Letitia

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “happiness; joy.”
Eng (luh-TISH-ah)

The name is an English form of the Latin female name, Laetitia, which is derived from laeta meaning, “joy; happiness.”

The name was popularized by an early Christian Spanish saint. In Medieval England, the name was used in the form of Lettice, (sounds like lettuce). After the Reformation, it went out of usage but was revived in the 18th-century in the more elaborate incarnation of Letitia. It remained a very popular name in England and the United States between the 18th-century and the 19th-century, leading to the diminutive offshoot of Lettie, which also appears as an an independent given name in records of the same period.

In Rome, it was the name of a minor goddess of gaiety. In modern Italian, the word survives in the form of letizia (joy) and is also used as a given name. Letizia was also the name of Napoleon Bonaparte’s mother.

Currently, its Portuguese form of Letícia is the 20th most popular female name in Brazil, (2011). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • #320 (France, Laëtitia, 2009)
The name is currently borne by Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano (b.1972), the wife of Crown Prince Felipe of Spain.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Levenez (Breton)
  • Letícia (Catalan/Hungarian/Portuguese)
  • Letizia (Corsican/Italian)
  • Lettice (English)
  • Letitia (English)
  • Laëtitia (French)
  • Laetitia (German)
  • Letiţia (Moldovan/Romanian)
  • Letycja (Polish)
  • Leticia (Spanish)
  • Leta (Swiss-German)

 

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