Hannibal

Hannibal is the name of a famous Carthaginian general who is considered one of the greatest military generals in history and caused the Ancient Romans great fear. His name comes from Phoenician haan (grace) combined with the name Ba’al meaning “grace of Ba’al”, Ba’al being the name of the chief god of the Phoenician pantheon which means “lord, husband”. Hannibal is also a surname, either derived from the given name or else a variant spelling of Hunnibal or Hunnabell, an Old English surname perhaps derived from Germanic given name Hunnbald meaning “brave bear cub” from Germanic elements hunn (bear cub) and bald (bold, brave). It may also be a derivative of female given name Anabel derived from Late Latin Amabilis meaning “lovable”.

Origin: Phoenician, Germanic, Late Latin

Variants:

  • Annibale (Italian)
  • Aníbal (Spanish, Portuguese)

 

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Arthur

Arthur is the name of the legendary king of the Arthurian legends, the king of the Britons who defended against Saxon invaders. The meaning behind the name is unknown though it has often been linked to Celtic *artos meaning “bear” combined with rīxs meaning “king” meaning “bear king” or gwr (man) meaning “bear man”. The name may also be related to Artorius, a rare Roman family name of unknown etymology and meaning. Arthur is also a surname derived from the given name.

Origin: Celtic

Variants:

  • Arturo (Italian, Spanish)
  • Artur (Portuguese, Galician, Catalan, Polish, Russian, German, Estonian, Swedish, Romanian, Czech)
  • Artturi (Finnish)
  • Artúr (Hungarian)
  • Artūrs (Latvian)
  • Artūras (Lithunanian)
  • Artair (Scottish)

 

Female forms:

  • Arthuria (English)
  • Arthurina (English)
  • Arthurine (English, French)

 

Bernie

Bernie is a nickname for names like Bernard, a Germanic male name meaning “brave bear” or “hardy bear” from Germanic elements bern (bear) and hard (brave, hardy); Bernadette and Bernardine, both feminine forms of Bernard; and Bernice, a variant spelling of Berenice, which is the Latinized form of Macedonian Berenike from Greek Pherenike meaning “bringing victory” or “bringer of victory” from Greek elements pheros (to bring) and nike (victory).

Origin: Germanic, Greek

Variants:

  • Berny (English)
  • Bern (English, Germanic)

 

Artemis

Artemis is the Greek goddess of the hunt, wild animals, childbirth, and fertility, as well as a protecteress of young girls. A huntress who is often depicted with a bow and arrow, Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo. Some versions of the myth say Artemis was born first and helped her mother give birth to Apollo, and Artemis herself remained a virgin, forsaking any relationships with men. She’s also been associated with the moon (and Apollo with the sun). As for her name, Artemis is of uncertain etymology and meaning with some sources citing it as pre-Greek. It could possibly be related to Persian *arte or *arta meaning “great, excellent, holy” or from Greek árktos meaning “bear” since she did have a link to bears. The name has also been associated with Greek artemes “safe”, artamos “butcher”, artios “perfect, complete”.

Although Artemis is the name of a Greek goddess, it’s also had some usage as a boy’s name, making it unisex.

Origin: Persian, Greek

Feminine forms:

  • Artemisia (Ancient Greek, English)
  • Artemisa (Romanian)

 

Male forms:

  • Artemas
  • Artemus
  • Artemisios (Ancient Greek)
  • Artemidorus (Ancient Greek)
  • Artemidoros (Ancient Greek)

 

Ula

Ula is a diminutive of Urszula, the Polish form of Ursula meaning “little bear”, itself a diminutive of ursa meaning “she-bear”. It could also be a short form of Ulalume, the name of a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe which seems to have been based on Latin ululare meaning “to wail” or lumen meaning “light”. An ula is also a poetic device used in Tamil poetry, as well as the name of an ancient Tongan dance. Ula is also a Hindi word meaning “tour”. Ula could also be a variant spelling of Eula, a short form of Eulalia, a Greek name meaning “sweetly speaking” or “well spoken”. It could be pronounced either oo-la or yoo-la.

Origin: Latin, Tamil, Tongan, Greek

Variants:

  • Ursa (Latin)
  • Ursula (English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Norwegian, German, Dutch)

 

Umberto

Umberto is the Italian form of Humbert, a Germanic name meaning “bright warrior” or “bright bear cub” from Germanic elements hun (warrior, bear cub) and beraht (bright). I’ve also seen the first element of the name hun as being connected to the Huns, a nomadic tribe who came from somewhere between the Caucasus and Central Asia. Humbert is also a surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Germanic

Variants:

  • Humbert (German, French, English)
  • Hunberct (Ancient Germanic)
  • Humberto (Spanish, Portuguese)

 

Female forms:

  • Umberta (Italian)

 

Teddy

Origin: Greek, Old English

Meaning: Teddy is often used as a nickname for Theodore, a masculine name derived from Greek Theodoros meaning “gift of God” or “God’s gift” from Greek elements theos (God) and doron (gift).

Teddy could also be a nickname for Theodora, the feminine form of Theodore, making it a unisex name.

It’s also been used as a nickname for Edward, an English masculine name composed from Old English elements ead (wealth, fortune) and weard (guard, guardian) meaning “wealthy guard” or “rich guard/guardian”.

Teddy is also a word, referring to a woman’s one piece undergarment, as well as referring to a teddy bear, a plush toy bear that got its name from the 26th President Theodore Roosevelt, because he apparently refused to shoot a bear cub on a hunting trip.

Variants:

  • Teddie
  • Theodore
  • Theodora
  • Edward