Matryona


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Russian from Latin

Meaning: “Mother.”

Pronunciation: (mah-tree-OH-nuh)

Nicknames: Mona, Mattie, Trya, Tony

Detail: The name Matryona is related to the Latin root mater meaning “mother”.

Matryona’s Place (sometimes Matryona’s Home or House) is a story written in 1959 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. It is the tale of an old peasant woman’s determined struggle against cold, hunger, and greedy relatives.

Freyja


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Norse

Meaning: “Lady.”

Pronunciation: (FREY-yah)

Nicknames: Frey, Fay, Reya, Ray

Detail: Freyja is a goddess in Norse mythology associated with love, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr (witchcraft), war, and death.

In most Germanic languages the day is named after Freyja, such as Frīatag (Old High German), Freitag (Modern German), Freyjudagr (Old Norse), Vrijdag (Dutch), Fredag (Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish)

Variations:

  • Freia
  • Freja
  • Freya
  • Freyja

Ludovic


Gender: Masculine

Origin: Germanic

Meaning: “Famed warrior.”

Pronunciation: (LOO-doh-vik)

Nicknames: Ludo, Lu, Dov, Vic

Detail: From the Germanic name Chlodovech, composed of the elements hlud “fame” and wig “warrior”.

In the Harry Potter series, Ludovic Bagman was a quidditch beater for the Wimbourne Wasps and Head of the Department of Games and Sports within the Ministry of Magic.

Finn


Gender: Masculine

Origin: Old Norse

Meaning: “Fair; Wanderer.”

Pronunciation: (fin)

Detail: Huckleberry Finn is the title character of the Mark Twain novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

In the Prose Edda, Finn is of the lineage of Thor.

Male Variations:

  • Finn
  • Finnr (Old Norse)
  • Finnur
  • Fionn (Gaelic)

Female Variations:

  • Finn
  • Finna

Holden


Gender: Masculine

Origin: English

Meaning: “Deep valley.”

Pronunciation: (HOLE-den)

Nicknames: Hold

Detail: Holden is an English surname which was first taken from the same English place name. It is made up of the Old English elements hol “deep, hollow” and denu “valley”.

Holden Caulfield was the main character in the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

Artaxias


Majesty by Wolfgang Weber

Gender: Masculine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “Great warrior; lion-king.”

Pronunciation: (ar-TAKS-ee-as)

Nicknames: Arto, Art, Artie, Tax

Detail: Artaxes (ar-TAK-seez) is the Greek form of Persian Artachshatra. In the bible, this is the name of the son and successor of Khshayarsha as emperor of Persia. His Hebrew name is Artachshashta.

Rodion


Gender: Masculine

Origin: Russian

Meaning: “Song of the hero.”

Pronunciation: (RAH-dee-on)

Nicknames: Rod, Rodo

Detail: Rodion comes from the Greek name Heroides meaning “song of the hero” from heros “hero, warrior” and oides “song, ode”.

Rodion is the central character of Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoevsky.

Eulalia


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “Eloquent; well-spoken.”

Pronunciation: (yoo-LAY-lee-uh)

Nicknames: Eula, Eulie, Lali

Detail: Eulalie is the French feminine form of Latin Eulalius, meaning “well-spoken.”

“Eulalie” is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe. The poem is a bridal song about a man who overcomes his sadness by marrying the beautiful Eulalie. The woman’s love has a transformative effect on the narrator, taking him from a “world of moan” to one of happiness.

Variations:

  • Eulalia (English, Italian, and Spanish)
  • Eulàlia (Catalan)
  • Eulália (Portuguese)
  • Eulalie (English and French) [Eng (YOO-lah-lee); Fre (OO-lah-lee)]
  • Eulalja (Polish)
  • Evlaliya (Russian)
  • Olalla (Spanish)

The short forms:

  • Eula (English)
  • Eulah (English)
  • Eulia (English, Italian, and Spanish)
  • Laia (Catalan)
  • Lalia (English, Italian, and Spanish),
  • Ula (Spanish)

Rorimac


Gender: Masculine

Origin: Literay – Tolkien

Meaning: “Son of red king.”

