Gabija

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “to cover; to console; to bend.”
(gah-BIH-yah)

Borne in Lithuanian mythology by the goddess of fire or hearth, the name can either be traced to the Lithuanian element gaubti, which could either mean “to cover; to protect; to bend” or “to console.”

Other sources suggest that Gabija is a newly designated name for the goddess, whose true name has been lost to history. Some sources have suggested that the goddess was given a new name by the Polish historian, Jan Łasicki in 1615, being a corruption of the Russian Gafiya, which is an archaic form of Agatha.

According to Łasicki, the sacred fire of the household was thought to be an incarnation of Gabija herself, it was essential for devotees to keep the fire alive and to feed it bread and salt. The women of the household were required to put the fire to bed, by stoking it to sleep, so that the fire wouldn’t wonder off to places where it was not allowed to be.

If Gabija was ever angered, she would take revenge by burning your house down.

Gabeta and Gabieta are other forms.

A male form is Gabijus.

In 2005, she was the most popular female name in Lithuania and in 2008, she was overthrown by Ona, and became the 2nd most popular female name in Lithuania.

The designated name-day is January 9.