Melanie

Melanie is the English form of Mélanie, the French form of Latin Melania derived from Ancient Greek melas meaning “black, dark”.

Origin: Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Mélanie (French)
  • Melany (English)
  • Mellony (English)
  • Mellanie (English)
  • Melánie (Czech)
  • Melaina (Greek)
  • Melánia (Hungarian, Slovak)
  • Melania (Italian, Spanish, Polish, Late Roman)
  • Melanija (Serbian, Macedonian, Slovene, Latvian, Lithuanian)
  • Melani (Croatian, Slovene, Modern Greek, English)

 

Alexander

Alexander is the Latinized form of Greek Alexandros meaning “defending men” or “defender of men” from Greek elements alexo (to defend, help) and aner (man). In Greek mythology, it was another name for the Trojan prince Paris, famous for abducting Helen, wife of Menelaus, which started the ten year Trojan war. It’s also the name of Alexander the Great, king of Macedon, who created one of the largest empires in the ancient world. Alexander is also a surname derived from the given name.

Nicknames: Alex, Xander, Lex, Ander, Sandy, Sander

Origin: Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Alexandros (Ancient Greek)
  • Aleksander (Polish, Slovene, Albanian, Estonian, Norwegian, Danish)

 

Female forms:

  • Alexandra (Ancient Greek, English, German, Dutch, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Alexandria (English, Ancient Greek)
  • Alexandrina (Portuguese, English)
  • Aleksandra (Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Serbian, Bulgarian, Slovene, Croatian, Macedonian, Estonian)

 

Peter

Peter is the English form of Greek Petros meaning “stone, rock”. It’s also a surname originating from the given name.

Nicknames: Pete, Petey/Petie

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Petros (Greek, Armenian)
  • Petrus (German, Dutch)
  • Pieter (Dutch)
  • Pier (Dutch, Italian, English)
  • Piers  (Medieval English, Medieval French)
  • Peers (English)
  • Peder (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Petter (Swedish, Norwegian)
  • Butrus (Arabic)
  • Botros (Arabic)
  • Boutros (Arabic, Coptic)
  • Bedros (Armenian)
  • Peru (Basque)
  • Petri (Basque, Finnish)
  • Peio (Basque)
  • Petteri (Finnish)
  • Pietari (Finnish)
  • Per (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Breton)
  • Perig (Breton diminutive of Per)
  • Pierrick (Breton, French)
  • Pierre (French, Swedish)
  • Petar (Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian)
  • Penko (Bulgarian diminutive of Petar)
  • Pere (Catalan)
  • Petru (Corsican, Romanian)
  • Petar (Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian)
  • Petre (Romanian, Macedonian, Georgian)
  • Petr (Czech)
  • Petro (Ukrainian, Esperanto)
  • Peeter (Estonian)
  • Petur (Faroese)
  • Pitter (Frisian, Limburgish)
  • Pika (Hawaiian)
  • Péter (Hungarian)
  • Pétur (Icelandic)
  • Peadar (Irish, Scottish)
  • Piaras (Irish)
  • Pietro (Italian)
  • Pierino (Italian diminutive of Pietro)
  • Piero (Italian)
  • Petras (Lithuanian)
  • Petera (Maori)
  • Petruccio (Italiam medieval diminutive of Pietro)
  • Pèire (Occitan)
  • Piotr (Polish)
  • Pedro (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Pedrinho (Portuguese diminutive of Pedro)
  • Pyotr (Russian)
  • Petya (Russian diminutive of Pyotr)
  • Petia (Russian diminutive of Pyotr)
  • Pedr (Welsh)
  • Perrin (French diminutive of Pierre)
  • Piere (Swedish)

 

Female forms:

  • Petra (English, German, Dutch, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, Swedish, Finnish)
  • Petrina (English diminutive of Petra)
  • Pietra (Italian)
  • Piera (Italian)
  • Pierina (Italian diminutive of Piero)
  • Peta (English Australian)
  • Perrine (French)
  • Pierrette (French diminutive of Pierre)

 

Wilhelmina

Wilhelmina is the feminine form of Wilhelm, the German cognate of William meaning “willful protection” or “desiring protection” made up from Germanic elements wil (will, desire) and helm (helmet, protection”.

Nicknames: Will, Mina, Willie/Willy

Origin: Ancient Germanic

Variants:

  • Wilhelmine (German)
  • Wilhelma (German)
  • Wilma (German, Dutch, English)
  • Vilma (Spanish, Hungarian, German, Swedish, Finnish, Czech, Slovak, Coatian)
  • Vilhelmiina (Finnish)
  • Vilhelmina (Lithuanian, Swedish)
  • Willamina (English)

 

Female forms:

  • Wilhelm (Ancient Germanic, German, Polish)
  • William (English)
  • Willem (Dutch)
  • Wilhelmus (Dutch)

 

Hilda

Hilda comes from Germanic element hild meaning “battle” as well as being a nickname for any name beginning with Hilde such as Hildebrand or Hildred. Hilda is also a cogante of Old Norse Hildr, the name of a Valkyrie in Norse mythology who had the power to revive the dead.

