Isabel

Isabel is the medieval Occitan form of Elizabeth, the English form of Hebrew ‘Elisheva meaning “my God is an oath” or “my God is abundance”.

Nicknames: Izzy/Izzie, Bel/Belle

Origin: Hebrew

Variants:

  • Isabelle (French, English, German, Dutch)
  • Isabell (German, English)
  • Isabella (English, Italian, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Romanian)
  • Isabela (Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian)
  • Ysabel (Spanish)
  • Izabel (Brazilian Portuguese)
  • Izabella (Hungarian, Polish)
  • Izebelle (English)
  • Isebella (English)
  • Isbel (English)
  • Elizabeth (English)

 

 

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Lisa

Lisa originated as a short form of Elizabeth, a female name which comes from Hebrew ‘Elisheva meaning “my God is an oath” or “my God is abundance”. Mawu-Lisa is also the name of a creator goddess in Dahomey mythology in Benin in West Africa, sometimes described as a pair of twins with Lisa being the male part representing the sun and Mawu the female part representing the moon. Lisa is also a surname.

Origin: Hebrew

 

Kai

Kai is a name with various origins and meanings:

  • it’s a Hawaiian unisex name meaning “sea”;
  • it’s also a Japanese name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used, such as: (海) “sea, ocean”; (貝) “shellfish”; (快) “cheerful, pleasant, agreeable, comfortable”; (戒) “commandment”, and other various meanings; as well as also being a compound of names like Kaito and Kairi;
  • Kai is also a Japanese surname written with the kanji (甲斐) meaning “armor; carapace, shell; high (voice);  A grade; first class; former; instep + beautiful; patterned);
  • it’s a Dutch and German surname, a topographic name for someone who lived by the quayside; the name derives from Dutch kaai meaning “quay”;
  • it’s a Chinese male name with various meanings depending on the characters used such as: (凯) “victorious, triumphant”; (開) “open, start”; and (啟) “start, begin, open”;
  • it’s also a Frisian short form of names such as Gerhard (the German, Dutch, and Scandinavian form of Gerard meaning “brave/hardy spear”), Nicolaas (the Polish form of Nicholas meaning “victory of the people”), Cornelis, the Dutch form of Cornelius possibly derived from Latin meaning “horn”), or Kajetan (the Polish form of Gaetano, the Italian form of Latin Caietanus meaning “from Caieta”, also spelled Gaeta, the name of a town in Italy; or Kaimbe, an Old Frisian name meaning “warrior”;
  • it may also be a variant spelling of Cai, the Welsh form of Kay, the name of King Arthur’s foster-brother and seneschel in Arthurian legend; it may possibly be a Welsh form of Gaius, a Roman given name of uncertain meaning though it’s been linked to Latin gaudere meaning “to rejoice” though it may also be derived from an older Etruscan source of unknown meaning;
  • Kai is also a word in several languages: it means “and” in Greek; “quay, pier” in Estonian; “food” in Maori; and I’ve also seen it as possibly meaning “willow tree” in Navajo;
  • it also seems to be an African male name although I couldn’t find a specific meaning behind it, though it may be a title or a prefix meaning “king” or “king of kings”;
  • Kai is also the name of several place names.

Origin: Hawaiian, Japanese, Dutch, Chinese, Latin, Greek, Estonian, Maori, Navajo, African

Variants:

  • Kaj (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian)
  • Caj (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian)
  • Cai (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian,
  • Kay (Frisian, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English)

 

Female forms:

  • Kay (English)

 

Matilda

Matilda comes from Old German Mahthildis meaning “strength in battle” or “might in battle” from Germanic elements maht (might, strength) which comes from Proto-Indo-European root word *megʰ- (to be able), and hild (battle) which also comes from a Proto-Indo-European root word.

Nicknames: Mattie/Matty, Tilda, Tildy, Tilly/Tillie

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Mahthildis (Ancient Germanic)
  • Mathilda (English, Swedish, Ancient Germanic)
  • Matylda (Czech, Polish)
  • Maud (English, Dutch)
  • Maude (English)
  • Maudie (English)
  • Mathilde (French, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Machteld (Dutch)
  • Mechteld (Dutch)
  • Mahaut (Medieval French)
  • Mechthild (German)
  • Mechthilde (German)
  • Matild (Hungarian)
  • Mafalda (Italian, Portuguese)
  • Matilde (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian)
  • Mallt (Welsh)

 

Hella

Hella is a variant form of Helga, the feminine form of Helge, a Scandinavian name meaning “holy, blessed” from Old Norse heilagr, as well as also being an American slang term meaning “very, extremely”, a contraction of the phrase hell of a.

