Advanced search & name origin issues!

Hiya! So I was looking for some names with the Advanced Search, and ended up noticing a few errors I thought I should mention!

Firstly, origins that don’t lead to any names. “Provenã§al” shows up as an origin option, but if you click on it, it says “No names match your criteria”. Same with “Choctaw” and “Uganda”! I’m guessing they were typos that were later corrected, but for some reason still show up in the list.

There’s also “Ancient_Languages/Civilizations” which looks like a typo, but does have names under it. It could be cool as a broad category for Ancient Greek, [name_m]Roman[/name_m], Phoenician etc. names, but as it stands there’s only 5 names included, and with the way it’s written (with the “_”) it looks like a mistake.

Then there’s the name [name_m]Hiawatha[/name_m]. There was a typo, calling it Iroquoi instead of Iroquois, which has also created an origin category that probably shouldn’t be there!


Ghanan / Ghanaian: These are 2 separate categories for what should be the same group of names (names from Ghana) and each one contains some of the same but also some different names – I think they should probably be merged into one origin! From a quick Google search, it seems to me that Ghanaian is the typically correct term.

It’s the same with Ojibwa / Ojibway. Each category only has one name. From what I could find online I believe Ojibwa is the correct spelling! And a similar situation with Sanskrit / Sanksrit, I believe the latter is a typo but there are quite a few names listed under it. There’s also Ukrainian / Ukranian, Yoruba / Yoruban, Arabic / Arab / Arabian and Slovene / Slovenian (I wrote about this in this post here with more information, before I’d realized it was a broader problem!) and Eastern European / [name_m]East[/name_m] European (more information here)

These languages are outside my area of knowledge, so apologies for any mistakes! :yellow_heart:

Also, this accidentally turned into a bit of a rant, but speaking of the Eastern European / [name_m]East[/name_m] European typo… I sincerely hope this doesn’t come off as whiny, as that’s not my intention! But I was wondering why some name entries are listed under an Eastern European category anyway?

For one, it’s unfortunately very inconsistent :sweat_smile: It contains names that are truly international, like [name_f]Amalia[/name_f] and [name_f]Daniela[/name_f], but also names like [name_m]Antal[/name_m] (Hungarian), [name_m]Cyryl[/name_m] (Polish), [name_f]Bernarda[/name_f] (Slovenian & Croatian) and more. They couldn’t be considered broadly Eastern European, if they’re only used in one or two countries! Finally, there are names that I can’t find information on, like [name_f]Nickoletta[/name_f], [name_f]Tziamara[/name_f] and [name_m]Daneil[/name_m]. It’s of course possible that these are legitimate names, but from my quick research I wasn’t able to verify them as real names from anywhere in Eastern Europe.

Some of these countries like Hungary and Slovenia would also be classified as Central European instead of Eastern European by many, so slapping the Eastern European label on the names could be needlessly divisive as well :sweat_smile:

I completely understand broad categories like Scandinavian, since Scandinavian languages and naming customs are largely similar! But Eastern Europe ranges from Baltic languages, to Finno-Ugric, to Romanian, Greek, Albanian, and Slavic languages, so I just don’t understand how or why they would all be grouped into one. From my perspective as someone from Eastern Europe, it seems a little bit silly to me, the same way having a Western European category wouldn’t make a lot of sense!

To be clear, I’m not at all judging that this decision was made in the first place, I’m only expressing why I personally think it may be better off changed! :yellow_heart:

This may be a little more appropriate for the ‘Entries you’d like to see amended’ thread, but I thought that since I was already talking about it here, I may as well ! Under the cut, I’ve highlighted each name that’s currently in the Eastern European names category, and what I believe would be a more accurate origin for it, in case you would consider changing it!

[name_f]Amalia[/name_f] - This one is tricky, because, as its NB description says, “Amalia is a widely cross-cultural name, heard from [name_f]Italy[/name_f] to Romania, [name_m]Germany[/name_m] to Scandinavia” but on BtN it is listed as “Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Greek, Finnish, Swedish, [name_m]Dutch[/name_m], German” so I cross-checked it with Wikipedia, and those seem to be accurate origins!

