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)

 

Mila

Mila (pr. mee-lah or my-lah) is a Slavic given name, often used as a short form for names such as Ludmila (love of the people), Milena (gracious, dear), Milica (gracious, dear), Camilla/Camila, or Milagros (miracles). It comes from the Slavic element milu meaning “gracious, dear”.

Origin: Slavic

 

Variants:

  • Myla (English)
  • Milla (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish)
  • Milena (Bulgarian, Czech, Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Macedonian, Polish, Russian, Italian)
  • Miléna (Hungarian)
  • Milica (Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Macedonian)
  • Ludmila (Czech, Russian)
  • Camilla (English, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, German, Ancient Roman)
  • Camila (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Milagros (Spanish)

 

Male forms:

  • Milan (Czech, Slovak, Russian, Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Dutch)
  • Milen (Bulgarian)
  • Milo (English, Ancient Germanic)
  • Miloš (Czech, Slovak, Serbian, Slovene, Croatian, Macedonian)
  • Mile (Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian)
  • Miloje (Serbian)

 

Dober

Dober comes from a Slavic word meaning “good”; it’s the name of a settlement (also spelled Dobër and Dobre) in northern Albania. Dober is also a surname of English origin (with various spellings of Dauber, Dawber, Daber, and Doberer), an occupational surname for someone who was a plasterer from Middle English daubere via Old French daubier (whitewash, plasterer).

Origin: Slavic, Old French

 

Helena

Helena is the Latinate form of Helen, the English form of Helene, an Ancient Greek name of uncertain etymology though it’s been linked to Greek helene meaning “torch” or “corposant”, though it might also be linked to selene meaning “moon”. Helena has different pronounciations depending on where you’re from. It’s he-LE-nah, hay-LAY-nah or he-le-nah. I prefer the he-le-nah pronounciation.

Origin: Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Helen (English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Greek)
  • Helene (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Greek,
  • Heleen (Dutch)

 

Marcel

Marcel comes from Marcellus, a Roman family name that was originally a diminutive of given name Marcus which seems to be derived from Mars, the Roman god of war (the Roman counterpart to the Greek god Ares). Mars is a name of uncertain etymology and meaning though it could possibly be related to Latin mas meaning “male” though it might also be from Latin marcus meaning “large hammer”.

However, it’s possible that Mars is related to a much older source, perhaps from Etruscan Maris (the god of fertility and agriculture), his name of unknown meaning. Mars could also be a contracted form of an older name, Mavors, a cognate of Oscan Mamers, which could possibly be related to Latin 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”, which would make sense since Mars is the god of war.

Origin: Latin, Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Marcellus (Ancient Roman, German, Dutch)
  • Marceli (Polish)
  • Marcell (Hungarian, German)
  • Marzell (German)
  • Martzel (Basque)
  • Marcello (Italian)
  • Marcelo (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Marcellin (French)

 

Female forms:

  • Marcellina (Ancient Roman)
  • Marcella (Ancient Roman, German, Italian)
  • Marceline (French)
  • Marcelline (French)
  • Marcelle (French)
  • Marcellette (French)
  • Marcelyn (English)
  • Marcelina (Polish)
  • Marcela (Spanish, Polish, Romanian, Czech)
  • Marsaili (Scottish)

 

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)

 

Gabriel

Gabriel is a male name, from Hebrew Gavri’el meaning “God is my strong man” or “God is my strength”. It’s also a surname originating from the given name.

Nicknames: Gabe

Origin: Hebrew

Variants:

  • Gavril (Romanian, Macedonian, Bulgarian)
  • Gavrail (Bulgarian)
  • Gavri’el (Hebrew)
  • Gavriel (Hebrew)
  • Gavrel (Yiddish)
  • Jabril (Arabic)
  • Jibril (Arabic)
  • Dzhabrail (Chechen)
  • Gabrijel (Croatian, Slovene)
  • Gabriël (Dutch)
  • Gavriil (Greek, Russian)
  • Gábor (Hungarian)
  • Gábriel (Hungarian)
  • Gabriele (Italian)
  • Gabriels (Latvian)
  • Gabrielius (Lithuanian)
  • Gavrilo (Serbian)
  • Cebrail (Turkish)
  • Havryil (Ukrainian)
  • Kaapo (Finnish)
  • Kaapro (Finnish)

 

Female forms:

  • Gabrielle (French, English)
  • Gabriella (Italian, Hungarian, Swedish, English)
  • Gabriela (Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Spanish, German, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Bulgarian)
  • Gabrijela (Croatian)
  • Gabriëlle (Dutch)
  • Gabriele (German)
  • Gabrielė (Lithuanian)
  • Gavrila (Romanian)
  • Gavriila (Russian)

 

Oliver

Oliver is a male given name that has two possible origins. The first is that it could be from Germanic Alfhar from Old Norse Alvar meaning “elf warrior” or “elf army” from Old Norse elements alfr (elf) and arr (warrior, army); or it’s derived from another Old Norse name, Áleifr, meaning “ancestor’s descendant” from Old Norse anu (ancestor) and leifr (descendant). Oliver is also a surname originating from the given name.

Nicknames: Olly/Ollie

Origin: Old Norse

Variants:

  • Olivier (Dutch, French)
  • Olivér (Hungarian)
  • Oliviero (Italian)
  • Oliwier (Polish)

 

Female forms:

  • Olivera (Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian)
  • Olivette (English)
  • Olivia (English, Spanish, Italian, German, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)

 

David

David comes from a Hebrew male name meaning “beloved”. It’s also a surname derived from the given name.

Nicknames: Dave, Davey/Davie/Davi

Origin: Hebrew

Variants:

  • Dávid (Hungarian, Slovak)
  • Dovid (Yiddish)
  • Daud (Arabic, Indonesian)
  • Dawud (Arabic)
  • Dawood (Arabic)
  • Dawid (Polish, Biblical Hebrew)
  • Daveth (Cornish)
  • Taavet (Estonian)
  • Taavetti (Finnish)
  • Davit (Georgian)
  • Daviti (Georgian)
  • Dáibhí (Irish)
  • Dàibhidh (Scottish Gaelic)
  • Daividh (Scottish Gaelic)
  • Davi (Portuguese Brazilian)
  • Davide (Italian)
  • Dovydas (Lithuanian)
  • Davud (Persian)
  • Dafydd (Welsh)
  • Dewi (Welsh)
  • Dewydd (Old Welsh)
  • Davíd (Icelandic)

 

Female forms:

  • Davina (English)
  • Davena (English)
  • Davinia (English)
  • Davida (English)

Adam

Adam is a male name that derives from Hebrew. It has various meanings such as “man”, “earth, soil, ground”, and “red”. According to Judaism, Christianty, and Islam, Adam was the first man ever created, along with Eve. It’s also a surname derived from the given name.

Nicknames: Addy is a Medieval diminutive for Adam.

Origin: Hebrew

Male variants:

  • Adama (unisex)
  • Adamo (Italian)
  • Adán (Spanish)
  • Adão (Portuguese)
  • Aatami (Finnish)
  • Akamu (Hawaiian)
  • Ádám (Hungarian)
  • Ádhamh (Irish)
  • Adomas (Lithuanian)
  • Adem (Turkish)
  • Adamu (Old Slavic)

 

Female forms:

  • Adama (Hebrew, English)
  • Adamina (English)