Lilith

Lilith comes from Akkadian lilitu or lilatu meaning “night”, which seems to have been used to refer to a type of female demon in Assyrian and Sumerian myth known as lilitu or lili (a male demon would be lilu) who sedeuce and sleep with humans. According to Jewish tradition, Lilith is the first woman ever created, Adam’s first wife, before she was thrown out of Eden and replaced with Eve because she refused to submit to Adam; apparently she became the first demon. The name comes Hebrew and Arabic lail also meaning “night”. Another possible meaning is that it comes from Sumerian lil meaning “air”.

Origin: Akkadian, Sumerian, Hebrew, Arabic

Variants:

  • Lilit (Armenian,
  • Lilitu (Akkadian, Sumerian)
  • Lilita (Latvian)

 

Ronan

Ronan is the anglicized form of Rónán, an Irish male name composed from Irish rón meaning “seal” combined with the diminutive suffix an, so the name essentially means “little seal”. It’s also a surname derived from the given name. Seals play a big part in Irish and Scottish folklore, in the form of a Selkie is a seal who has lost its skin or whose skin has been stolen from them, turning them into a human.

Origin: Irish

Variants:

  • Rónán (Irish)

 

Risa

Risa is a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used, made of Japanese elements ri meaning: 梨 “pear”, 里 “village, hometown”, 理 “reason, logic”, “jasmine”; and sa meaning: 紗 “gauze”, 沙 “sand”,  “assistant, help”; and likely other meanings. It could also be a short form of names like Parisa, a Persian name meaning “fairy, like a fairy” or Marisa, a combination of given names Maria (the Latin form of Mary which ultimately comes from 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 name either meaning “beloved” from myr, or from mr “love”) and Luisa (the feminine form of Luis, the Spanish form of Louis ultimately derived from a Germanic name meaning “famous war/battle”

Risa is also the Spanish word for “laughter, laugh” which comes from Latin risus/rideo. 

Origin: Japanese, Persian, Hebrew, Germanic, Latin

 

Variants:

  • Marisa
  • Parisa

 

Ryu

Ryu (also spelled Ryū and Ryuu) is a Japanese male name meaning “dragon” with various kanji such as: 龍 “dragon” and 竜 “dragon”; other meanings are 隆 “noble, prosperous”, 立 “to stand up, to erect, to set up”, 笠 “bamboo hat, shade”, and likely other meanings. Ryu could also be used in combination with other names, such as Ryutaro or Ryuunosuke.

Origin: Japanese

Variants:

  • Ryū
  • Ryuu

 

Avery

Avery comes from an English surname derived from two possible given names: either the Norman French form of Alberich meaning “elf power” or “elf ruler” from Germanic elements alf (elf) and ric (power, ruler), or it could be a medieval variant of Alfred, an English name composed of Old English elements aelf (elf) and raed (counsel) meaning “elf counsel”.

Origin: German, Old English

Variants:

  • Averie (English)

 

Eliot

Eliot comes from an English surname, originally used as a medieval pet-form of Elias, a cognate of Elijah, a Hebrew male name meaning “my God is Yahweh” or “Yahweh is my God”.

However, Elliott as a surname might come from an entirely different source: it could be derived from a Middle English male personal name, Athelgeat, meaning “noble Geat”, composed from Middle English athel (noble) and Geat, the name of a North Germanic tribe in southern Sweden. It might also be from Athelgyth, a Middle English female name meaning “noble battle” from Middle English athel (noble) and gyð (war, battle), or from Aelfweald meaning “elf ruler”. It might also be an Anglicized form of Gaelic eileach meaning “dam, mound, bank”.

I listed Eliot as a unisex name- some people might disagree with that and argue it’s a boy’s name and I’m not going to argue against that. But as a fan of the tv show Scrubs, I guess I’ve been able to see it as both.

Origin: Hebrew, Middle English

Variants:

  • Elliott (English)
  • Elliot (English)
  • Eliott (English)
  • Elyot (English)
  • Eliette

 

Oliver

Oliver is a male given name that has two possible origins. The first is that it could be from Germanic Alfhar from Old Norse Alvar meaning “elf warrior” or “elf army” from Old Norse elements alfr (elf) and arr (warrior, army); or it’s derived from another Old Norse name, Áleifr, meaning “ancestor’s descendant” from Old Norse anu (ancestor) and leifr (descendant). Oliver is also a surname originating from the given name.

