Names Are Like Tattoos

June 10th, 2011

A very interesting point arose during the Young Hunter post.  The couple was considering the name Virgil, but didn’t know if its history outweighed tease potential and general public discomfort with the name.

Our reader Kristen astutely pointed out that names have the capability to steer us toward communities that may be accepting of our family’s values:

Maybe the name will lend itself to pushing you all toward the type of exceptional communities that would embrace a boy with a beautiful name like Virgil? I think names are kind of like tattoos in that way; they sort of force your hand a bit, but that isn’t always a bad thing.

My question for you to mull over this weekend, is, do you agree with this sentiment?  Are names like tattoos, and is that a good or bad thing?

Can anyone share personal experience with this, either their own or that of their children?

Jewish Ceremony in Israel


Please jet over to Pamela Redmond Satran’s article The Big Baby Naming Battle at The Daily Beast.  She breaks down the great debate over the rising use of Cohen as a first name, among Christians and other folks.  It’s a must-read.

The Year of the Ox

January 26th, 2009


Today we usher in the Chinese new year, the year of the Ox.  An appropriate symbol of hard work, steadfastness, and conservatism, you may wish to consider a name that reflects these qualities. The Ox is an Earth sign known for supreme intelligence, speaking only when necessary, and keeping to himself.  

For more Earth-bound ideas, please see Autumnal Names.  You can read about Chinese naming practices and suggestions for what might work well in both languages in Names for Your Chinese-American Baby.

Below are a few internationally inspired choices that might be appropriate for your ox stot:



Avani- Sanskrit, “earth”

Ceres- Ancient Roman, “to grow”, Roman goddess of agriculture

Demeter- Greek, “earth mother”, Greek goddess of agriculture

Gaia- Greek, “earth”, and the goddess of the earth

Georgia, Georgina, Georgianna- Greek, “farmer”

Hui- Chinese, “intelligent, wise”

Kun- Chinese, “earth”

Maha- Arabic, “wild cow”, which represents beauty

Millicent- From Amalswinth, “meaning work + strength” or “industrious”

Pratibha- Sanskrit, “light, splendor, intelligence”

Terra- Latin, “earth”



Adam- Hebrew, debated meaning; man formed from the Earth

Aqil- Arabic, “intelligent, wise”

Aristaeus- Greek, “the best”; son of Apollo, and a god of agriculture, hunting, and cattle

Byron- English, “place of cow sheds”

Daichi- Japanese,  ”large, great” combined with”earth, land” or ”wisdom, intellect”

Enki- Sumerian, “lord of the earth”, god of water and wisdom

George- Greek, “farmer, earthworker”

Gopala- Sanskrit, “cow protector”

Gotama- Sanskrit, “the best ox”

Hugh, Hugo- Germanic, “mind, intellect”

Kun- Chinese, “earth”

Minh- Vietnamese, “bright, intelligent”

Selby- English, derived from Old Norse meaning “willow farm”

Sothy- Khmer, “intelligence”

Warwick- English, “dam farm”; pronounced WAHR-ik

Volos- Slavic mythology, the god of cattle; derived from volu meaning “ox”


Dare to Dream

January 24th, 2009




“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

This dream became a reality for many on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, just one day after the commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day.  Barack Obama is now the first African-American president.  He is a man who dared to dream beyond all likelihood of what was possible.  He is a man who had the audacity to hope. Regardless of your political leanings, most of us are pleased to sea a tide changing in one of America’s darkest alleys of history.  

The very act of having a child represents hope for a better future.  We can all come together in the hopes and dreams for our children.  Perhaps having the meaning of that sentiment as part of their name will serve as a gentle reminder of what their parents knew was possible, and how much they are loved.  




Aisling- Irish Gaelic for “dream” or “vision.”  Pronounced ASH-ling.

Alice- From Adelaide, “noble and kind.” Inspired by the famous young dreamer in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

Amala- Arabic, “hope and aspiration” 

Asha- Sanskrit for “desire, will, hope”

Aurora- Latin, “dawn”- Disney’s name for Sleeping Beauty

Esperanza- Spanish, “hope”

Hope- English, “hope.”  ;-)

Maya- Sanskrit, “dream, illusion”

Mizuki- Japanese, “beautiful moon” or “congratulations and hope”

Nadezhda, Nadia- Russian, “hope”

Pandora- Greek, “All gifts”- In mythology when Pandora opened the box, all her worldly gifts flew away but one remained: hope.

