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.


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.


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.


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.

Mnemosyne and Memnon

Mnemosyne (a.k.a. Lamp of Memory or Ricordanza), by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, ca. 1876–81

Mnemosyne is the mother of the nine Muses, the personification of memory, and a Titan, Her parents are Gaia and Uranus. The Muses were conceived and born when Mnemosyne and her nephew Zeus slept together on nine consecutive nights. Her Muse daughters are Calliope (epic poetry), Urania (astronomy), Terpsichorde (dance), Clio (history), Erato (lyric poetry), Polyhymnia (hymns), Euterpe (music), Melpomene (tragedy), and Thalia (comedy).

According to one tradition, Mnemosyne presided over one of the pools in Hades, similar to the river Lethe. Those who’d passed over drank from Lethe so as to forget their past lives after reincarnation. Drinking the waters from Mnemosyne’s pool stopped the transmigration of the soul altogether.

Though the Titans hardly had a stellar reputation in Ancient Greece, Mnemosyne frequently appears in the opening lines of many epic poems. Among these poems are The Iliad and The Odyssey. Poets called upon her to help them with accurately remembering the poems they were about to recite or write. Since memory was so important to the Greeks’ oral heritage, Mnemosyne was an essential aspect of civilisation in their creation myth.

Mnemosyne was also one of the deities worshipped in the cult of Asclepius, a god of medicine. You probably recognise his symbol, the serpent coiled around a staff, which is used in medicine to this day. Worshippers hoped their prayers to Mnemosyne would help them to remember any dreams they had while sleeping in the holy of holies in Asclepius’s temple.

Mnemosyne means “remembrance,” derived from mneme, “memory.” Her name is the source of the English word “mnemonic.”

Engraved by Bernard Picart

Memnon was an Ethiopian king who fought on Troy’s side in the Trojan War. His parents were the goddess Eos and the mortal Trojan Tithonos. According to epic poet Kointos Smyrnaios (Quintus Smyrnaeus), Memnon was raised by the Hesperides, the nymphs of evening, who live near the Atlas Mountains in North Africa.

According to historian Diodoros Siculos, Tithonos was bribed with a golden grapevine to send Memnon to fight in the war. Memnon arrived with a giant army, after an argument between King Priam, Helen, and lieutenant Polydamas regarding whether Memnon would come or not.

A huge banquet was held in Memnon’s honour, concluding with Memnon and Priam trading war stories. Priam believes Memnon will save Troy, though Memnon is very humble and doesn’t want to boast by a dinner. Memnon says his strength will hopefully be seen in battle.

Next day, Zeus made all the other Olympians promise not to interfere in the fighting, due to his love for Memnon. Memnon killed Antilochus, son of King Nestor of Pylos, in revenge for Antilochus’s slaying of Memnon’s dear friend Aesop. Nestor wanted to fight Memnon to revenge his son, but Memnon wouldn’t fight such an aged man.

Memnon was killed in battle by the heroic Achilles, in revenge for Memnon’s slaying of Antilochus. Both wore armour made by the god Hephaestus, and both were favoured by Zeus, who made them tireless and huge. The entire battlefield watched them fighting as demigods. Finally, Achilles stabbed Memnon through the heart, and Memnon’s entire army fled in terror.

Zeus was so moved by Eos’s tears, he granted Memnon immortality. The deities also collected all Memnon’s blood drops to create a huge river. Every year on his Jahrzeit (death anniversary), the river bore the stench of human flesh.

According to Icelandic historian, poet, and politician Snorri Sturluson (1179–23 September 1241), Memnon was the father of Thor.

The etymology of Memnon is unknown.

The many forms of Michael

Once considered “too Catholic” for many Protestants to use, today the name Michael has risen to become an extraordinarily popular mainstay on the Top 10 in the U.S. It’s spent many years as #1, most recently in 1998. As of 2015, it was #9. In Ireland, the name was #8 in 2015, and in Northern Ireland (Ireland by any other name), it was #16. Michael has also enjoyed great popularity in Switzerland and Canada.

