Hermes

Hermes is the name of the Greek god of commerce and trade, known as the trickster god and the protector of thieves, travelers, and athletes, as well as a messenger of the gods and the god of boundaries. He guided the souls of the dead to the underworld. The son of Zeus and Maia, one of the Pleiades, the day after his birth when he was just an infant, Hermes stole his half-brother Apollo’s cattle. When Apollo tracked him down, Hermes gave him a lyre he had just invented from the shell of a tortoise as an apology. He is the father of Autolycus, the Prince of Thieves, and the great-grandfather of the hero Odysseus. Although the etymology of the name has been linked to Greek herma meaning “cairn, pile of stones, boundary marker” it could also be related to Proto-European *ser “to bind, put together”; or it could be related to an older word of non-European origin.

Hermes is also a surname, either derived from the name of the Greek god or it could be a Germanic matronynic surname from the given name Ermens, a short form of either Ermelendis (derived from Germanic elements ermen “whole, universal” and linde “soft, tender”) or Ermgart (likely a short form of Ermengarde, also a Germanic name from Germanic ermen “whole, universal” and garde “enclosure”). As a French surname, it could have arisen as a topographic name for someone who lived in a deserted spot or a patch of barren land from Greek eremia “desert, desolate, lonely uninhabited” and the local suffix –ès.

Origin: Ancient Greek, Proto-European, Ancient Germanic

Variants:

  • Hermès (French)
  • Ermes (Italian)
  • Ermete (Italian)
  • Ermis (Modern Greek)

 

Female forms:

  • Hermione (Ancient Greek)
  • Hermia (English)

 

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Atalya

Atalya is a variant spelling of Athalia, a Hebrew female name meaning “Yahweh is exalted”, or a variant spelling of Attalia, the ancient name of Antalya, a city in Turkey. The name seems to be derived from the name of its founder, Attalos (also spelled Attalus). Though the etymology behind his name is uncertain, it might be derived from Greek atalos meaning “tender, delicate”, or it could be a diminutive of atta meaning “father”.

Origin: Hebrew, Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Athaliah (Hebrew)
  • Athalia (Hebrew)
  • Atalia (Hebrew)
  • Athalie (French)
  • Attalia
  • Antalya

 

Male forms:

  • Attalos (Ancient Greek)
  • Attalus (Ancient Greek)

 

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)

 

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)

 

Bellicent

Bellicent could be an Old French form of Belissendis, a Germanic name made of elements bili (gentle, kind, fitting, suitable, proper) and swind (strong, brave, powerful) so essentially meaning “gentle power” or “gentle strength”. It could also possibly be related to Belenus, the name of a Celtic god of the sun, whose name possibly means “bright, brilliant”

In the Arthurian legends, Bellicent is the half-sister of King Arthur (though in some versions she goes by Morgause) and is the mother of Gareth and Gawain.

Origin: Germanic

Variants:

  • Belisent
  • Belisant

 

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

 

Kazuya

Kazuya is a Japanese male name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used.  It’s made up of Japanese elements kazu meaning “one”, “harmony, peace”, 冬 “winter”; 万 “ten thousand”; 三 “three”; and ya meaning 八 “eight”; 矢 “arrow”; 也 “to be, also, too”; 哉 (a final exclamatory particle that has no particular meaning); 優 “excellent, outstanding, kind, tenderness”; 弥 “extensive, full, complete”; 夜 “night”; though there are likely other meanings as well. Kazu can also be used as given name on its own, becoming a unisex name.

Origin: Japanese

 

Yutaka

Yutaka is a Japanese male name meaning “abundant, plentiful, rich” from Japanese 豊, though it has other meanings depending on the kanji used such as: “prosperous, rich” (); “excellent, outstanding, kind, tenderness” (優); “fertile, lush, abundant” ()“warm” (温); “male, excellent + tall, high, flying” (雄高); “tolerant” (); and other meanings depending on the kanji.

Origin: Japanese

 

Gareth

Gareth is the name of one of the Knights of the Round Table in the Arthurian legends, the son of Lot and Morgause, Arthur’s older half-sister, which makes him Arthur’s nephew. The name first appeared in Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, based on the name Gahariet, an Old French form of the name. The etymology behind the name is uncertain though it has been linked to Welsh gwaredd meaning “gentleness”. It could also be connected to another name, Geraint, the Welsh form of Latin Gerontius meaning “old man” from Greek geron. Other possible meanings I’ve come across is that it might be from Welsh Gweir “grass”, “hay”, “collar”, “loop” or “bend” or Gweirydd “Gweir + lord”, or that it could be from Old Welsh gwrhyt “valor”.

Origin: Welsh, Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Gahariet (Medieval French)
  • Gaharet
  • Gahareth
  • Gariet

 

Ran

Ran is a Japanese feminine name meaning “orchid” (蘭) though there could be other meanings depending on the kanji used.

Ran is also a Chinese surname (冉) which could mean “tender” or “weak”.

Rán (pronounced rawn) is also the name of a goddess of the sea in Norse mythology who captures sailors in her net and drowns them. She is married to Ægir, a giant, and has nine daughters with him. Her name means “robber” or “robbery”.

Ran is also the past tense of run.

Origin: Japanese, Chinese, Norse

Variants:

  • Rán (Norse)