Raja- Arabic, “hope”

Rêve, Reverie- French for “dream”, though not used as names there

Shpresa- Albanian, “hope”

Swapna- Sanskrit, “sleep, dream”

Tikva- Hebrew, “hope”



Amal- Arabic, “hope and aspiration” 

Amets- Basque, “dream” 

Anthony- Etruscan origin, “of inestimable worth.” St. Anthony was reknowned for his vivid dreams.  Cognates get more interesting: Antoine, Anton, Antonin, Antonio, Antony

Arman- Persian, “dream”

Ayumu- Japanese, “dream/vision” + “walk”

Caedmon- Old English, unknown meaning.  7th century poet who known to receive inspiration through his dreams.

Elpis, Elpidios- Ancient Greek, “hope”

Endymion- Greek, “to dive into, to enter.”  In Greek mythology, Endymion wanted eternal life so that he could spend it with the goddess Selene.  Instead, Zeus granted him eternal sleep.

Imeda- Georgian, “hope”

Itxaro- Basque, “hope”

Kazuki-Japanese, “one hope” or “radiant hope”

Morpheus- Greek god of dreams

Omid- Persian, “hope”

Samai- Khmer, “daydreamer”

Sigmund- German, “victory + protector.”  Sigmund Freud wrote The Interpretation of Dreams in a plight to better understand the unconscious.

Svajone- Lithuanian, “dream”

Swapan- Sanskrit, “dreaming, sleeping”; Swapnil is “dreamlike”

Toivo- Finnish, “hope”

Umut- Turkey, “hope”


Image above by René Magritte

Autumnal Names

December 5th, 2008

Vermont Hillside


The leaves have fallen.  The pumpkin patch is cleared and the apples have all been picked. But with technically sixteen days left of Fall, I thought I’d squeeze this post in while I still could!  Stay tuned for Christmas names soon.  


Shades of changing leaves:

Amber- Reddish brown petrified resin

Aurelia- “Golden”



Jasper- Reddish brown stone that recalls the hue of the season

Marigold- Golden in color, this flower also blooms well into the fall

Ora- “Gold”

Saffron- Spice yellow in hue

Scarlett- “Scarlet red”

Tawny- Yellowish brown in color, evocative of caramel and port


Tasty Treats:





Myrtle, Myrtille- Myrtille is blueberry in French



In Bloom & Fall Foliage:


Ash (or Ash names?)







Maple (again)




In Mythology, Religion & Lore:

Anona- Roman goddess of the harvest

Aphaea- Greek goddess associated with agriculture and fertility

Dhanya- Sanskrit for “grain”

Demeter- Greek goddess of the harvest

Devi- Hindu goddess who blesses the abundance of the harvest

Laksmhi- Hindu goddess of the harvest, in the form of Dhanya Lakshmi

Saturn- Roman god of the harvest

Sif/Sifa- Norse god of the harvest

Sita- Also Hindu goddess of the harvest

Willow- Used during the Jewish feast celebration of Sukkoth, in conjunction with etrog (citron), lulav (date palm), and myrtle


Writer’s who love the Autumn:

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Hawthorne, Nathaniel David

Keats, John

Rilke, Rainer Maria

Thoreau, Henry David- Wrote about Lake Walden


By Month:

Aster-Flower for September

Sapphira- Sapphire is September’s gem stone

September- Itself is also occasionally given as a name

Lapis Lazuli- Gemstone for September.  Either one would make an unusual choice

Opal- October’s birth stone

Tourmaline- Also shares the honor of being October’s birth stone

Chrysanthemum- November’s flower, shortens to the user friendly Chrys

Topaz- Shares the role of birth stone for November

Citrine- November’s other gemstone

December- If September works as a first name, why not try December, November, or October?

Poinsettia- The famed red plant used for Christmas decor and December’s flower

Orchid- Also known to be flower of December

Turquoise- December’s shockingly colorful birth stone for its season


Why not the season itself?

Aki- Japanese, “bright autumn”

Akiko- “Bright autumn child” in Japanese


Ekin- “Harvest” in Turkish

Hazan- “Autumn” in Turkish

Qiu- Chinese for “autumn”

Thu- “Autumn” in Vietnamese

Wekesa- “Born during harvest”, in East Africa


Thanks to Emmie and Elizabeth for your additions!

Faith, Hope, and Modesty?