Nicknames: Olly/Ollie

Origin: Old Norse

Variants:

  • Olivier (Dutch, French)
  • Olivér (Hungarian)
  • Oliviero (Italian)
  • Oliwier (Polish)

 

Female forms:

  • Olivera (Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian)
  • Olivette (English)
  • Olivia (English, Spanish, Italian, German, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)

 

Olivia

Olivia is a female given name first used by Shakespeare for a character in his play Twelfth Night (1602). He could have based it from Latin Oliva meaning “olive” or he could have based as a feminine form of Oliver, which either derives from Germanic name Alfher from Old Norse Alvar meaning “elf warrior” or “elf army”; or it could be from Old Norse Olaf meaning “ancestor’s descendant”.

Origin: Latin, Old Norse

Variants:

  • Olyvia (English)
  • Alivia (English)
  • Olivie (French, Czech)
  • Olívia (Hungarian, Portuguese, Slovak)
  • Oliwia (Polish)
  • Ólivía (Icelandic)
  • Oliva (Latin)

 

Male forms:

  • Oliver

Echo

Echo comes from Greek ekhe meaning “sound”. This was the name of a nymph in Greek mythology who loved talking and often used her loquaciousness to distract Hera when Zeus was off on one of his affairs. When Hera found out, she cursed Echo so that she could only repeat the last thing someone else said. Echo also fell in love with the youth Narcissus but because she couldn’t speak to him, he spurned her advances and she wasted away to nothing because of her unrequited love.

Echo is also a word in English derived from the same source above, used to refer to a sound made by an echo, which is why I decided to list it as a unisex name.

Origin: Greek

Maya, Maia

Maya is the name of the Mayan civilization and its people, a Mesoamerican civilization that stretched out in southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemela, El Salvador, and Honduras, though it’s of unknown meaning.  Maya is also an Indian girl’s name meaning “illusion” or “magic” in Sanskrit, featuring as a concept in Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hindu mythology, Maya is an epithet for Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, and love, and Durga, a warrior goddess.

Maya is also a Hebrew female name meaning “water” derived from mayim (water).

In Japan, Maya is a unisex name that has a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used: “hemp,flax,linen + to be”; “ten thousand + to be”; “true + to be”; “true + night”; and “to rub, graze, grind + eight”; there are other meanings besides these.

Maya also seems to have been a male name in Ancient Egyptian, being the name of a High Priest of Amun in Ancient Egypt who lived during the 14th century during the reign of Akhenaten, as well as being the name of  a treasurer who lived in the 16th century, though I couldn’t find any meaning behind the name.

Maia is the name of one of the oldest of the Pleiades, seven nymphs who are the daughters of Atlas, a Titan, and Pleione, an Oceanid. By Zeus, she is the mother of the god Hermes, and also helped raise Arcas, the son of Zeus and Callisto, whose mother was turned into a bear by Hera. The name possibly means “good mother” in Greek, and was used as an honorific for motherly figures. Maia also means “midwife”.

Maia is also a Roman goddess of spring, the wife of Vulcan; her name comes from Latin maius meaning “great”, and the month of May is named after her.

Maia is also the Basque form of Maria, the Latin form of Hebrew 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 name either meaning “beloved” from myr, or from mr “love”.

Maia means “palm tree” in the Maori language.

Origin: Sanskrit, Greek, Roman, Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Maori, Japanese

Variants:

  • Maja (Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Polish)
  • Maïa (French)

 

Male forms:

  • Maj (Slovene)

 

 

Maya 麻也 (Japanese kanji) “hemp,flax,linen+to be

Maya 万也 (Japanese kanji) “ten thousand + to be”

Maya 真也 (Japanese kanji) “true + to be”

Maya 真夜 (Japanese kanji) “true + night”

Maya 摩八 (Japanese kanji)”to rub, graze, grind + eight”