Below is a comment posted by my stepfather, Paul Beaumont. Paul is a great friend of Shannon and I whom we love very much. He is currently in Beirut, Lebanon teaching an obscure thread of economics he probably authored. Technically, he is an Associate Professor of Economics at Florida State University, although those who know him well are convinced he’s actually an undercover agent of some sort.
Anyway, here’s his definition of Maia’s name:
What does the name “Maia” mean? In my book of Hoosier-speak it means “knee high to a grasshopper and cute as a bug’s ear”. But there are other, albeit lesser, opinions too.
In semitic languages, like arabic, Maia is an endearment for Mai which means “water” or, to me, “gorgeous wife”. In Vietnamese Mai means “tomorrow” or “lucky” but is often used in slang in reference to loving (actually it is a bit more earthy than that but we need not go there). I believe that maia also refers to a flower in Vietnamese because I had a Vietnamese friend whose sister’s long-ish name included Maia in it and it translated roughly into “sweet cherry blossom”. In Hindi Mai means “God’s power”. The root mai means “great” in old Greek.
Maia is important in Greek and Roman mythology. To the Greeks she was the eldest of the seven Pleiades sisters, all daughters of Atlas and Pleione. We can still see her star. It is in Taurus near Orion. She is a class B8 giant blue star with 700 times the energy of our own little sun. Yeah, she’s hot. Maia was the eldest, shyest and most beautiful of the sisters. Maia was so shy that she hid in a cave in mount Cyllene. But Zeus, knowing of her legendary beauty, found her and fell in love with her immediately. Although Zeus was a bit of a cad, this is one of the few happy relationships from Greek mythology. They bore the son Hermes, god of fertility, or the winged messenger god Mercury to the Romans. The Romans, being prescient, named the month of May after our Maia. She is the goddess of spring. From her smile, this should be obvious.
Yes, this is an impressive family tree. But not nearly as impressive as her parents and grandparents. One of seven sisters. Did you catch that Elias and Shannon? That’s seven. Not counting brothers. Just so you know.
Love you all,