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Theresa


Today's name is Theresa, which comes with the cute nicknames Tess, Tessa, Terra, or Reese/Reesa. There's Terry and Tracy, but they've fallen out of favor and seem dated. Theresa is Greek, meaning "late summer, to harvest (which is synonymous with to reap/gather)." It's most famous namesake is Mother Teresa, and what a great person to share a name with, although there were two other saints with this name. Theresa is teh-REE-sah, but you could also opt for Terese/Therese, said teh-REESE.

The first known namesake was the Spanish wife of Roman nobleman Paulinus from the 5th century. Apparently she was a writer who other women were fond of, thus giving her name to their children.
Here is a lovely list of international variants: wikipedia

Looking for something a little more unusual? Try Theria, which may have been a variant at some point, as both Theria and Theresa may come from the name of the Greek island Therasia. Theresa reached it's height around 1960 and is no longer on the top 1000 as of 2010 when it ranked at #928, a slow decline over the decade. Still, it is just below #1000, having 211 births in 2011. That being said, I don't see it coming back into the top 1000 any time soon, as Tess and Tessa have taken over with their similar, yet more modern sound. Tess in 2011 was #925, on its way up, and Tessa was #229, sort of hovering around that spot since 2000.

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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…