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

Eliana

Eliana is a Hebrew female name meaning “my God has answered”.

Eliana is also the Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese form of French Éliane via Ancient Roman Aeliana, the feminine form of Aelius, a Roman family name of unknown meaning though it’s often been linked to Ancient Greek helios meaning “sun”.

It’s also possible that Eliana could be a variant spelling of Ileana, the Romanian form of Helena, the Latin form of Ancient Greek Helene. The origin of the name is unknown- it’s been linked to Ancient Greek helene meaning “torch”, likely in reference to something that shines or illuminates, so the name would essentially mean “the shining one” or “the bright one”; another possible origin is from Ancient Greek selene “moon”, which would tie it to the idea of illumination and light.

Origin: Hebrew; uncertain

Meaning: from Hebrew “my God has answered”; also the Latinate form of Ancient Roman Aeliana/Aelius, possibly “sun”; could also be from Ancient Greek helene “torch” or selene “moon”, essentially meaning “the shining one” or “the bright one”

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Hebrew

Nicknames: Liana, Ellie/Elly, Lina, Nina

Variants:

  • Elliana (English)
  • Eleana (English)
  • Eleanna (English)
  • Elleana (English
  • Aeliana (Ancient Roman)
  • Éliane (French)
  • Élian (Spanish, Portuguese)

Male forms:

  • Elian (English, Spanish)
  • Elián (Spanish, Portuguese)

Zara

Zara is a Bulgarian diminutive of Zaharina, the Bulgarian and Macedonian feminine form of Zechariah, a Hebrew masculine name meaning “Yahweh remembers” or “Yahweh has remembered”.

Zara could also be a variant spelling of Sara meaning “lady, princess, noblewoman,” which ultimately derives from Proto-Semitic *ś-r-r (to rule), which seems to be a cognate of Akkadian šarru (king).

Zara is also the English form of Zaïre, a name created by French writer and philosopher Voltaire for his play Zaïre. He may have based it on the Arabic name Zahra زَهْرَة (flower, blossom) or from zahara زَهَرَ (to shine, to be radiant, to give light)

Origin: Hebrew, Proto-Semitic, Arabic

Meaning: a diminutive of Zaharina “Yahweh remembers” or “Yahweh has remembered”; a variant spelling of Sarah “lady, princess, noblewoman”; could also have been based on French Zaïre, itself based on Arabic Zahra “flower, blossom” or “shining, brilliant, light”

Usage: English, Bulgarian

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Variants:

  • Sarah (English, Hebrew, Arabic, French, German)
  • Sara (English, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Romanian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, German, French, Dutch, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Polish, Bosnian, Biblical Greek)
  • Sarra (Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek)
  • Zarah (English)
  • Zahra (Arabic, Persian)
  • Zahara (Hebrew)
  • Zaïre (French)

Elena

Elena is a female given name in several languages, a cognate of Helen. In Greek mythology, Helen (Helene in Ancient Greek) is the name of a daughter of Zeus and Leda, considered to be one of the most beautiful women in the world whose kidnapping by Paris led to the 10 year Trojan war.

The origin of Helen is unknown- it’s been linked to Ancient Greek helene meaning “torch”, likely in reference to something that shines or illuminates, so the name would essentially mean “the shining one” or “the bright one”; another possible origin is from Ancient Greek selene “moon”, which would tie it to the idea of illumination and light.

Elena is also a variant transcription of Yelena the Russian form of Helen.

Origin: uncertain, though it may be derived from a pre-Greek source

Meaning: uncertain, though it’s been linked to Ancient Greek helene “torch” or selene “moon”, essentially meaning “the shining one” or “the bright one”

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Russian, Greek, German, English

Variants:

  • Elene (Georgian, Sardinian)
  • Eleni (Modern Greek)
  • Helen (Greek, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Helena (English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Estonian, Slovene, Croatian)
  • Helene (French, English, Ancient Greek, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, German)
  • Hélène (French)
  • Heléna (Hungarian)
  • Elin (Scandinavian, Welsh, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Elīna (Latvian)
  • Helēna (Latvian)
  • Elēna (Latvian)
  • Jeļena (Latvian)
  • Elina (Finnish, Swedish)
  • Eliina (Finnish)
  • Heleena (Finnish)
  • Eline (Norwegian, Danish, Dutch)
  • Ileana (Romanian, Spanish, Italian)
  • Yelena (Russian)
  • Alyona (originally a Russian diminutive of Yelena)
  • Elaine (English, Old French)
  • Elaina (English)
  • Alena (Belarusian)
  • Jelena (Serbian, Croatian, Estonian, Slovene, Lithuanian)
  • Heleen (Dutch)
  • Ellen (English)
  • Léan (Irish)
  • Olena (Ukrainian)
  • Elen (Welsh)

Abner

Abner is a Hebrew male name meaning “my father is light” or “father’s light”, made up from Hebrew av אָב (father) and ner נֵר (lamp; light), both derived from a Proto-Semitic origin.

Abner is the name of a figure in the Old Testament, the cousin of Saul, the first king of Israel, and the commander of his army.

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

Origin: Proto-Semitic

Meaning: “my father is light” or “father’s light”

Usage: Hebrew, English

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Variants:

  • Avner (Hebrew, Biblical Hebrew)
  • Abenner (Biblical Greek)