Layla

Layla is an Arabic female name meaning “night” which comes from Proto-Semitic layl- meaning “night”. There’s a popular Persian story called Layla and Qays (also known as Layla and Majnun), known across the Middle East and which has many versions. Qays and Laylagrew up in the same tribe and loved each other but her father wouldn’t allow them to get married and…

Azrael

Azrael is the name of an angel in Jewish and Muslim tradition, he is known as an angel of death who separates the soul from the body at the moment of death; in Islam, he is one of four archangels, along with Jibril (Gabriel), Mikha’il (Michael) and Israfil. The name means “my God is help” made up from Hebrew azar (to…

Hannah

Hannah is a female given name which comes from Hebrew Channah meaning “favor, grace”; it’s also an English surname originating from the given name. As a Scottish surname it could be a variant of Hannay, a name of uncertain origin though it seems to derive from a locational name. Origin: Hebrew Variants: Chanah (Hebrew) Chana (Hebrew) Channah (Biblical…

Rumi

Rumi is a Japanese female name with a variant of meanings depending on the kanji used: ru 留 “detain; fasten” + mi 美 “beauty; beautiful” (留美); ru 瑠 “lapis lazuli” + mi 美 “beauty; beautiful” (瑠美); ru 流 “current; flow; stream” + mi 水 “water” (流水); ru 屡 “often, frequently” + mi 水 “water” (屡水); ru 屡 “often, frequently” + mi 三 “three” (屡三) There are other meanings depending on the…

Maysa

Maysa is a female given name with a few possible origins: I’ve seen Maysa listed as an Arabic female name; if so, it’s possible that it’s a variant of Maysoon, which seems to derive from a Persian origin. Its meaning has something to do with beauty, so it can presumably be meant to refer to a…

Hala

Hala is an Arabic and Persian female name meaning “halo“, likely in reference to the circle of light visible around the moon, and in some cases the sun. Hala also means “aura” in Arabic. The word seems to originate from Ancient Greek halos, itself of uncertain origin, perhaps pre-Greek. Origin: uncertain, likely pre-Greek Variants: Hale (Turkish) Hallah…

Naya

Naya is a very multicultural name with various meanings. The most common one I keep seeing is that it is a variant of Nia which could be from Swahili meaning “purpose”, “will”, or “resolve”, though it may also be a Welsh form of Irish Niamh meaning “bright”; Naya is also an Arabic female name deriving from Persian nay/ney,…

Barack

Barack is an Arabic male name, a variant transcription of Barak meaning “blessing”, which would make it a cognate of Hebrew Baruch meaning “blessed”, both of which derive from a Proto-Semitic root word. Barak is also a Hebrew male name meaning “lightning” which derives from a Proto-Semitic root word. Barack is also a Hungarian word meaning “peach, apricot”. Origin: Proto-Semitic, Slavic…

Yusuf

Yusuf is an Arabic and Turkish male name, the Arabic form of Joseph which comes from Hebrew Yosef meaning “Yahweh will increase” or “Yahweh will add”. Yusuf is also a surname. Origin: Hebrew Variants: Yousef (Arabic) Youssef (Arabic) Yusef (Arabic) Joseph (English, French, German) Josef (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech, Scandinavian) Yosef (Hebrew) Hovsep (Armenian) Yusif (Azerbaijani) Joseba…

Dina

Dina is an Arabic female name, the feminine form of Deen/Dīn meaning “religion, creed” though it also means “debt, loan”, “duty, obligation, law” and “judgement, ruling”; it seems to be derived from a Proto-Semitic root word in reference to a legal sense (obligated conduct; decisions of morality or ethics, judgement, decree, ruling), and is a cognate with…