What's in a Name?

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Biblical
Pronunciation:  ROO-ǝl

Meaning & History
Means "friend of God" in Hebrew.  A famous bearer of this name is John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (J.R.R. Tolkien), author of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and many more fantasy novels.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  English
Pronunciation:  NO-vah

Meaning & History
Taken from Latin novus, meaning "new."  This was first used as a given name in the 19th century.

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Late Greek (Latinized)
Pronunciation:  Eh-RASS-muhs

Meaning & History
Derived from the Greek erasmios, meaning "beloved."  This was the given name of Saint Erasmus, also known as Saint Elmo, a 4th-century martyr, the patron saint of sailors.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Swedish, Dutch, Finnish, German, English
Pronunciation:  AHN-nee-kah (Dutch), AH-nee-kah (German)

Meaning & History
Swedish diminutive of Anna, which is derived from Hannah, meaning "favour" or "grace."

Names and meanings 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.