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Odessa


Odessa (oh-DESS-ah) may be a Greek name meaning "angry man" or "full of wrath," but it does have another meaning. Taken from the word odyssey, Odessa means "adventurous journey." Odessa is the female variant of Odysseus, which gives it that mythical, adventurous allure, and it was the name of a Russian port city supposedly named for the Odyssey. It is currently the 4th largest city in Ukraine, given its name by Catherine the Great, but there are many U.S. cities named Odessa as well. Maybe it's because Odessa is situated on the Black Sea, but to me the name has a nautical property. In fact, it is possible the word Odessa came from was borrowed by the Greeks and that the true meaning is "marine." So, goodbye negative meaning. Odyssa, Odessia and Odyssia are also legit spellings.

Odessa last ranked in 1959 at #959 after slowly decreasing in popularity, but it ranked every year since records started being kept. In 2010 there were only 48 baby girls named Odessa, and in 2011 there were 44. Nicknames include Odie, Dess, or Dessie. Just fyi, there were 19 baby girls named Odette in 2010, 10 named Odyssey, and 16,860 named Olivia. So Odessa makes a great alternative if you love Olivia.

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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…