Gavin

Gavin is a medieval form of Gawain, a name of uncertain meaning though it could be derived from Welsh Gwalchgwyn meaning “white hawk” from Old Welsh elements gwalch (hawk) and gwyn (white). Another possible origin for the name is from Welsh Gwalchmei meaning  “hawk of May” from Old Welsh gwalch (hawk) and mei (May). The name may also be derived from an early Brittonic name, *Ualcos Magesos meaning “hawk of the plain”. In Arthurian legend, Gawain is a knight of the Round Table, often portrayed as a nephew of King Arthur, son of his sister Morgause (or Anna) and her husband Lot, and the brother of Agravain, Gaheris, Gareth, and Mordred.

Gavin is also an English surname originating from the given name. It may also be an anglicized form of Gaelic O’ Gabhain possibly meaning “descendant of one who wants/takes”, or it could be a variant of McGavin, an anglicized form of MacGobhainn meaning “son of the smith”.

Origin: Old Welsh, Gaelic

Variants:

  • Gawain (Welsh)
  • Gawaine (Welsh)
  • Gauvain (French)
  • Galvão (Portuguese)
  • Walganus (Latin)
  • Gavan (English)
  • Gaven (English)
  • Gwalchgwyn (Old Welsh)
  • Gwalchmei (Old Welsh)

 

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Fiona

Fiona seems to have first been coined by Scottish poet James Macpherson who based it on the Fianna, the name of a group of warriors in Irish mythology, or as the feminine form of Fionn. The name comes from Old Irish finn meaning “fair, blond, white” from Proto-Celtic *windos- (white).

Origin: Proto-Celtic

Variants:

  • Fionna (English, Scottish)

 

Male forms:

  • Fionn (Irish)
  • Fion (Irish)
  • Finn (Irish, English)

 

Galvin

Galvin comes from a surname, the anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Gealbháin meaning “descendant of Gealbhán”, the latter a personal name meaning “bright white” from geal (bright) and ban (white) which may have originated for someone with blond hair or who had white or gray hair as they grew older; gealbhan is also the Irish word for “sparrow”.

Origin: Gaelic

 

Guinevere

Guinevere is the wife of King Arthur who was in love with Lancelot and whose affair led to her husband’s downfall. Guinevere is the Norman French form of Gwenhwyfar, made up of Proto-Celtic *windos (fair, white, blessed) and sebara (specter, phantom, demon, spirit, magical being), so the name essentially means “fair phantom”, “white phantom” or “white magical being”.

Nicknames: Gwen, Gwennie/Gwenny

Origin: Proto-Celtic

Variants:

  • Guenevere
  • Gwenhwyfar (Welsh)
  • Gwenevere
  • Gwynnever
  • Guenièvre (French)
  • Gweniver (Breton)
  • Jennifer (Cornish, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish)
  • Jenifer (English, Cornish)
  • Ginevra (Italian)
  • Gaenor (Welsh)
  • Gaynor (English)
  • Guanhumara (Latin)

 

Kenya

Kenya is the name of a country in Africa named after Mount Kenya. The origin of the name itself is not clear-

  • it could be a corruption of the Kikuyu, Embu, and Kamba words Kirinyaga, Kirenyaa and Kiinyaa which mean “God’s resting place” in all three languages. The mountain represents an important aspect within their cultures, believing it was where God lived;
  • it may also come from Kukuyu kere nyaga meaning “white mountain” or “mountain of whiteness”;
  • it could be derived from Akamba kiima kya kenia meaning “the mountain that shines”, kenia being the Akamba word for “shine” or “glitter”;
  • it may also be from the Ameru word kirimira which translates to “mountain with white features”;
  • it may also be translated from Kikuyu to “the place with ostriches”.

Kenya is also a Japanese male name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used such as:

  • “healthy; health; strength; persistence + to be” (健也)
  • “healthy; health; strength; persistence + how; what; alas; question mark” (健哉)
  • “healthy; health; strength; persistence + all the more; increasingly” (健弥)
  • “healthy; health; strength; persistence + dart, arrow” (健矢)
  • “healthy; health; strength; persistence + question mark” (健耶)
  • “concurrently; and; beforehand; in advance + to be” (兼也)

Written in hiragana it’s けんや (Ken’ya).

