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:

Carl

Carl originated as the German 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”.

Origin: Proto-Germanic

Meaning: “free man”

Usage: German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English

Variants:

  • Karl (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, English)
  • Carolus (Latinized Ancient Germanic)

Female forms:

  • Carla (German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, English)
  • Karla (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech, Croatian)

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

Dagmar

Dagmar is a Scandinavian and German female name meaning “day maid” made up of Old Norse elements dagr (day) < Proto-Germanic *dagaz which derives from an uncertain etymology though it’s been linked to PIE root *dʰegʷʰ- (to burn); and mær (maid, girl; and, in a more poetic sense, daughter).

I’ve also seen Dagmar listed as being an Old Danish form of Slavic Dragomira, the feminine form of Dragomir meaning “dear, precious + peace; world”

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; Proto-Slavic

Meaning: “day maid”; could also have originated from Slavic Dragomira “dear, precious + peace; world”

Usage: Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, German, Czech, Slovak

Variants:

  • Dagmær (Ancient Scandinavian, Old Norse)
  • Dagmara (Polish)
  • Dagna (Polish)
  • Dagnė (Lithuanian)

Signy

Signy is the Norwegian form of Old Norse Signý, made up of Old Norse elements sigr (victory) and nýr (new). It’s the name of a few figures in Norse mythology, including the sister of Sigmund.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “new + victory”

Usage: Norwegian, Swedish, Danish

Variants:

  • Signý (Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic)
  • Signe (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Estonian, Latvian)
  • Signa (Icelandic, Faroese, Danish, Swedish)

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)

Karolina

Karolina is the Scandinavian and Slavic form 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”, those who were not tied down to a lord or to the land, able to go wherever they wanted.

Origin: Proto-Germanic

Meaning: “free man”

Usage: Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Macedonian, Lithuanian, German

Variants:

  • Karolína (Czech, Slovak)
  • Karolīna (Latvian)
  • Carolina (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, English)

Charlotte

Charlotte is the French feminine form of Charlot, which is the French male diminutive of Charles which comes from Germanic Karl meaning “man” via Proto-Germanic *karilaz (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 or servants but who still lived at the bottom of society, connoting the idea of a “free man”, someone not tied down to a lord or to the land, able to go wherever they wanted.

Origin: Proto-Germanic

Meaning: “free man”

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

Nicknames: Charlie/Charlee, Lottie

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Variants:

  • Charlotta (Swedish)
  • Charlene (English)
  • Charline (English)
  • Charlena (English)
  • Carlotta (Italian)
  • Carlota (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Carla (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, English, German, Dutch)
  • Karla (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Croatian)
  • Carline (English, French, Dutch, German)
  • Caroline (English, French, German, Swedish Norwegian, Danish, Dutch)
  • Carolina (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English Swedish)

Male forms:

  • Charlot (French)
  • Carolus (Latin)
  • Karolos (Greek)
  • Charles (English, French)
  • Karl (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Finnish, Ancient Germanic)
  • Carl (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English)
  • Carles (Catalan)
  • Karlo (Croatian)
  • Carlo (Italian)
  • Karel (Dutch, Czech, Slovene)
  • Karol (Polish, Slovak, Slovene)
  • Kaarle (Finnish)
  • Kaarlo (Finnish)
  • Kale (Hawaiian)
  • Károly (Hungarian)
  • Séarlas (Irish)
  • Sjarel (Limburgish)
  • Karolis (Lithuanian)
  • Carlos (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Carol (Romanian)
  • Siarl (Welsh)

Victor

Victor comes from a Late Latin name via Latin victor meaning “conqueror; victor” as a noun and “victorious, triumphant, conquering” as an adjective, from Latin vincere (to win) which ultimately derives from a PIE root word.

The English word victor refers to the winner of a fight which derives from the Latin word. 

