In 2014 I featured a series of blog posts introducing you to 2,014 names. For the most part they were names that were brand new to me as well. Some names may be more familiar but I found the meaning or origin or some other aspect of the name made it worthy of inclusion here. You may love some of the names, you may hate some, but hopefully you enjoy learning about all of them.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Names 225-231

7 names to begin the first week of February. Two from people I've met. (the first two)
beautiful Mount Timpanogos is the favorite mountain of many Utahns and visitors
the legendary mountain as seen from across the valley and Utah lake

Utahna - Not exactly sure how the name came to be, if it was an authentic Native American name or invented by a white guy. Ute, which is the name for a tribe of Indians and is the root of the name of the State of Utah, means "Land of the Sun", according to one webpage. But my father, who grew up in Southern Utah (where the Paiute Indians live) has always heard it meant 'the land high up'. It probably means both. So, we shall use our imagination and suppose that Utahna is a girl or woman from the land of the sun, or the land high up.

According to the article posted on the National Park Service webpage, Utahna is the name of the Indian princess associated with the Legend of Timpanogos (a large mountain with a beautiful cave in Utah County, Utah.) You can read more of what their website has here . Some versions of the legend say her name is Ucanogos and others say Norita. Or, at least, the poem that appears in this book published in 1922, names her Norita. I came across an obituary for a lady (a twin sister) named for the Indian Princess Norita. The twins were born March 3, 1922, the same year the poem was published in a manuscript put together by a professor. Read here about Norita and her brother Norman (the twins). Another name for the same princess is Owasetta, from a 1909 version of the legend. According to a 2009 'scholarly' article, these names, including calling the princess Timpanogos, are names those in 'western' culture ascribe to the figure in the story.
one way of seeing the princess mountain

a different interpretation of how the princess lays (or this may be the Indian brave she loved, since there's no bust)
Wouldn't it be nice to know the full story? Utahna perhaps comes from the same root as the name of the Ute people. Still not sure what language it comes from or the 'true' legend. Let me know if you have anything for me! (I do know of Utahna used as woman's name in modern times, though by Anglo-Saxons. Not sure if it is only used by we white people.)

She commands the view from every direction and is one of the most striking features of the valley. Provo Canyon and Bridal Veil Falls lie to the south, or to the right in this picture. 

Vontess - No luck yet on finding the origin of this name. An elderly lady in my hometown had this name. It does seem it could have come from two names smooshed together into one, Von and Tess, perhaps for a father and a mother. In any case, here is a picture of her house. She has the loveliest pine trees! They are especially welcome in the semi-arid desert of central Utah

UPDATE: I came across the last name Vontress, which the Library of Congress subject headings listed as Von Tress and said to use Vantrees family rather than Von Tress family. That would make me think of it as a Dutch surname. The Library of Congress subject headings, under Von Tress family, suggest using these additional spelling variations:
Van Trees
Van Treese
Van Tress

Wvladislawa - Polish form of the Slavic name Vladislav, which comes from the root words 'vladeti' meaning 'rule' and 'slava' meaning 'glory'. According to, it is said 'vwah di SWAH vah'.

Wladyslawa, the girl on the right, would seem to be the younger sister of a nun who founded a convent or order of nuns.

Xylia - Greek, from the word 'xylon' meaning 'wood'.

Jesus is exalted


Yehuda - Hebrew, meaning "praise" or "exalt". The name Judah is derived from Yehuda.
Zabdiel -      the Hebrew is shown at left, a bit small, I know. You can see it a bit better here in Calmet's Great Dictionary of the Bible. It is derived from  , which is Hebrew, written in English as 'zabad' and meaning 'portion' and from  , which is Hebrew, written in English as 'el' and meaning 'God'. So that Zabdiel is taken to mean 'God's portion'.

"Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's
 and unto God, that which is God's.

Amadis-Spanish form of the Latin name Amadeus, meaning "to love God". Amadis is a famous figure of medieval chivalry, with many books devoted to his adventures. The famous knight of La Mancha, don Quixote is inspired to do good deeds and become a 'knight-errant' after reading the books about Amadis.

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