Tuesday, September 27, 2016

French girls names you've never heard of

Here's a long list of French girls names you've probably never heard in America that could likely go over well here.

Abeline
Aliénor
Alaine
Alcine
Alexine
Aliette (from place name Aleth)
Alix (a form of Alice)
Amaliane (from Germanic amal liut, "powerful people")
Amandine
Ameline
Anastasie
Anceline
Anicette
Apolline and Apollonie
Arabelle
Arcadie
Ariette
Audeline
Auxane
Avoye
Aymardine

Basilisse
Bérangère
Blandine

Capucine
Carine
Charlaine
Claudine
Clio
Coline
Coralie
Cyrielle

Delphine
Doriane

Edmée (or Edmé)
Éliane 
Élia
Émérance
Eudoxie
Eugenie
Eulalie

Faustine
Felicie
Flavie
Florie
Francia

Garance
Germaine
Guenièvre
Gustavine
Gwenaëlle

Isabeau
Iseult
Ismerie

Jacinthe

Laure
Laureline
Lauriane
Luce

Magali
Maguelone
Melisandre
Melisande
Micheline

Odette
Odile
Ombeline
Oriande
Oriane
Ozanne

Pelagie
Perrine
Petronille
Pulcherie

Quitterie

Roseline

Sandrine
Ségolène
Sérine
Severine
Silène
Silvestine
Sixtine
Soline
Solène

Thaïs
Tiphaine

Vinciane (feminine from Vincent)
Virginie

Ysaline
Yseult (a form of Isolde)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Praxedes

Vermeer_saint_praxedis
Vermeer, Saint Praxedis

Also seen in the form of Praxedis (Latin), Praxede (18th and/or 19th century France), and Prassede (Italian), this unusual saint name is extremely rare and interesting. She comes from Greek praxis, "an accomplishment." PRA-shed-yees and PRAHK-say-dahs are accepted pronunciations in Spanish and Portuguese, while prak-SAY-deez for the Praxedes spelling (like Mercedes) and PRAK-sed-iss for the Praxedis spelling are accepted in English. PRAK-seh-deh is commonly accepted elsewhere.

The Roman female Christian saint died in the year 165, and little is known about her. According to Jacobus de Voragine, her sister was Saint Pudentiana and her brothers were Saint Timothy and Saint Donatus. Sabine Baring-Gould claims she was the daughter of Saint Pudens, also the sister of Saint Pudentiana, but that her brothers were Saint Timothy and Saint Novatus. Some think because her name is not a feminine form of Pudens, she must have been a slave. According to Catholic Online, she was very charitable during the time when Emperor Marcus Antoninus was murdering Christians, until she couldn't bear their suffering anymore and asked God if he could relieve her of her pain.

She has a couple of famous paintings, one as shown above by Johannes Vermeer, which is a copy of a painting by Felice Ficherelli, the other by Simone Pignoni. Three famous people were named for the saint, including Spanish civil engineer/Prime Minister Praxedes Mateo Sagasta (1825-1903), who was given the name because he was born on her feast day; Praxedes Guerrero, Mexican anarchist poet and writer who fought during the 1910 Revolution; lastly Praxede Larue, Quebec physician and politician. There are also four place names for this saint: Santa Prassede church in Rome, Santa Praxedes in Cagayan, Sainte-Praxede in Quebec, and Praxedis G. Guerrero municipality in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

547 Praxedis is a minor planet/asteroid orbiting our sun, named for the character in Joseph Viktor von Scheffel's Ekkehard.

In the U.S. all forms of this name are very rare, with no SSA data and White Pages reporting 425 total Praxedes, 310 Praxedis, a handful of Praxadis and Praxides, 13 Praxede and 5 Prassede. Also of note: 2 Prasseda.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Garden

Garden is a baby name option for the very brave, although it wouldn't be the first time this unisex name was used. It was used in 1923 on five boys, but for all we know this may have been a surname used in honor, much like the use of Gardener as a given name (although Gardener is an occupational surname). Garden basically means "enclosed yard," but through time it has been used to refer to a home orchard, kitchen garden or personal yard. Today we immediately think of a beautiful flower, herb, or vegetable garden. It sounds similar to the vintage gemstone name Garnet, the trending Arden, masculine Gordon, and popular Grayden-Ayden type names (names ending with N are very popular now).

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Tamarix

Tamarix_gallica01
Tamarix gallica


Tamarix (TAM-ar-iks) would make for quite an unusual baby name, but the salt cedar plant, shrub, and small tree also known as tamarisk is no different than other flowering plants used as baby names, such as Rose, Magnolia, Petunia or Laurel. The only difference is that everyone knows what a rose looks like, while little Tamarix would have to say "Google it" with every introduction. She's also very similar to other familiar names like Tamar/a, Beatrix and Tamsin. This pretty namesake might just be worth the trouble.

From Latin, the name may have originated from the Tamaris River in Spain, now know as the Tambre or Tamariz, because these plants grew along the river. Tamaris may have been directly connected to the Biblical names Tamara and Tamar, meaning "date palm tree," but more likely the ancient goddess Tamara of Britian, goddess of rivers and streams or at least specifically the Tamar River, which borders Cornwall and has a different meaning, "great water." The etymologically connected Thames River (the Tamesis) means "dark [water]."

The tamarisk is popular in mythology and religious tales, from The Epic of Gilgamesh to the Quran to Genesis to Egyptian mythology. The Biblical Hebrew name Eshel (AY-shell) means "tamarisk tree."

Tamarisk showed up in U.S. records twice in 1979 when it was given to 9 girls and 1980 when it was given to 5 girls. Tamaris, however, can be found in census records a handful of times between 1797 and 1898. After 1980 Tamaris pops up again on five girls in 1980, 1986, 1990, 1992, seven girls in 1999 and five again in 2001. It was also given to boys six or seven times in some of those years. Tamarix was not used.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Cian

Cian (KEY-in) is an Irish boy's name meaning "enduring, ancient." The most legendary namesake was Cian Mac Maelmuaid, son-in-law of Ireland's great Brian Boru, King of Munster. Cian led an army from Munster to victory against the Vikings during the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, where he and his father-in-law were killed in battle. Ironically, Cian's father Mael Muad had been killed by Brain Boru years before. In mythology, however, Cian is also known as Scal Balb and is father of Lug (Lugh, sun god) and son of Dian Cecht. In oral medieval narrative Cian's marriage to Ethniu was a romance/bridal quest. Today the most popular namesake is likely either Youtube star Cian Twomey or Kian Lawley.

In 2015 Cian was given to 153 boys, not too far outside the top 1000 but far enough from the top 100 to be unusual. It is currently a very popular name in Ireland, #14 as of 2015.

Spelled Kian the name is now Persian, pronounced key-AHN, possibly meaning "kings." (I say possibly because I believe this was actually the surname of the second dynasty of Persian kings. It also means symbol of pride or unity of the country, or essentially "united by one name" in Iran.) This is the case for Filipino-Iranian actor Kian Reza Kizemi and Iranian-American scholar and sociologist Kian Tajbakhsh, although it is possible they are named intently for the city Kian in Iran. However, the K spelling is used in Ireland as well, and currently ranks low in the top 100 there. Kian ranks inside the top 1000 at #487 and rising with 599 boys given the name. It also ranks in England, Wales, Netherlands, Scotland and Sweden. Geena Davis named one of her sons Kian. There's also model Kian Mitchum, Danish footballer Kian Hansen, singers Cian Morrin and Kian Egan, and British cyclist Kian Emadi. Keane is the Anglicized spelling of the Irish name. As Kiyan or Keyan it is also considered Arabic.