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Showing posts from January, 2015

Quillan

Quillan, France

Quillan has two accurate pronunciations: KILL-an and KWILL-an. As an Irish Gaelic boys name pronounced the first way shown it means "cub," and as a variation on the English word name quill, pronounced the second way, it refers to the feather of a bird. Either way, Quillan fits right in with all of the popular names ending with an n.

Quillan also happens to be a town in France that is quite picturesque, as you can see above. As far as namesakes go, Quillan Roberts is a Canadian soccer player, Quillan Isidore is a BMX racer, and Quillan Nagel is a poker player, but none are very well known. In fiction, The Quillan Games is a book by D. J. MacHale, and there is a Star Wars character named Quillan.

Spelled Quillan the name has only been given to boys in the U.S. since about 1982, and although it is now given every year (before 2000 it was given sparingly) it is still incredibly rare - only 9 boys received the name in 2013. It has also been spelled Quillen, Quill…

Zivanka

This Slavic name meaning "full of life" can be pronounce sh-VAWN-ka or, less often zee-VAHN-ka. It is also sometimes a variant of Ziva, a Hebrew name meaning "radiant" or "splendor." There are only a small handful of people in the U.S. named Zivanka, and it is mainly used in Czechoslovakia. Zivan is her male counterpart.

Dover

Dover is a place name from an ancient Celtic word dubra, meaning "water," or another older word meaning "separated beach." and applies to the British seaport of the English Channel. Dover the town came from the river named Dour flowing through it, from the same root word. Dover saw many different spelling options, such as Douer and Dower, before its current spelling stuck. It is otherwise a popular place name and business name, but as a given name in the U.S. it has never been popular - only given every few years between 1914 and 1973 and never to more than 13 babies a year.

Orabel

Orabel is a medieval Scottish variant of Arabella, from the Latin orabilis, meaning "prayerful; invokeable." Other variants include Orabilis, Orabilia, Orabella, Arabelle, Orbella and Arbelle, but it has seen a handful of other spelling options. Some of those spellings, such as Orbel, became surnames. Ora is another form, simply from oro, meaning "to pray." As Orabel, an Anglicized form of Orabilia, the name was used more commonly in the 13th century and on. Arabella, also Scottish in origin, didn't become as well known until the 16th century.

Ora could easily be a nickname, but as a full name it has some namesakes: Ora Alexander, a blues singer; Ora Carew, a silent film actress; Ora Washington, a tennis player; and most recently Rita Ora, a British singer. This name was used in the early 1900's in America and last ranked in 1962. Ora was also a Balto-Slavic (Albanian) goddess or spiritual guardian.

One of the earliest/only uses of Orabel was in the 12th ce…

Soren

A sketch of Søren Kierkegaard by his cousin
Soren (American prn SOR-en) is a Danish and Norwegian boy's name that currently ranks at #656 in the U.S., #279 in France, but not high in Denmark or Norway (and may in fact be considered dated there). It is a variant of Severus, meaning "stern." The correct Danish/Norwegian spelling is Søren and pronounced SUU-ren, while Sören is the German and Swedish spelling and pronounced SIR-in. Severin is another variant found in France, Germany and Sweden - and is also the name of Saint Severin of Cologne. The female forms are Severina and Severa.

The most famous namesake is 19th century philosopher and Nobel Prize winnerSøren Kierkegaard who is thought to be linked to existentialism. More recently there is an American fencer named Soren Thompson, former Danish footballer Soren Andersen, American inventor Soren Sorensen Adams and several others. New Zealand singer Anika Moa recently welcomed baby Soren Huia with partner Natasha.
In fic…