In researching the meaning of the girl name Beret for today's post, I came across an excellent article on Norwegian naming customs. I highly recommend it if you are interested in Norwegian names, how names were formed 'once upon a time' and have evolved over time, and as well it includes valuable advice for anyone beginning to research genealogy. Hopefully if you've been researching genealogy for a while you've discovered it, but maybe not. It's a lengthy article though and I haven't even finished reading it. Maybe take it in small doses. Here it is: http://www.norwayheritage.com/norwegian-names.htm
Just wanted to add that I'm glad some of these things that were posted on the Web back in its infancy are still up somewhere. The article is from 2002 and plenty of websites that were up then are no more. So, thanks to those of you who make an effort to keep things like this up.
Zephyra - possibly Greek? Zephyros was the Greek God of the west wind, so Zephyra would seem to be a feminine form of his name.
Abiah - Hebrew, from the name Abijah, which means "great" or "Yahweh is my father" or "my father rejoices" or "joy of my father". The Hebrew root "av" means "father". It could also come from the English word abbey which derives from an Old French surname that came from 'abet' which means "a priest or a local chief" and denotes priest, Abbey then means 'son of a priest'. Its use in English could also come as a nickname for Abner or Abelard.
Beret - I know, you're thinking of a clever little hat worn sideways, but this name is pronounced 'bear it'. It has a few different derivations. It can be a form of Bereta, which is a form of Berita, which is an "old dialectal form of Birgitta", and Birgitta is a Nordic version of Brigitta, which, hallelujah, we're almost to the end, is a Nordic form of the Celtic name Brighid. Ah! At last! Brighid may be more familiar to you in its modern form of Bridget. Brighid was a Catholic Saint, but before that, she was a Celtic goddess (depending on how you view history, religion, and culture - you may think of them as separate individuals). And Brighid is composed of the Celtic 'briganti' which means 'high' or "mighty". Or, maybe it comes from the Celtic 'brigh' meaning 'strength' or 'force'. I usually just go with the standard 'powerful' or 'strong'. They all seem similar in intended description to me.
|"The Trial of Strength" by Howard Pyle|
Callan - Irish, meaning "O'Cathalain" meaning "of or from Cathal", which comes from "cath" meaning "battle" and "val" meaning "rule" and is a personal name used in Irish, Scottish, and English - Cahill may be a more familiar version of Cathal to Americans. This name was commonly used in the Middle Ages, especially in Munster and Connacht, Ireland (referring to Cathal). The other possible origin is from Scottish Gaelic and is then an English version of the Scottish last name MacAllen or MacAlan, which is a form of Mac Ailin, meaning "of Allen".
Danciel -I knew a kid named this growing up, pronounced "dan shull". A little hard finding an etymology for the name, however. I did find that the French phrase 'dan Ciel et tierre' means 'of Heaven and earth' and that the name Dashiell (which belonged to a famous writer and seems to come from Scotland by way of French Protestants) may also have a similar origin, from dan Ciel. I do not know anything certain enough yet, but as I find information, I will post it.
Eamon - Irish, a variant spelling of Eamonn, which is an Irish form of Edmund, which comes from Old English "ead" meaning "rich" or "blessed" and "mund" meaning "protector". Eamon is pronounced 'ay mon'.
Fagan- I got the idea for featuring this name for the Jewish character in Charles Dickens' story Oliver Twist. But apparently he spelled that Fagin and there are several notions as to the proper origin . I'll just give you a few. Charles Dickens actually knew someone with the last name of Fagin - the man was Irish and Fagan is an Irish surname. Which is said to come from the Norman invaders - there is a French surname also of Faguin which means "maker or seller of faggots". Another source might be the Old Saxon word fagin which means 'joyful'. There was a St. Fagan and there is a Welsh surname Fagan or Ffagan. There is, actually, a Yiddish name that is similar in sound.