Merope


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “Mortal; bee-mask; eloquent.”

Pronunciation: (mair-OH-pee); (mer-OH-pee)

Nicknames: Mero, Meri, Rope, Rory

Detail: In the Harry Potter series Merope Gaunt is the mother of dear Lord Voldemort.

In Greek mythology, Merope is one of the seven Pleiades (Maia, Electra, Taygete, Celaeno, Alcyone, Sterope, and Merope). She fell in love with a mortal man (as did Merope Gaunt) and being ashamed of this, she is the faintest star in the constellation.

Mafalda


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Germanic

Meaning: “Mighty in battle.”

Pronunciation: (mah-FAHL-dah)

Nicknames: Maffy, Mafa

Detail: Mafalda is a Spanish and Italian variant form of Matilda, from the Germanic maht “strength” and hild “battle”.

In Rowling’s Harry Potter Mafalda Hopkirk is an improper Use of Magic Office employee at the Ministry of Magic.

Yael


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: “Ibex; Mountain goat.”

Pronunciation: (ya-EL)

Nicknames: Ya, Yaya, El, Yelle

Detail: Hebrew name meaning “ibex” or “mountain goat.” The ibex is a type of mountain goat.

In the bible, this is the name of the wife of Heber the Kenite who killed general Sisera, an enemy of the Israelites.

Vashti


 

Gender: Feminine

Origin: Persian

Meaning: “Good looking, beautiful.”

Pronunciation: (VASH-tee)

Nicknames: Vash

Detail: In the book of Esther, in the bible, Vashti is the wife of King Ahasuerus. The king holds a banquet for his men, and Vashti holds a separate banquet for the women. On the seventh day, when the king was “merry with wine,” he sends for Vashti to come before him and his guests, to show off her beauty. Vashti refuses to come, and the king becomes angry. He asks his advisers how Vashti should be punished for her disobedience. His adviser tells him that Vashti has wronged not only the king, but also all of the husbands of Persia, whose wives may be encouraged by Vashti’s actions to disobey their husbands. He encourages the king to dismiss Vashti and find a new queen. The king then chooses Esther to replace Vashti as queen.