Famous Name: Idina

Lady Idina Sackville
I'm a pop culture junkie, so these new posts unabashedly feed into that obsession. I'll be highlighting famous and rare names in these posts, discussing where they came from and if they're usable at all, or if they're too tied to said celebrity. First up is Idina.

Origin: Possibly Hebrew
Gender: Female
Meaning: Possibly "delicate" or "gentle"
Pronunciation: EYE-deen-uh
Other forms: Possibly Adina or Edina

Mezzo-soprano Idina Menzel has been on the verge of really breaking into common knowledge for years now, originating the roles of Maureen Johnson and playing her in the film version of Broadway hit "Rent", and Elphaba in "Wicked", which won her a Tony, and playing the role of Patrick Dempsey's fiancee in Disney's "Enchanted", but it wasn't really until she voiced the character of Princess Elsa in "Frozen" that she really hit it big. Born in New York, Menzel comes from a Jewish family, and started working as a wedding and bar mitzvah singer at 15. She attended the Tisch Schools of the Arts and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drama.
But where did that name come from?

Well, the most probable option is that it comes from Adina, which means "delicate, gentle" in Hebrew. Another option is that it could be derived from Edina, which might be a Hungarian form of Germanic name or the name of a Hungarian town. Menzel's grandparent's immigrated from Eastern Europe, so it, too, is a possibility.
Or maybe, it's both.

Lady Idina Sackville, born Myra Idina Sackville and cousin to writer Vita Sackville-West, was an aristocrat and part of the Happy Valley set, a group of Anglo Aristocrats and adventurers who settled in the "Happy Valley" region of Wanjohi Valley in Kenya and Uganda in the '20's and '30's. They were not only sexually promiscuous, but also reportedly dabbled in drugs. Idina herself was known for her wild parties, and would reportedly greet guests in a bathtub made out of green onyx and then proceed to get dressed in front of them.

Whatever the case is, it's a beautiful name with a lovely sound and an even lovelier namesake. As to whether it's too tied to Ms. Menzel, I would say...maybe. My first thought would be of her, but it's not exactly a bad thing, is it? And for parents who enjoy music and musicals, it might be a perfect choice.

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