Victor is also a French and English surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “conqueror; victor”

Usage: English, French, Portuguese, Romanian, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Late Roman

Nicknames: Vic

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Variants:

  • Viktor (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, German, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian)
  • Vitya (Russian diminutive of Viktor)
  • Vicktor (English, Swedish)
  • Victorius (Late Roman)
  • Bittor (Basque)
  • Viktar (Belarusian)
  • Víctor (Catalan, Spanish)
  • Vítor (Galician, Portuguese)
  • Vihtori (Finnish)
  • Vittorio (Italian form of Victorius)
  • Vittore (Italian)
  • Viktors (Latvian)
  • Viktoras (Lithuanian)
  • Wiktor (Polish)
  • Gwythyr (Welsh)

Female forms:

  • Victoria (English, Spanish, Romanian, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Late Roman)
  • Viktoria (German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Belarusian)
  • Viktoriya (Belarusian, Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Viktoriia (Russian, Ukrainian)
  • Viktoryia (Belarusian)
  • Victòria (Catalan)
  • Vitória (Portuguese)
  • Viktorija (Lithuanian, Latvian, Macedonian, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian)
  • Wiktorija (Polish)
  • Victoire (French)
  • Viktorie (Czech)
  • Wikolia (Hawaiian)
  • Viktória (Hungarian, Slovak)
  • Vittoria (Italian)
  • Latoya (African-American)

Philip

Philip comes from Ancient Greek Philippos, the name of several kings of Macedonia which may have popularized the name, and was popular among European royalty. Philip is also found in the New Testament, the name of one of the 12 Apostles as well as the name of one of the Seven deacons. The name comes from Ancient Greek Philippos meaning “lover of horses”, composed of Ancient Greek elements philos φῐ́λος (love, like) and hippos ῐ̔́ππος (horse), both derived from a PIE origin.

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

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “lover of horses”

Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch

Nicknames: Phil, Pip, Flip (Dutch diminutive of Filip)

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Variants:

  • Philippos (Ancient Greek)
  • Philippus (Latinized Ancient Greek)
  • Filippos (Modern Greek)
  • Phillip (English)
  • Filip (Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, Polish, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Macedonian, Romanian, Finnish)
  • Filippus (Dutch)
  • Vilppu (Finnish)
  • Felip (Catalan)
  • Felipe (Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese)
  • Filipe (Portuguese)
  • Filippu (Corsican)
  • Philippe (French)
  • Philipp (German)
  • Fülöp (Hungarian)
  • Pilib (Irish)
  • Filib (Scottish)
  • Filippo (Italian)
  • Filips (Latvian)
  • Pilypas (Lithuanian)
  • Piripi (Maori)
  • Filipp (Russian)
  • Pylyp (Ukrainian)

Female forms:

  • Philippa (English)
  • Philipa (English)
  • Pippa (English diminutive of Philippa)
  • Phillippa (English, German)
  • Philippina (German)
  • Philippine (French)
  • Filippa (Modern Greek, Swedish, Italian)
  • Filipa (Portuguese)
  • Filipina (Polish)
  • Felipa (Spanish)

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)

Daniel

Daniel is the name of several figures in the Bible, including the prophet Daniel, who features in the Book of Daniel in the Old Testament. It comes from a Hebrew name meaning “God is my judge” or “judge of God”, made up of Hebrew dan דָּן (to judge) and el אֵל (god).

