Name Origins

Ask questions here about the history and origin of surnames and given names.

26,833 Questions
Name Origins

What is the origin of the name Christmas?

The Greek letter 'X' is the first letter (chi) for the greek word for Christ, Xristos ( Χριστός). Xmas therefore means "Christ's Mass." The letter chi is written the same as the Roman letter X. So, as a form of shorthand, some people replace "Christ" with the first letter of his Greek name, X.

The term Xmas, while sometimes controversial among Christians, has become a common short English abbreviation for Christmas.

Name Origins

Manhandled is it considered a form of abuse?

Yes it is. Being Manhandled means a man putting his hands on a women and tossing or jerking her around

Video Games
Name Origins
A Tale of Two Cities

Why do army officers peak caps have two golden threads?


Peaked or visor caps usually have a loose-fitting strap that sits on top of the bill. This strap is attached at each side with a button. For officers, this strap can be a gold or silver "rope" and usually doubled.

The visor cap evolved from earlier forms of military hats. All hats had a chin strap to help hold the hat firmly on the head. Officer's hats evolved to have a brass strap or over-lapping plates. Also, when not in use, the straps could be tied or buckled so that it was worn above the bill. Some even attached to the very top of the hat.

A close comparison is the German pickelhaulbe (or spiked) helmet, which was a leather helmet first worn in the early 1800's. These were usually worn with the chin strap resting on the bill of the helmet. Enlisted men's helmets had leather chin straps and officer or elite troops(cavalry) had brass chin straps.

So, the golden threads are actually chin straps. And they still function, some what, as an adjustable strap. The knot at each end will actually slide such that the strap will gown wide enough to place under the chin. But of course, there is no way to secute it snugly and it is not practical nor does it look cool, either.

Another hat that also hat gold or colored cords were the Slouch hats worn by US Army. These resemble the common "cowboy hat". They were common wear during American Civil War and out West. A tan version was issued during the Spanish American War and later evolved into the Campaign Hat that Army drill instructors wore. These had a double cord that had two ends that hung loose. These were colored to indicate branch of service. I think this evolved to the colored piping worn on the Overseas caps used in WW2.

British hat from Waterloo with white braided cord

British hat from Waterloo era with chin strap tied up to peak of hat.

French Napoleonic hats

British shako (post Napoleonic) with 1-piece chin strap attached across front of hat.

US Slouch hats and Campaign hats and other hats from various times.

WW2 USAAF 'crusher' caps

Soviet Visor caps

Practical Answer

The modern visor cap has the chin strap usually worn on top of the bill. Officers are rope cords and enlistedmen's are leather straps. Both are made of two strands, one attached at each button on the side of the hat. The cord wraps around the front of the hat and has a loop or knot at the other end that slips over the mating cord. This arrangement allows the chin strap to be loosened or tightened. This double cord design allows for this adjustment of the strap.

The slouch hats also have double cords probably for the same reason.


Name Origins

What is Grinch Mean Time?

The moment on the Grinchs' clock that indicates it's time to steal Christmas, and time to get mean.

The answer above is almost certainly the right one, but it is just possible that the questioner was asking about Greenwich mean time.

Many who don't speak the Queen's English believe that Greenwich is pronounced "green witch." Almost all Brits say it 'grennitch', but a few (including Her Majesty), opt for "grinnitch." New Zealanders, who long ago abandoned "maj-speak", go for 'grinnertch'. The 'er' in this is a very short schwa, and the result sounds amazingly like Grinch.

Name Origins
Synonyms and Antonyms

What is the opposite gender of bride?

The opposite gender of bride is bridegroom, or groom.

Name Origins
Names and Name Meanings

What is the meaning of the name Anisha?

Anisha signifies continuum and uninterrupted perpetual process that never stops, one which has an everlasting flame for eternity. Anisha is also one of the names of Goddess Laxmi, in Indian culture and mythology. Anisha is also an anagram of Ahinsa (i.e. non-violence). It may also mean "light" and "brightness" as in the opposite of night (i.e. "nisha" that signifies darkness). In that regards, the name Anishacarries the same meaning as another Indian name Usha. It is also believed that the name Anisha is dderived from Greek word Anice, and hence has the meaning Satisfaction or Fulfillment in material sense or Enlightenment in spiritual perspective.

Notable Anisha:

Anisha Nicole, Anisha Shenai, Anisha Nagarajan, Anisha Lakhani, Anisha Tomlinson, Anisha Khatkhate, Anisha Shenai-Khatkhate, Anisha Chinoy

This name means she has the greatest power of all, invincible, blessed, lucky and one of gods greatest creations.

This name brings luck and beauty to all

it is a femanine name and originates from India.

it was created by the king of india when his eldest daughter was born.

Name Origins
Caste System

What Sikh caste is the last name Kamyotra?

Sikhs do not believe in caste. Its just a Punjabi thing.

Note: Sikhism is a Religion, Punjabi is a culture.

Name Origins

Is Dennis an Irish surname?

The Dennis families of County Cork may have been Ó Donnghusa who anglicized their surname.

The English surname Dennis is first found in the records of Lancashire, after the Norman Conquest that began in 1066 A.D.