Pronunciation: (ROR-ih-mak)

Nicknames: Rory, Mac

Detail: Possibly derived from the Gaelic rori meaning “red king” and mac “son of”

Rorimac is grandfather of Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck. He was present at Bilbo’s famous Birthday Party, and was noted as being the first to suspect that Bilbo’s disappearance at that party meant that “Mad Baggins” had gone off on another adventure. He was nearly a hundred years old at that time, and commonly known as “Old Rory”.

Idunn


Idun by Arthur Rackham

Gender: Feminine

Origin: Norse

Meaning: “Ever young; rejuvenator.”

Pronunciation: (EE-doon) [“oo” short like in “book”]

Detail: In Norse mythology Idunn is the goddess of spring and wife of Bragi. She is the keeper of the apples of the gods. Whoever eats of these apples will be granted eternal life and youth.

Variations:

  • Idonea
  • Idonia
  • Idony (ID-uh-nee)
  • Idun
  • Idunn
  • Ithun (EE-thoon)
  • Ydun

Miranda


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Latin

Meaning: “Adorable.”

Pronunciation: (mih-RAN-da)

Nicknames: Mira, Miri, Mia,

Detail: The name is derived from the root word mirari “to admire; to wonder at”; it was invented by Shakespeare for the daughter of Prospero in his play The Tempest.

Miranda is the smallest and innermost of Uranus’ five major moons.

Gawain


Beheading of the Green Knight, Cotton Nero

Gender: Masculine

Origin: Welsh

Meaning: “White hawk of battle.”

Pronunciation: (GOW-wihn)

Detail: Gawain is King Arthur‘s nephew and a Knight of the Round Table. He is one of a select few of the Round Table members to be referred to as the greatest knight. And he is quite a chivalrous knight, most notably in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Mafalda


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Germanic

Meaning: “Mighty in battle.”

Pronunciation: (mah-FAHL-dah)

Nicknames: Maffy, Mafa

Detail: Mafalda is a Spanish and Italian variant form of Matilda, from the Germanic maht “strength” and hild “battle”.

In Rowling’s Harry Potter Mafalda Hopkirk is an improper Use of Magic Office employee at the Ministry of Magic.

Francesca


Paolo and Francesca by Charles Edward Halle

Gender: Feminine

Origin: Latin

Meaning: “From France.”

Pronunciation: (frahn-CHES-kah)

Nicknames: Cesca, Cesi, Chess, Frankie

Detail: Francesca (and Paolo) were historical contemporaries of Dante Alighieri.

Francesca was blatantly tricked into marrying Gianciotto, who was disfigured and uncouth, when the handsome and elegant Paolo (Gianciotto’s brother) was sent in his brother’s place to settle the nuptial contract. Angered at finding herself wed the following day to Gianciotto, Francesca made no attempt to restrain her affections for Paolo and the two in fact soon became lovers. Informed of this liaison, Gianciotto one day caught them together in Francesca’s bedroom (unaware that Paolo got stuck in his attempt to escape down a ladder, she let Gianciotto in the room); when Gianciotto lunged at Paolo with a sword, Francesca stepped between the two men and was killed instead, much to the dismay of her husband, who then promptly finished off Paolo as well.

Tinuviel


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Literary

Meaning: “Daughter of the starry twilight.”

Pronunciation: (tih-NOO-vee-el)

Nicknames: Tini, Tin, Tinu, Nuvi

Detail: Luthien Tinuviel, a half-elven princess, was “the fairest maiden that has ever been among all the children of this world.” It literally means “daughter of the starry twilight”, which signifies “nightingale”.

Rosmerta


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Celtic / Roman / Gaulish

Meaning: “The Great Provider.”

Nicknames: Rose, Rosie, Romy

Detail: A goddess of healing, water, & sacred springs.

In Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Madam Rosmerta is the landlady of The Three Broomsticks pub in the village of Hogsmeade.