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Guadalupe (name)

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Guadalupe is a female given name in the Spanish language.

The name initially designated a river in the province of Extremadura, Spain. It has been interpreted either as an Arabic word, or an Arabic/Latin compound word. In the first case, it would derive from Wadi-al-luben, in Arabic "hidden river"; in the second case it would derive from Wadi Lupe, a compound of Wadi (Andalusian Arabic for "river") and lupe (Latin for "wolf").

The name became famous as a result of a 14th-century Marian apparition and associated pilgrimate site, located in a town called Guadalupe near the source of the Guadalupe river. The apparition, and the statue associated with it, was originally known as "Our Lady of Guadalupe" and is now known as "Our Lady of Guadalupe, Extremadura" or "Our Lady of Extremadura".

Two centuries later, the name gained additional fame through association with another Marian apparition associated with the name Guadalupe. The apparition and the image it made famous became known as Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The Mexican Guadalupe supplanted her Spanish original both in name and in fame - to the point where doubts about her Spanish parentage have even been raised. There are some who contend that the Mexican "Guadalupe" is in fact a corruption of a word in the native Nahuatl language. Nonetheless it is fairly certain that the Mexican name "Guadalupe", as a title for the Virgin Mary, does in fact derive from the Spanish place-name, probably by some association of the Virgin with the Spanish cult of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Extremadura), which would have been strong at the time of the Spanish conquista of Mexico, and which claimed its own apparition, shrine and pilgrimage. The name's use in relation to the Marian apparition in Mexico has led to some controversy regarding its origin and meaning. The name's similarity to a variety of Nahuatl words and phrases have given rise to various hypotheses that "Guadalupe" was a corruption of these Nahuatl phrases - the idea being that the Spanish in 16th century Mexico found it difficult to pronounce Nahuatl. Such Nahuatl phrases include Coatlaxopeuh ("The one (female) that defeat the snake", interpreted as a reference to the serpent-Devil in the book of Genesis); Tequatlanopeuh (she whose origins were in the rocky summit"), and Tequantlaxopeuh ("She who banishes those who devoured us"). The first to suggest the corruption theory behind the name was Bercera Tanco, in 1675. However, every manuscript from the first 150 years following the apparition uses the name "Guadalupe", including the original text in Nahuatl, leading scholars to conclude that time provides "no historical evidence indicating that the Virgin was called by any of the names proposed". In fact, accounts of Spaniards' response to the story of the apparitions show that it was the native Mexicans who insisted on using the name "Guadalupe" for Mary. A number of Spaniards had urged that "Guadalupe" be abandoned for a Nahuatl name, like Tepeaquilla or Tepeaca.

Today, the name "Guadalupe" is relatively common in Hispanic countries, especially in Mexico, where it can be a personal name as well as a place name. As a personal name, it can be given to both boys and girls. Notable examples for a boy's name are Guadalupe Victoria, a Mexican general, and Guadalupe Acosta Naranjo, a Mexican politician.

Notable people

  • Guadalupe Victoria, nom de guerre of the first President of Mexico
  • Guadalupe Canseco (born 1962), Mexican Olympic diver
  • María Guadalupe Jones Garay, best known as Lupita Jones (born 1968), Mexican businesswoman, former model and beauty queen
  • María Guadalupe Sánchez (born 1971), Mexican race walker
  • María Guadalupe Villalobos Vélez, known as Lupe Velez (born 1908), a Mexican film actress who starred in many classic Hollywood films.
  • References

    Guadalupe (name) Wikipedia