Herman

Herman is a male name made up of Germanic elements hari (army) and man (man) meaning “army man”. It’s also a surname derived from the given name.

Origin: Germanic

Variants:

  • Hermann (German)
  • Hermanus (Dutch, Ancient Germanic)
  • Hariman (Ancient Germanic)
  • Hermanni (Finnish)
  • Armand (French)
  • Ármann (Icelandic)
  • Armando (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Ermanno (Italian)
  • German (Russian)

 

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Kai

Kai is a name with various origins and meanings:

  • it’s a Hawaiian unisex name meaning “sea”;
  • it’s also a Japanese name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used, such as: (海) “sea, ocean”; (貝) “shellfish”; (快) “cheerful, pleasant, agreeable, comfortable”; (戒) “commandment”, and other various meanings; as well as also being a compound of names like Kaito and Kairi;
  • Kai is also a Japanese surname written with the kanji (甲斐) meaning “armor; carapace, shell; high (voice);  A grade; first class; former; instep + beautiful; patterned);
  • it’s a Dutch and German surname, a topographic name for someone who lived by the quayside; the name derives from Dutch kaai meaning “quay”;
  • it’s a Chinese male name with various meanings depending on the characters used such as: (凯) “victorious, triumphant”; (開) “open, start”; and (啟) “start, begin, open”;
  • it’s also a Frisian short form of names such as Gerhard (the German, Dutch, and Scandinavian form of Gerard meaning “brave/hardy spear”), Nicolaas (the Polish form of Nicholas meaning “victory of the people”), Cornelis, the Dutch form of Cornelius possibly derived from Latin meaning “horn”), or Kajetan (the Polish form of Gaetano, the Italian form of Latin Caietanus meaning “from Caieta”, also spelled Gaeta, the name of a town in Italy; or Kaimbe, an Old Frisian name meaning “warrior”;
  • it may also be a variant spelling of Cai, the Welsh form of Kay, the name of King Arthur’s foster-brother and seneschel in Arthurian legend; it may possibly be a Welsh form of Gaius, a Roman given name of uncertain meaning though it’s been linked to Latin gaudere meaning “to rejoice” though it may also be derived from an older Etruscan source of unknown meaning;
  • Kai is also a word in several languages: it means “and” in Greek; “quay, pier” in Estonian; “food” in Maori; and I’ve also seen it as possibly meaning “willow tree” in Navajo;
  • it also seems to be an African male name although I couldn’t find a specific meaning behind it, though it may be a title or a prefix meaning “king” or “king of kings”;
  • Kai is also the name of several place names.

Origin: Hawaiian, Japanese, Dutch, Chinese, Latin, Greek, Estonian, Maori, Navajo, African

Variants:

  • Kaj (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian)
  • Caj (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian)
  • Cai (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian,
  • Kay (Frisian, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English)

 

Female forms:

  • Kay (English)

 

Matilda

Matilda comes from Old German Mahthildis meaning “strength in battle” or “might in battle” from Germanic elements maht (might, strength) which comes from Proto-Indo-European root word *megʰ- (to be able), and hild (battle) which also comes from a Proto-Indo-European root word.

Nicknames: Mattie/Matty, Tilda, Tildy, Tilly/Tillie

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Mahthildis (Ancient Germanic)
  • Mathilda (English, Swedish, Ancient Germanic)
  • Matylda (Czech, Polish)
  • Maud (English, Dutch)
  • Maude (English)
  • Maudie (English)
  • Mathilde (French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Machteld (Dutch)
  • Mechteld (Dutch)
  • Mahaut (Medieval French)
  • Mechthild (German)
  • Mechthilde (German)
  • Matild (Hungarian)
  • Mafalda (Italian, Portuguese)
  • Matilde (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian)
  • Mallt (Welsh)

 

Anna-Maria

Anna-Maria is a female given name, a combination of Anna and Maria:

  • Anna is the Latinate form of Hannah which comes from the Hebrew name Channah meaning “grace” or “favor”;
  • Maria comes from the Hebrew female name Miriam, a name of unknown meaning though possible meanings ascribed to it are “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness” or “obstinacy”, and “wished for child”. It’s also possible that it might be derived from an Egyptian source either meaning “beloved” from myr, or from mr“love”. Maria is also the feminine form of Marius, a Roman family name which could be derived from Latin mas meaning “male” or Latin mare meaning “sea”. It could also be derived from Mars, the Roman god of war (the Roman counterpart of the Greek god Ares), a name of uncertain etymology though it’s possible that Mars was derived from an older source, perhaps from from Etruscan Maris (the god of fertility and agriculture) of unknown meaning. Mars could also be the contracted form of an older name, Mavors (or Mavort) which could come from Latin verb mah or margh (to cut) and vor (to turn), essentially meaning “turner of the battle”. Mars could also be derived from the same  Proto-Indian-European root as Sanskrit marici meaning “ray of light”, or Proto-Indian-European mer meaning “to die”. It could also be associated with Latin marceo meaning “to (cause to) wither” and “to (make) shrivel” and Latin marcus meaning “hammer”.

