Meaning: “Wide shining.”
Nicknames: Pasi, Posy, Phae, Fae
Detail: In Greek myth, Pasiphae is the daughter of Helios and Perse, and wife of King Minos. When Minos had the misfortune of insulting Poseidon, the god kindled a passionate love in Pasiphae for a bull. She had Daedalus design a construction so that she could mate with the bull, and thus she became the mother of the Minotaur.
Origin: Greek; Norse
Meaning: “Pure; Hen.”
Details: Scandinavian diminutive of Katarina; from the Greek katharos meaning “Pure”.
It could also be derived from Old Norse kaða meaning “hen”.
3 French Hens refers to Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
Meaning: “Small island.”
Detail: From Edgar Allan Poe’s Al Aaraaf, there is an angel named Nesace, who is Beauty personified.
Meaning: “Good harvest.”
Nicknames: Euli, Eulia, Eusie, Sto, Stolie, Story, Lottie, Lia
From the Greek name Eustachys meaning “good harvest”. Male version is Eustolios. This is related to the name Eustace.
Little is known of Eustolia and her sister Soprata, however they were revered as saints since the 7th century.
Meaning: “Descended from stone.”
Nicknames: Liv, Livi, Pilvi, Pelle, Ole, Olive
Detail: Combination of per, from the Greek petros “stone, rock”, and oliv, form of Olaf, from the Old Norse AnulaiƀaR meaning “ancestor’s descendent”
Nicknames: Ox, Oxi, Oka, Xana, Xani
Ukrainian form of the Greek Xenia, meaning “hospitality “.
Xenia was a 5th century saint.
- Aksinya (Russian)
- Ksenia (Polish)
- Ksenija (Slovene, Croatian)
- Oksana (Ukrainian, Russian)
- Oxana (Ukrainian, Russian)
- Senja (Finnish)
- Xena (Modern)
- Xene (Greek)
- Xenia (Greek)
- Zena (English)
- Zenia (English)
Meaning: “Dragon, serpent.”
Detail: From the Greek name Drakon which meant “dragon, serpent”.
In the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, Draco Malfoy is a popular character.
This was the name of a 7th-century BC Athenian legislator.
This is also the name of a constellation in the northern sky.
Meaning: “Jewel, gem.”
Pronunciation: (OH-puh-leen); (OH-puh-line)
Nicknames: Opal, Opie
Detail: The word derives from Sanskrit upala meaning “jewel”, which also gave the Greek opallios, the Latin opalus, and the English opal.
The opal is an iridescent gemstone, popular for many centuries. It is the birthstone of October.
Origin: Russian from Greek
Nicknames: Uli, Ula, Una, Iana
Russian form of Julius, possibly derived from Greek ιουλος (ioulos) “downy-bearded”.
Meaning: “Pledge; hostage.”
Nicknames: Hom, Homie
Detail: A Greek name derived from homeros meaning “hostage” or “pledge”.
Homer was the Greek epic poet who wrote the ‘Iliad’, about the Trojan War, and the ‘Odyssey’, about Odysseus’ journey home after the war.
This name is borne by the cartoon father on the television series ‘The Simpsons’.
- Homer (English, Ancient Greek)
- Homeros (Ancient Greek)
Nicknames: Ophie, Phe, Lia,
Detail: Derived from Greek ophelos meaning “help”.
This name was probably created by the 15th-century poet Jacopo Sannazaro for a character in his poem “Arcadia”.
It was borrowed by Shakespeare for his play Hamlet, in which it belongs to Hamlet’s lover who eventually goes insane and drowns herself.
- Ofélia (Portugese)
- Ofelia (Spanish, Italian)
- Ophelia (English)
- Ophélie (French) [oh-fay-LEE]
Meaning: “Good order.”
Nicknames: Nomi, Gnomes, Eumi, Mia
Detail: Eunomia was the goddess of law and legislation.
Meaning: “Able to survive.”
Pronunciation: (ZOH-suh-muhs) Listen
Nicknames: Zo, Zosi
Detail: A Greek name derived from zosimos meaning “viable” or “likely to survive”.
This was the name of several early saints and a pope.
- Sosimo (Spanish)
- Zosimo (Spanish)
- Zosimos (Ancient Greek)
- Zosimus (Ancient Greek)
- Zosime (Ancient Greek) [ZOH-suh-mee]
Nicknames: Eki, Coco
Detail: Means “echo” from the word for the repeating reflected sound, which derives from Greek eche “sound”.
In Greek mythology Echo was a nymph given a speech impediment by Hera, so that she could only repeat what others said. She fell in love with Narcissus, but her love was not returned, and she pined away until nothing remained of her except her voice.
Meaning: “Sapphire, blue gemstone.”
Pronunciation: (sah-FEER-ah); (sah-FAHY-rah)
Nicknames: Saph, Saphi, Safa, Phira
Detail: Sapphira was a character in Acts in the New Testament.
In the book Eragon, the main character’s blue dragon is named Saphira.
Sapphire gemstone is the birthstone for the month of September.
Nicknames: Eut, Tyki, Yuki
Detail: The Greek personification and Goddess of Happiness. In Roman mythology her equivalent was Felicitas.
Meaning: “Order, universe.”
Nicknames: Cos, Cosi, Coso, Coco, Mo
Detail: From the Greek name kosmos meaning “order, universe”.
Saint Cosmas was martyred with his twin brother Damian in the 4th century. They are the patron saints of physicians.
- Cosmas (Greek)
- Cosmo (English)
- Cosimo (Italian)
- Cosima (Italian)
- Cosma (Italian)
Detail: From the Greek σως (sos) “safe, whole, unwounded”
Sose was an Oreiad (mountain) or Naiad (water) nymph of Arkadia and highland prophetess loved by the god Hermes. She bore him one of the Panes.
Meaning: “Rich of corn, fruitful; steadfast.”
Nicknames: Euso, Eui, Eusie
Detail: Saint Eustace was a 2nd-century martyr, a Roman general who became a Christian after seeing a vision of a cross between the antlers of a stag he was hunting. He was burned to death for refusing to worship the Roman gods and is now regarded as the patron saint of hunters. Due to him, this name was common in England during the Middle Ages, though it is presently rare.
Feminine form is Eustacia (yoo-STAY-shah).