A primer on Swahili names

Swahili, or Kiswahili, is a Bantu language and lingua franca in eastern and southeastern Africa. The Swahili, or Waswahili, people primarily live in Kenya, Mozambique, Congo, and Tanzania (esp. Zanzibar). Other nation-states where Swahili is spoken include Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Sudan, and Malawi. Outside of Africa, significant groups also live in Oman, Madagascar, Mayotte, and Comoros.

The first recorded documents in Swahili are from 1711, at the time written in Arabic script. In June 1928, an inter-territorial conference chose the Zanzibar dialect of Kiunguja as the basis for standard Swahili. Today, the language is written in Roman script, minus Q and X.

In addition to the familiar CH, SH, TH, and KH, other compound letters are DH, GH, MB, MV, ND, NG, NJ, NY, and NZ.

My unplanned secondary character Marjani Washington, her older sister Subira, and their little brother Zuberi were given Swahili names when they were born in the 1950s. Their parents wanted to give them names more in line with their ethnic heritage instead of blending into mainstream American culture. They also eat a lot of traditional African foods, use the relatively new word “Black” instead of “Negro,” and celebrate Kwanzaa. The women in the family wear their hair in cornrows, in an era when many African–American women straightened their hair.

A sampling of Swahili names:

Unisex:

Chuki (Born during a time of hatred)
Enzi (Powerful)
Hekima (Wisdom)
Imani (Faith)
Kaombwe
Makini (Strength of character)
Nyoka (Snake; much more common as a surname)
Shida (Suffering)
Tatu (Three; traditionally used for a third-born child)
Tisa (Nine; traditionally used for a ninth-born child)

Female:

Adhra (Apology)
Adia (Valuable gift)
Amondi (Wishes)
Anza
Asatira (Legend, history)
Asha, Eshe (Life)
Atiena (Guardian of the night)

Chaniya (Wealthy)
Chausiku (Born at night)
Dalili (Omen)
Fahari (Splendour)
Furaha (Happiness, joy)

Jana (Yesterday)
Jasiri (Courageous, bold)
Kadesha
Kamaria (Moon)
Kiah (Dawn)
Kibibi (Little lady)
Kiojah (Miracle)

Maisha (Life)
Mariamu (Miriam)
Marjani (Coral)
Mchumba (Sweetheart)
Mwanajuma (Born on Friday)

Naki (Traditionally used for the firstborn girl in a family)
Nashipie (Joy)
Nathari (Prose)
Nayfa (Benefit)
Nelah (Gift with purpose)
Nia, Nyah (Purpose)
Niara (Of high purpose)
Nuru (Light)

Paskalia
Sanaa (Artwork)
Sarabi (Mirage)
Sarafina (Bright star; completely unrelated to the Hebrew name Serafina)
Sauda (Dark complexion)
Shani (Wonder)
Skolastika (Orator, rhetorician)
Subira (Patience)

Tambika (Offering)
Tatanisha
Tuere (Sacred)
Wambui
Zawadi
Zuri (Beautiful)

Male:

Amri (Authority, power, command)
Athumani (Third one)
Dai (Demand)
Dunia (Earth, world)
Faraji (Consolation)

Hadithi
Harambee (Let’s pull together)
Imamu (Spiritual leader)
Isaya (Isaiah)
Jelani (Mighty)
Jengo (Building)
Jumaane (Born on Tuesday)

Khamisi (Born on Thursday)
Kibwe (Blessed)
Kijani (Warrior)
Kovu (Scar)
Mosi (First child)
Mulele (Man who runs quickly)
Mwenye (Lord, owner)

Nwabudike (The strength of a father comes from his son)
Sadaka (Religious offering)
Sadiki (Believe)
Sefu (Sword)
Simba (Lion)

Tendaji (Make things happen)
Tukufu (Exalted)
Yakobo (Jakob)
Yohana (John)
Zahur (Flower)
Zuberi (Strong)

A primer on Danish names

Danish is said to be the trickiest of the main Scandinavian languages to learn. Like French, spelling doesn’t always match pronunciation. It’s mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Swedish, though Norwegians tend to understand the other languages much better than Danes or Swedes understand one another. Danes and Swedes also understand Norwegian better than one another’s languages.

