A name for a peaceful ruler

King Frederick the Great (Friedrich II) of Prussia, 1712–1786

I’ve long adored the name Frederick in many of its international forms. It derives from a Germanic name meaning “peaceful ruler,” from the elements fridu (peace) and rih (ruler; power; king). Though it’s historically been very common in German-speaking areas, it took a long time to catch on in the Anglophone world.

The invading Normans brought this name to England in 1066, but it soon dropped from popularity. In the 18th century, it returned by way of the German-born House of Hanover inheriting the British throne.

American abolitionist, social reformer, writer, and orator Frederick Douglass (né Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey), 1817 or 1818–1895

Frederick was #33 in the U.S. in 1880 (its highest rank to date), and remained on the Top 100 till 1957. In 2021, it was #476. The name is much more popular in England and Wales, where it was #61 in 2021, and has been on the Top 100 since 2009. It was also Top 100 in 2005 and 2006.

Other forms of the name include:

1. Friedrich is German. Nicknames are Fritz, Fred, and Fiete.

2. Frederik is Dutch, Danish, and Afrikaans. Dutch nicknames are Frits, Freek (rhymes with rake and brake), Freddy, Fred, and Rik.

3. Fredrik is Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish.

4. Frédéric is French. Without accent marks, Frederic is Catalan.

5. Fryderyk is Polish.

6. Frederico is Portuguese.

7. Federico is Spanish and Italian.

8. Federigo is old Italian.

9. Frīdrihs is Latvian.

10. Fricis is also Latvian.

Polish composer Frédéric François (né Fryderyk Franciszek) Chopin, 1810–1849

11. Friderik is Slovenian.

12. Friðrik is Icelandic.

13. Frigyes is Hungarian. It’s kind of pronounced like FREED-yesh. The Hungarian letter GY is like the soft, barely perceptible DY in due, during, and endure.

14. Fridrik is Croatian.

15. Fridrikh is Russian.

16. Federicu is Corsican and Sardinian.

17. Federich is Piedmontese.

18. Fidericu is Sardinian.

19. Frederig is Breton.

20. Frydrykh is Belarusian.

Latvian Riflemen commander and colonel Frīdrihs Briedis, 1888–1918

21. Frydrichas is Lithuanian.

22. Fridrih is Serbian.

23. Frédéris is Norman.

24. Frederikas is Lithuanian.

25. Freadaraig is Scottish.

26. Federiku is Maltese.

27. Fríðrikur is Faroese.

28. Freiderikos is Greek.

29. Feardorcha is Irish.

30. Ffredrig is Welsh.

Italian Cardinal and Archbishop Federico Borromeo, 1564–1631

31. Fadri is Romansh.

32. Fretterat, or Fretterret, is Sami.

33. Priidik is Estonian. Nicknames include Priit and Priidu.

34. Peleke is Hawaiian.

35. Bedřich is Czech.

36. Rietrikki is a rare, archaic Finnish form.

Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia, later Duchess of York and Albany (1767–1820)

Female forms include:

1. Fredericka is English.

2. Frederica is Portuguese, Gascon, Provençal, Languedocian, Galician, and English.

3. Federica is Italian and Corsican.

4. Fredrika is Finnish and Swedish.

5. Fryderyka is Polish.

6. Frederikke is Danish.

7. Frédérique is French.

8. Friðrika is Icelandic.

9. Friederike is German. Nicknames include Fritzi, Rike, Friede, and Frieda.

10. Frédérika is French.

Finnish historical novelist and journalist Fredrika Runeberg, 1807–1879

11. Fridrika is Hungarian. Nicknames include Fridi and Frici.

12. Frederiek is Dutch, reflecting the French pronunciation of Frédérique.

13. Fredericke is German.

14. Frédérica is a rare Corsican form.

15. Freiderike is Greek.

16. Frideriki is also Greek.

17. Federika is a rare Hungarian form.

18. Bedřiška is Czech.

19. Perderike is Basque.

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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.

All about Theodore

It’s been four months since I last posted, despite my plans to post more often on my secondary blog this year. Since March, my main blogging focus has been on my Dantean posts on my primary blog (which I’ve also been converting into vlogs), so this one fell by the wayside. Let’s get back into the swing of things with a post about my third-fave male name! I had a 2016 post spotlighting my fave forms of Theodore, but haven’t had a full post devoted to every form of the name.

Theodore is an English name which derives from Greek Theodoros (gift of God). The female name Dorothea comes from the same roots, only in reverse. Theodoros was a popular name in Classical Greece, and it remained popular after the advent of Christianity, due to several saints with the name. However, this name wasn’t very popular in the Anglophone world till the 19th century.

