Blaer

Blaer is an Icelandic unisex name meaning “gentle breeze” or “gust of wind”. Although it was used as a masculine name in Iceland, it wasn’t until 2013 that it was officially accepted as a female name as well.

Origin: Old Norse

Variants:

  • Blær (Icelandic)

 

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)

 

Odin

Odin is an Anglicized form of Old Norse Óðinn which comes from óðr meaning “inspiration, rage, frenzy”. It comes from Proto-Germanic *Wodanaz meaning “poetic fury” derived from *wodaz (rage, manic inspiration, mad, furious, possessed). In Norse mythology, Odin is the chief god of the Norse pantheon, a complex character who presided over war, art, wisdom, death, and magic, as well as poetry and seers. He has one eye and a large beard, and likes to wander, often in a relenetless pursuit of knowledge. Odin also presided over Valhalla and the valkyries, and is supposed to be killed by the wolf Fenrir at the end of the world known as Ragnarok.

Origin: Proto-Germanic

Variants:

  • Oden (Swedish)
  • Óðinn (Icelandic, Old Norse)
  • Woden (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Wodan (Germanic)
  • Wotan (Germanic)

 

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)

 

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)

 

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)

 

Agnes

Agnes is the Latinized form of Hagnea Greek female name meaning “pure, chaste” from Greek hagnos (pure, chaste). The name later became associated with Latin agnus meaning “lamb” because of a virgin-martyr who died for her faith in ancient Rome, even though the name has nothing to do with it.

Nicknames: Aggie

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Hagne (Ancient Greek)
  • Hagno (Ancient Greek)
  • Annis (Medieval English)
  • Annice (English)
  • Agneta (Swedish)
  • Agnetha (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Agnete (Danish)
  • Agnethe (Danish)
  • Inés (Spanish)
  • Inez (English)
  • Agnese (Italian, Latvian)
  • Ines (Italian, Slovene, Croatian)
  • Agneza (Croatian)
  • Oanez (Breton)
  • Agnessa (Russian)
  • Nesta (Welsh)
  • Nest (Welsh)
  • Agnesa (Slovak)

 

Manfred

Manfred comes from an Old German name though there seems to be some uncertainty as to the first element of the name. The second element comes from Germanic frid (peace) while the first part of the name either comes from Germanic man (man) or magan (strength) so the name could mean either “strong peace” or “man peace/ peaceful man”.

As well as being a given name, Manfred is also a surname derived from the given name.

Nicknames: Man, Manny/Mannie, Fred

Origin: Germanic

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Variants:

  • Manfried (German)
  • Manfredo (Italian)
  • Meginfrid (Ancient Germanic)

 

Female forms:

  • Manfreda (also the name of a genus of flowering plants named after the 14th century Italian writer Manfredus de Monte Imperiale)

 

Emma

Origin: Germanic

Meaning: Emma comes from Germanic element ermen meaning “whole” or “universal”, originally used as a short form of names that began with it.

Em is an obvious nickname for Emma, but it’s such a short name to begin with Emma doesn’t really need any nicknames.

Variants:

  • Emmalyn (a combination of Emma with the lyn suffix)
  • Ema (Spanish, Portuguese, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, Croatian)
  • Ima (Dutch, Ancient Germanic)
  • Irma (German, English, Dutch, Finnish, Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic)
  • Erma (English)
  • Emmy (English)
  • Emmie (English)
  • Emmott/Emmot (a medieval diminutive of Emma)

 

Male forms:

  • Emmett (the masculine form of Emma)