November 26th, 2008



In honor of Thanksgiving, let us remember our Puritan forebears with a nod to their fondness for virtue names.  They believed that one’s name could help shape who they become as a human being, and were certainly creative in some of their best efforts to form the perfect appellation for their young one. 

Some virtue names are still in widespread use today, particularly in the middle spot– Faith, Hope, and Joy are all perennial favorites.  Yet the spectrum offers many intriguing choices that sound very modern. A few could be used on males– Noble, Justice, Prosper, Ardour, Worth?  Perhaps Submit and Chastity may be best left to rest in peace.  

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  And many thanks to T.S., who helped inspire this post.  ;-)









































Prosper, Prosperity







True, Truth






Names that work in multiple cultures fascinate me.  With the Chinese language and culture so different from our own (I write from the United States), this proves to be an interesting challenge.  Because the language is tonal, the same English sound may have multiple meanings in Chinese.  This applies to names as well, and almost any character with meaning may be used as part of a name.

With the Beijing Olympics now underway, I’ve put my mind to names that might work in English and Chinese.  Some of these are a slight stretch, and pronunciations are approximate. I do not speak Chinese, so if you know more about this ancient and venerable culture, please don’t hesitate to bring comments, suggestions, and corrections to the table.  Below I give some Chinese names, their meanings, and their assonant equivalent in English. 

Yet this may be all for naught.  The customs surrounding Chinese naming practices are vast and complex. Some families look to the grandparents to choose the name in honor of generations past or historical poetry to remind the family of its interconnectedness.  Some people take into account the number of strokes a child’s name has.  An increasingly common practice is to name a child after a celebrity or event, though this is largely frowned upon.  It was also popular to use generation names for brothers and sisters when the Chinese had brothers and sisters. 

Evidently, you can call it “it.”  When Chinese families did have more than one child, many girls went completely without names and might be referred to merely as “five” or “six.”  Another family of three girls that I read about named their daughters for things they hoped for the family:  ”Bringing Son”, “Bringing Gold”, and “Bringing Silver.”

Most traditional namers take into account the child’s time, date, and place of birth, and aspirations for that child and for the family.  The Chinese would never choose a name prior to the birth, for it wouldn’t be specific to the child, and could even draw bad spirits.  In fact, before the birth a child is often given a false name with negative connotations to throw off the spirits.  Then once the child is born, a family may consult with a feng shui name specialist, who will help determine what will be the best choice.  The Chinese have five elements that balance one another: Metal, Wood, Fire, Water, and Earth.  When a child is born, their birth chart is taken into consideration.  They may have a lot of Fire, Metal, and Earth, but be lacking in much Water and Wood.  The name can play an important role in bringing harmony, or yin yang, to the individual.  

The list below may be of some assistance if you are looking for a similar sounding name in both Chinese and English.  It does not take into account feng shui or the birth chart, but perhaps if you are adopting a child from China whose exact time of birth is unknown, a familiar sounding name with a pleasant meaning might be the next best choice.  Admittedly, this is a tiny sampling from a strictly Western perspective and one has thousands of characters to draw from.  Please be careful when pairing two characters so as to not make a new unintended word with unpleasant connotations.  Be sure to check with a native Chinese speaker before bestowing a new name on your little one, as I would have liked to have done before publishing this post!


An- “peace”/ Anne- “grace”

Bai-”white, pure”/ Bay- Body of water

Chai Yenn- “rainbow” + swallow”/ Cheyenne

Da-Xia- “big hero”/ Daisy- White flower

Fen- “fragrance” / Fin- Which might work as a nickname for Finnuala, Finola, or Finlay

Jia- “beautiful”/ Gia- Italian short form of Giovanna, “God is Gracious”

Jiang- “river”/ Jane “God is gracious”

Jin- “golden”/ Many possibilities here: Jen or Gen, short for Jennifer/Genevieve “fair, white”, Virginia  “virgin” after Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen, Ginevra “white, fair” and “juniper”

Jun-”good-looking”/ June- Summer month named after the Roman goddess Juno.

