The name could be of a few different etymologies.
In Greek, it is derived from the word for “breeze”, and is borne by several characters in Greek myth. One was a Titan goddess who was the personification of the fresh breezes and the cool air that accompanies early mornings.
According to one legend, Aura was so proud of her virginity that she mocked the virgin goddess Artemis, claiming that Artemis was not as pure as she, since Artemis was too “womanly.” In revenge, Artemis had Dionysus rape Aura. As a result, the Titaness went mad, becoming a slayer of men. When her twin sons were born, Aura ate one twin, while Artemis rescued the other. Zeus eventually transformed her into a breeze. Other legends state that she was transformed into a stream.
The aurai (the breezes) were a type of nymph, fathered by the sea god Oceanus.
Aura appears in the English lexicon describing a glow or metaphysical halo that is given off by a person’s or object’s energy.
The name has also experienced usage in Scandinavia. Its earliest attestation is in Sweden in 1818. In this case, the name may be a borrowing from the Greek, or it could be a contracted form of Aurora or Aurelia. However, it has been popularly attributed as being derived from a Norse element, aurr, meaning, “clay.”
In Finland, the name is a somewhat of a patriotic name as this was given as a name to the Maiden of Finland, the personification of Finland. In this case, her name is taken from the name of a river. The river name is believed to be related to an archaic Swedish word, aathra, meaning, (waterway), but in Finnish could be translated as meaning, “plow.”
As of 2010, Aura was the 8th most popular female name in the Faroe Islands.
Other forms of the name include:
- Aura (English/Faroese/Finnish/Latin/Portuguese/Scandinavian/Spanish)
- Ára (Faroese)
- Aure (French)
- Avra (Greek)
- Aula (Italian)
- Ávrá (Sami)