Saturday, October 22, 2016

Legendary Princesses

Oh, princesses. They've been a part of pop-culture for a while, and I'm happy that the idea of a less passive-damsel-in-distress type princess is finally catching on. In the spirit of this trend, here are some legendary princesses (and a couple queens) who were known for more than just getting saved and/or married off. :)

  • Æthelflæd (ATH-el-flad, Old English) of Mercia--"noble beauty". More modern form is Elfleda (elf-LEE-dah). 
  • Anahí (ah-nah-EE, Spanish), Native American--from Guarani, poss. "ceibo flower"
  • Aoife (EE-fah, Irish), Irish--"beauty". Her equally-awesome sister, with an arguably less-usable name, was Scáthach (SKAH-hahkh, prob. "shadow").
  • Awilda (ah-WIL-dah, [Latinized] Old Norse), Scandinavian--"elf battle". Also called AlfhildAlwilda or Alvilda
  • Brunhilda (broon-HIL-dah, Germanic) of Austrasia--"armor-battle"
  • Cordeilla (kor-DAY-lah, [literary] Middle English)--prob. from Welsh Creiddylad (krye-THUL-ad, poss. "heart-debt"). Also called Cordelia.
  • Cynisca (sin-IS-kah, [Anglicized, ancient] Greek)--"female puppy". Greek form is Kyniska (koo-NEES-kah). 
  • Disa (DEE-sah, Swedish)--from Old Norse, "goddess"
  • Eréndira (eh-REN-deer-ah, Spanish), Native American--from Tarascan, meaning unknown. Also spelled Erendira (eh-ren-DEER-ah). 
  • Gwendolen (GWEN-doh-len, [literary] Middle English)--poss. from Welsh, "white ring"
  • Heledd (HEL-eth ['th' like in "that"], Welsh)--poss. "salt" or "estuary"
  • Ness (NES, Old Irish)--prob. "not gentle". Also called Neas (NYAS, NAS), Neasa (NYAS-ah, NAS-ah), or Nessa (NES-sah). 
  • Razia (rah-ZEE-ah, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu), Delhi--poss. "happy, content". Also transliterated as Raziyya.
  • Tamar (TAH-mahr, Georgian; TAY-mar, English) of Georgia--from Hebrew, "palm tree". Also called Tamari (TAH-mah-ree). 
  • Wanda (VAHN-dah, Polish; WAHN-dah, English), Polish--prob. from "Wend" [a tribal name, itself poss. from Germanic "friend" or Old Prussian "water"]
  • Zenobia (zen-OH-bee-ah, [ancient] Greek), Palmyrene--poss. "Zeus-life" or from Arabic Zaynab (ZAY-nab, poss. "beauty")