Memorable names

To mark the upcoming Memorial Day, here’s a list of names whose meanings relate to the words “memory” and “remember.” Many of the names I found are Greek and Lithuanian.

Unisex:

Chikumbutso means “memory” in Chewa, a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.

Kumbukani means “remember” in Chewa.

Oluranti, or Oluwaranti, means “God remembers” in Yoruba.

Remember was a Virtue name in the Pilgrim/Puritan era.

Male:

Algminas comes from the Lithuanian alga (reward; salary) and minėti (to remember, to commemorate; to celebrate).

Alminas comes from the Lithuanian al (everything) and minėti.

Almintas comes from the Lithuanian al and mintis (thought). The latter element is related to minti (to remember, to recall).

Arminas, as an independent Lithuanian name instead of the Lithuanian form of the German Armin, comes from ar (also) and minėti.

Darmintas comes from the Lithuanian daryti (to act, to d0, to work) and mintis.

Daugmintas comes from the Lithuanian daug (much) and mintis.

Domintas is a rare Lithuanian name derived from the Old Lithuanian dovis or dotas (present, gift) and mintis.

Ekiye means “remember me” in Ijaw, a language spoken in Nigeria.

Funganayi means “remember each other” in Shona, a Bantu language spoken in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Gailiminas comes from the Old Lithuanian gailas (potent, strong; remorseful, sorrowful, miserable; jagged, sharp; violent, fierce, angry), and the modern Lithuanian galia (force, might, power). The second element is minėtiMingailas is a flipped form.

Gaudminas comes from the Lithuanian gaudyti (to take, to hunt, to catch) or gaudus (sonorous, echoing, loud, ringing, resonant), and minėtiMingaudas is a flipped form.

Gedmintas comes from the Old Lithuanian gedauti (to ask) or modern Lithuanian gedėti (to grieve, to mourn, to miss, to long, to yearn, to pine), and mintisMingedas is a flipped form.

Gosminas is a rare Lithuanian name derived from the Old Lithuanian gosti or gostis (to crave, to desire; to seek, to strive, to pursue) and minėti.

Ituaton means “remember me” in Ijaw.

Kęsminas is derived from the Lithuanian kęsti (to cope; to suffer, to endure, to undergo) and minėti.

Kujtim means “remembrance” in Albanian.

Liaudminas comes from the Lithuanian liaudis (people, folk) and minėti.

Mantminas comes from the Lithuanian mantus (intelligent), or manta (property, estate, riches, fortune, wealth), and minėti. A flipped form is Minmantas.

Mímir means ” memory” in Old Norse, and was the name of a god with omniscient knowledge and wisdom.

Mimulf is an Ancient Germanic name also derived from the element mímir, coupled with the Gothic vulfs (wolf).

Minalgas comes from minėti or mintis, and alga.

Mingintas comes from mintis or minėti, and ginti (to defend, to protect).

Mingirdas comes from mintis or minėti, and girdas (rumour).

Minjotas comes from mintis or minėti, and joti (to ride horseback).

Mintautus comes from the Baltic tauta (nation, people) and minėti. The flipped form is Tautminas.

Minvaidas is a rare Lithuanian name derived from mintis or minėti, and the Old Lithuanian vaidyti (to appear, to visit). The flipped form is Vaidminas.

Minvainas comes from mintis or minėti, and the Old Lithuanian vaina (fault; cause, reason).

Minvilas comes from mintis or minėti, and the Baltic vil (hope).

Minvydas comes from mintis or minėti, and the Baltic vyd (to see). The flipped form is Vydminas.

Mnemon means “mindful” in Greek, derived from mneme (memory, remembrance), and ultimately from mnaomai (to remember, to be mindful of).

Mnesarchos is derived from the Greek mnesios (of memory), which itself is derived from mnemoneuo (to remember, to call to mind, to think of). In turn, mnemoneuo is derived from mnaomai. The second element may be either archos (leader, master) or arche (source, origin, beginning).

Mnesikles is derived from mnesios (of memory) and kleos (glory).

Mnesitheos is derived from mnesios and theos (God).

Mnesos is also derived from mnesios.

Muninn comes from the Old Norse munr (mind), and is the name of one of Odin’s two ravens. Muninn symbolizes Memory. Every day, he and the other raven, Huginn, fly all over the world to get information and news for Odin.

Normintas comes from the Lithuanian noras (desire, wish) and mintis.

Oroitz means “memory” in Basque.

Tonderai means “remember” in Shona.

Vaimintas is a rare Lithuanian name derived from the Old Lithuanian vajoti (to pursue, to chase), or vajys (courier, messenger), and mintis.