Lan- “orchid”/ Lane or Lana

Lei- “flower bud”/ Leila, Leilani, and Lorelei can all yield Lei

Li- “beautiful”, “logic”/ Leigh, Lee- “meadow”

Lian- “a graceful willow”/ Leann- combination of Lee and Ann, “meadow” + “grace”

Li Li- “beautiful”/ Lily- like the flower

Lin- “fine jade”, “forest”/ Lynn- Welsh, llyn meaning “lake”

Li Na/ Lina works in three languages, Chinese, Arabic “palm tree” or “tender”, and Sanskrit “united”

Liu- “flowing”/ Lou-anything: Louise, Louisa- from the Germanic, Hludwig, “famous warrior”

Luan- “uprising”- LuAnn- Combination of Lou and Ann

Mai- “ocean” or “elegance”/ May, Mae- from the month and the Roman goddess Maia

Mei- “plum”/ May, Mae- see above.

Mei Xing- “beautiful star”/ Maisie- diminutive of Margaret and Maireed, “pearl”

Mei Zhen- “beautiful pearl”/ You could go with compound, Mae Jeanne, or Maisie, with the same “pearl” meaning!

On-”peace”/ Anne, Ana, Ona, all meaning “grace”

Shan- “coral”/ Shaun- ”consecrated to God”

Teegan- “beautiful”/ Teagan- Irish surname, “descendant of Tadghan”, which means “poet”

Wen- “culture, literacy”/ In English Win might be a nickname for Winifred “friend of peace”. Wren like the bird, would also be lovely.

Wing- “glory”/ Wing, like a bird’s wing

Yi-Min- “smart”/ Yasmin- Persian for “jasmine”, which has particular relevance to the Chinese and symbolizes happiness, affection, and beauty.

Yi-Ze- “happy”/ You might translate this to Lizzy with the classic and universally recognized Elizabeth (“consecrated to God”) on the birth certificate.



Bai- “cypress”/ Bay- Bay is both nautical and culinary

Bo- “precious”/ Bo, Beau- “handsome”, both are slightly nicknamey though I have known several with each as their given name.

Cai- “fortune”/ Cai, Kai- Another incredibly cross-cultural name, Kai means “keeper of the keys” in Welsh and “sea” in Hawaiian.  The Ancient Roman Caius nn Cai is another fantastic option

Deshi- “virtuous man” / Desi could also be used as a diminutive for Desmond.

Enlai- “appreciation”/ The Germanic Henry “home ruler” and the Hebrew Adlai “God is just” are attractive possibilites.

Gan- “adventure”/ Gannon is derived from the Gaelic for “fair-skinned”

Huang- “rich”/ Juan “God is gracious” could work well for you Sino-Hispanic baby.

Jin- “gold”/ Jim is pretty outdated these days, but James ”supplanter” will likely never go completely out of fashion.

Li- “strength”, “logic”/ Lee “meadow”

Quon- “bright”/ Quinn “counsel”

Shen- “deep thinker”, “spirit”/ Shawn, Sean- “God is gracious”

Tai- “great extreme”/ Ty or Tyler ”roof tiler” would work well in middle America

Wen- “culture, literacy”/ Wyn- Welsh, “blessed, fair”

Xiao- “early morning”/ Joe and Joseph “he will add”

Zheng- “just, proper”, “government”/ Zane may be an equivalent of John, and it’s nice to keep the Zs consistent. 

Zhong- “model brother, second brother”, “devoted”, “honest”/ John “God is gracious.” Versions of John prove to be pretty versatile when looking for an English equivalent of a Chinese name!


With the surname-as-first-name trend catching like wildfire, I’d like to take a moment to focus on surnames of which I’ve always been a bit envious: those that sound bright, happy, and upbeat.  Why not co-opt these as firsts?  Ladies and gentlemen, scour your family trees, perhaps something intrinsically spunky will turn up.  In the middle spot, these would lend a classic quality to a modern name, say something like Kyla Bloom, or even liven up an old musty family name like Arthur Albright for example. Likewise, if you are the forunate possessor of one of these family names, you might want to, on balance, think about choosing a weightier name for your son or daughter.  That said, Holly Golightly and Mary Poppins’ parents thought differently. 

Intriuguing in the same vein as a virtue name, many of these have potential to be descriptive of what qualities a parent would wish for their child.   These kinds of names have a literary quailty, might vivify life, and might inspire a joy of language, or, most importantly, a joy in names themselves!  Loveday Ophelia, a baby I came across in a birth announcement not too long ago, is a person I would be curious to meet, any day.  Even if they may not be part of your ancestry, I say why not?  With the plethora of word names on the horizon, at the very least these have a long history of being names, and I say go for it, just because we like the way they sound.  8)








Bloom, Blume






Cruise, Cruz


De los Angeles

De la Sol

Dove, Dovey







Good, Goodman, Goodwin, Goody






Love, Loveday, Lovejoy, Lovelace






Rose, Rosen 



I’m sure to be missing boatloads!


