Penna

Penna comes from Latin meaning “feather, plume, wing”. It’s also an Italian surname, either derived from the given name, or from Spanish Peña meaning “rock, cliff”, a locational surname referring to someone who lived near a cliff or rocky land.

There’s also the Penna river in India (also known as Penneru) which comes from the Telugu words penu (grand) and yeru (river, stream) or neeru (water).

Origin: Latin, Spanish, Telugu

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Alita

Alita is a very rare name, possible a variant of Alethea, a Greek female name meaning “truth”. It could also be a variant spelling of Alida, the Dutch, Hungarian, and German diminutive of Adelaide meaning “noble kind, noble type” from Germanic elements adal (noble) and heid (kind, type, sort). It’s just as likely that Alita could be a short form of Adelita, also a Spanish diminutive of Adela meaning “noble”. It might also come from the Spanish word ala meaning “wing” deriving from Latin; Alita could be a variant form of the word, or it could be a diminutive of it meaning “little wing”.

Alita might also be a variant spelling of Alitta, which was the name given to the goddess Aphrodite in Arabia. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the name likely derives from Al-Lat meaning “the goddess”, a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess.

It’s also possible that Alita is the feminine singular of alitus, which is the future passive participle of alō, a Latin word meaning “nourishment, sustenance, support” from Proto-Indo-European *h₂életi (grow, nourish).

Origin: Greek, Germanic, Proto-Indo-European, Arabic

Variants:

  • Alida (Dutch, Hungarian, German)
  • Alitta