Guinevere

Guinevere is the wife of King Arthur who was in love with Lancelot and whose affair led to her husband’s downfall. Guinevere is the Norman French form of Gwenhwyfar, made up of Proto-Celtic *windos (fair, white, blessed) and sebara (specter, phantom, demon, spirit, magical being), so the name essentially means “fair phantom”, “white phantom” or “white magical being”.

Nicknames: Gwen, Gwennie/Gwenny

Origin: Proto-Celtic

Variants:

  • Guenevere
  • Gwenhwyfar (Welsh)
  • Gwenevere
  • Gwynnever
  • Guenièvre (French)
  • Gweniver (Breton)
  • Jennifer (Cornish, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish)
  • Jenifer (English, Cornish)
  • Ginevra (Italian)
  • Gaenor (Welsh)
  • Gaynor (English)
  • Guanhumara (Latin)

 

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Kaitlin

Kaitlin is a variant spelling of Caitlin, itself the Anglicized form of Caitlín the Irish form of Katherine which comes from Greek Aikaterine though the etymology behind the name is not certain. It could be derived from another Greek name, Hekaterine from hekateros meaning “each of the two” or from Hecate, the name of the Greek goddess of witchcraft, the underworld, and crossroads, from hekas possibly meaning “far off” though another theory states it comes from a Greek word meaning “will”. It might also be derived from Greek aikia “torture”. Katherine could also be from a Coptic name meaning “my consecration of your name”. The spelling of the name was later changed to be associated with Greek katharos “pure”.

Origin: Greek, Coptic

Variants:

  • Caitlin (Irish, English)
  • Caitlín (Irish)
  • Kaitlyn (English)
  • Caitlyn (English)
  • Katelyn (English)
  • Catelyn (English)
  • Kaitlynn (English)
  • Caitlynn (English)
  • Catelynn (English)
  • Kaitlynne (English)
  • Caitlynne (English)
  • Catelynne (English)

 

Maya, Maia

Maya is the name of the Mayan civilization and its people, a Mesoamerican civilization that stretched out in southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemela, El Salvador, and Honduras, though it’s of unknown meaning.  Maya is also an Indian girl’s name meaning “illusion” or “magic” in Sanskrit, featuring as a concept in Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hindu mythology, Maya is an epithet for Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, and love, and Durga, a warrior goddess.

Maya is also a Hebrew female name meaning “water” derived from mayim (water).

In Japan, Maya is a unisex name that has a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used: “hemp,flax,linen + to be”; “ten thousand + to be”; “true + to be”; “true + night”; and “to rub, graze, grind + eight”; there are other meanings besides these.

Maya also seems to have been a male name in Ancient Egyptian, being the name of a High Priest of Amun in Ancient Egypt who lived during the 14th century during the reign of Akhenaten, as well as being the name of  a treasurer who lived in the 16th century, though I couldn’t find any meaning behind the name.

Maia is the name of one of the oldest of the Pleiades, seven nymphs who are the daughters of Atlas, a Titan, and Pleione, an Oceanid. By Zeus, she is the mother of the god Hermes, and also helped raise Arcas, the son of Zeus and Callisto, whose mother was turned into a bear by Hera. The name possibly means “good mother” in Greek, and was used as an honorific for motherly figures. Maia also means “midwife”.

Maia is also a Roman goddess of spring, the wife of Vulcan; her name comes from Latin maius meaning “great”, and the month of May is named after her.

Maia is also the Basque form of Maria, the Latin form of Hebrew name Miriam, a name of unknown meaning though possible meanings ascribed to it are “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness” or “obstinacy”, and “wished for child”. It’s also possible that it might be derived from an Egyptian name either meaning “beloved” from myr, or from mr “love”.

Maia means “palm tree” in the Maori language.

Origin: Sanskrit, Greek, Roman, Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Maori, Japanese

Variants:

  • Maja (Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Polish)
  • Maïa (French)

 

Male forms:

  • Maj (Slovene)

 

 

Maya 麻也 (Japanese kanji) “hemp,flax,linen+to be

Maya 万也 (Japanese kanji) “ten thousand + to be”

Maya 真也 (Japanese kanji) “true + to be”

Maya 真夜 (Japanese kanji) “true + night”

Maya 摩八 (Japanese kanji)”to rub, graze, grind + eight”

 

 

Cato

Cato is an Ancient Roman cognomen meaning “wise” in Latin. Cato is also a Dutch diminutive of Catharina, the Dutch and Swedish form of Katherine. Katherine comes from Greek name Aikaterine though the etymology behind the name is not certain. It could be derived from another Greek name, Hekaterine from hekateros meaning “each of the two” or from Hecate, the name of the Greek goddess of witchcraft, the underworld, and crossroads, from hekas possibly meaning “far off” though another theory states it comes from a Greek word meaning “will”. It might also be derived from Greek aikia “torture”. Katherine could also be from a Coptic name meaning “my consecration of your name”. The spelling of the name was later changed to be associated with Greek katharos “pure”.

Origin: Latin, Greek, Coptic

 

 

Jennifer

Jennifer is the Cornish form of Welsh name Gwenhwyfar (from which the name Guinevere comes from) meaning “fair phantom” or “white phantom” or “white specter” from Celtic elements gwen (white, fair, blessed) and sebara (phantom, demon, spirit, specter, magical being).

Nicknames include: Jen, Jenny/Jennie and Jenna

Origin: Welsh

Variants:

  • Jenifer (English, Cornish)
  • Yenifer (Spanish)
  • Jenna (English)
  • Gwenifer (Cornish)
  • Guinevere (Norman French)
  • Guenevere
  • Gwenhwyfar (Welsh)
  • Gwenevere (English)