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Aisling (ASH-ling) is an Irish girl's name meaning "dream" or "vision." It is in reference to the poetic genre called aisling that started in the 17th century in Ireland. True variant forms include Aislin or Aislinn, and Aislene. Later invented spellings include Ashlin, Ashling, Aislyn, Ashlynn, Ashleen, and Aislee. Potential nicknames include Ash, Ashley, and Lin. This name was not used as a baby name until the 20th century and is not related to Ashley, which is Old English meaning "ash meadow." There were 43 baby girls given this name in the U.S. in 2010 and 12 in 2011. However, in 2005 it was the 31st most popular girl's name in Ireland. By 2016 Aisling was given to 47 girls in the U.S., Aislin to 44, and Aislinn was by far most popular - given to 246 girls in the U.S.

There are several namesakes for the spelling Aisling, including a few actresses. The are also several fictional characters, including the main character in Ash by Melinda Lo, Katie MacAlister's Guardian series, Laurell K. Hamilton's Meredith Gentry series, a character in the animated film The Secret of Kells, in Ali Smith's novel Like, the Endgame novel series by James Frey, Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes, Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy, Sons of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier, the Aisling series by Carole Cummings, and there is a song called "Aisling" by Shane MacGowan. Aisling is also a character in the play Stones in His Pockets.


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Circe Invidiosa by John William Waterhouse
Have a little girl due in October? Looking to name a character? Here's my [seemingly endless] list of witchy-sounding baby names. Most of them also fit in the "clunky but cool" category, or "vintage." Most plants, trees, herbs, spices, flowers, gems, space and nature names fit the bill, because in stories and current practice these things are useful to witches. I've put any actual witch names from legend, myth, literature, movies, etc in bold and up front. I have not considered the names of actual, living people or their Pagan names, and I've left out any characters that only have a surname, or truly ridiculous given names. In the second half you'll see a list of names that, to my knowledge, have not been used for witch characters. Please know that this is not a complete list. Wikipedia has an almost complete list you can view here.
Tabitha, Samantha, Endora, Clara, Serena (Bewitched)
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Alifair Hatfield
The baby name Allifair, alternatively spelled Alifair, Alafair, or Alafare, has a very interesting history. This girl's name suddenly popped into existence in the U.S. around the mid 1800's, with no mention why or how.

Some history buffs may be familiar with the Hatfield-McCoy "New Year's Day" Massacre, in which a long-time hatred between families (including Union vs Confederacy differences) finally escalated into an all-out violent battle. Alifair was the name of Randolph McCoy's daughter, born in 1858, who suffered from Polio as a child but remained productive. During an attack on the McCoy home, Alifair was shot and killed. There was later a legal trial for her murder. Ironically, there was an Alifair Hatfield born in 1873 in Kentucky.

So how did she get her name? There are records of others in 1809, 1815, 1819, 1831, 1870, 1883, 1920 and 1923. 1767 or 1787 seems to be the earliest it was recorded. It could come from Alfher/Alvar/Aelfhere…


Ezra might sound like a female name, but it is actually a Hebrew boy's name meaning "helper." I believe it initially came from the name Azariah. Besides Ezra Pound, the famous poet, and Ezra Jack Keats, the children's lit author, the most well known Ezra is from the 5th century b.c. and wrote the Book of Ezra and two chronicles. He was a Jewish priest, copyist, scholar and historian who began compiling and cataloguing the Old Testament. He led a group of Israelites out of exile in Babylon. A little lesser known are Ezra Cornell and Ezra Taft Benson. I believe it has been getting more recent attention due to the character named Ezra on the TV show "Pretty Little Liars." This character, Ezra Fitz, bears a strong resemblance to Abercrombie & Fitch's Ezra Fitch. There is also the 90's band Better Than Ezra, and you might not remember them until you search for their song "Good" on YouTube.

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