Happy Halloween!—Monstrous names

Happy Halloween! Here’s a list of names whose meanings relate to the word “monster,” and names of monsters from mythology and folklore.

Male:

Enenra can mean “smoky, smoky lightweight fabric” in Japanese. This is a mythological monster composed of smoke. He lives in bonfires and takes human form when he emerges. It’s said an enenra can only be seen by the pure of heart.

Grendel is the monster in the Old English epic Beowulf.

Ikuchi is a legendary Japanese sea monster.

Isonade is a huge, shark-like sea monster said to live off the western Japanese coast.

Kaibutsu means “monster” in Japanese.

Leviathan is a Biblical sea monster. The name derives from the Hebrew livyatan (coiled, twisted).

Lyngbakr is a massive, whale-like sea monster in Norse mythology.

Tseeveyo is a Hopi monster.

Typhon, a giant, monstrous snake, is the deadliest creature in Greek mythology. He tried to overthrow Zeus, and was cast into Tartarus, or buried under Mount Etna or on the island of Ischia. The etymology is disputed.

Female:

Amanozako is a monstrous Japanese goddess.

Charybdis is a sea monster in Greek mythology. She lives under a small rock on one side of a narrow channel, and swallowed and belched out huge quantities of water thrice a day. This created whirlpools large enough to drag ships underwater.

Echidna is a monster in Greek mythology, half-woman and half-snake, who lives alone in a cave.

Keto means “sea monster” in Greek. She personifies the sea’s dangers, and is the daughter of Gaia and Pontos, and the mother of Scylla, Echidna, and the Gorgons.

Lamia may mean “throat” in Greek. She was a Queen of Libya who had an affair with Zeus, and Hera, being Hera, killed Lamia’s children in revenge. Lamia went mad and transmogrified into a child-hunting monster.

Scylla, or Skylla, lives under a large rock opposite Charybdis.

Corny, wheaten names

To continue with October’s theme of names relating to the symbols of Halloween, here’s a list of names related to the words “wheat” and “corn.”

Unisex:

Cinteotl, also known as Centeotl and Centeocihuatl, was the Aztec god of maize (i.e., corn). On some occasions, this deity had both male and female attributes The name means “corn deity.” Shortened forms of the name include Centli and Cintli, meaning “corn.”

Female:

Annonaria means “she who supplies corn” in Latin, derived primarily from annona (yearly produce; corn, grain; crop, harvest) and ultimately from annus (year). As an aspect of the goddes Fortuna, she brought luck to the harvest, particularly that of corn.

Arista means “ear of corn” in Latin. This is also the name of a star in the constellation Virgo.

Başak means “ear of wheat” in Turkish. This is also their name for the constellation Virgo.

Fortuna was the Roman goddess who protected corn supplies. The name means “fortune.”

Himugi can mean “day wheat” and “sun wheat” in Japanese.

Onatah is one of the Three Sisters in Iroquois mythology. She represents the spirit of corn, and her two sisters represent beans and squash.

Shala was a Mesopotamian corn goddess.

Sunbul means “ear of corn” or “ear of wheat” in Arabic.

Taraa means “wheat” in Tuvan.

Xilonen was the Aztec maize goddess.

Male:

Byggvir means “seed corn” in Old Norse.

Eustachys means “fruitful” in Greek, derived from eu (good) and stachus (ear of corn).

Gari is a rare Basque name meaning “wheat.”

Hokoleskwa means “corn stalk” in Shawnee.

Kaiyatahee means “corn tassel” in Cherokee.

Omer means “sheaf of wheat” in Hebrew.

Pitirim is the Russian form of the Greek Pithyrion, which primarily derives from pituron or pityron (husks of corn, bran), and ultimately derives from pitura or pityra (bran). It’s also possible Pithyrion derives from a Coptic name or word.

Stachys means “an ear of corn, a head of grain” in Greek.

Suddhodana means “pure/true corn” and “pure/true rice” in Sanskrit.

Dusty, screaming, shrieking names

Continuing with the theme of Halloween-type names, here are some names whose meanings relate to the words “dust,” “scream,” and “shriek.”

Unisex:

Kiran means “dust,” “sunbeam,” and “thread” in Sanskrit.

Male:

Aldonas is a rare Lithuanian name possibly derived from the Old Lithuanian ver aldoti (to scream, to shout, to make noise), combined with the patronymical suffix onis.

