Evelyn

Evelyn is a name which at first glance seems easy to discern but has a deeper history than one would think. At first glance it would seem to be an elaborated form of Eve combined with the –lyn suffix (which could be based on Welsh llyn meaning “lake”). Eve is the name of the first woman created by God in the Bible; her name is derived from Hebrew hawwa meaning “alive, living” which derives from a Proto-Semitic origin. 

But while that may be the modern interpretation of the name, Evelyn has deeper roots that aren’t quite so clear-cut. It originated as an English surname, originally spelled Aveline, which was brought over to England after the Norman Invasion. Aveline, or Avelina, was originally a double diminutive of Ava,  a Germanic name of unknown meaning which seems to derive from Germanic element avi, though the most common meaning attributed to it is “desired, wished for”- but that’s just a theory. Another possible theory is Proto-Germanic *albiz meaning “elf” but that doesn’t seem as likely. 

It’s also possible that Ava may have originated from Eva, the Latinized form of Eve.

As a given name, Evelyn was first used as a boy’s name, like many surnames (Ashley, Shirley, Beverly, etc.) but eventually became more popular for girls.

Origin: unknown

Meaning: could be an elaborated form of EveLyn “alive, living + lake”; also a name with Germanic roots, of unknown meaning though commonly attributed to mean “desired, wished for”; perhaps based on the name Eve

Usage: English

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Variants:

  • Evaline (English)
  • Evalyn (English)
  • Evalynn (English)
  • Evalynne (English)
  • Eveline (English, French, Dutch)
  • Eveleen (English)
  • Aveline (English)
  • Evelina (English, Italian, Swedish)
  • Avila (Ancient Germanic)

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)

Carolyn

Carolyn is an English female name, a variant 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”.

However, since Carolyn is the feminine form of the name would that make its meaning “woman” instead? I’m not sure.

Carolyn could also be a combination of Carol (which is not only a shortened form of Caroline but is also an English word meaning “joyful song or ballad” borrowed from Ancient Greek khoraules “one who accompanies a chorus on a flute” from Greek khoros “dance, choir”, of uncertain origin; and aulos “flute”) combined with Lyn, a variant of Welsh llyn meaning “lake” via a Proto-Celtic origin.

Origin: Proto-Germanic; Proto-Celtic

Meaning: “free man”; a combination of Carol and Lyn “joyful song + lake”

Usage: English

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Variants:

  • Carolynn (English)
  • Carolynne (English)
  • Caroline (French, English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch)
  • Carolina (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Swedish)
  • Karolyn (English)
  • Karolynne (English)
  • Karoline (Danish, German, Norwegian)
  • Karolina (Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Macedonian, Lithuanian, German)
  • Carola (Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish)
  • Carla (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, English, German, Dutch)
  • Carol (English, Romanian)