Hallam

Hallam comes from an English surname, a locational name via Old English halh, healh meaning “corner, angle; nook, recess”; it may also originate from Old Norse hallr “rock, stone; slope, hill” via Proto-Germanic *halluz (rock; stone) via a PIE root word.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “corner; nook, recess” or “rock, stone; slope”

Usage: English

Variants:

  • Halam (English)
  • Hallum (English)

Hema

Hema हेमा is an Indian female name meaning “gold” or “golden” derived from Sanskrit.

Hemā is also the name of a male hero featuring in both Maori and Hawaiian mythology, although I couldn’t find any specific information behind the name.

Origin: Sanskrit

Meaning: “gold, golden”; also the name of a hero in Maori and Hawaiian mythology

Usage: Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada

Homa

Homa هما is a Persian female name which comes from the name of a mythical bird in Persian mythology. The Homa (also spelled Huma) is said to fly eternally, never landing on earth. It’s said that if its shadow fell upon a person it was considered good luck, signaling a blessed and happy fortune for that person. It has some similarities to the phoenix, thought to live a long life before dying in flames and rising anew from the ashes.

Although the exact meaning behind the name is uncertain, it has popularly been given that the first part of the name, hu, represents “spirit” while the second part comes from Arabic ma مَاء “water”.

Origin: uncertain

Meaning: the name of a mythical bird in Persian mythology, the meaning behind the name is unknown though it’s been linked to hu “spirit” + ma “water”

Usage: Persian

Variants:

  • Huma (Persian)

Hywel

Hywel is a Welsh male name meaning “eminent”, combined of Welsh elements hy- (good) and gwêl (sight) both of which derive from a PIE origin; though it’s also been linked to Breton uhel (high)< Proto-Brythonic *ʉxel (high, elevated)< *ouxselos (high, elevated) derived from a PIE root word.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “eminent”

Usage: Welsh

Pronunciation: huw-ehl (Forvo)

Variants:

  • Howell (anglicized form of Hywel)
  • Hoel (Breton)

Hadassah

Hadassah is a Hebrew female name meaning “myrtle”. It was the Hebrew name of Queen Esther, the wife of Ahasuerus, the king of Persia. When the king’s chief advisor, Haman, plots to have all the Jews in the kingdom assassinated, Esther is the one who helps foil his plan. 

Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: “myrtle”

Usage: Hebrew

Variants:

  • Hadasa (Hebrew)
  • Hadas (Hebrew)
  • Hode (Yiddish)
  • Hodel (Yiddish diminutive of Hode)

Hosea

Hosea is the name of one of the twelve minor prophets in the Old Testament as well as being the eponymous name of the Book of Hosea. The name comes from Biblical Hebrew Hoshea which derives from Hebrew meaning “salvation” via a root word (to save, free).

Hosea is an also an English surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: “salvation”

Usage: Hebrew, English

Pronunciation: ho-say-uh (Forvo)

Variants:

  • Hoshea (Biblical, Biblical Hebrew)
  • Oshea (variant of Hoshea in some versions of the Bible)
  • Hosee (Biblical Greek)
  • Osee (Biblical Latin)

Hazel

Hazel is the name of a tree in the genus Corylus which bears the hazelnut tree. Hazel is also the name of a light-brown greenish color, often used to refer to eye color.

Hazel is also an English surname, a topographical name for someone who lived near a hazelnut tree; it could also have originated as a locational name for someone who came from Amy of several places called Heazile.

The origin of the name comes from Old English hæsl (hazel) < Proto-Germanic *haslaz which ultimately derives from a PIE origin.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “hazel” referring to both the tree and the color

Usage: English

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Variants:

  • Hazelle (English)
  • Hayzel (English)

Hera

Hera is the goddess of marriage, women, birth, and family in Greek mythology. She is also the queen of the gods, the wife of Zeus. Apparently, Zeus fell in love with her at first sight but she refused his marriage proposal. Refusing to give up so easily, he turned himself into a cuckoo bird (knowing that Hera loved animals) and pretended to be in trouble. Feeling pity for the small creature, Hera held the poor creature to her breast. Zeus transformed back into himself and she agreed to be his wife out of shame. Their marriage, though, was anything but a happy one. Zeus was a womanizer and fathered many children with many women, to Hera’s intense jealousy, and she would often go after these poor women and their offspring with vengeance.

