Skip to main content

Lyra

Sapho Lyra lyre baby names music 
"Sappho Kissing Her Lyre" by Jules-Elie Delaunay

Today's name: Lyra

Pronunciation: LYE-rah (ly-rah)

Origin: Greek, meaning "lyre." A lyre is a small harp, and it was a favorite instrument among the ancient Greeks. Lyra is a feminine variant of Lyris. The words lyricist and lyric come from the same root.

Popularity: Lyra is not, and has not been, in the U.S. top 1000. There were 216 baby girls named Lyra in 2010, along with 8 spelled Lyrah. In 2011 there were 13 Lyrah and 240 Lyra, just outside of being ranked.

Fun fact: (1) Lyra is the name of a small constellation. According to Greek mythology this constellation resembled the lyre that belonged to the poet Orpheus. Vega is its brightest star. (2) Lyra is the main character in the His Dark Materials novel series by Phillip Pullman, and the first book is now a movie titled "The Golden Compass." (3) Lyra was the chosen baby name by Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum. (4) As seen in the picture above, the lyre was used by the Greek female poet Sappho over two thousand years ago (about 630 BC), where she lived on the Isle of Lesbos. She was one of the only women in her time period to do something as professional as write poetry, and she was extremely famous among her contemporaries. Her contribution to music remains today in sapphic meter.

.

Comments

  1. I think that Lyra is a refreshingly pretty name, espcially since I've seen a marked increase in the number of Lilas or Islas I meet on a fairly regular basis.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Witchy Baby Girl Names!

Circe Invidiosa by John William Waterhouse
Have a little girl due in October? Looking to name a character? Here's my [seemingly endless] list of witchy-sounding baby names. Most of them also fit in the "clunky but cool" category, or "vintage." Most plants, trees, herbs, spices, flowers, gems, space and nature names fit the bill, because in stories and current practice these things are useful to witches. I've put any actual witch names from legend, myth, literature, movies, etc in bold and up front. I have not considered the names of actual, living people or their Pagan names, and I've left out any characters that only have a surname, or truly ridiculous given names. In the second half you'll see a list of names that, to my knowledge, have not been used for witch characters. Please know that this is not a complete list. Wikipedia has an almost complete list you can view here.
Tabitha, Samantha, Endora, Clara, Serena (Bewitched)
Katrina(Katrina Crane, …

Allifair

Alifair Hatfield
The baby name Allifair, alternatively spelled Alifair, Alafair, or Alafare, has a very interesting history. This girl's name suddenly popped into existence in the U.S. around the mid 1800's, with no mention why or how.

Some history buffs may be familiar with the Hatfield-McCoy "New Year's Day" Massacre, in which a long-time hatred between families (including Union vs Confederacy differences) finally escalated into an all-out violent battle. Alifair was the name of Randolph McCoy's daughter, born in 1858, who suffered from Polio as a child but remained productive. During an attack on the McCoy home, Alifair was shot and killed. There was later a legal trial for her murder. Ironically, there was an Alifair Hatfield born in 1873 in Kentucky.

So how did she get her name? There are records of others in 1809, 1815, 1819, 1831, 1870, 1883, 1920 and 1923. 1767 or 1787 seems to be the earliest it was recorded. It could come from Alfher/Alvar/Aelfhere…

Names inspired by the Periodic Table of Elements

Either by sound or meaning, here are baby names inspired by the Periodic Table. Not all of the elements can have baby name spin-offs, because they're just too unique. For example, Plutonium. So I will include below the number, element name, and possible baby name. Also, there are 118 total so I will do this in two or three parts.

1 Hydrogen
Hydeira, "woman of the water" in  Greek Hydra - the constellation and mythological creature 2 Helium
Heli, Helia, Helios, "sun" in Greek (Heli is Finnish) 3 Lithium
Lithia/Lithiya, same meaning as lithium, "stone" in Greek By sound - Illythia/Ilithyia, "readycomer" in Greek
There are a wealth of names that mean "stone," including Peter, Petra, Ebenezer, Kamen and Sixten 4 Beryllium
Beryl, the gemstone, or one of the three types of beryl: Morganite (Morgan, Mogana), Heliodor (see #2 above), or Aquamarine
Verulia, an old Prakrit name for beryl
Emerald is green beryl - Emeraude, Esmeralda, Emeran…