The story of how Aellyn got her name just keeps getting better and better. Here’s the story so far:
I love girl names that start with “A” – I just find them feminine and beautiful. Almost every name I’ve ever had on my short list (and short lists are veeerrryyy long for infertiles) begins with A or with a vowel at the very least. For example, I love Ayla, Ava, Alia, etc. as well as Isla, Ivy, Irene, Evalyn, etc. Aellyn actually came about because I was looking for a name for my World of Warcraft character (Blood Elf Rogue for those of you in the know. Horde FTW.). Stumbling through names beginning with “A” one of the suggestions of the game was Aeliurra. This is where I got the Ael in Aellyn. Although I might have subconsciously remembered seeing the name Aellyn, at the time I believed I was making it up from scratch for my character.
So, I liked the name but it didn’t occur to me to name a child that because name meanings are very important to me. I knew I wanted a child with a name that meant something to me. When we got pregnant I looked up the name Aellyn to see if it meant anything. One website said it was Gaelic and meant ” from Ireland” but that was the only reference I could find to that so I really couldn’t substantiate that meaning. It seemed more likely that it was a variant of the Greek Helen meaning “ray of light.”
In a huge twist of irony I then found out that Aellyn is the name of a character in the Star Wars Universe. Aellyn Jandi was the wife of Imperial Moff Riit Jandi, a man forty years her senior. She embarked on an affair with Sair Yonka. Why is this ironic? Well, my husband and I are huge Star Wars Geeks. As in: we met in a trivia chat room over the answer to a Star Wars question[1. Q: How did Boba Fett die? A (paige): The Sarlaac killed him. A (pete): He didn’t die. The truth is in the movies I’m right; in the books he’s right.], we saw Episode One 7 times on the day it was released, and we have detailed Jedi personas and costumes that we wear to conventions. No, really. We both do. Here’s me and here’s Pete. See? I told you we were geeks. So, it was ironic that a name we already like just happened to be a Star Wars name.
Voila. We named her Aellyn. Pronounced with a long A as in vain and then lin as in violin. It rhymes with Palin (as in Sarah).
Fast forward to her first birthday. We got a My Pal Violet as a gift. This is a toy that you hook up to the computer and enter your child’s name which the toy then inserts into songs and spells. Of course, they didn’t have Aellyn in the database so I tried alternate spellings and quickly came up with Aylin. Hmmm, I thought, I wonder what Aylin means and if Aellyn is just a variant of that?
Turns out that Aylin is a Turkish name that means “halo around the moon.” You could have knocked me over with a feather when I heard that! You see, the night Pete proposed to me there was the most amazing lunar halo (parahelia) I’ve ever seen in my life. It started in really tight to the moon and then grew huge but remained bright and so clear. It was breathtaking. And, so memorable and like a good omen. Seeing portions of a lunar halo (moon dogs) is much more common, as well as lunar glow but seeing a complete halo lasting several hours is amazing!
Ten long years later we named our miracle baby after a lunar halo? Without even knowing it? Wow.
Serendipity. Destiny. Karma. Fate. Kismet[2. Which, ironically, is a Turkish word for destiny!]. Moirai.