Origin: Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Etruscan, Latin, Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Annamaria (Italian, English)
  • Annamária (Hungarian)
  • Annemarie (Dutch, German)
  • Annmarie (English)

 

Isolde

Isolde is the name of several figures in Arthurian legend, the most famous one being the princess of Ireland who is betrothed to King Mark of Cornwall. Mark’s nephew Tristan goes to fetch Isolde to Cornwall and on their voyage back the two accidentally drink a love potion and wind up falling madly in love with each other which eventually leads to their deaths. In some versions Mark banishes Tristan from his court when he finds out about their affair; in others, he is killed by his uncle. The origin of the name is uncertain though it’s believed to have Celtic roots or it may come from a Germanic name made up of is (ice, iron) and hild (battle) meaning “ice battle” or “iron battle”.

Origin: Ancient Germanic, perhaps Celtic

Variants:

  • Iseult
  • Iseut
  • Yseult (French)
  • Yseut
  • Ysolt
  • Eseld (Cornish)
  • Izolda (Georgian, Polish)
  • Isotta (Italian)
  • Esyllt (Welsh)

 

Ruth

Ruth is a Hebrew female name of uncertain origin though the most popular theory is that it is linked to Hebrew re’ut meaning “companion” or “friend”, though other possible theories include: “refreshment”, “appearance, beauty”, and “pasture”. Ruth may also be related to Middle English word ruthe or reuth meaning “pity, compassion”, “sorrow, grief” derived from Old Norse hryggð (sorrow, grief). Ruth is also a Limburgish short form of Rutger, the Dutch form of Roger meaning “famous spear” from Germanic elements hrod (fame) and ger (spear). Ruth is also a surname.

Origin: Hebrew, Old Norse, Germanic

Variants:

  • Ruthie (English)
  • Rut (Swedish, Spanish, Icelandic, Hebrew)
  • Routh (Greek)
  • Ruut (Finnish)
  • Rūta (Lithuanian)
  • Ruta (Polish)
  • Rute (Portuguese)
  • Ruf (Russian)

 

Hill

Hill comes from an English surname with several possible meanings such as:

  • it may have derived from a topographical name for someone who lived near or on a hill; the name comes from Old English hyll borrowed from Proto-Germanic *hulliz (stone, rock) which ultimately comes from Proto-Indo-European *kel- (to rise, to be tall);
  • it may also have been used as a medieval given name, a shortened form of Hilary/Hillary, derived from Latin hilarius meaning “cheerful, merry, happy”;
  • it may also derive from any personal name beginning with the Germanic element hild meaning “battle” such as Hilda;

Origin:  Proto-Indo-European, Latin, Germanic

 

 

Percy

Percy is a short form of Percival, first created by French poet Chrétien de Troyes for his poem Perceval, the story of the Grail in the 12th century. It’s likely the name was based on Welsh Peredur meaning “hard spear” though the spelling of the name was altered to resemble Old French percer val “to pierce the valley”. Percival is one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legends. Percy could also be a nickname for Perseus, a figure from Greek mythology (son of the Greek god Zeus); though the etymology behind his name in uncertain, it has been linked to Greek perthein meaning “to waste, ravage, sack, destroy”.

Percy is also a surname derived from the name of a Norman town called Percy-en-Auge which may originally have been a Gaulish name Latinized as Persius, which is also a Roman family name though it may also be from Old French percer (to pierce, to breach) and haie (hedge, enclosure), perhaps given to a soldier who breached a fortification or a poacher who hunted in a private park.

Origin: Welsh, Old French, Greek

Variants:

  • Piercy
  • Perci
  • Pearcy
  • Piercey
  • Peredur (Welsh)
  • Percival (English)
  • Perseus (Greek)

 

Troy

Troy has several possible meanings and etymologies behind it:

  • it comes from a surname derived from a city in Troyes, France, used to describe someone who came from there. The name comes from Latin Tricasses, the name of a Gallic tribe that lived in the area. The first part of the name comes from tri meaning “three” although the second element, cass-, is a little trickier. It may mean “bronze, tin, brass” or “battle”;
  • Troy may also be the Anglicized form of a Gaelic surname, Ó Troighthigh meaning “descendant of Troightheach”, the latter a person name meaning “foot soldier”;
  • Troy is also the name of an ancient city in Asia Minor in what is now Turkey, that features in Homer’s Iliad, in which a ten year war between the Trojans and the Greeks rages on over the abduction of Helen by Paris, son of King Priam. It was known as Troia in Ancient Greek and Latin, as well as Ilium by the Romans; the name may have been derived from the name of a king, Tros, the founder of Troy and its ancestors, and the father of Ganymede, who was taken by Zeus and made the official cupbearer of the gods in Mount Olympus. I couldn’t find the etymology behind the name;
  • it may also be an Americanized spelling of Treu, a German and Jewish (Ashkenazic) surname meaning “true, loyal, faithful” in Middle High German;
  • it could also be a Dutch surname, derived from Middle Dutch troye, meaning “doublet, jerkin”, either an occupational name for a tailor or a nickname for someone who wore a particular garment that was striking enough to be singular;
  • I’ve also seen it listed as being a Dutch short form of Gertrude, from a Germanic name meaning “spear of strength”.

Origin: Latin, Gaelic, Ancient Greek, German, Dutch

Variants:

  • Troye (English, French)
  • Troi (English)

 

Female forms:

  • Troya
  • Troia (Latin, Greek)
  • Troi (English)

 

Duilio

Duilio is the Spanish and Italian form of Duilius, a Roman name possibly derived from Latin duellum meaning “war” derived from Proto-Indo-European *dew- “to injure, destroy, burn”.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Duilius (Ancient Roman)

 

Female forms:

  • Duilia (Ancient Roman)
  • Duília (Brazilian)