Onika

Onika is an African female name though there doesn’t seem to be a lot of accurate information on it. I’ve seen it with various meanings of “warrior”, or it could be derived from Yoruba meaning “one in possession of”, or it could be a short form of Onyekachi, an Igbo name meaning “who is greater than God?” Onika is also a Maori word meaning “onyx”. Spelled Oni-ka (鬼化) it’s a Japanese word meaning “devil”.

Origin: African, Maori, Japanese

Variants:

  • Oneika
  • Onyeka (short form of Onyekachi)

 

Rita

Rita is a short form of Margarita, the Latinate form of Margaret which comes from Ancient Greek margarítēs meaning “pearl” ultimately derived from Sanskrit manyari. I’ve also seen it listed as also being an Indian female name, derived from Sanskrit rit meaning “true, enlightened, luminous, brave, honest” .

Rita is also a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used, such as 理多 “reason + abundance, many”, 莉多 “jasmine + abundance, many”, and other meanings depending on the kanji used.

Origin: Sanskrit, Japanese

Variants:

  • Margarita (Spanish, Russian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Late Roman)
  • Margherita (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)

 

Rei

Rei (pr. ray) is a Japanese unisex name though it seems to be more popular for women. Some meanings depending on the kanji are: 玲 “exquisite, clever, sound of jade”; 礼威 “reverence + dominate, intimidate, power”; 礼 (reverence, etiquette, bow); 霊 (soul, spirit, ghost); 玲生 “exquisite, clever, sound of jade + life, existence, being”; 礼唯 “reverence + only, sole, alone”; 零 (zero); 麗 (lovely, elegance, beauty); 例 (example, instance); 令 (order, command); 怜 (to know, wise); 鈴 (bell, chime); 嶺 (peak, summit); 黎 (black, dark, gloomy, many); 澪 (waterway, channel, wake “of a ship”); 励 (strive, encourage); and many more depending on the kanji used. Other variants of the name include Reiko, with the (ko) meaning “child”, only used for females; Reika, also used for females with the (ka) ending meaning 香 “fragrance” and 花 “flower”; and Reiki, a unisex name with the (ki) ending meaning 樹 “tree”; 輝 “radiance, brilliance, splendor”; and likely various other meanings.

Origin: Japanese

Variants:

  • Reiko (f)
  • Reika (f)
  • Reiki (u)

 

Hikaru

Hikaru is a Japanese unisex name meaning “light” with the kanji or “brightness” with the kanji. Because it’s a unisex name, some kanji characters are used specifically for females while others are used for males only. Some kanji characters used for females are: 光佳留 “light + beautiful, good, excellent + to stay, to keep, to remain, to study abroad”; 光流 “light + to flow, current, flow, stream; to drift, to wander”; 光海 “light + sea, ocean”; 光留 “light + to stay, to keep, to remain, to study abroad”; 妃夏瑠 “a ruler’s wife, queen, empress + summer + precious stone, gem, lapis lazuli”; 妃華瑠 “a rulers wife, queen, empress + flower, splendor + precious stone, gem, lapis lazuli”; 妃香瑠 “a ruler’s wife, queen, empress + fragrance, fragrant + precious stone, gem, lapis lazuli”; while some kanji used for men are: 光琉 “light + precious stone, gem, lapis lazuli”; 太陽 “sun”; “clear”; and 流星 “to flow, current, flow, stream; to drift, to wander + star”; 弘明 “to spread, enlarge, expand, great + clear, tomorrow, bright”; and many more depending on the kanji.

Origin: Japanese

Jade

Jade is the name of a semi-precious stone. The name comes from French l’ejade via Spanish piedra de la ijada which means “stone of the colic” because it was believed that it could cure pains in the side. The name itself comes from Vulgar Latin *iliata from Latin ileus (flank or severe colic). Jade is also a surname originating from the given name.

Jade symbolizes bravery, purity, wisdom, loyalty, justice, sincerity, and truth, and used as an emperiel gem by Chinese emperors in the past.

Origin: Latin

Variants:

  • Jayde (English)
  • Jada (English)
  • Jayda (English)
  • Jaida (English)
  • Giada (Italian)

 

Topaz

Topaz comes from Old French topaze, topace which comes from Greek topazos which is derived from Sanskrit tapas meaning “heat, fire”. However, according to Roman author, naturalist, and philosopher Pliny, the name came from a remote island in the Red Sea called Topazein meaning “to divine, to locate” though that seems to be folk etymology rather than fact.

Topaz is the birthstone of Novemer and associated with love and good luck, as well as believed to have healing properties.

Origin: Sanskrit

Variants:

  • Topaze

 

Esmeralda

Esmeralda is the Spanish and Portuguese word for “emerald”, also used as a given name. It comes from Old French esmeraude via Vulgar Latin (which is the common speech of Latin including different dialects) esmeralda, esmeraldus which comes from Ancient Greek smaragdos meaning “green gem”. That itself could come from a Semitic source such as Hebrew baraket or bareqeth meaning “emerald, shine” or Arabic barq “lightning”.

Origin: Hebrew, Arabic

Variants:

  • Esmeraude (Old French)
  • Emeraude (French)
  • Émeraude (French)
  • Emerald (English)

 

Opal

Opal is the name of a gemstone, the English form of Greek opallios which is derived from Sanskrit upala meaning “gem, stone”. Opals are the birthstone of October. The Romans considered them as a symbol of hope, purity, and good fortune and were thought to have healing powers. According to the ancient Greeks, they believed opals were formed from the tears of the god Zeus and believed that it gave one the gift of prophecy and foresight. In ancient India, the opal was thought to represent the Goddess of Rainbow who turned herself into an opal to avoid the advances of the other gods. Arab lore held that the opal had falen from the sky with lightning trapped inside it, and that it could make the wearer invisible. The Aborigines of Australia considered the opal sacred; according to their mythology, the creator spirit came down to earth on a rainbow and when it touched the ground, it turned the rocks to opals.

However, despite their positive associations, opals also took on an unfortunate property and were considered to be bad luck.

Origin: Sanskrit