Karen

Karen is the Danish shortened form of Katherine, which is the English form of Greek Aikaterine though the etymology behind the name is not certain. It could be derived from another Greek name, Hekaterine from hekateros meaning “each of the two” or from Hecate, the name of the Greek goddess of witchcraft, the underworld, and crossroads. Though her name is of uncertain meaning it’s…

Elam

Elam is a Hebrew male name either meaning “hidden” or “eternity, forever”; Elam also means “young (unmarried) man”. Elam is also the name of an ancient civilization in what is now southwest Iran. The name itself comes from the Sumerian transliteration of elama or from Elamite haltamti which I’ve seen meaning “lord country”, or perhaps from…

Soraya

Soraya is the Persian form of Thurayya, an Arabic female name used to refer to the “Pleiades”, a bright cluster of seven stars that are able to be seen with the naked eye. In Greek mythology, the Pleiades are named for the seven daughters of Pleione, a sea-nymph, and the Titan Atlas. Thurayya also means “chandelier” as well as meaning…

Io

Io (pr. eye-o) is the name of a figure in Greek mythology, an Argive princess who was loved by the god Zeus. When his wife Hera found out about her, he changed her into a white heifer in order to protect her. However, Hera saw through the deception and demanded that Zeus give her the heifer as…

Deianeira

Deianeira is the name of the the third wife of the hero and demi-god Heracles in Greek myth. The daughter of Oeneus, king of Calydon, she was nearly abducted by a centaur named Nessus who attempted to rape her, though she was saved by Heracles who shot him with a poisoned arrow. As he was dying, Nessus…

Yuma

Yuma is a Japanese unisex name (though far more popular for boys) with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used: yu 遊 “play” + ma 真 “true; reality; Buddhist sect” (遊真); yu 裕 “abundant; rich; fertile” + ma 馬 “horse” (裕馬); yu 優 “tenderness; excel; surpass; tenderness, gentleness” + ma 馬 “horse” (優馬); yu 雄 “male, masculine; hero; leader; superiority; excellence” + ma 磨 “polish; grind; brush (teeth)” (雄磨); yu 悠 “permanence; distant; long time;…

Marius

Marius comes from a Roman family name which can either be used as a masculine form of Maria (the Latin form of Hebrew name Miriam, a name of unknown meaning though possible meanings ascribed to it are “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness” or “obstinacy”, and “wished for child”. It’s also possible that it might be derived from an Egyptian…

Norma

Norma is a female given name which seems to have first been used by Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini for his opera Norma (1831). He may have possibly based it from Latin norma meaning “rule; standard, pattern; a carpenter’s square”, though it could also be used as a feminine form of Norman which comes from an English surname, a byname originally given to those…

Sandy

Sandy is a shortened form of Alexander or its feminine forms Alexandra and Sandra, all of which derive from Ancient Greek Alexandros meaning “defending men” or “defender of men” from Greek elements alexo (to defend, help) and aner (man). In Greek mythology, it was another name for the Trojan prince Paris, famous for abducting Helen, wife of Menelaus, which started the ten year Trojan war. It’s…

Alastair

Alastair is a Scottish male name, a variant form of Alasdair which is the Scottish form of Alexander which is the Latinized form of Greek Alexandros meaning “defending men” or “defender of men” from Greek elements alexo (to defend, help) and aner (man). In Greek mythology, it was another name for the Trojan prince Paris, famous for abducting Helen, wife of Menelaus, which started the ten…