Tara

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Various
Eng (TAH-rah; TARE-uh)

The name can be of several different origins and meanings depending on the bearer of the name. It could be from the Sanskrit and Hindi तारा meaning, “star.”

In Hinduisim, Tara (Devi), a Mahavidya of Mahadevi, Kali or Parvati is a star goddess, she is considered one of the Great Wisdom goddesses.

In Buddhism, Tara is the name of a tantric meditation goddess.

In the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, it is the name of the wife of the monkey king, Vali, who married the king’s brother, Sugriva, after Vali’s death.

Among the Irish Diaspora, the name was usually used in reference to the sacred hill, Tara, where the high kings were usually coronated. In this case, the name is an anglicized form of the Gaelic, Teamhair, meaning, “elevated place.”

It may have been further popularized in the English-speaking world by the 1936 Margaret Mitchell novel, Gone with the Wind, in which the plantation is called Tara, in honour of the hill in Ireland.

In South Slavic languages, it could either be a contracted form of Tamara, or it could be taken from the name of the river which runs through Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is also the name of a river in Russia.

As of 2009, Tara was the 30th most popular female name in Croatia. Her popularity in other countries are as follows:

  • # 50 (Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 62 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 77 (Northern Ireland, 2010)
  • # 126 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 774 (United States, 2010)

It is also the name of a sea goddess in Polynesian Mythology.

Samra

The name is of a few different etymologies. It could be from the Arabic adjective  امغر (asemr) which means, “tan” or “darkish-skin.” It could also be a variant transliteration of the Arabic female name, Samira.

The name is also a popular Ethiopian female name, its origin may be traced either to the Arabic or it could be an Amharic form of the Biblical city name, Samara.

The name is borne by an Ethiopian Orthodox saint, known as Christos Samra; a yearly festival is held in her honour. Many legends have been attributed to her, one of the most curious being that she went to Hell and asked Satan if he would be willing to reconcile with God. Satan refused to reconcile and held Samra hostage in Hell. Samra was eventually rescued by the Angel Gabriel and in the process, rescued several doomed souls. It is believed that no prayer to her will go unanswered.

Another Ethiopian form is Samrawit, literally meaning, “belonging to Samra.”

As of 2010, Samra 76th most popular female name in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Indira

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Sanskrit  इन्दिरा Индира
Meaning: “beauty.”
(IN-deer-uh)

The name comes from the Sanskrit element, Indu, meaning “beauty.” In Hinduism, it is one of the many names of the goddess Lakshmi.

The name was popularized outside of India via India’s first female Prime Minister, Indira Ghandi (1917-1984).

The name has become quite popular in Central Asia, particularly in the former Soviet Republics after Indira Ghandi had established close relations with the Soviet Union. The name is currently the 6th most popular female name in Tajikistan, (2010).

It is also occasionally used in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia.

Ari

The name can have a few derivations and meanings depending on the ethnic background of the bearer. In Hebrew, it is the word for lion  אֲרִי, Lev, its Russian counterpart, was a popular cognate among Eastern European Jews.

In Albanian it means “gold” and is a common element that appears in many traditional Albanian names.

It is a common Badaga male name, (Badaga is a dialect of Kannada, an Indian language) and it means “sun-like”, it is often anglicized as Harry.

In Finnish and Estonian it was originally used as a form of Adrian and also used as a borrowing from the Old Norse, (see below).

Among Greeks, it is the modern form of the mythological name, Ares, meaning “best”, though commonly used as an independent given name it is also used as a short form of Aristostle.

In Armenian it means brave Արի, and it is also an Old Norse name meaning “eagle.”

Currently, Ari is the 502nd most popular male name in the United States, (2010).

In recent years, Entourage has brought this name to the forefront as the name of one of the key characters.

It is also borne by the husband of Princess Märtha Louise of Norway, Ari Behn (b.1972).

Other notable bearers include:

  • Ari Þorgilsson (Iceland’s foremost Medieval Chronicler 1067-1158)
  • RabbiIsaac Luria (1534–1572), Jewish rabbinical scholar and mystic known also as Ari
  • Ari Emmanuel (brother of Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emmanuel and a famous American talent agent)
  • Ari Fleischer (b.1960, U.S. press secretary for George W. Bush).

Sources

  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/ari-1
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ari_(name)