Contessa

Contessa is the Italian word for “countess”, the feminine equivalent of a count (or conte in Italian). The word derives from Latin come, comitem (companion, comrade; attendant), made up of Latin prefix com- (with) and (to go).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “countess”

Usage: English, Italian (word, although I’m not sure if this is used as a given name in Italy)

Variants:

  • Contessina (Italian diminutive of Contessa)

Sforza

Sforza comes from an Italian surname, famously associated with a ruling family in Renaissance Italy, in Milan, a powerful family from 1450 to 1535. The name comes from Italian sforzare meaning “to force; to strain”, from Vulgar Latin *exfortiare via ex- (out, away) and fortiare< fortiō< fortis (strong, powerful).

The name was occasionally used as a given name in Renaissance Italy.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “to force; to strain”

Usage: Medieval Italian

Duvessa

Duvessa is the anglicized form of Dubh Essa meaning “black waterfall”, made up of Irish dubh (black; black-haired) and eas (waterfall, cascade, rapid). Dubh Essa (also spelled Dubhessa) was a fairy common given name in medieval Ireland, in the 13th/14th century.

Duvessa was used in Irish playwright M.J. Molloy’s play The Wooing of Duvessa (1964).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “black waterfall”

Usage: medieval Irish

Variants:

  • Dubh Essa (medieval Irish)
  • Dubhessa (medieval Irish(

Nita

Nita as an English name originated as a shortened form of names ending in nita such as Anita (a diminutive of Ana/Anna meaning “favor, grace” which ultimately derives from a Proto-Semitic root word), Juanita (diminutive of Juana, the Spanish equivalent of Joanna, the feminine form of John “Yahweh is gracious”); or Bonita, a Spanish/Portuguese word meaning “pretty, beautiful” which ultimately derives from a PIE origin.

Nita is also an Indian female name meaning “modest, correct, well-behaved” and “led, guided”.

Nita is also a Choctaw word meaning ‘bear”

Origin: Proto-Semitic; Hebrew; Proto-Indo-European; Choctaw

Meaning: a nickname for Anita “grace, favor”, Juanita “Yahweh is gracious”, or Bonita “pretty, beautiful”; an Indian female name “modest, correct, well-behaved” and “led, guided”; a Choctaw word “bear”

Usage: English, Indian, Marathi, Choctaw

Variants:

  • Neeta (Indian, Marathi)
  • Nitha (Indian, Marathi)
  • Neetha (Indian, Marathi)

Maynard

Maynard comes from an English surname of Norman origin which derived from Germanic personal name Mainard, Meinard meaning “strength + hardy”, composed of Germanic elements magin (strength) and hard (brave, hardy).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “strength + brave, hardy”

Usage: English

Variants:

  • Maynerd (English)
  • Mainard (English, French)
  • Meinard (Dutch)
  • Meindert (Dutch)
  • Meinhard (German)
  • Meginhard (German)

Sahar

Sahar سحر is an Arabic female name meaning “dawn” and is also a word in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu meaning “magic, charm, enchantment”, both of which derive from Arabic root word s-ḥ-r (س ح ر), related to catching. Spelled Shahar שחר, it’s a Hebrew unisex name also meaning “dawn”, and both names seem to be a cognate of Shahar, the god of dawn in Ugarit mythology, so it’s likely the name originates from a Proto-Semitic origin.

Sáhar סהר is also a Hebrew word meaning “crescent” in reference to the moon.

Origin: Proto-Semitic; Arabic, Hebrew

Meaning: “dawn” in both Arabic and Hebrew; in Arabic it also refers to “magic, charm, enchantment”; also a Hebrew word “crescent (moon)”

Usage: Arabic, Persian, Urdu

Variants:

  • Seher (Turkish)

Ertuğrul

Ertuğrul is a Turkish male name, the name of the father of Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire. The name is composed of Turkish er (man) and tuğrul (referring to a mythical bird of prey, perhaps based on a falcon).

Ertuğrul is also a Turkish surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Proto-Turkic

Meaning: “man + bird of prey”, possibly in reference to a falcon”

Usage: Turkish

Pronunciation: in Turkish the ğ is a silent letter so Ertuğrul in Turkish is pronounced as er-tu-rel (Forvo)

Variants:

  • Tuğrul (Turkish)

Ertuğrul ارطغرل‎ (Arabic)

Lulu

Lulu لؤلؤة comes from the Arabic word meaning “pearl” and is often used a female given name. I’ve also come across the name as being used as a pet-name often given to slaves (male and female) in the ancient Middle East.

Lulu also originated as a diminutive of names beginning with the Lu/Lou sounds such as Louise/Louisa (“famous battle” or “famous in battle”), Lucy, Lucia (“light”), Luanne (a combination of Louise + Anne “favor, grace”), etc.

Lulu is also a Chinese female name, often used as a double name such as lù lù 露露 meaning “dew” or lù lù 璐璐 “beautiful jade”. There are likely other meanings depending on the characters used.

Origin: Arabic; Chinese

Meaning: “pearl” in Arabic; often used as a short form of names such as Louise “famous battle” or “famous in battle”, Lucy “light”, Luanne; a Chinese female name with varying meanings depending on the characters used “dew” or “beautiful jade”

Usage: Arabic, English, Chinese

Clinton

Clinton comes from an English surname, a locational name referring to someone who came from a town called Glimpton in Oxfordshire meaning “settlement by the Glym river”, the name meaning “bright stream” in Brittonic; or it could be derived from Glinton, made up of Low Middle German glinde “enclosure”, “fence” + tun “enclosure, settlement”.

Origin: Proto-Indo-Europea

Meaning: “settlement by the Glym river” or “enclosure”, “fence” + “settlement, enclosure”

Usage: English

Nicknames: Clint

Aytalina

Aytalina Айталина is a beautiful, fascinating name I came across by chance a while ago and I’ve been trying like crazy to figure out its etymology. I know it’s a Russian and Kazakh(?) name and I’m almost positive that the first part of the name, ay ай comes from the Kazah word “moon”, which ultimately derives from a Proto-Turkic origin. The second part of the name is more difficult. It might be related to Kazakh tal тал “willow” or perhaps from Russian talina талина “willow” so the name could essentially be a combination of “moon” + “willow”. I’m not too sold on that latter part, though. However, the name seems to be popular, or at least common from what I’ve found, among the Yakuts, living in the Sakha Republic (also known as Yakutia), a country that is a federal subject of Russia. I mention this because the Yakuts are a Turkic ethnic group and the Yakut language is a Turkic language which ultimately derives from a Proto-Turkic source; and if the first part of Aytalina does indeed come from Proto-Turkic ay ай than it’s likely that the second part of the name also derives from a Proto-Turkic origin- but all of that is just a guess on my part. If anyone knows more about this name, like its etymology and meaning, please let me know!

Origin: uncertain, most likely from a Proto-Turkic source

Meaning: uncertain, though the first part of the name may be derived from Proto-Turkic ay(ай) “moon”. The second element may be related to tal тал “willow”

Usage: Russian (Yakut origin), Yakut

Variants:

  • Aitalina

Yermolay

Yermolay is a Russian male name, the Russian form of Ancient Greek Hermolaos meaning “people of Hermes”, Hermes being the Greek god of commerce and trade, protector of thieves, and the messenger of the gods (ultimately the name derives from an uncertain origin) combined with laos “people”.

Origin: uncertain; Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “people of Hermes”

Usage: Russian

Variants:

  • Yermolai (Russian)
  • Ermolai (Russian)
  • Hermolaos (Ancient Greek)