Palatine, Palatyne, Palestine, Kestenn

Gender: Female
Origin: French/Celtic
Meaning: debated
Pronunciation French (pah-lah-TEEN); English (pal-uh-TINE)

The name is found in French folklore as the name of the daughter of Pressyne and Elynas, and the sister of Mélusine.

Palatine was cursed by her mother to be locked in the Aragonese mountains with her father’s treasures, accompanied by a bear and serpent. Only a knight could free her and save her, on the condition that he be of the same bloodline as her father’s.

Throughout the years, many knights did just that, but had failed. However, a knight of King Arthur’s court, and the relative of Tristan, decided to climb the mountain and free the princess. He had to scale a mountain covered in venemous snakes, and then face the bear that guarded the entrance to the cave, all of which he killed. Finally he was able to enter the cave, but within the first chamber was a large serpent with one eye. The snake swallowed him up, and the knight was defeated in his quest, because, as it turned out, he was not of the right lineage.

Years later, Geoffrey-with-the-great-tooth, the nephew of Palatyne, had spent his life saving time, money and energy to rescue his aunt. However, he grew old, and died before he was able to commence his quest, and it is said that till this day, Palatyne still awaits within her mountain top for the right knight of the right lineage to free her.

This is also the name of one of the 7 hills of Rome, a location which has its own legends.

In Ancient Roman folklore, the Palatine is where the Lupercal cave is to be found, the cave where Romulus and Remus were rescued and milked by a wolf. Another legend holds that Hercules defeated the monster Cacus, on the same hill.

The etymology of the name is debated, whether the fairy Palatyne and the name of the hill are related is not proven, but very possible. The fact that both legends contain a mountain top or hill top as their focal point makes it plausible.

According to the Roman historian Livy (59 BC-Ad 17), the hill got its name from the Arcadian settlement of pallatium, which is derived from the Latin palatum meaning “palate.” According to another ancient source, Ennius, the name is derived from an Etruscan word meaning “sky” or “heavens.” The term palace gets its name from the Palatine hill.

Other sources point its etymology to a Breton source, it is suggested that Palatine, (or Palestine in some instances), is a medieval French corruption of the Breton Bac’h C’hesten, bac’h means “cell; unit” and c’hesten means “hive; beehive.” Hence “hive pupa.” This is supported by the fact that in the legend, Palatine is an enclosed in a cell in the mountains like a bee in a beehive.

The name was borne by an early Christian martyr, Saint Palatino, and its masculine form is still in usage in Italy today. There is also a more obscure feminine version of Palatina.

Another French form is Palestine (pah-le-STEEN), and a possible Breton form is Kestenn.

Pressyne, Pressine, Persina

Gender: Female
Origin: Breton/French
Meaning: uncertain
Pronunciation: (pres-SEEN)

The name figures in Breton folklore as that of the mother of the serpent-woman Mélusine.

Pressyne was a fairy, and the local King Elynas had fallen in love and married her after meeting her by a fountain.

The fairy soon became pregnant and made one condition with Elynas: that he would not see her while in labor. The King did not keep his promise, and during his excitement he rushed into the chamber of Pressyne while she was giving birth.

The fairy had triplets, Mélusine, Melior and Palatyne, but since the king had not kept his promise, Pressyne and her daughters had to run away to the Isle of Avalon.

The king never saw his wife again, however, on their fifteenth birthday, Mélusine, along with her two sisters, decided to seek revenge on their father.

Mélusine captured her father and locked him up, along with his riches, in a mountain.

Pressyne became very angry after she found out what her daughters had done and punished each of them for their disrespect.

Mélusine was punished by taking the form of a serpent from the waist down each Saturday. If she found a husband who would agree never to see her on Saturday, she would remain a human woman, but if her husband ever saw her on a Saturday, she was doomed to become a serpent every Saturday until Judgement day. Melior was punished by keeping a sparrow hawk in a castle in Armenia until she was rescued, and Palatyne was imprisoned with her father’s treasure in a mountain of Aragon, Spain. (

Sometimes written as Pressine and sometimes rendered as Persina, the name is of uncertain origins and meaning, but due to its appearance in Celtic folklore, the name is most likely Celtic in origins. Some sources suggest that it may be related to the Breton words berz or berziñ which means “forbidden.”

Pressyne is sweet, subdued and yet at the same time, flighty. With the rising popularity of the masculine and unfeminine surname of Presley on girls, this would make a far lovelier and even more unique option, and besides, what little girl would not want to share a name with a fairy.

Possible nicknames include Prez and Press, or Pressie


17836713_MelyuzinaGender: Female
Origin: French
Meaning: uncertain
Pronunciation: French (may-luy-ZEEN); Eng (MEL-yoo-SEEN)

The name appears throughout European folklore as the name of a water sprite who turns into a serpent from the waist down each Saturday. She appears in several different folktales from the Middle Ages, one of the most famous legends being that of her marriage to Raymond of Poitou.

The Duke met the beautiful sprite in a forest. She married the duke on the condition that he never enter her bedroom on Saturdays.

Mélusine was known for her magical powers, especially her rapid building of structures, it is said that whole towns and churches were built in a night, the tower in Vouvant being one of them. It was here where she spent her Saturdays.

Raymond was suspicious, and went to go spy on her at the tower. While looking through a peephole in the walls, he observed that his wife had transformed into a half serpent half human being. Melusine caught his indiscretion, but forgave him.

12924977The duke and the fairy had 10 children, each child bearing a strange physical characteristic. One of whom was Gregory Longtooth, who had massacred a monastary. Out of anger of his son’s actions, Raymond accused his wife of being a demon, and that she had infected his whole royal line with demon spawn. In outrage, Mélusine transformed herself into a dragon, drove through the castle’s walls, never to be seen again. However, she would continue to visit her ancestors right before someone would die, to warn them of their deaths. It is said that several royal lines throughout Europe are descended from her.

In German legends, she was known as Melusina, and the famed Christian Reformer, Martin Luther, often referred to her existence, believing that she was possibly a succubus. She even appears in the writings of Goethe. Some folktales insisted that Melusine was the fairy responsible for changelings.

The name was borne by Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenburg, Duchess of Kendal and Munster, Mistress of George I of Great Britain, she went by and was known by her middle name circa (1667); and had one daughter by the name of Melusina (1693–1778).

The name Mélusine has made it into the Czech lexicon as meluzina, referring to a wailing wind that makes itself known in chimneys.

In popular culture, she is the famous mermaid of Starbucks.

210px-Melusine_von_der_SchulenburgIn the Middle Ages, Melusine had many associations, some good and some bad. The great Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine was associated with the fairy as she came from the same line as Raymond of Poitou.

The name is of uncertain meaning, but in her book, Women of the Celts, Jean Markale, suggests that the name may be a derivative of the Latin Mal Lucina, meaning “evil Lucina,” arguing that Melusine was a personification of the goddess Juno/Lucina’s darker side. Some historians insist that Melusine was an ancient divinity who survived in folklore as a fairy.

Another theory is that Melusine is a derivative of the French term Mère Lusigne meaning “mother of the Lusignans.” Lusignan was the line of Raymond of Poitou.

Other sources suggest that it is of Breton origins, either meaning “marvellous” or “sea-fog.”

Possible nickname options include Melsie, Melzy, Mel, Lucy, Luce, Lucine and Sina