Halia, Leucothea

Gender: Female
Origin: Greek
Meaning “briny.”
(HAHL-yah; HAY-lee-ah); (loo-KO-thee-uh)

The name is found in Greek mythology as the name of a sea nymph native to the Isle of Rhodes, sometimes believed to be one of the original Telchines (indigenous Rhodian gods).

According to Olympic-Rhodian legend, Halia was the favorite of Poseidon and was believed to be the personification of sea salt. She had six sons and one daughter: Rhode.

Her six sons’ forbade the goddess, Aphrodite, from landing on their island. In retaliation, Aphrodite drove the six boys into such madness that they raped their own mother. Halia committed suicide by throwing herself into the sea. Her sons were buried in the deep sea caves beneath the island, and it was believed by the Rhodians that Halia was reincarnated as the goddess Leucothea, who they worshipped with great honour.

Leucothea means “white goddess.” It believed that Leucothea was a title given to various sea nymphs who were later transformed as goddesses.

Coincidentally, hali’a, a Hawaiian word turned given name, is from the Hawaiian verb meaning “to remember one fondly.” Or if spelled halia, it is a past imperfect verb of hali meaning “to carry”, or “to bear.”

Other forms of Leucothea include the original Greek Leukothea (Λευκοθέα), the Spanish Leucótea (very obscure) and the Lithuanian Leukotėja (also very obscure).

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