Skip to main content

From Rare Fairy Tales

Prunella - Prunella & Bensiabel, whom she marries. Prunella means "little plum" in Italian. Lately, Prune has been a hip name in France. In the U.S. the name Prunella has not and is not used. Prunella is also a plant genus for self-heals/heal-alls. English actresses Prunella Gee, Prunella Ransome, and Prunella Scales are namesakes, as is English artist Prunella Clough. In other works of fiction there is the children's book Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut, a play titled Prunella, or, Love in a Dutch Garden, and a minor Harry Potter character. Bensiabel is Italian, from the elements ben, "well," and bel, "nice." It likely means something like "well-meaning."

Melisande - Malevola (who is in this story is supposed to also be Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty and cursed the grandmother of Melisande), Fortuna, Florizel (the Prince). While Florizel's name comes from the Latin flor, meaning "flower," the zel element seems to be a rare medieval Germanic ending (as in Etzel and Wenzel). The name is also recorded as Florisel in The Exploits and Adventures of Florisel of Nicea, Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, Benjamin Disraeli's novel Endymion, Henry Beston's Firelight Fairy Book, and the last book in a cycle of four by Robert Louis Stevenson titled The Adventure of Prince Florizel and a Detective. The name Melisande is French, from Spanish Melisendra, from the Gothic name Amalswinth, from which we get Millicent. Malevola likely derives from a word for malevolent. Fortuna's name means "luck," but she was the goddess of fortune in Roman mythology.

The Beautiful Catharinella - Catharinella is merely an elaborate Latin version of Catherine.

The White Cat (my favorite) - Blanchette, which is French, meaning "white."

The Fair Angiola - Angiola, which is a genus of sea snails. Perhaps if this medieval Italian variant of Angela appeals to you, other rare forms of the name might work: Angeline, Angiolina, Angioletta, Anzhela, Angelia, Aniela, Anielka or Angelita.

Persinette - in this story Persinette's foster mother is named Gothelle. Givenchy-de-Gothelle is a place name in France, and gothel is a word in dialect meaning "godmother." In Giambattista's original version, the main character's name is Petrosinella, her name derived from petrosine - "parsley." The tale titled Persinette has her name come from parsley as well, only from French instead of Italian. Neither name is or has been used in the U.S. (or at least not any more than four in any given year).

All stories mentioned can be found here.


Popular posts from this blog

Witchy Baby Girl Names!

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)
Katrina(Katrina Crane, …

Norway's Top 10 Baby Names

Taken from Statistics Norway. I have no clue how/why there are multiple spellings, but I'm assuming they group spellings for each name and then rank them, unlike the U.S. that goes by individual spelling.

2015 Stats
1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sahra/Sarah
4. Sophie/Sofie
5. Olivia
6. Sophia/Sofia
7. Emilie
8. Ella
9. Lea/Leah
10. Maja/Maia/Maya

1. William
2. Mathias/Matias
3. Oliver
4. Jakob/Jacob
5. Lukas/Lucas
6. Filip/Fillip, Philip/Phillip
7. Liam
8. Axel/Aksel
9. Emil
10. Oskar/Oscar


1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sarah/Sahra
4. Sofie/Sophie
5. Linnea/Linea
6. Thea/Tea
7. Maya/Maia/Maja
8. Emilie
9. Ingrid/Ingri
10. Julie

1. Emil
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Mathias/Matias
4. William
5. Magnus
6. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip
7. Oliver
8. Markus/Marcus
9. Noa/Noah
10. Tobias


Here's one of my personal favorites, although I'm surprised I still like it after seeing Forrest Gump so often (thanks, Dad). In fact, the name peaked in popularity for the second time the year the movie was released, jumping to number #217 in 1994. Now he's on the move yet again, rising to 132 boys given the name in 2015 from a low dip to 47 in 2006. To be clear, Forest is the word spelling and Forrest the name spelling, and Forrest remains a much more popular choice with 387 boys given the name in 2015, ranking at #659. Forrest also had a dip in 2006 with only 147 births, disappearing from the charts between 2003 and 2013, and it also peaked in 1994 with 1,343 boys born, rising to #217. Historically both spelling options have been very popular.

Forest doesn't have an obvious nickname, but it's one of those names you enjoy saying without having to shorten it. Forest is Old French, meaning "woods." A famous namesake is St. John Forest of the 16th century…