Names A-Z - names, meanings and origins
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Many popular names have a floral origin, Rose being the most popular. Naturally, most, but not all floral names, are female names.
By Øyvind Hartberg
Rose and other flower names

There are some exceptions. Anton could mean blooming if it has a Greek origin. In Greek it would mean ‘blooming’ or ‘flowering’ deriving from the Greek word for flower: ‘anthos’. But some believe it is of Etruscan origin deriving from the name Antonius, then we simply are not sure of the precise meaning. But look further in our name search and you will find several variants of Anton – we choose to call him ‘flowering boy’.

Another male floral name is Florian, from the Roman name ‘Florianus’, which, in turn, is derived from ‘florus’, the Latin word for flower. The Christian Martyr, Saint Florian, who died in 304 A.D. is the Patron Saint of Poland and Upper Austria. There are many male and female variations on ‘Florian’ . The most famous is perhaps Florence as in the name Florence Nightingale who initiated nursing as a professional vocation. - The city of Florence then means: the flourishing city

To find other male floral based names we have to turn to Arabic. There you will find Riyad / Rijad which can be translated as ‘garden flowers’. Also the name Omar which has the meaning of ‘flourishing’ or ‘thriving’ as in flowers and plants, and this is a name often given to a first-born son. Related names are: Umar, Umer and Umair.
 

Similarly, in Turkish, many names starting with ‘Gul’ mean ‘rose’ and some of these have male forms, for example, Gul and Gulzar.

But most of the Gol / Gul / Gül–names are female. There are many of them:
Golala Golalah Goli Golizar Golnaz Golshan Gul Gula Gulay Gulbahar Gulcan Gulle Gullu Gully Gulnaz Gulseren Gulshan Gulsum Guluzar Gulzar Gyl (or Gül-) Gylay Gylbahar Gylistan Gylcan Gyldane Gylistan Gylly Gylsen Gylsym Gylsyn Gylysar Songul Songyl
Their meanings are all combinations/uses of the word ‘rose’ or, even, ‘rose garden’ and sometimes they can also be translated, with poetic licence from Turkish, as ‘smiling’. (compare the famous American song with the line: “The smiling rose of Texas”.

In the English language, names containing ‘Rose’ and related names are very popular. In the USA alone there are some 360,000 bearers of the name Rose; 113,000 bearers of the name Rosemary; 68,000 bearers of the name Rosie and 17,000 of the name Rosalyn. There are many other variants which often involve, amongst other changes, substituting for the letter ‘s’, the letters ‘z’ or ‘x’. For example, there are 49,000 females named RoseRoxanne in the USA. In Russia, the Rose name takes the form of Raisa or Raissa and in the Czech Republic the name is Ruza.

A number of other languages also directly convert the noun ‘rose’ into a proper name:
In Egyptian Abeer; in Arabic: Shabina; in India: Wardah; in Hebrew: Rhoda; in Persian: Nisreen and Nisrin; in Thai: Kulap; in Vietnamese Hong; in Chinese Kin and Wei; in Turkish: Muge and in Japanese Sukai.

After rose the most popular floral names derives from the lovely lily flower family. These are all names for girls. In Hebrew Susannah means ‘Lily of the Valley’ and this name is now used all over the world with many variations including:
Sannah Sanne Sanni Sannia Sanny Sawsan Saz Sazan Seshen Shanna Shoshana Shushan Sosan Sosina Sousan Sozan Sue Susan Susana Susann Susanna Susanne Susi Susie Sussan Sussi Suzan Suzana Suzane Suzann Suzanna Suzanne Suzette Suzi Suzie Sway Zanna Zeeshan Zuzana Zuzanna

In Latin a lily is named ‘lilia’ and a large number of names are derived from it including:
Lil Lili Liliana Liliane Lilianna Lilianne Lilja Liljan Liljana Lill Lilla Lillan Lille Lillen Lilli Lillian Lilliana Lilliane Lilliann Lillianne Lillie Lillien Lillun Lillunn Lilly Lilo Lily Ljilja Ljiljana
 

Linnea is a name very popular in Sweden and Norway, has it's name from the Swedish botanist  Carl von Linné, in english twinflower, in latin Linnaea borealis - in Germany called Moosglöckchen

The iris flower has also generated a number of names, Iris itself being very common in many countries. In Holland the name Iris, and Sanne derived from Susanna, are some of the most popular names for girls. - In Ethiopia, the iris derived names is Bilen.

The water lily known as the Lotus is popular as a name in many Eastern countries. In, Arabic, for example, we find Nilofar; Nolofer whilst in Hindu we find : Nalini, Rajeev and Rajiv; in Chinese and Vitenamese: He, Hoa, Hua and Hue. In Tamil there is Saroginidevi which has the intriguing meaning of: ‘My mother’s lovely lotus flowers in the pool’

Another type of lily, the Narcissus has generated the names: Narcisa, Nargiz, and Nasren. (also the boy’s name: Narcis)

The hyacinth is also a type of lily from which the Spanish names Jacinta and Jacinto derive, the English Hyacinth and the Italian Giacinta - as does the Polish name Jacek which is a male name.

And yet another fragrant flower from which a number of names is derived is Jasmine. Variants on this name include:
Jasemin Jasmeen Jasmin Jasmina Jasmine Jasminka Jazmin Jazlyn Yasaman Yasameen Yasemin Yasmeen Yasmin Yasmina Yasmine Yassmine
Other names meaning ‘Jasmine’ can be found in Arabic: Fellah; in Hindu: Malathy and in Thai: Malee.

The small forest flower known as ‘linnea’, whose name was derived from the famous Swedish botanist Carl Von Linné, has, for this very reason, been a popular name in Scandinavia. In the USA today some 4,900 girls are called Linnea. - in Sweden 64.000 !

Other floral names used as female first names are:
Clematis Daffodil Dahlia Daisy Gardenia Heather Hyacinth Lavender Magnolia Margarita Marigold Petunia Primrose Primula Violet

Lastly, there are several female names simply meaning ‘flower’, ‘flower garden’ and ‘beautiful flower’. Here are some examples:
Ladan Lamduan Liu Lule Malai Malarvili Marjolein Minja Nam Nawar Nura Poonam Pushpa Rejhan Riya Rumeysa Sabra Sai Sana Shagofta Somalee Umara

While in Albanian the names Ljuljeta, Luljeta and Luljete, all mean: ‘flowers of life’.

Sunday 4. November, 2007