The spelling Michael is used in English, Hebrew, German, Dutch, and sometimes the Scandinavian languages. Other forms include:

1. Mikhail is Russian, with the familiar nickname Misha. In spite of its current popularity as a woman’s name in the Anglophone world, Misha is a male-only name in the source language. Superdiminutives include Mishenka, Mishulya, Mishechka, Mishutochka, Minyushka, Minochka, and Mishulka. However, superdiminutives should never be used when you don’t know a person very well, even if it’s a child. Grown men also typically aren’t called by superdiminutives by anyone but a romantic partner or someone like a grandparent or mother.

2. Mykhailo is Ukrainian.

3. Mihajlo is Serbian and Croatian.

4. Mihailo is a Serbian-only alternate form. The nickname for both is Mijo.

5. Mihail is Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Romanian. The Romanian nickname is Mihăiță.

6. Michal is Czech and Slovak. The nickname is Míša (pronounced like Misha). This isn’t to be confused with the feminine Hebrew name Michal, which may mean “brook.” The alternate form Michał (MEE-khaw) is Polish.

7. Mihael is Slovenian and Croatian. The Slovenian nickname is Miha, and the Croatian nicknames are Miho and Mijo.

8. Mikhalay is Belarusian.

9. Mikhayla is also Belarusian.

10. Mikhal is a third Belarusian form. The nickname is Mikhalik. The spelling Mikhal is also Ossetian.

11. Mikael is Scandinavian and Finnish. The Finnish nicknames include Mika, Mikko, and Miska.

12. Mikkel is Danish and Norwegian.

13. Miguel is Spanish and Portuguese.

14. Michel is French.

15. Miĥaelo is Esperanto. The nickname is Miĉjo.

16. Mikelo is the modern Esperanto form.

17. Mihails is Latvian.

18. Miķelis is an alternate Latvian form. The nickname is Miks.

19. Mikkjal is Faroese.

20. Mykolas is Lithuanian.

21. Mihály (MEE-hy) is Hungarian. Nicknames include Miksa (MEEK-shah), Miska (MEESH-kah), and Misi (MEE-shee).

22. Mihai is Romanian.

23. Mihkel is Estonian.

24. Mikheil is Georgian. The nickname is Misho.

25. Michail is modern Greek.

26. Michalis is an alternate modern Greek form.

27. Mikha’il is Arabic.

28. Miquel is Catalan.

29. Mikel is Basque.

30. Mitxel is an alternate Basque form.

31. Myghal is Cornish.

32. Mícheál is Irish. The similar form Mìcheal is Scottish.

33. Meical is Welsh.

34. Michiel is Dutch.

35. Mikala is Hawaiian.

36. Michele is Italian.

37. Mikaere is Maori.

38. Mikail is Turkish.

39. Maikeru is Japanese.

40. Mëhill is Albanian.

41. Miceli is Sicilian.

42. Micheli is Sardinian.

43. Michu is Swiss–German.

44. Miqueu is Gascon and Medieval Occitan.

45. Miché is Jèrriais.

46. Michi is an alternate Jèrriais form.

The many forms of Nicholas

December seems a germane time to have a post featuring the various forms of Nicholas, since Saint Nicholas is one of the best-known symbols of Christmas. This one of those universal names, with equivalents in so many different languages.

1. Nikolay is the Russian and Bulgarian form, with the cute nickname Kolya.

2. Mykola is Ukrainian.

3. Mikołaj is Polish. This was the real name of the great Copernicus.

4. Mikuláš is Czech and Slovak. Czech-only variants are Mikoláš and Mikula.

5. Nikolajs is Lithanian.

6. Nicolau is Portuguese, Catalan, and Galician.

7. Nikoloz is Georgian.

8. Miklavž is Slovenian.

9. Nicolae is Romanian. A variant form is Neculai. Nicknames are Nicu and Nicușor.

10. Niccolò is Italian. Possibly the most famous bearer is Machiavelli.

11. Nicolás is Spanish. A variant form is Nicolao.

12. Nikolaj is Danish and Slovenian.

13. Nikolaas is Dutch, with the alternate form Nicolaas. Nicknames include Klaas, Kai, Nico, and Niek.

14. Nikolaos is Greek, with the variant form Nikolas. I have a character who’s been going by Nikolas instead of Nikolay since he fell in love with the Ancient Greek philosophers when he was twelve. He’s just that type of head in the clouds intellectual.