My character Elżbieta (later Elizabeth) Robleńska is smuggled into the Jutland peninsula of Denmark in late 1943, at age thirteen, travelling on the passport of her unlikely rescuer’s dead daughter Ernestine. Her hero, Rudolf Schaller, saved her younger friend Malchen (Amalia) von Hinderburg at Majdanek because Malchen was with Elizabeth and her sister Jadwiga, and Elizabeth was a dead ringer for his daughter who’d recently died of scarlet fever.

In Denmark, her relationship with Hr. Schaller takes a very taboo turn, with extremely complicated consequences. After a few months, Hr. Schaller reports back to his superiors with a story about a mental breakdown, and Elizabeth goes to join her younger siblings in Sweden, again using the dead Ernestine’s passport.

Alphabet:

Danish uses the Roman alphabet, with additional letters Å, Ø, and Æ æ. An accent aigu may be used to stress the importance of a word, or differentiate stresses in a pair of homographs (words with the same spelling but different meanings).

Surnames:

Like other Scandinavian surnames, Danish names are by and large patronymical in origin, with the suffix -sen. Examples include Antonsen, Frederiksen, Davidsen, Kjeldsen, Jørgensen, Nielsen, Ottosen, Robertsen, Sørensen, and Thorsen. Other surnames are derived from professions (e.g., Schmidt, Møller, Fisker) or nature (e.g., Holt [woods], Hjort [deer], Dahl [valley], Lund [grove of trees], Stenberg [stone mountain]).

Sampling of common names and their diminutives:

Female:

Abelone (Lone) (Apollonia)
Agathe
Agnete, Agnethe (Agnes)
Aina
Alberte
Alexandra
Anna (Anika, Ane)
Annelise (Annelie)
Antonia (Nina)
Asløg
Astrid (Asta)

Barbara
Beata
Benedikte, Bente
Birgitta, Birgitte, Birgit, Berit (Birte, Birthe, Brita, Britta, Britt, Gitte)
Bodil (Battle remedy)

Cecilie, Cecilia (Cille, Silje, Sille)
Charlotte (Lotte)
Dagmar
Dagny
Diana
Dorothea, Dorete, Dorte, Dorthe (Ditte, Dorit, Tea, Thea)

Edith (Ditte)
Eleonora, Ellinor (Nora)
Elin (Eli, Ella)
Elisabet (Eli, Elise, Else, Ella, Lis, Lisa, Lise, Lissi, Lisbet)
Elva (Elf)
Embla (may mean “elm”)
Emilie
Emma
Erika
Erna (Ernestine; also a separate name meaning “hale, vigourous, brisk”)
Ester
Eva

Frederikke (Rikke)
Freja
Frida

Gerda, Gerd (Enclosure)
Gry (Dawn)
Gudrun (God’s secret lore)
Gunhild, Gunnhild (Gunda, Gunna) (War battle)
Gunvor (Gunna) (Cautious in war)
Gyda (Beautiful goddess)

Hanna, Hanne
Hedvig
Helena (Lene, Lena)
Helga, Hella, Helle, Laila (Hege)
Henrike
Hilda
Hildegard (Battle enclosure)
Hjørdis (Sword goddess)
Hulda (Secrecy, hiding)

Ida
Inga, Inge
Ingebjørg, Ingeborg (Inga, Inge)
Ingegerd, Inger
Ingrid, Inger
Irene
Iris
Isabella

Jacobine (Bine)
Johanne (Hanne, Janne, Jannicke, Jannike, Jonna)
Josefine
Judit
Julie, Julia
Jytte

Kamilla (Milla)
Karla
Karoline (Line)
Katarina, Kathrine, Katrine (Kaja, Karen, Karina, Trine)
Kirsten, Kirstine, Kristin, Kristina, Kristine (Stine, Stina, Tine)
Klara

