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Vanellope

Vanellope


Hey, remember that one time an author made up a name and it suddenly surged in popularity? (I'm looking at you, Renesmee.) Well, add Vanellope to the list. I bet it sounds familiar, and that's because it's the name of the main female character in 2012's Wreck It Ralph, an animated kid's movie. I believe it is a candy-coated smoosh of 'vanilla' and Penelope. Vanellope von Schweetz is the lead racer in a game called "Sugar Rush," and she is cute, determined and witty. She is 9 years old, dislikes bullying, and loves candy. With Ralph's help they are able to get her out of glitch mode and save the residents of the arcade's games.

In 2012 when the movie came out the name was nonexistant, but by 2015 Vanellope was used 68 times. The spelling Vanelope was also used 7 times in 2015. While the credibility of this name is lacking thanks to being made up for a recent animated film, the plus side is that most people won't recognize where it came from. So if you want them to know where it came from, tell them, and if you don't, at least it has an appealing sound.

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Lavinia

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Lavinia (lah-VIN-ee-ah) is a Latin name possibly meaning "purity," but the name is so old that no specific meaning can be given. It could simply mean "woman from Lavinium," which was an ancient town in Rome/more ancient than Rome/Etruscan. Lavinia was known as the "Mother of Rome." In Virgil's Aeneid, Lavinia was betrothed to a man named Turnus, King of the Rutuli, but when the hero Aeneas came to town her father, King of the Latins, changed his mind and wanted Lavinia to marry Aeneas. The two men then fought for her hand, but Aeneas won. Aeneas then built the town of Lavinium for her. Shakespeare had Lavinia as a character in Titus Andronicus, but her story is an unfortunate one not worthy of repeating and not true to Virgil's Lavinia. Ursula le Guin later wrote more in depth about their relationship in her 2008 novel Lavinia. And she's been a character in many more stories, including The Hunger Games. In all l…