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Showing posts from April, 2017

Pherrick

Pherick/Pherrick might seem strange at first, but with the name Pharell being more well-known today thanks to the rap star (at least in the U.S.), and names like Finnick and Phelan being brought out of hiding, the Manx (a Celtic language) boys name may be ready for use. This name comes from the Isle of Man, where a local "legend" of sorts tells of a fisherman named Pherrick who waits by the ocean for his mermaid wife to return. An Ash Wednesday fair on Isle on Man used to be held at Keeil Pharick (now Cabbal Pherick), Manx for "Saint Patrick's Chapel." The name derives from Patrick and can also be seen spelled Pharick or Pherick. It is not to be confused with Pharlane, which was used in place of Bartholomew.

Patrick, meaning "patrician, nobleman" in Latin, has been one of the most commonly used names ever recorded. It ranked in the top 100 from 1880, when records for the SSA started being kept on names, to 1904, and also from 1936 to 2004, and in 2015…

Anaxandra

Yes, Anaxandra is a real name. Some pronounce it ann-ax-ANN-druh, while others say ann-uh-ZAN-druh. This Greek female name is a great example of an ancient woman who was very accomplished. Anaxandra was the daughter of Nealkes, who painted mythological scenes in ancient Greece, and she was also his student. She lived around 228 B.C. and was mentioned by Clement of Alexandria (2nd century) in his work Women as Well as Men Capable of Perfection. She was also important enough that the International Astronomical Union named a crater of Venus after her.

This is also a literary name, used by Caroline B Cooney in her novel Goddess of Yesterday.

There are no girls in the U.S. given the name Anaxandra.

Yara

Yara (YAR-uh) is an international girls name. In Brazilian Tupi mythology, Iara (same pronunciation) was a mermaid, siren, or river goddess with green hair and fair skin. This version of the name means "water lady," fromyîara. In Persian the name means "power," or possibly "warm." In Arabic it means "butterfly." In Hebrew it means "honeysuckle" and "honeycomb." The name is banned in Saudi Arabia for seemingly no reason. Yara was given to 199 girls in 2015, making it uncommon, if not unusual.

Yara Greyjoy is a character in the Game of Thrones TV show, while real-life namesakes include actress Yara Shahidi, Miss World Puerto Rico 2010 Yara Lasanta, Palestinian researcher Yara Jarallah, Puerto Rican actress Yara Martinez, French actress Yara Pilartz, Syrian journalist Yara Bader, and Brazilian artist Yara Tupynamba.

Raya and Arya are anagrams.

The Lesser Roman Goddesses

These Roman goddesses are the ones that are not frequently talked about, and often forgotten in naming talk, unlike the more well-known goddesses like Juno and Venus. For people living a hard life, each individual function was important (explaining why there were so many agricultural deities). However, even goddesses that were quite popular in ancient times are not very popular today, especially as baby name inspiration. A case could be made for any of the following names that they could be used today. Names which objectionable meaning or sound have been left out, such as Hostilina, who makes grain grow evenly, because her name sounds so similar to the word hostile.

Angerona (ahn-jeh-ROH-nah) was the reliever of pain and sorrow. Her duty was to keep the sacred name of Rome a secret.

Cardea (kar-DAY-uh), ancient Roman goddess of the door hinge.

Carmenta was the goddess of childbirth and prophecy, and she is also known as Nicostrata. As one of the 12 deities attended by minor flamens, w…

Galt

Galt is a boy's name meaning "wild boar" in Old Norse and Old English. Galton is a separate name, and the meaning "steep wooded land" is unsubstantiated. In Old Norse it began use as a nickname, a reference to someone who used the strength or ferocity of a wild boar in battle. The name also has a place in Old Gaelic - used to refer to someone from Gaul, meaning "foreigner," and therefore a surname of separate origins (but still one that started as a nickname). Gault is another form of the surname, which has a connection to the Norwegian word gald, meaning "hard/high ground," and it is the name of the archaeological clay formation Gault. If you follow little breadcrumbs there's a bit more interesting info connecting the Gaelic name with the Scandinavian one and adding in a possible Viking and Huguenot twist.

As for namesakes, there may only be one with Galt as a given name: musician Galt MacDermot. But with the last name, there is Sir Ale…

Ilithyia

Byblia ilithyia butterfly
Ilithyia (ill-ITH-ee-uh), or Eileithyia, comes from Εἰλείθυια (Eleuthia), which could be Pre-Greek in origin. The spelling Ilithyia is the Latinized form of Eleuthia and may have first been used by Horace, and Eileithyia is the Greek form, and she is also sometimes refered to as Elysia. She was the Greek goddess of childbirth and midwifery, and her name means "to bring," or "to come," making her The Bringer. On a related note, some research into etymology points to Elysia meaning "to come" as well, and not necessarily the meanings like "blissful" or "joyous" that have been recorded in the past. Elionia may have been another name of hers - she was worshiped at Argos as a goddess of birth. Elithyia has been recorded as a simpler spelling of Eileithyia.