Origin: Kikuyu, Embu, Kamba, Akamba, Japanese

 

Variants:

  • Kenia (English)
  • Ken’ya (Japanese) m

 

Belia

Belia has several possible meanings and origins such as:

  • it’s an Indonesian word meaning “youth”;
  • it may also be a variant of Bella, the short form of Isabella, the Latinate form of Elizabeth, which comes from Hebrew meaning “my God is an oath” or “my God is abundance”; Bella also means “beautiful” in Italian from Latin bellus;
  • Belia may also be a variant of Beila, the Yiddish equivalent of Bella meaning “beautiful”, though Beila may also be a variant spelling of Baila, meaning “white” in Yiddish;
  • Beila is also the Basque form of Vigila, a Visigothic name possibly meaning “crow” from Basque bela;
  • it may also be a variant of Béla, a Hungarian male name possibly derived from Hungarian bél meaning “heart, insides,” in Old Hungarian and “intestines” in New Hungarian, a symbolism of one having “guts”- bravery and character. Béla has also been linked to Slavic belu meaning “white”;
  • Belia could also be a short form of Abelia, the feminine form of Abel meaning “breath, vapor” and “vanity”; or a short form of Obelia, which comes from Greek obelos “a spit; pointed pillar; needle”

Origin: Indonesian, Hebrew, Yiddish, Latin; Basque, Hungarian, Slavic, Greek

 

Albany

Albany is the name of several cities and towns as well as once being an archaic name for a part of Scotland lying north of the River Forth (also known as Albania), derived from Gaelic Alba (which was the Scottish-Gaelic name for Scotland). The name may be derived from Latin albus meaning “white” from Proto-Indo-European *albos (white). Albany is also a surname.

Nicknames: Alb, Albie

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Albania (Latin)
  • Alban (Latin)
  • Alba (Latin)
  • Albion (Latin)
  • Albus (Latin)
  • Albaney (English)
  • Albanie (English)
  • Albanee (English)

Locke

Locke comes from a surname of several origins and meanings such as:

  • an English, Dutch, and German surname derived from a place name called Lock, referring to someone who lived near an enclosure or a barrier on a river such as a bridge which could be open and closed at will;
  • it could also be an occupational surname used to refer to a locksmith or a lock-keeper from Old English loc meaning “fastening, lock”;
  • Locke could also have come about as a nickname for someone with curly hair from Old English locc via Proto-Germanic *luka (to bend; turn);
  • I’ve also seen it listed as a romanization of Lok, which is the Cantonese pronunciation of Chinese surname Luo meaning “white horse; camel” with the character 駱 or 骆;
  • it might also be an anglicized form of Gaelic surname O’Lochlainn meaning “son of Lochlainn”, Lochlainn being the Irish form of Lachlan, originally a Scottish nickname used to refer to someone who was from Norway; Lochlainn means “land of the lochs”.

Locke also connotes the idea of closing or fastening something shut, as well as referring to a lock of hair.

Origin: Proto-Germanic, Chinese

Variants:

  • Lock (English)
  • Lokk (English)
  • Lok (Cantonese, English)

 

Lucky

Lucky is an English word referring to something or someone having or is marked by good luck or someone or something that is fortunate, and often used as a nickname for someone who is lucky though it could also be used as a given name. Lucky is also a surname derived from the given name Luke/Lucas, the English form of Greek Loukas meaning “from Lucania”, the name of a region in southern Italy. Though the name is of uncertain meaning, Lucania could be related to Greek leukos “white”, “light, bright, shining”, a cognate of Latin lux “light”. It could also be derived from the Latin word lucus (a cognate of lucere “shining, bright”) meaning “sacred wood” or Greek lykos meaning “wolf”.

Origin: Greek, Latin

 

Variants:

  • Luck

 

Winifry

Winifry could be a variant form of Winifred, the anglicized form of Welsh given name Gwenfrewi. The first part of the name comes from Welsh gwen meaning “fair, blessed, white” while the second element frewi might mean “reconciliation, peace” so Winifry essentially means “fair peace” or “blessed peace”. However, Winifry could also be a feminine variant form of Winfred, an Old English male name meaning “peaceful friend” from Old English wine (friend) and frið (peace). Winifry has also been used as a surname, originating from the given name.

Origin: Welsh, Old English

Variants:

  • Winifred (Welsh, English)
  • Winnifred (Welsh, English)
  • Gwenfrewi (Welsh)

 

Male forms:

  • Winfred (English)
  • Winfrith (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Winfried (German)