[name_m]Angelov[/name_m] - Listed as Spanish and [name_f]English[/name_f], but I don’t think it should be under probably any category? From what I can tell, this doesn’t exist as a first name. It’s a Bulgarian last name and patronymic (source). I would probably either remove the entry, or amend it to explain this, e.g. saying something like “A Bulgarian surname with a cool sound that could make it a fun choice for a first name in the U.S.”

[name_m]Antal[/name_m] - Hungarian, I actually made a post about this name in the Database entries you’d like to see amended thread here, with more information about it.

[name_m]Anzhel[/name_m] - I can’t find much info but I believe it’s the transliteration of a very rare Bulgarian form of [name_m]Angel[/name_m], mostly related to one late Bulgarian author and screenwriter, [name_m]Anzhel[/name_m] Vagenshtain.

[name_m]Benedek[/name_m] - Hungarian, more information is provided in the same post that I linked for [name_m]Antal[/name_m] !!

[name_f]Benedeka[/name_f] - I can unfortunately find 0 information on it online. If it’s a real name, it’s so rare that I can’t confirm an origin

[name_m]Benedik[/name_m] - Seems to be a rare surname used in Czechia, Slovakia and Slovenia. I can only find one example of it being used as a first name, on a Croatian football player, but I haven’t been able to confirm if it’s really a name used in Croatia, or if there just happens to be one person from there named that. The typical Croatian variant of [name_m]Benedict[/name_m] would be [name_m]Benedikt[/name_m]!

[name_f]Benke[/name_f] - Most often used as a surname, but it does exist as a rare nickname or first name in Hungary, derived from either [name_m]Benedek[/name_m] or [name_m]Benjámin[/name_m] (source). It only exists as a male name, I wasn’t able to find any instances of [name_f]Benke[/name_f] being used as a female name, but it has both a male and female entry on NB! So either I missed something, or the female entry is wrong.

[name_f]Bernarda[/name_f] - On other name sites it’s listed as Slovene, Croatian, and Spanish, and this seems to be accurate! I googled the name and all the famous namesakes I could find were one of those 3 nationalities.

[name_m]Cyrek[/name_m] - Polish, a diminutive of [name_m]Cyryl[/name_m]. Pronounced TSIH-rehk

[name_m]Cyryl[/name_m] - Polish, pronounced TSIH-rihl

[name_m]Cyrillio[/name_m] - Similar to [name_f]Benedeka[/name_f], it’s either not a real established name, or so obscure that I unfortunately couldn’t find anything about it! Unless of course you have more information than I was able to find, I wouldn’t classify it as any one origin, without being sure about it!

[name_m]Daneil[/name_m] - I can’t find any info on this name either, other than a basketball player from the Caribbean.

[name_f]Daneila[/name_f] - Same as [name_m]Daneil[/name_m]. Nameberry lists it as Italian, Polish, Czech, but I believe that would be [name_f]Daniela[/name_f]. There is no solid info I could find about [name_f]Daneila[/name_f], and the few individuals with the name I found from Googling it all have [name_f]English[/name_f] last names!

[name_f]Daniela[/name_f] - Listed as Spanish and Italian on its name page despite also showing up in the Eastern European names category. I think the correct additional origins would be Polish, Czech, Slovak, Romanian, Bulgarian! Based on info from other websites that I cross-checked with famous figures named [name_f]Daniela[/name_f]

[name_f]Danika[/name_f] - This one is a modern [name_f]English[/name_f] name! It originated as an alternate spelling of [name_f]Danica[/name_f], but [name_f]Danica[/name_f] is only pronounced dah-nee-kah in [name_f]English[/name_f]. [name_f]Danica[/name_f] is pronounced dah-nee-tsa in all its other languages of origin (namely Serbian, Croatian, Slovene, Slovak & Macedonian!) so I don’t think it’d be directly related to [name_f]Danika[/name_f], but if it is, maybe the origin could be narrowed down to the ones I mentioned!

