Dana

Dana is an English unisex name though it has multiple origins and meanings. As an English given name it’s derived from a surname, a variant of Dane, referring to someone who came from Denmark or had Danish descent. It could also be a variant of D’Aunay, a Huguenot French name derived from several place names in France called Aunay, of unknown meaning.

It’s also the feminine form of Daniel, a Hebrew male name meaning “God is my judge”, or a feminine form of Dan “judge”, as well as meaning a nickname for names such as Bogdana, a Slavic female name meaning “given by God”; Yordana, the Bulgarian feminine form of Jordan meaning “descend” or “flow down” though the name could also have been influenced by Jordanes, an Old German name that probably derives from Old Norse jord meaning “earth”; and Gordana, the feminine form of Gordan, a Slavic name meaning dignified”.  Dana is also a Persian unisex name meaning “wise”, “knowing”, “learned”. Spelled dána, it’s an Irish word meaning “bold” and “presumptuous”, as well as also being a modern form of Danu, the name of an Irish mother goddess and also a Hindu primordial goddess of the sea. Though the etymology behind the name is unclear I’ve seen it listed as meaning “swift flowing” though it also means “river” from the Avestan word dānu meaning “river”; the Danube river comes from this etymology.

Origin: English, Hebrew, Slavic, Persian, Irish,

Variants:

  • Dayna (English)

 

Finn

Finn comes from an Irish name meaning “fair”, “blessed” or “white” derived from Proto-Celtic *windos (white). Finn is the older spelling of Fionn, which belongs to the name of a warrior in Irish myth known as Fionn mac Cumhaill (or Finn MacCool in English) and the leader of the Fianna. His birth name was Deimne but he was later nicknamed Fionn when his hair turned prematurely white.

Finn also comes from Old Norse Finnr meaning “a Finn, a Sami, Lapp”, a given name and byname used to refer to someone who came from Finland or was part of the Sami people (also known as Lapps). Although the origin behind  finnr is uncertain it has been linked to Old Norse meaning “wanderer”. Finnr is the name of a dawrf mentioned in the Völuspá, the first poem in the Poetic Edda, a collection of Old Norse poems. Finn is also a surname which could be be derived from both sources, as well as being a short form of names like Finley, Finnegan, or Thorfinn/Torfinn

Origin: Proto-Celtic, Old Norse

Varinats:

  • Fionn (Irish)
  • Fion (Irish)
  • Finnagán (Irish diminutive of Fionn)
  • Fionnán (Irish diminutive of Fionn)
  • Finnán (older form of Fionnán)
  • Finnr (Ancient Scandinavian)
  • Finnur (Icelandic)
  • Fína (Greenlandic)
  • Finna (Greenlandic)

 

Female forms:

  • Fiona (Scottish, English)
  • Finna (female form of Finnr; Old Norse, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian)

 

Etain

Etain is the Anglicized form of Étaín, an Irish female name. It seems likely it derives from Old Irish ét meaning “jealousy, passion, zeal”. In Irish mythology, Étaín is the lover of Midir, the son of the Dagda, but she was turned into a water, a worm, and a butterfly (or a fly in some versions) by his jealous wife Fuamnach. Étaín has also been associated as being a sun and horse goddess.

It can be pronounced as e-tane or ay-teen (I prefer the former).

Origin: Irish

Variants:

  • Étaín (Irish)
  • Etaoin (Modern Irish)
  • Éadaoin (Modern Irish)
  • Édaín (Irish)
  • Eadan (Modern Irish)
  • Edana (Latin)
  • Aideen (English, Irish)

 

Aiden

Origin: Irish

Meaning: Aiden is a variant spelling of Aidan, which is the Anglicized form of Aodhán from Old Irish Áedán, a diminutive of Áed (or Aodh) with the diminutive suffix -an meaning “fire” or “fiery” so Aiden would mean “little fire” or “little fiery one”.

In Irish mythology Aodh (pronounced ae like hay) is one of the sons of Lir, the twin brother of Fionnuala, and brother of Conn and Fiachra (also twins) who were cursed to be swans for 900 years by their jealous stepmother.

Variants:

  • Aidan (Irish, Scottish, English)
  • Aden (English)
  • Aydan (English)
  • Ayden (English)
  • Aedan (English, Irish)
  • Edan (Irish, Scottish)
  • Áed (Ancient Irish)
  • Áedán (Ancient Irish)
  • Áedh (Ancient Irish)
  • Aodh (Irish, Scottish)
  • Aodhán (Irish, Scottish)
  • Aodhagán (Irish, Scottish)
  • Iagan (Scottish)