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Gender Feminine
Other Forms FormsNehalenia, Nehalaenia, Nehellenia, Nenhellenia

Meaning & History

Name of a Gaulish goddess of commerce worshipped in what is now the Netherlands, whose worship was prevalent when the Romans arrived to the area. She is believed to be a goddess of the sea, divination, and the Otherworld. The etymology is unknown, even though linguists agree that its origin is not Latin. Theories include a derivation from Indo-European *nāu- "boat" (in which case it may have meant "seafarer" or "steerswoman"), a derivation from Proto-Germanic *nehwa "close", a derivation from the Proto-Indo-European root *neiH- "to lead", a combination of Celtic *halen– "sea" and *ne- "on, at" and a combination of Indogermanic nebh "moisture, wetness" and either hel "to cover, to hide" or Gothic linnan "to disappear; to leave".
Added 12/6/2011 by Starshine Gunslinger
Edited 8/17/2020 by Frollein Gladys, elbowin and SeaHorse15