Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
Home > Pregnancy > Baby Names > Choosing a Name > Ethnic Variations of Names
|

Ethnic Variations of Names

Many names in common use in the U.S. today can be linked to a foreign heritage merely by using the form of the name that relates to a specific country. While this approach doesn't work for every name, you'll find that there are foreign forms for many popular and classic names.

Boys of a Feather

What's in a Name

The burgeoning Hispanic and Latino population in the U.S. has rocketed a number of Spanish forms of popular boys' names onto the most popular lists, including Jose, Antonio, Alejandro, Luis, Juan, Carlos, Jorge, and Miguel.

These are common and uncommon variations of many popular American names in today's name pool:

Alexander: Aleksander (Czech, Polish), Alexandre (French, Hungarian), Alexandros (Greek), Alsander (Irish), Alessandro (Italian), Aleksandr (Russian), Alasdair (Gaelic), Alejandro (Spanish), Alastair (Scottish).

Andrew: André (French), Andreas (German), Andras (Hungarian), Aindréas (Irish), Andrea (Italian), Andrzej (Polish), Andre (Portuguese), Andrei (Rumanian, Russian), Anders (Scandinavian), Andrés (Spanish).

Anthony: Anton (German, Russian, Rumanian, Scandinavian), Antal (Hungarian), Antaine (Irish), Antonio (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish), Antoni (Polish), Antonin (Czech or Slovak), Antoine (French).

Christopher: Christoph (German), Christophoros (Greek), Cristoforo (Italian), Christôvao (Portuguese), Cristofor (Rumanian), Crisóforo (Spanish), Christophe (French), Krzysztof (Polish), Kristofer (Dutch), Kristoffer (Scandinavian).

Jacob: Jakub (Czech), Jacques (French), Jakob (German), Iakobos (Greek), Jakov (Hungarian, Russian), Giacobbe (Italian), Jakób (Polish).

James: Giacomo (Italian), Jaime (Portuguese, Spanish), Séamus (Gaelic).

John: Johan (Czech), Jean (French), Johann or Johannes (German, Scandinavian), Ioannes (Greek), János (Hungarian), Giovanni (Italian), Ivan (Polish, Russian), Ioan (Rumanian), Eòin (Scottish), Juan (Spanish), Giovanni or Gianni (Italian).

Joseph: Josef (Czech, German, Scandinavian), Ioseph (Greek), Guiseppe (Italian), Józef (Polish), José (Portuguese, Spanish), Iosif (Rumanian), Ioseph (Russian), Iòseph (Gaelic).

Matthew: Matej (Czech), Matthieu (French), Matthaeus (German), Mattathias or Matthias (Greek), Maitias (Celtic), Matteo (Italian), Mateusz (Polish), Matteus (Portuguese), Matvei (Russian), Mathias (Scandinavian), Mata (Gaelic), Mateo (Spanish).

Michael: Michel (French), Mikhail (Greek, Russian), Mihály (Hungarian), Mícheál (Gaelic), Michele (Italian), Michal (Polish), Miguel (Portuguese, Spanish), Mihail (Rumanian), Michiel (Dutch), Mikel (Swedish), Mihangel (Welsh), Mícheál (Irish), Miguel (Portuguese), Mikkel (Danish, Norweigian), Micheil (Gaelic).

Nicholas: Mikolás (Czech), Nicolas (French), Nicolaus (German), Nikolaos (Greek), Niccolo (Italian), Nicolaio (Portuguese), Nicolae (Rumanian), Nikolai (Russian), Nikolaus (Scandinavian), Niels (Danish), Nicolás (Spanish).

Robert: Robert (pronounced ro-BARE; French), Robert (pronounced RO-bairt; German), Roibeárd (Irish), Roberto (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish), Raibeart (Gaelic).

Steven: Stepán (Czech), Stefan (German, Polish, Swedish, Rumanian, Russian), Stephanos (Greek), István (Hungarian), Steafán (Gaelic), Stefano (Italian), Stephan (Scandinavian), Esteban (Spanish), Étienne (French).

Girls of a Feather

Misnomers

What's more embarrassing to your child than giving him or her a bad name? Mispronouncing it. If you decide to use a foreign form of a name, make sure you know exactly how it should be pronounced. For instance, if you adopt traditional spelling on any Spanish name, remember that the j is pronounced as an h—Jesus is Hesus and Alejandra is Alehandra.

The majority of the most popular girls' names in use today in the U.S., like Kaitlyn, Madison, and Ashley, are unique to the American name pool and do not have equivalents in other languages. Of the top names, these are the ones that do:

Alexandra: Alastríona (Irish), Alessandra (Italian), Aleksandra (Polish, Russian), Alejandra (Spanish).

Elizabeth: Alzbeta (Czech), Elisabeth (French, German, Spanish), Erzsébet (Hungarian), Eilís (Irish), Elisabetta (Italian), Elzbieta (Polish), Elizabeta (Portuguese, Russian), Elisabeta (Rumanian), Elisabet (Scandinavian).

Emily: Émilie (French), Emilie (Czech), Emelie (German), Emelia (Spanish).

Katherine: Katharina (German), Katarina (Hungarian), Caitrín and Caitríona (Irish), Catarina (Italian, Portuguese), Katarzyna (Polish), Ekaterina (Russian), Katrine (Danish), Catherina (Spanish).

Madeline: Madeleine (French), Madailéin (Irish).

More on: Choosing a Name

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Baby Names © 1999 by Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


August 28, 2014



Variety is the spice of life! Swap out boring sandwiches for simple and healthy alternatives, like crackers and cheese, veggie or fruit kebabs, pasta salad, or breakfast for lunch (such as yogurt and granola, or whole wheat waffles).


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!