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)

 

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Ara

Ara is the Latin word for “altar” as well as the name of a constellation in the southern hemisphere. According to Greek mythology, it received its name when the Greek gods overthrew the Titans and the smoke from the altar was what the Milky Way represented. Other possible meanings in Latin are “refuge” and “protection, sanctuary” while in Greek ara means “prayer”, “vow”, and “curse”. Ara is also the singular form of Arai (also spelled Arae), female spirits (or daimones) of curses summoned from the underworld by the dead on those responsible for their deaths. They’re often confused with the Furies (Erinyes) and seem to be the children of Nyx, goddess of the night.

Ara is also the name of a legendary Armenian prince also known as Ara the Handsome because he was so beautiful that even the legendary queen Semiramis (known as Shamiram in Armenian) waged a war to capture him but he ended up being killed in battle. The meaning behind the name is unknown. Ara could also be a variant spelling of Arah, a Hebrew male name meaning “wayfarer, wanderer”. It could also be a nickname for names that being with Ara such as Arabella, Araceli, Ariadne and Arianna, etc. It’s also a place name in several places, as well as also being a Korean female name meaning “to know, to be wise” (아라).

Origin: Latin, Greek, Armenian, Hebrew, Korean

Variants:

  • Arah (Hebrew)
  • Arra (English)

 

Vidya

Vidya is an Indian unisex name meaning “knowledge, science, learning”, “correct knowledge”, “clarity”, coming from the same root word as Veda from Sanskrit vetti (to know, to understand) from Proto-Indo-European root word *weyd (to see). It’s also one of the epithets of the Hindu goddess Sarasvati (also spelled Saraswati).

Origin: Sanskrit

Variants:

  • Widya (Indonesian)

 

Veda

Veda is an Indian female name meaning “knowledge, understanding”, “true knowledge”, “knowledge of ritual” or “sacred knowledge, sacred lore” deriving from Sanskrit vetti (to know, to understand) whic comes from the root word vid (to know) from Proto-Indo-European root word *weyd (to see).

The Vedas are the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism. There are four Vedas: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, and the Atharvaveda.

Veda also seems to be a Turkish word meaning “farewell, goodbye, parting” from Arabic wada (goodbye, farewell), though I don’t know it it’s ever used as a given name in Turkey.

Origin: Sanskrit, Arabic

 

वेद (Sanskrit)- Veda

వేద (Telugu)- Veda

ವೇದ (Kannada)- Veda