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Showing posts from March, 2017

Coral

Coral is one of those names that everyone knows, yet no one really uses. When is the last time you actually met one? While Coral saw 199 births in 2015, it is not in the top 1000 - even though it has so much to offer.

Your first introduction may have been to coral reefs (marine invertebrates) or the precious coral gems made out of the underwater living "bushes." There's also the color coral, given in reference to the polished material. Coral jewelry has been used as far back as the ancient Egyptians and then some. It had great popularity in Victorian times, which may have been when the name started being used in modern times. The U.S. records specifically for names started in 1880, and we know Coral was being used at that time, which was just before the end of the Victorian period.

Coral comes from Greek korallion, given to mean a shade of red. It could mean "small stone" in Semitic. Elaborate versions of Coral include Coraline, Coralie, and Coralia. Coraline …

Meliora

Melior is a Cornish and Devon girl's baby name, sometimes spelled Meliora. This was the name of a fairy in medieval legend, sister to the illusive Melusine, except all we really know about her is that she lived on the Isle of Avalon. Her story can be found in Jean d'Arras's Le Roman de Melusine, where Melior and her sisters take revenge upon their father for breaking their mother's marriage terms, but their mother punishes them for the act. Melior's fate was to be imprisoned in an Armenian castle. In The Romans of Partenay, the king of Armenia completes a challenge and asks for Melior's hand in marriage, but Melior knows that he is a descendant of her sister Melusine. He doesn't really care, but they still don't get married. Their sister Palatine has no better luck, as she was punished to guard a treasure that no man can win.

There's another namesake, however - Saint Melior, whose gender is undetermined. If someone wanted Melior for a boy and Melior…

2015 Belgium, Hungary Top 10

Belgium

1. Louis & Emma
2. Arthur & Louise
3. Noah & Olivia
4. Lucas & Elise
5. Liam & Alice
6. Adam & Juliette
7. Victor & Mila
8. Jules & Lucie
9. Mohamed & Marie
10. Nathan & Camille

Other lovelies in the top 100 include Lina (f), Rayan (m), Noor (f), Nina (f), Sacha (m), Lotte (f), Seppe (m), Fien (f), Lore (f), Inaya (f), Anaïs (f), Tuur (m), Axelle (f), Aya (f), Clement (m), Daan (m), Imran (m), Eline (f), Fleur (f), Lowie (m), Amina (f), Senne (m), Pauline (f), Enora (f), Ferre (m), Romain (m), Roos (f), Ilyas (m), Elif (f), Jana (f), Fenna (f), Loïc (m), Kato (f), Leonie (f), and the 5-way tie between #100's Febe, Lena, Lise, Noa and Rosalie.

Hungary

1. Bence & Hanna
2. Máté & Anna
3. Levente & Jázmin
4. Adam & Luca
5. Marcell & Lili
6. Dominik & Nora
7. Dávid & Zoé
8. Daniel & Zsófia
9. Milan & Emma
10. Áron & Boglárka

I think it's a bit odd seeing Luca as a female name in a top 10 list, b…

2015 Slovenia Top 10

1. Luka (m) & Ema (f)
2. Filip (m) & Eva (f)
3. Nik (m) & Zala (f)
4. Mark (m) & Sara (f)
5. Žan (m) & Lara (f)
6. Jakob (m) & Nika (f)
7. Jaka (m) & Julija (f)
8. Žiga (m) & Ana (f)
9. David (m) & Lana (f)
10. Anže (m) & Mia

The funny looking Z is usually pronounced "sh." Here is a Slovene name site to hear certain pronunciations, but not all Slovene names in use are listed.

Gunther

Gunther seems like he should be more popular, especially since Gunner and Gunnar are in the top 1000. However, in 2015 the name Gunther was only given to 26 boys, and that is only a slight increase from the handful of years before. It has been in use since at least 1924 in the U.S., but in native Germany (where he's pronounced GOON-thur) this name is very well known, usually spelled Günther. Guenter, Guenther, Gunder and Gunter have also been used.

There are several namesakes for the spelling Gunther, including fictional namesakes. The 5th century king of Burgundy was a bit of a legend, his story told in the Germanic saga Nibelungenlied. Another interesting story is that of Gunther of Bohemia, a Catholic hermit and saint from the 11th century. One more famous namesake was Gunther of Cologne, an archbishop who died in 873. He was from Frankish nobility, but for a long time was not very popular.

Simplified, Gunther means "warrior" in Germanic from the elements gund or gunþ…

Juniper

Juniper (JOO-nih-pur) comes from Latin juniperus and iuniperus, meaning "juniper tree." Its older form, gynypre, was tweaked to conform better to the Latin language, but from this spelling you can better see the connection to French genevre, later genievre. Ginevra and Geneva also share this root. It is possible Juniper ultimately comes from combining the words junio, meaning "young," and parpare, meaning "to produce," although it could come from PIE yoini-paros, meaning "bearing juniper berries." Likely this is a case of 'which came first?'

Back in the day, Juniper was unisex - still is, but Juniper entered the U.S. top 1000 in 2011 for girls and has always been a more popular gender for the name. It would be unusual to see a female Juniper in, say, Renaissance times, but Ginevra would be well received. A celebrity example as a boy name includes Tess Holiday's son Bowie Juniper. In 2011 when the name entered the charts it was unuse…

Carrick

Carrick is an Anglicised spelling of creag (sometimes spelled carraig), the Gaelic word for "rock." As a surname it is not that uncommon, but as a place name it is very common - over fifteen places in Ireland bear the name in some form. There's even a city named Carrick in both Cornwall and Scotland, and a couple in the U.S. and Australia.

It can also be seen as a title: Earl of Carrick, from Scotland. Donnchadh (Duncan), Earl of Carrick was a prince and magnate who died in 1250. After being held prisoner by King Henry II of England for some ten years, he returned home with permission to rule over Carrick, but not all of Galloway. Marjorie of Carrick, who was likely Donnchadh's granddaughter, was born just three years after his death, and she was the mother of Robert the Bruce.

In 2015 Carrick was given to 26 U.S. boys, which is a slight decrease from the past few years, but still a good rise in popularity from when it was just starting out in the 1970's. Carey w…

Amapola & Poppy

For being such a pretty flower, Amapola, which is Spanish and Filipino for "poppy," has seen no statistical usage in the U.S. It has never made the Spanish popularity charts either. To my knowledge there is only one namesake - Maria Amapola Cabase, a Filipino singer/actress, but there is a song titled "Amapola" by Joseph Lacalle, a 2014 flim titled "Amapola" from Argentina, cargo airline Amapola Flyg, and La Amapola was the ring name of Mexican pro-wrestler Guadalupe Ramona Olvera.

The name Poppy is a bit more popular and has a bit of a cult following (or it might be more accurate to say it is a hipster name or some other trendy label) as it is currently lurking just beyond the top 1000 with 257 girls given the name in 2015. That's a dramatic rise from a decade before, when only 57 girls were given the name in 2005. It's also increasing in popularity overseas, ranking pretty well in Australia (#73), New Zealand (#45), Northern Ireland (#32), Engl…