Theodore was on the U.S. Top 100 from 1880–1944 and 1950–51. Its lowest rank to date has been #314 in 1999. In 2015, it re-entered the Top 100 at #99 and began rising rapidly. In 2020, it was #23.

The name is also popular in England and Wales (#14), Canada (#15), New Zealand (#15), Québec (#38), Scotland (#50), Northern Ireland (#57), and Ireland (#66). The spelling Theodor is #18 in Norway, #26 in Denmark, #41 in Sweden, and #42 in Austria.

Swiss physician Théodore Tronchin, 1709–1781

Other forms of the name include:

1. Theodor is German, Scandinavian, Romanian, and Czech.

2. Theodoor is Dutch.

3. Teodor is Czech, Bulgarian, Romanian, Polish, Serbian, Scandinavian, Slovenian, Macedonian, Slovak, Catalan, Albanian, and Croatian. The alternate form Teodòr is Provençal and Languedocian.

4. Todor is Bulgarian, Serbian, and Macedonian. The alternate form Tódor is Hungarian.

5. Tudor is Romanian.

6. Théodore is French.

7. Teodoro is Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.

8. Tedore is Georgian.

9. Teodors is Latvian.

10. Toros is Armenian.

Polish pianist, composer, and teacher Teodor Leszetycki, 1830–1915

11. Tivadar is Hungarian.

12. Thei is Limburgish.

13. Teuvo is Finnish.

14. Tewodros is Amharic.

15. Tédór is Kashubian.

16. Teodoru is Sicilian and Corsican.

17. Tiadoru is Sardinian.

18. Tiudoru is Corsican.

19. Teodoro is Asturian.

20. Tiutôk is Greenlandic.

Filipino businessman and philanthropist Teodoro R. Yangco, 1861–1939

21. Todrus is Yiddish.

22. Téodóir is Irish.

23. Teador is Belarusian.

24. Suoder is Yakut.

25. Fyodor is Russian. This is one of the few names I like where an F appears in place of a TH, probably because it’s the first letter of the name instead of in the middle.

26. Fedir is Ukrainian.

27. Kvedor is Mordvin.

28. Joder is Swiss–German.

29. Fyodar is Belarusian.

30. Khvedar is also Belarusian.

Romanian revolutionary hero Tudor Vladimirescu, ca. 1780–1821

31. Teodoras is Lithuanian.

32. Tevazirus is Turkish.

33. Tewdwr is Welsh.

34. Tewodros is Arabic and Coptic.

35. Tedros is Eritrean and Ethiopian.

36. Tuudor, or Tuudur, is Estonian.

Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark, 1906–1969

Female forms:

1. Theodora is Greek, German, Dutch, Scandinavian, and English. The alternate forms Théodóra and Theodóra are Icelandic, and Théodora is French.

2. Teodora is Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Serbian, Macedonian, Polish, Bulgarian, and Romanian. The alternate form Teodóra is Hungarian.

3. Théodorine is an elaborated, modern French–African form.

4. Fyodora is Russian.

5. Feodora is an alternate Russian form.

6. Fešu is Veps, a Finnic language spoken in Russia.

7. Söduöre is Yakut.

8. Todora is Serbian.

9. Tiadora is Sardinian.

A versatile, international classic

Catherine (Yekaterina) the Great (née Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg) as a Grand Duchess

Though I’ve previously featured the many nicknames for Katherine in all its forms, and my personal favourite forms of the name, I’ve never done a post on the name itself in all of its many international variations.

Katherine derives from the Greek name Aikaterine, which has a disputed etymology. It may come from another Greek name, Hekaterine, with the root hekateros (each of the two), or be derived from Hecate/Hekate (possibly from the root hekas, far off). It also may come from the Greek word aikia (torture), or a Coptic name meaning “my consecration of your name.” Eventually, it became associated with the Greek word katharos (pure), and the Latin spelling was thus changed from Katerina to Katharina.

The name has been extraordinarily popular ever since the fourth century, on account of St. Catherine of Alexandria, an early Christian martyr. Because some scholars believe she was fictitious or confused with Neo-Platonist philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria and St. Dorothea of Alexandria, she was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969. In 2002, she was put back in as an optional memorial.

Princess Katarina Konstantinović of Serbia, 1848–1910

The spelling Katherine has long been a staple of the U.S. Top 100, from 1880–1934, in 1936, and 1940–2016. Its highest rank to date was #25 in 1991. The spelling Catherine (which is also French) has also long been a Top 100 mainstay, from 1880–1997 and 1999–2001. It was in the Top 50 until 1939, and then again from 1942–61, with its highest rank of #18 in 1914 and 1917.

