a short form of Adriaan, but has become very popular as a given name in its own right. Originally, Arian was the most popular spelling, but now Arjan has eclipsed it.

8. Jadran is Serbian, Slovenian, and Croatian.

9. Jadranko is also Serbian, Slovenian, and Croatian.

10. Adrià is Catalan.

Flemish composer Adriaan Willaert (circa 1490–1562)

11. Adrao is a rare Galician form.

12. Adriam is Brazilian–Portuguese.

13. Adrianas is Lithuanian.

14. Adrianos is Greek.

15. Adrianu is Corsican, Sicilian, and Sardinian.

16. Adrión is Kashubian.

17. Aidrian is Irish.

18. Atrianu is Sicilian.

19. Adriyan is Russian and Bulgarian.

20. Entěrian is Chuvash.

21. Adorján is Hungarian.

Italian composer Adriana Basile (circa 1580–1640), drawn by Nicolas Perrey

Adriana is probably the most common feminine form. It’s used in English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Portuguese, Dutch, Bulgarian, Czech, Slovakian, Polish, Galician, Albanian, Occitan, Ukrainian, Kashubian, Gascon, Provençal, Swedish, Dutch, and Armenian. The alternate form Adriána is Hungarian and Slovakian; Adriāna is Latvian; and Adríana is Icelandic.

The name enjoys popularity in Armenia (#18), Spain (#33), the Czech Republic (#37 in 2016), Galicia (#42), Catalonia (#68), Latvia (#77), Mexico (#82), and Portugal (#87 in 2018).

Other forms include:

1. Adrienne is French.

2. Adriene is Brazilian–Portuguese.

3. Adrianna is Polish.

4. Adrijana is Serbian, Slovenian, Macedonian, and Croatian.

5. Adrienn is Hungarian.

6. Hadriana is Latin.

7. Adriena is Slovakian.

8. Adriyana is Bulgarian and Russian.

9. Adriane is a rare German form.

10. Adirane is Basque.

French actor Adrienne Lecouvreur, 1692–1730

11. Adryyana is Belarusian.

12. Akaliana, or Akaliane, is Hawaiian.

13. Atriana is Sicilian.

14. Odriana is Medieval Flemish.

The As of Ukrainian names

This year, for tragically obvious reasons, my A to Z theme will be Ukrainian names. Though many names in that language also occur in other Slavic languages, I’ll try my best to stick with uniquely Ukrainian names. I’ll also try to avoid repeating any of the names I featured when I did a general Slavic names theme in April 2019. Feel free to let me know if I missed any names for any of the letters!

Because Ukrainian Cyrillic lacks a J, Q, W, and X, those days will be wildcards with names from other languages.

Female names:

Ahlaya is the Ukrainian form of Greek name Aglaia (beauty, splendour), one of the three Graces.

Ahnesa is the Ukrainian form of Agnes, which derives from Greek name Hagne and root hagnos (chaste). Because St. Agnes was often pictured with a lamb, the name took on an association with the Latin word agnus (lamb).

Alevtyna may be a variant of Valentina, which derives from Roman cognomen Valens (strong, healthy, vigourous).

Anhelika is a form of Angelica, derived from both Latin word angelicus (angelic) and Greek angelos (messenger).

Anichka is a diminutive of Anna, the Slavic form of the Hebrew name Chana (grace, favour).

Anisiya is the Ukrainian form of Greek name Anysia, which probably means “completion, fulfillment.”

Archelaya is a rare, archaic form of the male Greek name Archelaos (master of the people).

Avhusta is the Ukrainian form of Augusta (venerable, exalted), derived from Latin root augere (to increase).

Male names:

Afinahor comes from the Greek name Athenogoras, which derives from Athena (meaning unknown) and either agoreuo (to orate, to speak publicly) or agora (market, assembly).

Ahapit comes from Greek name Agapetos (beloved).

Akhayik comes from Greek name Achaikos (a reference to the Achaia region)

Akhemenid is a rare form of the Greek name Achaimenides (son of Achaimenes). In turn, Achaimenes comes from the Old Persian name Haxāmaniš, which derives from roots haxā (friend) and manah (mind, thinking power).

