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)

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

Marian

Marian is probably a name many will associate with Maid Marian, a heroine in English folklore and the love interest of Robin Hood. Marian is an English female name, a variant of Marion, itself a medieval French diminutive of Marie, which ultimately derives from Hebrew Miriam,  a name of uncertain origin though several meanings have been ascribed to it such as “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness”, “obstinacy” or “wished for child” from a Hebrew root word. It’s also possible that it might have originated from an Egyptian name either meaning “beloved” from myr or “love” via mr.

It’s also possible that Marian could be considered as a combination of the names Mary and Ann (“favor, grace”)

Marian is also a Polish, Czech, and Romanian male given name, in this case derived from Marianus, a derivative of Marius, a Roman family name on uncertain etymology and meaning. It’s been linked to Mars, the Roman god of war, but also as a masculine form of Maria (the Latinate form of Miriam) or from Latin mare “sea”, maria being its plural form. It’s also been linked to Latin mas “man, male”, but ultimately Marius may have originated from a Sabine origin.

Marian is also a Romanian, English, and French surname originating from the given name.

Origin: uncertain

Meaning: a diminutive of Mary, meaning uncertain though various meanings attributed to it are “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness”, “obstinacy”, “wished for child”, “beloved” or “love”; a combination of Mary + Ann “favor, grace”; possibly from Latin “sea” or “man, manly”; may also be related to the Roman god of war, Mars

Usage: English (female only), Polish, Czech, Romanian, German (male)

Variants:

  • Marion (French, English)
  • Marianne (French, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish)
  • Marielle (French)
  • Mariette (French)
  • Marise (French)
  • Maryse (French)
  • Manon (French, Dutch)
  • Mariana (Ancient Roman, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Bulgarian)

Male forms:

  • Marián (Czech, Slovak, Hungarian)
  • Marion (English)
  • Marianus (Ancient Roman)
  • Marius (Ancient Roman, German, Romanian, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, French, Lithuanian, English)
  • Mariano (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Mario (Italian, Spanish, German, Croatian)

Rafer

Rafer is a male given name originating as a pet-form of either Rafferty, an Irish surname meaning “flood tide” or “abundance, prosperity”; or Raphael/Rafael meaning “God has healed” or “God heals”.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; Hebrew

Meaning: originally a pet-form of either Rafferty “flood tide” or “abundance, prosperity” or Raphael/Rafael “God has healed”, “God heals”

Usage: English

Pronunciation: not sure. It could be either ray-fer or raffer

Annette

Annette originated as a French diminutive of Anne < Anna meaning “favor, grace” via Hebrew root word hanan חנן (to be gracious, merciful, compassionate) which seems to be derived from a Proto-Semitic origin.

Origin: Proto-Semitic

Meaning: “favor, grace”

Usage: French, English, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch

Variants:

Meta

Meta is a Scandinavian, German, and Slovene short form of Margareta from English Margaret meaning “pearl” which comes from Ancient Greek margarítēs μαργᾰρῑ́της (pearl) which derives from an unknown origin, though it could be derived from an Indo-Iranian origin.

Meta (μετά) is also the name of a minor figure in Greek mythology, the first wife of Aegeus (the king of Athens and father of Theseus with a different woman). The name means “beyond” and derives from the same Greek prefix meaning “after” or “beyond” which derives from a PIE root word.

Meta is also a surname- first an Albanian surname whose meaning I couldn’t find, and it’s also a Japanese surname written with the kanji 米 (rice) + 田 “rice paddy, rice field” and written in hiragana as めた.

Origin: uncertain though possibly from an Indo-Iranian source; Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: a shorted form of Margareta “pearl”; also a Greek prefix “after” or “beyond”

Usage: German, Danish, Swedish, Slovene, Ancient Greek

Woody

Woody as a given name likely originated as a nickname for Woodrow, an English locational surname made up of Old English elements wudu (wood) and rāw (row), so the name likely referred to someone who lived near a row of woods.

Woody is also an English adjective referring to a place covered in woods or something that is made out of wood.

Woody is also an English surname likely a derivative of Wood.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: a nickname from Woodrow “wood row”, likely in reference to someone who lived near a row of woods; also an English word referring to someplace covered in woods or something made out of wood

Usage: English

Cleo

Cleo is an English unisex name which originated as a shortened form of names such as Cleopatra (an Ancient Greek female name meaning “glory of the father”) or Cleopas (a contracted form of Cleopatros, the masculine form of Cleopatra). It derives from the Ancient Greek element kleos κλέος (glory, fame).

Cleo could also have originated as a variant spelling of Clio which derives from the same source above; in Greek mythology, Clio is one of the nine Muses, the muse of history and heroic poetry.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “glory”

Usage: English

Female forms:

  • Clio (Latinized Ancient Greek)
  • Klio (Ancient Greek)
  • Clea (English, German, French)
  • Klea (English)
  • Clia (English)
  • Klia (English)

Male forms:

  • Cleon (Latinized Ancient Greek)
  • Kleon (Ancient Greek)

Brisa

Brisa is a Spanish, Portuguese, Galician, and Catalan word meaning “breeze”, referring to a light gentle wind. The word comes via Old Spanish briza, itself of uncertain origin.

Brisa could also have originated as a shortened form of Briseida, the Medieval English form of Ancient Greek Briseis,a patronymic meaning “daughter of Briseus” because her father’s name was Briseus. The name itself is of uncertain meaning though it could be related to Greek britho meaning “to be weighed down (with something) and “to prevail”.

Origin: uncertain

Meaning: from a Spanish and Portuguese word “breeze”; could also have originated as a shortened form of Briseida, uncertain though it’s been linked to Greek britho “to be weighed down (with something)” or “to prevail”

Usage: Spanish

Josette

Josette originated as a French diminutive of Joséphine, the French form of Josephine, the feminine form of Joseph which derives from Hebrew Yosef meaning “(God) will add” derived from a root word meaning “add, increase”. 

Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: “(God) will add”, essentially referring to prosperity and abundance

Usage: French, English

Variants:

  • Josetta (English, Italian)
  • Josiane (French diminutive of Joséphine)
  • Giosetta (Italian) 
  • Joséphine (French)
  • Josephine (French, English)
  • Josèphe (French)
  • Josée (French)

Male forms:

  • Joseph (English, French, German)
  • José (French, Spanish, Portuguese)

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)

Gad

In the Old Testament Gad is the name of the first son of Jacob and Zilpah (his wife Leah’s handmaid) and his seventh son overall, and is the founder of one of the Israelite tribes named after him. The name comes from Hebrew gad (גָּד) meaning “luck” which seems to derive from an unknown origin. Gad could also be used as a nickname for Gadiel meaning “luck of God” or God is my luck”. 

Gad is also the name of a pan-Semitic god of fortune and seems to be related to the given name; perhaps the Gad in the Bible was named after this deity. Gad is also the name of a prophet or seer of King David

Gad also seems to be another Hebrew word for coriander

Gad (جاد) is also an Arabic male name, the Egyptian form of Jad meaning “earnest, serious”.

Gad is also a Navajo word meaning “juniper (tree)”.

Origin: Hebrew via an uncertain etymology; Arabic; Navajo

Meaning: a Hebrew male name “luck”; an Arabic male name “serious, earnest”; also a Navajo word “juniper” 

Usage: Hebrew, Arabic (Egyptian)

Pronunciation: gad or jad

Variants:

  • Gadiel (Hebrew)
  • Jad (Arabic)

Links: