Mika

Mika is a Japanese female name with various meanings depending on the kanji used. It’s made up of Japanese mi with various meanings of “beautiful”, 実 “reality, truth”, 味 “taste, flavor”, 光 “light”, and ka meaning “beautiful, good, excellent”, “fragrance”, “add, addition, increase”, “praise, auspicious”, though there are likely other meanings depending on the kanji used.

Mika is also a Finnish male name, a short form of Mikael, the Scandinavian and Finnish form of Michael meaning “who is like God?”, a rhetorical question implying there is no one like God. Mika is also a Slavic surname, a patrynomic surname. It’s also possible that Mika could be a nickname for Michaela/Mikaela, the feminine form of Michael.

Origin: Japanese, Hebrew

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

 

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)

 

Marko

Marko is the Slavic cognate of Mark, the English form of 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.

Marko is also a surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Latin, Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Markos (Ancient Greek)
  • Marcus (Ancient Roman, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Markus (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish)
  • Mark (English, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Marc (French, Catalan, Welsh)
  • Markku (Finnish)
  • Margh (Cornish)
  • Marek (Czech, Polish, Slovak)
  • Marco (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch)
  • Maleko (Hawaiian)
  • Márk (Hungarian)
  • Marcas (Irish, Scottish)
  • Markuss (Latvian)
  • Mars

 

Lydia

Lydia is a Greek female name derived from the name of an ancient kingdom in Asia Minor, used to refer to someone who came from there. It was apparently named after a king, Lydus or Ludos, whose name might mean “beautiful one” or “noble one”. Another possible meaning is that it means “play” or “sport” though that seems sketchy.

Lydos could also be tentatively linked to Proto-Indo-European h₁lewdʰ meaning “people”.

Origin: Greek, Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Lidia (Polish, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, English)
  • Lyydia (Finnish)
  • Lidiya (Russian, Bulgarian)
  • Lídia (Catalan, Portuguese, Hungarian)
  • Lidija (Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian)
  • Lýdie (Czech)
  • Lýdia (Slovak, Faroese)
  • Lydie (French)
  • Lyda (English)
  • Lidda (English)
  • Lydian (English)
  • Lydiana (English)
  • Lidiana (English)
  • Ludia (Ancient Greek)

 

Male forms:

  • Lydus (Ancient Greek)
  • Lydos (Ancient Greek)
  • Ludos (Ancient Greek)

Jumal

Jumal is the name of the Estonian god of the sky; the name means “god” in Estonian and Finnish, likely borrowed from the Proto-Indo-Iranian *diyumna, a cognate of Sanskrit dyuman (heavenly, shining, radiant). Jumal has also been used as a generic word used to refer to a god as well as also being used for the Christian God. Another possible meaning of the name is “twins” or it could be related to Mordvinic jondol meaning “lightning”.

Jumal could also be a variant transcription of Jamal, an Arabic male name meaning “handsome, beauty”.

Origin: Proto-Indo-Iranian

Variants:

  • Jumala (Finnish
  • Jumo (Mari)

 

Sofia

Sofia is a variant of Sophia, which comes from Greek meaning “wisdom”.

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Sophia (Greek, English, German)
  • Sophie (French, German, Dutch, English)
  • Sofie (German, Danish, Dutch, Czech)
  • Sohvi (Finnish)
  • Žofia (Slovak)
  • Sofiya (Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Russian)
  • Sofya (Russian)
  • Sofija (Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Lithuanian, Latvian)
  • Žofie (Czech)
  • Sopio (Georgian)
  • Zsófia (Hungarian)
  • Szonja (Hungarian)
  • Soffía (Icelandic)
  • Zofia (Polish)
  • Zosia (Polish)
  • Sofía (Spanish)
  • Sonja (German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Slovene, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian)
  • Sonje (German)
  • Sonia (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, English)
  • Sonya (Russian, 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)

 

Sandra

Sandra was originally a nickname for Alessandra, the Italian form of Alexandra, a Greek female form of Alexander meaning “defender of man” or “defending men” from Greek alexo (to defend, help) and aner (man), though it could also be a nickname for Alexandra as well.

Sandra could also be a nickname for another Greek name, Cassandra, possibly meaning “exceling man”, “surpassing man” or “shining man”; the first part of the name is uncertain though it could be derived from Greek kekasmai (to excel, to shine) while the second part of the name comes from Greek aner (man).

Nicknames: Sandy/Sandi/Sandie

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Xandra (English)
  • Sondra (English)
  • Saundra (Scottish, English)
  • Sandrine (French)

 

Male forms:

  • Sander (English, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Xander (English, Dutch)
  • Sandro (Italian, Georgian)

 

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)