Sage

Sage comes from an English word meaning “wise”, referring to someone who was wise and knowledgable. It comes from Latin *sapius via *sapere (to taste, to discern, to be wise) derived from PIE root word *sap- (to taste, to try out). Sage is also the name of an herb used in cooking, Salvia officinalis (common sage). The origin of…

Basil

Basil is an English male name which comes from Latin Basilius via Ancient Greek Basileios/Basileus meaning “king, kingly”. It comes from Proto-Hellenic *gʷatiléus (chief; king) which seems to be derived from a pre-Greek origin, perhaps from Lydian battos (king). The plant basil, used in cooking, gets its name from the source above. Basil is also an Arabic male name meaning “brave,…

Tansy

Tansy is the name of a flowering plant that has also been used as a medicinal herb. The name comes from French tanesie, an aphetic form of athanasie via Ancient Greek athanasia meaning “immortality”, made up from Greek negative prefix a- and thantos (death; corpse). Another possible meaning behind the name I’ve seen listed is that it comes from Vulgar…

Artemisia

Artemisia (pr. ar-te-mee-see-ya; Forvo) is an Ancient Greek female name, the feminine form of Artemisios which itself is derived from the name of the Greek goddess of the hunt and wild animals, Artemis. The name is of uncertain etymology and meaning with some sources citing it as pre-Greek. It could possibly be related to Persian *arte or *arta meaning “great, excellent, holy” or from…

Yarrow

Yarrow is the name of several plants in the genus Achillea, used for many kinds of medicinal purposes. Its genus name, Achillea, is named after the Greek hero Achilles, who carried it with him on the battlefield to treat wounds. It comes from Old English ġearwe (yarrow) via Proto-Germanic *garwō (yarrow), perhaps a cognate of Proto-Germanic *gelwaz (yellow) which derives from a PIE…

Cicely

Cicely is a variant spelling of Cecily, a Medieval English form of Cecilia via Latin Caecilia which is the feminine form of Caecilius, an Ancient Roman family name which comes from Latin caecus meaning “blind; hidden, invisible” via Proto-Italic *kaikos (blind) which derives from PIE *káykos (one-eyed, blind). Cicely is also the name of an herb also known as Myrrhis odorata, also known as sweet cicely, sweet…

Anissa

Anissa is a female given name, likely a combination of Anna (the Latinate form of Hannah meaning “favor, grace”) combined with the -issa suffix. It could also be a variant spelling of Anisa, an Arabic female name meaning “friendly, friend, companion, companionable”. Anisa is also a variant form of Anise, the name of a flowering plant in the Mediterranean used as an…

Coriander

Coriander is the name of an herb used in cooking (also known as cilantro) which comes from Latin coriandrum which comes from Ancient Greek koriannon which seems to be derived from kóris, korios meaning “bedbug”, which may ultimately derive from a pre-Greek origin, perhaps Phoenician. Variants: Coreander (English) Koriander (English, German, Dutch)   Female forms: Coriandra (English) Koriandra (English)…

Arbor

Arbor comes from a word referring to a shady resting place in a garden or a park surrounded by climbing shrubs or vines, made out of latticework. It comes from Latin herba (grass, herb) derived from PIE *gʰreh₁- (to grow, become green). Arbor is also a mechanical term referring to a rotating shaft in a machine or a main…