Hera and Zeus had several children together, including Ares (god of war), Eileithyia (goddess of childbirth), Hebe (goddess of youth), and Hera is the mother of Hephaestus, god of fire and the forge, whom she bore on her own without Zeus’s help when he gave birth to Athena through his head. 

Some symbols of Hera are the cuckoo bird, peacocks, pomegranates, the scepter and the diadem, as well as the cow, the lion, the apple tree, the willow, the fig, the myrrh, lily, and the orange tree.

Although the etymology behind the name Hera is uncertain, it’s often been associated with Ancient Greek hora ὥρᾱ (time, season) or heros ἥρως (hero, warrior), perhaps in reference to her as a protectress. It’s also possibly the name likely originated from a pre-Greek source.

Origin: uncertain

Meaning: uncertain though it’s been linked to Ancient Greek hora “time, season” or heros “hero, warrior” 

Usage: Ancient Greek

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Variants:

  • Era (Italian)
  • Héra (French, Hungarian, Czech
  • Ira (Modern Greek) 

Harper

Harper is an English surname, an occupational name for someone who either made harps or played one for a living. The name comes from Old English hearpere (harper, harpist) via Old English hearpe (harp) via Proto-Germanic *harpǭ (harp) which derives from an uncertain origin.

Origin: Proto-Germanic via an uncertain origin

Meaning: “harpist”, in reference to one who plays the harp

Usage: English

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Harry

Harry is the medieval English form of Henry, which comes from Germanic Heimrich meaning “home ruler” , made up of Germanic elements heim (home) and ric (power, ruler), both deriving from a PIE origin. Harry could also be used as a nickname for Harold meaning “army ruler” or “army power”.

Harry is also an English surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “home ruler”; could also be used as a nickname for Harold “army ruler” or “army power”

Usage: English

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Variants:

  • Henry (English)
  • Harold (English)
  • Hank
  • Hal

Harold

Harold comes from Old English Hereweald meaning “army ruler” or “army power”, made up of Old English elements here (army) and weald (ruler; might, power; authority) both derived from a PIE origin.

Harold is also an English surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “army ruler”

Usage: English

Nicknames: Harry, Rold, Hal

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Variants:

  • Hereweald (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Haraldr (Ancient Scandinavian)
  • Harald (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German)
  • Haraldur (Icelandic)
  • Hariwald (Ancient Germanic)
  • Chariovalda (Ancient Germanic)
  • Aroldo (Italian)

Hibiki

Hibiki is a Japanese unisex name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used:

  • hibiki “sound, echo” (also a word in Japanese)
  • hibiki “rhyme; elegance, tone”
  • hibiki 響樹 “sound, echo” + “tree, timber”
  • hibiki “drum”

Hibiki is also a Japanese surname which can be written as 枇々木 or ひびき.

There are other meanings depending on the kanji used. Written in hiragana it’s ひびき.

Origin: Japanese

Meaning: various depending on the kanji used

Usage: Japanese

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*Japanese names are fascinating to me because a name can have a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used. In Japan there are three types of characters used. The first is kanji, which are characters originally adopted from Chinese characters but which have a Japanese pronounciation. A single kanjii character can stand for a whole word or concept and some names can be made up of 1, 2, 3, or 4 kanji characters. Because kanji characters can have several different meanings depending on what character is used, a name can have more then one meaning.

But more than just meaning, kanji names also have different pronunciations, so if you read a name written in kanji on paper, you can’t be sure how it’s pronounced; ditto on hearing it, since it can have several possible kanji characters. That’s where hiragana comes in, since it can be used to write out the syllables. Katakana is used for foreign names or words of foreign origin.