Ara

Ara is the Latin word for “altar” as well as the name of a constellation in the southern hemisphere. According to Greek mythology, it received its name when the Greek gods overthrew the Titans and the smoke from the altar was what the Milky Way represented. Other possible meanings in Latin are “refuge” and “protection, sanctuary” while in Greek ara means “prayer”, “vow”, and “curse”. Ara is also the singular form of Arai (also spelled Arae), female spirits (or daimones) of curses summoned from the underworld by the dead on those responsible for their deaths. They’re often confused with the Furies (Erinyes) and seem to be the children of Nyx, goddess of the night.

Ara is also the name of a legendary Armenian prince also known as Ara the Handsome because he was so beautiful that even the legendary queen Semiramis (known as Shamiram in Armenian) waged a war to capture him but he ended up being killed in battle. The meaning behind the name is unknown. Ara could also be a variant spelling of Arah, a Hebrew male name meaning “wayfarer, wanderer”. It could also be a nickname for names that being with Ara such as Arabella, Araceli, Ariadne and Arianna, etc. It’s also a place name in several places, as well as also being a Korean female name meaning “to know, to be wise” (아라).

Origin: Latin, Greek, Armenian, Hebrew, Korean

Variants:

  • Arah (Hebrew)
  • Arra (English)

 

Mina

Mina is an Indian female name meaning “fish” in Sanskrit, as well as used as the Sanskrit term for the constellation Pisces; Minali is a variant of the name meaning “fish catcher”. It’s also a short form of Wilhelmina, the feminine form of Wilhelm, a German cognate of William meaning “wilfull protection” or “desiring protection” from Germanic elements wil (will, desire) and helm (helmet, protection). Mina is also a Japanese female name with various meanings depending on the kanji used, made up of Japanese elements mi 美 (beauty, beautiful), 未 (have not come, future), 実 (reality, truth); and na 奈 (apple tree, what),那 (what), 菜 (vegetables, greens), 和 (harmony), 愛 (love, affection); and likely other meanings.

Mina is also a Persian female name meaning “enamel, glaze” or “lapis lazuli”, as well as being the Pashto word for “love”, as well as also being the Arabic word for “port”. Mina is also a Korean female name written with Hangul (Korean alphabet) 미나 with various meanings depending on the hanja (Korean name for Chinese characters) used to write out the syllables. One such meaning for  (mi) is “beauty” (), “small” (), “not” (未), “rice” (米), “name of a mountain” (嵋), while 나 (na) means “I” in first person singular. Written with the hangul 민아 with various meanings depending on the hanja used 민 (min) “keen, sensitive” (敏), “jade” (珉), “jade” (), “heaven” (旻); and 아 (a): “elegant, neat, tidy” (雅), “good, beautiful” (娥), “oh, ah” (娥); and other meanings.

As well as being a female name, Mina is also an Egyptian Arabic male name which seems to come from Menes, the Greek form of an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh which seems to mean “He who endures” from Egyptian verb mnj and has also been linked to Memphis, the name of an ancient city in Egypt which is the Ancient Greek form of Egyptian Men-nefer meaning “enduring and beautiful” from mn (enduring) and nfr (beautiful). Menes, the first pharoah of Egypt who united Lower and Upper Egypt into one kingdom; his name is believed to have been an epithet rather than an actual name of a person long since forgotten.

Mina is also a surname as well as being a given name, derived from any place name called Mina, or from Portuguese and Spanish mina meaning “mine”, likely referring to a place where a mine was located. It could also be a variant form of Minas derived from Greek given name Menas from Menes, or from Arabic given name Minnah meanin “gift, charity, good deed”.

Origin: Sanskrit, German, Japanese, Persian, Korean, Ancient Egyptian

 

Variants:

  • Meena (Indian, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil)
  • Mi-na (Korean)
  • Mi-nah (Korean)
  • Minali (Indian, Hindi)

 

Hikaru

Hikaru is a Japanese unisex name meaning “light” with the kanji or “brightness” with the kanji. Because it’s a unisex name, some kanji characters are used specifically for females while others are used for males only. Some kanji characters used for females are: 光佳留 “light + beautiful, good, excellent + to stay, to keep, to remain, to study abroad”; 光流 “light + to flow, current, flow, stream; to drift, to wander”; 光海 “light + sea, ocean”; 光留 “light + to stay, to keep, to remain, to study abroad”; 妃夏瑠 “a ruler’s wife, queen, empress + summer + precious stone, gem, lapis lazuli”; 妃華瑠 “a rulers wife, queen, empress + flower, splendor + precious stone, gem, lapis lazuli”; 妃香瑠 “a ruler’s wife, queen, empress + fragrance, fragrant + precious stone, gem, lapis lazuli”; while some kanji used for men are: 光琉 “light + precious stone, gem, lapis lazuli”; 太陽 “sun”; “clear”; and 流星 “to flow, current, flow, stream; to drift, to wander + star”; 弘明 “to spread, enlarge, expand, great + clear, tomorrow, bright”; and many more depending on the kanji.

