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Beircheart (bar-hart, bear-hart, and bear-kart) is an Old English and Irish baby name most people have forgotten about. It looks a bit like bear + heart or birch + heart, especially when you say it out loud phonetically (BEAR-chart). It means "[of the] intelligent army; bright army" and has roots in Anglo-Saxon, also commonly used in Irish. In a few sources, a Latin name is given: Berichertus.

Benjamin has been used as an Anglicized form of Beircheart. However, Benjamin is Hebrew, meaning "son of the right hand." The two names are unrelated, from different origins. It is most likely the two sounded similar, therefore Benjamin was the easiest available Anglicization. There was a Saint Beircheart of Tullylease in Ireland, who was a disciple of Saint Patrick, and in some works Saint Patrick's right hand man is known as Benen. Benen is thought to be Irish for Benjamin. I can't say for sure that Beircheart and Benen from the stories are the same person.

Saint Beircheart's name is often found as Berchert, Berechtir, Beirichtir, Berehert and Beirchert. He was an Englishman, possibly a Saxon prince, who went to Ireland for religious reasons and eventually founded a monastery. The Tullylease Church and Cross, dating to the 6th century, is now a popular tourist destination. The cross, with his name spelled Berachtuine and a note asking people to remember him, is said to be his grave site. (As a side note, there was an Arthurian character named Berchtune, found in "Popular Romances of the Middle Ages" by George W. Cox.)

Bernard is another Anglicization of Beircheart. Bernard is Old German, meaning "bear strong, brave as a bear," and comes from the Anglo-Saxon name Beornheard (a much closer spelling to Beircheart). In Ireland, most often Beircheart = Bernard.

Obviously not much has been published on Beircheart, and there are no records of well known namesakes, but I have found information on two Bernie's who both shared Beircheart as their given Irish name, both called Bernard in all American records. Beircheart has not been used in the U.S.


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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…