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)

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)

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)

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

Kanna

Kanna is a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used:

kan

  • “bookmark”
  • “ring, circle, wheel”
  • “tolerant, lenient, generous”
  • “god, deity”
  • “citrus fruit”
  • “joy, delight, pleasure”
  • “daring, brave, bold”

na

  • “greens, vegetables”
  • “what”
  • “Nara; what”
  • “calm, lull” (na(gi)
  • “south”

There are other meanings depending on the kanji used. Written in hiragana it’s かんな while it can also be written in katakana as カンナ.

Kanna (寛和) is also the name of a Japanese era that lasted for two years (985-987). The kanji that make up the name can also be read as Hirokazu meaning “gentleness, harmony”, as well as the name of a type of Japanese plane, a wood-working tool.

Kanna (also spelled channa and canna) is also the name of a succulent plant in South Africa (also known as Sceletium tortuosum) that has been used for centuries as a mood enhancer, able to relieve stress and anxiety as well as induce feelings of euphoria; and can be either smoked, chewed, or brewed as a tea. The kanna plant is also known as Kougoed in Afrikaans meaning “something to chew” or “a thing to chew on”.

Kanna is also another name for Platysace cirrosa (also known as karna), a perennial herb found in Western Australia. Kanna is the Noongar name for the plant, the Noongar being Aboriginal Australians.

Kanna (also known as ganna) is also another name for Caroxylon aphyllum, a species of shrub found in the Karoo region of South Africa.

Kanna is also the name of a town in ancient Lycaonia (what is now modern-day Turkey) as well as the name of a village in southern Poland.

Kanna is also the Haitian Creole word for “duck”.

Origin: Japanese

Meaning: a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used; also the name of a Japanese era and a Japanese plane (wood-working tool); the name of a succulent plant in S. Africa and a shrub, a perennial herb in W. Australia, as well as the name name of a town in Ancient Lycaonia and a village in Poland; also a Haitian Creole word “duck”

Usage: Japanese

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

Galla

Galla is an Ancient Roman cognomen, the feminine form of Gallus which has a few possible meanings depending on its etymology:

  • the most popular is that it comes from the Latin word gallus meaning “rooster, cock” which ultimately derives from a PIE root word;
  • Gallus was also used to refer to someone who came from Gaul (Gallia in Latin), a region which now comprises France, Belgium, and parts of Germany and Italy; the name derives from Proto-Germanic *walhaz (foreigner) which may have originated from Latin Volcae, the name of a Celtic tribe which may possibly be derived from Proto-Celtic *wolkos (hawk), a word of uncertain origin (the Welsh word gwalch “hawk” derives from this) though perhaps related to Latin falco (falcon). It’s also been linked to Proto-Celtic *ulkʷos (wolf), seemingly because the Volcae fought with huge dogs, but that doesn’t seem as likely;
  • Incidentally, a gallus is also a eunuch priest of the Phrygian goddess Cybele and may be derived from a Phrygian origin;
  • Galla was also the name given to the Oromo people, an ethnic group in Ethiopia and Kenya, a word that the Oromo people consider derogatory;
  • Galla is also a Latin word meaning “oak-apple” (also known as an oak gall), derived from an uncertain origin;
  • Galla is also a surname, originating from the given name Gallus or as a nickname; it’s also an Indian surname, a variant of Kalla which seems to derive from a Telugu source.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; uncertain

Meaning: “rooster, cock”; originally referred to an inhabitant of Gaul “Gaul” or “Gallic”; also a Latin word “oak-apple”. Also the name of a eunuch priest dedicated to the goddess Cybele, as well as a derogatory word used to refer to the Oromo, an ethnic group in Ethiopia and Kenya

Usage: Ancient Roman, Spanish

Variants:

  • Gala (Spanish)
  • Gal·la (Catalan)

Male forms:

  • Gallus (Ancient Roman)
  • Galo (Spanish)
  • Gallo (Italian)
  • Havel (Czech, Slovak)
  • Gál (Hungarian)
  • Gal (Slovene)
  • Gaweł (Polish)

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

Nadezhda

Nadezhda is a Russian female name meaning “hope” via Russian nadéžda наде́жда (hope, expectation)< Proto-Slavic *nadeďa (hope) which ultimately derives from a PIE origin.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “hope”

Usage: Russian, Bulgarian

Nicknames: Nadia, Nadya (Russian and Bulgarian diminutive)

Pronunciation: nu-DYEZH-də (Forvo)

Variants:

  • Nadejda (Russian, Bulgarian)
  • Nadzeya (Belarusian)
  • Naděžda (Czech)
  • Nadège (French)
  • Nadine (French, German, English)
  • Nadežda (Slovak, Serbian, Latvian)
  • Nadzieja (Polish)
  • Nadya (Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian)
  • Nadiya (Ukrainian)
  • Nadia (Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, French, Italian, Spanish, English)

Rocío

Rocío is a Spanish female name (and word) meaning “dew”, which comes from the Marian title Marîa del Rocío (Mary of the dew) which ultimately derives from Latin rōs (dew) via a PIE root word.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “dew”

Usage: Spanish

Pronunciation: ro-thee-o (European Spanish); ro-see-o (Latin American Spanish

Variants:

  • Rocio (anglicized spelling of Rocío)

Breixo

Breixo is a Galician male name, the Galician form of Portuguese Veríssimo via Latin Verissimus meaning “very true” via Proto-Italic *wēros (true) derived from PIE root word *weh₁- (true).

Breixo is also incidentally a Galician word meaning “heather” which derives from Proto-Celtic *wroikos (heather) which ultimately derives from an unknown source.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; Proto-Celtic via an unknown loanword

Meaning: “very true”; also a Galician word “heather”

Usage: Galician

Pronunciation: bray-sho; Forvo

Variants:

  • Veríssimo (Portuguese)
  • Verissimus (Late Roman)

Female forms:

  • Verissima (Late Roman)
  • Veríssima (Portuguese)

Ghazi

Ghazi غَازِي is an Arabic male name meaning “warrior, champion, hero” and derives from a word referring to a Muslim warrior who fights against non-Muslims; ghazi is the active particle of ḡazā غَزَا (to raid, to attack, to wage war against; to overwhelm, overcome) derived from a root word related to intending to taking over. This was later adopted by several Ottoman Sultans as a title.

Ghazi is also an Arabic surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Arabic

Meaning: “warrior, champion, hero”

Usage: Arabic

Variants:

  • Gazi (Arabic, Ottoman Turkish)
  • Ghazy (Egyptian Arabic)

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)