Eirlys

  • Origin: Welsh
  • Meaning: “snowdrop.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pronunciation: AYRE-lis

The name comes directly from the Welsh word for “snowdrop,” a type of flower known as galanthus. The word itself is composed of the Welsh words, eira (snow) & llys (vegetable; herb).

The galanthus flower is known to flower in February.

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Mishika

  • Origin: Sanskrit मिषिका
  • Meaning: “spikenard; Nardostachys Jatamansi.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pron: (MEE-shee-kah)

The name comes directly from the Sanskrit word for the plant Nardostachys Jatamansi, known as “spikenard,” a plant endemic to the Himalayas.

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Phaedra

  • Origin: Greek Φαίδρα
  • Meaning: “bright.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pronunciation: Eng (FAY-drah, FYE-drah, FEED-rah)

The name comes directly from the Greek word φαιδρός meaning, “bright.”

It is borne in Greek mythology by the sister of Ariadne and the wife of Theseus. There are several versions of her tragic tale, one is that Aphrodite drove Phaedra to fall madly in love with the latter’s step-son, Hippolytus who rejects Phaedra, and in retaliation, Phaedra claims that Hippolytus attempted to rape her. Theseus who was granted 3 wishes by Poseidon wishes his own’s son death by having Poseidon summon 3 bulls from the sea who subsequently dragged Hippolytus to death. In another version of the tale, Phaedra falls in love with Hippolytus of her own free-will but he rejects her, and the story follows the same sequence of events as above.

The story was retold by Ovid and Senece the Younger and later became the popular subject of plays throughout Europe.

In England and France, the name became more widespread after its use in Jean Racine’s 1677 play, Phèdre and later Algernon Charles Swinborn’s1866 play, Phaedra. Friedrich Schiller also wrote a play and recently it was the subject of the opera written by German playwrite, Hans Werner Henze.

It is also another name for the plant, Bernardia, as well as the name of a genus of butterfly and an asteroid.

In France, Phèdre is a unisex name as it is a translation of both Phaedra & Phaedrus.

Phaedra appeared in the Top 100 Most Popular Female Names in Belgium, ranking in at #87 in 1997.

A masculine form is Phaedrus and Phaidros.

Forms and use include:

  • Fedra Федра (Catalan, Corsican, Italian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovene, Spanish, Ukrainian)
  • Faidra (Czech, Finnish, Hungarian, Slovakian, Swedish)
  • Fædra (Danish)
  • Phaedra (Dutch, English, Latin)
  • Phèdre (French)
  • Phaidra Φαίδρα (German, Greek)
  • Phädra (German)

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Miglė

  • Origin: Lithuanian
  • Meaning: “mist; fog;” also “bluegrass.”
  • Gender: feminine
  • Pronunciation: MIG-lay

The name comes directly from the Lithuanian word migla, meaning “fog; mist.” This is also the word for the plant, “bluegrass.”

It has been in the Top Most Popular Female Names in Lithuania since 1999, and peaked at #10 in 2010. As of 2019, it ranks in as the 21st most popular female name in Lithuania.

A notable bearer is Lithuanian Track Cyclist, Miglė Marozaitė (b. 1996).

The designated nameday in Lithuania is May 11th.

Other forms include: Migla, Miglena, Migleta, Miglija, Miglutė, Migle & Miglita.

Sources

Nuwair, Nuwairah

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  • Origin: Arabic نُوَيْر نُوَيْرة
  • Meaning: various
  • (NWAY-er; NWAY-rah)

Nuwair is an Arabic unisex name which is most likely a diminutive form of the Arabic name Naar, hence “little fire.” It was mainly a male name in Medieval times but is now almost exclusively feminine. Nuwairah is sometimes used as an elaborate form but may possibly also have a different etymology altogether, being a diminutive form of the Arabic Nour (light) or a diminutive form of Nawrah (flower).

Other transliterations include: Nowaira, Nowair, Nowayr, Nuwaira, Nuwayra, Nuwayr & Nwaira.

Sources

Primrose

painting1

Primroses by Henry Le Jeune


From the common name of the flowering plant known as the Primula vulgaris, it derives from the Latin prima rosa (first rose) due to the fact the plant is known to flower very early in the spring.

Primroses are endemic across Western Europe and it is said to be the favorite flower of British statesman, Benjamin Disraeli, hence Primrose Day on April 19th. It is also the county flower of Devon, England.

As a given-name, the earliest record I could find was a christening record for a Primrose Barsten of Gloucester, England in 1624. There are 3 other records found for Primroses in 1628, 1631 and in 1676. There are also a few records for male Primroses, both as a middle name and first, between the 1700s-1800s. In the latter case, it was probably used in reference to the surname of the Earls of Rosebery in Scotland. Sir Archibald Primrose, 1st Earl of Rosebery (1664-1723) was a Scottish politician and 1st Earl of Rosebery to be inducted into the Peerage of Scotland in 1700. In this case, the surname is most likely derived from the Welsh elements pren (tree) & rhos (moore).

By the 1800s, there are numerous records for Primroses, most commonly as a middle name, among females christened in London.

The name is not unheard of among British upper classes, in England & Wales, it is currently the 213th most popular female name in 2018.


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Iris

IrisOrigin: Greek Ιρις
Meaning: “rainbow”
Gender: Feminine

The name is derived from the Greek “Îris (Ἶρις) Írídos (ίρίδος) “rainbow” and is borne in Greek mythology by the goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the Olympian gods. It later became associated with the body part, the flower, and a colour, all of which were named for the Greek goddess.

In recent years, the name has experienced a surge in popularity in several countries. Its rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #21 (Iceland 2017, Íris)
  • #25 (Portugal, 2016, Íris)
  • #31 (Sweden, 2017)
  • #32 (France, Paris, 2016)
  • #56 (Catalonia, 2016)
  • #73 (Spain, 2016)
  • #84 (England/Wales, 2016)
  • #85 (Netherlands, 2017)
  • #85 (Slovenia, 2016)
  • #116 (Norway, 2016)
  • #121 (France, entire country, 2016)
  • #186 (United States, 2016)
  • #199 (Scotland, 2016)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Iris Ирис Իրիս (Armenian/Bulgarian/Catalan/Czech/Danish/Dutch/English/Estonian/Finnish/French/German/Greek/Italian/Serbo-Croatian/Norwegian/Polish/Romanian/Slovenian/Spanish/Swedish)
  • Iryda Ірыда (Belarusian/Polish)
  • Irida Ирида (Bulgarian/Croatian/Greek/Italian/Russian/Serbian)
  • Iiku (Finnish)
  • Iiri (Finnish)
  • Iiris (Finnish)
  • Írisz (Hungarian)
  • Íris (Icelandic/Portuguese/Slovak)
  • Iride (Italian)
  • Iridė (Lithuanian)
  • Yryda Ирида (Ukrainian)

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Cvijeta

cvijeta_zuzori_Origin: Serbo-Croatian
Meaning: “flower”
Gender: feminine
(TVEE-yet-tah)

The name comes directly from the Serbo-Croatian word for flower and was used as a vernacular form of the Latin Flora.

The name was born by Cvijeta Zuzorić (1552-1648), a Croatian lyric poetess who was able to write in Croatian, Latin and Italian.

The designated name day is January 3rd.

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Azalea

George_Taber_azaleaFrom the name of a flowering shrub, the name itself derives from the Greek,  αζαλεος (azaleos), meaning, “dry.”

Its use as a given name can be traced as far back as 18th-century England, and it has also been used in other countries such as Greece, Hungary, France and Spanish-Speaking countries.

The name first entered the U.S. Top 1000 in 2012 and has been steadily rising since then. As of 2016, Azalea was the 585th most popular female name.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Azalija Азалия (Bulgarian/Lithuanian/Russian)
  • Azalea (Catalan/Greek/Spanish)
  • Azalée (French)
  • Azálea (Hungarian)
  • Açelya (Turkish)

Sources

Coraline

Coraline.jpgOrigin: French
Meaning: uncertain
Gender: Feminine
Fr. (KOH-hrah-LEEN); Eng. (CORE-e-LINE)

The name is most likely a French diminutive form of Cora, (Grk. maiden), or Coralie that eventually spun off as an independent given name.

In both France and England, the name has been in use since the early 19th-century.

The French opera by Adolphe Adam Le toréador, ou L’accord parfait (1849) probably helped put this name on the map.

It is also the name of a French genus of apple that was bred for the first time in 2002.

In the Mediterranean, coraline is the name of a type of felucca used to hunt coral.

Its recent usage in the English-speaking world was no doubt brought back to life by Neil Gaiman’s 2002 novel Coraline, which was adapted into a film in 2009. Gaiman claimed that the character’s name was originally meant to be Caroline, but Coraline was a typo that just stuck.

Alternately, if spelled Coralline it is the name of a genus of red algae.

Another form is the Italian Coralina and the Russian and Polish form, albeit rare, is Koralina Коралина.

The name has also been in use in the Netherlands since the 19th-century.

Coraline has been in the U.S. Top 1000 Most Popular Female Names since 2012 and is currently the 602nd most popular female name in the United States (2016).

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