It's a question as old as time: what's in a name? When it comes to Tegan, the answer is simple. Well, sort of. On one hand, it means "fair" or "beautifully fair." On the other hand... actually, let's just explore that second hand for a moment.
Wait, so what else does Tegan mean?
Okay buckle up because this gets wild fast. In Welsh mythology (you know you're in for a good time whenever Welsh mythology enters the picture), there was an immortal horse named Tegid Foel who lived in a lake with his wife and children. One day his wife became infatuated with someone who was very much not her husband - namely an insect-peddling wizard guy named Gwydion.
The affair produced two children - one of whom grew into Taliesin (known alternatively as "the greatest bard who ever lived" and/or "that guy people keep insisting on telling long boring stories about at every renaissance faire"). The other child didn't fare quite so well - they were thrown into said lake by daddy dearest Tegid Foel himself.
Alright stay with us here cuz we're getting close to answering your question about what Tegan means; word has it that during all this drama-galore some poor schmuck wandering through heard crying coming from Lake Homicide and went to investigate... only to find none other than our girl TEGAN! And apparently she wasn't super pleased about being stuck under water like some kind of creepy bog mummy because she cursed whoever found her treasure until Judgment Day itself.
So yeah long story short if you want your kid to become either A) an immortal aquatic princess who demands unwavering loyalty or B) someone who will spend their life living down being named after a long-dead siren's treasure, Tegan is the name for you!
Whew. Calming down. So where else does the name show up?
While it's not a super common name (probably because lots of people aren't brave enough to get involved with Welsh mythology), Tegan has been seen around in various forms throughout history and pop culture.
- Tegan Quin: half of Canadian indie pop duo Tegan And Sara
- Tilda Cobham-Hervey played a character named Teghan in Netflix's I am Woman.
- Doctor Who: both Dr. Song/River "Who doesn't love being interrogated at gunpoint by themselves?" Song and Companionship Goals Personified Martha Jones worked under aliases that included "Tegan"
- Arrow: Detective McKenna Hall (JESUS CHRIST IT'S JASON BOURNE aka Australian actress Janikwa Kumaraa) (GODDAMIT WHY DIDN'T SHE MAKE THE CUT FOR SEASON TWO OH YEAH BECAUSE LAUREL LANCE AND HER HABITS OF READING A SCRIPT LIKE SOMEONE MANIPULATING PUPPETS WITH THEIR FEET)
But seriously folks if you're pulling inspiration from fanfiction or need a somewhat unusual sounding/meaningful/feminine but strong name, taking on one of these ladies as your spiritual namesake might be worth considering.
But why choose TEGAN?
Other than all of the aforementioned immortal-water-princesses-rejecting-you reasons, obviously? The great thing about names is that everyone looks for different qualities when they're choosing one - maybe you want something that echoes your heritage or family members; perhaps you prioritize the sound/length/spelling/etc.; maybe there was just no one else running around in the preschool playgroup with that particular moniker when you needed to come up with something for your baby girl.
- This is where doing some research into Tegan's meanings could pay off. Perhaps you love the idea of a name meaning "fair and/or beautiful" (frankly, who wouldn't?).
- Or perhaps tales of mythical horses and water nymphs strike a chord within, inspiring musings on beauty among unexpected places or lessons from lost treasure.
- Whatever it is, make sure it's something that resonates with YOU. Because at the end of the day if anyone should be happy while tapping out letters onto their mailbox or getting called down to dinner by mom yelling your full name through cupped hands across some wooded acreage ("Tegaaaaaaaan Marie Schaeffer! Dinner Time!") it should definitely be whoever has actually been blessed/cursed with THE tag in question.
A Few Final Thoughts
So there you have it. Maybe we didn't unravel all of Tegan's secrets - but let's face it; being able to say that our namesake was involved in an ancient Welsh tale involving murder, wizards and curses probably makes us cooler than most other people out there anyway ("I'm sorry Carol did you say YOUR parents just picked 'Carol' because they liked how easy it fit into crossword puzzles?") And who knows maybe one day we'll catch a glimpse of freshwater drowned royalty arising to take her rightful place as queen/goddess/benevolent overlord ambassador...among many disappointingly modern-yet-increasingly-polluted lakes worldwide!
Now go forth young linguists! Yell "TEGAN!" atop well-starry-topped promontories; inscribe its elegant loops upon marriage certificates (we recommend writing traditional vows yourself though); scribble them fiercely onto forms at dentists offices when what should be simple paperwork becomes another Kafkaesque nightmare - and revel in the knowledge that you're carrying forward a name both rare and with plenty of secret stories lurking beneath its surface.