If you’d like, look up your own name as well and share the meaning.
There are many names that ran through my head as I read this post, both from classics and contemporary fiction. The one that really struck a cord was Lyra Belacqua, the young heroine of Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy. The title of the trilogy comes from Milton’s Paradise Lost and Pullman used lots of terms and images from that classic and well as many others in his densely written novels.
Lyra is the name of a constellation. It is derived from lyre, an ancient musical instrument. Lyra was one of the 48 constellations listed in the 1st century by Ptolemy, the Roman astronomer.
Belacqua was a native of Florence, an instrument maker and supposed friend of Dante Alighieri. In Purgatoro Canto IV of the Divine Comedy he is among those waiting to enter Purgatory after having repented. Samual Beckett has also used the character in his fiction.
Thus Lyra Belacqua, a name envoking stars, music, some form of grace and forgiveness.
This Weekly Geek has special meaning for me for I chose the name Gavin in my late thirties. It means hawk or from the hawk field. I had been wanting a name change for a while, for many reasons, mostly because my given name never fit. It was as if it went right through me and never connected. After long discussions about what my new name should be a friend asked me to think of someone I admired. I immediatly thought of a women friend from college. Strong, independent and very bright. I had lost touch with her in my travels, did not even know if she was alive. So that name is now my name. It’s confusing to people as most assume it is masculine. It is not or I wouldn’t have chosen it. It’s just one of those name that can be used either way, like Riley,Hillary, Davis or Evelyn.