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Hania

Hania (HAN-yah, HAH-nee-uh) is a Hebrew variation of Chania/Channah, meaning "resting place; grace of the Lord" and also a Polish diminutive of Hannah, meaning "grace, gracious." Hannah is an Old Testament name which became Anna in the New Testament. Chania is also a city in Crete which the Greeks called Kydonia, meaning "quince." Spelled Haniya this name is taken to mean "to be happy."

There are a few namesakes for Hania - most recently Vin Diesel chose this name for his daughter, but also Polish pop singer Hania Stach, English actress Hania Barton (sister to Mischa), and Hania Mufti, a human rights activist from Jordan.

In the Bible this was the name of the mother of the prophet Samuel. Hannah was a childless woman who prayed to God for children and was then blessed with six of them. Samuel became a warrior and judge of Israel. The name Hannah was not used regularly until after the Protestant Reformation, but it was favorited by the Puritans. Hannah has several forms other than Hania/Haniya and Chania/Chaniya. Some of them are Anita, Anja/Anya, Annika/Anika/Anica, Anka, Annushka, Jana, Nandag, Ania, Anais, Hanne, Hannele, Anniken, and Annikki.

Although Hania is so close in spelling to Hannah, it is very rare, with only 17 girls given the name in 2013. It also seems to have not been used before 1994.

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Allifair

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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…