Romeo

Romeo is the Italian form of Late Latin Romaeus which comes from Greek rhomaios meaning “Roman”, used in reference to a pilgrim traveling to Rome or someone who was a former citizen of Rome. Probably the most famous bearer of this name is Romeo Montague from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It’s also a surname that originally referred to someone who came from Rome or who had made a pilgramage to Rome.

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Romaeus (Late Latin)
  • Romanus (Late Latin)
  • Romano (Italian)
  • Romolo (Italian)
  • Roman (Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian, Slovene, Croatian, German)
  • Roma (Russian diminutive of Roman)
  • Romain (French)
  • Román (Spanish, Hungarian)
  • Romà (Catalan)
  • Romão (Portuguese)
  • Romulus (Latin)

 

Female forms:

  • Romana (Italian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Late Roman)
  • Romola (Italian)
  • Romaine (French)
  • Romane (French)
  • Romayne (English)
  • Romána (Hungarian)

 

Libelle

Libelle is the German and Dutch word for “dragonfly” as well as the French word (spelled libellé) meaning “wording”; it was used to refer to a type of political pamphlet or book in which it attacked important figures using slander, whether they were real or not, which is where the English word libel comes form. Libelle derive from Latin libellus, a diminutive of liber (book) so essentially meaning “little book”.

Origin: German, Dutch, Latin

 

Lavinia

Lavinia is the name of the second wife of Aeneas in Roman mythology, the daughter of King Latinus and the namesake of the town Lavinium though it might be the other way around, that she derived her name from the town. The etymology behind the name is unknown, most likely an Etruscan name whose meaning was lost to time. In Titus Andronicus (1588-1593) Lavinia is the daughter of Titus Andronicus who is raped, has her tongue and hands cut off, and is later killed by her father.

Origin: Latin, Etruscan

Variants:

  • Lavínia (Portuguese, Catalan)

 

Ophelia

Ophelia was first coined in 1504 by Italian poet Jacobo Sannazaro for his poem Arcadia though it’s famously connected to William Shakespeare’s character in Hamlet although whether Shakespeare was inspired by Sannazaro or came up with it himself independently isn’t clear. The name was inspired from Greek ōphéleia (ὠφέλειᾰ) meaning “help, aid, succor” though it could also be related to Greek óphelos (ὄφελοςmeaning “profit, advantage, benefit” especially one made in war. The name may also have been based on the masculine name Ophellas, the name of a Macedonian soldier who served with Alexander the Great and was later the governor of the city of Cyrene acting under the rule of Ptolemy I, and it seems likely that the name is based on the Greek meanings though I couldn’t find anything online to confirm it.

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Ophélie (French)
  • Ofelia (Spanish, Italian)
  • Ofélia (Portuguese)
  • Ophela
  • Ephelia

 

Male forms:

  • Ophelio
  • Ofelio
  • Ophelas
  • Ophellas

 

Lyonesse

Lyonesse is the name of a country in Arthurian legend bordering Cornwall, the home of Tristan whose father was its king, as well as also being the site of the final battle between King Arthur and Mordred. It was said to have sunk beneath the waters. It’s also the name of an Arthurian character, Lyonesse, the sister of Lynette, in the story of Gareth and Lynette. Lyonesse does sound like a variant spelling of Lioness, the name of a female lion, though I’ve also seen it listed as being the English form of French of Léoneis or Léonois, the French form of Lodonesia which is the Latin name for Lothian, a region in Scotland. The etymology of Lothian is unknown.

Origin: English

Variants:

  • Lyoness
  • Lioness
  • Lionesse

 

Beowulf

Beowulf is the name of eponymous hero of the Old English epic poem Beowulf, set in Scandinavia. He fights against the monster Grendel and wins, and later becomes a king of the Geats (a North Germanic tribe living in what is now Southern Sweden), later dying from a fatal found fighting against a dragon. The name comes from Old English beo (bee) and wulf (wolf) meaning “bee wolf”.

Origin: Old English

 

Meliodas

Meliodas is the name of Tristan’s father of Tristan and Isolde fame, though in some versions his father is Rivalen. There’s not a lot I could find about the name’s meaning, though it was used for the main character in a manga called The Seven Deadly Sins (Nanatsu no Taizai in Japanese) which seems to be a blend of Arthurian legend, Christianity, and medieval folklore. If I had to take a guess, I would say that the first part of the name comes from Latin mel (honey) from Greek meli (honey) and Late Latin oda derived from Ancient Greek ōidḗ, a contracted form of aoidḗ meaning “song, ode” so the name could essentially meaning “sweet song” or “honey song”. Of course, the name could also be the masculine form of Melodia, also derived from Ancient Greek meaning “singing, chanting” from melos (song, melody) and aeídō (to sing, chant, praise). However, that’s just my guess. Since the stories of Arthurian legend were very popular, especially during medieval times and since there seems to be historical facts and figures mixed in with the legends, and it’s been written and rewritten by both English and French writers, it’s possible Meliodas was influenced by Latin and Greek although, once again, that’s purely my guess.

Origin: Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Meliadus

 

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)

 

Gita

Gita is an Indian female name meaning “song” from Sanskrit gītā (song). The Bhagavad Gita (the divine song) is a Hindu epic poem in which the god Krishna and the prince Arjuna have a philosophical dialogue about the righteousness of battle against friends and family (Arjuna is about to battle his own cousin). 

Origin: Sanskrit

Variants:

  • Geet (Hindi, Urdu)

 

Bellicent

Bellicent could be an Old French form of Belissendis, a Germanic name made of elements bili (gentle, kind, fitting, suitable, proper) and swind (strong, brave, powerful) so essentially meaning “gentle power” or “gentle strength”. It could also possibly be related to Belenus, the name of a Celtic god of the sun, whose name possibly means “bright, brilliant”

In the Arthurian legends, Bellicent is the half-sister of King Arthur (though in some versions she goes by Morgause) and is the mother of Gareth and Gawain.

Origin: Germanic

Variants:

  • Belisent
  • Belisant