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.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

410 New Names Learned So Far This Year

My 'homeland' in Utah


Hemma - Germanic, from "heim" meaning "home" or "homeland". Emma comes from the name Hemma.

Indira Ghandi with her father

Indira - Sanskrit, meaning "beauty".

Jessalyn- a combination of the male Hebrew name "Jessie" and the English name "Lyn" and mimics the form of the name Joscelyn. Jessie comes from Yishay and means "God's gift". Lyn derives from the Welsh "llyn" meaning "lake".


Kyren - Sanskrit, meaning "ray of light".



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Names #397-403

Beautiful urns in a Roman mosaic

Zuri - Swahili, meaning "beautiful".

silver and blessed
Arianwen - Welsh, meaning "silver and blessed". Pronounced "ar ee AHN when".

Burla - a Bulgarian Jewish name. Possibly means "storm".

storm over Utah Lake




Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego protected by an angel
Eliaphaz - Hebrew, meaning "My Elohim is strength". Elohim means God.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

1,597 Names left to Learn in 2014






The Way of St. James in Burgos, Spain
Rudecindo- Spanish variant of Rosendo, a form of the Visigothic name Rudecind, which comes from "hrod" meaning "fame" and "sinth" meaning "path".

Solon - ancient Greek meaning "wisdom".

Torrance - Celtic, meaning "from the knolls".

Zemariah - Hebrew, meaning "song of God".

Monday, February 24, 2014

1, 618 Names left to learn this year after today's 7


Synolda - I've been digging around on this name for nearly a year now. I know one thing for certain, which is that it was a female name in use in Northern France or among the Norman invaders of Britain. I don't know much more for certain. Conjecture might associate it with 'chennault' a name given to a person who lived near a channel of water (such as the English channel separating England and France) or to the word 'saulte' as in the name of Saulte Sainte Marie, the name of a city on the Saint Mary's river in Ontario, Canada, so named by the French, perhaps, because of the rapids or waterfall located there, as 'saulte' means 'jump' (saltar in Spanish also means 'to jump, and 'salta' would be what you would say if telling someone to jump. Perhaps Synolda is an old French form of some word related to this root. But in the end, it may simply mean 'a waterfall' or perhaps a place on a river where one enters or leaves the river). It 'looks' more like the word 'synod', which is the word used to refer to a church council where doctrinal matters are decided. It comes from the Greek 'synodos' meaning 'assembly' or 'meeting'. It is also worth remembering that 'ot' is a common ending to French names and a often makes a name feminine, so the original form of the name may have looked and sounded different. Which makes me think of the Greek 'xeno' meaning 'stranger' or 'foreign'. The Vikings were strangers, at first, in France, their Norman descendants were 'foreign' to the people of England, and the Anglo Normans who came to Ireland were also. I would like to know for certain the origin and meaning of this name. For now, this will have to suffice.

Torkel - Norse, from "Tor" meaning "Thor" (the god of thunder) and "ketill" meaning "cauldron" so it means "Thor's cauldron" or 'helmet" as ketill can also mean helmet. Usually a male name, but I encountered it as a female name. There is quite a story about how Thor goes about getting a cauldron.

Uli- Germanic form of Ulli, meaning "heritage" or "patrimony". It can also be a short form of the Germanic name Ulrike, meaning "powerful ruler" or an Estonian form of the Latin Ursula, meaning "little female bear". It is also a form of the Irish name "Ula", meaning "sea jewel".



Welby- Old English, "from the farm by the spring".

Xurxo - Galician form of George.

Yasser - Arabic, meaning "to be rich" from 'yasira' which means "to become easy".

Sunday, February 23, 2014

389 Names as of Today

Just when I think I've seen it all, I come across a new name that completely surprises me. Which names so far were the most 'surprising' to you as names (or as names on that gender)?

Here are the 7 for today, which brings the total number of names you've learned on this blog this year to 389. And we have not yet finished February.



Laurela - Spanish variant of the Latin 'laurel' referring to the laurel tree. This is pronounced 'lao ray lah'.

Marieke  Dutch nickname for Maria, which is a Latin form of the Hebrew name Mary, which may derive from the Egyptian 'mri'.

