Bay

Origin: English, Germanic, Gaelic/Scottish, Turkish

Meaning: from Latin baca meaning “berry”, originally referring to the berries of a bay tree.

As a surname it comes from Old English Beaga (m) and Beage (f) which mean “garland”, “crown” and “treasure thing”. Bay is also an English word referring to an area of water bordered by land on three sides, as well as referring to the color “reddish brown”.

It also seems to be a variant spelling of Turkish bey, a title used by wealthy leaders referring to a cheiftain or lord.

Bay is also a short form of Bayer, a German surname meaning “Bavaria”, referring to someone from there.

Bay could also be a short form of Gaelic surname O’Bae, itself a short form of McBeth/Macbeth meaning “son of life”, though it also seems to have an implicit meaning of “righteous man” or “religious man”.

Variants: Bae, Baye

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.