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Topaz

Today's name: Topaz, November's birthstone


Pronunciation: TOW-paz

Potential nicknames: Topa, Paz (like Paz Vega)
Topaz could potentially be a nickname for Topanga

Origin: Topaz is the Latin name (Latin Topazus from Greek Topazios) of this golden jewel. It does not have a formal meaning. It has been used in England, sparingly, since the 13th century.

Popularity: Never in the top 1000, with zero births in 2010 and 2011. Just in case you were wondering, there were 15 baby girls named Topanga in 2010 and 18 Topanga's in 2011.

Fun fact: (1) Topazios, the original form of the name Topaz, came from the ancient St. John's Island in the Red Sea, where a yellowish gem could be mined. (Today it is believed that gem was actually chrysolite, not topaz.) (2) Topaz comes in an array of colors. Only the golden/orange colored version is November's birthstone, which symbolizes friendship. (3) Topaz is the state gem of Utah. There is also a Topaz Mountain in Utah. (4) Topaz is mentioned in Exodus 28:17 although, like the island, they were probably refering to chrysolite. Back in the day, all golden gemstones were refered to as topaz with no distinction. (5) Leon Uris’ novel Topaz inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s 1969 movie of the same name, although Topaz did not refer to a person, but a spy ring. (6) Topaz War Relocation Center, which was America's vengeful way of detaining Japanese-Americans because of Pearl Harbor. Strangely enough, this camp was located in Utah.

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Comments

  1. I've always wondered why Topaz has never really caught on as much as Ruby or Pearl have. There's a Pakistani-origin poet called Imtiaz here in the UK, which is certainly similar.

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOVE Topaz. I just stumbled across the name a few days ago when coming up with a list of names for a little girl due this month. And like Lou said, I really wondered why it's never caught on! Thanks for covering it here :)

    ReplyDelete

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