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.

Niamh

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Irish-Gaelic
Meaning: “brightness; beauty.”
(NEEV)

The name comes directly from the Gaelic meaning, “brightness; beauty.” In Irish legend, it was borne by the beautiful daughter of the sea god, she fell in love with Oisín, the son of Fionn Mac Cumhail and carried him off to the land of perpetual youth, where he lived with her for 300 years.

Currently, Niamh has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity all over the British Isles. She stands as the 70th most popular female name in England/Wales, (2008). Her rankings in other countries is as follows:

  • # 18 (Ireland, 2008)
  • # 26 (Scotland, 2009)

The Welsh form is Nia.

Sources

  1. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/niamh?view=uk
  2. http://www.behindthename.com/name/niamh