America

America is a unisex given name usually given in honor of the United States of America. It comes from Italian male name Amerigo, the medieval Italian form of Emmerich, a Germanic male name. While the second element of the name comes from ric (power, rule), the first part of the name is a little more complicated. It could be from Germanic ermen (whole, universal), amal (work, labor), or heim (home). Apparently the name came from Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

Origin: Germanic

Variants:

  • Amerika (English, German, Dutch)
  • América (Spanish, Portuguese)

 

 

Male forms:

  • Americus (Latin)
  • Amerigo (Italian)
  • Emmerich (Germanic)

 

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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)

 

Gilda

Gilda comes from Germanic element gild meaning “sacrifice, value”, originally a nickname for Ermenegilda, the Italian feminine form of Ermenegildo, itself the Italian form of Spanish and Portuguese name Hermenegildo which comes from a Visigothic name meaning “complete sacrifice” or “whole sacrifice” from Germanic elements ermen (whole, universal) and gild (sacrifice, value).

Gilda could also be from Old English gyldan meaning “to gild, to cover with a thin layer of gold” which comes from Proto-Germanic *gulthjan and gulþą (gold).

Gilda could also be the feminine form of Gildas, the Latinized form of a Celtic name. Though the etymology isn’t certain, it might be derived from Celtic elements *kCElyo (companion) + *dCEwo (a God) meaning “companion of God” or “servant of God”.

Origin: Germanic, Celtic

Male forms:

  • Gild
  • Gildas (Brythonic)

 

Aditi

Aditi is an Indian female name meaning “free, limitless, boundless, entire”, “freedom, security” or “have nothing to give” in Sanskrit. Aditi is also the name of the Mother Goddess in Hindu mythology, mother of all the gods and of the whole cosmos, as well as being the Goddess of divine wisdom.

Origin: Sanskrit

Variants:

  • Adhiti (Indian)

 

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)