• Grace A. Johnson

Name of the Week: Rina

So, in all my blog reading (be it authors or otherwise), I've found most bloggers have a signature type of post that comes out on a certain day of the week. Some, with more of an interested in blogging and organized mindset, have every post specifically subjected (would that be the correct usage of subjected?) with a Such-and-Such Saturday at 5 am and a This-and-That Thursday at noon.

Now, I have two tied-to-writing-but-not-too-much-to-be-considered-annoying-like-why-won't-this-lady-shut-up-about-writing-and-stuff obsessions. Words and names. And, yes, I understand that's basically the same thing, but there is a definable difference. Would you name your child table or smart or leaf-blower or decadent? No? Okay, good. You get my point. 😉

I would love to opt for the "word of week" thing, but seeing as how there's already a Mexican Word of the Day and one of my favorite authors, Roseanna M. White, has a "word of the week" every Monday, I figured that it would be best to go with the names. Now, all y'all Nameberry people can keep your stink eyes to yourself. Every Monday night (hopefully...and night could mean 6 pm or 10pm; we'll see), I'll pick a name of one of the characters in a book I've written or story idea I'm working on and highlight its meaning, origins, and why I chose it. So, no, I will not be supplanting Nameberry or any other baby-naming site.

This week's name will be Rina, in honor of the heroine of my debut novel Held Captive and supporting (very supporting) character of the next two novels in the series.

So, her name is actually Catherina (originally spelled Cathrina by a twelve-year-old me), but she goes by Rina pretty much all the time...unless she's with her prim-and-proper mother, of course. Now, since they are two separate names, I'll be highlighting them both, starting with Catherina.

During the days of "Untitled Idea About Two Pirates Searching for Buried Treasure" (yeah...that's the best I could come up with on such short notice), she was just plain Catherina. How I decided on that, I cannot tell you. And not because it's classified. I actually don't know. I remember how I came up with Xavier, but that's a story for another week. 😉 It had a regal sound, classic because of the Catherine/Katherine connotations, yet seemed slightly exotic with the a at the end. Since she was born only, roughly, fifty years after the Renaissance (although the era has no set start and end date, I suppose), the Latinization (and, yes, that is a word) of the name kind of fit.

Catherina, which can be pronounced kath-a-REE-na or--as I prefer--kath-REE-na or ka-THREE-na, is a variant of Katherine (used rarely in English), a Greek name by origin. Katherine's true roots are debatable, with so many different Greek words that are either tied to or look like the name. According to Behind the Name, it could mean "torture," "my consecration of your name," or "each of the two." Not really very inspiring, I'll admit. As time went on and Christianty spread throughout the word, it became more closely related to the Greek καθαρός (katharos), which means "pure," (definitely more inspiring) Because of this the Latin spelling was hen changed from Katerina to Katharina. Hence, Catherina. Katherine/Catherine has been borne by many saints, queens, noblewomen, etc., and is often used in their honor.

When, out of the blue, I decided that Lady Catherina needed a nickname, Rina was the first and only thought in my head. Rina is actually a Hebrew name meaning "to rejoice" or "to sing," which is very inspiring, although not entirely tailored to Rina's personality. 😆 It can be spelled Rena and is almost always pronounced REE-na. That being said, my aunt's name is Rena and we all call her Renee (Rah-nay).

After a while, Rina really began to fit (Catherina still seems a little weird) and I can see now how well Rina embodies her name. She's straightforward, short (not literally; she's over six feet), blunt, but also classy, unique, sleek, and beautiful in multiple ways. Rina may not strike terror into the hearts of men, but both her full name and nickname are positively gorgeous and fit her well.

So, shall Rina and I be rejoicing and singing praises over the purity of her name? I should think so!

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