Emathion means “sandy” in Greek, derived from emathoeis, which in turn is derived from amathos (dust, sand, sandy soil).

Galarr means “screamer” in Old Norse.

Gillingr roughly means “son of a scream” or “belonging to a scream” in Old Norse.

Hawar means “to scream” in Sorani, a Kurdish language.

Kanzou can mean “three screams,” “storehouse of screams,” “to hide a scream,” “to own a scream,” “scream structure,” “scream physique,” and “to make a scream” in Japanese.

Kekrops means “screaming voice” in Greek.

Kyousei can mean, roughly, “to scream at a star” or “star scream” in Japanese.

Female:

Agasaya may mean “shrieker.” She was an early Semitic goddess of war, who later merged into Ishtar as the warrior of the sky.

Aphra, or Aphrah, is both a variation of a Latin nickname for an African woman and a variation of Afrah, a Biblical place name meaning “dust.” Aphrah is the common Anglicization of the Hebrew Afrah.

Himei can mean “scream” and “shriek” in Japanese.

Pumpkin names

Continuing with the theme of Halloween names, here’s a list of words meaning “pumpkin.” Most of these aren’t used as names in their respective languages of origin, and so might work better on a pet or fictional character. Some, however, might work as names on real humans.

I left out words that didn’t sound so much like they could double as names. For example, the Korean word “hobag” would NOT be a good idea in an Anglophone country!

Bostan is Romanian.

Calabaza is Spanish.

Carbassa is Catalan.

Kabak is Turkish and Ukrainian.

Kabocha is Japanese.

Kaddi is Nepali.

Kaddu is Hindi.

Kadu is Tajik.

Kalabasa is Cebuano, an Austronesian language spoken in The Philippines. This is also the Filipino word.

Kalabaza is Basque.

Kara Safra is one of the Arabic words for pumpkin. In this case, it literally means “yellow gourd.”

Kukurbo is Esperanto.

Nangua is Mandarin Chinese.

Taub is Hmong. This is a female name.

Tikva is Bosnian, Bulgarian, and Macedonian. This is an entirely separate name from the Hebrew name Tikva(h), which means “hope.”

Tykva is Russian.

October names

Names whose meanings relate to the month of October are a natural fit for Halloween-themed names. This is such a wonderful time of year, because of the Halloween season, the full swing of Autumn, and the wonderful month of back-to-back Jewish holidays which often fall out at least partly during October. This year, they all fell during October, and the closing holiday, Simchat Torah, came very “late” in relation to when it usually does on the Gregorian calendar.

Unisex:

Beryl is the historical birthstone of October. I was very surprised to discover this is widely considered a woman’s name in the modern era, since I’d been introduced to it as a male name in several Sholom Aleichem stories. I later discovered it’s a diminutive of the Yiddish name Ber, “bear.”

Brumarel is the Old Romanian word for October, and means “little white frost” in Latin. I could see this working on either sex.

October is very uncommon when it comes to months used as personal names, but it could work on the right person. Toby is a good unisex nickname.

Yorah may mean “autumn showers” or “sprinkling” in Hebrew. It refers to the seasonal rain which falls in Eretz Yisrael from the last day of October to the first of December.

Female:

Calendula is the birth flower of October.

Coral is the Hindu birthstone for October. I’ve always really liked this name.

Garnet is the planetary stone of Scorpio, which begins 22 October.

Hedra is the Cornish word for October. This is a contemporary, not traditional, name.

Oktyabrina is a feminized Russian form of October. This is one of the newly-coined Soviet names most popular in the first few decades of the USSR.

Opal is the modern, and Ayurvedic, October birthstone. Some people may think this name sounds old-fashioned, though sister gemstone name Ruby has recently gone from old-fashioned to trendy. Perhaps Opal will soon follow in Ruby’s footsteps.

Sapphire is the planetary stone of Libra, the sign which takes up most of October. I personally feel this works better as a middle name, though the right person could pull it off as a forename.

Tola is the Khmer word for October.

Tourmaline is the alternative modern birthstone for October.

Urria is the Basque word for October.

Male:

Aban is the angel of October in Persian folklore. In particular, he governs the tenth day of the month.

Ekim is the Turkish word for October.

Jasper is the mystical birthstone of October.

Oktyabr is the Russian word for October, and also was adopted and made popular during the early decades of the USSR.