Vikram

Vikram is an Indian male name, the modern form of Vikrama meaning “stride, pace” (in reference to someone who undertakes purposeful action) or “valor” in Sanskrit, referring to one who is wise, brave, and strong as well as victorious. It was used as another name for Hindu god Vishnu, the protector and preserver of the universe. Vikramaditya is the name of a legendary emperor in ancient India, also known as Vikrama. His name means “sun of valor”, combining the names Vikram (valor) and aditya (sun).

Origin: Sanskrit

Variants:

  • Vikrama (Indian)

 

Tova

Tova is a Hebrew female name meaning “good”, though it’s also a Swedish variant of Tove, a modern form of Old Norse Tófa which is a short form of Old Norse Þórfríðr (or Thorfrither) meaning “Thor is beautiful” or “beautiful Thor” from Þórr/Thor (Thor) and fríðr (beautiful, beloved), Thor being the Norse god of thunder, strength, war and storms; his name fittingly means “thunder”.

Origin: Hebrew, Old Norse

Variants:

  • Tovah (Hebrew)
  • Tove (Swedish)
  • Tuva (Swedish, Norwegian)
  • Þórfríðr (Ancient Scandinavian)
  • Thorfrithr

 

Hermes

Hermes is the name of the Greek god of commerce and trade, known as the trickster god and the protector of thieves, travelers, and athletes, as well as a messenger of the gods and the god of boundaries. He guided the souls of the dead to the underworld. The son of Zeus and Maia, one of the Pleiades, the day after his birth when he was just an infant, Hermes stole his half-brother Apollo’s cattle. When Apollo tracked him down, Hermes gave him a lyre he had just invented from the shell of a tortoise as an apology. He is the father of Autolycus, the Prince of Thieves, and the great-grandfather of the hero Odysseus. Although the etymology of the name has been linked to Greek herma meaning “cairn, pile of stones, boundary marker” it could also be related to Proto-European *ser “to bind, put together”; or it could be related to an older word of non-European origin.

Hermes is also a surname, either derived from the name of the Greek god or it could be a Germanic matronynic surname from the given name Ermens, a short form of either Ermelendis (derived from Germanic elements ermen “whole, universal” and linde “soft, tender”) or Ermgart (likely a short form of Ermengarde, also a Germanic name from Germanic ermen “whole, universal” and garde “enclosure”). As a French surname, it could have arisen as a topographic name for someone who lived in a deserted spot or a patch of barren land from Greek eremia “desert, desolate, lonely uninhabited” and the local suffix –ès.

Origin: Ancient Greek, Proto-European, Ancient Germanic

Variants:

  • Hermès (French)
  • Ermes (Italian)
  • Ermete (Italian)
  • Ermis (Modern Greek)

 

Female forms:

  • Hermione (Ancient Greek)
  • Hermia (English)

 

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)

 

Dennis

Dennis is the English form of Dionysius, the name of the Greek god of the vine, wine, pleasure, festivity, madness, and wild frenzy, who represented both the intoxicating madness of wine as well as its beneficient qualities. He was the son of Zeus and the Theban princess Semele, making him the only god with a mortal parent and the last god to enter the Greek pantheon.

Although the etymology of his name isn’t quite clear-cut, the first part of the name, Dio-, means “of Zeus” though it could also be related to Proto-Indo-European *dyews meaning “sky, heaven, god” and “shining”. The second part -nysus might be derived from Nysa, the name of a mountain in which Dionysios was raised by the nymphs who loved there; the name might be related to an archaic Greek word meaning “tree”.

Dennis is also a surname derived from the given name.

Origin: Ancient Greek, Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Denis (French, Russian, English, German, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Romanian, Croatian)
  • Denys (Ukrainian, English)
  • Denny (English)
  • Dennie (English)
  • Dionýz (Slovak)
  • Dionisie (Romanian)
  • Dénes (Hungarian)
  • Tenney (medieval English diminutive of Denis)
  • Dinis (Portuguese)
  • Diniz (Portuguese)
  • Dionísio (Portuguese)
  • Dionisio (Spanish)
  • Deon (English)
  • Deion (English)
  • Dion (Ancient Greek, English short form of Dionysios)
  • Dionysos (Ancient Greek)
  • Dionysios (Ancient Greek)
  • Dionysius (Ancient Greek)

 

Female forms:

  • Denise (English, French, Dutch)
  • Denice (English)
  • Deniece (English)
  • Denisa (Czech, Slovak, Romanian)
  • Dionisia (Italian, Spanish)
  • Dionísia (Portuguese)
  • Dionysia (Late Roman)
  • Diot (Medieval English diminutive of Dionysia)
  • Dye (Medieval English diminutive of Dionysia)

 

Iolaus

Iolaus is the name of Hercules’s mortal nephew, the son of his mortal half-brother Iphicles in Greek myth. He not only helped his uncle with some of his Labors, including defeating the Hydra, but he was also depicted as being the lover of Hercules as well. The second element of his name comes from Greek laos meaning “people” while the first element of the name comes from Greek ἰόs meaning “arrow” though it also means “rust” and “poison,venom”, so essentially the name means “arrow of the people”.

