Milan

Milan Kundera by Václav Chochola

Origin: Slavic
Gender: Male
Meaning: "Gracious, dear"
Pronunciation: MI-lahn, mi-LAHN, MEE-lahn
Other Forms: Milen, Milán, Miloš, Miłosz; Milena, Mila, Bohumila

This name may have Slavic roots but its developed a Pan-European style, placing in the top name charts of Belgium, England and Wales, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, and even the United States. Milan comes from the Slavic element milu which means "gracious" or "dear" and started off life as a short form of names containing that element. This name has been a staple in the Czech Republic since 1935 and hasn't missed placing one year.

Milan is also a place name, though the beautiful Italian city got its name from a very different source - the Ancient Latin Milan, which meant "eager, laborious". There are a plethora of namesakes, from Milan Kundera, the Czech born author of "The Unbearable Lightness of Being", to several athletes, and more recently, the name of Shakira and Gerard Piqué first-born son.

This name, for me, is so interesting because of how many forms there are of it, even surnames like Milanović, Milanić, Milić have their roots in Milan. It shows what an important name this is, how culturally significant names really are.

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