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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 …

On My Mind: 2-22-18

Poster featuring Svetlana

Svetlana, Sveta, and Severija - I've been watching and enjoying Babylon Berlin on Netflix. It's a German TV show following a cop new to Berlin who uncovers much more than he signed up for.
One of the characters in the show is Countess Svetlana "Sveta" Sorokina, a white Russian who sings at a cabaret, and who is playing all the sides - she is lover to Trotskyist Alexei Kardakov, right wing industrialist Alfred Nyssen, and is even working for the Soviet secret police.
Svetlana (called Sveta by her lover) comes from the Slavic svet, meaning "light, world". Interestingly enough, it is sometimes used as a translation of Photine, most likely because they have the same meanings. The character is played by a Lithuanian actress named Severija Janušauskaitė. I couldn't find any information on the name, but I assume it's a form of Severa or Severina.

Zaida - At work the other day there was a little girl called Zaida. It was pronounced "ZAY-da" and I thought it had a wonderful, modern, slightly sci-fi sound to it. Zaida is Arabic, and the feminine form of Zayd or Zaid, and means "to increase".

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