Kathryn was in the U.S. Top 100 from 1881–1928, 1941–68, and 1974–2001. Its highest rank was #45 in 1951.

Other forms of the name include:

1. Katharina is German and Scandinavian.

2. Katarina is Scandinavian, German, Slovenian, Sorbian, Serbian, and Croatian. The alternate form Katarína is Slovak.

3. Katarzyna is Polish.

4. Kateryna is Ukrainian.

5. Katsyaryna is Belarusian.

6. Katariina is Estonian and Finnish.

7. Katerina is Macedonian, Bulgarian, Russian, and Greek. Kateřina is Czech, and Katerína is Icelandic.

8. Katarin is Breton.

9. Katelijn is Flemish.

10. Katelijne is also Flemish.

Hungarian singer and actor Katalin Karády (1910–1990), who was posthumously honoured by Yad Vashem in 2004 as Righteous Among the Nations for hiding a group of Jewish children in her apartment

11. Katharine is German and English.

12. Katalin is Hungarian and Basque.

13. Kattalin is also Basque.

14. Kotryna is Lithuanian.

15. Katrina is English. The alternate form Katrīna is Latvian; Katrína is Icelandic; and Katrîna is Greenlandic.

16. Kakalina is Hawaiian. For obvious reasons, I wouldn’t recommend this name in an Anglophone area.

17. Katell is Breton.

18. Kateri is Mohawk, pronounced Gah-deh-lee.

19. Katarzëna is Kashubian.

20. Kateryn is Manx.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha, 1656–1680

21. Kattrin is a rare Coptic form.

22. Catarina is Portuguese, Galician, Gascon, Occitan, Provençal, Languedocian, Aragonese, and Sicilian.

23. Caterina is Italian, Galician, and Romanian.

24. Catrin is Welsh.

25. Catalina is Spanish, Corsican, Sardinian, Occitan, Catalan, and Galician. The alternate form Cǎtǎlina is Romanian.

26. Caderina is Sardinian.

27. Caitrìona is Scottish.

28. Catriona is Irish and Scottish.

29. Catala is Asturian.

30. Gadarine is a rare Armenian form.

Russian human rights activist and humanitarian Yekaterina Pavlovna Peshkova, 1887–1965

31. Kaa’dren is Sami Skolt.

32. Kasia is Vilamovian. This is also a Polish nickname for Katarzyna.

33. Catheleine is Picard.

34. Cathrène is Norman.

35. Cath’rinne is Jèrriaias.

36. Katel is a rare Cornish form.

37. Katarino is Esperanto.

38. Keteriine is Yakut.

39. Chatrina is Romansh.

40. Ekaterine is Georgian.

41. Ekaterina is Bulgarian and Macedonian.

42. Yekaterina is Russian.

Curly names

To mark the 69th Jahrzeit (death anniversary) of the great comedian Curly Howard (Jerome Lester Horwitz) (right), here are some names meaning “curly.” There’s a long tradition of opposite nicknames, like a fat guy called Slim or a bald guy called Curly.

Male:

Caiside means “curly-haired” in Ancient Irish, from root cas. The modern unisex name Cassidy derives from the surname O’Caiside (descendant of Caiside).

Cincinnatus means “curly-haired” in Latin.

Crispus also means “curly-haired” in Latin.

Kåre means “curly, curved” in Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish, from Old Norse name Kári.

Kårfinn is a rare Norwegian name made of elements kárr (curly/wavy hair) and Finnr (Finn, Lapp).

Karleiv is also Norwegian, combining kárr and leif (inheritance, legacy).

Kárr means “curly-haired” and “reluctant, obstinate” in Old Norse.

Kár-Tóki means “curly-haired Thor” in Old Norse.

Óðinkárr means “curly haired inspiration/rage/frenzy” in Ancient Scandinavian.

Visa means “curly birch” in Finnish.

Female:

Buklore means “curly-haired” in Albanian.

Dada means “curly hair” in Yoruba. For obvious reasons, I wouldn’t recommend this in an Anglophone country.

Fatila means “curly” in Uzbek.

Holy means “curly” in Malagasy, the national language of Madagascar.

Kára means “curly, curved” in Old Norse, from root kárr. A Valkyrie had this name.

Kárhildr means “curly-haired fight” or “obstinate/reluctant fight” in Old Norse.

Khoibi means “curly-haired daughter” in Manipuri (also called Meitei), a Sino–Tibetan language spoken in northeastern India.

Olitiana is Malagasy, a combination of oly (curly, curly hair) and tiana (to be loved, to be liked).