Origin: Ancient Germanic

Variants:

  • Hildy (English)
  • Hylda (English)
  • Hilde (German, Dutch, Norwegian)
  • Hildur (Icelandic, Norwegian)
  • Hild (Old English)
  • Hildr (Ancient Scandinavian, Norse mythology)
  • Ilda (Italian)
  • Elda (Italian)

 

Mina

Mina is an Indian female name meaning “fish” in Sanskrit, as well as used as the Sanskrit term for the constellation Pisces; Minali is a variant of the name meaning “fish catcher”. It’s also a short form of Wilhelmina, the feminine form of Wilhelm, a German cognate of William meaning “wilfull protection” or “desiring protection” from Germanic elements wil (will, desire) and helm (helmet, protection). Mina is also a Japanese female name with various meanings depending on the kanji used, made up of Japanese elements mi 美 (beauty, beautiful), 未 (have not come, future), 実 (reality, truth); and na 奈 (apple tree, what),那 (what), 菜 (vegetables, greens), 和 (harmony), 愛 (love, affection); and likely other meanings.

Mina is also a Persian female name meaning “enamel, glaze” or “lapis lazuli”, as well as being the Pashto word for “love”, as well as also being the Arabic word for “port”. Mina is also a Korean female name written with Hangul (Korean alphabet) 미나 with various meanings depending on the hanja (Korean name for Chinese characters) used to write out the syllables. One such meaning for  (mi) is “beauty” (), “small” (), “not” (未), “rice” (米), “name of a mountain” (嵋), while 나 (na) means “I” in first person singular. Written with the hangul 민아 with various meanings depending on the hanja used 민 (min) “keen, sensitive” (敏), “jade” (珉), “jade” (), “heaven” (旻); and 아 (a): “elegant, neat, tidy” (雅), “good, beautiful” (娥), “oh, ah” (娥); and other meanings.

As well as being a female name, Mina is also an Egyptian Arabic male name which seems to come from Menes, the Greek form of an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh which seems to mean “He who endures” from Egyptian verb mnj and has also been linked to Memphis, the name of an ancient city in Egypt which is the Ancient Greek form of Egyptian Men-nefer meaning “enduring and beautiful” from mn (enduring) and nfr (beautiful). Menes, the first pharoah of Egypt who united Lower and Upper Egypt into one kingdom; his name is believed to have been an epithet rather than an actual name of a person long since forgotten.

Mina is also a surname as well as being a given name, derived from any place name called Mina, or from Portuguese and Spanish mina meaning “mine”, likely referring to a place where a mine was located. It could also be a variant form of Minas derived from Greek given name Menas from Menes, or from Arabic given name Minnah meanin “gift, charity, good deed”.

Origin: Sanskrit, German, Japanese, Persian, Korean, Ancient Egyptian

 

Variants:

  • Meena (Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil)
  • Mi-na (Korean)
  • Mi-nah (Korean)
  • Minali (Indian, Hindi)

 

Gerda

Gerda is the feminine form of Dutch and German given name Gerd, a short form of Gerhard, the Scandinavian form of Gerard meaning “brave spear, hardy spear” from Germanic elements ger (spear) and hard (brave, hardy). Gerda is also the name of a Norse goddess and jotunn (giant) in Norse mythology, the wife of Freyr. The name comes from Old Norse garðr meaning “protection, fenced-in, to enclose”.

Origin: Germanic, Old Norse

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Variants:

  • Gerdina (Dutch)
  • Gerðr (Old Norse)
  • Gerth (Old Norse)

 

Male forms:

  • Gerd (German, Dutch)
  • Gerhard (German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Ancient Germanic, Scandinavian)
  • Gerard (English, Dutch, Catalan, Polish)

 

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)

 

Sylvester

Sylvester is the medieval spelling of Silvester, a Roman name meaning “of the wood, of the forest” from Latin silvestris from silva (wood, forest, grove). Sylvester is also a surname originating from the given name.

Nicknames: Vester, Sly

Origin: Latin

Variants:

  • Silvester (Late Roman, Dutch, Slovene, Slovak, German, English)
  • Silvestr (Czech)
  • Sylvestre (French)
  • Szilveszter (Hungarian)
  • Silvestro (Italian)
  • Sylwester (Polish)
  • Silvestre (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Silvestras (Lithuanian)
  • Sylvestris (Latin)

 

Female forms:

  • Sylvestra (English)
  • Silvestra (Italian, Slovene)

 

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)