Pandora


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “All gifted.”

Pronunciation: (pan-DOR-uh)

Nicknames: Panda, Pan, Dora

Detail: In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on earth. The gods bestowed her with many talents; Aphrodite gave her beauty, Apollo music, Hermes persuasion, and so forth. Hence her name: Pandora, “All gifted”.

With her, Pandora had a jar which she was not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her natural curiosity, Pandora opened the jar, and all evil contained escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the lid, but the whole contents of the jar had escaped, except for one thing which lay at the bottom, and that was Hope.

Io


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Pronunciation: (AHY-oh)

Detail: In Greek mythology Io was a princess loved by Zeus, who changed her into a heifer in order to hide her from the jealous Hera. She regained human form after she was driven to Egypt by Argus.

A moon of Jupiter bears this name in her honour.

Freyja


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Norse

Meaning: “Lady.”

Pronunciation: (FREY-yah)

Nicknames: Frey, Fay, Reya, Ray

Detail: Freyja is a goddess in Norse mythology associated with love, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr (witchcraft), war, and death.

In most Germanic languages the day is named after Freyja, such as Frīatag (Old High German), Freitag (Modern German), Freyjudagr (Old Norse), Vrijdag (Dutch), Fredag (Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish)

Variations:

  • Freia
  • Freja
  • Freya
  • Freyja

Finn


Gender: Masculine

Origin: Old Norse

Meaning: “Fair; Wanderer.”

Pronunciation: (fin)

Detail: Huckleberry Finn is the title character of the Mark Twain novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

In the Prose Edda, Finn is of the lineage of Thor.

Male Variations:

  • Finn
  • Finnr (Old Norse)
  • Finnur
  • Fionn (Gaelic)

Female Variations:

  • Finn
  • Finna

Persephone


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “Bringer of death; Destoyer.”

Pronunciation: (per-SEF-oh-nee)

Nicknames: Sephy, Seffy, Poppy, Phee, Effy, Posy

Detail: As the story goes, one day in the valley of Enna, where spring reigns eternal, Persephone was innocently picking flowers. Hades, god of the underworld, saw her and it was love at first sight. He came charging in his chariot into the valley and snatched her away.

Demeter finally persuaded Zeus through adamant pleading, to demand for her daughter back from Hades. Hades agreed to return Persephone as long as she had not eaten anything from the underworld. (There is a permanent bond for those who consume food in the Underworld; they are bound to it eternally.) However the sly Hades, who fancied Persephone to pieces, duped her into snacking on a few pomegranate seeds.

This caused some intense arguing, but Zeus, being the crafty old mediator that he was, came up with an agreement by which Persephone could stay with Demeter in the spring and summer to help out with the botany business and then go back down to live with Hades for six months or so, creating a season for nature to take time off, winter break.

Demeter has never been satisfied with this, and that is why winters are so gaunt and cold. So you can thank Hades for when you have Jack Frost nipping at you.

Peirene; Pirene


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Latin

Meaning: “The tying; fastening one.”

Pronunciation: (PEY-reh-nee); (pih-REH-nee)

Nicknames: Pay, Pira, Rene

Detail: Daughter of the river god. Pirene was a nymph in Greek and Roman mythology whose unending grief for the loss of her son transformed her into a fountain near Corinth.

Zorya


A girl plays with a tame wolf in the village of Nadbiarezha

Gender: Feminine

Origin: Ukrainian

Meaning: “Rising star.”

Pronunciation: (ZOHR-yah)

Nicknames: Zori, Zor, Zora, Zoro

Detail: The future of our universe rests in the hands of three young women, the Zorya. The most important task of these heavenly Slavic stunners is to guard over the doomsday dog who tries to eat the constellation Ursa Minor (the little bear). If the dog ever breaks free from the chain, the universe will end.

In ancient Slavic mythology, the Zorya are the guardian goddesses of sky and light. There was the morning star (Utrennyaya); the evening star (Vechernyaya); and the midnight Zorya (Polunochnaya).

Idunn


Idun by Arthur Rackham

Gender: Feminine

Origin: Norse

Meaning: “Ever young; rejuvenator.”

Pronunciation: (EE-doon) [“oo” short like in “book”]

Detail: In Norse mythology Idunn is the goddess of spring and wife of Bragi. She is the keeper of the apples of the gods. Whoever eats of these apples will be granted eternal life and youth.

Variations:

  • Idonea
  • Idonia
  • Idony (ID-uh-nee)
  • Idun
  • Idunn
  • Ithun (EE-thoon)
  • Ydun

Ask


Gender: Masculine

Origin: Germanic

Meaning: “Of the ash tree.”

Pronunciation: (ahsk)

Detail: From the Germanic element ask meaning “ash-tree”

According to Norse mythology, the first humans were carved from trees by Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve. They cut down an Ash tree and from it made the first man, Ask. From an elm tree they carved the first woman, Embla.

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.

Quirinus


Gender: Masculine

Origin: Latin

Meaning: “Spear.”

Pronunciation: (kwih-REE-nus)

Nicknames: Q, Russ

Detail: In Roman mythology, Quirinus was an early god of the Roman state.

Name of several early saints

Professor Quirinus Quirrell taught Defence Against the Dark Arts during Harry Potter’s first year at Hogwarts.

Psyche


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “Soul.”

Pronunciation: (SAHY-kee) Psyche

Nicknames: Psych

Detail: Personification of the Soul, Goddess of Beauty and wife of Eros.

The ancient Greek word for butterfly.

In this tale Psyche is a young girl of admirable beauty who is unfortunately subject to the jealousy of the goddess Aphrodite. Aphrodite sends her son Eros (Cupid) to Earth to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest living man but the young god falls in love with her himself. She was united with him after Aphrodite’s jealousy was overcome, granted immortality and bore a daughter (Volupta, which means bliss, delight or pleasure).

Fulla


 

Gender: Feminine

Origin: Norse

Meaning: “The Filler; Bountiful.”

Pronunciation: (FOO-lah)

Nicknames: Fu, Ulla

Detail: In Norse mythology she was a goddess of abundance who acted as Frigga‘s attendant and messenger.

Variations:

  • Folla
  • Volla (A German goddess of healing.)