Looking for a distinctive nature name? Parents are bypassing boho chic choices like River and Sky for a fresh category: foreign word names with nature meanings.
Thanks to Photoquilty for suggesting a Name of the Day from this intriguing category: Brisa.
If you honeymooned in Cancun, you might’ve downed a margarita in a bar called Brisa. Elsewhere in Mexico, you could’ve stayed at Las Brisas resorts. Restaurants wearing the name can be found in California and Texas. Even an observatory in Colorado bears the name. It’s the kind of word that many of us can translate, even if our Spanish language skills are otherwise limited to the menu board at a Taco Bell.
Before we go any farther, there’s the inescapable fact that product manufacturers have latched onto Brisa, too. There’s a Kia Brisa, a Portuguese soft drink and a Turkish tire distributor.
None of this has stopped parents in the US from embracing Brisa. She debuted in the US Top 1000 back in 2000 at #481 – quite the high debut – and while she’s fallen quite a bit, still stood at #787 last year. You may also see the spelling Brise. They share a pronunication – BREE sa – but the “e” ending is far less common.
Besides the nature name link, there are a few other possible origins for Brisa:
- Homer mentioned Briseis, a widow taken a the spoils of war by the Greeks, in his Iliad. Pronounced BRISS ee iss, she’s not exactly a household name, but the character did apepar in the 2004 movie Troy;
- French poet Benoît de Sainte-Maure penned his epic Le Roman de Troie in the twelfth century. He borrowed Homer’s name for Briseida, the love interest of Troilus. Over the years, the name morphed into Cressida, the version used by Shakespeare and, eventually Toyota;
- In French, brise means broken – as in the architectural term brise-soleil, to refer to any technique that limits sun exposure;
- Brise and Brisa are also sometimes heard as surnames, from corners of the globe as differnet as Puerto Rico and Hungary. It’s possible that some could relate to Saint Brice, an early fifth century Bishop of Tours, also recorded as Brixius and Bricius.
Overall, Brisa emerges as an interesting option. As we discussed with the Welsh Briallen, she fits in nicely with the Bree name trend, fueled by everything from the popularity of the literary Briana to Marcia Cross’s Desperate Housewives character. And yet, her status as a foreign import and her mythological and medieval ties give her quite an appealing story.