Aliksey is a variant form of Aleksey, which comes from Greek name Alexis (helper, defender).

Andriy is the Ukrainian form of Andrew, which comes from Greek name Andreas and root andreios (manly, masculine).

Antin is a folk form and older form of Anton, which comes from Roman family name Antonius (of unknown Etruscan origin).

Arkhelay is the Ukrainian form of Greek name Archelaos (master of the people).

Avhust is the Ukrainian form of Augustus (venerable, exalted), derived from Latin root augere (to increase).

The As of Medieval Tuscan and Italian names

This year, in honour of Dante’s 700th Jahrzeit (death anniversary) in September, my A to Z theme is Medieval Tuscan and Italian names. Since I already did Medieval names in general a few years ago, I’ll try my best to avoid repeating anything.

Because I could find no Medieval Tuscan or Italian names starting with the letters K, Q, W, X, or Y, those days will be wildcards featuring other kinds of Medieval names.

Female names:

Albiza (T)

Altaluna (I) means “sublime, noble, grand moon” or “big moon.”

Altapasqua (I) means “elevated Easter” or “sublime, grand, noble Easter.”

Amatasana (I) means “loved and healthy.”

Angiola (T) is a form of Angela (i.e., Angel). This is also a Piedmontese name.

Angnolina (T) is a form of Angelina, a diminutive form of Angela.

Anthonia (T) is a form of Antonia, the feminine form of Antonius. The name is of unknown Etruscan origin. This is also a Medieval Occitan name.

Ardita (T)

Austina (T) is a short form of Augustina in Tuscan and the Sicilian form of Agustina. The ultimate root of all these names is the Latin name Augustus (exalted, venerable), from the word augere (to increase).

Male names:

Adelchi (I) comes from the Ancient Germanic name Adelgis, derived from roots adal (noble) and gisil (arrow). This was the name of a Lombard prince.

Agnolo (I, T) is a form of Angelo (angel) or Agnello (lamb). This was the name of a 14th century chronicler.

Aiulf (I) has Ancient Germanic origins, with roots agin (edge of a sword) and wulf (wolf).

Alfano (I) is a form of Alfunus, which may be related to Alphonse. If so, the origin is a Visigothic name meaning “noble and ready,” from roots adal (noble) and funs (ready).

Amadore (I) comes from Latin name Amator (lover of God). This was the name of a fifth century bishop. The modern Italian form is Amatore.

Atenolfo (I) is a form of Ancient Germanic name Atenulf. There were a number of Medieval princes, dukes, counts, and clergymen with this name.

Mirror names

Since mirrors are often used in horror movies, here’s a list of names whose meanings relate to the word “mirror.”

Aaina (F) is Urdu and Hindi.

Aina (F) is Kazakh, from Persian ayneh.

Ainash (F) is Kazakh.

Amira (F) can mean “love mirror” in Japanese. This is a completely different name from the Arabic Amira, which means “princess.”

Aýna (F) is Turkmeni.

Aynagözel (F) means “beautiful mirror” in Turkmeni.

Gulyona (F) means “rose mirror, flower mirror” in Uzbek.

Gyuzgyush (F) is Lezgian, a Northeast Caucasian language primarily spoken in Dagestan and northern Azerbaijan.

Kyouhei (M) can mean “peace mirror,” “36 square foot mirror,” “mirror army,” “mirror soldier,” “mirror design,” and “mirror pattern” in Japanese.

Oyna (F) is Uzbek.

Oynaband (F) means “decorated with mirrors” in Uzbek.

Oynagul (F) means “flower mirror, rose mirror” in Uzbek.

Oynajamol (F) means “mirror beauty” in Uzbek.

Oynaxol (F) means “mirror beauty mark” in Uzbek. X is pronounced like the guttural CH in loch and Chanukah.

Tezcatlipoca (M) means “smoking mirror” in Nahuatl. This was the name of a major Aztec god, who ruled winds, the night sky, the north, and war. He was also one of the creator gods.

Ugluspegill (M) means “owl mirror” in Icelandic. This is a rare, modern name.

Yayauhqui (U) means “black smoking mirror” in Nahuatl.