On nomenclature, Part the first

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Laila's first name comes from an Arabic feminine name, one of several words meaning "night". In Arabic, it is written ليلى‎. The name appeared prominently in a seventh-century classical Arabian poem, the story of Laila and Majnun. In this story, Leila drove Majnun ("the madman") insane with unrequited love. Majnun, whose given name was Qays, wrote many poems about his love for Laila. The story became popular in both Persian and Turkish traditions.

Laila's first name: LAY-la. Some say the name means "night beauty" or "raven-haired"; Laila was born in the wee hours, and her hair and eyes are both dark.

In the spirit of contrariness, Laila sounds different in Suomi (Finnish, which pronounces the first two vowels distinctly) and means "light".

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This page contains a single entry by Salim M. Virji published on March 25, 2009 9:11 AM.

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