Pythias - Greek. I originally posted this as a boy's name, but I was mistaken. Pythias was a woman's name and the name of the wife of Aristotle (so I am doubly embarrassed for the mistake).


Cave of St. Ninian in Scotland
Ninian- name of a Christian saint who lived in the 4th century A.D. and who converted Picts to Christianity. Wikipedia outlines various sources and ideas about who he was, namely that he was a Briton and would have spoken a Celtic language. They also point out arguments that he spent time in Rome, had a Spanish mother, died in Whithorn, Scotland, spent time in Ulster, Ireland, and dedicated the church he founded to Saint Martin of Tours. Since one suggestion is that a man known as Finnian is one and the same with St. Ninian, I thought it worthwhile to include information on that name, and man, should it have relevance to the origin or meaning of the name Ninian. Finnian was a Christian missionary in Ireland and his name means "the white head", which would be a reference to his fair hair, according to Wikipedia. He seems to have lived a century and a half later than St. Ninian is supposed to have lived, but he is supposed to have gone to Rome also (perhaps not such an unusual accomplishment for a medieval saint, and many people may have the same or similar name, even lives, yet be separate people). Also he spent time at Whithorn, which is connected to St. Ninian. Whithorn seems to derive from the Old English "hwit aern" which means "white house". I don't know if there could be any connection between the name of the founder and the name of the town. No one seems to suggestion any connection between the name Niniane, a woman's name from Arthurian legend, though I cannot figure out why. I will be very happy when I find out more about this name's origin and meaning. Or, a more satisfying answer to the questions 'where did it come from' and 'what does it mean'?

Ocelus - possibly Silurian, a Celtic god important as a protector.

Rulon - variant of the Germanic name Roland, meaning 'famous landowner'.

Sunday's Names



Eiluned - Welsh, meaning"idol".

Floridalma- Spanish, probably a combination of 'florida' meaning 'flowering' and 'alma' meaning 'soul'.

Code of Hammurabi, Oldest Known written laws

Gulielma - Italian feminine form of the German name William, which derives from the roots "wil" meaning "will" or "desire" and "helm" meaning "helmet" or "protection".


Hammurabi - Akkadian, from the Amorite "Ammurapi" meaning "the kinsman is a healer", from "ammu" "paternal kinsman" and "rapi" "healer". I would think that would make the name mean something more like "my father's kinsman is a healer".

Iah - Egyptian, meaning "moon". The name of the Egyptian moon god.

           Egyptian hieroglyphs that represent the name of the moon god Iah

There was also a female bearer of the name Iah, daughter of a pharaoh, married to a pharaoh, and mother to another pharaoh and his wife (since they were brother and sister).

Jehiel - Hebrew, meaning "God lives", pronounced "jee HIE ul".

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Do you see one or two names you would use?

I'm not saying they're all extremely usable. But, I think that Aljourn 'might' work on a boy these days and Xevera maybe on a girl. I wonder if there was ever more than one Zerubbabel??




Yrsa - Swedish, possibly derived from 'ursa' meaning 'bear'.


Zerubbabel - possibly Hebrew, derived from "Zerua Bavel" meaning "the one sown of Babylon" or "Zeruy Bavel" meaning "the winnowed one of Babylon". The one interpretation relates to the idea of child born in Babylon or conceived there and the second to living in Babylon as an exile. Wikipedia also suggests the possibility that this name derives from the Assyrian-Babylonian "Zeru Bavel" which means "one conceived in Babylon". They all seem the same to me.

Burgess Meredith, actor
Aljourn - a form of Algernon.

Burgess - English, derived from the French and indicating someone who lives in a town.

Cuthbert - Old English, meaning "famous".

oops, I posted this a bit early - these names are for Saturday

Some rather awesome names to add to the list!



Iraida - Arabic, meaning "seeker".
woman seeking knowledge


Kenton - English. The second part of the name refers to 'town'. The first element, 'ken', could refer to
the river Kenn, thus, a town near this river. The Old English surname Cena referred to someone from the town of this name, according to the website babynamespedia. The website also points out that the Old English 'cyne' is another possible source for 'Ken', and meaning 'royal' and that 'tun' can mean 'homestead' as well as 'town' or 'settlement'. In this instance Kenton then means "royal manor". The website says that 'cena' as a word and personal name means 'keen'. Though, in combination with the second element it would seem the reference would be most likely to indicate a settlement named for someone named Cena, rather than the word 'cena'.

