Contessa

Contessa is the Italian word for “countess”, the feminine equivalent of a count (or conte in Italian). The word derives from Latin come, comitem (companion, comrade; attendant), made up of Latin prefix com- (with) and (to go).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “countess”

Usage: English, Italian (word, although I’m not sure if this is used as a given name in Italy)

Variants:

  • Contessina (Italian diminutive of Contessa)

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

Duvessa

Duvessa is the anglicized form of Dubh Essa meaning “black waterfall”, made up of Irish dubh (black; black-haired) and eas (waterfall, cascade, rapid). Dubh Essa (also spelled Dubhessa) was a fairy common given name in medieval Ireland, in the 13th/14th century.

Duvessa was used in Irish playwright M.J. Molloy’s play The Wooing of Duvessa (1964).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “black waterfall”

Usage: medieval Irish

Variants:

  • Dubh Essa (medieval Irish)
  • Dubhessa (medieval Irish(

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)

Maynard

Maynard comes from an English surname of Norman origin which derived from Germanic personal name Mainard, Meinard meaning “strength + hardy”, composed of Germanic elements magin (strength) and hard (brave, hardy).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “strength + brave, hardy”

Usage: English

Variants:

  • Maynerd (English)
  • Mainard (English, French)
  • Meinard (Dutch)
  • Meindert (Dutch)
  • Meinhard (German)
  • Meginhard (German)

Clinton

Clinton comes from an English surname, a locational name referring to someone who came from a town called Glimpton in Oxfordshire meaning “settlement by the Glym river”, the name meaning “bright stream” in Brittonic; or it could be derived from Glinton, made up of Low Middle German glinde “enclosure”, “fence” + tun “enclosure, settlement”.

Origin: Proto-Indo-Europea

Meaning: “settlement by the Glym river” or “enclosure”, “fence” + “settlement, enclosure”

Usage: English

Nicknames: Clint

Yermolay

Yermolay is a Russian male name, the Russian form of Ancient Greek Hermolaos meaning “people of Hermes”, Hermes being the Greek god of commerce and trade, protector of thieves, and the messenger of the gods (ultimately the name derives from an uncertain origin) combined with laos “people”.

Origin: uncertain; Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “people of Hermes”

Usage: Russian

Variants:

  • Yermolai (Russian)
  • Ermolai (Russian)
  • Hermolaos (Ancient Greek)

Tanvi

Tanvi is an Indian female name meaning “slender, thin” or “delicate” which comes from Sanskrit tanu तनु (thin, slender) which ultimately derives from a PIE root word.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “slender, thin” or “delicate”

Usage: Indian, Hindi, Marathi

Variants:

  • Tanu (Indian, Hindi)

Lyall

Lyall comes from a Scottish surname via an Old Norse name, Liulfr. The second element derives from Old Norse úlfr meaning “wolf” while the first element of the name remains uncertain.

It’s also possible that Lyall originated as a pet-form of Lionel or Lyon, both meaning “lion”; it derives from Latin leō < Ancient Greek léōn which derives from an uncertain origin; it’s possible it could have been adopted from a non Indo-European source, perhaps from Proto-Semitic *labiʾ-, *labuʾ.

Incidentally, Lyall is a homophone of Lyle (which has a totally different etymology and means “island”).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; uncertain, possibly from a Proto-Semitic origin

Meaning: a shortened form of an Old Norse name “wolf”; could also have originated as a pet-form of Lionel or Lyon “lion”

Usage: English

Variants:

  • Lyell (English)

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

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

Placido

Placido is the Italian and Spanish form of Late Latin Placidus meaning “quiet, calm, placid, gentle” (technically Plácido is the Spanish form of Placidus).

Placido is also an Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “quiet, calm, placid, gentle”

Usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese

Variants:

  • Placidus (Late Roman)
  • Plácido (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Placide (French)
  • Placid (English)

Female forms:

  • Placida (Late Roman, Italian)
  • Plácida (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Placide (French)
  • Placid (English)