American Names

Love from Latin: Verb Conjugations of Amare as Baby Names

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 6.17.13 PMHey everyone, Happy Valentine’s Day! Time for some lovely names?

I took Latin while at university, and at some point I realized that some of the many conjugations or forms of the verb amare (“to love”) have become baby names. No, I’m not going to make you learn all the ways to say love in Latin – I don’t even think I learned every tense myself since I only had three semesters of the stuff, and I’m a bit rusty to boot. I *am* going to list the derivative names I can find in my old textbook.  Enjoy!

  • Ama – 2nd singular Present Imperative Active, which basically means it’s the command “Love!” directed at one person. 16 girls were named Ama in 2016.
  • Amanda – Feminine future passive participle / gerundive.  Means “to be loved.” Amanda is one of the few girls’ names to be in the top 1000 since 1880! This timeless choice was given to 992 girls in 2016, and ranked #329.
  • Amandus – Masculine version of Amanda. It appeared a few times in the data between 1917 and 1935.
  • Amare – Infinitive active verb meaning “to love.” 19 girls and 207 boys (#979) were named Amare in 2016.
  • Amari – Present passive infinitive, means “to be loved.” In modern times, Amari is also plural for amaro, which is a type of Italian digestif (alcoholic beverage consumed to help digest a meal). 1351 boys (#269) and 695 girls (#459) were named Amari in 2016.
  • Amaris – 2nd. singular present passive indicative, means “you are loved.” 376 girls (#751) and 28 boys received this name in 2016.
  • Amata – Feminine perfect passive participle, means “having been loved.” 6 girls in 2016. I also really like the masculine form “Amatus,” but it doesn’t appear in the SSA data.
  • Amer – 1st singular subjunctive passive…I think it means “I may/should/would be loved?” 28 boys in 2016.
  • Ames – 2nd singular present active subjective.  I can’t be 100% on the correct translation, but I think it’s something like “you may/should/would love.” 86 boys and 5 girls in 2016. This name is rising very quickly!
  • Ameris – 2nd singular present subjunctive passive; if Ames is active, I think this is probably “you may/should/would be loved.”  12 girls in 2016.
  • Amo – 1st person singular present active indicative, means “I love.” Appeared in the data for both boys and girls immediately after World War I.
  • Amor – 1st singular Present Passive Indicative, means “I am loved.” This is also the noun for “love.” In 2016, 96 girls and 33 boys were named Amor.

    • Amore isn’t a verb, but another (locative, dative, and/or ablative) form of the noun Amor *and* the name of 44 girls and 19 boys born two years ago.
    • Amos is also an old (nominative and vocative) form of the noun Amor. It ranked #678 in 2016, having been given to 373 boys.

It would be cool to see the forms Amaturus and Amatura as names, but I realized they can sound a lot like “amateur” outside of classical pronunciation. 

What do you think? Do you like any of these? And to my readers who know Latin – if I’ve missed any verb conjugations that are names or gotten any translations wrong, please let met know. Truly, participles and subjunctives are curses upon us all.


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