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Name meanings

August 25, 2011

This is all about me!  Or my names…more of a curiosity dump than anything.

My given first name means graceful-God is gracious.  (Mom evidently didn’t check meanings when she threw my name together as this makes no sense)

My given middle name is more interesting as no one can decide exactly what it means.  It is a derivative of Mary.  Several theories include:

  • sea of bitterness
  • rebelliousness  (now that’s more like it!  Mom really didn’t check this one out now did she?!  [laughing])
  • wished for child
  • beloved
  • drop of sea
  • star of sea (this one and the one above make me think of Aphrodite, which I like but I’ve never really used my middle name)

My first chosen Pagan name…ahh now this one has some history behind it.  (Unlike my given name which I hate! Which is why I use my initials.)  We had just gotten onto AOL.  I needed an alias.  I asked Hubby what animal I was most like.  He told me a cat.  (Which is true to this day which is why I’m more rounded than I should be.  Definitely like a house cat and not the lithe hunter.)  When I was in high school, one of my bosses at this fast food chain used to tell me I was feisty.  So I threw them together and this is what I used for years.   It is amazing how many people misspell feisty.

feist·y  [fahy-stee]  

  1. full of animation, energy, or courage; spirited; spunky;plucky
  2. ill-tempered; pugnacious.
  3. troublesome; difficult

yeah that’s me…though the word’s origins are not so…apt.

feisty:  1896, Amer.Eng. from feist “small dog” from fice, fist (Amer. Eng, 1805) “small dog” short for fysting curre “stinking cur,” attested from 152s, from M.E. fysten, fisten “break wind” (mid-5c.); related to O.E. fisting “stink.” The 1811 slang dictionary defines fice as “a small windy escape backwards, more obvious to the nose than ears; frequently by old ladies charged on their lap-dogs.” Cf. also Dan. fise “to blow, to fart” an obsolete English askefise, lit. “fire-blower, ash-blower,”  from an unrecorded O.N. source, used in M.E. for a kind of bellows, but originally ” a term of reproach among northern nations for an unwarlike fellow who stayed at home in the chimney corner”[OED].

Ah well.  So glad that this is NOT the modern meaning…

The second name I chose is Melia Suez.  I chose this after deciding that the Hellenic Pagan path is the spiritual path for me.  I had been wandering a long time.  I wanted a new name to commemorate this event.  I can’t remember what I was reading at the time, but it talked about the honey nymphs, Meliae, who cared for Zeus when he was an infant.  I thought that would be a nifty way to honor Zeus and his nurses, so Melia it was (because you know Zeusina just didn’t have a nice ring to it…neither did Diosina).  Seuz is just Zeus backwards.

So yesterday, I decided to plug melia into Google to see what would pop up.  The first thing to pop up is a picture of a flower I’ve always like but never though much about…mostly because I can’t grow it where I live and I’ve never seen it any where but at trade shows or in pictures.

plumeria or frangipani or melia (Taken at Butterfly Pavilion in Denver)

Not the best picture of it, but it is my picture so no one can complain…Any way, the first thing that pops up is Hawaiian for plumeria plant.  Known by a variety of different names in different countries such as Frangipani, Sacuanjoche and Champa.  I think I know what my next tattoo will be…

  • In southern and southeastern Asia, local folk beliefs say that this flower provides shelter to ghosts and demons.
  • The scent has been associated with a vampire in Malay folklore, the pontianak.
  • They are associated with temples in both Hindu and Buddhist cultures
  • In several Pacific islands, Plumeria species are used for making leis.
  • In modern Polynesian culture, the flower can be worn by women to indicate their relationship status – over the right ear if seeking a relationship, and over the left if taken. (what do they think if you have one over each ear?)
  • White ones are associated with funerals and death in Banledesh and are associated with ghosts and graveyards in the Philippines and Indonesia.
  • Balinese Hindus use the flowers in their temple offerings.
  • In Hindu mythology, there is a saying
    •  “Hey Champa you have three qualities color, beauty, and fragrance, but the only thing you lack is that honey-bees never sit on you” and “the beauty of champa is compared to Radhika, who is wife of lord Krishna and honey-bees are servants of Lord Krishna and this is the reason honey-bees don’t sit on the champa flower”.
  • In Sri Lankan tradition, Plumeria is associated with worship.
  •  One of the heavenly damsels in the frescoes of the 5th-Century rock fortress Sigiriya holds a 5-petalled flower in her right hand that is indistinguishable from Plumeria.
  • In Eastern Africa, frangipangi are sometimes referred to in Swahili love poems.