Image Above by Yoshimoto Nara.

Summer Solstice

June 20th, 2008



Summer has officially arrived, I’d like to be the first to extend a giant *Welcome.* I’d like also of course, to usher her in with a new set of baby name possibilities.  If commemorating the season in which your summer baby is born appeals, here are some ideas, both classic and off-beat.  Whether you draw from the long sunny days, beach vacations, or a birthstone, there are practically endless possibilities.  Saints Days are also an option, and I post the upcoming week’s list every Sunday.  When you’re done here, please go to Appellation Mountain’s thoughts on the subject.  

Now we’re off to the park to celebrate a birthday with potluck and good old fashioned wiffle ball.  Hope you are enjoying your summer.



Alexandra, Alexandrine- Greek, “defender of mankind.”  Alexandrine is sometimes listed as a birthstone for June

Anona- Latin, goddess of the harvest

Apolline, Apollonia- “Stength”; Female version of the Greek Apollo, the god of the sun, and far more usable in this form

Augusta, Augustine- Latin, “great, venerable”;  might be a nice nod to the month of August

Dagmar, Dagny- In Old Norse, “dag” names are related to “day”, appropriate since the days are long this time of year

Eloise, Heloise- French; possibly originating in the Greek helios meaning “sun”

Haruko- Japanese for “sun child”

Helen, Helena- Greek for “torch”, also “light”

Julia, Julianna, Juliet- The feminizations of Julius, for whom the month of July was named

June, Junia- From the month of June and the Roman goddess Juno, queen of the heavens

Lavender- In Provence, June is the month when the Lavender blooms

Leona, Leonie, Leontine, Leonora- If your baby is a Leo, these might be viable first or middle name options

Liberty- English, well-suited to an Independence Day baby

Lucia, Lucienne, Lucy- From the Latin lux ”light”

Margaret- English, from the Greek margarites meaning Pearl.  Margarita also works as a themey double-entendre

Marina- Originally Greek, Marina is used in many languages and means “sea” for those lucky enough to be there

Marisol- Spanish combination of Maria and Sol “sun”

Natsumi- Japanese natsu ”summer” and mi ”beautiful”; also from na “vegetables” and tsumu “pick”

Ondine- French, from the Latin unda meaning “wave”

Ora- Hebrew “light”

Pearl- June’s birthstone

Poppy- August’s flower, though they bloom in May

Rose- The flower of June, a hardy and lovely flower in the sun

Ruby- July’s birthstone

Sita- Sanskrit, “furrow”, Hindu goddess of the harvest

Sol- Spanish for sun

Soleil- French for sun, recalls the actress Soleil Moon Frye, an intrepid baby namer herself

Solstice- With word names like Story and Ever all the rage, this one struck me as a pleasant-sounding possibility

Solveig- Norse combining sol “sun” and veig “strength”

Summer- A name that’s had its day in the sun

Sunniva- Norwegian “sun gift”

Suvi- Finnish “summer”

Svetlana- Slavic “light”

Theresa- Greek theros “summer”

Vera- From the Albanian verë for “summer”

Virginia- If your wee one comes toward the end of summer, you may wind up with a Virgo, making this related name particularly apt;  note that the state, Virginia, was named for the Virgin Queen, Queen Elizabeth I



August, Augustus- Latin, “great, venerable” after the Emporer Augustus, for whom the month was named

Cyrus- Biblical, may be related to the Persian khur, meaning “sun”

Haru- Japanese “sunlight”

Horus- Egyptian mythology, god of light

Hyperion- Greek mythology, the titan who presided over the sun and light

Julian, Julius- Latin, “downy-bearded”; July was named after Julius Caesar, and so might your child be!

Leo, Leonard, Leonardo, Leonidas, Leopold- If your baby is born under the sign of Leo, you have a multitude of options should you be stuck

Luke, Lucian, Lucius- From the Latin lux for “light”

Mehrdad- Persian “gift of the sun” 

Prakash- Sanskrit “light”

Ra- Egyptian mythology, god of the sun

Ravindra- Sanskrit, “Lord of the sun”

Roshan- Persian “light, bright”

Samson- Hebrew, possibly meaning “sun”

Somereld- Scottish “summer traveler”

Surya- Sanskrit, Hindu god of the sun

Wekesa- East African origin, means “born during the harvest”


Above Image: August, from the Très riches heures du duc de Berry



Writing about butterfly names, I got to thinking, what other names are closely linked to animals or can be represented for a child by an animal?  I embarked on a list of animal baby names.  What fun it is for little Leo to know that a his name means “lion”, or for Philippa to see a horse and associate it with herself!  This list is far from complete, but these are some of the names that struck me as usable for a modern baby, appearing in many American family trees, or being in some other way noteworthy.  Please let me know what your favorite animal names are.   Expect a subsequent post devoted exclusively to bird names!