Loftus - perhaps Loftus as a first name comes from the practice of using a family surname as a child's first name. I found a very neat webpage in my search to find the origin of this name. called Surname Database. According to this site, it is English coming from "lotht" which means "upper floor" and "hus" meaning "house". It points out the rarity of such a home in the Middle Ages, and so a place that had such a thing came to be called Loftus. And from that, someone from such a place eventually had the surname Loftus. As early as 1219 A.D.

The website has some neat features. It has a map that shows the distribution of this surname in the U.S. It would seem that there is no one in Hawaii, North Dakota, or Alabama with the name, but a lot in Oklahoma (if the legend that says the high rate of occurrence for the name is shown by dark red). Or else in Illinois and Pennsylvania, if the part that says the greener the state shown on the map, the more people who live there with this surname.

It seems rather odd to me as a first name though.

Marama - name of a moon good in the Cook Islands, in the South Pacific ocean.

Noam- Hebrew, from "No-omi" meaning "pleasantness".

Joiada - Hebrew, meaning "Yahu knows", derived from Jehoiada. Wikipedia gives the pronunciation as 'Yoyada'.

With these 7 names, we only need to learn 1,864 new names this year!! Piece a cake!

If you want to contemplate the vast possibilities there are for names, consult the A section of baby name books. I will still have A names you never knew existed long after all the other letters have been exhausted. Anyhow, enjoy today's names.


Aderinsola - Yoruba, meaning "a crown walks into wealth".

Bobette -I grew up with a Bobette. I suppose it could have been spelled Bobbette. I'm thinking she used two b's. This is a feminine variant of Bob, a nickname for the name Robert, though it would also work for any 'ob' name. Ironically enough, I think you could get several good nicknames out of Bobbette - Bobbie, Bobo, Bo, Bette, Betty, Etta. Even Boo. Edie too, do you think? Now I'm going to have to see if I can find another plain nickname like Bob that can be converted eventually into several new nicknames.

Citlalli - Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs) meaning "star". I've seen a few spellings of this name, including Xitlaly, I've known two - one spelled with the C and one with the X. In Spanish this is pronounced 'seat lahl ee' and that first syllable is very quick and you mainly hear the rest of the name.

Deseret - Mormon - Jaredite, meaning "honey bee". Deseret is a word in the Book of Mormon and here in Utah it's all over the place because Brigham Young used the symbol of the honey bee and beehive to unite his people and inspire them to work together. It's pronounced 'dez uh rhett'. I think it's pretty actually, and you wouldn't need to be Mormon necessarily to use it. My friend's sister's name is Deseret but, oddly enough, it's pronounced like Desiree (dez uh ray). While we're on the subject of des names, I want to add that I think Desert is an awesome option, for a boy or a girl (I'm true to my Escalante roots and love the beautiful desert canyons and sagebrush around here). Anyhow, the word deseret appears in the Book of Mormon as the word used by an ancient people who would have lived in the Americas at least 1,000 to 2,000 years B.C. The people took honey bees with them when they went to live somewhere else. I think that's a rather pretty image, even though practically, I would hate to have a bunch of bees around, especially just wearing skimpy loincloths and whatnot. For the uninitiated, Jaredite is the term used to refer to those people and they are supposed to have crossed the ocean in ships that were completely enclosed, waterpoof. I always pictured a flying saucer for underwater, and they were lit by stones God touched. Whether or not I believe in the actual occurrence of the story, I have to admit that it is still every bit as wonderfully magical as it was the first time I heard it.


Eliakim - I saw this name and thought 'How can I pass up the chance to do a name like this? It's pretty freakin' awesome!' A Hebrew name derived from Elyaqim, which comes from 'el' and 'qum' or 'quwm'. The name means "resurrection of God" or "raised up by God" or "who God will raise up" or "God sets up". Elyaqim is pronounced "el-yaw-keem". On I found definitions for the roots 'el' and 'qum'. El is straightforward, it just means God. Qum is not. It means "to arise, stand up, or stand" but there is more to it than that. You can explore the very detailed explanation here.

