Aras

Origin: Lithuanian, Kurdish, Persian, Greek

Meaning: a Lithuanian masculine name meaning “eagle”.

I’ve also seen it listed as a Kurdish and Persian name meaning “equal” or “balanced”.

Aras is also the name of a Greek figure in Greek mythology, believed to have built an ancient town in Pgilasia, Peloponnese. I couldn’t find any info on the name’s meaning, however.

Sohrab

Origin: Persian

سهراب (Persian) Sohrab

Meaning: it means either “illustrious, shining” or “red water”.

In the Persian epic of Shahnameh Sohrab is the name of the son of the hero Rostam. It’s rather a tragic story. Rostam is searching for his lost horse Rakhsh and enters the kingdom of Samangan, becoming the guest of the king whose daughter, Tahmina, falls in love with him at first sight. She visits him in the night wanting to have a child with him and they do spend the night together. Before Rostam leaves, he gives Tahmina two tokens and tells her that if she has a girl she should take one of the tokens, a jewel, and plait it in her hair. If it’s a boy, she should take the other token, a seal, and bind it around his arm. Years pass and Rostam and Sohrab face each other on opposites sides of a war, wrestling each other one on one. Rostam doesn’t know Sohrab is his son and although Sohrab knows the identity of his father, he doesn’t realize that the man he’s fighting is him. Eventually Rostam kills him by stabbing him through the heart, only then seeing the token he’d given Tahmina, who arrives at the battlefield too late to find her son dead in his father’s arms.

Variants: Suhrab; Zurab (Georgian); Sukhrab (Kazakh, Kyrgyz)

Shiva

Origin: Indian, Persian

शिव (Hindi, Sanskrit)

شیوا (Persian)

שבעה (Hebrew)

Meaning: a masculine Sanskrit name meaning “benign, kind, auspicious”. It’s also a feminine Persian name meaning “charming, elegant”.

In Hindu mythology, Shiva is the Hindu god of destruction and renewal, the husband of the goddess Parvati.

Variants: Siva (Hini, male).

In Judaism, Shiva is a week long mourning period also referred to as “sitting shiva”; shiva means “seven” in Hebrew, though I don’t know if it’s used as a name.

Darius

Origin: Persian

Meaning: a Roman form of Dareios, the Greek form of Persian Darayavahush meaning “to possess good” from daraya “to possess” or “to hold” and vahu “good”.

Variants: Darrius; Dariush and Daryush are the Persian forms of the name; Dario (Italian, Spanish, Croatian).

Daria is a feminine form of the name.

Yima

Origin: Avestan

Meaning: the ancient Avestan form of Persian Jam (a short form of Jamshid), meaning either “twin” or “river”. In all honesty, however, I could find little information about the name’s etymology with the exception of Behind the Name and Wikipedia.

Yima is not a name found in A Series of Unfortunate Events– there were no Y names I could find so I just chose one myself.

Ava

Origin: English, German, Persian, Latin

Meaning: to breath, to live; voice, sound; desired; bird

Gender: Female

Ava is a name that has a surprising number of meanings in different languages. It could be related to Latin avis meaning bird; it could be a variant on either Eve or an anglicization of Aoife; it could come from the Germanic element avi, meaning “desired”. Ava is even used in Iran and Central Asia, either related to Persian meaning “sound, voice” or to Avestan meaning “first”.

Soraya

Origin: Persian, Arabic, Turkish

Meaning: Persian form of Arabic Thurayya meaning “rich” and “wealthy”. It’s also the name for the Pleiades.

Variants: Soraia; Surayya; Thurayya

Gender: Female

The first name I want to post is Soraya, the name of one of my main characters. It’s a variation of Thurayya. I chose this name because it strikes me as being both fierce and feminine, two traits my character possesses and then some. I also based her ethnicity as Turkish so the name fits, although it also seems to be very popular among Spanish speakers as well. In Persian, it means princess, a Persian form of the name Sarah, while in Arabic it refers to the Pleiades, a bright cluster of 7 stars able to be seen with the naked eye.