Guy

Guy Pearce

Meaning: Possibly “Guide”, “valley”, or “wood”
Gender: Male
Pronunciation: GIE or GEE
Origin: English, French, and possibly Hebrew
Other forms of the name: Wido, Guido, Vid

The name Guy has a surprisingly long history. It is thought to come from the Germanic Wido which was used as a nickname for names that started with widu or wid. Another possibility is that Guy is a Hebrew name meaning “valley”. It was introduced to England by the Normans and was in popular use until Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up the British parliament. It was revived again in the 1800s by the use of the name in the novel “Guy Mannering” and “The Heir of Redclyffe”. Many today might associate it with the character of Guy of Gisbourne, the villain in BBC’s “Robin Hood” series. Other notable namesakes are that of Australian actor Guy Pearce, Saint Guy of Pomposa, Saint Guy of Anderlecht, Blessed Guy Vignotelli, a hockey player named Guy Lafleur, director Guy Ritchie (ex-husband to Madonna), and Guy of Lusignan, king-consort of Jerusalem and king of Cyprus. Guy last ranked in the top names of the US in 2006 where it sat at #992.

Justinian

Justinian with Theodora

Thanks to Emily for suggesting Justinian!

Meaning: “Righteous, just, fair”
Gender: Male
Pronunciation: just-EHN-ee-ehn
Origin: Latin
Other forms of the name: Justinius, Justin, Justinas.

Justinian I or more as he’s more commonly known, Justinian the Great, was a Byzantine Emperor that reigned from 527 to 565. Justinian was the last Emperor to speak Latin and an important Roman figure. He had the Roman law rewritten which is still the basis of civil law in many states and built the church of Hagia Sophia, which was the center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity for many centuries afterwards. Justinian is considered a Saint by Orthodox Christians and is even commemorated by some Lutheran churches. His wife, Empress Theodora, was fifteen years his junior when he had her crowned co-regent. She was the daughter of a bear trainer who worked at the Hippodrome which was a large stadium similar to a circus. She worked as a mime and then as a full-time actress, which was frowned upon at that time. “Actress” was synonymous with “prostitute”. Theodora and Justinian were complete opposites and spent most of their lives transforming the city of Constantinople, building it into one of the most wonderful cities in the world for centuries.

Ninian

Saint Ninian

Meaning: N/A
Gender: Male
Pronunciation: N/A
Origin: Welsh
Other forms of the name: Ringan, Trynnian, Finnian (?)

Ninian is probably a Latinized form of Niniavus, which could come from the Welsh name Nynniaw. Ninian was an 8th century Saint who was an missionary to the Pictish people of Scotland which is why he is also known as the Apostle to the Southern Picts. Tradition states that Ninian was a Briton who studied in Rome. He converted the Picts to Christianity and sometimes it is said that his father was a Christian King. He is supposedly buried at Candida Casa (The church he established) in Whithorn.

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