Today’s Forename Friday is dedicated to given names that relate to fire and light.
This is an interesting category, because so many Latvian names come from it. But as I’ve mentioned before, even though there are many names in this category, the PMLP personal name database shows that for the most part, they are not frequently used.
The most popular names relating to fire and light are both womens’ names – Ausma (“dawn” or “daybreak”) has 4670 entries (name day June 26) and Vizma (from “vizmot”, “to shimmer”, “to glitter”) has 1031 entries (name day August 26). The most popular male name of this category is Auseklis (“morning star”) with only 124 entries (name day December 14).
Names relating to “spodrs”, meaning “bright” appear as well – the feminine Spodra (309 entries, name day January 4), the male Spodris (120 entries, name day January 28) and the female diminutive Spodrīte (44 entries). Also related are Blāzma (“glow) with 3 entries (name day February 8), Gaisma (“light”) with 37 entries (name day December 14) and Spīdola (from “spīdēt”, meaning “to shine”) with 25 entries (name day February 2).
But what about fire? While no names come up with “uguns” (“fire”) as an element, there are flames and sparks – Liesma (283 entries, name day September 18) and Dzirkstīte (diminutive of “dzirksts”, 58 entries, name day December 7), respectively.
In Latvian stories and myth, Spīdola and Auseklis both come into play. Spīdola is a character in the Latvian national epic “Lāčplēsis”. Auseklis is one of the gods of the Latvian pantheon. “Dzirksts” is also the name of a popular Latvian chamber choir in the Toronto area. They celebrated their 25th anniversary last year.
Do you have any fire or light names to share? Any Latvian ones that I missed?