Daniel is also a surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Proto-Semitic

Meaning: “God is my judge” or “judge of God”

Usage: English, Hebrew, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Armenian, Georgian

Nicknames: Dan, Danny/Dannie

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Variants:

  • Danilo (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Slovene, Serbian, Croatian)
  • Daniele (Italian)
  • Danijel (Slovene, Croatian, Serbian)
  • Danyal (Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Turkish)
  • Taniel (Armenian)
  • Danel (Basque)
  • Deniel (Breton)
  • Danail (Bulgarian)
  • Daniël (Dutch)
  • Dániel (Hungarian, Faroese)
  • Dánjal (Faroese)
  • Taneli (Finnish)
  • Daníel (Icelandic)
  • Daniels (Latvian)
  • Danielius (Lithuanian)
  • Daniil (Russian)
  • Deiniol (Welsh)

Feminine forms:

  • Danielle (French, English)
  • Danièle (French)
  • Daniela (Bulgarian, Italian, German, Czech, Slovak, Romanian, Portuguese, Spanish, Macedonian, English)
  • Daniella (English)
  • Dana (Romanian, Czech, Slovak, German, Hebrew)
  • Danijela (Slovene, Croatian, Serbian)
  • Daniëlle (Dutch)

Martin

Martin is a shortened form of Ancient Roman Martinus, a derivative of Mars, the Roman god of war (and the Roman counterpart of the Greek god Ares). Mars is a name of uncertain etymology. It’s been linked to Latin mas meaning “man, male” of unknown origin though perhaps derived from a PIE root word meaning young man. However, it’s possible that Mars may be related to an older source, perhaps adopted from the Etruscan god Maris (the god of agriculture and fertility); this might be possible since Mars was also associated with agriculture and fertility.

Mars could also be a contracted form of an older name, Mavors, a cognate of Oscan Mamers. Etruscan seems to be a pre-Indo-European language of which very little is known about; the Etruscan civilization was conquered and than assimilated by the Ancient Romans, and the Etruscan language eventually died out with very little of it left behind. The origin of both names is unknown, but Mavors could possibly be related to Latin mah or margh (to cut) and vor (to turn) essentially meaning “turner of the battle”. Mars could also be derived from the same PIE root as Sanskrit marici “ray of light”, ultimately derived from PIE *mer- meaning “to die; to disappear”. It could also be associated with Latin marceo meaning “to (cause to) wither” and “to (make) shrivel” and Latin marcus meaning “hammer”, but the links are tenuous at best.

Martin is also the name of a type of bird related to the swallow- something about the bird migrating during the time of Martinmas (a festival celebrating St. Martin of Tours, a former Roman soldier who left and became the bishop of Tours). However, as an English surname it may have originated as a topographical name either meaning “settlement by the boundary” via Old English elements mǣre (boundary, border) and tūn (settlement) or “settlement by the lake” with the first element via Old English mere (sea, ocean; lake).

Origin: unknown, possibly Etruscan; Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: from Ancient Roman Martinus “belonging to Mars”, a name of uncertain origin and meaning though various possible meanings attributed to it are “man, male”, “turner of the battle”, perhaps from PIE root word *mer- (to die), or related to Latin marceo “to (cause to) wither” or “to (make) shrivel”, or Latin marcus “hammer”- though all of them are tenuous; Martin is also an English surname, a locational name “settlement by the boundary” or “settlement by the lake”

Usage: English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Estonian, Romanian, Russian, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Finnish, Spanish

Nicknames: Marty/Martie, Mart (Dutch), Tine (Slovene), Tinek (Slovene), Tin (Croatian), Matxin (Basque)

Variants:

  • Martinus (Ancient Roman, Dutch)
  • Maarten (Dutch)
  • Marten (Dutch)
  • Martijn (Dutch)
  • Merten (German)
  • Mårten (Swedish)
  • Morten (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Márton (Hungarian)
  • Martti (Finnish)
  • Mattin (Basque)
  • Martí (Catalan)
  • Máirtín (Irish)
  • Martino (Italian)
  • Martynas (Lithuanian)
  • Marcin (Polish)
  • Martim (Portuguese)
  • Martinho (Portuguese)
  • Martín (Spanish)
  • Martyn (Welsh, Ukrainian)

Female forms:

  • Martine (French, Dutch, Norwegian, English)
  • Martina (German, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Slovene, English, Dutch, Swedish, Ancient Roman)
  • Martyna (Polish)