Myra was first coined as a given name by English poet Fulke Greville (1554-1628) for his verse poem Caelica sonnet XXV (25). He may have based it from Latin myrrh, the the name of a natural gum or resin extracted from certain plants that was extremely valuable in the ancient world, used for perfume, incense, and medicine. The origin of the word derives from a Semitic root word meaning “bitter”.
Another possible source for the name is possibly an anagram of Mary, 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.
Incidentally, Myra was also the name of an Ancient Greek town located in what is now a part of Turkey.
Origin: Semitic; uncertain/unknown etymology
Meaning: uncertain though it could possibly be based from Latin “myrrh”; also possibly an anagram of Mary, of uncertain etymology and meaning though possible meanings attributed to it are “sea of bitterness”, “rebelliousness”, “obstinacy”, or “wished for child”, or “beloved”, “love”
Pronunciation: mie-ra (Forvo)
- Mayra (Spanish, Hispanic)