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Tana

tana
Tana River, Kenya (source)


Tana can be pronounced TAH-nah or TAN-uh, whichever you prefer. It can be a short form of Tanya or Tatiana in Russian, which comes from the Roman cognomen Tatius and is assumed to mean "from the house of Tatius," however could mean "I arrange" or "founder." It is also an Anglicized spelling of Arabic Thana, meaning "praise." It can even be a nickname for Tiziana, from Titus, Latin meaning "honored."

In the arts Tana is a character in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, a reporter in the Superboy comics, and a video game character in Fire Emblem. In real life there is Cayetana "Tana" Ramsey, wife of Gordon Ramsey, Czech actress Tana Ficherova, Thai footballers Tana Sripandum and Tana Chanabut, children's book author Tana Hoban, and Irish novelist Tana French. There's also a Gujarati (Indian) legend about twins Tana and Riri, born around 1564, who commited suicide in refusing to sing in Akbar's court, as it was their vow to only sing in front of their local deity.

In geography, Tana is a popular place name. It's used for several villages across Europe and Asia, landmarks in Europe and the Americas, an island in Vanuatu, a lake in Ethiopia and one in Norway (that means "great river" in Sami), and a river that runs through Kenya.

1641 Tana is a main-belt asteroid. Tana was also the first long Albanian film made in 1958.

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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…