Are There Different Meanings for One Name?

Several names have different meanings depending on the gender and original language of the name. Examples of names with several meanings include Noah, Ava, Ella, Owen and Eli.

Noah derives from the Hebrew language but has different meanings depending on the gender. The male name Noach means "rest" or "comfort," while the female name No'ah means "motion." Eli as a male name also derives from the Hebrew language; it can mean either "ascension" or "my God." However, as a Scandinavian female name, it is a diminutive form of Elizabeth, a Hebrew name meaning "my God is abundance," or Helen, a Greek name meaning "torch" or "moon."

Ava has three different language origins. As an English variation of the Hebrew name Eve, the name's meaning is "to breathe" or "to live." As a Persian name, Ava means "voice" or "sound." As a German name, it possibly means "desired." Ella has two language origins. As a Germanic name, it derives from the Germanic word "alja," meaning "other." Ella is also sometimes used as a diminutive of Helen.

Owen derives from two different languages. If the name derives from the Welsh name Owain, its meaning is probably "youth." If Owen derives from the Irish name Eoghan, its meaning is "born from the yew tree." However, both names possibly derive from the Greek name Eugenios, which means "well-born."