Aïda

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Arabic عائدة
Meaning: “the return; the visitor.”
It (ah-EE-dah); Al/Bos (I-dah)

The name has a two different possible etymologies. One is that it is from the Arabic, meaning, “returning; visitor.”

In the case of Verdi’s Opera, Auguste Mariette was inspired by a possible Greco-Egyptian male name which was recorded on the Rosetta Stone, AitusThe name was initially feminized to Aita, but was later changed to Aïda. Mariette attests to the origin of the name himself in a letter he wrote:  “Don’t be alarmed by the title. Aida is an Egyptian name. Normally it would be Aita. But that name would be too harsh, and the singers would irresistibly soften it to Aida.”

The opera is about an Ethiopian princess who is captured and enslaved in Egypt. An Egyptian military commander by the name of Radamnes must chose between his love for Aida or his loyalty to the pharoah.

As of 2010, Aida was the 52nd most popular female name in Bosnia & Herzegovina, (2010).

Its Arabic form is sometimes transliterated as Ayda.

The name is used throughout the Islamic world in addition to Anglophone countries, Spanish speaking countries, Italy and in Hungary and Latvia.

Its designated name-days are: February 2 (Hungary) and February 3 (Latvia).

Sources

  1. Dizionario dei Nomi (Selene, Armenia, 2002)
  2. http://www.behindthename.com/name/aida
  3. Simon, Henry W. (1946). A Treasury of Grand Opera. Simon and Schuster, New York, New York.
  4. http://archive.operainfo.org/broadcast/operaBackground.cgi?id=33&language=1