Aster

Aster is the name of a flower derived from Greek astḗr meaning “star”. It could also have been used as either a misspelling or a variant spelling of Esther, a name of uncertain etymology though it could be related to Persian meaning “star”; Esther has also been linked to Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love, fertility, and war, though the meaning is unknown. As a surname, it could be derived from Middle High German agelster meaning “magpie”.

Origin: Greek, Persian

Variants:

  • Astra (English)
  • Astraea (Greek)
  • Astraia (Greek)
  • Esther (English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Ester (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Czech, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish)

 

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)

 

Artemis

Artemis is the Greek goddess of the hunt, wild animals, childbirth, and fertility, as well as a protecteress of young girls. A huntress who is often depicted with a bow and arrow, Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo. Some versions of the myth say Artemis was born first and helped her mother give birth to Apollo, and Artemis herself remained a virgin, forsaking any relationships with men. She’s also been associated with the moon (and Apollo with the sun). As for her name, Artemis is of uncertain etymology and meaning with some sources citing it as pre-Greek. It could possibly be related to Persian *arte or *arta meaning “great, excellent, holy” or from Greek árktos meaning “bear” since she did have a link to bears. The name has also been associated with Greek artemes “safe”, artamos “butcher”, artios “perfect, complete”.

Although Artemis is the name of a Greek goddess, it’s also had some usage as a boy’s name, making it unisex.

Origin: Persian, Greek

Feminine forms:

  • Artemisia (Ancient Greek, English)
  • Artemisa (Romanian)

 

Male forms:

  • Artemas
  • Artemus
  • Artemisios (Ancient Greek)
  • Artemidorus (Ancient Greek)
  • Artemidoros (Ancient Greek)

 

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

 

Mina

Mina is an Indian female name meaning “fish” in Sanskrit, as well as used as the Sanskrit term for the constellation Pisces; Minali is a variant of the name meaning “fish catcher”. It’s also a short form of Wilhelmina, the feminine form of Wilhelm, a German cognate of William meaning “wilfull protection” or “desiring protection” from Germanic elements wil (will, desire) and helm (helmet, protection). Mina is also a Japanese female name with various meanings depending on the kanji used, made up of Japanese elements mi 美 (beauty, beautiful), 未 (have not come, future), 実 (reality, truth); and na 奈 (apple tree, what),那 (what), 菜 (vegetables, greens), 和 (harmony), 愛 (love, affection); and likely other meanings.

Mina is also a Persian female name meaning “enamel, glaze” or “lapis lazuli”, as well as being the Pashto word for “love”, as well as also being the Arabic word for “port”. Mina is also a Korean female name written with Hangul (Korean alphabet) 미나 with various meanings depending on the hanja (Korean name for Chinese characters) used to write out the syllables. One such meaning for  (mi) is “beauty” (), “small” (), “not” (未), “rice” (米), “name of a mountain” (嵋), while 나 (na) means “I” in first person singular. Written with the hangul 민아 with various meanings depending on the hanja used 민 (min) “keen, sensitive” (敏), “jade” (珉), “jade” (), “heaven” (旻); and 아 (a): “elegant, neat, tidy” (雅), “good, beautiful” (娥), “oh, ah” (娥); and other meanings.

As well as being a female name, Mina is also an Egyptian Arabic male name which seems to come from Menes, the Greek form of an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh which seems to mean “He who endures” from Egyptian verb mnj and has also been linked to Memphis, the name of an ancient city in Egypt which is the Ancient Greek form of Egyptian Men-nefer meaning “enduring and beautiful” from mn (enduring) and nfr (beautiful). Menes, the first pharoah of Egypt who united Lower and Upper Egypt into one kingdom; his name is believed to have been an epithet rather than an actual name of a person long since forgotten.

Mina is also a surname as well as being a given name, derived from any place name called Mina, or from Portuguese and Spanish mina meaning “mine”, likely referring to a place where a mine was located. It could also be a variant form of Minas derived from Greek given name Menas from Menes, or from Arabic given name Minnah meanin “gift, charity, good deed”.

Origin: Sanskrit, German, Japanese, Persian, Korean, Ancient Egyptian

 

Variants:

  • Meena (Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil)
  • Mi-na (Korean)
  • Mi-nah (Korean)
  • Minali (Indian, Hindi)

 

Shiva

Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction and transformation in Hindu mythology, and one of the principle gods in Hinduism along with Brahma and Vishnu, as well as being the husband of the mother goddess Parvati. His name comes from Sanskrit Śivá meaning “auspicious, benign, gracious, kind”. Shiva is also a Persian female name meaning “charming, eloquent”. In Judaism, Shiva is a week-long mourning period for a close relative derived from Hebrew shiv’áh meaning “seven”.

Origin: Sanskrit, Persian, Hebrew

Variants:

  • Sheeva (Indian, Persian, English)
  • Siva (Tamil, Indian, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam)

 

Vadim

Vadim is a Russian male name of unknown meaning. It’s been used as the Russian form of Bademusthe name of a Persian Christian martyr who was killed in Persia and later recognized as a saint. I’ve seen the name as possibly originating from Persian badian meaning “anise, aniseed”. Vadim could also be a short form of Russian Vadimir composed of Slavic elements vaditi (accuse, blame, slander) and miru (peace, world).

Vadim is also a surname which seems to have originated from the given name.

Nicknames: Vadik is the Russiam diminutive of Vadim

Origin: Persian, Slavic

Variants:

  • Vadimir (Russian)

 

Вадим (Russian) Vadim