Ara

Ara is the Latin word for “altar” as well as the name of a constellation in the southern hemisphere. According to Greek mythology, it received its name when the Greek gods overthrew the Titans and the smoke from the altar was what the Milky Way represented. Other possible meanings in Latin are “refuge” and “protection, sanctuary” while in Greek ara means “prayer”, “vow”, and “curse”. Ara is also the singular form of Arai (also spelled Arae), female spirits (or daimones) of curses summoned from the underworld by the dead on those responsible for their deaths. They’re often confused with the Furies (Erinyes) and seem to be the children of Nyx, goddess of the night.

Ara is also the name of a legendary Armenian prince also known as Ara the Handsome because he was so beautiful that even the legendary queen Semiramis (known as Shamiram in Armenian) waged a war to capture him but he ended up being killed in battle. The meaning behind the name is unknown. Ara could also be a variant spelling of Arah, a Hebrew male name meaning “wayfarer, wanderer”. It could also be a nickname for names that being with Ara such as Arabella, Araceli, Ariadne and Arianna, etc. It’s also a place name in several places, as well as also being a Korean female name meaning “to know, to be wise” (아라).

Origin: Latin, Greek, Armenian, Hebrew, Korean

Variants:

  • Arah (Hebrew)
  • Arra (English)

 

Albion

Albion was once the earliest known name of what is now Great Britain and is sometimes still used as a poetic name for it. It’s related to Latin albus meaning “white”, in reference to the White Cliffs of Dover, though I’ve also seen it related to Common Celtic *albiyo “white; upper world” as opposed to the underworld. It’s also been linked to Proto-Indo-European *alb meaning “mountain”.

Origin: Latin, Celtic, Proto-Indo–European

Variants:

  • Albiona (f)

Aki

Aki is a Japanese unisex name (as well as a word) meaning 秋 “autumn” though it has other meanings such as 燦 “brilliant, bright, radiance”, 明 “clear, tomorrow, bright”, 昭 “shining”, 彬 “refined, gentle”, 爽 “refreshing, clear, invigorating”, 晶 “clear, crystal, sparkle”, 暁 “daybreak, dawn”, 彰 “acknowledge”, 晃 “clear”, 亜紀 “Asia, come after, next + record, chronicle”, 愛希 “love, affection + hope, desire, request”, as well as other meanings. Aki is also used as part of other names such as Akio and Akito, both male names, Akira, a unisex name, and Akiko, a female name. Aki is also a Japanese surname.

Aki is also a Finnish male name, the short form of Joakim, the Scandinavian, Macedonian, and Serbian form of Joachim, a contracted form of either Jehoiachin meaning “established by Yahweh”, or Jehoiakim meaning “raised by Yahweh”. Spelled Áki, it comes from Old Norse meaning “ancestor”.

Origin: Japanese, Old Norse

 

Aoi

Aoi (pr. ah-o-ee) is a Japanese unisex name with various meanings depending on the kanji used, such as 葵 “hollyhock” and 碧 “blue green”; 青井 “blue green + well”; 蒼井 “blue green + well”, though there are likely other meanings, as well as being a surname.

Origin: Japanese

 

 

Avery

Avery comes from an English surname derived from two possible given names: either the Norman French form of Alberich meaning “elf power” or “elf ruler” from Germanic elements alf (elf) and ric (power, ruler), or it could be a medieval variant of Alfred, an English name composed of Old English elements aelf (elf) and raed (counsel) meaning “elf counsel”.

Origin: German, Old English

Variants:

  • Averie (English)

 

Akali

Akali is a term meaning “timeless, immortal, deathless, everlasting” from prefix a- (un) and kal (death) referring to something that is undying or cannot die. It’s derived from a Punjabi word, Akal, meaning “The Timeless One”. It was also used to refer to the Nihang and the Khalsa, both groups made up of Sikh warriors, as well as the name of a political movement in India.

Origin: Sanskrit

Variants:

  • Akal

 

Angel

Angel originally comes from Greek angelos meaning “messenger”, though it seems to have an older source, perhaps related to angaros (mounted courier) which might come from an Asian language, though it might also be related to Sanskrit ajira (swift). It’s also a surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Greek

Male variants:

  • Angelos (Greek)
  • Angelus (Late Roman)
  • Ángel (Spanish)
  • Angelino (Spanish, Italian)
  • Àngel (Catalan)
  • Aingeru (Basque)
  • Anđelko (Croatian)
  • Anđelo (Croatian)
  • Anděl (Czech)
  • Anxo (Galician)
  • Engel (German)
  • Angelo (Italian)
  • Angiolo (Italian)
  • Anghel (Romanian)
  • Anshel (Yiddish)
  • Deangelo

 

Female variants:

  • Angela (Late Roman, English, Italian, German, Dutch, Romanian, Slovene, Slovak, Russian, Macedonian)
  • Angelia (English)
  • Angelica (English, Italian, Romanian)
  • Anjelica (English)
  • Angelle (English)
  • Angeliki (Greek)
  • Anzhela (Russian)
  • Anđela (Croatian, Serbian)
  • Angèle (French)
  • Angeline (French
  • Anđelka (Croatian)
  • Anděla (Czech)
  • Angelika (Czech, German, Polish, Slovak)
  • Angelina (English, Italian, Russian, German, Dutch, Polish, Spanish, Macedonian)
  • Angelique (Dutch)

 

Andrea

Andrea is both a male name in Italy, the Italian form of Greek Andreas meaning “manly, masculine”, while it’s also a female name in other parts of the world, being the feminine form of Andrew, which also happens to be the English form of Greek Andreas.

Origin: Greek

Male variants:

  • Andreas (Ancient Greek)
  • Andrew (English)

 

Female forms:

  • Andreina (Italian)
  • Andra (English, Romanian)
  • Andrina (English)

 

Arden

Arden is a place name and a surname that comes from Celtic *ardwo meaning “high”. It was used as the name of a forest in William Shakespere’s play As You Like It (roughly around 1599), as well as being the name of a real forest in Warwickshire, England. Arden was also the maiden name of Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden.

Another possible meaning I’ve seen for Arden is “eagle valley” which comes from Old English earn (eagle) and dun (valley).

Arden is also a word in Spanish, the third person plural of arder meaning “to burn”, derived from Latin ardere. 

Origin: Celtic, Old English, Latin