Virminas comes from the Lithuanian vyrauti (to prevail, to dominate) and minėti.

Visminas comes from the Baltic vis (all) and minėti.

Yozachar means “God remembered” in Hebrew.

Žadminas is a rare Lithuanian name derived from žadėti (to promise) and minėti.

Zechariah, or Zachariah, is the Anglicized form of the Hebrew Zecharyah, which means “God remembers.” Other forms include Zacharias (Greek), Zakariás (Hungarian), Zacharie (French), Zachariasz (Polish), Zakaria (Georgian and Arabic), Zaccharias (Latin), Zakariya and Zakariyya (Arabic), Zakhar (Russian), Zahari (Bulgarian), Zacarías (Spanish), ZacharyZachery, and Zackary (English), Sachairi (Scottish), Sakari (Finnish), Zaharija and Zakarije (Serbian and Croatian), Zakar (Armenian and Mordvin), Zakarija (Croatian), Zaccaria (Italian), Zakaría (Icelandic), and Zekeriya (Turkish).

Zichri means “remembrance” in Hebrew.

Female:

Coventina was a British Celtic goddess of springs and water. Her name derives from Proto–Celtic kom-men (memory) and ti-ni (to melt, to disappear).

Jadyrah, or Zhadyrah, is a Kazakh name possibly derived from jad/zhad (memory).

Khatereh means “memory” in Persian.

Mimigard is an Ancient Germanic name derived from the Old Norse mímir (memory) and gardan (to fence in, to hedge in, to enclose). Mímir was also the name of a god who had omniscient knowledge and wisdom.

Mneme means “memory” in Greek.

Mnemosyne means “remembrance” in Greek. She was the Muse of memory.

Mnesarete roughly means “commemorating virtue.” It comes from the Greek mnesios (of memory), which is in turn derived from mnemoneuo and mnaomai; and arete (goodness, skill, excellence, virtue).

Remembrance was a Virtue name in the Puritan/Pilgrim world.

Smriti means “memory” in Sanskrit.

Tizita means “memory” in Amharic, the language spoken in Ethiopia.

Yeukai means “remember” in Shona.

Zacharine is a rare feminine form of Zachary, found in English, Norwegian, and German.

Names with heart

To mark the upcoming Valentine’s Day, here are some names whose meanings relate to the word “heart.”

Unisex:

Dilshad means “happy heart, cheerful” in Persian.

Kamon means “heart, mind” in Thai.

Maeum means “heart, mind” in Korean. This is a modern, not traditional, name.

Manpaul means “protector of the heart” in Punjabi.

Manprit, or Manpreet, means “near to the heart” or “love of the heart” in Punjabi.

Muretu means “light-hearted” in Estonian.

Obioma means “good heart” in Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria.

Paidamoyo means “what the heart desired was granted” in Shona, a Bantu language spoken in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Mozambique.

Xinjing can mean “heart of crystal” in Chinese.

Xinyi is a Chinese name composed of the elements xin, which can mean “heart, mind, soul,” and yi, which can mean “harmony, joy.” Many other meanings are also possible.

Yollotzin means “belovèd heart” in Nahuatl.

Male:

Akzhurek means “white heart” in Kazakh.

Ardil means “fire heart” in Kurdish.

Avtandil is a Georgian name meaning “sunshine heart,” drawn from Persian. This is the legendary hero of poet Shota Rustaveli’s 12th century epic The Knight in the Panther’s Skin.

Dilawar means “one who has heart” in Persian.

Dilesh means “king of hearts” in Sanskrit.

Fawad is Urdu.

Fuad is Arabic.

Hubert means “bright heart” in Ancient Germanic.

Hugh is an English name, derived from the Germanic element hug, “heart, spirit, mind.” Hugo is a common variant.

Hughard means “brave/hardy heart” in Ancient Germanic.

Hugleikr means “heart play” in Old Norse.

Kordian is a very rare Polish name, derived from the Latin word cordis/cor, “heart.”

Lev is Hebrew.

Obi is Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria.

Obichukwu means “heart of God” in Igbo.

Obinna means “father’s heart” in Igbo.

Shinpei can mean “calm heart” in Japanese.

Shungudzemwoyo means “yearnings of the heart” in Shona.

Thaddeus is an English and Latin name of contested etymology, with one suggested etymology being that it’s derived from a word meaning “heart.”

Zhanbolat means “brave heart” in Kazakh.

Female:

Bihotz is Basque.

Chiiko can mean “thousand-heart child” in Japanese.

Corazón is Spanish.

Cordula is Latin and German.

