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I passed by a beauty salon with this name in the title, and it immediately struck me as a name I had to write about. However, when I looked for information, none was found. So like many -bel names, I assumed it was simply Erisa + bel. Truthfully, people can find a way to add -bel or -belle to just about anything, from Annabel to Corabelle. I also came across Onabelle recently.

Erisa is known as a Japanese name that I cannot find an accurate meaning for (most Japanese name meanings vary by how they're written in kanji). Eris, meaning "strife," was a Greek goddess of discord, the equivalent of the Roman goddess Discordia. Eris charted in 1923 and 1924, and is a recently named dwarf planet. If Eris is the main component, Erisabel would essentially mean "beautiful chaos." Erisa in English could come from Iris by way of Irisa. Unfortunately, the letters of Erisa are also an acronym for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, so adding -bel makes all the difference. While Eris may have been pronounced EE-riss in Greek, many insist on AIR-iss, and even though Erisa in Japanese would be AY-ree-sah, in the U.S. people would likely say AIR-ee-sah.

Since Eris has been around for ages, it's no surprise we're still seeing it today. It was last used in Sinbad, produced by DreamWorks Animation, where Eris is the goddess of discord working against the hero. It is also said the fairytale Sleeping Beauty was inspired by the efforts Eris made to bring chaos to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. She is most famous for presenting Zeus the Golden Apple of Discord, which was the first step in starting the Trojan War. Eris happens to be an anagram of 'rise,' which ironically may have been the original Pre-Greek meaning of her name.

While Erisa itself is a rare baby name, only given to six girls in 2014 before falling back into complete obscurity, none were given the name Erisabel. Even so, pulling up ancestry records reveals many women named Erisa from all over the world, and a search on White Pages tells me Erisa has been used enough to be considered a "real" name, or an ancestral name. Eris, on the other hand, was given to 78 girls in 2016 - the highest it's been since 226 births in 1923.


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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…