[name_m]Dennes[/name_m] - I think this is just a spelling variation of [name_m]Dennis[/name_m]! I can mostly find instances of it as a surname (but not in Eastern Europe) or very rarely as a first name (still not in Eastern Europe)

[name_m]Edvin[/name_m] - Listed as [name_f]English[/name_f] (and still shows up under Eastern European names), I believe it’s actually Estonian (source), Slovene (source) Swedish, [name_m]Danish[/name_m], Norwegian, Hungarian, Croatian, and occasionally Bulgarian and Russian (based on the nationality of the figures that show up under its Wikipedia entry)

[name_f]Edvina[/name_f] - Seems to be Swedish, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, and Lithuanian (once again from Googling it and seeing the nationalities of the people that showed up)

[name_m]Edvino[/name_m] - Very rare, I can only find mentions of it as Italian or Portuguese

[name_m]Elizur[/name_m] - Listed as Hebrew, and I think that’s the only correct origin, I can’t find any instances of it being used in Eastern Europe! And all the namesakes on Wikipedia are American or [name_f]English[/name_f]

[name_f]Emelia[/name_f] - NB describes it as “taking elements from soundalike sisters [name_f]Emilia[/name_f] and Amelia” and I think that’s what it is! It seems to be of [name_f]English[/name_f] origin (source), also occasionally used in [name_m]Sweden[/name_m] (source) It can also be Icelandic if we’re including the Emelía spelling!

[name_f]Emilka[/name_f] - Polish diminutive of [name_f]Emilia[/name_f] (source)

[name_m]Fredek[/name_m] - Polish diminutive of [name_m]Fryderyk[/name_m] (source)

[name_f]Gretl[/name_f] - (Austrian) [name_m]German[/name_m] variant of [name_f]Gretel[/name_f] (no one source I can link to, but just by typing [name_f]Gretl[/name_f] in Wikipedia all the entries that show up are for various German/Austrian women!)

[name_f]Jólan[/name_f] - The only thing that shows up is a male [name_m]Dutch[/name_m] artist! [name_f]Jolán[/name_f] with the accent on the A is a real Hungarian girls’ name that’s on the database, so I wonder if there was a mix-up?

[name_f]Jolanka[/name_f] - Listed as Greek, it’s either an anglicization of Jolánka, which is a diminutive of [name_f]Jolán[/name_f], or a diminutive of the Czech/Slovak [name_f]Jolana[/name_f] (source)

[name_f]Joli[/name_f] - Listed as Spanish from Greek, also a Hungarian diminutive of [name_f]Jolán[/name_f]. [name_m]Or[/name_m] an alternate spelling of [name_f]Jolie[/name_f]!

[name_f]Jozefa[/name_f] - Hungarian, Slovene or Dutch. It may also be an anglicized version of the Polish Józefa, but that one is pronounced quite differently!

[name_f]Jozsa[/name_f] - Anglicized version of the Hungarian Józsa, which is a Medieval Hungarian nickname for [name_m]József[/name_m], a rare female name, or more commonly a surname. (source)

[name_f]Jozsefa[/name_f] - I’m not sure if this one is real? Based on the spelling (with that “zs” consonant cluster) it could only be Hungarian, but I can find no evidence of Jozsefa/Józsefa being a legitimate feminization of [name_m]József[/name_m], only [name_f]Jozefa[/name_f]. I may have missed something, but I looked everywhere I could!

[name_f]Jozsi[/name_f] - Listed as feminine, but this is an anglicized version of Józsi, a Hungarian diminutive of the male [name_m]József[/name_m] (source)

[name_f]Jozska[/name_f] - I’m struggling to find any concrete information, but it’s most likely a rare, male anglicized diminutive of the Hungarian [name_m]József[/name_m] as well

[name_f]Martila[/name_f] - I can’t find any information about it being used as a name in Eastern Europe (or generally)

[name_f]Martita[/name_f] - Spanish diminutive of [name_f]Marta[/name_f] (source)

[name_f]Nichola[/name_f] - Likely an English-lanugage feminization of [name_m]Nicholas[/name_m]. [name_f]Every[/name_f] namesake on Wikipedia is from the UK, [name_f]Ireland[/name_f], [name_f]Canada[/name_f] or [name_f]America[/name_f]

[name_f]Nichole[/name_f] - Similarly, an [name_f]English[/name_f] variation of [name_f]Nicole[/name_f]

[name_f]Nicholla[/name_f] - Probably an alternate spelling of [name_f]Nichola[/name_f], with the same origin

[name_f]Nicolla[/name_f] - Same as above!

