Manuel

Origin: Spanish, Portuguese, German

Meaning: the Spanish, Portuguese and German form of Emmanuel meaning “God is with us”.

Manuela is the feminine form of the name.

Manny is a common nickname in English; Manolo and Manu are the Spanish diminutives of the name while Nelinho is the Portuguese diminutive. Manu is also the short form of Manuel (as well as its feminine form Manuela) in German.

Variants: Manoel (Portuguese Brazilian); Manuele, Emanuele (Italian); Emanuel (German, Portuguese); Manouel (Late Greek); Emmanuel (Hebrew, English); Emmanuel (French).

Monica

Origin: Unknown

Meaning: though the name is of unknown meaning, believed to have North African or Phoenician origins, it has been associated with Latin moneo meaning “advisor” and Greek monos meaning “one”.

Variants: Monique (French); Mònica (Catalan); Mónica (Spanish); Mônica (Portuguese); Monika (Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Slovak, Slovene, Swedish).

Mona has been used as a diminutive form of the name.

Moran

Origin: Hebrew, Irish, Spanish

מוֹרָן (Hebrew)

Meaning: a unisex Hebrew name meaning “viburnum shrub”.

It’s also an Anglicized form of Irish surnames O’Morain and O’Moghrain meaning “descendant of Móran”, Móran being a diminutive of Mór meaning “large” or “great”.

Moran is also a Spanish surname, a habitational surname denoting those who came from a town called Morán.

Merlin

Origin: Welsh, English

Meaning: from Welsh Myrddin meaning “sea fortress”.

Meaning: Merlin is a key figure in the King Arthur romance, a sorcerer who is Arthur’s closest adviser and ally. The name was Latinized into Merlinus by Geoffrey of Monmouth because its regular form, Merdinus, was similar to the Anglo-Norman word merde that meant excrement.

Myrrdin Wyllt is a figure in Medieval Welsh legend, depicted as a madman after a battle in which his lord was killed, who went to live in the forest with the animals and received the gift of prophecy. Interestingly enough, this Myrrdin was the same person Geoffrey of Monmouth took and conflated with his character of Merlin .

Merlis is also the name of a species of falcon.

Variants: Merlin, Merlyn

Malina

Origin: Scottish, Bulgarian, Serbian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Romanian, Greek, Inuit

Meaning: a diminutive of Scottish Malcolmina, the feminine form of Malcolm meaning “disciple of Saint Columba”.

Malina is also a Slavic name meaning “raspberry”.

Mălina is also a Romanian name, deriving from the Romanian word mălin meaning “bird cherry tree”.

It could also be an elaborate form of Scandanivian Malin, a short form of Magdalene meaning “of Magdala”. It could also be derived from Hebrew migdal meaning “tower” from a root meaning “high”.

Malina could also be a variant spelling of Greek Melina meaning “honey”.

Malina is also a figure in Inuit mythology (the practices and spiritual beliefs of the Inuit, an indigenous people from Alaska, Canada, and Greenland). Malina was a sun goddess and her brother Anningan is the moon god. Legend has it that the two got into an argument, she spread black grease on his face, and ran away eventually becoming the sun goddess ( there’s a darker version of the story in which Anningan rapes his sister and she ran away to get away from him). Anningan chases after her, becoming the moon god. So intent is he on chasing after Malina that he forgets to eat and starves, becoming thinner and thinner until he disappears to eat. It’s said that when he finally catches up with her it causes a solar eclipse.

Megaera

Origin: Greek

Μεγαιρα (Megaira)

Meaning: a Latinized form of Greek Megaira which is derived from megairo meaning “to grudge” or meaning “the jealous one”.

In Greek mythology, Megaera is one of the Furies (Tisiphone and Alecto are the other two), who avenge crimes against the natural order such as murder, unfilial conduct, crimes against the gods and especially a crime against a parent by a child (Orestes anyone?).

Megaera has also become a word in several European languages denoting a woman who is shrewish and ill-tempered.

Megara (a name from Disney’s Hercules) is either a variant of Megaera or, more likely, is derived from an ancient Greek city derived from megaron from Greek megas meaning “large, great, marvelous” refering to a large hall. In Greek mythology, Megara was a princess, the daughter of the king of Thebes, who was given to Hercules/Heracles after he’d saved Thebes from the Minyans. Megara gave birth to a son and a daughter, who were both killed by Hercules after Hera cursed him with a temporary madness and leading to him to perform the 12 Labors in atonement. Some sources say Megara was also killed, others that she was given to his nephew Iolaus after he left Thebes, who later gave him a daughter Leipephilene.

According to dictionary.com, Megaera is pronounced muh-jeer-uh although I’ve always pronounced it how it looks: meg-aer-uh

Mika

Origin: Finnish, Japanese

美香 (Japanese) “beautiful fragrance”

美加 (Japanese) “beautiful increase”

Meaning: a masculine Finnish name, a short form of Mikael, from Michael meaning “who is like God?”

Mika is also a Japanese feminine name meaning “beautiful fragrance/increase” from Japanese mi 美 (beautiful) combined with ka 香 (fragrance) or ka 加 (increase). There may be other meanings depending on different kanji but these were the two I found.

Makeda

Origin: Ethiopic, Hebrew

Meaning: This is a name that has quite a few possible meanings but nothing quite concrete. It’s the Ethiopian name given to the Queen of Sheba which might mean “greatness”, “beautiful”, or derived from the Semitic word for “queen”.

It could also come from a Biblical Canaanite town called Makkedah which means “place of shepherds”.

I’ve also seen it listed as meaning “not thus” in Ethiopic due to a story that when she became queen she announced that it was “not thus is it good to worship the sun, but it is right to worship God”, moving the religion of the time from animism to monotheism.

The Queen of Sheba is a fascinating woman in history so I posted up a few links below for anyone who might be interested in knowing more.

Links:

http://www.dacb.org/stories/ethiopia/makeda.html

http://www.cafleurebon.com/makeda-is-the-true-name-of-the-ethiopian-queen-the-wife-of-king-solomon-of-judea/

http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/biblepeople/a/60113-Makeda-Sheba-Szczepanski.htm

May

Origin: English

Meaning: the month of May got its name from the Greek and Roman goddess Maia. In Greek, it means “mother” from an honorific used to address older women. It also means “midwife”. Maia also means “great” in Latin, the Roman Maia coming from a different etymology as opposed to its Greek counterpart.

May is also used as a diminutive of names such as Mary (to be rebellious; well-fed; bitter, bitterness; or it could come from Egyptian meaning “beloved” or “love”; bitter, drop; myrrh, mistress); Margaret (pearl) or Mabel (lovable).

It’s also a word in English, as well as being an archaic word for “maiden” in Old English.

Variants: Mae, Maye

Melia

Origin: Greek, English, Gaelic, Georgian

Μελια (Greek)

Meaning: a derivative of meli meaning “honey” as well as being the word for “ash tree”.

It could also be a diminutive of Amelia, a variant of Amalia from Germanic element amal meaning “work, labor”.

I’ve also seen Melia listed as a surname of Gaelic origins, from O’Maille/O’Maele, referring to male descendants of noblemen from mal meaning “prince” or “champion”.

It also seems to be a Georgian surname believed to be derived from melia or mela meaning “fox”.

Melia is the name of a nymph in Greek mythology, daughter of the Greek god Okeanos, as well as the name of a group of nymphs known as the Meliae, who also happened to be nymphs of the ash tree. They sprang up from the blood of Uranus’s castration.