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Mercia

This Anglo-Saxon place name would also work quite well as a baby name for girls. The English kingdom of Mercia, which was part of a heptarchy during the 8th century, derived from the Old English word merce, meaning "border people," also found as mryce and mierce. It is ultimately from a root word meaning "boundary." The kingdom was independent from the 6th century to the 9th century. Mercia is typically pronounced mer-SEE-uh.

Sometimes this name is found as a variant of Mercy and pronounced mer-SEE-uh, but it may have also been a variant of Marsha and pronounced MER-sha. As for namesakes, Mercia MacDermott was a writer of Bulgarian history, and Mercia Deane-Johns is an Australian actress.

Mercia is a very rare baby name in the U.S. In 2016 it was only given to 5 girls, and although it has been used every now and again since 1918, it has never been given more than 9 times in a year.

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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…