What's in a Name?

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Eastern African, Swahili
Pronunciation:  noo-ROO, NEW-roo

Meaning & History
Means "light" or "born in daylight" in Swahili, ultimately from the Arabic nur.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Indian, Greek
Pronunciation:  UN-jah-lee, AHN-jah-lee

Meaning & History
Means "offering" or "divine offering" in Sanskrit.  Other definitions translate "a gift to God" or "angel"; the Greek, meaning "messenger."

[Side note]  I found this name through our fellow blogger Anjali (who hails from New Zealand, though currently living in England) of the blog From L&P to English Tea, and simply fell in love with its simplicity.  Such a beautiful name! Variations can also be spelled as Anjalee.


These last two names belong to characters of mine in my WIP currently titled Safia.  For some reason, all of my concept stories are entitled with the first names of the main characters (Safia, Kyndi, Chess, Ru, Kaely).  Call me lazy, but I like it.  =]

I've probably used this pic before, not sure... Ah well. =]
Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Pronunciation:  PEE-der

Meaning & History
Scandinavian form of Peter, meaning "rock" or "stone."

[my notes] Well, not much to say of this guy.  You should know him pretty well by now.  =]  He is the fun, care-free, much-needed ice-breaker character of my story, Safia.  Aged around 22 years old, he is the childhood friend of Prince Rydan, and a member of Gondoa's special fighting force known as the Guard.  Loyal to the tee, he would not hesitate to lay down his life for a friend, or stranger, for that matter.  Extremely skilled in the chosen weapons of the Guard -- the longbow, broadsword, and dirk (or long dagger) -- he is a warrior of excellent talent and strength.  Though he suffers from impatience, has a slight temper when annoyed, and is a bit showy when it comes to weapons skill, Peder has a big heart and works hard to better himself.  He has a passion for the poor and those who would be classed as "inferior" in rank, for he himself was one of them.  The eldest of a family of six children, whose father died within the last few years, he cares for his mother and younger siblings and strives to make their lives comfortable.  He delights in making those around him laugh, jokes at his expense, and would readily take on a burden in order to relieve the weaker person.  A strong follower of Eliadan, the God of creation, he serves as a Light in the dark world of Everon.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Arabic
Pronunciation:  SAH-fee-yah, sah-FEE-yah, SAHF-yah

Meaning & History
A variant of Safiyyah, which in turn is the feminine form of Safi, meaning "pure" or "sincere friend."

[My notes]  Ah, my dear, dear Safia.  She has to be one of my favorite characters.  The reason being, I suppose, is that she is really the first to have a full story, background, and world all to herself.  I must be brief in a summary of her character, because their is so much I could say of her.

Seventeen years old, she is the daughter of former pirate-turned-merchant master Gunnar Leifson, a Skahman (based off of the Vikings) of the country Norska, and the lovely Faina Rouseau, the eldest daughter of the rich and prosperous family who rule and govern a province of Charan.  Charming, quiet, reserved, and quite beautiful, Safia takes on the personality of her sweet and gentle mother, rather than her commanding and rough father.  Despite a deep fear of the ocean, due to the fact it was the cause of her mother's death nearly eight years before, she travels the world of Everon with her father and his crew on the magnificent merchant vessel dubbed the Lady of Leif.  Fluent in many languages, both spoken and written, she assists her father in his business.  In a tragic battle on the open ocean, Safia's world falls apart and all she has ever known sinks to the depths of the sea.  Her father and all of his crew are killed in a fight with pirates, whose purpose has a bigger meaning than she had ever thought, and she alone is rescued from the wreckage.  Who should rescue her but a prince?  That's every girl's dream, right?  Safia becomes a passenger on the royal Gondian ship Victory's Crown, and sails to Gondoa with a valuable gold medallion and a promise, made to her dying father, to journey to Charan and seek her mother's family.  And perhaps something more.  Unfortunately, at times she seems to have inherited her father's stubborn attitude and hot temper.  Her emotions are kept hidden from all, sometimes herself, and she shies from human contact.  Trust is not so easily given.  Fear is ever-present.  Grief threatens to tear her apart.  Safia struggles with her faith in Eliadan, or Adaan (the Norskan name of God), and must ultimately learn to surrender all to Him -- her life, her passions, her family.  Acceptance of a new life with forever friends is difficult and she struggles to find that she can belong anywhere, be it Gondoa or Charan.  However, she gains a new perspective, learns to fully rely on her King, and in so doing finds closure from the over-bearing sorrow and a future free from fear.

And there you have it.  =]  In the near future, I plan to post some character spotlights, where you can read of one character at a time, their interests, dislikes, and fears, as well as their part in the story.

Any requests?

Name definitions and history via behindthename.com and nameberry.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

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To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, and a book of rules,
And each must make, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone.