Irene, Irena, Eirene

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “peace.”
Eng (i-REEN); Eng archaic (i-REE-nee)
Ειρηνη

The name is derived from the Greek eirene, (i-RAY-nee), meaning “peace.”

The Ancient Greeks personified the idea of peace in form of a goddess by the name of Eirene. She was considered a Horai.

The name was also borne by a Byzantine Empress.

The name has always been popular among Eastern Christians and its usage did not become popular in the English speaking world till about the 19th-century, no doubt, due to the popular folk song, Good Night Irena.

A more elaborate form of this name is the Latin Aerenia, pronounced (ay-RAY-nee-uh).

Irene is also used in Catalan, Dutch, Estonia, German, Finnish, Italian, Latvian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.

Irene is currently the 636th most popular female name in the United States. In Spain, she ranked in at # 6 for 2006.

Other forms include:

  • Erja (Finnish: AIR-yah)
  • Irène (French: ee-HREN)
  • Irenée
  • Irén (Hungarian)
  • Irena/Irina/Irinea (Italian)
  • Irena (Polish/Czech/Croatian/Dutch/Lithuanian/Serbian/Slovak: Polish diminutive forms are Renia, and Irenka. Ena is the Croatian diminutive)
  • Iria (Portuguese/Galician)
  • Irina (Romanian/Slovene)
  • Arina Арина (Russian)
  • Irina Ирина (Russian/Bulgarian/Macedonian: Russian diminutive forms are Arisha and Irinushka)
  • Iryna Ірина (Ukrainian)

Italian masculine forms are Ireno, Irenio and Ireneo.

The designated name-days are: April 3 (Germany); April 5 (Estonia/Finland/France), April 15 (Sweden), May 5 (Greece) and May 15 (Latvia).

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