Rhode/Rhoda

Gender: Female
Origin: Greek
Meaning “rose.”
(RO-dee); (ROH-dah)

The name of a sea nymph and also possibly an ancient primordial sea goddess, according to Greek mythology, Rhode was one of the oldest of the Oceanid nymphs and was said to be the daughter of Poseidon/Oceanus and Tethys. She is sometimes claimed to be the daughter of Halia and Poseidon, Amphitrite and Poseidon or the daughter of Aphrodite.

It is even suggested by some scholars that Rhode, Halia and Amphitrite might have been one and the same sea goddess who was later replaced by the Olympic pantheon and relegated to a sea nymph.

Rhode’s cult was especially popular on the Isle of Rhodes where it was believed she was the wife of the sun-god, Helios and one and the same with the goddess Athena. She was the mother of the Curetes of Crete. It is also suggested that the Island of Rhodes gets its names from her.

There is also the more modern Biblical form of Rhoda, (RO-dah).

In the New Testament it was the name of a maid who lived in the house of Mary, mother of John Mark. In the English speaking world, Rhoda came into usage in the 17th century, she has not ranked in the U.S. Top 1000 since 1975 when she came in at # 777. The highest she ever ranked in U.S. naming history was # 159 in 1881. In the 1970s Rhoda was the name of a character in the popular sitcom of the same name.

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Halia, Leucothea

Gender: Female
Origin: Greek
Meaning “briny.”
(HAHL-yah; HAY-lee-ah); (loo-KO-thee-uh)

The name is found in Greek mythology as the name of a sea nymph native to the Isle of Rhodes, sometimes believed to be one of the original Telchines (indigenous Rhodian gods).

According to Olympic-Rhodian legend, Halia was the favorite of Poseidon and was believed to be the personification of sea salt. She had six sons and one daughter: Rhode.

Her six sons’ forbade the goddess, Aphrodite, from landing on their island. In retaliation, Aphrodite drove the six boys into such madness that they raped their own mother. Halia committed suicide by throwing herself into the sea. Her sons were buried in the deep sea caves beneath the island, and it was believed by the Rhodians that Halia was reincarnated as the goddess Leucothea, who they worshipped with great honour.

Leucothea means “white goddess.” It believed that Leucothea was a title given to various sea nymphs who were later transformed as goddesses.

Coincidentally, hali’a, a Hawaiian word turned given name, is from the Hawaiian verb meaning “to remember one fondly.” Or if spelled halia, it is a past imperfect verb of hali meaning “to carry”, or “to bear.”

Other forms of Leucothea include the original Greek Leukothea (Λευκοθέα), the Spanish Leucótea (very obscure) and the Lithuanian Leukotėja (also very obscure).