Skip to main content

Cloelia

15th c. Illuminated manuscript, Cloelia crossing the Tiber

Cloelia (clo-AY-lee-uh modern, CLAY-lee-uh original) is the perfect rare alternative for parents who love Claudia (which used to be #200 in 2000 and fell to #761 in 2016) or Chloe (#20 in 2016 and the spelling Khloe #125), but can't come to terms with how popular both of those names have been. If Cloelia isn't quite what you're looking for, Clelia (CLAY-lee-uh) is her twin sister, which in sound is a little bit like Claudia or Kaylee (#70) and a little like Leila (#230 and the spelling Laila #164).

Internationally the name Cloelia is not really used, but 19th century Clelia still has a place. Clelia was #187 in Italy in 2015, and was not on the list a few years beforehand, so it seems it's having a bit of a resurgence. In France it was #378 in 2015 and has been on their list of top names since 1982. The height of Clelia's popularity in the U.S. was in 1920 when it was given to a mere 20 girls, and 2013 was the last year it was listed. Cloelia has not been used in the U.S.

Cloelia has always been considered a special Italian name connected to Latin Cloelius or Cluilius, and Cluilia may have been her original form. According to W. M. Lindsay in The Latin Language: An Historical Account of Latin Sounds, Stems, and Flexicons, Cluilius derives from Cluvius, meaning "famous," from Greek kleu- and equivalent to cluvior/nobilior.

The historical namesake is a Roman girl given as part of a peace treaty with the Clusians to be used as a hostage. She escaped by swimming across the Tiber river but was caught returning to Rome and sent back to the Etruscans. Lars Porsena, who was king and in charge of the hostages, was so impressed that he either released her with a few other hostages of her choosing or promised her and the others no harm would come to them upon their return. She has been written about and painted ever since.

Additionally, Saint Clelia Barbieri is the 19th century Roman Catholic patron saint of those mocked for their religious belief. She founded the Little Sisters of the Mother of Sorrows and was the youngest founder of a religious community in catholic history. She was born in 1847 in Bologna, Italy.

A few other important women named Clelia include Clelia Grimaldi, an Italian botanist and marchesa born in 1760, Clelia Borromeo, an Italian mathematician-scientist and countess, American women's health advocate and hygienist Clelia Duel Mosher, who researched sex before Kinsey and warned that Victorian beliefs were dangerous for women's health, Italian actresses Clelia Bernacchi, Clelia Rondinella, and Clelia Matania, and operatic soprano Clelia Strepponi, who was married to Giuseppe Verdi.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Witchy Baby Girl Names!

Circe Invidiosa by John William Waterhouse
Have a little girl due in October? Looking to name a character? Here's my [seemingly endless] list of witchy-sounding baby names. Most of them also fit in the "clunky but cool" category, or "vintage." Most plants, trees, herbs, spices, flowers, gems, space and nature names fit the bill, because in stories and current practice these things are useful to witches. I've put any actual witch names from legend, myth, literature, movies, etc in bold and up front. I have not considered the names of actual, living people or their Pagan names, and I've left out any characters that only have a surname, or truly ridiculous given names. In the second half you'll see a list of names that, to my knowledge, have not been used for witch characters. Please know that this is not a complete list. Wikipedia has an almost complete list you can view here.
Tabitha, Samantha, Endora, Clara, Serena (Bewitched)
Katrina(Katrina Crane, …

Allifair

Alifair Hatfield
The baby name Allifair, alternatively spelled Alifair, Alafair, or Alafare, has a very interesting history. This girl's name suddenly popped into existence in the U.S. around the mid 1800's, with no mention why or how.

Some history buffs may be familiar with the Hatfield-McCoy "New Year's Day" Massacre, in which a long-time hatred between families (including Union vs Confederacy differences) finally escalated into an all-out violent battle. Alifair was the name of Randolph McCoy's daughter, born in 1858, who suffered from Polio as a child but remained productive. During an attack on the McCoy home, Alifair was shot and killed. There was later a legal trial for her murder. Ironically, there was an Alifair Hatfield born in 1873 in Kentucky.

So how did she get her name? There are records of others in 1809, 1815, 1819, 1831, 1870, 1883, 1920 and 1923. 1767 or 1787 seems to be the earliest it was recorded. It could come from Alfher/Alvar/Aelfhere…

Ezra

Ezra might sound like a female name, but it is actually a Hebrew boy's name meaning "helper." I believe it initially came from the name Azariah. Besides Ezra Pound, the famous poet, and Ezra Jack Keats, the children's lit author, the most well known Ezra is from the 5th century b.c. and wrote the Book of Ezra and two chronicles. He was a Jewish priest, copyist, scholar and historian who began compiling and cataloguing the Old Testament. He led a group of Israelites out of exile in Babylon. A little lesser known are Ezra Cornell and Ezra Taft Benson. I believe it has been getting more recent attention due to the character named Ezra on the TV show "Pretty Little Liars." This character, Ezra Fitz, bears a strong resemblance to Abercrombie & Fitch's Ezra Fitch. There is also the 90's band Better Than Ezra, and you might not remember them until you search for their song "Good" on YouTube.

There were 1,416 baby boys born in 2010 with the nam…