Lærke (Lark)
Laura
Lea
Liselotte (Lotte)
Lovise (Louisa)
Lucia
Lykke (Happiness, good fortune)

Magdalena (Magda, Malene)
Maren (Marna) (Marina)
Margarethe, Margareta, Margrethe, Margit, Merete (Grete, Grethe, Meta, Mette, Rita)
Maria (Maiken, Majken, Maja, Mia)
Marianne
Martha
Mathilde (Tilde)
Mikaela, Mikkeline
Monika (Mona)

Nanna (Daring, brave)
Olivia
Paula, Pauline
Petronilla (Pernille)
Pia

Ragnhild (Ragna) (Battle advice)
Rakel (Rachel)
Randi (Beautiful advice)
Rebekka
Regina
Rosa
Runa (Secret lore)
Ruth

Sara
Selma
Signe, Signy (New victory)
Sigrid (Siri) (Beautiful victory)
Sigrun (Secret victory)
Silvie, Silvia
Siv, Sif (Bride)
Sofie
Solvej (Sun strength)
Stefanie
Susanne (Sanne, Susann)

Terese, Teresa
Thora, Tora
Thyra, Tyra (Holy Thor or Strong Thor)
Torborg (Thor’s protection)
Tordis (Thor’s goddess)
Turid (Tove) (Beautiful Thor)

Ulrikke (Ulla)
Ursula
Vera
Veronika
Vibeke
Viktoria (Vivi)
Vita (Vivi)

Male:

Adam
Adrian
Agner
Aksel (Axel)
Albert
Albin
Alexander (Sander)
Alf (Elf)
Alfred
Anders (Andrew)
Ansgar, Asger (God’s spear)
Anton
Arne
Aron
Arthur
Arvid (Eagle tree)
Asbjørn, Esben, Espen (Bear god)
Åsmund
August

Bendt, Bent (Benedict)
Benjamin
Bernhard, Bernt
Bertil (Bertolt)
Birger (Rescue, save, help)
Bjørn (Bjarke, Bjarne) (Bear)

Casper, Jesper, Kasper
Christian, Karsten, Carsten, Kresten, Kristen, Kristian (Christer)
Christoffer, Kristoffer
Clemens, Klemens

Dag (Day)
Dagfinn
Daniel (Dan)
David

Edvard
Edvin
Egil
Eilert (Brave edge of a sword)
Einar (One warrior or Warrior alone)
Ejvind (Victor’s island or Victor’s good fortune)
Elias
Eluf (Always a descendant)
Emanuel
Emil
Enok
Erik, Jerrik
Erland, Erlend (Foreigner)
Erling (Descendant of the chieftain)
Ernst

Felix
Filip, Philip
Finn
Flemming
Frans (Francis)
Frederik
Frej (Lord)
Fridtjof, Fritjof (Thief of peace)
Frode (Wise, learnèd)

Gabriel
Georg
Gerhard
Gregers
Gudbrand, Gulbrand (God’s sword)
Gudmund (God’s protection)
Gunnar (War warrior)
Gustav

Hagen (Haakon) (High descendant)
Harald
Heino
Helge
Hemming
Henrik (Henning)
Herman
Hjalmar (Helmeted warrior)
Holger (Spear island)
Hugo

Inge
Ingolf (Inge)
Ingvar (Inge)
Isak
Ivar (Warrior’s bow)

Jakob (Ib, Jeppe)
Jarl (Chieftain)
Joakim, Jokum (Kim)
Johannes, Jan, Jens, Johan, Jon (Hans, Hanne, Jannick, Jannik)
Jonas
Jonatan
Jørgen (Jørg, Jørn)
Josef

Kai
Kåre (Curly, curved)
Karl, Carl
Keld, Kjeld (Kettle, cauldron)
Knud (Knot)
Konrad

Lars, Lasse, Lauritz, Lorens (Lawrence)
Leif (Heir, descendant)
Lennart (Leonard)
Leo
Linus
Loke (Loki)
Ludvig (Louis)
Lukas

Markus, Mark
Mathias, Matthias (Mads)
Maximilian (Max)
Mikael, Mikkel
Mogens, Magnus
Morten, Martin

