Isolde is the name of several figures in Arthurian legend, the most famous one being the princess of Ireland who is betrothed to King Mark of Cornwall. Mark’s nephew Tristan goes to fetch Isolde to Cornwall and on their voyage back the two accidentally drink a love potion and wind up falling madly in love with each other which eventually leads to their deaths. In some versions Mark banishes Tristan from his court when he finds out about their affair; in others, he is killed by his uncle. The origin of the name is uncertain though it’s believed to have Celtic roots or it may come from a Germanic name made up of is (ice, iron) and hild (battle) meaning “ice battle” or “iron battle”.
Origin: Ancient Germanic, perhaps Celtic
- Yseult (French)
- Eseld (Cornish)
- Izolda (Georgian, Polish)
- Isotta (Italian)
- Esyllt (Welsh)
Tamerlane is the westernized form of Timur which comes from Proto-Turkic temür meaning “iron”. Timur was a Turkic-Mongol emperor who was known as Timur the Lame by Europeans, which became Tamerlane, because of wounds sustained by arrows that struck his right leg and hand which gave him crippling injuries.
- Timur (Tatar, Chechen, Kazakh, Uzbek, Russian, Turkish)
- Temir (Kazakh)
- Temur (Georgian)
- Temuri (Georgian)
- Temür (Old Turkic)
- Demir (Turkish)
- Timur (Turkish)
Tomyris is a name of uncertain etymology. It’s the Hellenized form of Tahm-Rayiš, the name of a Massagetae queen (the Massegetaens being an ancient Eastern Iranian nomadic tribe in Central Asia in what is now parts of modern day Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, western Uzekistan, and southern Kazakhstan). Although the name is of uncertain etymology, since the original language the Massegetaens spoke is unknown, I’ve seem some sites as possibly linking it to Turkic name Timur meaning “iron” and so her name means “crush iron” or “bend iron”. Another possible meaning is that it comes from Iranian name Tomrouz meaning “girl who respects her home”.
According to Greek historians, Tomyris was the one who killed the Persian ruler Cyrus the Great when he attempted to invade her territory (after she had rejected his marriage proposal). In revenge, and after the death of her son Spargapises, she and her army defeated the Persian army and Tomyris had his corpse beheaded and stuffed the head into a wineskin filled with blood, fulfilling an earlier promise she had made him if he didn’t leave her country- although to be clear, there are different versions of how Cyrus the Great died, and this is just one of them. Apparently, history isn’t as clear-cut as it ought to be.
Origin: Unknown, possibly Turkic or Iranian