The many forms of Noah

Noah, a name which presumably 99.99999% of everyone recognises from the famous Biblical story, comes from the Hebrew root nuach (repose, rest). It became widespread in the Anglophone world during the Protestant Reformation, and was particularly popular among Puritans.

This name has been leaping up the U.S. charts since 1988. It entered the Top 100 in 1995, at exactly #100, and was #1 from 2013–16. In 2017, it was #2.

The name also enjoys great popularity around the world. It’s #1 in Switzerland; #2 in Denmark; #3 in Australia, New Zealand, and Northern Ireland; #4 in Belgium, Norway, and England and Wales; #5 in Scotland and The Netherlands; #6 in Ireland; #9 in Sweden; #17 in Austria and France; #67 in Portugal; #76 in Catalonia; #77 in Italy; and #93 in Spain.

American lexicographer Noah Webster (1758–1843), by Samuel Finley Breese Morse

Other forms of this extremely popular name include:

1. Noé is French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Hungarian. The variant Noè is Italian; Nóe is Irish; Noe is Alsatian, Georgian, Romanian, Polish, Greek, and Czech; and Noë is Dutch.

2. Noach is Hebrew and Dutch.

3. Noak is Swedish.

4. Nojus is Lithuanian.

5. Nooa is Finnish.

6. Nuh is Arabic and Turkish.

7. Noa is Hawaiian, Maori, Tongan, Yoruba, Serbian, and Croatian. The alternate form Nóa is Faroese.

8. Nói is Icelandic and Faroese. This may also be a separate name drawn from the Icelandic word nói (small vessel).

9. Noy is Armenian, Russian, and Bulgarian.

10. Noass is Latvian. For obvious reasons, I wouldn’t recommend this spelling in an Anglophone country!

11. Nuhu is Arabic.

Georgian journalist and politician Noe Zhordania, 1868–1953

Feminine forms:

1. Noa is Hebrew, and quite a popular name. Though it truly transliterates as Noah, most people use the spelling Noa to avoid confusion with what everyone knows as an unmistakably male name.

Contrary to what many name sites report, this is also a completely separate name from the familiar Biblical name. In the Bible, Noa is one of the five righteous daughters of Tzelofehad. The name means “motion, movement.”

2. Noja is Lithuanian.

Advertisements

Thor-inspired names

Dedicated in loving memory of Peter Tork, né Peter Halsten Thorkelson, 13 February 1942–21 February 2019, whose birth surname inspired this post.

Thor’s Fight with the Giants, Mårten Eskil Winge, 1872

I’ve wanted to do a post on Thor-inspired names for quite some time. Though many might consider the name Thor itself to be pompous and pretentious, there are quite a few other names whose meanings relate to Thor. If you wouldn’t consider the name Thor for a real child, perhaps you’d be more inclined to use one of these names.

Unless otherwise noted, all these names are male.

Thor was the Norse god of thunder, from Old Norse þórr, ultimately from Ancient Germanic *þunraz. The name was #48 in Denmark in 2017. Its modern form is Tor, and the feminine forms are Thora and Tora.

Haldor (Norwegian) means “Thor’s rock,” from Old Norse Hallþórr.

Tollak (Norwegian) means “Thor’s play/game,” from Old Norse þórleikr. The word leikr refers to a game or play involving weapons.

Torbjörn (Swedish) means “Thor’s bear,” from Old Norse þórbjörn. Variants include Torbjørn (Danish, Norwegian); Thorbjørn (Norwegian); Torben (Danish, German); Thornben (German); and þorbjörn (Icelandic).

Torgeir (Norwegian) means “Thor’s spear,” from Old Norse þórgeirr. Variants are Torger and Terje. The latter isn’t to be confused with a female Estonian name meaning “mist.”

Torgny Segerstedt (1876–1945), Swedish scholar of comparative religion, and publicist and editor-in-chief of anti-Nazi newspaper Göteborgs Handels-och Sjöfartstidning

Torgny (Swedish) means “Thor’s noise/murmur/grumble,” from Old Norse þórgnýr.

Torhild (Norwegian, female) means “Thor’s battle,” from Old Norse þórhildr. Variants are Toril and Torill.

Torkel (Swedish, Norwegian) means “Thor’s cauldron,” from Old Norse þórketill. Variants include Tyge (Danish); Tyko (Finnish); Tygo (Dutch); Tycho (Dutch, Danish); Torcuil (Scottish); Torquil (Anglicized Gaelic); and Torkil (Danish, Norwegian).

Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, 1546–1601

Torleif (Norwegian) means “Thor’s descendent,” from Old Norse þórleifr.

Tormod (Norwegian) means “Thor’s mind/mood,”  from Old Norse þórmóðr.

Torsten (Danish, Swedish, German) means “Thor’s stone,” from Old Norse þórsteinn. Variants include Thorsten (Swedish, Danish); Thorstein, Torstein (Norwegian); Torsti (Finnish); and Thurston (English). þorstína and þorsteina (Icelandic) are feminine forms. An elaborated Icelandic feminine form, þórsteinunn, means “Thor’s stone wave.”

Torvald (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish) means “Thor’s ruler,” from Old Norse þórvaldr. Many people may recognize this as the name of the husband in Henrik Ibsen’s famous play A Doll’s House.

The Ws of Medieval names

Female:

Warina (English): Feminine form of Ancient Germanic name Warin (protect, guard).

