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)

Niko

Niko is a masculine name, the Finnish form of Nicholas which means “victory of the people” from Greek Nikolaos made up from Ancient Greek elements nike (victory) and laos (people) both of which derive from a PIE source.

Niko is also the Croatian and Slovene short form of Nikola, the Slavic (male) form of Nicholas. However, Niko can also be used as a short form of Nicholas (also spelled Nico) or its feminine forms Nicole and Nicolette, making it a unisex name.

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

ni

  • 仁 “benevolence, humanity, charity”
  • 二 “two”
  • “you, your thou, second person”
  • “day, sun, Japan”

ko

  • “child”
  • “lake”
  • 胡 “barbarian, foreign”

There are other meanings depending on the kanji. Written in hiragana it’s にこ.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; Japanese

Meaning: “victory of the people”; also a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used

Usage: Finnish, Croatian, Slovene, Georgian, German, English, Japanese

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Variants:

  • Nico (Italian, Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, English)

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)

Leo

Leo comes from the Latin word meaning “lion” via Ancient Greek leon 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- (lion). The name might have originated as a nickname for someone who was courageous and brave.

Leo is the name of a constellation representing to the Ancient Greeks the Nemean lion killed by the Greek hero Herakles as part of his twelve labors. Leo is also a Zodiac sign belonging to those born between July 22nd to August 23rd; apparently those born under this sign are stubborn, loyal and trustworthy, assured, confident and ambitious, but prone to arrogance, jealousy, and bossiness.

Leo could also be used as a nickname for names such as Leonidas (an Ancient Greek name meaning “son of the lion” or “son of a lion”), Leopold (a Germanic name meaning “bold people”), and Leonard (meaning “brave lion”), or any name beginning with Leo.

Origin: uncertain, possibly from a Proto-Semitic source

Meaning: “lion”

Usage: Late Roman, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Croatian

Variants:

  • Leon (Greek, Ancient Greek, English, German, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Dutch)
  • Leontios (Ancient Greek)
  • Leontius (Ancient Greek, Latin)
  • Levon (Armenian)
  • Leoš (Czech)
  • Léo (French)
  • Léon (French)
  • Léonce (French form of Leontios)
  • Lionel (French diminutive of Léon; English)
  • Levan (Georgian)
  • Leone (Italian)
  • Leonzio (Italian form of Leontios)
  • Leonas (Lithuanian)
  • Lef (Polish cognate of Lev)
  • Lev (Russian)
  • Leonti (Russian)
  • Leontiy (Russian)
  • Leonty (Russian)
  • Lyov (Russian)
  • León (Spanish)
  • Leoncio (Spanish)
  • Leonius (Late Roman)

Female forms:

  • Leona (English, German, Czech)
  • Leola (English)
  • Leone (French, English)
  • Leontina (Italian, Late Roman)
  • Leonia (Late Roman)
  • Leonie (French, German, Dutch, English)
  • Léonie (French)
  • Léontine (French)
  • Léone (French)
  • Leontýna (Czech)
  • Leontyne (English)

Emma

Emma originated as a short form of names beginning with Germanic element ermin meaning “whole” or “universal”, derived from a Proto-Germanic origin of unknown etymology.

Emma is also a surname originating from the given name.

Origin: Proto-Germanic, of unknown origin

Meaning: “whole, universal”

Usage: English, German, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic

Variants:

  • Ema (Spanish, Portuguese, Slovene, Slovak, Czech, Croatian)
  • Ima (Dutch, Ancient Germanic)
  • Irma (German, English, Dutch, Finnish, Spanish, Italian, Georgian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Ancient Germanic)
  • Erma (English)
  • Emmalyn (English)
  • Emmalynne (English)
  • Emalyn (English)
  • Emmy (English)
  • Emmie (English)
  • Emmi (English, Finnish)

Male forms:

  • Emmett (English)
  • Emmott (English)
  • Emmet (English)

Linda

Linda is a female given name which originated as a short form of Germanic names containing Germanic element lind, linde meaning “soft, tender” via Proto-Germanic *linþaz (bendsome, flexible; pliable; weak, soft, mild) derived from a PIE root word. I’ve also seen lind, linde associated with the linden tree or, more poetically, “dragon, serpent, snake”.

Linda is also a Spanish and Portuguese word meaning “pretty, beautiful”, the feminine singular form of lindo which derives from an uncertain etymology. It seems to come from an Old Spanish word which has been linked to Latin legitimus (lawful, proper) and limpidus (clear, bright), but it’s not certain.

Linda could also be used as a nickname for names ending in -linda such as Belinda, Delinda, Celinda, Melindaetc.

In the Kalevipoeg (1861), an Estonian national epic poem written by Estonian writer Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald (based on Estonian mythology and various folk legends of Estonia) Linda is the mother of the hero Kalevipoeg; in this case her name comes from the Estonian word lind meaning “bird” via Proto-Finnic *lintu (bird) from Proto-Uralic *lunta (bird; goose).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; Proto-Uralic; uncertain etymology

Meaning:  various depending on its usage- as an English name it comes from a shortened form of Germanic element lind, linde “soft, tender”, has also been associated with the lime/linden tree and, more poetically, “dragon, serpent, snake”; is also used as a nickname for names ending in -linda; also a Spanish and Portuguese word “pretty, beautiful”; also means “bird” in Estonian

Usage: English, German, Dutch, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, French, Latvian, Finnish, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Estonian

Nicknames: Lin, Lindy/Lindi/Lindie

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Variants

  • Lynda (English)
  • Lindy (English)
  • Lindi (English)
  • Lyndi (English)
  • Lindie (English)
  • Lind (English)
  • Linde (Dutch)
  • Linza (Ancient Germanic)