Nels, Niels, Nils, Klaus, Claus (Nicholas)
Njord (Vigourous, strong)
Olaf, Olav, Olf, Oluf (Ancestor’s descendant)
Oliver
Oskar
Osvald (God’s power)
Otto

Paul, Poul (Palle)
Peder, Per, Peer, Peter
Preben (First battle)
Ragnar (Army advice)
Ragnvald (Ruler’s advice)
Ralf
Rasmus (Erasmus) (Belovèd)
Rikard
Robert
Roger
Rolf
Ruben
Rudolf
Rune (Secret lore)

Salomon
Samuel
Sebastian
Sigmund (Victory protector)
Sigurd (Victory guardian)
Simon
Søren (Severin)
Stefan, Steffen
Sten, Steen (Stone)
Stig (Path)
Svend (Boy)

Tarben, Thorben, Torben, Torbjørn (Thor’s bear)
Theodor, Teodor
Thomas
Thor, Tor, Thore, Tore (Thunder)
Thorsten, Torsten (Thor’s stone)
Thorvald, Torvald (Thor’s ruler)
Tobias
Troels (Thor’s shaft)
Trygve (Trustworthy)
Tyge (Tycho) (Hitting the mark)

Ulf, Uffe (Wolf)
Ulrik
Urban

Valdemar (“Famous rule” or a Scandinavian form of Vladimir)
Valentin
Valter (Walter)
Verner (Werner)
Vidar (Wide warrior)
Viktor
Vilfred
Vilhelm
Vilmar (Famous desire)
Vincent
Yngve

A primer on Turkmeni names

Turkmen belongs to the East Oghuz branch of the Turkic language family, and is most closely related to Turkish and Azeri. Besides the Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan, it’s also spoken in diaspora communities in Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Ukraine. Historically, Turkmenistan has been at the crossroads of civilisations, and the now-destroyed city of Merv was an important stop on the Silk Road and one of the great cities in the Islamic world.

Some of the children in Mrs. Brezhneva’s Kyiv orphanage in my first three Russian historicals are Turkmenis, kidnapped from their families during the Civil War and early years of the USSR. When the orphanage partially relocates to Isfahan, Iran, during the Great Terror in 1937, one of the forty children is Turkmeni.

Alphabet:

Turkmeni was written in Arabic script from the early 20th century until 1929, and then replaced by the Latin alphabet until 1938. Due to the cruel forced Russification policies of Stalin (who wasn’t even Russian himself), the Cyrillic alphabet replaced Latin in 1938, and stood until 1991. After the fall of the USSR, the Latin alphabet was reintroduced, though the transition has been quite slow.

Turkmeni used to have some symbols in place of letters ($ ¢ for Ş ş; £ for Ž; and ¥ ÿ for Ý ý), but these were all replaced by more familiar, common letters in 1995.

The Turkmeni alphabet is based upon Turkish, though it uses a J instead of C; W instead of V; Ž instead of J; Y instead of I; and Ý instead of Y. Ä and Ň have also been added. Other characters are Ç, Ö, Ş, and Ü.

Surnames:

Due to having been under Russian domination since 1881, many Turkmeni surnames take the Russified endings -ov(a), -in(a), and (y)ev(a), but with Turkic, Persian, and Arabic twists. Since 1991, the -ov(a) ending is now -ow(a). Surnames include Ibragimov, Abdulov, Muhadov, Niyazov, Abdulin, Abdulayev, Garayev, Ismayilov, Kerbabayev, and Ovezov.

