Hera

Hera is the goddess of marriage, women, birth, and family in Greek mythology. She is also the queen of the gods, the wife of Zeus. Apparently, Zeus fell in love with her at first sight but she refused his marriage proposal. Refusing to give up so easily, he turned himself into a cuckoo bird (knowing that Hera loved animals) and pretended to be in trouble. Feeling pity for the small creature, Hera held the poor creature to her breast. Zeus transformed back into himself and she agreed to be his wife out of shame. Their marriage, though, was anything but a happy one. Zeus was a womanizer and fathered many children with many women, to Hera’s intense jealousy, and she would often go after these poor women and their offspring with vengeance.

Hera and Zeus had several children together, including Ares (god of war), Eileithyia (goddess of childbirth), Hebe (goddess of youth), and Hera is the mother of Hephaestus, god of fire and the forge, whom she bore on her own without Zeus’s help when he gave birth to Athena through his head. 

Some symbols of Hera are the cuckoo bird, peacocks, pomegranates, the scepter and the diadem, as well as the cow, the lion, the apple tree, the willow, the fig, the myrrh, lily, and the orange tree.

Although the etymology behind the name Hera is uncertain, it’s often been associated with Ancient Greek hora ὥρᾱ (time, season) or heros ἥρως (hero, warrior), perhaps in reference to her as a protectress. It’s also possibly the name likely originated from a pre-Greek source.

Origin: uncertain

Meaning: uncertain though it’s been linked to Ancient Greek hora “time, season” or heros “hero, warrior” 

Usage: Ancient Greek

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Variants:

  • Era (Italian)
  • Héra (French, Hungarian, Czech
  • Ira (Modern Greek) 

April

April is the 4th month of the year in the Gregorian calendar (the 5th in the Julian calendar), and is associated with the beginning of spring. The name comes from Latin Aprīlis “of April” though the origin of the name is uncertain. It’s traditionally been associated with Latin aperire “to open, to uncover” in reference to when the flowers begin to open and bloom. 

However, it may perhaps be based from Etruscan Apru, which is the Etruscan form of Aphroditethe month likely named after the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

April is also a surname originating from the given name, someone who was born or baptized in the month of April, or it might have originated as a nickname. 

Origin: uncertain

Meaning: uncertain, could be linked to Latin “to open, to uncover”, or based on the name of the goddess Aphrodite 

Usage: English

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Variants:

  • Avril (French)
  • Abril (Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Italian)
  • Aprile (Italian)

 

Maite

Maite is a Basque female name meaning “love, beloved, lovable”.

Maite has also been used as a Spanish nickname, or a contracted form of María TeresaMaría is the Spanish, Galician, and Icelandic form of Mary which ultimately derives from Hebrew Miriam, the name of the sister of Moses and Aaron in the Old Testament. Miriam is a name of uncertain origin though several meanings have been ascribed to it such as “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness”, “obstinacy” or “wished for child” from a Hebrew root word. It’s also possible that it might have originated from an Egyptian name either meaning “beloved” from myr or “love” via mr (this latter explanation might be more likely since the names of Moses and Aaron have also been linked to a possible Egyptian origin).

Teresa is also a name of uncertain origin, the Spanish and Italian form of Theresa. As a given name it was first recorded in Spain, first used by the Spanish wife of St. Paulinus of Nola (a Roman poet, writer, and senator), though she was known as Therasia of Nola- her name seems to have derived from the name of a Greek island called Therasia, also known as Thirasía; it may be derived from Ancient Greek théros θέρος “summer; heat; harvest, crop” or from therízo θερίζω “to reap, cut”. I’ve also seen it linked to Ancient Greek thḗr θήρ “wild beast; beast of prey” or thēráō θηράω “to hunt”, but as intriguing as that meaning is I’m not too sold on it actually being related to the name.

It’s also possible that the name may have originated from a non PIE source. 

Origin: Basque; uncertain

Meaningfrom Basque “love, beloved, lovable”; also a contracted form of Spanish María Teresa

Usage: Basque, Spanish

Pronunciationmai-tay (Forvo)

 

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Variants:

  • Mayte (Spanish)
  • Maïté (French)
  • Maitê (Portuguese)
  • Maité (Spanish Mexican)