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Gender: F Meaning of Larissa: "citadel" Origin of Larissa: Variation of Larisa, Greek and Russian

Popularity: this week.

Larissa is a nymph name that's daintily pretty and a fresh alternative to Melissa or Alyssa. Though this is the more common variation in the Western World, the original is actually Larisa.

And though it may sound like a typical Edwardian/Victorian appellation, Larissa was hardly heard here before 1967, which was two years after the release of the hit film Doctor Zhivago, whose heroine was Larissa, called Lara, the inspiration for the haunting 'Lara's Theme.'

In Greek mythology, Larissa or Larisa was a nymph who was a daughter of Pegasus and loved by Mercury. In 1991, her name was given to a moon of Neptune, in honor of the nymph.

Today, Larissa is a very attractive yet underused choice that might appeal to parents who like such ultra-feminine names as Melissa and Marissa but are seeking something a bit fresher.

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Famous People Named Larissa

Larissa Wilson, English actress (Jal on TV's "Skins")
Larissa França, Brazilian beach volleyball player

Pop Culture References for the Name Larissa

Larissa, capital of Thessaly, Greece
Larissa, moon of Neptune

Lara, Laressa, Larisa, Larissah, Larrissa, Larryssa, Laryssa, Laurissa, Laurissah, Lerissa, Lissa, Lorissa, Lyssa, Risa