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What meanings do English names have? Jack, Ethan, Emily, Rachel, etc... A South African woman once told me Stephanie was a name for pretty girls.
And I have heard similar thing about names: Sally for cute children, Rachel for pretty children, Emily first shy girls. Katrina for smart ones, something like that.

Maybe it is related to its origin of the name, I guess. Otherwise, it might be just nuances or sensation that the names have. 

Tell me the diverse meanings of English names or German, Spanish, Italian, French ones, and anything. 
Mar 22, 2019 1:01 PM
Comments · 16

In the United States, we don't pay much attention to the meaning of peoples' names.

Many of them do have meanings. When we are trying to decide what to name a baby, we may check in a book to make sure the meaning is something we like. However, it is not something we think about it much.

For example, Daniel means "God is my judge," and Smith means "someone whose occupation is metalworking." However, when I introduce myself, nobody thinks "God is his judge, and he works in metal." 

The primary "meaning" of many names is simply "it reminds us of the name of another person." People will often name a child "after" an older family member. It can be a compliment to the family member. It can be a family tradition. If I had named my son "Daniel Smith," he would be known as "Daniel Smith, Jr." The "meaning" of his name would not be "God is his judge, he works in metal," it would be "He's the son of someone else who is also named Daniel Smith."

People sometimes give their children the same name as a celebrity they admire. 

People sometimes give their children names simply because they like the sound of them. In the United States, it is quite common for parents simply to invent a completely new name, for example, just for the sound.

Names are often influenced by a wish to suggest something about the national origin or other tradition a person belongs to. If someone is named Colin or Patrick or Sean, I think "that's an Irish-American name."

There are a few names that are simply English words, and have the same meaning as the words. These are usually "virtue names," names that correspond to good qualities. These are most commonly women's names, and some common ones are Faith, Hope, Prudence, and Patience. They are somewhat old-fashioned. However, once again, I mostly think of them just as names. I don't expect a woman named Prudence to be prudent, or a woman named Patience to be patient.


March 25, 2019
Gaetano (tano is actually a short form -- today I discovered it is technically called a hypocorism) comes from the Latin Caietanus, i.e. citizen of Gaeta (a city near Rome). Actually its roots seems to be in Ancient Greek, since Gaeta in turn derives from Καιήτη, which was the name of Aeneas' nurse.
March 25, 2019

All names have meanings. There is no name that has no meaning.

A little book (or website) that lists names and their meanings, is what parents read when deciding what to name their children. Names in English speaking people come from Irish, AngloSaxon and Scottish heritage, as well as Greek, latin and Hebrew. And some minor additional influences.

My name is Greek in origin and means "a person who loves horses".

March 25, 2019

Some men's names might be related to "brave" "strong" "reason", something like that. Can you find such examples in guys' names?

Yes and no, but the short answer is "mostly, no."

First, these actual words would be very, very unusual as mens' first names. I won't say never.

Second, these meanings might be hidden in names that are in a foreign language. For example, the very common woman's name "Sophia" means "wisdom" in Greek. I am very sure there are men's names that mean "brave," "strong," or "wise" in Greek or Latin or Hebrew, but I can't think of them offhand. I would have to look at a baby-naming guide. I'm about to do a web search.

I should have known: "Andrew" means "manly and brave" and is derived from Greek. That "andr-" or "anthr-" root means "man" or "male." "Ethan," according to the baby-name sites anyway, is Hebrew and means "strong." "Bernard," "strong as a bear." And "Albert" means "intelligent."

Third, "virtue names" actually are connected with a specific group, English Puritans. They had some names that sound very unusual to modern ears. The practice continues to a very limited extent, and some people will re-use old family names. It is very rare to meet men with first names like "Increase" or "Steadfast" or "Justice" but I have run into them. "Make-peace" is familiar as the middle name of the writer William Makepeace Thackeray. "Earnest," spelled with an "a," and thus exactly the same as the word meaning "sincere" or "serious," is not common but not rare; the most famous example is the character in Oscar Wilde's play "The Importance of Being Earnest." It is more often spelled "Ernest," however.


March 26, 2019
@ Dan
Your comment is really interesting for me. Especially, it draws my attention much; "virtue names" like Faith, Hope, Prudence, and Patience, are most commonly women's names.These days I am very interested in sexism in art history. Actually lots of women artists disappeared behind art history by men art historians and sexism. Thank you for having me find new information.

Some men's names might be related to "brave" "strong" "reason", something like that. Can you find such examples in guys' names?
March 26, 2019
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