Congratulations to Mariska Hargitay and her husband Peter Hermann, who are now the proud parents of a 1-week-old daughter.
If you’re thinking to yourself, ‘I don’t recall Mariska being pregnant recently,’ it’s because she wasn’t. They adopted.
And when it came time to name their new bundle of joy, the whole family got involved.
“We all talked about names because everything is a family decision in our house,” says Hargitay.
That meant also consulting her 4-year-old son, August, for ideas. “I threw out my name and he threw out his name and I said, ‘August, why do you get to name the baby?’ And he said, ‘Because it’s my idea!’” the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, 47, says with a laugh.
The family settled on Amaya Josephine – an adaptation of one of Hargitay’s favorite names, Maya.
“I liked that name, but I wanted her to have the same initials as August,” Hargitay explains. “I thought adding the ‘A’ was so feminine. Amaya sounded so open and feminine and beautiful – just like her.”
– The name ‘Maya’ is most often used in English-speaking countries as an alternative to the mythological name Maia. Use of the name is influenced by the common word and name “May.”
– “Maya” means “illusion” or “enchantment” in Sanskrit and Pāli (from ma; “not” and ya; “this”)
– In Buddhist mythology, Queen Maya was the birth mother of the historical Buddha.
– Maya is also a modern Hebrew name, probably also a variant of Greek Maia, but maybe related to Maayan (spring) and to the Aramaic word for “water”.