Wulfhild (Scandinavian, German): “Wolf battle,” from Ancient Germanic roots wulf and hild.

Wulfrun (English)

Wulfwynn (English)

Wymarda (English)

Male:

Waldeko (Baltic, Livonian)

Waleran (English, Flemish, French): Derived from Ancient Germanic name Walderam, with Gothic roots valdan (to reign) and hraban or hramn (raven). In the case of the English name, it may also be a form of Valerian (to be strong), from Latin root valere.

Walraven (Flemish)

Waste (Swedish): Nickname for names ending in -vast (firmly, fast), from Old Norse root fast. Obviously a name to be avoided in the Anglophone world!

Witoslav (Czech): “To rule in glory,” from roots wit and slava.

Wolfstan, Wolstan (English): Derived from Anglo–Saxon name Wulfstan (wolf stone), with roots wulf and stan.

Wortwin (German): From Old High German roots wort (word) and wini (friend).

Woru (Welsh)

Wrath (English): Referred to the wrath of God.

Wybert (English): Derived from Old English name Wigberht (bright battle), with roots wig (battle) and beorht (bright).

Wymond (English): Derived from Old English name Wigmund, with roots wig and mund (protector).

The Vs of Medieval names

Male:

Vauquelin (French): Derived from Ancient Germanic name Walchelin, from root walha (foreign).

Vecheslav (Slavic): “More glory,” from roots veche and slava. The familiar modern form is the Czech and Slovak Václav. Other forms are Wenceslas (Latinized), Vyacheslav (Russian and Ukrainian), Wacław and Więcesław (Polish), Ventseslav (Bulgarian), Venseslao (Italian), Venseslás (Spanish), Vencel (Hungarian), Wenzel (German), and Veaceslav (Romanian).

Velam (Swedish): Form of William, derived from Ancient Germanic name Willahelm. Its roots are wil (desire, will) and helm (protection, helmet).

Velasco (Spanish): Possibly “crow,” from a Basque word. The modern form is Vasco, a Spanish adjective meaning “Basque.”

Velimir (Slavic): “Great peace” and “great world,” from roots veli and miru. This name is still used in modern Serbian and Croatian.

Venerio (Italian): Derived from Venus (sexual desire, love).

Vesike (Baltic, Livonian): “Water,” from Livonian root •vesi.

Vigmund (Swedish): Derived from Old Norse name Vígmundr, from roots víg (battle, fight) and mund (protection).

Vimund (Swedish): Derived from Ancient Scandinavian name Vímundr, with roots  (home, sanctuary, temple) and mund (protection, hand).

Vitomir (Slavic): “Master of peace” and “master of the world,” from roots vit (lord, master) and miru. This name is still used in modern Slovenina, Serbian, and Croatian.

Volknand (German): “Brave people,” from Ancient Germanic roots folk (people) and nand (brave, daring).

Vratislav (Slavic): “To return glory,” from roots vratiti and slava. This name is still used in modern Czech and Slovak.

Female:

Valata (Baltic, Livonian): Of widely-disputed, uncertain etymology.

València (Catalan)

Värun (Swedish): Derived from Ancient Scandinavian name Vírún, from roots  (temple, home, sanctuary) and rún (secret).

Vasara (Baltic, Livonian): Possibly derived from the Latvian word for “summer,” or the Finnish word for “hammer.”

Verdiana (Italian): Feminine form of Latin name Viridianus, derived from root viridis (green).

Verildis (Dutch): Derived from Ancient Germanic name Farahild, from Langobardic root fara (family, kind, line) or Gothic faran (to travel), and Old Norse hildr (battle).

Vermilia (Italian)

Viana (Catalan)

Viçenta (Portuguese), Vicenta (Catalan): “To conquer,” from Latin root vincere.

Vivendòta (Catalan)

The Us of Medieval names

Female:

Umayma (Moorish Arabic): “Little mother.”

Umayna (Moorish Arabic): Form of Amina (feel safe; truthful).

Urraca (Spanish, Basque): “Magpie,” ultimately from Latin furax (thievish).

Ursola (Catalan): Form of Ursula (little bear)

Ustė (Baltic)

Ustilé (Baltic)

Male:

Uallach (Irish): “Pride,” from root uall.

Ubaid (Moorish Arabic): “Servant.”

Udder (Danish, Swedish): Derived from Old Norse name Oddr (point of a sword), and the word otr (otter).

Uddolf (Swedish): Derived from Old Norse name Uddulfr, from roots oddr and ulfr (wolf).

Ulfkil (Danish): Derived from Ancient Scandinavian name Ulfkætill, from roots ulfr and ketill (cauldron, helmet, hat).

Ulfrik (Swedish, Danish): Derived from Old Norse name Ulfríkr, from roots ulfr and ríkr (mighty, rich, distinguished).

Ulvar (Swedish): Derived from Ancient Scandinavian name Ulfarr/Ulfgæirr, from roots ulfr and geirr (spear), or herr (army).

Ungust (Cornish)

Unker (Danish): Derived from Ancient Scandinavian name Óðinkárr. Its roots are either Old Danish othankar/othinkar (raging, easily furious), or Old Norse óðr (frenzy, rage, inspiration) and kárr (“obstinant; reluctant” or “curly-haired”).

Urdin (Basque): “Blue.”