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Alvis & Elvis

alviss


Some might expect that the popularity of Elvis would've died down decades after 'The King' made it a household name, but it's still ranking on the top 1000 (although it will only be a year or two before it falls off). That means some parents are still looking for something similar but not as common, and that's where Alvis (AL-viss) comes in. This Scandinavian boy's name meaning "all wise" from the word alwiss is a truer form of Elvis, both likely coming from the same origin.

Alviss was the dwarf who courted Thor's daughter, but Thor was not happy with the arrangement and put a sad end to it. Alvis Darby was an American football player. Alvis Edgar Owens Jr. was the birth name of musician Buck Owens. Hayes Alvis was a jazz musician. Max Alvis was a Major League baseball player. It's also been used in two video games and an anime.

Alvis is really only used in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, where it is not common. While the spelling Alviss has not been used in the U.S., Alvis has been used for both boys and girls. I suspect the use on girls between 1911 and 1964 may have something to do with Mavis. Alvis has never been popular, and was given to only 12 boys in 2016.

As far as Elvis goes, Mr. Presley was not the only one with that name. No, really. There was Elvis Costello, Elvis Perkins, Elvis Mitchell, Elvis Andrus, and (my favorite) Elvis Stojko.

Elvis and Alvis can be found as surnames based on the girl's name Eloise, taken as matronymic surnames. Eloise is a more modern version of Old French Heloise, which means "healthy and wide," from the Germanic name Helewidis.

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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…