Fedeas - I found this name on a name blog, Eponymia, as an "Old Quebec Name". Maybe that makes it French. I came across Phidias as a Greek name, from which it may have originated.  Phidias (or Pheidias) was the greatest sculptor of ancient Greece, and he created one of the seven wonders of the World (the statue of Zeus at Olympia). I have not yet been able to find out the etymology of Phidias, though.

Glisson - probably a variant spelling of Gleason, an English form of the surname O Gliasain, which, meaning 'son of Gliasain', ultimately comes from the Irish 'glas' meaning 'green' or 'blue' or 'gray'.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

O to V, Seven Names We'll See, And Leave More Wise Than if There'd Been Only 3.

 Until I come across some more q names of interest, that letter is done for this year. Which is how you get seven names from o to v





Shoshanna - Hebrew, meaning "lily". Shosh and Shoshi are nicknames.


Irish castle of the O'Neills
Thurl - Irish, meaning "from the strong fortress" according to babynamespedia.

The Archangel Uriel
Uriel - Hebrew, derived either from roots meaning "fire of God" or else "light of God". This is the name of 'an angel of fire' in Jewish tradition, one of the archangels.

Verica  - Celtic, name of a leader of the Atrebates, a Celtic tribe.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tuesday's Names


petit fours, dainty pastries, sometimes called 'dainties'
Tryphena - Greek, meaning "delicate" or "dainty" or "luxurious". This name can also be spelled Tryphaena or Tryphenna. This is the name of a Christian saint of the primitive church.

Ulu - Finnish nickname for Ulla, which in turn can be a nickname for such names as Ulrika, Ursula, and Hulda. This information is courtesy of the FABULOUS name website Nordic Names  (oops, I just read today her policy on only using a few of the name definitions on her site on your own website, so, I shall have to do more research and find a non-copyrighted source on a lot of the Scandinavian names, especially those featured at the end of the year. As I have time. I'd rather people had information and learned about her website, where everything is much more orderly and sensible and easy to search and find what you're looking to know. Not that anyone ever reads this blog but me. But I've always loved the idea of sending out a million 'messages in a bottle' in hopes of one reaching someone).

Vasilesa the Brave

Vasilesa- Russian, the feminine form of Vasily, which comes from the Greek name Basilios, which comes from the name Basil, which is derived from the word 'basileus' which means 'king'. Therefore Vasilesa means 'queen'. It is also the name of a character in a Russian fairytale.

the seaside town of Whitby, England

Whitby - English, derived from the Norse name and meaning "white settlement".

Ximén - Basque, meaning "pure" or "clean". However, Charlotte Mary Yonge in her book History of Christian Names suggests that it may be connected to the Germanic root 'amal' which means 'work'.

Ximen is also a Chinese surname meaning 'west gate'.

Yul - Russian, nickname derived from the given name Yuliy, which is a form of the Latin name Julius, which comes from the name of a Roman family, the Julii. suggests that it might come from the Greek word iolus meaning "downy-bearded".

Zadock -  Hebrew, meaning "fair one" or "righteous one". The names of the Sadducees are said to come from Zaddock.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

President's Day - 7 Names

I should try to do a theme, I think. But this is not happening. Still, I hope you enjoy learning about these 7 names:


Mellizena - from the French name Melusine, pronounced 'may loo ZEEN', which is the name of a water spirit (or nymph, fairy) that was cursed by her mother to transform, from the waist down, into a fish or serpent. When her unwitting husband breaks his promise never to enter the bath while she bathes (on Saturdays, of course) he sees her in this form and she transforms into a dragon and leaves.