15. Niklas is German, Finnish, and Scandinavian. Nicknames include Nils, Claes, Klaus, Kai, Kaj, and Klas.

16. Nikolao is Esperanto. The nickname is Niĉjo.

17. Nicolas is French.

18. Miklós is Hungarian, with the cute nickname Miki. Other nicknames include Miksa (Meek-sha), Mikici (Mee-keets-ee), Mikica (Mee-keets-a), and Mikus (Mee-kush).

19. Nioclás is Irish.

20. Nikora is Maori. This also serves as the Maori form of Nicole.

21. Nikola is Serbian, Macedonian, Croatian, Basque, Slovenian, Bulgarian, Czech, and Hungarian. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see this working well in an Anglophone country, since many people would consider it feminine on account of the -a ending.

22. Niklaus is Swiss-German.

Batty names

Happy Halloween! To cap off the month of Halloweeny names, I found some bat-related names. Most of these are bat genera which could also work as human names. As always, these are names which could be given to fictional characters or pets, not just babies.


Mimon is a South American bat genus. I could see this working on either sex, or possibly being a nickname of some sort.

Myskia means “bat” in Old Swedish and Medieval Scandinavian.


Acerodon is a type of megabat.

Antrozous is the formal name of the pallid bat.

Aproteles is the formal name of Bulmer’s fruit bat.

Ariteus is the formal name of the Jamaican fig-eating bat.

Artibeus is a genus of neotropical fruit bats.

Centurio is a type of wrinkle-faced bat.

Cistugo is a type of bat from southern Africa.

Desmodus is a genus of vampire bats.

Diaemus is the formal name of the white-winged vampire bat.

Eidolon is a type of megabat.

Histiotus is a genus of South American vesper bats.

Lasiurus is the formal name for the genus of hairy-tailed bats.

Myotis is the formal name for mouse-eared bats.

Natalus is a genus of funnel-eared bats.

Nycteris is a genus of hollow-faced bats.

Penthetor is the formal name of the dusky fruit bat.

Pharotis is the formal name of the New Guinea big-eared bat.

Philetor is a type of vesper bat, also called Rohu’s bat.

Rousettus is a type of Old World megabat or fruit bat.

Taphozous is a genus of sac-winged bats.

Vespertilio is the formal name for vesper bats.


Ametrida is the formal name of the little white-shouldered bat.

Anoura is a genus of leaf-nosed bat, many of which are tailless.

Asellia is a genus in the Old World leaf-nosed bat family.

Barbastella is a type of vespertilionid bat.

Boneia is a type of megabat, another name for the Manada fruit bat.

Carollia is a genus of short-tailed fruit bats.

Coleura is a genus of sac-winged bats.

Cormura is the formal name for the chestnut sac-winged bat, or Wagner’s sac-winged bat.

Dobsonia is a type of megabat.

Euderma is a type of vesper bat. Its common name is the spotted bat.

Ia is a type of vesper bat. This is also the name of two saints, Ia of Persia (4th century) and Ia of Cornwall (5th or 6th century). Additionally, this is a Georgian name meaning “violet,” from the Greek ion.

Kerivoula is a genus of vesper bats.

Lavia is a type of yellow-winged bat. For obvious reasons, I wouldn’t recommend this as a forename for a real person!

Mălina is the Romanian form of the Slavic name Malina. It has a number of possible meanings, among them “bat.”

Mosia is the formal name for the dark sheath-tailed bat.

Murina is a vesper bat genus.

Mystacina is the formal name for New Zealand short-tailed bats.

Platalina is a type of long-snouted bat.

Rhogeessa is a genus of vesper bats.

Sturnira is a genus of New World leaf-nosed bats. The name means “starling” in Latin, after the ship which went on an 1836 voyage to Brazil and collected specimens.

Tadarida is a genus of free-tailed bats.

Tonatia is a genus of South and Central American phyllostomid bats. The common name is round-eared bat.

Vampyressa is a type of leaf-nosed bat. For obvious reasons, I’d most recommend this as a pet or character’s name!