The French version of this surname is first found in Champagne, where they'd held family seat since the most ancient of days.

See the Related Link listed below for more information:

Name Origins
History of India

Is Bisla a jatt last name?

yes it is !!

this caste belongs to jatt or jaat (as many live in haryana now)

they were mainly from Punjab but as they have chosen to stay in native places.. they can be found in haryana , uttar pradesh & rajasthan as well....

their presence is also there in many foreign countries....

they have established their names in various parts of the world...

Literature and Language
Name Origins

Where did the name Ludmilla come from?

Ludmilla, or more commonly, outside of English-speaking countries, Ludmila or Lyudmila, is a girl's name of Slavic origin (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, etc.).

Lud means "people," while mila means "love, dear," making Ludmila mean "love of the people."

Perhaps the most famous person named Ludmila is Saint Ludmila, a Bohemian princess of the 10th century. She is known as the patron saint of Bohemia, the Czech Republic, religious converts, widows, and duchesses.

Name Origins
English to Swedish

Where does the name Christmas come from?


Christmas comes from the words Christ and mass. "Christ" refers to Jesus Christ, the Christian messiah; and mass is a religious ceremony or celebration.

Name Origins
Names and Name Meanings

What is the meaning of the name Weaver?

Weaver isn't a real name.Weaver is a verb though.If your looking for that its a person that knits clothing.

Weaver is a noun, it means a person who weaves. It is also a proper noun, usually a surname.

Chicago Cubs
Name Origins

How did Chicago get its name?

The town of Chicago was founded in 1833 and named by the French Canadians in their pronounciation and spelling of an Algonquian word. It is either the Fox tribe's word for "place of wild onion" or the Ojibwa tribe's word for "skunk". Either way, it has been recorded that wild onion, chives and garlic grew in the area and the Chicago River was named for the plants and their fragrance. Then the city that was built on the river was called by the same name.

Home & Garden
Plants and Flowers
Name Origins

What is another name for a windflower?

Anemone is another name for windflower.

Name Origins
Names and Name Meanings

A person's name meaning right hand of god?

Jesus or Benjamin

Name Origins

What does Blue Ivy mean?

Blue from Jay-Z's successful CD hits (The Blue Print One, The Blue Print Two, The Blue Print Three, The Blueprint four and five). Ivy actually stand for the Roman Numeral IV, which means four. Jay-z and Beyonce were both born on the fourth, and they got married on the fourth. And, Carter is Shawn's last name.

Beyond that, it means absolutely nothing; backwards, forwards or inside out it is meaningless to anyone other that little Blue Ivy and her parents.

Word and Phrase Origins
Name Origins

Where did the word 'kitchen' come from?

The English word kitchen derives from the Old English cycene, from Western Germanic*kocina, a variation of the Latin coquina.

The phrase "Everything but the kitchen sink" refers to intense bobardment, WWII.

Names and Name Meanings
Name Origins
Cherokee Indians

What does your name Diana mean in Cherokee?


Name Origins

In which hemispheres is Asia located?

Asia is in the northern and eastern hmispheres.

Quran (Koran)
Name Origins
Baby Names

What is meaning of Ayaan?

Name: Ayaan

Meaning: Gift of God

Gender: Male

Origin: Arabic

Ayaan word is mentioned in Surah al naml(ants) verse number 65 in the holy Quran

it means the day of judgment , also the Arabic meaning is gift of god

its also a sanskrit word meaning speed.

Günther Schlee seems to translate ayaan as "day." (Chapter: "Loanwords in Oromo and Rendille as a mirror of past inter-ethnic relations." Book: African Languages, Development and the State. Page 201. 1994.)

Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi says, "Ayaan means good luck and destiny, someone who is in good luck and prosperous might be referred to as ayaanle. Ayaan is also a popular name for girls. In the ancient Cushitic religion, the ayaan, or ayana among the Oromo, are good spirits or angels that mediate between god and humans and whose blessings one seeks. As is known from practices among non-Muslim non-Christian Oromo, the chief priest of the Cushitic cult is the qallu." (Book: Culture and Customs of Somalia. Page 65. 2001.)

Name Origins

What is the origin of the name 'Kamisha'?

From the Sanskrit meaning "lord or master of desire"; "the Conqueror of love". A name of Lord Shiva. Alternate spelling is Kamesha.

Word and Phrase Origins
Name Origins

What is the origin of the word calendar?

The word "calendar" is from Old French and Latin. The ending "-ar" is from 17th century English, to distinguish it from "calender," meaning "cloth-presser." Please see the related link below.

Name Origins

Where did the name Yossarian originate from?

Yossarian is an Armenian surname, a patronymic of uncertain origin.

Other Armenian surnames, (answered from

Grigorian - Armenian: patronymic from the Armenian personal name Grigor (see Gregory).

Hovespian - Armenian: patronymic from the personal name Hovsep, classical Armenian Yovsep(see Joseph).

Name Origins

What ethnicity is the last name Fodor?

It's an Hungarian surname, very common, just like a Jones or a Smith. It originates from the country Hungary, which of course has it's own unique language.

Adult Singles
Name Origins

What does the Welsh word coch mean?



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