Melia is also a type of tree, the white cedar whose scientific name is Melia azedarach.  It is also commonly known as Persian Lilac, Indian Lilac, Chinaberry, Umbrella tree, Bastard Cedar, Bead-tree, China-tree, Holy-tree, Margosa, Nim-tree and Hoop-tree . White Cedar belongs to the mahogany family Meliaceae. It is a deciduous, shade tree with a rounded crown.  The name is Greek meaning “ash tree” in allusion to the similarity of the leaves. It came from meli = honey, as several species of Ash have sweet sap.  This tree is widely cultivated for ornament in warm countries, due to wood which hard and finely marked.

This, of course, brings me to the reason I chose the name.  From Theoi.com:

“THE MELIAI (or Meliae) were Oread nymphs of the mountain ash, born to Gaia (the Earth) when she was impregnated by the blood of the castrated god Ouranos (Sky)…The Meliai were probably the same as the honey-nymph (meliai) nurses of the god Zeus,Ida and Adrasteia. The manna (meli) of the ash and the honey (meli) of bees were believed to be related, both being regarded as an ambrosial food fallen from heaven. In Hesiod’s Theogony they were born alongside the Erinyes–avengers of the castration of Ouranos–and the Gigantes, who in Hesiod appear to be the Kourete-protectors of the infant Zeus…They were probably also identified with the Hekaterides (suggests a connection with Hekate) and Kabeirides, the sister-wives of the Kouretes, Daktyloi and Kabeiroi.”

Not say that they are the only Melias in Greek Mythology:
  • MELIA was the Okeanid Nymph of the famed Ismenian spring and stream of Thebes in Boiotia (central Greece). She was loved by the god Apollon, who slew her brother Kaanthos (Caanthus) in the contest for her love. She bore him two sons, Ismenos and Teneros, prophetic priests of the oracular Ismenion shrine. By her brother Inakhos, god of the Argive River of the same name, she had two sons: Phoroneus, the first king of Argos and the southern Peloponesse, and Aigialeus first king of Boiotia and the northern Peloponnese (Akhaia, Sikyon and Korinthos). Their descendants (through Io) returned to Greece from the Egypt and Phoenicia after the Great Deluge, Danaus founding the city of Argos in the Peloponnese, and Kadmos the city of Thebes in Boiotia.
  • MELIA was the Okeanid Naiad Nymph of the spring, well or fountain of the main town of the Bebrykes (Bebryces) tribe in eastern Bithynia (north-western Anatolia). She was loved by the god Poseidon and bore him Amykos, the first king of the Bebrykes. Her name was derived from one of two words, meli, honey, used to describe the sweet waters of a spring, and melia, the ash-tree, from whose branches spears were crafted.
  • MELIA was probably the Naiad Nymph of a fresh-water spring in the peninsular of Malea in Lakonia (southern Greece). She was loved by the old satyr-god Seilenos (Silenus) and bore him a son named Pholos, and perhaps the rest of the Pelopennesian Kentauroi (Centaurs0.  The stories of Thessalian and Peloponnesian Kentauroi were combined and confused. However the Peloponnesian myth centres on the tale of a Kentauros named Pholos whose brothers attacked Herakles while the two were drinking wine. He routed these, driving them to seek refuge with their parents, Seilenos and Melia, in the Malean peninsular.  Melia was probably identical to Nais, the Nymphe wife of Seilenos, whose springs watered the Malean towns of Pyrrhikhos and Teuthrone.

So there you go, the meanings of my names.  What are yours?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 25, 2011 11:10 AM

    Blimey! that is going some, I’m not really sure how I fixed on mine it just seemed to fit at the time (and took over from The Dragon which was apt whilst I was fit and healthy but not so much now)

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  2. August 25, 2011 1:27 PM

    Quite cool! I enjoyed the rundown on your names! I think Melia Seuz is lovely and how you came by it is rather charming 🙂 My daughter is having her naming ritual here in a couple of weeks by which she will receive the name Diodora (feminine version of Diodoros–“gift of Zeus”) My birth name just means “listener” which I always thought was sadly misnamed, but as a follower of Apollon I now see it in a different light as he is a god of logos and music…both which seem that they would require some degree of attentiveness hehe.
    Lykeia is derived from Apollon Lykeios and refers to both wolf and light. Also it is the name used to refer to I an education facility in Hellas…I just can’t recall if it was middle school or highschool…probably from the Lykeium of ancient Athens. Ironically when I was younger I used to go by the name moonwolf, from which there isn’t too great of a hop and skip to my Hellenic name 🙂

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    • August 25, 2011 1:36 PM

      Diodora? Nifty. I was thinking Z’inia (Zeusinia) or Z’ina wouldn’t be too bad…but one is sounds like the flower and the other like Xena…which really would be amusing in itself.

      From Moonwolf to Lykeia is a very good leap!

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