Sample names:

Male:

Agageldi
Akmyrat
Alibek
Altimurat
Alty (Six)
Amangeldy, Amangeldi (Aman)
Annaberdi
Annaguly
Annakurban
Arslan (Lion)
Arslanbek
Awdy
Azat (Free)

Bahargül (Spring flower)
Bashim, Beşim, Byashim (Five)
Batyr
Begenç (Happiness)
Berdi, Berdy (Gave)

Çariýar
Çarymyrat
Dangatar
Daniyar (Denmark)
Döwlet
Durdy (Stopped)
Durdymammet, Durdymamet (Durdy)

Elnur
Esenmyrat
Eziz (Beloved, respected, powerful)

Gurban
Gurbanguly
Gurbanmyrat
Gurbannazar
Guwanç

Hojamamed
Hojamuhammet
Işanguly
Izzat

Jakhan, Dzhakhan
Jamaldin, Dzhamaldin, Djamaldin
Jasurbek

Kakayev
Kasymguly
Khadyr
Khalnazar
Khodjamyrat
Khodzhakuli, Khodjakuli

Magtymguly
Makhammetgeldi
Maksat
Marat, Meret
Mekan (Place)
Merdan
Mergen (Sharp-eyed)
Muhammet
Muhammetnazar
Murgen (Sharp-eyed)
Myratgeldy

Nazar
Nedirbay
Nepes
Nurmuhammet
Nurmyrat
Nursahat
Nury (Light)
Nyazik (Graceful)

Oraz (Fast)
Orazgeldi (Ramadan came)
Öwez

Rahat (Comfortable)
Rahym (Compassionate, kind)
Raşit (Rightly guided)

Sapardurdy
Saparmamed
Saparmurat, Saparmyrat
Serdar
Shohrat (Fame)
Smagul
Sohbet (Conversation)
Süleýman (Solomon)

Täçberdi
Tagan (Trivet)
Tolkunbek

Umurbek
Veli
Yklymberdi
Yusup

Female:

Aibolek, Aybolek
Akja, Akdzha (“Little and white” or “Blonde”)
Akgül (White flower)
Akgyz (White-coloured girl)
Aksoltan
Amangül
Annagül (Friday flower)
Arzy (Desire)
Arzygül (Flower of desire)
Aygyl
Ayjan (Moon soul)
Ayna
Aýnabat (Sweet Moon)
Aynagözel (Ayna)
Aysoltan

Çynar (Plane tree)
Dürli (Species)

Gözel (Beautiful)
Gülalek (Gulya) (Poppy)
Gülayim, Gülayym (Gulya)
Gulbadam (Gulya)
Gulnabat (Gulya)
Gulnar (Gulya) (Pomegranate flower)
Gülşat (Gulya)
Gurbanbibi (Bibi)

Hatyja (Khadijah) (Premature child)
Jahan (World)
Jemal (Beautiful)
Jennet (Paradise)
Jeren (Young gazelle)

Keyik (Deer)
Laçyn
Läle (Tulip)

Mähri (Skilled)
Maral (Deer)
Maya
Maysa (Blooming summer flowers)
Merjen, Merdzhen (Coral)

Nabat
Nafisa
Nasiba
Nurgözel (Beautiful light)

Ogulgerek (“Needs to be a son”; what a terrible meaning!)
Ogulsapar
Orazgül (Fast flower)
Pamyk (Cotton)
Patma (Fatima) (To abstain)

Rahat (Comfortable)
Rushana (Roxana)
Sadap (Mother of pearl)
Sapartaç
Şemşat (Sky tree)
Sona
Sülgün (Pheasant)
Suray

Tylla (Gold)
Tyllagözel (Tylla) (Gold flower)
Züleyha (Brilliant beauty)

A primer on Provençal names

Provençal is a dialect of Occitan, spoken in southern France. Almost all of its speakers are in the Provence region. This dialect in turn has several sub-dialects, one of which, Rodanenc (Rhodanien), branched out into Judeo–Provençal, also called Shuadit, Chouhadite, Chouhadit, Chouadite, Chouadit, and Shuhadit. Sadly, its last known speaker, writer Armand Lunel, passed away in 1977.

Judeo–Provençal went into sharp decline after emancipation was granted in the wake of the French Revolution, just as Yiddish fell into disfavor in countries like Hungary, Germany, France, Austria, and the former Czechoslovakia. When one has legal emancipation and is allowed entry into wider society, the purpose of a separate language or dialect diminishes, as tragic as it is to see any language dying out.

