There are countless female names derived from male names, such as Joanna, Jacqueline, Roberta, Victoria and so on, but the reverse is also true. There are quite a few purely female names that have male counterparts, such as Mathilda becoming Mathildus, Elisabeth becoming Elisabethus and Catharina becoming Catharinus. These are however not overly common ones, and only survive in countries such as Norway, the Netherlands and in a few cases North America.

Some names will organically become either unisex names or purely female/male, such as Alexis, Hillary, Florence, Vivian as well as Noah and Sky, but the aforementioned -us-names are coined by merely removing the feminine -aending and adding the Latinate -usto create a brand new male name.

We will be looking into famous bearers of some of these names:

Cathrinus (primarily a Dutch variant) and Catharinus, both are fromthe Ancient Greek Catharina, either from “pure/chaste” or Ægyptian “my name has been consecrated”, whence we have the English Catherine, Kathleen and so on.

Catharinus Putnam Buckingham (1808 – 1888) - US soldier.

Cathrinus Dorotheus Olivius Bang (1822 – 1898) –Norwegian literature historian.

Cathrinus Djikstra (“Zanger Rinus”, 1969 -) - Dutch musician.

Magdalenus ← Magdalena from the Hebrew genitive form of the place-name Magdala, cognomen of the biblical character Mary Magdalen.

Cornelis Magdalenus Benjamin Kamp (1889 – 1963) – Dutch politician.

Dorotheus Magdalenus Nijland (“Dorus”, 1880 – 1968) –Dutch cyclist.

Hendrik Magdalenus Bruna (“Dick”, 1927 – 2017) – Dutch author and graphic artist.

Johannes Magdalenus Hondius (1900 – 1977) – Dutch parenting philosopher .

Margarethus ← Margaretha from Greek margarites (“pearl”).

Johannes Jacobus Margarethus Vegter (“Jo”, 1906 – 1982) – Dutcharchitect.

Margarethus Johannes Cabarius (1909 – 1976) – Dutch nobleman.

Matthias Margarethus van Asch van Wijck (1816 – 1882) – Dutch politician and baron.

Mathildus ← Mathilda, a Latin version of the older High German female name Mechthilde, “might-war”.

Alphonsus Petrus Johannes Mathildus Maria van der Stee (“Fons”, 1928 – 1999) – Dutchpolitician.

Carl Frederik Vilhelm Mathildus Rosenberg (1829 – 1885) – Danish literature historian.

Warnardus Cornelis Mathildus Begram (1823 – 1890) – Dutch politician.