- Brenda (Teutonic/Old Norse) - flaming sword, firebrand;
- Deborah (Hebrew) - bee. Deborah was the Biblical prophetess who summoned Barak to battle against an army of invaders. After the battle she wrote a victory song which is part of the Book of Judges;
- Diane (French variant of Diana) Probably derived from an old Indo-european root root meaning "heavenly, divine", related to dyeus/zeus. Diana was a Roman goddess of the moon, hunting, forests, and childbirth;
- Francoise (French) feminine of Francis meaning "from France" or "free one";
- Gerrie (English/German - feminine derivative of Gerald) From a Germanic name meaning "rule of the spear", from the elements ger "spear" and wald "rule". This name was brought to Britain by the Norman. Though it died out in England during the Middle Ages, it remained common in Ireland. It was revived in the English-speaking world in 19th century;
- Helen (English form of the Greek) Light, one who is bright, probably from Greek (helene)
- Karen (Danish, Norwegian) short form of Katherine (Greek) - pure;
- Kirsten/Kristin (Scandinavian/German) variant of Christina/Christiana - follower of Christ. This was the name of an early, possibly legendary, saint who was tormented by her pagan father. It was also borne by a 17th-century Swedish queen and patron the arts who gave up her crown in order to become a Roman Catholic;
- Nikki (English dimunitive) - feminine form of Nicholas - mythological Nike was the goddess of victory;
- Terry/Terri (English dimunitive) - From the Spanish and Portuguese name Teresa. It was first recorded as Therasia, being borne by the Spanish wife of SaintPaulinus of Nola in the 4th century. The meaning is uncertain, but it could be derived from Greek (theros) "summer", from Greek (therizo) "to harvest", or from the name of the Greek island of Therasia (the western island of Santorini).
Friday, May 1, 2009
What's in a name?
Our names are inextricably linked to our identities. Books of baby names were some of the most well-thumbed books in the house when I was growing up (I'm the eldest of six). I've always been intrigued with the meaning and origins of names and have researched the names of the Twelves: