Do you know the song “Meditation on Thaïs“? I’ve always loved it, it’s from an opera by Jules Massenet about a courtesan who repented and turned to holiness (based on a novel by Anatole France). Only today did I discover that she’s revered as a saint (though the details of her story — including whether or not it’s even true — are debated).
Thais, properly pronounced tie-EES though understandably sometimes said THAY-iss or TAY-iss, is, for me, one of those names that makes my mouth water — it’s gorgeous, interesting, and unusual, both to see and to hear; it also feels somewhat familiar, being similar in spelling and sound to Theresa/Therese and Tess(a). I also came upon the variant Thaisa, which I think I love even more — it’s a Latinate variant of Thais, and is the name of a character in the Shakespeare play Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
What do you think of Thais(a)? Does Thais’ connection to a probably untrue story represent a stumbling block to you? Does its connection to an opera, a novel, and a Shakespeare play add or detract to the name? Do you know anyone named either Thais or Thaisa, and if so — how does she pronounce it? Does she like it? Why did her parents choose that name?