Wikipedia points out that 'meluzina' in Czech and Slovak means 'a wailing wind' usually in the chimney and is believed to be the sound of Melusine searching for her children. Whoever wrote the Wikipedia article did a fantastic job, you can reference it here, as there is so much more to know than what I've chosen to include. It tells how one of the most famous legends of Melusine connects her to Avalon. The Lady of the Lake of Arthurian legend was this sort of water spirit. The various folktales and myths involving Melusine are from Northern Europe, especially northern France, Luxembourg, etc. Also, according to Wikipedia, Martin Luther believed Melusine to be a sort of evil spirit or demon, usually called a 'succubus'. In the legends she is the daughter of Pressyne and sister of Melior and Palatyne. Her curse is a punishment from her mother, a fairy or nymph herself, of course, because she and her sisters imprisoned their father as an act of retribution.
Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenberg

A gracious thank you to my long-deceased and very distant cousin Amelia Mellizena (or Mellezene or Melusina) Denny for introducing me to this name. The woman in the painting to the right is no relation of mine (near as I can tell, without doing any research) but, besides bearing the name, she seems to have been fortunate in having Ehrengard for a first name and a glorious blue dress. She was the mistress of the king of England, George I and named her daughter Petronilla Melusine. Petronilla Melusine (named for grandma it would seem, whose name was Petronelle) married a man by the last name of Stanhope (which is featured in the boys' section of this post, as I came across this used as a FIRST name.)

not a dahlia and daffodil cross, but almost looks it!

yellow daffodils

Narcedalia - I've found this used as a name in Spanish. Maybe it's a smoosh of Narcissa and Dahlia (in Spanish that would be Narcisa and Dalia). However, I did come across an 1840 Spanish/Latin dictionary, with the word narce meaning "torpor". Torpor is a great word. It means something like mental lethargy. I think of it like a brain freeze, you feel so stupid or your thinking is slow. Another book, referencing the origin and meaning of Narcedalia pointed out that narceine (it was in Spanish so the word they used was narceina) is derived from opium, which, we know, comes from the poppy flower. It is an alternative to morphine. Narcissus, for whom the narcissus flower is named, fell in love with his own reflection and died when he fell into the pool of water.

Dahlia is a name taken from the dahlia flower, which was named for a man with the last name of Dahl (he was Danish). Dahl, like the word dale in English (and the names Dale or Dell), means 'valley'.

painting of a dahlia
A little about the two flowers.

Narcissus is a genus of flowers and dahlia is also a genus of flowers. Given that Narcedalia is a name used by Spanish-speakers, and seems to be used mainly in Mexico or by people closely connected to Mexico, it is interesting that dahlias are native to Mexico and are the national flower. Dahlias are a member of the daisy family, which includes sunflowers and asters. Narcissus belong to the amaryllis family (interesting, etymologically speaking, as the word in Spanish for the color yellow is amarillo, and who doesn't think of daffodils as yellow? ). In addition, it appears that many many many years ago, when flower species were evolving on earth (Oligocene period, to be exact) the narcissus group of flowers began, in the area of modern Spain. The Aztecs of Mexico ate the roots of dahlias and also used the flower in treating epilepsy. They called the flower 'acocotle' or 'cocoxochitl' and the Toltecs of Mexico called it 'chichipatl'. Which I find interesting as Xochitl is a name used in Spanish as well (it simply means flower).
bouquet with both narcissus and dahlia

Ornelle - Italian, from the name Ornella, meaning "flowering ash tree" (according to the website babynamespedia.)

flowering ash tree

Perdita - a name from Shakespeare's play "A Winter's Tale". It comes from Latin and refers to a lost woman, in the sense of a lost soul or someone who has been 'damned' or lost their reputation, morals, etc. Interesting, of course, because she is born in prison. Herfl father believed her mother was unfaithful to him and he put her there. When the child is brought to him he refuses to believe she is his daughter. She is left in a box on the sea coast of another country and raised by a shepherd. Later the prince of that country falls in love with her, his dad doesn't approve (not knowing she is a princess). She and her lover flee to Sicilia and eventually discovers her heritage, after which everyone is united, they marry and live happily ever after.


Achilles drags the body of Hector around the walls of Troy

medieval stone path
Quilles - Spanish form of Quilez, which is probably from the name Aquileo, which is a form of the Greek name Achilles, which comes from 'ahkhos' "grief" and laos "a people" or a "nation".

Rosendo - Spanish, variant of the name Rudecindo, which is derived from the Visigothic name Rudescind, which comes from the Germanic roots 'hrod' meaning "fame" and 'sinths' meaning path.

Stanhope - English, meaning "from the stony meadow".