This year, my A to Z theme is Estonian names, with a focus on names unique to the language instead of Estonian forms of well-known names like Katherine, John, Mary, and Thomas. Because Estonian is a Finno–Ugric language, its uniqueness really shows in its native names. They’re far different from the Indo–European names they adopted into their own language.
Those familiar with Finnish will notice a fair amount of onomastic overlap, since the two languages are very similar. However, Estonian also has a lot of cognates with German and Russian, owing to the centuries of occupation under their hands. While Estonian is in the same language family as Hungarian, there’s little to no similarity between the Finnic and Ugric linguistic branches.
Aasa means “meadow.”
Aave means “ghost.” This is also sometimes used as a male name.
Ainu, or Aine, means “the only one.” The Finnish forms are Aino and Aini. A very similar Estonian name, Aina, means “always.”
Aita means “to help.”
Alati means “always.”
Asta is a short form of Astrid (beautiful goddess). It’s the most popular name among women over age 85, and the average age of an Asta is 77.
Aare means “treasure.”
Aigar is of unknown origin, first appearing in the early 20th century.
Aimur means “generous amount.” The Finnish form is Aimo.
Alev means “burrow.”
Alvar means “elf warrior.” This name was adopted from Swedish and Old Norse.
Armas means “cute; lovely.” This is also a Finnish name.