Origin: Japanese

Seiya

Seiya is a Japanese male name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used. Some meanings I could find are: 世哉 “world, generation”; 星矢 “star, planet, heavenly body + arrow”; 清耶 “clear, distinct, apparent, pure + father”; 正夜 “correct, righteous + night”; 生八 “life, existence, being + eight”; 成也 “to become, to succeed, accomplish + to be, also, too”; 声弥 “voice + extensive, full, complete”; 盛哉 “prosper”; 聖野 “holy, sacred + area, field”; 世乎 “world, generation + seem to, as if”; 西椰 “west + coconut tree”; 征椰 “conquer, subdue, vanquish + coconut tree”. Though there are likely many more meanings than this.

Origin: Japanese

 

Maya, Maia

Maya is the name of the Mayan civilization and its people, a Mesoamerican civilization that stretched out in southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemela, El Salvador, and Honduras, though it’s of unknown meaning.  Maya is also an Indian girl’s name meaning “illusion” or “magic” in Sanskrit, featuring as a concept in Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hindu mythology, Maya is an epithet for Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, and love, and Durga, a warrior goddess.

Maya is also a Hebrew female name meaning “water” derived from mayim (water).

In Japan, Maya is a unisex name that has a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used: “hemp,flax,linen + to be”; “ten thousand + to be”; “true + to be”; “true + night”; and “to rub, graze, grind + eight”; there are other meanings besides these.

Maya also seems to have been a male name in Ancient Egyptian, being the name of a High Priest of Amun in Ancient Egypt who lived during the 14th century during the reign of Akhenaten, as well as being the name of  a treasurer who lived in the 16th century, though I couldn’t find any meaning behind the name.

Maia is the name of one of the oldest of the Pleiades, seven nymphs who are the daughters of Atlas, a Titan, and Pleione, an Oceanid. By Zeus, she is the mother of the god Hermes, and also helped raise Arcas, the son of Zeus and Callisto, whose mother was turned into a bear by Hera. The name possibly means “good mother” in Greek, and was used as an honorific for motherly figures. Maia also means “midwife”.

Maia is also a Roman goddess of spring, the wife of Vulcan; her name comes from Latin maius meaning “great”, and the month of May is named after her.

Maia is also the Basque form of Maria, the Latin form of Hebrew name Miriam, a name of unknown meaning though possible meanings ascribed to it are “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness” or “obstinacy”, and “wished for child”. It’s also possible that it might be derived from an Egyptian name either meaning “beloved” from myr, or from mr “love”.

Maia means “palm tree” in the Maori language.

Origin: Sanskrit, Greek, Roman, Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Maori, Japanese

Variants:

  • Maja (Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Polish)
  • Maïa (French)

 

Male forms:

  • Maj (Slovene)

 

 

Maya 麻也 (Japanese kanji) “hemp,flax,linen+to be

Maya 万也 (Japanese kanji) “ten thousand + to be”

Maya 真也 (Japanese kanji) “true + to be”

Maya 真夜 (Japanese kanji) “true + night”

Maya 摩八 (Japanese kanji)”to rub, graze, grind + eight”

 

 

Leo

Origin: Latin, Germanic

Meaning: Leo comes from Latin word leo meaning “lion”. It’s a constellation representing to the Ancient Greeks the Nemean lion killed by the Greek demigod and hero Herakles (Hercules) as one of his twelve labors.

Leo is also one of the signs of the Zodiac, belonging to those born between July 22nd to August 23rd. Apparently those born under this sign are stubborn, loyal and trustworthy, assured, confident and ambitious, but prone to arrogance, jealousy and bossiness.

Leo is also a nickname for names like Leopold, a Germanic name meaning “bold people” from elements leud (people) and bald (bold), the first part of the name deliberately changed to resemble leo; and Leonard meaning “brave lion” from Germanic levon (lion) and hard (brave, hardy).

Variants:

  • Leon (Greek, Ancient Greek, English, German, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Dutch)
  • Leontios (Ancient Greek)
  • Leontius (Ancient Greek, Latin)
  • Levon (Armenian)
  • Leoš (Czech)
  • Léo (French)
  • Léon (French)
  • Léonce (French form of Leontios)
  • Lionel (French diminutive of Léon; English)
  • Levan (Georgian)
  • Leone (Italian)
  • Leonzio (Italian form of Leontios)
  • Leonas (Lithuanian)
  • Lef (Polish cognate of Lev)
  • Lev (Russian)
  • Leonti (Russian)
  • Leontiy (Russian)
  • Leonty (Russian)
  • Lyov (Russian)
  • León (Spanish)
  • Leoncio (Spanish)

 

Vega

Origin: Arabic, Spanish

Meaning: the name of the brightest star in the contellation Lyra and the fifth brightest star in the night sky, Vega derives its name from Arabic- the phrase an-nasr al-wāqi means “the alighting eagle” or “the falling eagle”, and because Vega comes from the wāqi part the name would mean “alighting” or falling”.

Vega is also a Spanish surname meaning “meadow” or “plain”, a locational surname indicating where someone lived or used to live. De la Vega means “from the meadow” or “from the plain”.