The connection to my writing is the same as Occitan and Gascon, seeing as most of Part V and the end of Part IV of The Strongest Branches of Uprooted Trees are set in Béziers and Montpellier, a region where all these languages are spoken.

Today, there are an estimated 350,000 Provençal speakers.

Alphabet:

Provençal uses the Roman alphabet, though K, W, and Y are typically only found in loanwords and foreign names. Like French, it also features the cédille (Ç), accent grave on A, E, and O, accent aigu on all vowels, and an umlaut on I and U.

Sample names:

Female:

Adelaïda (Delaïdo, Laïdo)
Agato
Alaïs (Alice)
Alaizina
Aliénor (Eleanor)
Alyonne, Alayonne
Anaïs (Naïs)
Andriano
Astruga (Lucky)
Aulaire (Eulalia)
Azalaïs (Alaïs)

Beatritz
Bellanette
Bergido (Bridget)
Blanquette
Bonafilia (Good daughter)
Bonastruga (Good and lucky; the Judeo–Provençal equivalent of the expression “Mazal tov”)
Bonoa (Good)

Catarino (Ninoun)
Celino (Selene)
Chantaloun (Chantal)
Chera (Cara)
Claro (Clareta, Clareto, Claroun)
Cloutildou (Tildeto, Teldou)

Dayena
Delfino (Fino)
Deulocresca (God increase her)
Dolça

Eisabèu, Lisabèu (Babeleto, Babèu, Eliso, Lisoun) (Elizabeth)
Eloudìo (Lodi, Loudi) (Élodie)
Enrieto (Rieto) (Henrietta)
Estefano, Estèva (Fanfan) (Stephanie)
Esterelle (A fairy who protects pregnant women)
Eulalìo (Lìo, Lali, Lalìo, Laloun)

Flour (Flora)
Genevivo
Glaudio (Claudia)
Goiona
Ioulando (Yolanda)
Isabèu (Babeleto) (Isabelle)
Izelda
Jano (Janetoun) (Jeanne)
Jòusefino (Jóuselet, Fino, Zetou, Zeto)
Laïs (Louisa)

Magari, Magali (Margaret)
Maguelone, Madaleno (Madaloun) (Magdalena)
Maissa (Jaw)
Marianno
Marìo (Maïoun, Marioun)
Mazalta (Good sign)
Melio (Emilia)
Miquela
Mirèio (To admire)

Nadaleto
Natalìo (Lìo, Talìo)
Nino (Ninoun)
Reginette
Reina
Rosalìo (Lìo)
Roso

Sança (Holy, saintly)
Sareta (Sarah)
Soufio (Sophia)
Soulanjo (Solange)

Titouane, Titoana
Vitòri (Victoria)
Zouè (Zoe)

Male:

Abramet
Aloys (Aloysius)
Amiel (Émil)
Andrièu
Astruc (Lucky)
Audouard (Edward)

Bartoumiéu (Bartholomew)
Batit (Titoù) (Baptiste)
Benezet
Berenguié
Bonastruc (Good and lucky; the Judeo–Provençal equivalent of the expression “Mazal tov”)
Bondion (Good day)
Bonisac (Good Isaac)
Bonjudas (Good Judah)
Bonjuif (Good Jew)
Bonsenhor (Good Sir)

Calendau (Christmas)
Carecausa
Charle (Charloun)
Ciprian (Ciprianet)
Cresques (Growing; also a Judeo–Provençal equivalent of Tzemach)
Crétin (Christian)
Cugat

Dàvi
Deulosal (God save him; used as a Judeo–Provençal equivalent of Isaiah)
Emmanuèl
Estève, Estiène (Steven)
Fagim (Judeo–Provençal equivalent of Chaim)
Ferrand (Ferdinand)
Frederi, Federi (Deri)

Gabin
Gabrieù
Giraud (Gerald)
Glaude, Glàudi (Claude)

Jacme (James)
Jaufret (Jeffrey)
Jaziquet (Isaac)
Jòrgi
Joùseù (Zé) (Joseph)
Jucef

Kalonymus (Beautiful name)
Leoneto
Loïc (Louis)
Lu (Luquet) (Luke)
Ludovi (Dovi) (Louis)