Zeus and Hera were her parents. She is also likely the same as Eileithyia, a Minoan goddess that was slightly older. Eileithyia/Ilithyia was written about by Home…

Justice

Justice is a unisex name that really took off after 1980. It was pretty rare in the early 1900's and only given to boys. It wasn't until 1975 that the name was given to more than 5 girls in a year - 10, to be exact, and to 28 boys. After that the number of boys kept increasing, while it was still rarely used for girls. Something changed after 1985, when suddenly it increased from 5 girls, to 36 in 1992, and then even more suddenly it jumped up to 175 girls in 1993. Then there was a shift, when the number of girls rose even higher and outranked the boys for a couple of years, then it shifted back to being used for boys more, and it stayed that way until 2011. Now it ranks at #525 for boys and #452 for girls, as of 2015.

It's a virtue name, being one of the four cardinal virtues, but also a meaningful word-name, a title, and concept. Justice is English through Latin origin, meaning "administration of the law," and related to the name Justus. Use as a given name als…

Quince

A quince is a bright yellow fruit from a small deciduous tree, the only member of the Cydonia genus Rosaceae which also contains most edible fruits such as apples, cherries and pears, as well as almonds and ornamental trees like roses. In Greek the quince is called Kydonia malon, and Kydonia was also an ancient city-state now known as Khania. Legend says Kydonia was founded by Cydon - the son of Hermes and Akakallis, daughter of King Minos.

One would think, being a fruit name, that Quince would be more popular as a girls name - yet it is really only given to boys. Maybe that's because Shakespeare used it as a character name for a carpenter, Peter Quince, in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Or possibly because of Quince Duncan, a novelist from Costa Rica. It is also the Spanish word for the number fifteen. There were 11 boys given the name in 2013, the most it was given since 1985, then down to 5 boys in 2016, and no girls were ever given the name (at least not more than 4 in any gi…

Names Inspired by the Periodic Table Part 3

71. Lutetium - Lutece, Lutetia
72. Hafnium - Hafnia was Latin for Copenhagen
73. Tantalum - Tantalus from mythology
74. Tungsten - I think this one could work as a name itself, but the "tongue-like" sound might make that hard to live with
75. Rhenium - no suggestions
76. Osmium - Osmar, Osmara, Osmond
77. Iridium - Iridian, Iria, Iridia
78. Platinum - Plato
79. Gold - Golda and Goldie have already been in use, Gold could work on boys
80. Mercury - this could probably work itself, or Mercurio if you're into Shakespeare
81. Thallium - Thalia, Thalmus
82. Lead - I think this one should be avoided, but there is the ancient name Lefleda
83. Bismuth - no suggestions
84. Polonium - Apollo, Apollonia, Polo, Polonius, Polonia
85. Astatine - Aster, Asta, Astara, Astarte, Asti, Aston
86. Radon - Radovan
87. Francium - any Fran- name such as Frank, Francine, etc.
88. Radium - Radomira
89. Actinium - no suggestions
90. Thorium - anything in the Thor/Thora family
91. Protactinium - Pr…

Names Inspired by the Periodic Table Part 2

Continuing from yesterday, here is the second out of three total posts on names that could "honor" the elements in the periodic table.

31. Galium - Galia, Galiana, Galiena, Galice, Galila, Galina for girls, Galius/Gallius for boys
32. Germanium - Germaine, Germania
33. Arsenic - Arsenio
34. Selenium - Selene, Selenia
35. Bromine - Bromley, Bromwell
36. Krypton - no suggestions
37. Rubidium - Rubin, Ruben, Rubius, Rudy
38. Strontium - Stetson
39. Yttrium - comes from the place name Ytterby
40. Zirconium - Sailor Moon fans will understand why Zirconia should be avoided
41. Niobium - Niobe, the female mythology character from which it was named
42. Molybdenum - Molly
43.Technetium - Techoslav, Techa
44. Ruthenium - Ruthenia was an ancient name associated with Russia for which this element was named, but just Ruth could work
45. Rhodium - this was named for the rose color in one of its compounds, but the etymology is unclear to me. Try Rhoda, Rhodanthe, or Rhoades
46. Palladium

Names inspired by the Periodic Table of Elements

Either by sound or meaning, here are baby names inspired by the Periodic Table. Not all of the elements can have baby name spin-offs, because they're just too unique. For example, Plutonium. So I will include below the number, element name, and possible baby name. Also, there are 118 total so I will do this in two or three parts.