Origin: Old Norse

Variants:

  • Helga (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Ancient Scandinavian)
  • Helle (Danish)
  • Olga (Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Latvian, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovene, Serbian, Bulgarian)
  • Olha (Ukrainian)
  • Helka (Finnish)
  • Aila (Finnish)
  • Áile (Sami)
  • Aili (Finnish)

 

Male forms:

  • Helge (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German)
  • Helgi (Ancient Scandinavian)
  • Oleg (Russian)
  • Oleh (Ukrainian)

 

Xylander

Xylander seems to have originated as a surname made up of Greek elements xylon (wood, forest) and andros (man) meaning “wood man” or “man of the forest”. It was the surname of Wilhelm Holtzman (a German classic scholar in the 16th century) who changed his last name to Xylander which translates into the same meaning as Holtzman, though whether he first coined the name or whether it had already existed before than I don’t know. It’s also the surname of a Danish painter, Wilhelm Ferdinand Xylander (it’s one of his paintings below).

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Zylander

 

Caroline

Caroline is the French form of Carolina, the feminine form of Carolus which is the Latin form of Charles, derived from Germanic Karl from Proto-Germanic *karilaz meaning “free man”, used to refer to men who were not thralls or servants but who still lived at the bottom of society so it connotes the idea of a free man.

Nicknames: Carrie

Origin: Proto-Germanic

 

Variants:

  • Carolyn (English)
  • Karolyn (English)
  • Carolin (German)
  • Carlyn (English)
  • Carolina (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Swedish)
  • Karolina (Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Macedonian, Lithuanian, German)
  • Karoline (German, Danish, Norwegian)
  • Carolien (Dutch)
  • Charlize (Afrikaans)
  • Carla (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, English, German, Dutch)
  • Karla (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Croatian)
  • Karolína (Czech)
  • Karoliina (Finnish)
  • Karola (Hungarian, German)
  • Carola (Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish)
  • Charlene (English)
  • Charlotte (English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch)
  • Carol (English)

 

Male forms:

  • Carolus (Latin)
  • Karolos (Greek)
  • Charles (English, French)
  • Karl (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Finnish, Ancient Germanic)
  • Carl (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English)
  • Carles (Catalan)
  • Karlo (Croatian)
  • Carlo (Italian)
  • Karel (Dutch, Czech, Slovene)
  • Karol (Polish, Slovak, Slovene)
  • Kaarle (Finnish)
  • Kaarlo (Finnish)
  • Kale (Hawaiian)
  • Károly (Hungarian)
  • Séarlas (Irish)
  • Sjarel (Limburgish)
  • Karolis (Lithuanian)
  • Carlos (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Carol (Romanian)
  • Siarl (Welsh)

 

Leon

Leon derives from Greek leon meaning “lion” and is the Latin cognate of Leo. Leon is also a surname which may derive from the given name, originally a nickname for someone who was a fierce warrior, though it may also derive from the name of a city in Spain, León, which may come from Latin legio meaning “legion” since it was originally a military encampment for the Roman legions.

Origin: Ancient Greek, Latin

Variants:

  • Leontios (Ancient Greek)
  • Leontius (Latinized Ancient Greek)
  • Leonius (Late Roman)
  • León (Spanish)
  • Leoncio (Spanish)
  • Léon (French)
  • Léo (French)
  • Léonce (French)
  • Levon (Armenian)
  • Leoš (Czech)
  • Leo (German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English, Croatian, Late Roman)
  • Lionel (French, English)
  • Levan (Georgian)
  • Leone (Italian)
  • Leonzio (Italian)
  • Leonas (Lithuanian)
  • Leonti (Russian)
  • Leontiy (Russian)
  • Leonty (Russian)

 

Female form:

  • Leona (German, English)
  • Leola (English)
  • Leone (English)
  • Leontina (Italian, Late Roman)
  • Leontyne (English)
  • Leontine (German, English)
  • Léontine (French)
  • Léone (French)
  • Leonie (German, Dutch, English)
  • Léonie (French)
  • Leonia (Late Roman)

 

Heidi

Heidi is the German diminutive of Adelheid, which is the German and Dutch form of Adelaide meaning “noble kind” or “noble sort” from Germanic elements adal (noble) and  heid (kind, sort, type).

Origin: Germanic

Variants:

  • Heidy (English, Spanish)
  • Heida (German)
  • Adelheid (German, Dutch)
  • Adelaide (French, English, Italian, Portuguese)
  • Adalheidis (Ancient Germanic)

 

Wolf

Wolf comes from Proto-Germanic *wulfaz via Proto-Indo-European *wĺ̥kʷos (wolf). It’s used to refer to the animal, wolves have long been a symbol of the wild and untamed, but also dangerous and predatory. Wolf can also be a nickname for names such as Wolfgang (meaning “wolf path”) and Wolfram (meaning “wolf raven), as well as also being a surname.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Wulf (German)
  • Wolfe (English)
  • Úlfr (Ancient Scandinavian)
  • Uffe (Danish)
  • Ulf (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)