Female, Nature


Oxiris (pr. ox-ee-ris; soundcloudis a name with maddeningly little information behind it. I first came across it as the name of the head of the New York City Department of Health, so sometime around the beginning of this year or before. Oxiris Barbot is originally from Puerto Rico which made me suspect it was a Spanish name.

Oxiris Chemicals is the name of a company located in Spain and there’s the Oxiris Wirral School of Samba located in Liverpool, England, which participates in the Brazilica Festival, a celebration of Brazilian culture in the United Kingdom. This tells me there’s a history behind Oxiris, that it wasn’t just created by Barbot’s parents. I don’t know what the history of the name is, though. If anyone does, please let me know!

I’ve seen quite a few sites list it as being a variant of Osiris but despite the similarities I just can’t believe that Oxiris is from Osiris, probably because it makes no sense to me for a Spanish female name to be derived from the name of an Ancient Egyptian male god.

In my research I came across Osyris, the name of a genus of plants, a type of sandalwood. The origin of the name comes from Ancient Greek ozos (όζος) meaning “node; nodule” via Ancient Greek ozos (ὄζος) meaning “bough, branch” which ultimately derives from a PIE root word. While many of the species belonging to the genus Osyris are found in Africa, Osyris alba can be found throughout the Mediterranean, including Portugal. I don’t know if Oxiris comes from this source; in likelihood it might not, but I’m more inclined toward this theory than Osiris.

It’s also possible that Oxiris may be derived from a Basque origin, because of the letter x, but if so I still haven’t found a possible meaning behind the name. The Basque language is a language isolate, meaning that it is unrelated to any other language in the Proto-Indo-European family, predating the arrival of the Romans in Spain in the first century BCE. 

Origin: unknown, possibly Basque

Meaning: unknown

Usage: Spanish (though it seems to be a very rare name)

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