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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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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…