Kenya

Kenya is the name of a country in Africa named after Mount Kenya. The origin of the name itself is not clear-

  • it could be a corruption of the Kikuyu, Embu, and Kamba words Kirinyaga, Kirenyaa and Kiinyaa which mean “God’s resting place” in all three languages. The mountain represents an important aspect within their cultures, believing it was where God lived;
  • it may also come from Kukuyu kere nyaga meaning “white mountain” or “mountain of whiteness”;
  • it could be derived from Akamba kiima kya kenia meaning “the mountain that shines”, kenia being the Akamba word for “shine” or “glitter”;
  • it may also be from the Ameru word kirimira which translates to “mountain with white features”;
  • it may also be translated from Kikuyu to “the place with ostriches”.

Kenya is also a Japanese male name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used such as:

  • “healthy; health; strength; persistence + to be” (健也)
  • “healthy; health; strength; persistence + how; what; alas; question mark” (健哉)
  • “healthy; health; strength; persistence + all the more; increasingly” (健弥)
  • “healthy; health; strength; persistence + dart, arrow” (健矢)
  • “healthy; health; strength; persistence + question mark” (健耶)
  • “concurrently; and; beforehand; in advance + to be” (兼也)

Written in hiragana it’s けんや (Ken’ya).

Origin: Kikuyu, Embu, Kamba, Akamba, Japanese

 

Variants:

  • Kenia (English)
  • Ken’ya (Japanese) m

 

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Dennis

Dennis is the English form of Dionysius, the name of the Greek god of the vine, wine, pleasure, festivity, madness, and wild frenzy, who represented both the intoxicating madness of wine as well as its beneficient qualities. He was the son of Zeus and the Theban princess Semele, making him the only god with a mortal parent and the last god to enter the Greek pantheon.

Although the etymology of his name isn’t quite clear-cut, the first part of the name, Dio-, means “of Zeus” though it could also be related to Proto-Indo-European *dyews meaning “sky, heaven, god” and “shining”. The second part -nysus might be derived from Nysa, the name of a mountain in which Dionysios was raised by the nymphs who loved there; the name might be related to an archaic Greek word meaning “tree”.

Dennis is also a surname derived from the given name.

Origin: Ancient Greek, Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Denis (French, Russian, English, German, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Romanian, Croatian)
  • Denys (Ukrainian, English)
  • Denny (English)
  • Dennie (English)
  • Dionýz (Slovak)
  • Dionisie (Romanian)
  • Dénes (Hungarian)
  • Tenney (medieval English diminutive of Denis)
  • Dinis (Portuguese)
  • Diniz (Portuguese)
  • Dionísio (Portuguese)
  • Dionisio (Spanish)
  • Deon (English)
  • Deion (English)
  • Dion (Ancient Greek, English short form of Dionysios)
  • Dionysos (Ancient Greek)
  • Dionysios (Ancient Greek)
  • Dionysius (Ancient Greek)

 

Female forms:

  • Denise (English, French, Dutch)
  • Denice (English)
  • Deniece (English)
  • Denisa (Czech, Slovak, Romanian)
  • Dionisia (Italian, Spanish)
  • Dionísia (Portuguese)
  • Dionysia (Late Roman)
  • Diot (Medieval English diminutive of Dionysia)
  • Dye (Medieval English diminutive of Dionysia)

 

Lucky

Lucky is an English word referring to something or someone having or is marked by good luck or someone or something that is fortunate, and often used as a nickname for someone who is lucky though it could also be used as a given name. Lucky is also a surname derived from the given name Luke/Lucas, the English form of Greek Loukas meaning “from Lucania”, the name of a region in southern Italy. Though the name is of uncertain meaning, Lucania could be related to Greek leukos “white”, “light, bright, shining”, a cognate of Latin lux “light”. It could also be derived from the Latin word lucus (a cognate of lucere “shining, bright”) meaning “sacred wood” or Greek lykos meaning “wolf”.

Origin: Greek, Latin

 

Variants:

  • Luck

 

Julian

Julian is the English form of Iulianus (or Julianus), an Ancient Roman family name meaning “belonging to Julius”, Julius a name of uncertain meaning though it could possibly be derived from Greek ioulos meaning “downy-bearded”, implying someone who was youthful, though it could also be related to Iovis, the older form of Latin Iuppiter (Jupiter), the name of the chief god in the Roman pantheon. His name is derived from Indo-European *Dyeus-paterpater meaning “father” while Dyeus meaning “shine” or “sky”.

Although Julian is commonly used as a boy’s  name, it was also a popular girl’s name in medieval times, used as the medieval vernacular form of Juliana eventually becoming Gillian.

