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Forename Friday - Zinta

Welcome back to Forename Friday! This will be a biweekly series looking at Latvian first names, chosen based on one of the names found in the Latvian calendar of names for that day.

Today’s name is Zinta. This is a feminine name, though there is a male form, Zintis, but that name is celebrated on January 5 rather than April 6, so I will only be talking about the female form of the name here.

According to Klāvs Siliņš’ Latviešu personvārdu vārdnica (Dictionary of Latvian Personal Names), the name Zinta means “the art of wizardry” and was first recorded in Rīga in 1922. Since that time, it was most popular in the time period between 1945 and 1970, when it represented 0.18% of the female names given. According to the PMLP name database, there are 749 people living in Latvia with the first name of Zinta (691 if you don’t count where Zinta is paired with a middle name).

Zinta is also the name of a student corporation (the Latvian equivalent of a sorority or fraternity) founded by Latvian women in exile in 1947. It “returned” to Latvia in 1992 and has operated ever since, both in Latvia and in diaspora communities abroad.

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