A primer on Esperanto names

As everyone probably knows, Esperanto is the most widely-spoken artificial language in the world. About two million people speak Esperanto, including about 2,000 native speakers. Its name means “one who hopes.” The language was created in the late 1870s and early 1880s by L.L. Zamenhof, a Polish ophthalmologist. He knew Russian, Yiddish, French, German, Italian, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Polish, and English, and was determined his new language must have a simpler grammar than any of the others. It was intended as an international language, but Zamenhof’s dream still hasn’t come true, in spite of the amount of people who can speak Esperanto.

Esperanto is the language used in my hiatused WIP Greentown (probably needs a better title). It’s set from 2023–26 in a large, self-sustaining commune-like area of Australia, where all the houses are made of recycled materials or living plants growing around the frames, and the religion is classic rock. The major towns are grouped by which band the residents love most. My protagonist lives in Beatleville. I’d describe it as a dystopia in the classic sense, but since dystopia now has a much different association, I’ll probably have to call it speculative fiction. It’s a utopia gone creepily wrong, but that’s sadly no longer what most folks think of when they hear the word dystopia.

Esperanto alphabet:

Esperanto uses the Roman alphabet, with 28 letters. The odd letters out are ĉ (CH), ĝ (GH), ĥ (HH), ĵ (JH), ŝ (SH), and ŭ (U). Missing are the letters Q, W, X, and Y.

Esperantizing names:

Many people joining the Esperanto movement simply Esperantize their names. Traditionally, all Esperanto names end in O, but many women don’t like that, and use names ending in A instead. There are also some names native to Esperanto, not merely versions of other names.

Nicknames:

Male nicknames typically end in -ĉjo, and female nicknames usually end in -njo.

Common Esperanto names and their nicknames:

Female:

Adela
Adorinda (Adorable)
Adriana
Agata
Aleksandra
Alica
Amelia
Amika (Friendly)
Aminda (Lovable)
Ariana
Beatrica
Brava (Brave; Valiant)
Brigita
Ĉarlota
Cecilia
Celestina
Ĉiela (Heavenly)
Cintia
Dafnea
Daniela
Dezirinda (Desirable)
Dorotea
Eleonora
Elisabeta
Emilia
Esperanta (Hoping)
Fajra (Fiery)
Franciska
Freja
Gaja (Glad)
Glorinda (Worthy of glory)
Helena, Halina, Ilona
Heloiza
Irina
Irisa
Johanina
Jolanda
Judita
Julia
Juvela (Jewel-like)
Kandaĵa (Made of candy)
Karesinda (Worthy of a caress)
Katarina
Katida (Kittenish)
Konstancia
Kordelia
Kristina
Laŭra
Lidia
Lucia
Luksa (Luxurious)
Maraĵa (Made of the sea)
Margareta
Maria
Merita (Meritorious)
Miela (Honey-sweet)
Mirinda (Wonderful)
Ofelia
Orabela (Golden-beautiful)
Paŭla
Penelopea
Petra
Pipra (Peppery)
Raĥela (Rachel)
Rava (Ravishing)
Rebeka
Rozabela (Rosy-beautiful)
Rubena (Like a ruby)
Safira (Like a sapphire)
Sprita (Witty)
Stelara (Like a constellation)
Suzana
Tereza
Tondra (Like thunder)
Valeria
Valora (Valuable)
Venka (Victorious)
Veronika
Vespera (Of the evening)
Viktoria
Violeta

Male:

Adamo
Aleksandro (Aleĉjo)
Antono (Anĉjo)
Arturo
Aŭgusteno
Bartolomeo
Benedikto
Benjameno
Bruno
Cezaro
Cirilo
Davido
Dimitro
Eduardo
Francisko
Georgo
Henriko
Horacio
Johano (Joĉjo)
Jozefo (Joĉjo)
Karlo
Klaŭdio
Koralo (Coral)
Kornelio
Kritoforo
Laerto
Lino
Ludoviko (Luĉjo) (Louis)
Miĥaelo, Mikelo (Miĉjo)
Nikolao (Niĉjo)
Paŭlo (Paĉjo)
Petro
Polonio
Rafaelo
Roberto
Teodoro
Vilhelmo (Vilĉjo) (William)
Zaĥario

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4 thoughts on “A primer on Esperanto names

  1. That’s so nice. I didn’t know so many people speak Esperanto.
    When I was a kid, in the 1980s, there was a big push to learn Esperanto, though sadly I never did. But after that time, I’ve never heard of Esperanto again.

    Really there are people who speak Esperanto as a native language? Who are they? 🙂

    Like

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