Clarion

Clarion was the name of a medieval trumpet used in the Middle Ages that was loud and shrill. A clarion call is an idiom referring to a call to action. The word comes from Old French claron< Latin clario (trumpet)< Latin clārus meaning “clear, bright, shining; renowned, famous” derived from PIE *kelh₁- (to call, shout), which is the same root word as the name Claire derives from.

Clarion is also a French surname.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: name of a medieval trumpet that was loud and shrill

Usage: English

Zimri

Zimri is the name of several figures in the Bible, including a king of Israel who only ruled for seven days before being succeeded by Omri. The names comes from Hebrew zamar זמר “to sing” or “song, music” which ultimately derives from Proto-Semitic *zamar– (to make music). I’ve also seen quite a few sources list it as meaning “praiseworthy” and I’m not sure which meaning is the right one, or if they both are.

Zimri is also the name of a Pashtun tribe in Afghanistan which may be derived from Pashto zmaráy زمری‎ meaning “lion”, which is also the name of the fifth month of the Afghan calendar.

Origin: Proto-Semitic; Pashto

Meaning: from Hebrew related to “music, song” though I’ve also seen it meaning “praiseworthy”; also the name of a Pashtun tribe likely meaning “lion”

Usage: Hebrew, Pashto

Variants:

  • Zmarai (Pashto)
  • Zmaray (Pashto)
  • Zmarak (Pashto)

Female forms:

  • Zemirah (Hebrew)
  • Zemira (Hebrew)

Gita

Gita is an Indian female name meaning “song” which derives from Sanskrit gīta गीता which ultimately derives from a PIE origin. The Bhagavad Gita (the divine song) is the name of a Hindu epic poem in which the god Krishna and the prince Arjuna have a philosophical debate about the righteousness of battle against friends and family.

Gita is also a Czech and Latvian female name, originating as a nickname for Brigita (a form of Irish Bridget meaning “exalted one”) or Margita (from Latin Margarita meaning “pearl”).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: means “song” as an Indian and Hindi female name; also a Czech and Latvian female name originating as a shortened form of Brigita “exalted one” or Margita “pearl”

Usage: Indian, Hindi, Latvian, Czech

Pronunciation: pronounced with a hard g, like Gilbert or glass; geeta

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Variants:

  • Geeta (Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu)
  • Geetha (a Southern Indian transcription of Gita)

Rona

Rona is the name of two islands in Scotland- North Rona, a small, uninhabited island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, and South Rona, a small, inhabited island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.  The name seems to derive from Old Norse meaning “rough island”.

Rona is also the name of a figure in Maori mythology. She had gone to the river one night when the moon was hidden behind some clouds. When she was returning home, Rona stepped on a root or rock and was so upset, began to curse at the moon. The moon god heard her and, angered, grabbed her. The woman was so frightened she grabbed onto a ngaio tree but was still pulled up into the sky. I couldn’t find a specific meaning behind the name in Maori.

Rona is also the feminine form of Ron, a Hebrew male name meaning “song, joy”.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; Maori; Hebrew

Meaning: the name of two islands in around Scotland “rough island”; the name of a figure in Maori mythology, meaning unknown; feminine form of Hebrew Ron “song, joy”

Usage: Scottish, English, Hebrew

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Variants:

  • Rhona (Scottish)
  • Ronna (English)

Male forms:

  • Ron (Hebrew)

Viola

Viola comes from the Latin word viola meaning “violet (flower)”, related to Ancient Greek íon (violet) which seems to be derived from a pre-Indo-European Mediterranean source. In Italian, viola is the Italian word for violet.

Viola is also the name of a musical instrument though in this case the word comes from Italian viola< Old Occitan viola< Medieval Latin vitula (stringed instrument) which ultimately derives from a PIE root word.

Viola is the name of the heroine in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (1601-02), the twin sister of Sebastian, who dresses up as a man and becomes entangled in a somewhat humorous love triangle that all works out in the end.

