Let’s travel back in time to December 11, 2013.
I left off posting about Estonian name-days after the week of December 4 through 10, with the exception of Toomas on Dec. 21, in order to prepare for the holidays and celebrate them. Now let’s catch up on the names and dates that were missed.
Daaniel on December 11
December 11 is the day for the Estonian names Daaniel, Taaniel, Tanel, Tani, Taano and Tonno. Raivo Seppo, in his book Elavad Nimed, adds Tanil, Tanjel, Tann, Tanni and Tannil. All are masculine names and are Estonian variants of the Hebrew-derived name Daniel, which means “God is my judge.” The name-day honors St. Daniel the Stylite, born circa 409 CE in Syria. In Finland, the names for the day are Taneli, Tatu and Daniel. In Sweden the names are Daniel and Daniela.
Aivar, Aiver and Aivo on December 12
The names on the Estonian name-day calendar for December 12 are Aivar, Aiver and Aivo, all male. Seppo says they derive from Ivor, a Scandinavian name. The website Behind the Name says Ivor comes from the Old Norse name Ívarr, which was derived from the elements yr “yew, bow” and arr “warrior.” The Scottish and British name Evander is also derived from Ivor. http://www.behindthename.com/name/ivor
But why was Aivar chosen for this particular day? It sounds a little bit like the female names Ivana and Giovanna. Looking at the names for the day in other countries, one sees Johanna F. v. C in Austria, Ivana Franciska in Croatia, Chantal in France, Johanna in Germany and St. Giovanna Francesca Frémyot di Chantal in Italy. These all derive from Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, who died Dec. 13, 1641 CE and was canonized in 1767. The saint’s feast day is now generally celebrated in August, but also December 12, which is closer to the anniversary of her death. Source: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=60
December 13: Lucia
Lucia is the name for December 13. It is no coincidence that this is also the feast-day for St. Lucia (Lucy) of Syracuse, a martyr of the early 4th Century CE who is considered a saint by the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Orthodox Churches. The name Lucia is based on the Latin word for light, lux.
Other Estonian names for this date are also feminine: Hele, Ele, Ere, Loviise, Luise, Viise and Lutsia. Seppo adds Heleri and replaces Ere with Eleri in his book, Elavad Nimed. Hele and Ele can mean bright, pale, or fair, so they also refer to light. Lutsia is an Estonianized spelling of Lucia.The names Heleri and Eleri derive from Hele, according to Seppo.
Loviise and its shortened form Viise correspond to the English name Louise, the feminine of Louis. The name Louis comes from Latin Ludovicus, a form of the Germanic name Ludwig, which derives from the Germanic name Chlodovech, “famous warrior” according to the website Behind the Name. Obviously Loviise and Viise have nothing to do with light, but were probably chosen for this day because they sound a bit like Lutsia.
December 14: Eho, Hengo and Hingo
The names for December 14 are Eho, Hengo and Hingo, all masculine. I presume Eho is the male form of Eha, which means evening twilight. Hengo and Hingo derive from hing, soul or breath.
There is a St. Fingar whose feast-day is Dec. 14, so Hengo and Hingo could have been chosen for their resemblance to the saint’s name. Born in Ireland, St. Fingar was martyred in Cornwall, England in the 5th Century CE.
December 15: Kalli. Kelli, Kulla, Killu, and Halli
Kalli. Kelli, Kulla, Killu, and Halli are the names for December 15, all feminine. Darned if I know why they were chosen for this day. I can’t find any saints with names that resemble any of these. In Poland, Celina is one of many names for this day, but it’s not used in other European countries. Heimo is the name for the day in Finland. Kalli means dear or precious, Kelli means bells, Kulla means gold and Halli means frost.
Adelheid on December 16
The December 16 names are Adelheid, Adeele. Ethel, Aade, Aale, Teele, Haide, Aliide and Liide, all female. Adelheid is also the name for the day in Germany and Austria, with the nickname Heidi in Germany; Albina and Adela in Croatia; Albína in the Czech Republic; Alice in France; Aletta and Etelka in Hungary; St. Albina in Italy; Alvine in Latvia; Albina and Alina among other names in Lithuania; Adelajda, Ado, Albina, Alina and Ananiasz in Poland, and Albina in the Slovak Republic. Finland’s day-names are Auli, Aulikki and Aada. Source: http://www.namedaycalendar.com/december
Catholic saints honored on December 16 include St. Adelaide of Burgundy (French, d. 999 CE), St. Ado of Vienne (male, French, d. 875 CE) and St. Albina of Caesarea (Palestinian, martyred c. 250 CE). You can see the connections between the saints’ names and the name-day names easily. The name Ethel in the Estonian list was probably added because it sounds a bit like the Adel in Adelheid. The names Adelaide and Adelheid come from the Germanic name Adalheidis, which means adal “noble” and heid “kind, sort, type.” Source: http://www.behindthename.com/name/adelaide
Rahel and Raili on December 17
For December 17, the names are Rahel and Raili; in Finland it’s Raakel. Rahel and Raakel are versions of the name Rachel, but I can’t find any connection to saints’ days or names in other European countries. There was a male St. Briarch of Brittany (Welsh, abbot in France, d. 627 CE) honored on December 17, whose name has some similarity to Rachel. Source: http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=007PVC
In Greece, Rachel is one of a number of Biblical names chosen for December 14. The name comes from a Hebrew word meaning “ewe.”