Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fiora

Musical Artist Fiora

Like Fiona or Flora, but want something a little different and a lot rarer? Then how about Fiora.

Fiora (pronounced fee-OR-ah) is one of those names that no one is 100% sure where it came from, but there seem to be two main theories. The first - which seems to be the correct one - is that Fiora comes from the Latin fiore, meaning 'flower'. Fiore was used as a unisex name in Medieval Italian, and related names include Fiorella (feminine form) and Fiorello (masculine form), both meaning 'little flower'.

Another often quoted theory is that Fiora is a variant of the Gaelic name Fiona, which means 'fair' or 'pale'. From what I can find though, this seems to be entirely based on a character called Fiora Flynn, from a mystery series written by A.E Maxwell (husband and wife team Ann and Evan). In this series, main character Fiora receives her name after a nurse at the hospital where she is born mistakenly writes Fiora rather than her intended name, Fiona. As the first book in the series was published in 1985, I'd go with the Medieval Italian source if you want a "legitimate" origin.

Fiora suddenly popped up on the American charts quite recently in 2003. That year it was given to just 5 girls, ranking it at #16566. In 2012 it had risen to position #6917, so this is one name on the move. Besides character Fiora Finn, there are a few examples out there that people may be taking their inspiration from:

  • Tasmanian born singer & musician Fiora, best known for dance music collaborations with other prominent dance artists
  • Italian charm bracelet and jewellery brand Fiora
  • Italian river the Fiora
  • Fiora Laurent, a.k.a. The Grand Duellist, champion in the online video game 'League of Legends'
  • Playable character Fiora in video game 'Xenoblade Chronicles', whose skills are courage, daring, zeal, rashness and innocence.

The thing I like about Fiora is that the image I get in my mind when I think of a Fiora is so at odds with the meaning of the name. It's a pretty, feminine name, and when you think of flowers you tend to think soft and delicate. Yet when I think of Fiora it makes me think of fire, of someone who is confident, assertive and strong, and I love a girls name that could mean any or all of those things to anyone who hears it. I also like that you could use the spunky nickname Fia, although Fifi or just Fi would also be perfectly cute options.

A Fiora may often get confused for a Fiona or Flora, but if you don't mind that then this is one beautiful, exotic rarity. It could be a way to honour an Italian heritage, or a floral name from your family tree such as Lily or Rose. It would be a surprising name, but one that I think you'll find others will like more than you think.



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