Category: Meanings of Baby Names
By Linda Rosenkrantz
One subtle way to celebrate Father’s Day is to give a future Daddy’s girl or boy a name with ‘father’ in its meaning, especially if the baby is due around this time of year. These baby names stretch across many cultures, some of them with religious significance and, as you will notice, the majority starting with the letter ‘A’..
Abba—a masculine name derived from the ancient Aramaic meaning “father,” Abba has been in use since the first century. Abba Eban (born Aubrey) was a noted Israeli diplomat and scholar, onetime ambassador to the US and to the UN. The name of the 70s Swedish pop group ABBA is an acronym of the members’ names–Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid.
Juno – The month of June gets its name from Juno, an ancient Roman goddess. Juno is a Latin name meaning queen of the heavens. Not only does June’s weather make it a popular season for weddings, but Juno is also the goddess of marriage. The quirky 2007 film, Juno may have made this a household name, though only 49 girls were given it in the United States last year.
I followed with interest an online name discussion a while back in which the parents had loved the name Zora for years, and when they were finally expecting a girl and planning to use Zora, they were made aware of the Spanish word zorra, which can translate as “fox” but is used as an unsavory term for a girl. “Is this name now unusable?” they fretted, and while the opinions of the commenters were mixed, the parents ultimately decided not to use Zora, despite the awesome reference to Zora Neale Hurston, which had been part of why they loved the name.
Maia / Maya – The month of May was named after Maia, a Greek and Roman goddess of spring; Maia is a Greek name meaning mother. The Roman’s considered Maia to be an incarnation of Mother Earth. Maia and Maya have the same sound, but differ in popularity and meaning. Maia was #639 in 2013 and Maya, a Hebrew name meaning water, was #72. Both Maia and Maya are great names for a baby born in May.