1 Hydrogen
Hydeira, "woman of the water" in  Greek Hydra - the constellation and mythological creature 2 Helium
Heli, Helia, Helios, "sun" in Greek (Heli is Finnish) 3 Lithium
Lithia/Lithiya, same meaning as lithium, "stone" in Greek By sound - Illythia/Ilithyia, "readycomer" in Greek
There are a wealth of names that mean "stone," including Peter, Petra, Ebenezer, Kamen and Sixten 4 Beryllium
Beryl, the gemstone, or one of the three types of beryl: Morganite (Morgan, Mogana), Heliodor (see #2 above), or Aquamarine
Verulia, an old Prakrit name for beryl
Emerald is green beryl - Emeraude, Esmeralda, Emeran…

Claudine

Claudine seems to have been forgotten. In the 1920's it was very popular, leading up to 1930 when it was at its all-time high of 208 births that year. She's been used since at least 1881 in the U.S., but in 2015 this name was only given to 8 girls and is considered "endangered." This French take on Claudia, meaning "lame," came from the Roman family name Claudius. Claudia currently ranks at #741 in the U.S. and pretty high in other countries, whereas Claudine last ranked in 1971. Claudette is another rare variant, and neither make the top 500 in France. There's also the Russian variant of Claudia, Klava, which is exotic and mysterious.

Regardless of her current popularity, most people have heard this name before. 20th century French writer Colette gave this name to one of her heroines. More recently she was a fairy in the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. There's a Bond Girl named Claudine Auger, an Enid Blyton character, and a Moliere c…

Leonora, Lenora and Lenore

Leonora is an Italian variant that arose from Eleanor (#60 in the U.S.), meaning "light." It is pronounced LAY-oh-nor-uh in Spanish and Italian, while it is mainly pronounced leh-NOR-uh in English.

Lenora is a modern English spelling of Leonora, only pronounced leh-NOR-uh. Lenore is the German variant most people will recognize, thanks to Edgar Allan Poe's poems Lenore and The Raven. Also, Gottfried August Burger had a ballad titled "Lenore."

Stats for these names: There were 47 girls named Leonora in 2015, and the name was already in use when the SSA started keeping track of names. Its highest point was 1924 with 138 births that year. There were 130 girls named Lenora, and this name also ranked highest in 1924 with 678 given the name. Lenore, on the other hand, ranked highest a bit later in 1926 with 461 births, stayed in the higher parts of the top 1000 until mid-century, the low parts until the early 1970's, and now is at 67 births in 2015. Leonor was gi…

Audric

Audric (AW-drik for English speaking, OH-drik for French speaking, OW-drik in other select countries) is a medieval French name, from the Old German masculine name Alderich, meaning "old ruler." It comes from the Germanic elements ald, "old," and ric, "ruler." A mere 27 boys were given this name in 2015. It is a variant of the earlier form Aldericus, which was a saint name. Aldric is another form, given to 8 boys in 2015, with a 9th century saint namesake. Elderich/Eldrich was another spelling variant, as was Eldric, given to 6 boys in 2015. It is not uncommon to see the letter k at the end of these names - Audrick, Aldrick, Eldrick, Elderick, etc.

The specific spelling of Audric gives us one namesake: Audric del Vilar, lord of Auvillar. We know that he was a troubadour and that he may have raised one of the earliest known troubadours - Marcabru.

Move to the spelling Alderic and you will find just a couple namesakes, including a Canadian politician and a …

Kitterick

If you like Kit on a boy, don't like Christopher as a full name, and don't want Kit as a stand-alone name, then Kitterick is for you. This Irish surname, sometimes found as Ketrick or Mac Kitterick, comes from MacShitric, meaning "son of Sitric." Sitric was not native, it came from the Norse name Sigtrygg, meaning "true victory." How did this Scandinavian name get over to Ireland? Well, perhaps it had something to do with Sigtrygg Silkbeard, King of Dublin somewhere around AD 989 to 1000. His reign was so important that he was written about in  both the12th-century Irish Cogadh Gaedhil re Gallaibh and the 13th century Icelandic Njal's Saga. Before Mr. Silkbeard there wasSitric Cáech, a Viking who ruled Dublin and Northumbria in the 10th century. His son, grandson and great-grandson also became rulers.

Kit itself is not a popular choice, probably because a formal name is more desired. In 2015 only 40 boys were named Kit (and 28 girls), 10 boys with the sp…