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This name is one of the ultimate cross-cultural names, it has various meanings and legitimate origins from Europe, to Asia and to the Middle East.

The name has been recorded in use in Northern Europe since Medieval Times, possibly being a contracted form of Adalheidis, its offshoots of Talea and Talina have experienced minor recent resurgence in Germany. Tala also been used in most Scandinavian countries, though today, it is considered very archaic.

Tala appears in a 14th-century Swedish folk ballad Herr Holger (which is the subject of a 1996 song by the Swedish band, Gamarna). The ballad recounts the exploits of a greedy tax official who steals tax money for himself. He is caught by King Christian and beheaded. He is condemned to hell, but is able to return to warn his wife, Fru Tala (Lady Tala). He pleads with Tala to return all the wealth she inherited from him, (which in turn was the result of his stolen money), to its rightful owner or else she will experience a similar fate. Tala refuses, as she would rather condemn herself to hell than give up her wealth.

Its Finnish and Estonian form is Taala and Taali, and a Scandinavian  masculine version is Tale.

Tala is also the name of a Tagalog goddess of the morning and evening star. In one legend, she is the daughter of the sun god Arao and the moon goddess, Buan. Arao and Buan had a large number of star-children, the eldest being Tala. Arao was afraid his heat would burn up his star-children, so he and Buan decided to destroy them, but Buan reneged on her promise and hid her children behind clouds. Arao got wind of Buan’s secret and, according to legend, continues to try and destroy her, which explains the phenomenon of eclipses. Each morning, Buan runs to hide her children behind the clouds, her eldest Tala being the lookout before dawn, being the personification of the morning star.

In another Tagalog legend, Tala is the daughter of the god Bathala. She is the sister of Hanan (the goddess of the morning) and Mayari, another moon goddess.

In Tagalog, tala means “star; planet; celestial body.”

Tala was recently a hit song by Filipina singer, Sarah Geronimo (2016).

In Indian classical music, Tala is the term used to describe musical meter and rhythm. It literally means “clapping; tapping.”

Tala can also be Arabic تالة (Tala) meaning “Turmeric tree; turmeric spice” or a “small potted palm.”

In Amazigh, one of the languages of the Berber people, Tala means “source; spring or fountain.”

Tala is also Farsi and means “gold.”

In Italy and Romania, Tala is used as a diminutive form of Natalia, a la Romanian actress, Tala Birell (1907-1958).

Tala is the name of a type of decidous tree native to tropical and subtropical South America. Its scientific name is celtis tala.

Other meanings include:

  • It is the Azeri word for “glade.”
  • tālā is the Samoan currency and is believed to be a phonetic corruption of the English word dollar.
  • In Polish, it is a feminine form of the Greek, Thales, though it is seldom used, it does appear on the nameday calendar.
  • In Pashtun, Təla/Tala means “weighing scale” and is the name of the seventh month of the Afghan Calendar, its meaning referring to the Zodiac sign of Libra.
  • It is the name of a minor Chadic language in Nigeria.

What the name is not:

Many baby name sources have dubiously listed this name as meaning “wolf” in “Native American,” (which is not a language by the way), while other sources have listed this as being Cherokee or Iroquois for “wolf hunter,” but there are no legitimate Cherokee or Iroquois sources collaborating this information. In fact, Native Languages of the Americas has written a fabulous list pertaining to faux Native American baby names and Tala made the list.

As a closing to this post, I recommend this blog post written by a mother explaining the reason why she chose this name for her daughter. It is from 2006, but still a wonderful read D-Log: The Many Meanings of Tala.




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Persian
Meaning: “gold”

The name is derived from a Persian element meaning, “gold” and its usage can be traced to the Scythians. According to Herodotus, it was supposedly borne a Scythian queen who led a rebellion against the Parthians.

The name is extremely popular throughout Central Asia. It is also occasionally used by Russians.

As of 2010, its Bosnian form of Zerina was the 50th most popular female name in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Its modern Persian form is Zarine  زرین.

An Armenian form is Zarineh Զարինեհ


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Spanish
Meaning: “peace”
Sp (PAHTH); Latin American Sp (PAHZ)

The name comes directly from the Spanish word for peace and is usually used in reference to an epithet of the Virgin Mary Maria del Paz (Our Lady of Peace).

It can also be a Hebrew name derived from the word for gold פָּז.

Currently, Paz is the 28th most popular female name in Chile, (2010).



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).


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


335px-Gallen_Kallela_Kullervos_CurseGender: Masculine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: “gold”

The name is derived from the Finnish kulta meaning “gold.” In Finnish Mythology, the name is borne by the son of Kalervo, a tragic character whose story is illustrated in the Finnish epic the Kalevala. According to the story, Kallervo was a magician who turns out badly due to an abusive child abuse, his death poem of Kullervo has inspired many literary works, the most significant being J.R.R Tolkien’s the Silmarillon. The Tale of Túrin Turambar is said to have been directly inspired by Kullervo’s discourse between his sword. Some Finnish scholars have claimed that Kullervo’s struggle is a bitter metaphor for Finland’s struggle for independence in the last century. The story has inspired the 1892 choral symphony of the same name written by Jean Sibelius. Its designated name-day is September 25. To hear how the name is pronounced, go here: http://www.forvo.com/word/kullervo/


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “gold”
(OWK-say) OW as in ow when something hurts pronunciation is here http://forvo.com/word/auksė/

The name comes from the Lithuanian word for gold and is used as a derivative for the Latin name Aurelia. The male version is Auksys and its name day is July 19.


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Bosnian/Bulgarian/Crotian/Czech/Macedonian/Serbian/Slovak/Slovene
Meaning: “gold”

The name is derived from the Czech/Slovak elemet, zlata meaning “gold.” The suffix of -ica is a popular one among feminine Slavic names denoting something small and feminine. Zlatuska (zlah-TOOSH-kah), and Zlatka, can either be used a nickname or variation. The name also coincides with the Czech/Slovak word for the buttercup flower.

In the Southern Slavic languages, it just means “gold.”