Agnes- Greek, “chaste”, also associated with agnus, or “lamb”

Anka- Aboriginal Australian, “barramundi”

Arjuni- Sanskrit, “ox”

Athena- Greek, goddess of wisdom whose symbol is the owl

Ayala- Hebrew, “deer”

Columba, Colombe- Scottish, “dove” (St. Columba was male but this name is more closely associated with girls now)

Deborah- Biblical, “bee”

Delphine- Greek, French possibly related to delphis, “dolphin”, also the city of Delphi

Dorcas- Biblical, “gazelle”

Eowyn- Old English, “horse lover”

Jael, Yael- Hebrew, “mountain goat”

Jemima- Biblical, “dove”

Leona, Leontine- Greek, French, “lion”, see Leo

Melissa- Greek, “honey bee”

Merle- English variant of Muriel; this spelling is influenced by the French word merle, meaning “blackbird.”  Also used as a male name.

Oona- Irish, “lamb”

Orpah- Hebrew, “fawn”

Paloma- Spanish, “dove”

Penelope- Greek, possibly associated with “duck”

Philippa- Greek, “horse lover”

Rachel- Hebrew, “ewe”

Rosalind- English, ”soft horse”, derived from the Germanic elements hros ”horse” and linde ”soft, tender”

Rosamund- English, German for ”horse protection” from Germanic hros ”horse” and mund ”protection”

Tabitha- Biblical, Aramaic “gazelle”

Ursa, Ursula- Latin, “bear”

Zipporah, Tzipporah- Hebrew, “bird”



Adler- Teutonic, “eagle”

Aquila- Latin, “eagle”

Ari, Ariel- Biblical, “lion”

Arnold- German, “eagle power”

Arthur- Irish, “strong as a bear”

Asad- Arabic, “lion”

Aslan- Turkish, “lion”

Averell, Everild- Teutonic, “boar slayer”

Barend- Dutch, “a firm bear”

Bernard- German, “bold as a bear”

Björn- Scandinavian, “bear”

Borden- Old English, “from the valley of the boar”

Callum- Scottish, “dove”, form of Columba

Conan- Irish, “little wolf”

Darby- English, “deer town”

Dov- Hebrew, “bear”

Drake- English, “duck” or Old English for “dragon”

Everett, Everard- Old English, “brave as a boar”

Ganesh- Sankrit, Hindu god normally represented with the face of an elephant

Gavin- Welsh, from Gwalchgwyn ”white hawk”

Giles- English by way of Greece, “young goat”

Gryphon- Mythological creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle

Leander- Greek, “lion of man”

Leo, Leon, Leonard, Leonidas- Greek, “lion”

Lev- Russian, “lion”

Llywelyn- Welsh, possibly related to llew “lion”

Mayur- Sanskrit, “peacock”

Nagendra- Sanskrit, “lord of snakes”

Oscar- Irish, “deer lover”, derived from Gaelic os ”deer” and cara ”lover”

Orson- English, Latin,  ”bear”

Owen- Welsh, possibly related to  oen ”lamb”

Philip- Greek, “horse lover”

Phineas- Hebrew, possibly means “serpent’s mouth”

Randolf- English, “wolf’s shield”

Renard- French, “fox”; originally from the Germanic Reginard, meaning “advice, brave, hardy.”  A Medieval character Reynard the Fox was the source for the present meaning in France.

Roscoe- Old Norse, “from the deer forest”

Todd- English, from a surname meaning “fox”

Tzvi- Hebrew, “deer”

Usama- Arabic, “lion”

Vespasian- Latin, possibly realted to vespa “wasp”

Wolfgang- German, “wolf’s path”


ETA: Zipporah, Tzipporah, at Lola’s suggestion.  Added Rachel, Merle, and Tzvi at Miriam’s suggestion.  Also changed a few meanings to be accurate thanks to Miriam.  :-)