Arolilja


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Finnish

Meaning: “Lily of the steppes.”

Pronunciation: (ar-oh-LEEL-yah)

Nicknames: Aro, Ari, Lilja, Lila, Lily

Detail: From the combination of aro meaning “steppes” (steppes are large areas of flat grassy land where there are no trees), and lilja meaning “lily”.

In a medieval, Norwegian ballad, Bendik falls in love with princess Arolilja. A boy tells the king that Bendik is seeing his daughter. Bendik’s punishment is death. Arolilja prays for him to no avail, he is hanged. She dies of heartache, and the king grieves. The two are buried on either side of a church, and up from their graves lilies grow and entwine above the church roof.

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