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Contributor Contrib.enchy on 10/4/2010
Originally a medieval short form of names beginning with the Old Frankish element idal, an extended form of Old Frankish id, perhaps meaning "work, labour" (cf. Ida). It was borne by the heroine of Polish writer Juliusz Słowacki's play Fantazy (1841, published 1866).Though the etymology is unrelated, this is also an epithet of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, in which case it means "of Idalion", Idalion being an ancient city in Cyprus. This was given because the city was a center of her cult. The place name itself is said to derive from the Greek phrase ιδού άλιον (idou alion) "I see the sun".