Viola is also the name of a genus of flowering plants that includes violets and pansies.

Viola is also an Italian and Catalan surname; in the case of the former it derives from the female given name; the latter is likely an occupational name for a viol player.

Origin: uncertain, perhaps from a Mediterranean source; Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “violet (flower”); also the name of a musical instrument as well as the color violet

Usage: Latin, Italian, English, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak

Pronunciation: vye-o-lah or vee-o-lah.

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Variants:

  • Violet (English)
  • Violette (French)
  • Violetta (Italian, Russian)
  • Violeta (Bulgarian, Romanian, Spanish, Macedonian, Serbian, Lithuanian)
  • Wioletta (Polish)
  • Wioleta (Polish)
  • Wiola (Polish)
  • Viorela (Romanian)
  • Viorica (Romanian)

Male forms

  • Viorel (Romanian)

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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Ran

Ran is a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used. The most popular kanji I’ve seen for this name is  meaning “orchid” though it can also be written with  meaning “indigo”, either referring to the color or to the Persicaria tinctoria, the name of a species of flowering plants, also known as Chinese indigo or Japanese indigo. There may be other possible meanings. Written in hiragana, it’sらん.

Ran is also a Chinese surname written with the character 冉 meaning “tender, weak”.

Rán (pr. rawn) is also the name of a goddess of the sea in Norse mythology; she captures sailors in her net and drowns them. She is married to the giant Ægir with whom she has nine daughters who personify the waves. Though the etymology of the name is uncertain, it’s been linked to Old Norse rán meaning “robbery, theft; plunder” via Proto-Germanic *rahną, which itself derives from an uncertain origin, possibly from a PIE root word.

Ran is also a Hebrew male name, a variant transcription of Ron, meaning “to sing” from a Hebrew root word. 

Ran is also an English word, the past tense of run (to move swiftly, to go at a fast pace); rān is also an Old English word referring to an “unlawful seizure of property; robbery”.

Origin: Japanese; Chinese; uncertain, possibly PIE; Hebrew

Meaning: as a Japanese female name can mean either “orchid” or “indigo”; also a Chinese surname “weak, tender”; the name of a Norse goddess of the sea, the name of uncertain etymology though possibly “robber” or “robbery”; a Hebrew male name “to sing”; also an English word, the past tense of run, as well as an Old English word “unlawful seizure of property; robbery”

Usage: Japanese; Chinese; Old Norse; Hebrew

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Variants:

  • Rán (Old Norse)

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.

Carolyn

Carolyn is an English female name, a variant of Caroline, the French form of Carolus which is the Latin form of Charles, the English form of Old High German Karl meaning “man, husband” via Proto-Germanic *karlaz (free man), of uncertain etymology but likely deriving from a PIE origin. It was originally used to refer to men who were not thralls or servants but who still lived at the bottom of society, thus connoting the idea of a “free man”.

However, since Carolyn is the feminine form of the name would that make its meaning “woman” instead? I’m not sure.

Carolyn could also be a combination of Carol (which is not only a shortened form of Caroline but is also an English word meaning “joyful song or ballad” borrowed from Ancient Greek khoraules “one who accompanies a chorus on a flute” from Greek khoros “dance, choir”, of uncertain origin; and aulos “flute”) combined with Lyn, a variant of Welsh llyn meaning “lake” via a Proto-Celtic origin.

Origin: Proto-Germanic; Proto-Celtic

Meaning: “free man”; a combination of Carol and Lyn “joyful song + lake”

Usage: English

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Variants:

  • Carolynn (English)
  • Carolynne (English)
  • Caroline (French, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch)
  • Carolina (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Swedish)
  • Karolyn (English)
  • Karolynne (English)
  • Karoline (Danish, German, Norwegian)
  • Karolina (Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Macedonian, Lithuanian, German)
  • Carola (Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish)
  • Carla (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, English, German, Dutch)
  • Carol (English, Romanian)