Amaya

Amaya is a Basque and Spanish female name, a variant spelling of Amaia meaning “the end” in Basque, as well as a surname derived from a place name. It’s also a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used, such as:

  • “rain + night; evening” (雨夜), essentially meaning “rainy night” or “rainy evening”;
  • “rain + dart; arrow” ( 雨矢)
  • “Africa; flatter; fawn upon; corner; nook; recess + hemp; flax + all the more; increasingly” (阿麻弥);

It’s written with the hiragana あまや.

Amaya is also a Japanese surname with the kanji (also written with the hiragana あまや):

  • “heavens; sky; imperial + valley” (天谷);
  • “heavens; sky; imperial + home; house; residence; our house; my husband” (天宅);
  • “sweet; coax; pamper; be content; sugary + valley” (甘谷)

Origin: Basque, Japanese

Variants:

  • Amaia (Basque)

 

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Abelia

Abelia is the feminine form of Abel, a Hebrew male name possibly derived from Hebrew hevel (הֶבֶל) meaning “breath, vapor; vanity” or from Akkadian ablu meaning “son”. Another possible meaning I’ve seen for the name is that it may be related to a word meaning “herdsman”, in reference to Abel’s role as a shepherd while his brother Cain was a farmer. Abelia is the name of a genus of flowers in the honeysuckle family, named for British naturalist and surgeon Clarke Abel.

Origin: Hebrew, Akkadian

Variants:

  • Abélia (French)
  • Abélie (French)
  • Abelie (French, English)
  • Abella (English)
  • Abelina (English)

 

Anna-Maria

Anna-Maria is a female given name, a combination of Anna and Maria:

  • Anna is the Latinate form of Hannah which comes from the Hebrew name Channah meaning “grace” or “favor”;
  • Maria comes from the 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 source either meaning “beloved” from myr, or from mr“love”. Maria is also the feminine form of Marius, a Roman family name which could be derived from Latin mas meaning “male” or Latin mare meaning “sea”. It could also be derived from Mars, the Roman god of war (the Roman counterpart of the Greek god Ares), a name of uncertain etymology though it’s possible that Mars was derived from an older source, perhaps from from Etruscan Maris (the god of fertility and agriculture) of unknown meaning. Mars could also be the contracted form of an older name, Mavors (or Mavort) which could come from Latin verb mah or margh (to cut) and vor (to turn), essentially meaning “turner of the battle”. Mars could also be derived from the same  Proto-Indian-European root as Sanskrit marici meaning “ray of light”, or Proto-Indian-European mer meaning “to die”. It could also be associated with Latin marceo meaning “to (cause to) wither” and “to (make) shrivel” and Latin marcus meaning “hammer”.

Origin: Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Etruscan, Latin, Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Annamaria (Italian, English)
  • Annamária (Hungarian)
  • Annemarie (Dutch, German)
  • Annmarie (English)

 

Aries

Aries is the name of a constellation as well as being the first sign of the zodiac. In Greek mythology it represented the golden ram who was sent by the cloud nymph Nephele to rescue her children, Phrixus and Helle, from being sacrificed due to the machinations of their evil stepmother, Ino. As the ram was flying over a narrow strait, Helle fell and drowned in the water (later called Hellespont after her) but her brother Phrixus made it all the way to Colchis, where he was taken in by King Aeetes and married his daughter Chalciope (the sister of Medea). To show his gratitude, Phrixus sacrificed the golden ram and gave its golden fleece to Aeetes, which would later feature in the story of Jason and the Argonauts. The name means “ram” in Latin, in reference to the animal, but it also means “battering ram” which comes from Latin arietare meaning “ram; battering ram” derived from a Proto-Indo-European root word meaning “goat, sheep” or “spring, jump”.

Aries is also a surname that derives from a different etymology. It could be a variant of Airey, a place name derived from Old Norse eyrara meaning “gravel-bank stream”, referring to someone who lived by a gravel bank. It may also have been a variant spelling of Arras, denoting someone who came from the city of Arras in France.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European, Old Norse

Variants:

  • Arian
  • Arietis

 

Adeline

Adeline (pr. a-du-leen and ad-a-lien) was originally used as a French diminutive of Adèle, the French form of Adela which comes from Germanic element adal meaning “noble”.

