This article is reprinted from a series on names originally published in the year 1922. This one appeared in The North Platte Semi-Weekly Tribune in North Platte, Nebraska, on November 21, 1922. For more stories from the past, check out our ArchiveAmericana.com site.
Facts about your name: Its history, meaning, whence it was derived, significance, your lucky day and lucky jewel.
Delia is a name of curiously conflicting history. There are several origins from which she might have sprung. In England, she appears most frequently as a convenient contraction for the dignity of Cordelia. The truly Irish flavor of Bedelia and the popularity of Delia in that country might give rise to the contention that the latter name is the diminutive of the old song favorite.
But Delia, according to the best etymological authorities, is a separate and independent name which has its source in no less an exalted realm than the mythology of ancient Greece. It was Artemis or Diana, the moon goddess, who, being born at Delos, caused the place of her nativity to be immortalized in Greek mythological history.
In honor of the goddess, the feminine name Delia was evolved from Delos and sprang to instant fame in Arcadian poetry. Lovely shepherdesses who figure in those ancient pastorals, bore the name and it reached England by the literary route. The sound of it was good to Irish ears, and it was straightaway adopted by that country.
Since Artemis was the moon goddess, it is fitting that Delia’s talismanic gem should be the mooonstone. It will bring its wearer good fortune, and will prove an exceptionally lucky jewel if it is a gift from a sweetheart. It is said that lovers can read the future by looking into its depths when the moon is full. Monday is Delia’s lucky day and 4 her lucky number.
Photo: Lithograph of Diana from the collection d’Andrew Fountaine Esqe. de Mr. le baron James de Rothschild et de Mr Macnac; courtesy NYPL.