[name_f]Nikolla[/name_f] - Same, or it can be a male name, an Albanian variation of [name_m]Nicholas[/name_m] (source)

[name_f]Nickoletta[/name_f] - Alternative spelling of Nikoletta/Nicoletta/Nicoleta, I believe [name_f]English[/name_f] in origin – the main namesake that shows up online is an Australian football player

[name_f]Ninacska[/name_f] - Anglicization of [name_f]Ninácska[/name_f], Hungarian diminutive of Anikó (source)

[name_f]Ninotchka[/name_f] - Alternate spelling of Ninochka, a Russian diminutive of [name_f]Nina[/name_f] and other names ending in -nina

[name_m]Rouben[/name_m] - One of the ways to transliterate Ռուբեն, the Armenian form of [name_m]Reuben[/name_m] (source). [name_m]Or[/name_m] it could be an alternate spelling in [name_f]English[/name_f] too!

[name_f]Sari[/name_f] - A Finnish variation of [name_f]Sarah[/name_f], an Indonesian name (meaning ‘essence’, source) or a Japanese name (source) It may also be an Anglicized form of the Hungarian Sári, a diminutive of [name_f]Sára[/name_f], the Hungarian form of [name_f]Sarah[/name_f] (source)

[name_f]Sasa[/name_f] - I’m guessing it’s meant to be an anglicized form of Saša, which is a Serbian, Croatian and Slovene nickname for Aleksandar/Aleksandra, or a stand-alone name. As a female name it’s only Slovene, in Serbia & Croatia it’s only masculine (source) Currently [name_f]Sasa[/name_f] is listed as a [name_m]Cherokee[/name_m] name meaning “goose” and/or as a variation of [name_f]Sarah[/name_f], so I’d either make an entirely new entry for Saša or add onto the origin and description of [name_f]Sasa[/name_f].

[name_m]Savin[/name_m] - Seems to be a [name_m]French[/name_m], [name_m]Irish[/name_m] and Slavic surname (source). As a first name, it is a very, very rare Slovene name (only 15 men reported with the first name Savin; source))

[name_f]Tamasa[/name_f] - I’m seeing online that it may be Hindu or Sanskrit, unfortunately I couldn’t find any reliable sources to confirm this. But it doesn’t appear to be Eastern European in any way!

[name_f]Tziamara[/name_f] - Listed as a “Feminine variation of Guiomar, Spanish, Portuguese” I think that’s probably true? I can’t find any info on it, but I can see how it would be a phonetic spelling of Guiomara! That said, I can’t find any instances of it being used in Eastern Europe

[name_f]Zsazsa[/name_f] - Correctly listed as Hungarian in its entry, I’m not sure why it’s listed as both Hungarian and Eastern European, it’s just Hungarian!

Thank you very much for your time :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


[name_f]Lovely[/name_f], informative, and insightful! Would love to see these things amended as well, whenever possible.

I had noticed some of these things too! I know when I asked about it (looks like it was just over a year ago at this point - link here), I learned that apparently the origin categories can’t be edited? Which I know there are some parts of the site that are stuck for some reason (like the pop culture sections, I think), which is unfortunate but might be the reality.

I completely agree on the Eastern European names, too! I hadn’t noticed that when I was going through the various origins. I think a similar thing has happened with a lot of Indigenous and African names, where they’ve been coded only under the broad umbrella rather than their specific culture of origin and that’s why so many Indigenous and African origin categories come back blank (Hopi, Mashona, Miwok, Mwera, Omaha, Osage, Seminole, etc)

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