Nicknames: Addie/Addy, Aline, Leen/Line (pr. leen), Aline, Alene

Origin: Germanic

Variants:

  • Adelina (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, German, Bulgarian)
  • Adalyn (English)
  • Adalynn (English)
  • Adelyn (English)
  • Adele (German, Italian, Finnish, English)
  • Adèle (French)

 

Albany

Albany is the name of several cities and towns as well as once being an archaic name for a part of Scotland lying north of the River Forth (also known as Albania), derived from Gaelic Alba (which was the Scottish-Gaelic name for Scotland). The name may be derived from Latin albus meaning “white” from Proto-Indo-European *albos (white). Albany is also a surname.

Nicknames: Alb, Albie

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Albania (Latin)
  • Alban (Latin)
  • Alba (Latin)
  • Albion (Latin)
  • Albus (Latin)
  • Albaney (English)
  • Albanie (English)
  • Albanee (English)

Alexiroe

Alexiroe (pr. ah-leks-ir-oh-ee) is a Greek female name which means “averting flow” in reference to averting a river or a stream. It comes from Greek elements alexi- (against, preventing, protecting) which comes from the same root word as alexo (to defend, help) and rhoe (river, stream) which comes from rheo (to flow).

In Greek mythology, she is one of the Naiads who had a son by King Priam of Troy, Aisakos.

Origin: Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Alexirhoe
  • Alexirrhoe

 

August

August is the German, Polish, Catalan, and Scandinavian form of Augustus, originally an Ancient Roman title used by Roman emperors after the first and, by some accounts, greatest emperor of Rome, Gaius Octavius, who was the adopted son and heir of Julius Caesar. It means “majestic”, “venerable”, “great” from Latin augere (to increase). August is also the name of the eighth month of the year. August is also a surname derived from the given name.

Nicknames: Gus, Auggie

Origin: Latin

Variants:

  • Augustus (Ancient Roman, Dutch, English)
  • Augustinus (Ancient Roman)
  • Aukusti (Finnish)
  • Auguste (French)
  • Augustin (French, Czech, Romanian, Croatian, German)
  • Augusto (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Augusts (Latvian)
  • Augustas (Lithuanian)
  • Augustinas (Lithuanian)
  • Avgust (Russian, Ukrainian, Slovene)
  • Augustine (English)
  • Augustín (Slovak, Czech)
  • Agustí (Catalan)
  • Ágoston (Hungarian)
  • Augustijn (Dutch)
  • Austin (English)
  • Austen (English)
  • Austyn (English)
  • Agostino (Italian)
  • Augustyn (Polish)
  • Agostinho (Portuguese)
  • Avguštin (Slovene)
  • Agustín (Spanish)
  • Awstin (Welsh)

 

Female forms:

  • Augusta (Ancient Roman, Dutch, English, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish)
  • Auguste (German)
  • Avgusta (Slovene)
  • Augustine (French, German)
  • Augustina (Ancient Roman, English)
  • Agostina (Italian)
  • Augustyna (Polish)
  • Agustina (Spanish)

 

Aksinya

Aksinya is a variant form of Kseniya, the Russian form of Xenia, a Greek female name meaning “hospitality” from Greek xenos (foreigner, guest). In ancient Greece, xenia was the Greek concept of hospitality towards strangers or friends. It was even an important aspect to the Greek gods, one of the epithets accorded to the god Zeus being Zeus Xenios, the protector of guests and the patron of hospitality who will avenge any wrongdoing done to guests by their hosts.

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Xenia (Ancient Greek)
  • Zenia (English form of Xenia)
  • Oxana (Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Oksana ((Ukrainian, Russian)
  • Kseniya (Russian)
  • Ksenija (Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Slovene)
  • Senja (Finnish)
  • Ksenia (Polish)