Friday, February 28, 2014

Arianell

Arianell (ar-ee-ah-nell) is the name of a 6th century Welsh saint, a member of a royal family who became possessed by an evil spirit. Saint Dyfrig exorcised her and she then became a nun and followed him as a student. From the name Arianrhod of Welsh literature, meaning "silver, blessed," Arianell or Ariannell (formerly Arganhell) meaning "shining silver," is a little-used variant. Also connected to these two names is Arianwen, the daughter of a legendary 5th century Welsh chieftan, meaning "silver, blessed." A folk etymology of Arianrhod is "silver circle," referring to the moon. None of these were used on children until modern times. [source] Please note that the double L in Welsh has a unique sound, much like a hissing breath, or pronouncing "eth."

Add an A to the end to make Arianella, from Arianna and in turn from Ariadne, which is Greek, meaning "most holy." Ariadne was a character in Greek mythology who married Dionysus.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Connelly

Connelly is a name you will find much more often as a last name (Jennifer Connelly, for instance) rather than a baby name, but lately it has been used for both boys and girls, likely because it fits in with such names as Connor, Colin, Cassidy, Kennedy, Delaney and Ainsley. For girls specifically, it can be seen as a modern update to Colleen.

Since it originated as a surname, Ó Conghalaigh, it is considered unisex. Some experts claim Connelly (KON-ell-ee) is an Irish Gaelic name meaning "valiant hound/wolf," from con and gal, while others say it means "love," from the word conal. I believe neither of these translations are modern. If we take a look at Connor, which means "dog/wolf lover" from Conchobhar, and Conall, which means "strong wolf," and Conley, which means "chaste fire," then the likely meaning of Connelly is "valiant wolf."

As a last name, there are just under 30,000 people in the U.S. with this name. As a first name, there are only about 180, and it seems to be split fairly between boys and girls, only being used from about 1991. Since then there have been about 74 girls and 74 boys, making it a very rare baby name.