Delara means “adorning the heart” in Persian.

Dila is Kurdish, Indonesian, and Turkish, derived from Persian.

Dilva means “from the heart” in Kurdish.

Gönül is Turkish.

Gulisa means “little heart” in Georgian.

Kamira can mean “good flower heart” in Japanese.

Kamonchat means “peaceful heart” in Thai.

Karnika means “heart of the lotus” in Sanskrit.

Koharu is a Japanese name composed of the elements ko, which can mean “heart,” and haru, which can mean “spring (the season).” There are also many other possible meanings.

Kokomi can mean “beautiful heart” in Japanese.

Kokone can mean “heart sound” in Japanese.

Kokoro can mean “heart, soul, mind” in Japanese.

Kokoru is a Japanese name composed of the elements koko, which can mean “heart, soul, mind,” and ru, which means “lapis lazuli.”

Konul is Azeri.

Libi means “my heart” in Hebrew.

Shinshin can mean “double heart” in Japanese. This meaning of the kanji shin is mostly feminine. When used as a masculine name, it has a different meaning.

Verticordia means “turner of hearts” in Latin. This was one of Venus’s epithets.

Yolotl is Nahuatl.

Yoloxochitl means “heart flower” in Nahuatl.

Yoltzin means “little heart” in Nahuatl.

Zamira means “heart, honor” in Bashkir.

Graceful names

The name Grace has had a huge surge in popularity in the last twenty years. It was in the U.S. Top 20 from 1880 to 1908, and then remained first in the Top 50 and then the Top 100 until 1938. It never dropped below #397 (in 1977), but it didn’t regain its former popularity until 1995, when it re-entered the Top 100 at #97. It began surging upward quicker and quicker, peaking at #13 in 2003 and 2004. In 2015, it was #19.

If you like the name and/or its meaning, but would prefer something a bit more below the radar, here are some names to consider. As always, these could be used for fictional characters or pets, not just children. I know some of these names wouldn’t work so well in a modern, Anglophone country!

Unisex:

Chisomo is Chewa, a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Mozambique.

Yahui can mean “graceful favour/benefit” in Chinese.

Yating is a Chinese name composed of the elements ya, which can mean “graceful, refined, elegant,” and ting, which can mean “graceful, pretty.”

Yazhu can mean “graceful lute/zither” in Chinese.

Zedong is a Chinese name composed of the elements ze, which can mean “grace, brilliance, moist,” and dong, which can mean “east.”

Female:

Amara is Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria.

Amarachi means “God’s grace” in Igbo.

Charis is Greek.

Eun-Jeong is a Korean name composed of the elements eun, which can mean “attentive, careful, anxious” or “charity, kindness, mercy,” and jeong, which can mean “graceful, pretty.”

Ghada means “graceful woman” in Arabic.

Graça is Portuguese.

Gracia is Spanish.

Gratia is German.

Grazia is Italian.

Juan can mean “graceful” in Chinese. For obvious reasons, I wouldn’t recommend this in either an Anglophone or Hispanophone country!

Krupa is Sanskrit.

Lavanya is Sanskrit.

Na can mean “graceful” in Chinese.

Nyazik means “graceful” in Turkmen.

Sanaz may mean “full of grace” in Persian.

Seo-Yeon is a Korean name composed of the elements seo, which can mean “auspicious, felicitous omen,” and yeon, which can mean “graceful, beautiful.”

Ya can mean “graceful” in Chinese.

Yaling can mean “graceful tinkling of jade” in Chinese.

Yawen can mean “graceful cloud patterns” in Chinese.

Male:

Armo is Finnish.

Chares is Greek. This was the name of the sculptor of the Colossus of Rhodes.

Chariton is Greek.

Esmond is derived from the Old English elements east (grace) and mund (protection).

Fadl is Arabic.

Gratian comes from the Latin name Gratianus.

Hulderic means “graceful power/rule” in Ancient Germanic.

Khariton is Russian and Georgian.

Sulo is Finnish.

Zayn is Arabic.

Names for the discerning arachnophile

If you’re a passionate arachnophile like I am, you may have considered giving either your child or your pet tarantula a spider-themed name. Everyone knows the Greek name Arachne, but there are a lot of other names with an arachnid flavour to consider. I was delighted to discover not only some new-to-me names whose meanings relate to spiders, but also to discover a number of spider genera names could work as personal names too.

Male:

Anansi means “spider” in Akan, a Central Tano language spoken in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Benin. This is the name of a popular folklore character who often assumes the form of a spider.

Araneus is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Ariamnes is a type of cobweb spider.

Atrax is a type of venomous spider.

