Where does my name come from?
Itziar is a Basque female name. There is a village named Itziar, after the name given to virgin Mary in the chapel of that village. All names in Basque have some kind of ethimological meaning, but I don't have the slightest idea of what mine means. According to Itziar Zubillaga, who read these lines, it means 'Sight from the top of the peak', which would refer to the location of the chapel. A different version was given to me by Itziar Uribarri, who traces down the origin of the name to 'aitz zahar' literally 'old stone' - curiously, that's exactly how English speakers tend to mispronounce my name! The name would refer to an old stone that laid on top of the cliffs on which Andramari used to be seen, and around which the spouses of local fishermen used to gather to wait and pray for the arrival of the fishing boats back to the harbours. The chapel was built later and converted the pagan name into a christian name.
Aretxaga is a Basque surname. It means 'oak forest'. Oaks are emblematic trees in the Basque Country. My branch of Aretxaga comes from Okendo (Araba).
My second surname (that's my mother's surname) is Méndez, which is Spanish. It means 'Mendo's son'. I normally don't use it, but it appears on all my legal documentshttp://www.inaoep.mx/~itziar/itziFAQ.html
In the Spanish version of Wikipedia I further found a basque vocabulary where "aitz" is said to be "stone" adn "zahar" is said to mean "old" or "ancient"... By the way... Shannon and Rhiannon ar both rivers and river goddesses... Both end in "annon" but Shannon is "Sean ahhana" that is "old/wise river" while Rhiannon is just "rigantona" "great queen"... Sure it's not "rigan ahhana" (river queen I presume as "rigan" is much alike to "regal" or latin "regis" or "rex"? Etymology for Phorcys? This is all... Sorry for this way of bringing myself back in... Bye.