Aira

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latvian
Meaning: “oar; scull.”
(I-rah).

I have seen this name listed across the internet before, with the dubious meaning “of the wind” and its origins listed as “American.” While the windy meaning seems nice and “airy,” (no pun intended), I am almost certain this is just another name that has been given an embellished meaning, much like Vanessa being listed as Slavic for “butterfly” and Ashley meaning “pretty ash tree of God.” Apparently, Aira is a traditional Latvian female name. A google search brought me the personal web pages of Latvian women of varying ages. I cannot confirm how popular Aira is in its home country as I couldn’t find a stastical data past Latvia’s top 10. Aira is listed on the Latvian national calender, deeming the name an accepted female given name in the Latvian lexicon. I had a hard time finding a meaning for this one. There are not very many sites listing Latvian names with meanings. There are plenty of baby name websites in Latvian that tend not to list the meanings. Mostly because the meanings of many Latvian given names are obvious to native speakers. Though there are plenty of Greek, Latin, German and Russian names that have been borrowed over the centuries, the Latvians have, as do other Baltic countries, their own set of unique names derived from vocabulary in their language. Nature names and word names are apart of the norm. Upon further research, I found that at least in Latvian etymology, Aira is a feminine form of Airis, Airis in turn comes directly from the Latvian word for oar. Not surprising to find such a name among a sea-fearing people. I also found that Aira is scientific name for hair grass. In Latvia, Aira’s name day is August 31st.

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