Morena

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Maltese/Romansch/Spanish
Meaning: “brown; brunette.”
(moh-RAY-nah)

The name comes from a Latin element meaning “dark skinned; olive skinned; brownish” and in modern Spanish it is the word for brunette.

In Italian, morena is used to describe a particular form of sediment, composed of rock debris, carried in a glacier in its flow down stream. This is referred to in English as moraine. Its usage in Switzerland and Northern Italy may be in reference to the above, used as a sort of nature name.

The name is very popular among Romansch-speakers in Switzerland and is currently the 18th most popular female name in Argentina, (2009).

It is borne by Maltese pop singer, Morena (b.1984).

Alternately, the name could be from an Old Slavic source and is used as another name for the goddess Morana, (or Marzanna), in Slavic mythology. It is believe her name is linked with the Old Slavic word for frost.

A masculine form is Moreno, used in Italian, Portuguese, Maltese, Romansch and Spanish.

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