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)

 

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)

 

Rozalia

Rozalia is the Polish and Romanian form of Rosalia, which comes from Late Latin rosa meaning “rose”.

Origin: Latin

Variants:

  • Rozália (Hungarian)
  • Rosalia (Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Rosália (Portuguese)
  • Rosalía (Galician, Spanish)
  • Rozalija (Lithuanian, Slovene, Croatian, Macedonian)
  • Rosalie (French)
  • Rozaliya (Russian)

 

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)

 

Alita

Alita is a very rare name, possible a variant of Alethea, a Greek female name meaning “truth”. It could also be a variant spelling of Alida, the Dutch, Hungarian, and German diminutive of Adelaide meaning “noble kind, noble type” from Germanic elements adal (noble) and heid (kind, type, sort). It’s just as likely that Alita could be a short form of Adelita, also a Spanish diminutive of Adela meaning “noble”. It might also come from the Spanish word ala meaning “wing” deriving from Latin; Alita could be a variant form of the word, or it could be a diminutive of it meaning “little wing”.

Alita might also be a variant spelling of Alitta, which was the name given to the goddess Aphrodite in Arabia. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the name likely derives from Al-Lat meaning “the goddess”, a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess.

It’s also possible that Alita is the feminine singular of alitus, which is the future passive participle of alō, a Latin word meaning “nourishment, sustenance, support” from Proto-Indo-European *h₂életi (grow, nourish).

Origin: Greek, Germanic, Proto-Indo-European, Arabic

Variants:

  • Alida (Dutch, Hungarian, German)
  • Alitta

 

Demeter

Demeter is the goddess of agriculture who presides over all growing things, particularly crops, the mother of Persephone, and the sister of Zeus. Though the etymology behind the name is uncertain, the second element of the name is from Greek meter meaning “mother”. The first part of the name is a little tricky. It could be linked to da meaning “earth” which is the Doric form of Greek ge (earth) essentially meaning “mother earth”. Another possible theory is that it comes from the same Proto-Indo-European root word as Zeus’s name, *Dyeus, likely meaning “shine” or “sky, heaven, god”.

Demeter is also the Hungarian male form of Demetrius which is actually the masculine form of Greek Demeter.

Origin: Greek, Proto-Indo-European

Female variants:

  • Demetria (Ancient Greek, English)
  • Demetra (Greek, Italian, Romanian)
  • Dimitra (Modern Greek)

 

Male forms:

  • Demetrius (Ancient Greek)
  • Demetrios (Ancient Greek)
  • Dimitrios (Modern Greek)
  • Dimitris (Modern Greek)

 

Roland

Origin: Germanic

Meaning: a name that is composed from Germanic elements hrod (fame) and land (land) meaning “famous land”.

As well as being a given name, Roland is also a surname.

The Song of Roland (Fr: La Chanson de Roland) is a medieval French epic poem about Charlemagne’s fighting the Muslims in Spain during the Middle Ages.

Variants:

  • Rolland (English)
  • Rowland (English)
  • Roeland (Dutch)
  • Loránd (Hungarian)
  • Lóránt (Hungarian)
  • Hrodland (Ancient Germanic)
  • Orlando (Italian)
  • Rolando (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian)
  • Roldán (Spanish)
  • Roldão (Portuguese)
  • Rolan (Russian)

 

Feminine forms:

  • Rolande (French)
  • Rolanda (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Orlanda (Italian)

 

Martin

Origin: Latin

Meaning: Martin comes from the Roman name Martinus meaning “belonging to Mars”, Mars being 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”.

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.

As well as being a given name, Martin is also a common surname derived from the same source.

Marty/Martie is an obvious nickname for Martin.

Variants:

  • Martinus (Ancient Roman, Dutch)
  • Maarten (Dutch)
  • Marten (Dutch)
  • Martijn (Dutch)
  • Merten (German)
  • Mårten (Swedish)
  • Morten (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Márton (Hungarian)
  • Martti (Finnish)
  • Mattin (Basque)
  • Martí (Catalan)
  • Máirtín (Irish)
  • Martino (Italian)
  • Martynas (Lithuanian)
  • Marcin (Polish)
  • Martim (Portuguese)
  • Martinho (Portuguese)
  • Martín (Spanish)
  • Martyn (Welsh, Ukrainian)

 

Feminine forms:

  • Martine (French, Dutch, Norwegian, English)
  • Martina (German, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Slovene, English, Dutch, Swedish, Ancient Roman)