Ancient Greek, Earth, Elements, Female, Greek mythology, Hindu mythology, I names, Japanese, Mythology, Nature, Norse mythology, Place names, Sanskrit, Surname names, Virtues/Attributes


Ida is the name of two sacred mountains in Greek mythology, one located on the island of Crete and another in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey). The one in Crete is where the god Zeus was supposedly born and hidden, named by two nymphs named Ida and Adrasteia. It may be derived from Ancient Greek í̄d (ἴ̄δη) meaning “wooded hill, wood” which seems to be derived from a pre-Greek word. Another Ida from Greek mythology is the mother of Minos who appears in the Theseus legend of the Minotaur.

Ida is also an English female name which derives from Germanic element id meaning “work, labor” which may be derived from Old Norse ið (work). I’ve also seen Ida listed as being a variant of Iðunn, the name of a goddess of spring and immortal in Norse mythology, made up from Old Norse elements  (again) and unna (to love). Ida could also be used as an anglicized form of Irish Íde  (which has also been anglicized as Ita) possibly meaning “thirst”.

Ida (also spelled Idā and known as Ila) is also the name of an androgynous figure in Hindu mythology, a deity who can change their sex. I is also the word for food or refreshment in the Rigveda, something given to the gods (or devas as they are known), and there seems to be a goddess named Idâ created by Manu, the progenitor of humankind in in Hindu myth. I don’t know if both names are related to each other but I’ve seen the name listed as meaning “earth” in Sanskrit.

Ida is also an English and German surname, related to the English given name meaning “work”. Ida (pr. ee-da) is also a Japanese surname with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used: 庵田 (hermitage; retreat + rice paddy, field); 伊多 (Italy; that one + many, frequent, much) + 伊田 (Italy; that one + rice paddy, field); 位田 (rank, place + rice paddy, field); 井田 (well + rice paddy, field). There are likely other meanings depending on the kanji used; written in hiragana it’s いだ. 

Origin: Ancient Greek, Sanskrit, Japanese



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