Monday, March 10, 2014

Ramona

ramona davies 
Ramona Davies

Ramona (rah-MOH-nah) is a Spanish and German name meaning "protecting hands, wise protector" and the feminine version of Ramon and Raymond. Most people in the U.S. are familiar with the name due to the Ramona Quimby novels by Beverly Cleary and a 19th century novel by Helen Hunt Jackson titled Ramona about a girl of Native American and Scottish descent, which the town of Ramona, California was named from. Later Bob Dylan wrote a song called "To Ramona." Other namesakes include author Ramona Lofton, 1930's singer and pianist Ramona Davies, and Ramona Fradon, a comic book artist.

Romy and Mona are the most prominent nicknames. Ramona has not been in the top 1000 since 1988, and it peaked just after 1920 and just before 1960. In 2012 there were 197 girls named Ramona.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lorelei

Lorelei Post Card 

 There are two different accepted meanings for Lorelei (LOHR-eh-lie), the German place name (Loreley) which, legend has it, the siren Lorelei gave her name to. All three use the Celtic ley, meaning "rock." One meaning is "murmuring rock," from lureln and ley, and the second is "luring rock," from x and ley, and "lurking rock," from lauern and ley. From 1843 the etymology was Middle High German lüren,  "to lie in wait." One of the first to use Lorelei was German author Clemens Brentano in Zu Bacharach am Rheine in 1801. Heinrich Heine then used this to write Die Lorelei (German) in 1824. Mark Twain later used the name for An Ancient Legend of the Rhine in 1880. There have been operas, poems, songs, sculptures and paintings in her name ever since. Marilyn Monroe popularized the name in the movie "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," based on Anita Loos's novel, and then the name saw a revamp with "The Gilmore Girls." Lurline, as a variant, has its own opera, poem, ships and was used in L. Frank Baum's Oz books (the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz). Most recently, Lorelei is a Marvel Universe character and can currently be seen on the TV show "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

The Lorelei is located on the Rhine River between Switzerland and the North Sea. Like most sirens, Lorelei sat on top the rock singing, which distracted or lured sailors to crash into the rock. This legend came about due to this specific rock marking the shallowest and narrowest point in the Rhine, with a strong current that is hard to navigate. Some say her legend originates with being lovelorn and falling from the cliff into the Rhine, the the Greek myth of Echo. That is also where most of her literary inspirations began.

There are many alternate spellings, including Loreley, Lorelie, Lorelai, Lorely and Lorelay. Lurline, Lurlina and Lurleen are other variants. Lorelei remains a relatively rare name even though it currently ranks in the top 1000 at #533, with about 6,900 or so in the U.S. and 566 girls given the name in 2012. It is increasing in popularity slowly after just coming onto the charts in 2004. Alternate spelling Lorelai ranked at #736 in 2012, appearing in 2006.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Alluring A Names

These are A names I think have an intriguing appeal to them, whether they are rare or just pretty.

Avoca - a mysterious Irish place name, (ah-VOH-kah)
Avalon - from the King Arthur legends
Arya - thank you Game of Thrones
Amaryllis - the gorgeous flower
Amalea - "hard working"
Araminta - "defender"
Amelia - Amelia Earhart would be one inspiring namesake
Alanis - "precious"
Aniela - (ahn-YELL-ah) means angel
Antalya - former kingdom, so close to Natalya
Athena - goddess of wisdom
Azalea - (ah-ZAYL-yah) another gorgeous flower
Ayla - trendy sounds, spunky appeal
Amara - "eternal"
Amabel - "lovable"
Amata - "beloved"
Ambrosia - the eternal flower of the gods
Allura - literally alluring
Alison - classic for a reason
Annika - spunky update on Anne, "God has favored me"
Ashera - the Queen of Heaven
Aurora - think Aurora Borealis and the Disney princess
Audrey - "noble strength," like Audrey Hepburn
Aubrey - "fair ruler / elven power"
Anoushka - (ah-NOOSH-kah)
Alice - "noble"
Amala - "hope"

Friday, March 7, 2014

Celia

Celia (SEEL-yah) is from Latin caelum, meaning "heaven," from the name Caelia, a feminine form of the Roman family name Caelius. It is not to be mistaken for Cecelia/Cecilia, although it is used as a nickname for both. Shakespeare introduced Celia to the world via As You Like It in 1599. In the 1940's actress Celia Johnson popularized it once more. In 2012 Celia ranked at #742, with 371 girls given the name that year. It has always been used, and always been mildly popular, since 1880. It is very popular in France and Spain.

Since Shakespeare's use of Celia there have been many more appearances in literature, including works by Ben Johnson, George Eliot, T.S. Eliot, Lionel Shriver, and more recently as the heroine of "The Night Circus." Many real life Celia's have made their way through history as well, including singer Celia Cruz, and actresses Celia Weston, Celia Adler, Celia Keenan-Bolger and Celia Imrie. Celia appears in many TV shows and movies as well. Celia Hammond was a 60's model and animal rights activist.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thea

amalthea last unicorn 
Amalthea, The Last Unicorn

Thea (THEE-uh) is a Greek origin name meaning "goddess." In mythology she was a titan, daughter of heaven and earth, mother of gods. Exotic pronunciations include TAY-uh and THAY-uh. Thea has not ranked on the popularity charts since 1965, and she always ranked low. However, there were 184 girls given the name in 2012, and that's not too far outside the top 1000. Thea alone has appeared in many pieces of literature, including one by Willa Cather and one by Laurell K. Hamilton. Many names begin and end in Thea.

Dorothea, "gift of God." Dorothy.
Amalthea, from greek mythology, meaning "tender goddess." It is a very regal and mystical name that was also used in the classic animation "The Last Unicorn." Also, the third moon of Jupiter.
Theodora, "gift of God."
Althea, "healing."
Alithea, "verity, truth." (ah-LITH-ee-uh)
Anthea, "flower." Nickname possibilities include Anthy, Annie, Thea and Anna.
Galathea, "milk white."
Calanthea, "beautiful flower."
Elthea, "healer."
Melanthea, "black flower."
Erithea, "red."
Orithea, "motherly."
Panthea, "of all gods."