Sabrina

Sabrina is the Latin form of Old Welsh Habren or Hafren, the original name of the River Severen in the United Kingdom. The name might be derived from Proto-Celtic *samaros meaning “summer fallow, fallow land” from Proto-Celtic *samos (summer) and *aros (ploughing, ploughed land), or from *samos (summer) and *renwo- (quick, fast) or it could possibly mean “boundary” from an unknown source. Sabrina could also be an Arabic name derived from Arabicصبر (sabr) meaning “patient”. 

According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, the river received its name from the daughter of Locrinus, a king of the Britons, and his mistress Estrildis, a captured Germanic princess who was originally brought to Britain as a captive by the Huns. Locrinus fell in love with her but he was already bethrothed to Gwendolen, the daughter of Corineus and an ally of his father’s, and though he went through with the marriage and had a son by her, Locrinus kept Estrildis a secret by locking her in a cave underground and visiting her there. He had his daughter by her. When Corineus died, Locrinus left Gwendolen and took Estrildis as his queen. In response, Gwendolen assembled an army during which he was killed in battle, and Gwendolen had Estrildis and Sabrina/Habren drowned in the river which now bears her name.

Origin: Proto-Celtic, Arabic

Variants:

  • Sabryna (English)
  • Zabrina (English)
  • Habren (Welsh)
  • Hafren (Welsh)
  • Severn (English)
  • Sabre
  • Sabren
  • Averne

 

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