Maïus
Manuèl
Mas (Max)
Miquèu (Michael)
Mordecaix
Mossé, Moïses (Moses)

Nadal
Nadau
Oulivié (Oliver)
Pascau
Pèire (Pierroun) (Peter)

Rafèu (Raphael)
Ramir (Famous advice)
Roubin

Saconet (Isaac)
Salamonet, Salomó
Savié, Zavié (Xavier)
Silvan
Simoun

Teoudor
Titoù, Titouan (Titus)
Toumas

Ugues, Ugue (Hugo)
Vincèn
Vitour (Victor)

A primer on Virtue names

As I’ve mentioned a number of times, Virtue names from the Pilgrim and Puritan era are my onomastic guilty pleasure. I’ve been fascinated by them since I was a preteen, and have used some on my characters over the years. I had a character named Fear in a discontinued story about one of the Western migrations in the U.S. (maybe the Santa Fe Trail?). Her little sister was Thanksgiving, and her older brother was Courage.

My character Lovella Green in my Atlantic City books, who goes by Love, so likes her own Virtue name, she gives her kids the very Puritan/Pilgrim names Honesty, Courage, and Myles. Honesty and Courage in turn give their own kids Virtue names—Amnesty, Blessing, and Reliance (Courage’s kids), and Charity, Harmony, and Increase (Honesty’s kids).

Nowadays, the only commonly-used Virtue names in the English language seem to be Hope, Faith, Grace, Charity, Chastity, Harmony, and Joy. While I understand a name like Happiness or Fearful sounds very out of place in the modern era, I really think they’re neat. Many of these old Virtue names are also unisex, though we probably all have our own opinions about which sex they might sound best on. When in doubt, I filed a name under Unisex.

Here’s a list of Virtue names to choose from if you’re writing about Pilgrims or Puritans, or if you just like the names and aren’t afraid to be different. However, I do stress that many of these names should probably be left in the history books, like Be-Faithful, Lechery, Humiliation, and From-Above. Some of these names weren’t recorded as being used by the Puritans and Pilgrims, but they have the same general concept.

Unisex:

Admire
Adore
Allegiance
Amaze
Approved
Arise
Atpeace

Be-Faithful
Beloved
Benevolence
Be-Thankful
Blessed
Blessing (though I think this works better on a girl)

Called
Cherubin
Clemency
Comfort
Compassion
Condolence
Consider
Constancy
Contemplation
Courage
Credence

Defiance
Delight
Delivery
Desire
Diligence
Discretion
Endure
Evanescence
Experience

Faithful
Fear-Not
Fidelity
Fight-the-Good-Fight-of-Faith
Free-Gift (i.e., salvation)
Free-Grace
Freewill
From-Above

Gift
Give-Thanks
God-Help
Gracious

Happy, Happiness
Has-Descendants
Have-Mercy
Helpful
Helpless
Honest
Hope-For
Hope-Still
Humanity
Humiliation, Humility

Imagination
Increase (I prefer this on a boy), Increased
Infinity
Ingenious
Innocent
Integrity

Joy-Againe (Traditionally used on so-called “rainbow babies,” children born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss)
Joye-in-Sorrow
Jubilation

Knowledge
Lechery
Leniency
Lively
Lovejoy
Loyal, Loyalty
Lucidity

Magnify
Make-Peace
Meek
Memory
Merciful
Merriment
More-Fruit
More-Triale
My-Sake
No-Merit

Obey
Original
Piety
Pity
Pleasance, Pleasant
Preserved (Traditionally given to a child who survived a difficult birth)
Prosperity
Proud
Proverb
Providence
Psalm
Purifie, Purify, Purity

Radiance
Rapture
Reality
Reason
Recompense
Redeemed, Redemptus
Reformation
Regal
Reliance
Remember (prefer this on a girl)
Renewed
Repent, Repentance
Replenish
Resilience
Respect
Restore
Reverence

