America

America is a unisex given name usually given in honor of the United States of America. It comes from Italian male name Amerigo, the medieval Italian form of Emmerich, a Germanic male name. While the second element of the name comes from ric (power, rule), the first part of the name is a little more complicated. It could be from Germanic ermen (whole, universal), amal (work, labor), or heim (home). Apparently the name came from Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

Origin: Germanic

Variants:

  • Amerika (English, German, Dutch)
  • América (Spanish, Portuguese)

 

 

Male forms:

  • Americus (Latin)
  • Amerigo (Italian)
  • Emmerich (Germanic)

 

Sandulf

Sandulf is a male name, either derived from Germanic elements sand (sand) and ulf (wolf) meaning “sand wolf” or it might be derived from Gothic elements sanths (true) and vulfs (wolf) meaning “true wolf”. It’s also a surname originating from the given name.

Nicknames: Sandy

Origin: Ancient Germanic, Gothic

Variants:

  • Sandolf
  • Sandalius (Latin)
  • Sandalio (Spanish)

 

Alesia

Alesia (pr. a-lee-see-yah) was the name of an ancient Gaulish city in which a decisive battle between Julius Caesar against the Gauls determined the victor of the Gallic tribes and Gaul (the Romans won). I’m not sure what the origin or meaning behind the name is. It might be derived from Greek alexis meaning “defender, helper”. In the modern era, Alesia could be a variant spelling of Alicia, a Latinized form of Alice which comes from Old French Aalis which itself comes from Old Germanic name Adalheidis made up from adal (noble) and heid (kind, sort, type) meaning “noble kind” or “noble type”.

Origin: Greek, Ancient Germanic

Variants:

  • Alicia (Spanish, English)
  • Alecia (English)
  • Alice (English, French, Portuguese, Italian)

 

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

 

Terry

Terry is an English unisex name originally used as a diminutive of Terence (which comes from Roman family name Terentius which is of uncertain meaning though it could be derived from Latin terens meaning “rubbing, wearing away” from Latin terere (to rub, to wear out) though it might also be related to Sabine terenus meaning “soft”) or Theresa ( comes from Greek Therasia, the name of an island (the name is of uncertain meaning but has been linked to several possible meanings such as Greek theros “summer”, therizo “to harvest, to reap”, ther “wild beast”, or therao “to hunt”).

As an surname, however, Terry comes from medieval given name Thierry, the Norman French form of Theodoric meaning “ruler of the people” from Germanic elements theud (people) and ric (power); it could also be an anglicized form of Gaelic surname Mac Toirdhealbhaigh meaning “son of Toirdhealbhach”, the latter being a personal given name meaning “one who is like Thor” or “one who is like thunder”; or it’s a French surname deirved from Occitan terrin meaning “earthenware vessel, earthenware vase”, an occupational surname for a potter, which comes from Latin terra (earth).

Origin: Latin, Greek, Germanic, Gaelic

Variants:

  • Terrie
  • Terri
  • Teri

 

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)

 

Rayne

Rayne seems to be a variant spelling of Rain on the surface which comes from Old English regn (rain) which might possibly come from Proto-Indo-European *hreg- meaning “moist, wet”. It could also be derived from Germanic element ragin meaning “counsel” and used as a short form of names beginning with the element such as Raymond or Rainer (meaning “advice army”). Rayne could also be a medieval female name derived from Old French reine meaning “queen” from Latin regina; it could also be derived from Old French raine meaning “frog”, derived from Latin rana, as well as also coming from a Scottish place name in Aberdeenshire meaning “strip of land”. Rayne is also a surname.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European, Germanic, Latin, Gaelic

Variants:

  • Raine (English, Germanic)
  • Rain (English)
  • Reine (French) f
  • Rayna
  • Reina

 

Arlo

Arlo is an English male name of uncertain meaning. It was used by English poet Edmund Spenser for his epic poem The Faerie Queen (1590-1596) as the name of a place called Arlo Hill which he might have based on a real place name, Aherlow, a Gaelic name meaning “lowland between two high lands” or “between two highlands”. I’ve also seen it listed as being a variant form of Harlow, a surname derived from a place name meaning “rock hill” or “army hill”. It might also be a variant of Carlo, the Italian form of Charles derived from Germanic name Karl meaning “man”. It was originally used to refer to men who were not thralls or or servants but who still lived at the bottom of society, connoting the idea of a “free man”.

Several sites have also listed the name as meaning “barberry tree” in Spanish but when I looked it up bérbero was the Spanish word for barberry, not Arlo, so I’m not sure whether it was an older Spanish form of the name or whether it comes from a different dialect.

Origin: Gaelic, Old English, Germanic

Variants:

  • Arlow (English)
  • Arlowe (English)

Dietrich

Dietrich is a Germanic male name meaning “ruler of the people” or “people ruler” from Germanic elements theud (people) and ric (power, ruler). It’s also a surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Ancient Germanic

Variants:

  • Diederich (German)
  • Theodoric (Latinized form of Dietrich)
  • Theodoricus (Ancient Germanic Latinized)
  • Derek (English)
  • Diederik (Dutch)
  • Dederick (English)
  • Derick (English)
  • Derrick (English)
  • Deryck (English)
  • Theoderich (Ancient Germanic)
  • Thierry (French)
  • Dirk (Dutch, German, English)
  • Teutorigos (Ancient Celtic)
  • Tudor (Welsh)
  • Tudur (Welsh)

 

Rie

Rie (pr. ree-eh in Japanese; Forvo) is a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used. Some possible meanings are: 理恵 “logic, reason + favor, blessing, grace, kindness”; 利恵 “profit, advantage, benefit + favor, blessing, grace, kindness”; 梨絵 “pear tree + picture, painting, drawing, sketch”; 理江 “logic, reason + inlet, bay, creek”; 理絵 “logic, reason +picture, painting, drawing, sketch”; 里枝 “village, hometown + bough, branch limb, twig”; 梨恵 “pear tree + favor, blessing, grace, kindness”; 里依 “village, hometown + reliant, depend on, consequently, therefore, due to”. There are likely other meanings depending on the kanji used.

Rie is also a Dutch female name (pr. rhee), used as a nickname for Hendrika, the feminine form of Hendrik, the Dutch and Estonian form of Henry which comes from a Germanic name meaning “home ruler”; and Marie, which comes from 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”. Rie has also been used as a male nickname for Henri, the French male form of Henry.

Spelled ríe, it’s the Spanish verb of ríer meaning “to laugh” which comes from Latin rīdēre (to laugh).

Origin: Japanese, Ancient Germanic, Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Latin