Quick Facts on Larissa
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Citadel, stronghold (possibly cheerful and bright)
Characteristics of Larissa
Etymology & Historical Origin - Larissa
Larissa is a Greek name (λαρισσα) briefly featured in Greek mythology. Larissa is variably described as the daughter of Pelasgus (who many ancient Greeks believed to be the first man and ancestor to the first indigenous people of Greece) or the daughter of Piasus (a Pelasgian prince). She is also sometimes described as a mortal princess of Argos and at others a nymph. Not much is said about Larissa except that she became the object of desire of Poseidon (sea god) to whom she gave three sons: Akhaios, Pelasgos and Pythios later to become kings of various regional units of ancient Greece. In the 1980s, astronomers discovered a moon orbiting Neptune which they named Larissa in honor of Poseidon’s lover (Neptune is the Roman equivalent of Poseidon, the sea god). Larissa is also a place name – both a city and a region located in east-central Greece (Thessaly) and named after the mythological Larissa. Finally, an acropolis known as Larissa Hill in Argos was named for her, existing many centuries before Christ. Apropos, Larissa comes from a Greek word meaning “citadel, stronghold” (a citadel is a fortress surrounding a town, like an acropolis usually positioned atop a hill); although we have also read that Larissa means “bright and cheerful”. As if this all isn’t enough – Larissa Feodorovna Guishar is a central character in Boris Pasternak’s 1957 novel “Doctor Zhivago” (known throughout the book by her diminutive form Lara) and one of the greatest (if tragic) literary heroines of modern times. Today the name Larissa is most popular in Austria, Brazil, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The Larisa spelling with one “s” is used with heavy moderation in Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Popularity of the Name Larissa
When we hear the name Larissa, we immediately think of similar sounding names like Carissa, Clarissa, Julissa, Marissa, Melissa and Karissa. People might be surprised to hear just how old the name Larissa is! She’s a Greek nymph, she’s a Greek princess, she’s a Greek “citadel”, she’s a city and region of Greece, she’s cheerful and bright, she’s a moon orbiting Neptune and she’s one of the greatest 20th century literary heroines. Seriously, this is one name that keeps on giving. Given Larissa’s connection to Poseidon (Neptune) in mythology, we also like this name for a baby Pisces (a sign ruled by the planet Neptune). Although Larissa has ancient roots in Greece, it’s a pretty modern baby girl name in the United States, first appearing on the U.S. Top 1000 list in 1967 (perhaps influenced by the film adaptation of Doctor Zhivago in 1965). The name grew quickly on the charts and achieved her best year in 1994 at position #363. Today, however, the name has fallen back down to the bottom of the Top 1000 list. Since Larissa never achieved any significant popularity, and given her position on the charts today, we’d call this one an original choice – but one with a lot of depth and history.
Popularity of the Girl Name Larissa
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Larissa
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Larissa
Larissa (Doctor Zhivago) Larissa “Lara” Fyodorovna Guishar Antipova is a main character in Nobel Prize winner Boris Pasternak’s novel, Doctor Zhivago, first published in 1957, and later made into a highly successful movie in 1965, starring Julie Christie as Lara. Set against the tumultuous background of World War I, the Russian Revolution and the Russian Civil War, this is a soaring and lyrical love story played out against Maurice Jarre’s haunting melody, Lara’s Theme. Lara has already been mishandled by life when she meets Yuri Zhivago. She had been seduced as a young girl by her mother’s lover, and subsequently married a man whose first allegiance is to the Bolshevik cause. When he is reported missing, Lara takes a nursing position in the army in order to search for him. Here she meets the married Zhivago, and their connection is fierce and immediate, although not consummated at first. The vagaries of war separate and reunite them, taking their terrible physical and emotion toil of common humanity, yet allowing for a certain abandonment of the restrictive rules of a society that has gone mad. Lara loves as she lives, passionately and fully, but this love is doomed. It will be a victim of the cruel dehumanizing of an entire people that happens in the wake of the war and its aftermath. Ultimately Lara meets her fate at the hands of the Stalinists, but not before proving herself to be an enduring survivor of all that has been put in her path. One is assured that the daughter of such a woman will inherit the same will to survive as her mother exhibited in the face of overwhelming odds. As it is said of Lara” “She was here on earth to make sense of its wild enchantments.”
Popular Songs on Larissa
Larissa - We cannot find any popular or well-known songs featuring the name Larissa.
Children's Books on the Baby Name Larissa
Larissa - We cannot find any children’s books featuring a character named Larissa.
Famous People Named Larissa
Famous People Named Larissa - Larissa França (Brazilian beach volleyball player); Larisa Latynina (former Soviet gymnast); Larisa Lazutina (Russian Olympian); Larissa Volokhonsky (literary translator); Larissa Wilson (English actress)
Children of Famous People Named Larissa
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Larissa - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Larissa.
Larissa - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
Larissa - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Larissa.
Personality of the Girl Name Larissa
The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth". Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.
Variations of the Baby Name - Larissa