Shana (given name)

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Shana is a feminine given name of multiple origins. The pronunciation of the name varies depending upon the context and source.

According to Bruce Lansky, Shana occurs as a familiar diminutive or form of Shannon, a Gaelic name, meaning "small and wise." [1] It relates to the longest river in Ireland, the Shannon, which earned its namesake from Celtic goddess Sionna, who sought the enchanted hazelnuts of wisdom. [2] Legends vary about the creation of the river, but they all recount the drowning of the Sionna, granddaughter of the great sea god Lir, usually at an undersea well. [3] Some derive the denomination of the name Shannon, known by the Irish as Sionnain, from the phrase sean-amhan or "old river." [4] An alternate spelling for Shana is Shanna.

Beyond its Irish roots, Shana is also often used as a nickname for Shoshana, an ancient form of Susannah, and means "lily" or "rose" in Hebrew. The name Shaina, sometimes spelled Shayna or Shana, is of Yiddish origin, and implies "beautiful."

People named Shana[edit]

Notable people with the name include:

Fictional characters[edit]

People named Shaina or Shayna[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Shanna, a similar and sometimes related name


  1. ^ Lansky, Bruce. 10,000 Baby Names. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985. 65. Print.
  2. ^ Domhnaill, Fadó. Fadó: Tales of Lesser Known Irish History. Leicestershire, UK: Matador, 2013. 7. Print.
  3. ^ Bulik, Mark. The Sons of Molly Maguire: The Irish Roots of America's First Labor War. Fordham University Press, 2015. Print.
  4. ^ Wood, Thomas. An Inquiry concerning the Primitive Inhabitants of Ireland. London, 1821. 117. Print.