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Nina

Today's name: Nina (female)
Alternate spellings: Neena, Neenah, Nena, Nyna
International spellings: Finnish: Niina, Eastern European & Hungarian: Ninacska, French: Ninon, Spanish: Nenah, Neenah, Ninah

Potential nicknames: Nana, Ni, Nine, Nin, Ni-Ni, Ina, Ninoshka

Pronunciation: NEE-nah (and occassionally NYNE-ah)

Origin: (1) Spanish, meaning "little girl." (2) Hebrew, meaning "great grand-daughter." (3) A Russian and Polish nickname for Anne and Antonia, or names ending in -nina. (4) Swahili, meaning "mother." (5) Hindi use suggests the meaning "beautiful eyes." (6) A Babylonian goddess of the seas. (7) An Incan goddess of fire.

Fun Fact: (1) The Nina was one of Christopher Columbus's three ships. (2) Nina is very multi-ethnic - you will find that many countries use this name equally.

Popularity: There were 994 baby girls named Nina in 2010 in the U.S., ranking at #318, moving up to #304 in 2011.

Male version: Nino, meaning "God is gracious," which can be a pet form of John and names ending in -nino, typically used in Italian and Spanish.


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Lavinia

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Lavinia (lah-VIN-ee-ah) is a Latin name possibly meaning "purity," but the name is so old that no specific meaning can be given. It could simply mean "woman from Lavinium," which was an ancient town in Rome/more ancient than Rome/Etruscan. Lavinia was known as the "Mother of Rome." In Virgil's Aeneid, Lavinia was betrothed to a man named Turnus, King of the Rutuli, but when the hero Aeneas came to town her father, King of the Latins, changed his mind and wanted Lavinia to marry Aeneas. The two men then fought for her hand, but Aeneas won. Aeneas then built the town of Lavinium for her. Shakespeare had Lavinia as a character in Titus Andronicus, but her story is an unfortunate one not worthy of repeating and not true to Virgil's Lavinia. Ursula le Guin later wrote more in depth about their relationship in her 2008 novel Lavinia. And she's been a character in many more stories, including The Hunger Games. In all l…