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The Damsel of the Sanct Grael by Dante Gabriel Rosetti

Heliabel is a name taken from King Arthur chivalric romances outside of the Vulgate cycle. In The Evolution of Arthurian Romances by James Douglas Bruce, he claims Heliabel, alternatively spelled Helizabel, was a corruption of Elizabeth. If this is the case, it might not be wrong to assume the pronunciation is hel-LY-za-bell. That does not mean Heliabel is pronounced hel-LY-uh-bel, because pronouncing it hel-LEE-uh-bell seems more intuitive, and there are rumors that this spelling was influenced by Greek helios, meaning "sun." Bruce says these are "obviously mere corruptions" of Elizabeth because in other versions the character King Pelles's daughter is named Elizabeth after John the Baptist's mother. Elisabel was found as a variant of Elizabeth in medieval French. In a review written for an article by Ferdinand Lot, found in Romantic Review, Volume 10, it says that Heliabel lost her virginity to Lancelot, and that sin caused her to change her name from that of John the Baptist's mother to a secular one, Amite, and that this specific storyline is only found in the Galahad Queste.

Heliabel is a princess, the sister of Perceval and found specifically in the Grail romances, and she is likely the same character as Dindraine, or even Elaine (I haven't read all of these stories but it seems in some that both Elaine and Heliabel/Helizabel are considered the mother of Galahad, depending on the author, and that her named was changed to Elaine post-Vulgate, and it may have seen the spelling Helaine first). It is not uncommon for character names to vary in spelling from author to author in these romance cycles, even to the point of seeming like a completely different name. Also depending on the specific work, Heliabel is sometimes left behind shortly into the story, and sometimes she plays a much larger role. For the most part, her destiny is to be the "Grail Bearer" by giving birth to Galahad, christened after his father Lancelot's baptismal name.

This name is so rare that it has no U.S. data. Regardless, the fact that it has been used in literature and the possibility of honoring an Elizabeth in your family (with a fun story of the literary Heliabel honoring an Elizabeth), or the potential use of nicknames like Hellie, Hebe, Lia, or Belle, make this a solid choice.


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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, …

Norway's Top 10 Baby Names

Taken from Statistics Norway. I have no clue how/why there are multiple spellings, but I'm assuming they group spellings for each name and then rank them, unlike the U.S. that goes by individual spelling.

2015 Stats
1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sahra/Sarah
4. Sophie/Sofie
5. Olivia
6. Sophia/Sofia
7. Emilie
8. Ella
9. Lea/Leah
10. Maja/Maia/Maya

1. William
2. Mathias/Matias
3. Oliver
4. Jakob/Jacob
5. Lukas/Lucas
6. Filip/Fillip, Philip/Phillip
7. Liam
8. Axel/Aksel
9. Emil
10. Oskar/Oscar


1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sarah/Sahra
4. Sofie/Sophie
5. Linnea/Linea
6. Thea/Tea
7. Maya/Maia/Maja
8. Emilie
9. Ingrid/Ingri
10. Julie

1. Emil
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Mathias/Matias
4. William
5. Magnus
6. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip
7. Oliver
8. Markus/Marcus
9. Noa/Noah
10. Tobias


Here's one of my personal favorites, although I'm surprised I still like it after seeing Forrest Gump so often (thanks, Dad). In fact, the name peaked in popularity for the second time the year the movie was released, jumping to number #217 in 1994. Now he's on the move yet again, rising to 132 boys given the name in 2015 from a low dip to 47 in 2006. To be clear, Forest is the word spelling and Forrest the name spelling, and Forrest remains a much more popular choice with 387 boys given the name in 2015, ranking at #659. Forrest also had a dip in 2006 with only 147 births, disappearing from the charts between 2003 and 2013, and it also peaked in 1994 with 1,343 boys born, rising to #217. Historically both spelling options have been very popular.

Forest doesn't have an obvious nickname, but it's one of those names you enjoy saying without having to shorten it. Forest is Old French, meaning "woods." A famous namesake is St. John Forest of the 16th century…