A to Z reflections 2023

This was my tenth year doing the A to Z Challenge with this blog, and my twelfth with two blogs. For the sixth year in a row, I had a fairly simple theme instead of a research-heavy one like I used to, and I only began researching, writing, and editing my posts in March. Not only that, I waited until the second half of March to begin. However, this year’s theme was too important and timely for me to feel disappointed; on the contrary, doing anything other than Persian names would’ve felt wrong.

One of the gifts for winning NaNo 2022 was a free title setup from IngramSpark, and though I knew I had no chance of coming anywhere close to finishing my radical rewrite of my WIP by 15 March, I just had to see how much I could accomplish by the deadline.

In years prior, I put my posts together many months in advance, sometimes as early as July and August. My initial plan was to research, write, and edit my posts in December 2022, due to the promised threat of the classic WordPress editor being retired on the last day of that year. However, to everyone’s great relief, the classic editor will be retained through at least 2024. Thus, I was able to push off my posts for a few more months.

Someday I do hope to resume my former habit of putting my posts together many months in advance, and returning to more research-heavy themes on my names blog. There’s just such a theme I’ve been wanting to do here since 2017, and I’ve not forgotten about it. Until such time, it’ll remain a secret.

As always, I featured both female and male names on each day, except when I could find zero Persian names for one of those categories, and alternated which sex each post started with. I also featured many unisex names, which are common in Persian. Though I used to feature six each when I did names from a particular language or era, I’ve now abandoned that habit. If I find more than six great, interesting, or noteworthy names, why not include them all? And there are also some days where I unfortunately just couldn’t find more than a few, or could only find one.

Since Persian doesn’t have a W or X, those had to be wildcard days. Though Dari Persian, spoken in Afghanistan, does have a W, there are no names starting with that letter. In the interests of staying as close to my theme as possible, I chose names from Arabic and Azeri. The cultural osmosis between those peoples goes back over a thousand years.

I initially hoped to feature Persian-specific names only, but that soon proved very difficult to adhere to. Because of so much cultural osmosis, primarily via the Islamic conquest, many Persian names are shared in common with Arabic. Oftentimes, the thing that makes a name of Arabic origin specifically Persian is the spelling. E.g., W becomes V, and Q becomes GH or K.

Post recap:

The As of Persian names
The Bs of Persian names
The Cs of Persian names
The Ds of Persian names
The Es of Persian names
The Fs of Persian names
The Gs of Persian names
The Hs of Persian names
The Is of Persian names
The Js of Persian names
The Ks of Persian names
The Ls of Persian names
The Ms of Persian names
The Ns of Persian names
The Os of Persian names
The Ps of Persian names
The Qs of Persian names
The Rs of Persian names
The Ses of Persian names
The Ts of Persian names
The Us of Persian names
The Vs of Persian names
The Ws of Arabic names
The Xes of Azeri names
The Ys of Persian names
The Zs of Persian names


The Ws of Arabic names

Though the Dari Persian alphabet used in Afghanistan has the letter W (in contrast to the alphabet used in Iran), I could find no names starting with a W. When that letter does occur in a Persian name, it’s never at the beginning, and it’s not particularly common either. Hence, today will be a wildcard day.

Because of the historical and religious connection between the Persians and Arabs (albeit not always so friendly!), Arabic names seemed the logical choice for this letter.

Male names:

Wadud means “affectionate, lover.”

Wafai means “loyalty.”

Wafi means “loyal, reliable, perfect, trustworthy.”

Wafiq means “successful.”

Wahab means “giver, bestower.”

Wahb means “gift.”

Wahid means “unique, peerless.”

Wajid means “finder, perceiver” or “loving, affectionate.”

Wajih means “notable, eminent, distinguishable.”

Wali means “friend, helper, protector.”

Walid means “newborn.”

Waqar means “dignity, majesty.”

Waqas means “warrior, breaker, destroyer.”

Waqur means “calm, composed, dignified.”

Wasi means “broad-minded, learnèd, liberal.”

Wasim means “handsome.”

Wazir means “helper, assistant.”

Female names:

Wadha means “clarity, brightness.”

Wafa means “faithfulness, loyalty.”

Waliya means “companion, supporter, caretaker, custodian.”

Waniya means “soft, gentle breeze.”

Warda means “rose.” This has the same root as the Hebrew name Varda, which also means “rose.”

Wasan means “last moments before sleep.”

Widad means “love.”

Unisex names:

Wardi means “rosy, pink.”

Wiam means “harmony.”

The Qs of Medieval Mongolian, Arabic, Dutch, English, and Scandinavian names

Since there are no Medieval Italian or Medieval Tuscan names starting with Q, today is a wildcard. I made sure not to repeat any of the Medieval Q names I used in my 2018 post.

Unisex names:

Qaliyun (Mongolian) means “otter.”

Male names:

Qongqor (Mongolian) means “chestnut” (the horse colour).

Quant (Scandinavian) derives from the Middle High and Middle Low German word quant (trickster, imp, rogue, prankster, smart-aleck).

Quiryn (Dutch) is a form of Quirinus, which possibly derives from the Sabine word quiris (spear).

Female names:

Qasmuna (Moorish Arabic) means “to divide, to distribute.”

Quenylda (English) is a form of the Anglo–Saxon name Cwénhild, derived from Old English roots cwén (woman, wife) and hild (battle, war). My 2018 post on Medieval names included the forms Quenilla and Quenilda.

All about Cyprian

Polish writer and artist Cyprian Norwid, 1821–1883

Cyprian is a Polish and English name which originated with Roman family name Cyprianus (from Cyprus). The variant Cyprián is Slovak. I’ve always found this a really cool, fun, quirky, distinctive name.

Other forms include:

1. Cipriano is Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

2. Ciprian is Romanian. The variation Ciprián is Hungarian and Aragonese.

3. Cyprien is French.

4. Cebrián is Spanish.

5. Cibrán is Galician. The variation Cíbran is Occitan.

6. Cebrià is Catalan.

7. Ciprià is a rare Catalan form.

8. Çipriani is Albanian.

9. Ciprianu is Corsican.

10. Cypriaan is Dutch.

Romanian–American mathematician Ciprian Foias, 1933–2020

11. Ciprijan is Croatian. The variant Ćiprijan is Serbian.

12. Cyprión is Kashubian.

13. Cypryjan is Medieval Polish.

14. Kipiren is Basque.

15. Kiprian is Russian.

16. Kiprijonas is Lithuanian.

17. Kvipriane is Georgian.

18. Kyprian is Ukrainian.

19. Kyprianos is Greek.

20. Sybryan is Arabic.

Filipino politician Cipriano Primicias, Sr., 1901–1965

21. Zipriano is Basque.

22. Zipiro is also Basque.

23. Zyprian is a very rare German form.

Female forms:

1. Cypriana is Dutch, English, German, and Latin.

2. Cipriana is Italian, Romanian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Galician.

3. Cyprienne is French.

4. Cypriane is also French.

5. Cyprianne is Medieval French.

French arts patron and philanthropist Cyprienne Dubernet (1857–1945), painted 1891 by Théobald Chartran

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.