In 2014 I featured a series of blog posts introducing you to 2,014 names. For the most part they were names that were brand new to me as well. Some names may be more familiar but I found the meaning or origin or some other aspect of the name made it worthy of inclusion here. You may love some of the names, you may hate some, but hopefully you enjoy learning about all of them.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

14 More Names

Yesterday's and today's post all in one!


Kelilah - Hebrew, meaning "perfection" or "crown of laurel".

Leire -Basque, from the root "legor" meaning "shed" or "hostel". It is the name of a famous monastery in Spain and a popular name for Basque girls as a result of the important influence of the monastery - which offered shelter for travelers making a pilgrimage to San Juan de Compostela. The place name in Spanish is Leyre. I believe Leire pronounced correctly is 'lay-ee ray', or maybe it's "lay-ee-ruh".

Miep - Dutch nickname for Maria, which is a Latin form of the Hebrew name Mary, meaning "bitter" (Mary's meaning and origin may be more complicated than that, but we'll save it for another day).

Some people are lucky enough to be known by just their first name during their life and after they have died. I think Miep is one of those people. I never can remember her last name but if I ever start to say why I like the name Miep I never need to finish. Here is a link to the website created to remember her. Unlike the people she tried so hard to save, she got to live a long life and only recently died at the age of 100. Sometimes doing simple things requires great courage.


Nut- Egyptian, meaning "sky" Nut is the sky goddess of ancient Egypt. She is one of the most ancient goddesses. It is literally her body we see stretched above us when we look up at the sky.  I found various pronunciations for this: 'nut' and "noot" and "nyooth' and one source did suggest 'naught' as the pronunciation. I also found 3 other spellings of this name: Neuth, Nuith, and Newet.

Oona - Irish, from the word "uan" meaning "lamb". (consider that we call a female sheep an 'ewe').

Proserpina - Latin, meaning "to emerge". Proserpina is the Roman goddess married to the ruler of the Underworld, but she leaves him each year to visit her mother - this is the explanation for Spring. When she returns to him, we get Autumn and then Winter. This is because her mother, Ceres, is the goddess of agriculture and when Pluto (the god of the Underworld) kidnapped her daughter she ravaged the land looking for her. She won the right to have her daughter visit her for half of the year, however. During this part of the year she does not punish the earth for her daughter's absence, and things are able to grow.

Rue - this is the name of an medicinal herb, the name derives from the Greek "rhyte". It can also be used as a nickname for Ruth.


Soren - Danish version of the name Severinus, which was a Roman family name that came from Severus, another Roman family name. Severus meant "stern" in Latin. Soren is correctly pronounced "suu ren", though I hear English speakers here say "sore in". One of my ancestors had this as a first name - he immigrated here from Denmark.

Tamerlane  - this is a name used for one of history's great participants. Timur "The Lame" became "Tamerlane" eventually. Timur comes from a Turkic name Temur, which mean "iron". Lame comes from the Old English word "lama" which meant "crippled" or "lame" or "paralytic" or "weak" which came from the Proto-Germanic root "lamon" meaning "weak-limbed" or literally "broken". This word comes from the Proto-Indo-European root "lem" meaning "to break" or "broken"

Ulrich -Germanic, from "Huldrich" which comes from the Old High German name Uodalrich, which comes from "uodal" meaning "heritage" and "rich" meaning "powerful". These names are "related": Urich, Ulich, Ulricher, Ulrico, Orrico, Ullrisch, Woolrich, Ullmann, Ulke, Utz, Utzmann, Utzle, Jedele, Yetley, Jehle, Jehl, Uller. Variants of Ulrich in languages other than German: Ulryk (Polish), Ulderico (Italian), Huldericus (Latin), Oldrich (Slovak), Odalric (Catalan), Uldis (Latvian), Odor (Hungarian), and Ryczek (Polish).
I thought St. Ulrich of Zell had the best name of all the Ulrichs Wikipedia listed. And when I read about him I was not disappointed. He is quite the image of what you might expect a medieval German saint to be. He founded a monastery and convent in the Black Forest (how cool is that?). Since my ancestors are from Bavaria (or a portion of them, anyway) I thought it was neat that he was from there too (and with such a cool name).

Vladimir -Slavic, meaning "regal" or "great in his power" or "to rule with greatness", from 'volod' meaning 'rule' and 'mer' meaning 'greatness'. There is a folk etymology which says it means "person of the people" or "the one with peace on one side". Russian speakers interpret the name's meaning as "world peace" or "peace rules". They arrive at a different interpretation of the meaning of the name because of their association of the name with the word for peace, which sounds the same (the 'mir' part of the name). It can be pronounced "vlah DEE mihr" or in English it is usually said "VLAD uh mihr". The German name Waldemar (or Valdemar) is interpreted as meaning "famous ruler" and it is just a variant of Vladimir.

Wenceslaus -Latin form of the Slavic name Veceslav, which is derived from the roots "vece" meaning "more" and "slav" meaning "glory".

Zarathustra - coming from an Old Persian name, either Zarantustra or Zaratustra. If Zarantustra it may mean "with old camels" or "with aging camels" and related to the Avestic root 'zarant' (related then to the Persian root 'zal' meaning 'old'). Or it might mean "with angry camels" or "with furious camels" and related to the Avestan 'zarant' meaning 'angry' or 'furious'.
If Zaratustra it could be 'owner of the golden camel' related to the Eastern Iranian word 'zar' meaning 'gold' and 'ushtra' meaning 'camel.' Or it might mean "who is driving camels" or "who is fostering camels" or "who is cherishing camels" - zars meaning "precious" or "valued". It might also mean "who is desiring camels" or "who is longing for camels". Or it might mean "with yellow camels".

Lots of options! Zarathustra was the founder of the Zoroastrian religion. He was once believed to have lived as long ago as 6,000 BC but now people seem to think he lived somewhere between 1800 BC and 600 BC. In any case, he also profoundly impacted other religions, such as Judaism and philosophy, especially Greek philosophy. I thought to feature the name because Nietzsche has a book called Thus Spoke Zarathustra, even though I haven't actually read the book. It just seems like a cool name. The meaning, a bit of a let down. But the name itself, very neat.

Amerigo - Italian form of the Germanic name Emmerich, which is derived from 'ermen' meaning "whole" or "universal" and "ric" meaning "power"  -  it may be that it comes from 'amal' rather than 'ermen'  - amal means "work" or "labor"  or that it comes from 'heim' meaning "home". So then that would mean "home power" or "powerful home" or "power of the home" or "home of power" and the other possible 'combined' meanings would be "powerful work" or "work power" (or manpower), or that it means "universal power" or "whole power" (maybe in the sense of 'all' power or 'complete power'). Or maybe 'powerful whole' which might be something like everything together as a whole is powerful. I like this name as it belongs to Amerigo Vespucci and as a kid I liked the guy. I read one of those autobiographies intended for elementary kids - but I remember that it was long and detailed, it seems maybe a 200 page book. I was fascinated by how different life was then and then, to come to the New World and everything was so different for them from what 'they' knew. It seemed so daring and brave and exciting. When you're a kid and you read Treasure Island or an autobiography of an explorer like Vespucci, you think, wow, I wish I had lived then and gone on such voyages. As a 41 year old woman, no. I'm glad I did not. But when I was younger, definitely. I would have loved it.

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