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)

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)

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

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

Alaia

Alaia is a Basque female name meaning “joyful, happy” from Basque alai (joyous, happy) which either derives from Latin alacer (lively, brisk; glad, happy, cheerful) via an uncertain origin; or it cold have been borrowed from Spanish alhaja “jewel; gem” which ultimately derives from an Arabic origin.

Spelled Alaïa it’s a French surname, the French form of Alia (an Arabic female name “exalted, loft, high, sublime”), and Alaia is also an Italian surname though I’m not sure if it also derives from Arabic or a different source entirely.

Alaia is also a variant spelling of Alia/Aliyah, an Arabic female name, the feminine form of Ali meaning “high, exalted, lofty, sublime”. 

Origin: uncertain; Arabic

Meaning: from Basque “joyful, happy”; “high, exalted, lofty, sublime”

Usage: Basque, English (as a variant spelling of Alia)

Variants:

  • Alia (Arabic)
  • Alaya (English)
  • Aaliyah (English)

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

Lystra

Lystra is the name of a town in Anatolia (also known as Asia Minor) in what is now modern-day Turkey. It is mentioned several times in the New Testament where the Apostle Paul and his companion Barnabas passed through and where he met Timothy, a future saint who would also become Paul’s companion. The name Lystra is of unknown origin though it likely seems to be pre-Greek in origin. It could be possible that the first part of the name could have been interpreted by the Ancient Greeks from luo λυω “to loosen, unbind”- the first part of the name certainly resembles names beginning with it such as Lysander or Lysistrate, but it seems more likely that it originated from a Proto-Anatolian origin.

Origin: unknown

Meaning: unknown though it may have been interpreted to the Ancient Greeks via luo λυω “to loosen, unbind”

Usage: English

Pronunciation: lye-stra (Forvo)

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

Kendra

Kendra seems to be a feminine form of Kenneth, itself an anglicized form of two Scottish Gaelic names:

  • the first is Coinneach meaning “handsome, fair, beautiful” via Gaelic caoin (handsome);
  • the second is Cináed, a name of uncertain etymology though the second element seems to be derived from Old Irish áed “fire” < Proto-Celtic *aidus which ultimately derives from a PIE root word. The first element may be derived from Irish cion (love, affection; regard, esteem), so the name would essentially mean “beloved of Aodh”, Aodh being the god of the underworld;
  • Cináed may also possibly be related to Ciniod, a Pictish name with a very different origin. Though the first element is uncertain, the second element seems to be related to Proto-Brythonic *jʉð (lord, judge).

Kendra could also be a feminine form of Kendrick which in this case comes from an English, Welsh, and Scottish surname with a few possible meanings such as (respectively) “royal power”, “chief hero” or “great champion”, or “son of Henry“.

It’s also likely that Kendra could have been inspired as a smoosh of Ken/Kenneth and Sandra, a shortened form of Alexandra or Alessandra meaning “defending men” or “defender of men”.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; uncertain

Meaning: “handsome, fair, beautiful”; possibly “beloved of Aodh”; may also be related to a Pictish name, the second element possibly meaning “lord”; “royal power”, “chief hero” or “great champion”, or “son of Henry”

Usage: English

Variants:

  • Kenna (Scottish)
  • Kenina (Scottish)

Male forms:

  • Kenneth (Scottish, English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian)
  • Kennith (English)
  • Kennet (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian)
  • Coinneach (Scottish)
  • Cináed (Scottish, Irish)

Alaric

Alaric is an Ancient Germanic male name meaning “ruler of all” composed of Proto-Germanic *allaz (all) and *rīks (king, ruler). It was the name of Alaric I, the first king of the Visigoths famous for the Sack of Rome in 410 AD, one of the first signs that would lead to the eventual fall of the Roman Empire.

Alaric was also the name of a legendary king of the Swedes who along with his brother Eric co-ruled.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “ruler of all”

Usage: Ancient Germanic, English, Catalan

Variants:

  • Alaricus (Latin)
  • Alarich (German, Czech)
  • Alarik (Finnish, Estonian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Frisian, Croatian, Hungarian)
  • Alrik (Swedish)
  • Alar (Estonian)
  • Alarico (Spanish, Galician, Portuguese, Italian)

Female forms:

  • Alarica (Italian, Spanish, English)
  • Alarika (English)

Adrielle

Adrielle is the feminine form of Adriel, a Hebrew male name meaning “flock of God” or “my help is God”; in the Old Testament, Adriel marries one of Saul’s daughters, Merab.

Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: “flock of God” or “my help is God”

Usage: English

Variants:

  • Adriella (Brazilian Portuguese, English)

Male forms:

  • Adriel (Hebrew, English, Spanish)

Hallam

Hallam comes from an English surname, a locational name via Old English halh, healh meaning “corner, angle; nook, recess”; it may also originate from Old Norse hallr “rock, stone; slope, hill” via Proto-Germanic *halluz (rock; stone) via a PIE root word.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “corner; nook, recess” or “rock, stone; slope”

Usage: English

Variants:

  • Halam (English)
  • Hallum (English)