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Showing posts from August, 2013

Petra

Petra City
Petra is the [strong, grounded, forgotten classic] female form of Peter, meaning "rock" from Greek petros and Latin petrus, and unlike the pairs Henry and Henrietta, or Julian and Julia, Peter and Petra are not as obvious as counterparts. Today's baby name has also had a wealth of variants over the years, such as Perrin, Perrine, Peta, Petronilla, Peronelle, Petrina, Petronia (used by Anne Rice), Pierina, Pernilla, Pella, Petroula, Petruna, Pernille, Peterina, Peternella, Pierette, Petria, Petrova and Petronella. Pier has sometimes been used for girls due to the 1950's actress Pier Angeli.

Famous namesakes: Perenelle Flamel, the wife of alchemist Nicholas Flamel; Perina, the character in the fairy tale of the girl sold with the pears by Italo Calvino; the supposed daughter of St. Peter, named Petronilla, who was made the patron saint of dolphins even though nothing was known about her; Petronella de Meath, the first woman executed for witchcraft in Irelan…

Zephyr

John William Waterhouse - Flora and the Zephyrs
Zephyr (ZEFF-er) is one of those intriguing names that sounds very catchy. It is familiar, yet rare, and very spunky. Most will recognize Zephyr, or Zephyros, as being the gentle wind from the West, a personified Greek deity. The name Zephyr means "west wind." In ancient Greek myth, Zephyrus/Zephyros was accompanied by the other Anemoi, or winds: Boreas, the god of the north wind, Notus, the god of the south wind, and Eurus of the east wind. Zephyr was known as the messenger of spring. He may have been married to Flora (Chloris) or Iris, both his sisters, or possibly Podarge, and he had a thing for Apollo's boy lover Hyacinth. These kinds of marriages were entertaining and fairly common for Greek mythology.

Zephyranthes flower
Zephyra (pronunciations range from ZEFF-rah to zef-FY-rah) and Zephyrine (zeff-er-EEN) are the female variants of the name. Cefirino is a male international variant, and there are many other alternat…

Ksenia

Ksenia Solo of Lost Girl, pronouncing her name
Ksenia, which can also be spelled Kseniya and Ksenija, is a Russian and Ukrainian variant of the Greek name Xenia (ZEEN-ya) meaning "hospitality." Other variants of Xenia include Oksana/Oxsana, Aksana, Xena, Xeniya, and Senja.

Above is a video of one of today's most well known namesakes, Ksenia Solo, the Latvian-born Canadian actress from the TV series "Lost Girl." Russian actress Kseniya Rappoport is another well known actress. Ksenia Afanasyeva is a Russian gymnast who competed in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. Ksenia Sukhinova is Miss Russia 2007 and Miss World 2008. There are many more namesakes.

Of note is Tsarevna Xenia Borisovna of Russia, who was a beautiful and educated daughter of Tsar Boris Godunov. Tragedy befell her, but she ended up making her way as a nun, and her fictionalized character appeared in a film called "1612." There are two other princesses named Xenia.

In 2012 there were onl…

Reagan

Reagan, the Anglicized form of the Irish surname meaning "descendant of Ríagán," can be used for both boys and girls. The related name may mean "impulsive," or "like a king." Most people may still associate this name with Ronald Reagan, the 40th U.S. president, and therefore consider it boys-only. Regan is another common Western spelling. Although the more traditional pronunciation is REE-gan, most modern Americans say RAY-gen.

This Gaelic name was first used for girls thanks to William Shakespeare, for his character in "King Lear," who was an untrustworthy princess. However, the name didn't become widely used for girls until the late 20th century. The name could have been propelled by a few different things, one of which was Linda Blair's character Regan McNeil in the 1971 film Exorcist. Reagan Gomez-Preston is an American actress.

In 2012 Reagan ranked at #97 on the U.S. top 1000, taking only a decade to jump up more than 800 spots on…

Ferelith

Ferelith Young
Ferelith is an intriguing name that seemingly did not survive the medieval period, although a quick search online will reveal it is still used today, albeit rarely, thanks to a revival in the 19th century. Ferelith Ramsay is a prime example of that revival, as is the novel Ferelith written by Victor Hay, who named his own daughter Ferelith (Rosemary Constance Ferelith) a year later. Ferelith Young, the actress pictured above, seems to be the most well known contemporary namesake, while Anne Ferelith Fenella Bowes-Lyon aka Princess Anne of Denmark is another widely known namesake, yet Ferelith is her first middle name. Ferelith can also be spelled Forbhlaith, the Gaelic way, and in which case Ferelith the Countess of Atholl is another namesake. Not much is written about this Ferelith, nor her sister Isabella, nor Ferelith's daughter Ada. While Ferelith married a knight, her sister married an important man of Scotland for the times, which was sometime around 1211 AD.…

Magical Names

A random list of magic related baby names...

Mystica
Magic
Moon
Crescent
Crescentia
Luna
Altalune
Charm
Spell
Card
Midnight
Coracesia
Giubiana
Grimoire
Befana
Hecate
Alchemy
Alchemilla
Aradia
Bensozie
Samhain
Tarot
Medea
Merlin
Morgana
Morgause
Orcades
Nimue
Niniane
Circe
Circaea
Brisen
Azima
Cat
Coven
Orthanach
Keleteira
Laya
Mago, Maga
Malduc
Marduk
Panthia
Peller
Sorgin
Ruqayya
Rusalka
Sagana
Satia
Nereida
Niamh
Pentagram
Perimaktria
Pucelle
Raven
Vivien
Veia
Rune, Runa
Robien
Taika
Triskelion
Triquetra