Irene (Latin) - " Messenger of peace." This name is derived from Greek "Eirene."
Iris (Greek) - " A messenger." The ancients had an extremely pretty conceit that the iris was the symbolical flower of Irene, goddess of peace, and from the variegated flower the comparison was made to the rainbow, which is the emblem of union, the link between earth and heaven. Finally the name was transferred to a dainty nymph, who was thus called Iris, and became Irene's messenger. Iris was always represented with wings gleaming with the beauteous colours of the rainbow. She had the power to call down water from the clouds to revivify the parched and weary earth.
Irmentrude (Teutonic) - " Noble maiden." The name is derived from "Earmen," meaning "great," or "noble"; and "trude," a "maid."
Isabeau and Isabelle - French variants of Isabel (Hebrew) - " God hath sworn," or "God's oath." A variant of Elizabeth, used both in England, Scotland, and Spain. This form is most popular in the latter country.
Isabella - Favourite Spanish form.
Isobel - Scottish form.
Izabella - Portuguese variant.
Iseult (Celtic) - "Fair." In the old Arthurian legends Iseult was the daughter of the Queen of Ireland, who, when Sir Tristram was wounded, nursed him back to health. On his return to Cornwall the knight so praised the young princess to his uncle, King Mark, that he sent and asked her hand in marriage. Iseult wedded King Mark, but carried on an intrigue with his nephew; this fact being discovered, Tristram was banished to Wales. When pardoned, he renewed his attentions to
Iseult, and was banished a second time. He then betook himself to Spain and Brittany, in which latter place he met Ysolt, " of the white hand," daughter of the Duke of Brittany, whom he married. After many heroic exploits, he fell severely wounded, and being told that no one but Iseult could cure him, he sent a messenger to Cornwall begging her to come to him. If the queen consented to come, the vessel bearing her and the messenger was to hoist a white flag as soon as she neared the Breton port. Ysolt, not unnaturally, was jealous of her rival, and watching from the casement window, told her husband that the returning ship was displaying a black flag. In an agony of despair Sir Tristram fell upon his couch and died. When Iseult landed and beheld her dead lover, she cast herself beside him, and death claimed her too. King Mark buried them in one grave, planting over it a rose-bush and a vine, which grew up entwined so closely that none could part them. Other forms of Iseult are Ysolde, Ysonde, but these are Celtic. Isadore (Greek) - " Strong gift." Isadora - Spanish form of above. Isidore - Russian variant, also spelled " Isidor." Isis (Egyptian) - " Uprising." Ismene (Greek) - " Loving sister." Isolda (Celtic) - " Fair." Is-se (Greek) - " Shepherdess." Ita (Celtic) - " Thirsty." Variant of Ida. Itea (Greek) - " Many-sistered." Itonia (Greek) - " War-like," or " brave." Ivanna (Hebrew) - " Grace of God." Ivy (Teutonic) - " Clinging." As this is the chief characteristic of ivy, it has also been made the symbol of friendship and fidelity
To be continued.