Sabbath
Safe-Deliverance
Safe-on-High
Salvation
Sanctity
Search
Search-the-Scriptures
Seek-Wisdom
Serendipity
Sincere
Small-Hope
Solace
Solemnity
Solidarity
Stability
Standfast
Stand-Fast-on-High
Steadfast
Steadfast-Love
Submit (Mitty)
Success
Sympathy

Tenacity
The-Peace-of-God
Tolerance
Tranquil, Tranquility
Transience
True, Truth
Trust

Valor, Valour
Vanity
Vyctorye, Victory
Waitsill (Waity)
Weep-Not
Welcome
Wistful
Wonder

Male:

Accepted
Acts-Apostles
Agony
Aid-on-High
Anger
Ashes
Assurance

Battalion
Be-Courteous
Belief
Be-Steadfast
Bread-of-Life
Buried-Sence

Centurian
Concord
Continent
Cotton

Damned (Diminutive of If-Christ-Had-Not-Died-for-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned)
Depend, Dependance
Die-Well
Discipline
Divine-Authority
Go-Good
Donation
Do-Right
Do-Well
Dust

Elected
Fear (always preferred this on a girl)
Fear-God
Fearing
Fear-the-Lord
Flee-Debate
Flee-Fornication
Flye-Debate
Forsaken

Giant-Despair
Godlye (i.e., Godly)
God-Reward
Good-Gift
Good-Work

Hate-Bad
Hate-Ill
Hearsay
Heavenly-Mind
Help-on-High
Humble

If-Christ-Had-Not-Died-for-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned
If-Jesus-Christ-Had-Not-Died-for-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned
Inward

Jesus-Christ-Came-into-the-World-to-Save
Job-Rakt-Out-of-the-Asshes
Judas-Not-Iscariot
Just, Justice

Kill-Sin
Lament, Lamentation, Lamentations
Live-Well
Love-God
Love-Well
Magnyfye (i.e., Magnify)
Merit
Modest, Modesty
Moreover

Pardon
Peaceable
Persecution
Pharaoh
Pilgrim
Praise-God
Pray

Regard
Relictus (i.e., Relinquishing)
Remarkable
Resolute
Resolved, Resolve
Restraint
Return, Returne
Revolt
Riches
Royal

Safe-on-Highe (Traditionally given to children expected to die)
Seaborn
Sea-Mercy (Often used on children who survived a sea journey)
Search-Truth
See-Truth
Seraphim
So-Loved
Sorry-for-Sin
Supply

Tell-No (in reference to not telling lies)
Tenacious
The-Lord-Is-Near
Trial
Tribulation
True-Heart

Unfeigned
Upright
Watchful
Weakly
Wealthy
What-God-Will
Wholesome
Wrath
Wrestling

Zeal
Zeal-for-God
Zeal-of-the-Land

Female:

Abstinence
Abundance
Abuse-Not
Adore
Amity
Amnesty

Be-Strong
Charisma
Charity
Chastity
Cherish
Clarity
Concordia
Confidence
Constance
Content
Cressens (i.e., “to grow”)

Deliverance
Diffidence
Earth
Empathy
Essence
Exercise

Faint-Not
Faith-My-Joy
Favor, Favour
Faythe, Faith
Felicity
Fortune

Given
Glory
Grace
Handmaid
Harmony
Hate-Evil
Honesty (love this name!)
Honor, Honour
Hopeful, Hope, Hopewell
Hosanna

Independence
Joy
Learn-Wisdom
Liberty
Life
Love
Mercy
Much-Mercy
Obedience

Patience
Peace, Peaceful
Perseverance
Placidia (i.e., “calm, peaceful”)
Pride
Promise
Providence
Prudence

Rediviva (i.e., “revived”)
Refrain, Refrayne
Rejoice, Rejoyce
Relicta (i.e., “relinquishing)
Relief (Leafy)
Remembrance
Revere

Serenity, Serene
Silence (Sill)
Sin-Deny
Tacy (i.e., “be silent”)
Temperance (Tempy)
Thankful, Thankfull
Thanks
Thanksgiving

Unity
Verity
Virtue
Wisdom