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

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)

Signy

Signy is the Norwegian form of Old Norse Signý, made up of Old Norse elements sigr (victory) and nýr (new). It’s the name of a few figures in Norse mythology, including the sister of Sigmund.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “new + victory”

Usage: Norwegian, Swedish, Danish

Variants:

  • Signý (Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic)
  • Signe (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Estonian, Latvian)
  • Signa (Icelandic, Faroese, Danish, Swedish)

Sven

Sven is a Scandinavian male name via Old Norse Sveinn, originally a byname meaning “boy, servant” via Proto-Germanic *swainaz (relative; kinsman; young man) which ultimately derives from a PIE origin.

Sven is also a Swedish word meaning “squire” or “page”.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “boy”

Usage: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, German, Estonian

Variants:

  • Svein (Norwegian)
  • Svend (Danish)
  • Sveinn (Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic)
  • Soini (Finnish)

Female forms:

  • Svenja (German)

Santino

Santino is an Italian male name, originating as a diminutive of Santo meaning “saint” which derives from Latin sanctus (holy, sacred) which ultimately derives from PIE root word *seh₂k- (to sanctify).

Santino is also an Italian surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “saint”

Usage: Italian

Variants:

  • Santo (Italian)
  • Sante (Italian)
  • Santi (Italian)

Female forms:

  • Santina (Italian)
  • Santa (Italian)
  • Santuzza (Italian diminutive of Santa)

Solana

Solana is the name of several places found in Spain and in the U.S. The name comes from Spanish solana meaning “solarium, suntrap”, in reference to a place that is often sunny or allows plenty of sunlight. The word derives from Latin sōl meaning “sun” which ultimately derives from a PIE origin. It could also be derived from Solanus, which comes from the Latin referring to the east wind.

Solana is also a Spanish, Catalan, and Aragonese surname originating as a locational name for someone who came from a place called Solana.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “solarium, suntrap” and “sun”

Usage: Spanish, English

Male forms:

  • Solano (Spanish)
  • Solanus (Latin)

Sonali

Sonali (सोनाली) is an Indian female name, the strictly feminine form of Sonal meaning “gold” which derives from Sanskrit suvárṇa सुवर्ण (gold), composed of su-, a Sanskrit prefix meaning “good, well” combined with varna (hue, color), both of which derive from a PIE origin.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “gold”

Usage: Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati

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Variants:

  • Sonalee (Indian, Hindi)
  • Sonal (Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati)
  • Sona (Indian, Hindi)
  • Swarna (Indian, Telugu, Hindi)
  • Swaran (Punjabi)

Male forms:

  • Sonal (Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati)
  • Swarna (Indian, Telugu, Hindi)
  • Swaran (Punjabi)

Sean

Sean is the Anglicized form of Seán, the Irish form of John, the Old English and Latin form of Iohannes < Ancient Greek Ioannes, the contracted form of Hebrew Yochanan which means “Yahweh is gracious”. 

Origin: Proto-Semitic, Hebrew

Meaning: “Yahweh is gracious” or “God is gracious”

Usage: Irish, English

Pronunciation: shawn

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Variants:

  • Seán (Irish)
  • Shawn (English)
  • Shaun (English)
  • Shayne (English)
  • Shane (Irish, English)
  • Deshaun (African-American)
  • Deshawn (African-American)
  • Rashaun (African-American)
  • Keshaun (African-American)
  • Lashawn (African-American)

Female forms:

  • Seana (Irish, English)
  • Shawna (English)
  • Shauna (English)
  • Lashawn (African-American)

Sonia

Sonia is a variant spelling of Sonya, a Russian diminutive of Sofiya, the Russian, Ukrainian, and Bulgarian form of Sophia which comes from Ancient Greek sophía σοφῐ́ᾱ meaning “wisdom”, originally connoting the meaning of skill or cleverness, especially in regards to a craft or someone who was wise and learned; it derives from Ancient Greek sophos which originates from an unknown origin.

Sonia is also a popular Indian female name though in this case it seems to be derived from Sanskrit sonā सोना meaning “gold” via suvárna (meaning “gold” as a noun, and “gold, golden color; bright, brilliant hue; good color” as an adjective), which ultimately derives from a PIE origin.

Origin: unknown; Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: ultimately from Sophia meaning “wisdom”; is also an Indian female name meaning “gold”

Usage: English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Polish, French, Greek, Russian, Indian, Hindi

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Variants:

  • Sonya (Russian, English)
  • Sonja (German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Slovene, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian)
  • Sonje (German)
  • Sofya (Russian)
  • Sophia (Ancient Greek, Greek, English, German)
  • Sofia (Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Italian, Greek, Finnish Estonian, Slovak, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian)
  • Sophie (French, English, German, Dutch)
  • Sophy (English)
  • Sofija (Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Lithuanian, Latvian)
  • Sofie (German, Danish, Dutch, Czech)
  • Žofie (Czech)
  • Soňa (Czech, Slovak)
  • Sohvi (Finnish)
  • Sopio (Georgian)
  • Szofi (Hungarian)
  • Zsófia (Hungarian)
  • Szófia (Hungarian)
  • Szonja (Hungarian)
  • Soffía (Icelandic)
  • Zofia (Polish)
  • Žofia (Slovak)

Male forms:

  • Soni (Indian, Hindi)

Serena

Serena is a Late Roman given name, the feminine form of Serenus which derives from Latin serenus meaning “clear, tranquil, serene”, originally used  to refer to clear, calm weather, and, figuratively, “cheerful, glad, joyous”. Though the origin of the word is uncertain it has been linked to PIE root word *ksero- (dry).

Serena is also an Italian and Catalan surname originating from the given name.

Serena could also be used as a Japanese female name (also spelled Serina) with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used:

  • seri  “parsley” + rei  “wise” + na  “greens; vegetables” (芹怜菜);
  • sei  “eventide; tide; salt water” + rei  “wise” + na  “greens; vegetables” (汐玲菜);
  • se  “world, society; generation” + rei  “manners, etiquette; bow, salute” + na  “Nara, what?” (世礼奈);
  • se  “rapids, current” + rei  “order, command, decree” + na  “Nara, what?” (瀬令奈);
  • se  “rapids, current” + ren  “attach; love; romance” + na  “Nara, what?” (瀬恋奈)

Written in hiragana it’s せれな. Serena is also written as セレナ in katakana.

Origin: uncertain, possibly Proto-Indo-European; Japanese

Meaning: from a Late Roman name “clear, tranquil, calm”; as a Japanese name, it has a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used in Japanese

Usage: English, Late Roman, French, Spanish, Italian, Catalan

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Variants:

  • Serina (English, Japanese)
  • Sarina (English, Dutch)
  • Serrena (English)
  • Serene (English)
  • Séréna (French)

Male forms:

  • Serenus (Late Roman)
  • Sereno (Italian)
  • Serene (English)