Origin: Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Iolaos (Ancient Greek)

 

Dana

Dana is an English unisex name though it has multiple origins and meanings. As an English given name it’s derived from a surname, a variant of Dane, referring to someone who came from Denmark or had Danish descent. It could also be a variant of D’Aunay, a Huguenot French name derived from several place names in France called Aunay, of unknown meaning.

It’s also the feminine form of Daniel, a Hebrew male name meaning “God is my judge”, or a feminine form of Dan “judge”, as well as meaning a nickname for names such as Bogdana, a Slavic female name meaning “given by God”; Yordana, the Bulgarian feminine form of Jordan meaning “descend” or “flow down” though the name could also have been influenced by Jordanes, an Old German name that probably derives from Old Norse jord meaning “earth”; and Gordana, the feminine form of Gordan, a Slavic name meaning dignified”.  Dana is also a Persian unisex name meaning “wise”, “knowing”, “learned”. Spelled dána, it’s an Irish word meaning “bold” and “presumptuous”, as well as also being a modern form of Danu, the name of an Irish mother goddess and also a Hindu primordial goddess of the sea. Though the etymology behind the name is unclear I’ve seen it listed as meaning “swift flowing” though it also means “river” from the Avestan word dānu meaning “river”; the Danube river comes from this etymology.

Origin: English, Hebrew, Slavic, Persian, Irish,

Variants:

  • Dayna (English)

 

Finn

Finn comes from an Irish name meaning “fair”, “blessed” or “white” derived from Proto-Celtic *windos (white). Finn is the older spelling of Fionn, which belongs to the name of a warrior in Irish myth known as Fionn mac Cumhaill (or Finn MacCool in English) and the leader of the Fianna. His birth name was Deimne but he was later nicknamed Fionn when his hair turned prematurely white.

Finn also comes from Old Norse Finnr meaning “a Finn, a Sami, Lapp”, a given name and byname used to refer to someone who came from Finland or was part of the Sami people (also known as Lapps). Although the origin behind  finnr is uncertain it has been linked to Old Norse meaning “wanderer”. Finnr is the name of a dawrf mentioned in the Völuspá, the first poem in the Poetic Edda, a collection of Old Norse poems. Finn is also a surname which could be be derived from both sources, as well as being a short form of names like Finley, Finnegan, or Thorfinn/Torfinn

Origin: Proto-Celtic, Old Norse

Varinats:

  • Fionn (Irish)
  • Fion (Irish)
  • Finnagán (Irish diminutive of Fionn)
  • Fionnán (Irish diminutive of Fionn)
  • Finnán (older form of Fionnán)
  • Finnr (Ancient Scandinavian)
  • Finnur (Icelandic)
  • Fína (Greenlandic)
  • Finna (Greenlandic)

 

Female forms:

  • Fiona (Scottish, English)
  • Finna (female form of Finnr; Old Norse, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian)

 

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)

 

Phineas, Phineus

Phineas is a male name of uncertain meaning and etymology. It’s been linked to Hebrew meaning “serpent’s mouth” or “oracle”, as well as Ancient Egyptian meaning “the Nubian”. Spelled Phineus, it’s a Greek name borne by several figures in Greek mythology. The most notable bearer is a king of Thrace who features in the Argonautica, a Greek epic poem written about Jason and the Argonauts. This Phineus is either the son of Agenor or Poseidon, god of the sea, who had the gift of foresight and was blinded because he revealed too much of the gods’ plans (though there are different versions of how he became blind). The Argonauts came upon him on an island and agreed to help them on their voyage if they helped him get rid of the Harpies that were constanty harassing him by eating his food everytime he tried to eat. The meaning behind the name is unknown as well, though I’ve seen it listed as possibly meaning “vulture” or it might be composed from Greek elements iphios (strong, stout) and noûs (mind, reason, understanding) so essentially meaning “strong mind” or “strong understanding”.

Origin: Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Phinehas (Biblical)
  • Phinees (Biblical Greek)
  • Pinchas (Hebrew)
  • Finees (Biblical Latin)

 

Female forms:

  • Phinea