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Christian (F)>

Christian (female)

Variants:Cairistiana (F) Christiana (F) Christiane (F) Kirsteen (F) Kirsten (F) Kirstin (F) Kristina (F) Kursten (F) Xtian (F) Xtiana (F)
Diminutive(s):Chris (F) Chrisn (F) Christ (F) Christn (F)
Pet Name(s):Chrissie (F) Christie (F) Christy (F) Cis (F) Cissie (F) Cissy (F) Kirstie (F) Kirsty (F) Kit (F) Kitty (F) Teenie (F) Tina (F)
Derivative(s):Christabel (F) Christabella (F) Christabelle (F) Christina (F) Christine (F)
Lesser Synonym(s):Christina (F)
Can be spelt:Chrishan (F) Christain (F) Christan (F) Christen (F) Christin (F) Chursten (F) Cristian (F)
Masculine form:Christian (M)
Source(s): English Parish Register
FreeCEN 1841 Census of Aberdeenshire
The Oxford Names Companion, OUP
"Scottish Forenames" - Donald Whyte, FGH, FSG
Personal communication [MG]

English and, especially, Scottish. Via Latin and Greek from Hebrew Messiah, "anointed".

This has been a popular female name in Scotland, particularly in the period since the publication of John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" in 1684, although it was not uncommon earlier. Although ONC says that it is mainly a male name, in Scotland it is more usually used as a female name.

There are very many spelling variations in the 1841 Census of Aberdeenshire. We have listed the most frequent ones, above. Many others arise which may be considered mis-spellings; these will generally be found by the use of Soundex searching.

One of the reasons for the extremely variable spelling in Scotland was the pronunciation. A correspondent [MG] notes that Christian was pronounced "Kursten" in her family and the spelling was usually Chursten, with pet names Kirsty or Kirstie. Throughout the 19th century in Banffshire, Scotland, earlier members of the same family who were called Christian also appear in official records as Christiana [Bunyan's name for the wife of his eponymous hero], Christina or Christine.

Note that many old documents and some later ones replaced the first few letters with the single letter X, to give Xtian. In the older documents the Latin feminine ending -a was preferred, i.e. Christiana or Xtiana, and modified for Latin case endings.