Hurricane Irene has tens of millions of people on the East Coast bracing for damage, but the origin of the name means quite the opposite of a monster storm.
The name "Irene" is Greek in origin and actually means "peace."
Several websites dedicated to explaining what names mean says Irene was the name of a Greek goddess who personified peace. Several early Christian saints have the name Irene.
The name was common in the Byzantine Empire; an eighth-century empress named Irene was the first to lead the Byzantine Empire. She originally was a regent for her ruling son, but killed him and led the empire alone.