Moria

Moria is a female given name with several etymologies and meanings:

  • it’s a the name of a Naiad nymph in Greek mythology whose brother Tylos was killed by a dragon, though she later brought him back to life with a magical herb. This myth is similar to the story of Pelops, who had been killed by his father Tantalus but was brought back to life by the Moirai, the three goddesses of fate. It appears this myth might have its origins in Lydian mythology; the name may be related to Ancient Greek moros meaning “fate, doom”. Moros is also the name of the personification of impending doom in Greek mythology, who drove men to their fated death and who not even Zeus could go against;
  • Moria is also the name of a type of olive tree which were considered the property of the state, a gift given from the goddess Athena to the people of Athens, so it’s possible the name also means “olive tree”;
  • it’s the name of an underground compound in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional world of Middle-Earth; it comes from his fictional language of Sindarin meaning “black chasm” or “black pit” from mor (black) and ia (void, abyss, pit);
  • it may also be a variant spelling of Moriah, the name of a mountain in the Book of Genesis in which Abraham is instructed to take his son Isaac and sacrifice him to God; the name possibly means “chosen by Yahweh” or “seen by Yahweh”;

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

  • “forest; woods + Asia; rank next; come after; -ous” (森亜);
  • “forest; woods + love; affection; favorite” (森愛);
  • “guard; protect; defend; obey + Asia; rank next; come after; -ous” (守亜);
  • “woods; grove + Asia; rank next; come after; -ous” (杜亜)

Origin: Ancient Greek, Sindarin, Hebrew, Japanese

Variants:

  • Moriah (Hebrew, English)

 

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Morgan

Morgan is a unisex name though it has two different origins: as a male name it derives from Old Welsh Morcant, a masculine name possibly meaning “sea circle” from Welsh elements mor (sea) and cant (circle), though the first element may also be related to Welsh mawr meaning “large; big; great”; the second element *cant- also means “hundred”. Morgan is also the name of a powerful enchantress in Arthurian legend, depicted as his older half-sister as well as his primary antagonist. She was named by Geoffrey of Monmouth who may have based her name on Muirgen meaning “born of the sea” or “sea-born” from Celtic *mori- (sea) and *genos- (born). Morgens (or morgans) are also the name of water spirits in Welsh and Briton mythology who drowned men to their death as well as also causing heavy floods that destroyed villages and crops. Morgan is also a surname.

Origin: Old Welsh, Gaelic

Male forms:

  • Morcant (Ancient Celtic)

 

Female forms:

  • Morgana (English)
  • Morganna (English)
  • Morgane (French)
  • Morganne (English)
  • Morgaine (French)
  • Morgen (English)

 

Alexiroe

Alexiroe (pr. ah-leks-ir-oh-ee) is a Greek female name which means “averting flow” in reference to averting a river or a stream. It comes from Greek elements alexi- (against, preventing, protecting) which comes from the same root word as alexo (to defend, help) and rhoe (river, stream) which comes from rheo (to flow).

In Greek mythology, she is one of the Naiads who had a son by King Priam of Troy, Aisakos.

Origin: Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Alexirhoe
  • Alexirrhoe

 

Echo

Echo comes from Greek ekhe meaning “sound”. This was the name of a nymph in Greek mythology who loved talking and often used her loquaciousness to distract Hera when Zeus was off on one of his affairs. When Hera found out, she cursed Echo so that she could only repeat the last thing someone else said. Echo also fell in love with the youth Narcissus but because she couldn’t speak to him, he spurned her advances and she wasted away to nothing because of her unrequited love.

Echo is also a word in English derived from the same source above, used to refer to a sound made by an echo, which is why I decided to list it as a unisex name.

Origin: Greek

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”

 

 

Melissa

Melissa comes from Greek meaning “bee” or “honeybee”. In Greek mythology, Melissa was a nymph who took care of a young Zeus when he was hidden from his father Cronus (though there are various versions of the myth naming other nymphs who looked after him) and fed him honey.

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Melyssa (English)
  • Melisa (English, Spanish, Bosnian)
  • Melitta (Ancient Attic Greek)
  • Melisa (Turkish)
  • Melis (Turkish)
  • Melika (Hawaiian)

 

Male forms:

  • Melissos (Ancient Greek)
  • Melissus (Ancient Greek)
  • Melisseus (Ancient Greek)