What's in a Name?

Hullo, dear readers!
    Here's some more names to feast your eyes on.  I'm trying to post the more common names along with some unique ones.  Posting about the history and backgrounds of some of these guys and gals has been great fun for me, I enjoy the research!
    More to come in the next few days...

Gender:  Masculine
Origin:  Biblical, Hebrew
Pronunciation:  nee-KO-da (English)

Meaning & History
Means "marked" in Hebrew.  In the Old Testament this is the name of the head of a family of temple servants.

Catherine the Great
Gender:  Feminine
Origin:  English
Pronunciation:  KATH-e-rin, KATH-rin

Meaning & History
The etymology, or the study of the origin and history of words (in this case names), is debated.  This particular name comes from the Greek name Aikaterine, although it could be derived from the earlier Greek form Hekaterine, which came from hekateros, meaning "each of the two"; it could be taken from the of the goddess Hecate; it could be related to Greek aikia, meaning "torture"; or it could be from a Coptic (native Christians of Egypt) name meaning "my consecration of your name."  In early Christian times, this name was associated with Greek katharos "pure".  The Latin spelling was changed from Katerina to Katharina to indicate this.
    This name was born by a semi-legendary martyr and saint of Alexandria who was tortured on a spiked wheel.  She was later esteemed in Syria, and returning crusaders brought the name to Western Europe, where it has been common since the 12th century in many different forms, Katherine and Catherine being the most popular.
    Famous bearers of this name were Catherine of Siena, a 14th century mystic, and Catherine de' Medici, a 16th century queen.  Other bearers include three of Henry VIII's wives - Katherine of Aragon, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr, as well as two Russian empresses, among them Catherine the Great.

Robert the Bruce
Gender:  Masculine
Origin:  Scottish, English
Pronunciation:  BROOS

Meaning & History
Originally a Scottish surname of Norman background, which possibly referred to the town of Brix in France. Robert the Bruce, a Scottish hero of the 14th century who won independence from England and became king of Scotland, was one of the first to bear this name.  Since the 19th century, it has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world.

Gender:  Feminine & Masculine
Origin:  Eastern African

Meaning & History
Means "happy one" in Kikuyu.

Hang in there, friend, your name could be next!


Name definitions and history via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

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To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, and a book of rules,
And each must make, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone.