Nanaya is the name of a Sumerian goddess worshipped by both the Sumerians and Akkadians, being the goddess of sex and war. She is closely associated with the goddesses Inanna and Ishtar, all of whom share similar functions. Nanaya could possibly be related to Inanna meaning “lady of the heavens” though that’s not certain. Another source (Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Names by K.M. Sheard) lists it as a reduplication of na “human being” and “incense” + “water”.

Nanaya is also a Japanese female name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used:

  • nana 七 “seven” + ya 那 “what” (七那);
  • nana 七 “seven” + ya 夜 “night; evening” (七夜);
  • nana 七 “seven” + ya 夕 “evening” (七夕);
  • na 奈 “Nara; what” + na 菜 “vegetable; side dish; greens” + ya 耶 “question mark” (奈菜耶);
  • Nanaya 七野 is also a surname meaning “seven + plains; field; rustic”.

Written in hiragana it’s ななや. There are likely other meanings depending on the kanji used.

Origin: Sumerian, Japanese



  • Nanaia (Hellenized form of Nanaya)
  • Nanaea (Latinized form of Nanaya)


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