Metrodora

Metrodora is an Ancient Greek name meaning “mother’s gift” or “gift of the mother” from Greek elements meter (mother) and doron (gift). It’s the name of a 4th century martyr who, along with her sisters Menodora and Nymphadora, were tortured and killed for refusing to renounce their religion. It’s also the name of a Greek female physician in the 3rd century, who was the author of the oldest medical text written by a woman titled On the Diseases and Cures of Women.

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Mitrodora (Macedonian)

 

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Maya, Maia

Maya is the name of the Mayan civilization and its people, a Mesoamerican civilization that stretched out in southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemela, El Salvador, and Honduras, though it’s of unknown meaning.  Maya is also an Indian girl’s name meaning “illusion” or “magic” in Sanskrit, featuring as a concept in Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hindu mythology, Maya is an epithet for Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, and love, and Durga, a warrior goddess.

Maya is also a Hebrew female name meaning “water” derived from mayim (water).

In Japan, Maya is a unisex name that has a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used: “hemp,flax,linen + to be”; “ten thousand + to be”; “true + to be”; “true + night”; and “to rub, graze, grind + eight”; there are other meanings besides these.

Maya also seems to have been a male name in Ancient Egyptian, being the name of a High Priest of Amun in Ancient Egypt who lived during the 14th century during the reign of Akhenaten, as well as being the name of  a treasurer who lived in the 16th century, though I couldn’t find any meaning behind the name.

Maia is the name of one of the oldest of the Pleiades, seven nymphs who are the daughters of Atlas, a Titan, and Pleione, an Oceanid. By Zeus, she is the mother of the god Hermes, and also helped raise Arcas, the son of Zeus and Callisto, whose mother was turned into a bear by Hera. The name possibly means “good mother” in Greek, and was used as an honorific for motherly figures. Maia also means “midwife”.

Maia is also a Roman goddess of spring, the wife of Vulcan; her name comes from Latin maius meaning “great”, and the month of May is named after her.

Maia is also the Basque 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 name either meaning “beloved” from myr, or from mr “love”.

Maia means “palm tree” in the Maori language.

Origin: Sanskrit, Greek, Roman, Hebrew, Ancient Egyptian, Maori, Japanese

Variants:

  • Maja (Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Polish)
  • Maïa (French)

 

Male forms:

  • Maj (Slovene)

 

 

Maya 麻也 (Japanese kanji) “hemp,flax,linen+to be

Maya 万也 (Japanese kanji) “ten thousand + to be”

Maya 真也 (Japanese kanji) “true + to be”

Maya 真夜 (Japanese kanji) “true + night”

Maya 摩八 (Japanese kanji)”to rub, graze, grind + eight”

 

 

Demeter

Demeter is the goddess of agriculture who presides over all growing things, particularly crops, the mother of Persephone, and the sister of Zeus. Though the etymology behind the name is uncertain, the second element of the name is from Greek meter meaning “mother”. The first part of the name is a little tricky. It could be linked to da meaning “earth” which is the Doric form of Greek ge (earth) essentially meaning “mother earth”. Another possible theory is that it comes from the same Proto-Indo-European root word as Zeus’s name, *Dyeus, likely meaning “shine” or “sky, heaven, god”.

Demeter is also the Hungarian male form of Demetrius which is actually the masculine form of Greek Demeter.

Origin: Greek, Proto-Indo-European

Female variants:

  • Demetria (Ancient Greek, English)
  • Demetra (Greek, Italian, Romanian)
  • Dimitra (Modern Greek)

 

Male forms:

  • Demetrius (Ancient Greek)
  • Demetrios (Ancient Greek)
  • Dimitrios (Modern Greek)
  • Dimitris (Modern Greek)