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Tamara

Origin: Russian
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Date palm"
Pronunciation: ta-MARR-ah, TAM-ah-ruh
Other forms: Tamar, Tammara, Tamera, Thamar, Tamari

This beautiful Russian name has almost worldwide appeal, being used in Poland, Croatia, Hungary, Italian, and Spain, just to name a few, and a rich history that lends it an almost classic appeal. Tamara comes from Biblical Tamar, a Hebrew name meaning "date palm".

The fruit of the date palm, also know as the Phoenix dactylifera, have been a staple food in the diets of the Middle East and Indus Valley for thousands of years. In Ancient Rome they used the palm fronds from this plant to symbolize victory in triumphal processions, and renderings of these plants can even be seen in frescoes from Pompeii. And for a fun little factoid dates are referenced fifty times in the Bible; twenty times in Qur'an.

The story in the Bible is as dramatic as any soap opera, but I'll try to sum it up fairly quickly - Tamar marries Judah's …

August

The American Girl, August 1935
Yikes, I got sidetracked again! I'm so sorry and I'm definitely finishing these this time!

August is the eighth month of the year. Originally called Sextillis, as it was the sixth month of the original Roman calendar, it wasn't until 8 BC that it became the eighth month and was renamed after Augustus. It was a month of many festivals, like Tiberinalia, which honored the god "Father Tiber" or Tiberius, and celebrated agricultural bounty, or Nemoralia, the "festival of torches", which celebrated the goddess Diana Nemorensis or Diana of Nemi, "Diana of the woods". This festival was later adapted into The Feast of Assumption. During August there are several meteor showers that are visible, like the Kappa Cygnids, and the Southern Delta Aquariids, named after the brightest star, Delta Aquarii in the constellation Aquarius.

The birthstones of August are peridot and sardonyx, a type of red onyx. Flowers are the gladiolus, also known as the "sword lily", and the poppy. Zodiac signs are Leo the lion, and the virgin Virgo, based on a maiden known as Astraea, who in Greek mythology was the last immortal to leave earth when the other gods fled to Olympus.

August in other languages: Agosto (Spanish), Augustus (Dutch), Elokuu (Finnish), Agasata (Punjabi)
August as a name: August, Augusta/Augustus, Augustine, Auguste, Avgust/Avgusta
Flowers: Poppy, Amapola (poppy in Spanish), Unikko (poppy in Finnish) Stellatus (a type of gladiolus), Priscilla (a gladiolus hybrid)
Gems: Peridot, Olivine (peridot is a type of Olivine)
Zodiac: Leo, Ari ("Lion"), Ariel ("Lion of God"), Lev ("Lion"), Leonidas, Leontina ("Lion"); Dido (Possibly "virgin"), Parthenia ("Maiden, virgin"), Virginia (Meaning unknown, but historically associated with virgo), Astraea/Astraia/Astra
Eighth: Octavius/Octavia/Octavian/Octave ("Eighth")
Other: Diana, Delta, Nemi

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