Corryn means “spider” in Welsh.

Dolomedes is a type of large spider, resembling a wolf spider. The word means “deceitful, wily” in Greek.

Eresus is a type of velvet spider.

Hasarius is a type of jumping spider.

Menemerus is another type of jumping spider.

Níngut can mean “spiderweb” in Greenlandic.

Sicarius is a desert spider.

Simalio is a type of sac spider.

Tartarus is a cave-dwelling spider. The name comes from a place in the Greek underworld, even lower than Hades. This was also the name of a primordial deity.

Tenedos is a type of ant spider.

Thanatus is a type of false crab spider. This is also the Latinized spelling of Thanatos, the Greek god of Death.

Theridion is a type of tangle-web spider.

Tibellus is a type of slender crab spider.

Wabasso is a type of sheet-weaving spider.

Zelotes is a type of ground spider.

Zodarion is a type of ant-eating spider.

Zosis is a type of non-venomous spider.

Female:

Acacesia is a type of orb-weaver spider.

Admestina is a type of jumping spider.

Aganippe is a type of spider which resembles a tarantula, and the name of several women in Greek mythology. The name means “gentle horse” in Greek.

Agelena is a type of spider which traps its prey by weaving entangled, non-sticky funnel webs.

Agyneta is a type of sheet-weaver spider.

Allocosa is a type of wolf spider.

Alopecosa is another type of wolf spider.

Andasta is a type of ray spider.

Arania means “spider” in Persian.

Araniella is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Anansia is the feminine form of Anansi.

Archaea is an extinct type of assassin spider.

Arctosa is a type of wolf spider.

Argiope is a type of spider with a very strikingly-coloured abdomen. The name means “silver-faced” in Greek.

Artema is a type of cellar spider.

Bagheera is a type of jumping spider.

Bellota is another type of jumping spider.

Bredana is also a jumping spider.

Bromella is a type of hackled band-producing spider.

Camillina is a type of ground spider.

Cantuaria is a large spider which resembles a tarantula.

Carniella is a type of tangle web spider.

Cataxia is a large spider resembling a tarantula.

Catumiri is a type of tarantula. I could also see this name working on a boy or a male tarantula.

Cerocida is a type of spider found only in the tropics of South America.

Cesonia is a type of ground spider.

Cicurina is a type of hackled band-producing spider.

Clubiona is a type of leafcurling sac spider.

Colima is a Mexican-only ant spider.

Colopea is a type of spider which produces ecribellate silk.

Dalmasula is a type of goblin spider.

Dasumia is a type of woodlouse-hunting spider.

Dictyna is a type of hackled band-producing spider.

Diplura is a type of funnel-web tarantula.

Dysdera is a type of woodlouse hunting spider.

Erigone is a type of fanged, carnivorous spider.

Eriophora is a type of orb-weaving spider. The word means “to carry wool” in Greek.

Eris is a type of jumping spider. This was also the name of the Greek goddess of discord (which is also the meaning of the name).

Evarcha is a type of jumping spider.

Filistata is a type of carnivorous, fanged spider.

Galeosoma is a large spider resembling a tarantula.

Genysa is another large spider resembling a tarantula.

Ghelna is a type of jumping spider.

Gladicosa is a type of wolf spider.

Gossamer is the fine silk spiderlings use when they balloon through the air. This is also a very sheer, light, gauzy fabric.

Hentzia is a type of jumping spider.

Hersilia is a type of long-spinnered bark spider.

Hexura is a type of sheet funnel-web spider.

Kaira is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Larinia is another type of orb-weaving spider.

Lutica is a type of ant spider.

Maevia is a type of jumping spider.

Mangora is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Marpissa is a type of jumping spider.

Metellina is a type of long-jawed orb-weaving spider.

Micaria is a type of ground spider.

Moneta is a type of tangle-web spider.

Nagaina is a type of jumping spider, and a cobra in Rudyard Kipling’s famous story Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.

Neonella is a type of jumping spider. This is very similar to the old Russian name Neonila.

Nephila is a type of golden silk orb-weaving spider. The name means “fond of spinning” in Greek.

Palfuria is a type of ant spider.

Parameta is a type of long-jawed orb-weaving spider.

Pardosa is a type of wolf spider.

Pelegrina is a type of jumping spider. This is also the name of a famous pearl, with a disputed etymology.

Pirata is a type of wolf spider.

Portia is a type of jumping spider. This name was famously invented by Shakespeare for The Merchant of Venice, based on the Latin name Porcia (pig).

Sarinda is an ant-like jumping spider. This is also a traditional Indian instrument.

