Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The New Nature Baby Names

Hawthorn berries

I have rounded up a bunch of nature names, some old classics and some that would shock grandma. Feel free to comment with any I might have missed.

Trees:
Acacia
Sequoia
Magnolia
Birch
Pine
Cedar
Timber
Cypress
Maple
Juniper
Linden
Olive
Hickory
Franklin
Rowan
Ash
Aspen
Oak
Poplar
Spruce
Willow
Hazel
Senna
Myrtle
Mimosa
Laurel
Jacaranda
Holly
Cherry
Bay
Cassia
Quince
Banyan
Alder
Balsam
Ornella
Oren
Alona
Ilana
Linnea
Tilia
Elowen

Plants:
Clover
Fern
Bryony/Briony
Thistle
Poinsettia
Ren
Lotus

Flowers:
Jasmine
Jessamine
Rose
Lily
Tigerlily
Freesia
Lilac
Wisteria
Lavender
Celandine
Plumeria
Violet
Amaryllis
Azalea
Blossom
Flower
Petal
Bluebell
Camellia
Dahlia
Tulip
Tansy
Primrose
Marigold
Iris
Forsythia
Gardenia
Hyacinth
Chrysanthe
Amarantha
Poinsettia
Pansy
Poppy
Petunia
Briar Rose

Water:
Cascada/Cascade
Ocean, Oceana
Caspian, Caspienne
Pacifica
Lake
River
Bayou
Cove
Shellina
Isla
Coral
Rain
Bay
Rialta
Laguna
Rio
Kai
Lucerne
Marina
Delta

Herbs & Spices:
Cayenne
Coriander
Basil & Basilia
Sage
Paprika
Pepper
Chamomile
Clove
Lavender
Mint
Saffron
Caraway
Sorrel
Tarragon
Rosemary
Ginger

Fruits:
Plum
Pomeline
Lilikoi
Lemon
Pomona
Cherry

Birds:
Finch
Nightingale
Starling
Sparrow
Avis
Linnet
Swan
Feather
Lark
Oriole
Raven
Falcon
Dove
Robin
Columba
Wren
Aquilina

Celestial (excluding planets, constellations & star names)
Nova
Star
Moon

Animals:
Wolf
Bear
Tiger
Cricket
Hawk
Peregrine
Heron
Sable
Mink
Epona, Eponine
Felina
Fox

Extra:
Cloud
Ember 
Cinder
Meadow
Midnight
North
Ravine
Forest
Silvana
Cotton
Heather
Moss
Fennel
Snow
Dawn
Fauna
Fawn
Ivy
Prairie
Frost
Stone
Kelda

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Lesson in English


I understand that a lot of parents spell names in a way that is supposed to make them easier to pronounce, or to spell the name like it actually sounds (phonetics), but sometimes the end result is even more confusing. Here are a few examples, but know that there are so many more.

Bradyn #815 Unlike Brayden, #37, Bradyn would sound more like Brad-in, as in Bradley. Without that y after the first three letters, it’s not as intended.
Izayah #816 With the real name Isaiah being spelled with an S, not to mention how easily recognizable Isaiah is, there’s really no need to spell it like this. It comes across sounding more like Iz-ah-yah.
Aaden #797 Why it was necessary to spell it like Aaron, I do not know, considering how hugely popular Aiden is. Then again, there’s Ayden, Aden, Aidyn and Aidan, so why not? Oh, right, because it’s not Aaron.

So, folks, my suggestion is to edit your baby names like you would edit a professional paper, the first step being spelling, the second being comprehension. Would you turn in a paper to your boss that only had phonetics? No. Would your college professor give you a perfect score if he couldn't understand your paper? No. I understand naming a baby is not equal to writing a polished report, but it is similar. You want the finished, polished paper (baby name) you share with those who read (hear/see) it to be understood and well liked. I'm not saying everyone will like your paper (baby name), but at least they will be able to digest it without having issues.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gwen

Guin and Gwen may share the same root, but the spelling for each nickname is unique. Guin is pronounced gwin, and Gwen, obviously, gwen. It's not Gwenivere for a reason, and is no better than modern smushes.

Why bother arguing over a nickname for Guinevere? While some may say "If you wanted to call her Gwen for short you should've just named her Gwendolyn," I find that each name's history and meaning need to be addressed.

Guinevere, "white phantom," was King Arthur's queen in Arthurian legend. Gwendolen was said to be Queen of the Britons. Both were mentioned in Historia Regum Britanniae by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Mr. Monmouth may have created Gwendolen, spelling it Guendoloena, after being introduced to the Welsh men's name Guendoleu, but regardless of that, Gwendolen is certainly Welsh, meaning "white ring." Gwen means "white, fair" in Welsh, from Proto-Celtic windo, automatically making it a relative of Guinevere. Which came first? At first glance Gwenhwyfar/Gwynhwyfar did, combining gwen with sebara/seibra. Guinevere was taken from this and made into her current form by the Norman French. Guinevere (as Gwynhwyfar) was first written about in medieval Welsh prose from the 12th century. Once the two names were confused in the Latin romance De Ortu Waluuanii, where King Arthur's wife is named Guendoloena. Gwendolen and her other forms were not truly used as given names until the 19th century, and by that time the Cornish variant of Guinevere, Jennifer, was already in use. Despite this, Gwen was spotted in the 5th century - Saint Gwen of Brittany, granddaughter of Brychan, who founded the church of Talgarth. Gwen was also the name of Brychan's wife, who was the mother of Saint Winwaloe. There was also Gwen, mother of Saint Cybi, another Saint Gwen, and a Saint Gwenafwy (daughter of Caw).

So in debating whether Gwen is a suitable nickname for Guinevere, keep in mind that Guinevere is a Norman French variant, while Gwen is still very Welsh, and that Guinevere and Gwendolen are most certainly different names, with different origins and starting points, each deserving of their own nicknames. And might I add, Guin is no less cute of a nickname - it even sounds like trendy Quinn.