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)

 

Brittanya

Brittanya is a variant spelling of Britannia, the Latin name for the island of Britain and later used to refer to a female personification of Britain. The name was first coined by Ancient Greeks, originally called Prettanike or Brettaniai, which might have originally been used to refer to the Picts.

Origin: Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Britannia
  • Brittania
  • Britton (unisex)

 

Verona

Verona is the name of a city in Italy. The origin behind the name is unknown though there are some theories such as that it was a short form of Versus Romae meaning “in the direction of Roma” or that it comes from an expression, Vae Romae meaning “alas Roma” or “cursed Roma”. Verona is also a German contraction of Veronika, a cognate of Veronica which is the Latin transliteration of Berenice, itself the Latinized form of Macedonian Berenike from Greek Pherenike meaning “bringing victory” or “bringer of victory” from Greek elements pheros (to bring) and nike (victory). However, the name has also been associated with Latin vera iconica meaning “true image” in reference to Saint Veronica who apparently wiped Jesus’s face with the towel and whose image was imprinted upon it. It was known as the Veil of Veronica.

As a surname, it was used to refer to someone who lived in Verona or came from the city.

Verona has been used as a setting for three of Shakespeare’s plays: Romeo and JulietThe Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Taming of the Shrew.

Origin: Latin, Greek

 

Scotia

Scotia (pr. skoh-sha) was originally the Roman name for Ireland, derived from Scoti or Scotti, a term used to refer to the Gaels, though it later came to refer to Scotland. The origin of the word Scoti/Scotti is unknown. It could possibly be derived from the name of a Celtic tribe of unknown meaning though that seems unlikely since there is no known tribe of that name. Another possible source according to Irish chronicles and myths is that the name is derived from Scota, the name of a princess who was the daughter of an Egyptian pharoah and whose name was given to the country although I can’t say how accurate that last part is, although the stories behind it are fascinating. Nova Scotia (New Scotland) is the name of a province in Canada.

Scotia is also a word used in architecture referring to a concave molding between two fillets, a type of decorative molding. The word comes from Ancient Greek skotía meaning “dark, darkness, shadowy, gloom”.

Origin: Latin, Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Scota

 

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)

 

Dinah

Dinah (pr. die-nah) is a Hebrew female name meaning “judged” or “vindicated” in Hebrew. It was the name of Jacob and Leah’s daughter in the Old Testament.

Origin: Hebrew

Variants:

  • Dina (Hebrew, English)

 

Lubna

Lubna is an Arabic female name meaning “storax (tree)” in Arabic, storax being a type of tree from which a liquid balsam could be obtained from it, used in perfumes and medicine. There’s a 7th century Arabic love story of Qays and Lubna. They grew up in the same tribe and Qays loved Lubna but her father refused to allow him to marry her and she was soon married off to another man. Qays grew crazy with his unobtainable love and he left his tribe and began wandering around in the desert, reciting poetry to himself or writing poetry in the sand with a stick. Lubna died of an illness soon after her marriage and he was later found dead at the grave of an unknown woman where he had graved three verses of poetry on a nearby rock. There are other versions of the story.

Origin: Arabic

Variants:

  • Loubna

 

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