Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sailor Moon Baby Names

As a long-time fan girl of Sailor Moon, I was thrilled to hear about a potential reboot of the series, which was supposed to be in 2013 and has now been pushed to 2014. It's been over 20 years since Sailor Moon first aired, but many still get a warm fuzzy feeling when they think of the show. What is not often mentioned is how well researched Takeuchi's name choices were. She covered gems, minerals, astrology, mythology and creative word choices. Today I'll talk about Sailor Moon names.

Usagi Tsukino- Bunny - Serena - Princess Serenity - Sailor Moon
Usagi means "rabbit" in Japanese, referring to the Japanese legend of the rabbit on the moon, and Tsukino means "moon." In the translation of the comics, Usagi was renamed Bunny appropriately. Keeping with the mythological aspects of the moon and both Greek and Roman moon goddesses, Usagi's character was given the concept of "serene," which gave her the name Serena in the American TV series (although there was much less thought in the translation of the others). Going a bit further, Takeuchi made it so that Usagi's astrological sign was Cancer (June 30) with the ruling planet being the moon. And of course, Usagi loves Mamoru aka Prince Endymion, the mythological human that was first to observe the movements of the moon in the night sky.

Serena was already on the rise in the U.S. when Sailor Moon came out, and it currently ranks at #443.
Darien, Mamoru's English counterpart, ranks at #959.

Mercury, Ami (Amy, #144) Mizuno - "beauty of water" with water power
Mars, Rei (Raye, this spelling not ranked) Hino - "ray of fire / spirit of fire"
Jupiter, Makoto (Lita, not ranked) Kino - a tomboy/unisex name, "sincerity," and "wood, tree, spirit"
Venus, Minako (Mina, #834) Aino - "beautiful child of love"

Takeuchi continued the character/astrological sign connected for every scout - Mercury being a Virgo, Mars and Aries and so on. She also kept the mythological aspect. For example, Luna is a moon goddess. Even the scores of villians were theme-named, the first round being entirely gems/minerals. She truly did her research, and if there is one thing I'd like to point out today it's that if an artist can do all this for her myriad characters, the average expectant parents can research names for their child.

Friday, January 24, 2014

How can I get Molly as a nickname?

One option is Molniya, the Russian word for "lightning." The Molniya orbit may share the same origin.

Mollitia (mo-LEE-sha) is another option, which is Latin for "tenderness."

Magnolia is a much more common name with Molly/Mollie as a nickname.

On the surname side there is Mollineau (moll-in-oh).

On the nature side you can find Moschatel (mos-sha-tell) or Moschatella.

And if you don't like these but want the nickname to sound similar, try Amalia with the nickname Mali.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Galatea


JeanLeonGeromePygmalionandGalatea
 
Pygmalion and Galatea by Jean Leon Gerome

In tribute to the pure white color of snow, Galatea (gah-lah-TEE-uh) will be the first post of 2014. Meaning "milky white (she who is milk-white)" in Greek, this name is famous for being used in mythology as the statue of ivory Pygmalion carved that came to life. Yet the statue Pygmalion loved did not have a name until well after the story came to life. Galatea was supposedly first recognized as her name when used by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his Pygmalion from 1762, and he could have been inspired by another mythological Galatea found in the story of Acis and Galatea, in which she was a sea-nymph, or from Honore d'Urfe's L'Astree. It can later be found in "Galatea of the Spheres," a painting by Salvador Dali, depicting Gala Dali, his wife. Be sure to check out the painting by Gustave Moreau entitled "Galatea."

Galatea is also a moon of Neptune, Mount Galatea is in the Canadian Rockies, and Galathea National Park is in India. You can find a few literary Galatea's in novels such as Ian Flemming's Moonraker, Jack Kerouac's On The Road, and Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible. And she has also been the title of several novels, by such authors Phillip Pullman, Miguel de Cervantes, James M. Cain, and Richard Powers. Adding to her credentials, John Lyly wrote a 16th century play titled Gallathea, Victor Masse wrote the opera GalathéeDie schöne Galathée (The Beautiful Galatea) is an operetta by Franz von Suppe, there is an 1883 musical comedy titled Galatea, or Pygmalion Reversed, and the 2009 play Galatea by Lawrence Aronovitch. In film, there is a Galatea in Bicentennial Man, and a film called Galatea by Georges Denonla from 1911.

She certainly has a lot of historical richness, yet the name is very rarely used. In the U.S. it was used about 11 times in the past decade, or 16 if you add in the spelling Galatia. There are probably no more than a hundred living if you add in the spellings Galathea and Gallathea.