Origin: Latin, Indo-European

Variants:

  • Julyan (Medieval English)
  • Jolyon (Medieval English)
  • Iulianus (Ancient Roman)
  • Julianus (Ancient Roman)
  • Julen (Basque)
  • Yulian (Bulgarian, Russian)
  • Julien (French)
  • Giuliano (Italian)
  • Iulian (Romanian, Ancient Roman)
  • Julián (Spanish)

 

Female forms:

  • Julianna (English, Hungarian, Polish)
  • Juliana (English, Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Ancient Roman)
  • Iuliana (Ancient Roman, Romanian)
  • Julianne (English)
  • Juliane (German, French)
  • Jillian (English)
  • Gillian (English)
  • Yuliana (Bulgarian, Russian, Indonesian)
  • Yulianna (Russian)
  • Uliana (Russian)
  • Ulyana (Russian)
  • Julienne (French)
  • Julijana (Croatian, Slovene, Serbian, Macedonian)
  • Giuliana (Italian)
  • Leanna (English)
  • Liana (Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, English)

 

Lana

Lana is an Arabic female name deriving from a root word meaning “soft, tender, gentle”. It’s also a short form of names like Svetlana, a Slavic female name meaning “light” from Slavic svet (light), or Alana, feminine form of Alan, a Celtic name of uncertain etymology though it’s been linked to meaning either “little rock” or “handsome” though it might also be related to Alaunus, a Gaulish god of healing and prophecy whose name could be related to Proto-Celtic *al(aun) meaning “nourishing” or *alo meaning “feed, raise, nurture” or possibly meaning “shining one”.

Lana is also a Hawaiian name meaning “calm as still waters” or “afloat”.

Origin: Arabic, Slavic, Celtic, Hawaiian

 

لانا (Arabic)

 

Lukan

Lukan is a variant spelling of Lucan, derived from Roman Lucanus meaning “from Lucania”, referring to someone who came from the city of Lucania located in southern Italy. The name seems to be derived from Ancient Greek *leukos meaning “white” and “bright, shining”, or it could be derived from Latin lucus meaning “sacred wood” or “sacred grove” (lucus is also a cognate of lucere meaning “shining, bright” from the same root word as *leukos). Lucan is also a place name in Ireland, deriving its name from Gaelic Leamhcán meaning “place of the elms” from leamhán (elm) and ceann (headland, point).

As well as being a given name, Lukan is also a surname which seems to be derived from the given name. Lucan is also the name of a character in the Arthurian legend, a knight of the Round Table, as well as Butler of the royal court.

Origin: Ancient Greek, Latin, Gaelic

Variants:

  • Lucan (English, Ancient Roman)
  • Lucanus (Ancient Roman)
  • Loukanos (Ancient Greek)

 

Aki

Aki is a Japanese unisex name (as well as a word) meaning 秋 “autumn” though it has other meanings such as 燦 “brilliant, bright, radiance”, 明 “clear, tomorrow, bright”, 昭 “shining”, 彬 “refined, gentle”, 爽 “refreshing, clear, invigorating”, 晶 “clear, crystal, sparkle”, 暁 “daybreak, dawn”, 彰 “acknowledge”, 晃 “clear”, 亜紀 “Asia, come after, next + record, chronicle”, 愛希 “love, affection + hope, desire, request”, as well as other meanings. Aki is also used as part of other names such as Akio and Akito, both male names, Akira, a unisex name, and Akiko, a female name. Aki is also a Japanese surname.

Aki is also a Finnish male name, the short form of Joakim, the Scandinavian, Macedonian, and Serbian form of Joachim, a contracted form of either Jehoiachin meaning “established by Yahweh”, or Jehoiakim meaning “raised by Yahweh”. Spelled Áki, it comes from Old Norse meaning “ancestor”.

Origin: Japanese, Old Norse

 

Juliet

Juliet is the English form of either Juliette, a French diminutive of Julie, or Giulietta, the Italian diminutive of Giulia. Both names are ultimately derived from Julia, the feminine form of Julius, an Ancient Roman name of uncertain meaning though it’s been linked to Greek ioulos (downy-bearded) or it could be related to Jupiter, the name of the Roman god derived from Indo-European *Dyeu-Pater meaning “Zeus father”, Zeus meaning “shine” or “sky”.

Shakespeare used the name twice, the first for Romeo and Juliet (1591-1595) and Measure for Measure (1603-1604).

Origin: Latin, Indo-European

Variants:

  • Juliette (French, English)
  • Julietta (English, Polish)
  • Juliett (English)
  • Giulietta (Italian)
  • Giulia (Italian)
  • Julia (English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Finnish, Russian, Ukrainian, Ancient Roman)
  • Juliana (English, Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Ancient Roman)
  • Julianne (English)
  • Julie (French, Danish, Norwegian, Czech, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, English)
  • Júlia (Portuguese, Catalan, Hungarian, Slovak)
  • Yuliya (Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian)
  • Ghjulia (Corsican)
  • Julija (Croatian, Slovene, Lithuanian)
  • Julitta
  • Juli (Hungarian)
  • Iúile (Irish)
  • Jūlija (Latvian)
  • Julita (Polish)
  • Iulia (Ancient Roman, Romanian)
  • Yulia (Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Yuliana (Russian, Bulgarian, Indonesian)
  • Uliana (Russian)
  • Julienne (French)
  • Juliane (French, German)

 

Male forms:

  • Julius (Ancient Roman, English, German)
  • Julian (English, Polish, German)
  • Julyan (English)
  • Jolyan (English)
  • Iulius (Ancient Roman)
  • Iulian (Romanian)
  • Jules (French)
  • Giulio (Italian)
  • Giuliano (Italian)
  • Julien (French)
  • Julián (Spanish)
  • Julio (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Yuliy (Russian)
  • Juliusz (Polish)
  • Yulian (Russian, Bulgarian)

 

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)

 

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)