Lilith

Lilith comes from Akkadian lilitu or lilatu meaning “night”, which seems to have been used to refer to a type of female demon in Assyrian and Sumerian myth known as lilitu or lili (a male demon would be lilu) who sedeuce and sleep with humans. According to Jewish tradition, Lilith is the first woman ever created, Adam’s first wife, before she was thrown out of Eden and replaced with Eve because she refused to submit to Adam; apparently she became the first demon. The name comes Hebrew and Arabic lail also meaning “night”. Another possible meaning is that it comes from Sumerian lil meaning “air”.

Origin: Akkadian, Sumerian, Hebrew, Arabic

Variants:

  • Lilit (Armenian,
  • Lilitu (Akkadian, Sumerian)
  • Lilita (Latvian)

 

Apollo

Apollo is the Greek god of prophecy, medicine, the sun, light, music, poetry, plague and disease, and one of the most important gods in both the Greek and Roman pantheon. He is the twin brother of Artemis and often associated with the sun (and Artemis the moon), and the son of Zeus and Leto. His name is of uncertain etymology and meaning though the ancient Greeks often associated it with the Greek apollymi meaning “to destroy”. It’s also been associated with Doric apella “wall”, later referring to an assembly. Other possible theories regarding the name link it to Indo-European apelo “strength”, Greek apolusis “to redeem”, apolousis “purification”, apoloúōn “washing”, apolúōn “delivering”, aploun “simple”, and aei bállōn “always shooting (arrows)”. However, it seems more likely that Apollo is pre-Greek in origin, perhaps related to Appaliunas, an Anatolian god  whose name possibly means “father light” or “father lion”, though it could also be related to the name of a Hittite god related to Aplu, a Hurrian and Hittite god of plague and healing; the name might be derived from Akkadian Aplu Enlil meaning “the son of Enlil”, a title given to the Mesopotamian god Nergal (who was the god of war, pestilence, and death), though I’ve also seen it listed as meaning “father light” or “father lion”. Appaliunas might also have a Luwian etymology (Luwian being an ancient language related to Anatolian and closely related to Hittite) from *appal- meaning “trap, snare, pitfall, ambush”.

Origin: Indo-European, Greek, Akkadian

Variants:

  • Apollon (Ancient Greek)
  • Apollinaris (Ancient Greek)
  • Apollonios (Ancient Greek)
  • Apollinaire (French)
  • Apolinary (Polish)
  • Apolinar (Spanish)
  • Apollodorus (Ancient Greek)
  • Apollodoros (Ancient Greek)

 

Female forms:

  • Apolla
  • Apollonia (Ancient Greek, Italian)
  • Apollodora (Ancient Greek)
  • Apolena (Slovak, Czech)
  • Apolonia (Spanish, Polish)
  • Apolline (French)

Dido

Dido (pr. die-do) is the name of the Carthaginian queen featured in Virgil’s Aeneid. She was the founder and very first queen of Carthage (located in modern day Tunisia), who killed herself by throwing herself onto a funeral pyre after the Roman hero Aeneas left her to find a new home for the Trojan people. Though Dido’s real name was Elissa, she was also known as Dido later on, a name which seems to have been given to her by the Libyans meaning “wanderer” since she and her people had been wandering, searching for a new home before arriving at North Africa where she founded Carthage. Other possibly meanings for the name I’ve seen are it could possibly be from Phoenician meaning “virgin”, or related to Akkadian didu used to refer to a woman’s robe (dida) meaning “loosened” or “torn”.

Origin: Libyan, Phoenician, Akkadian

Variants:

  • Didone (Italian)
  • Didon (French)

 

Leatrice

Leatrice seems to be a combination of two names, Leah (a Hebrew female name possibly meaning “weary, languid, tired” though it’s also been associated with the meaning of “cow”. It might also be related to an Akkadian word meaning “mistress”); and Beatrice, the Italian form of Beatrix which means ‘”happy” or “blessed” from Latin beatus, taking on the meaning of “she who makes happy” or it could be a variant form of Viatrix, also from Latin meaning “female traveler/voyager”. It’s just as likely that Leatrice is a variant spelling of Liatris, the name of a genus of flowers also known as blazing star and gayfeather, native to North America (including Mexico and the Bahamas). I couldn’t find anything behind the name.

Origin: Hebrew, Akkadian, Latin

 

Variants:

  • Liatris