Synema is a type of crab spider.

Talavera is a type of jumping spider.

Tangata is a type of six-eyed spider.

Tegenaria is a type of funnel-web spider.

Telema is a type of fanged spider.

Theraphosa is a type of tarantula.

Theridula is a type of cobweb spider.

Thiodina is a type of jumping spider.

Ummidia is a type of trapdoor spider.

Ursa is a type of orb-weaving spider. The name means “bear” in Latin.

Wirada is a small, dark brown spider.

Zaitunia is a type of crevice-weaving spider.

Zilla is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Deathly names!

Some people might be very off-put by names whose meanings relate to Death, but it’s a perfect theme for a Halloween names list. It’s a shame so many modern Westerners are so terrified of Death, when it’s a normal part of life for everyone. There really is something to be said for how the cultural shift towards dying in hospitals instead of at home, coupled with the average lifespan becoming so much longer, contributed to this fear and mystery surrounding the final life passage, this journey we all must make alone, taking our last step of mortal life and our first step into the next life.

Unisex:

Chepi means “ghost” in Algonquin. This is another name for Hobomock, the spirit of Death.

Kalma means “corpse stench” in Finnish, and is sometimes used as a poetic word for Death. This is the name of the goddess of Death and decay.

Tomoe can mean “death” in Japanese.

Female:

Achlys means “mist” in Greek. In Greek mythology, she was the personification of misery, sadness, and the Mist of Death (i.e., the clouding-over of the eyes just before Death). She was created even before Chaos, which would make her the very first being created in Greek mythology.

Chiwa means “death” in Yao, a Bantu language spoken in Malawi, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

Eingana is a creator goddess in Australian Aboriginal mythology, a snake goddess of Death, and a symbol of Death.

Ereshkigal means “queen of the great Earth” in Mesopotamian. She was the goddess of Irkalla, the Mesopotamian underworld.

Giltinė means “to stab/sting” in Lithuanian, and is the name of their goddess of Death.

Irkalla is another name for Ereshkigal.

Mania, or Manea, is the feminine form the Latin name Manius, which means “good” or “to think.” She was a Etruscan and Roman goddess of Death, and the mother of ghosts, the undead, and other spirits of the night.

Morana was the Slavic goddess of Death and Winter. It’s taken from a Slavic root meaning “death, plague.” The name is commonly used in Croatia. Marzanna is the Polish form.

Morella is a name invented by Edgar Allan Poe for the title character of an 1835 story. One of several theories posits he may have created it by adding a diminutive suffix to the Latin word mors, “death.”

Solikha means “flower of Death” in Khmer. An old Sanskrit text says it was a large black flower, with very sweet-scented dew, at the top of a mountain of corpses. People falsely believed it granted wishes, but those who trekked up the mountain in search of it discovered it revealed one’s true intentions. Those with true intentions had the path of enlightenment revealed, while those with false intentions were poisoned by the dew and became part of the mountain.

Urðr means “death, destiny, fate” in Old Norse.

Male:

Aeacus is the Latinized form of the Greek Aiakos, which either means “to run” or “lamentable, wailing.” After his death, he became one of the three judges of the dead, and guardian of Hades’s keys.

Aipaloovik is an Inuit sea god of Death and destruction.

Azrael, or Azriel, means “help of God.” He’s the Angel of Death in Judaism and Islam.

Erra, or Irra, was the Babylonian god of Death, destruction, mayhem, and pestilence. He was also responsible for periods of political confusion.

Holler was the Old Norse god of Death and destruction, and the one responsible for diseases and disasters. He loved dragging people into his dungeon to torture them to death.

Merripen is a Romani name which may mean “death.”

Mot means “death” in Ugaritic. He was  the god of Death and lord of the underworld.

Nástrǫnd means “shore of Death” or “corpse shore” in Old Norse. This was the name of the afterlife reserved for those guilty of murder, oath-breaking, and adultery.

Nektarios means “nectar” in Greek; the word “nectar” itself may mean “overcoming Death,” from the Proto–Indo–European roots nek (Death) and tar (overcoming).

Osiris is the Hellenized form of Asar, the Egyptian god of the dead and judge of the underworld.

Pushmataha may mean “a messenger of Death” in Choctaw.

Sariel means “God’s command” in Hebrew. He’s a benevolent Angel of Death in Judaism.

Sephtis means “eternal Death” in Persian.

Thanatos means “death” in Greek. He was the god of Death.

Yama means “restraint” or “twin” in Sanskrit. This is the Hindu god of Death, and the first mortal who died in The Vedas.

Zetsumei means “the end of life” in Japanese.