Europe is home to some of the most beautiful countries in the world. Many people dream about traveling around Europe, especially the UK and France, but did you know that there are unique names originating from these countries that are becoming more and more popular across the world?
Every year new names pop up all over Europe, coming from cities and countries with rich history and culture. If you are looking for a name for your little bundle of joy, below are listed some of the most popular options. The article will also discuss the different meanings behind the most popular European names so that you can pick the one that best suits your baby.
Conor is a name that was made popular by the Irish hero and warrior, Conchobar mac Nessa in the Ulster Cycle, it means ‘wolf cub’. The name spread throughout Europe via medieval romances such as Sir Thomas Malory’s “Le Morte d’Arthur”. It also featured in Shakespeare’s play “King Lear” where its meaning was changed to ‘lover of hounds’. In recent years the popularity of this name was enhanced due to the fame and success of MMA fighter Conor McGregor. According to this list of Irish names, Conor is currently the most popular name used in Ireland today. It also ranks at number 233 in US’ most popular boys’ names. If you are looking for something unique and classic this could be a perfect choice.
Alexander is derived from the Greek name Alexandros, which means ‘protector of the people. While the name was already used in ancient Macedonia and Greece, it didn’t become popular until Alexander III of Macedon (popularly known as Alexander the Great), who conquered a large portion of the world. Popularity for this name peaked during the Victorian era in England. It is currently at 56th place in the most popular boys’ names in the US. The female version “Alexandra” gained popularity after several royals took on this moniker including Alexandra of Denmark (consort to Edward VII) and Alexandra Feodorovna (tsarina consort to Nicholas II). For both versions of this beautiful name, the meaning is ‘defending men’. This name has a rich history and can bring a touch of sophistication to your baby’s life.
Emma/Emily (England, France)
Emma is at number one in the list of most popular English names, and was made famous by Jane Austen’s leading lady in her romantic novel “Emma”. It has been a favorite for royalty as well; it has been used over the centuries by rulers such as Theodelinde, daughter of Charlemagne and Holy Roman empress to Louis II; Emma of Normandy (daughter of William the Conqueror); and Emma de Guader, who married William II of England. Not only is the name Emma beautiful, but it also means ‘whole’. Another similar female version “Emily” has been used by English speakers since the 16th century and was made popular in the 19th century after a novel called “The Professor” was published which featured a character named Emily. It can have two separate definitions depending on where you are from: In England, it means ‘industrious’ whereas in Latin countries such as Italy, Spain and Portugal it translates as “rival”.
Sofia is currently the most popular name in Bulgaria and has been for almost a decade. It was made famous by writer Ivan Vazov in his book “Under the Yoke” and has gone on to feature prominently in many Bulgarian novels, poems, and songs. The female version of this name means ‘wisdom’. Sofia is also one of the top ten most popular names across Europe with rankings as high as 2nd place in countries such as Denmark and Sweden. Currently, Sofia ranks 45th most popular girls’ name used in the US with its popularity rising rapidly over recent years. If you are looking for an exotic name with a strong meaning and rich historical background, Sofia might be the perfect choice for you.
Victoria/Victor (France, Italy, UK)
Victoria originated from France where it was used to commemorate victory in battle, such as that obtained by Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Jena. In Italy, this name translates as ‘conquers’ and in Latin countries, it means ‘triumphant’. This name is the feminine version of Victor, which was made popular after a French general named Napoleon Bonaparte was captured by English soldiers at Waterloo. It has since become a more common girls’ name over time. Currently, Victoria ranks 3rd most popular girl’s name used in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland with its popularity growing every year. If you are looking for something simple but elegant this would be a great choice for your baby girl.
All of these names were used for centuries and that’s one of the reasons they are so beautiful. They all have an interesting meaning and a rich background that will make any child feel special every time you call out their name. So if you are still looking for that perfect name for your child, then one of these should be your top choice.
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