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Showing posts from February, 2018

Usable Valkyrie Names

The Valkyrie by Arthur Rackham

Valkyries are a magical, powerful, bold choice for parenting inspiration, and some have considered using Valkyrie itself as a given name - 48 in 2016, the highest number so far. But after seeing the imagery of a beautiful warrior from myth, we have to face the fact that Hrist and Sigrdrifa are not going to go over so well in the U.S. Using Valkyrie as a name, then, might just be the way to go, but Valkyrija and Valkyria (both val-KEER-ee-uh / val-KEER-yah) have been used - officially accepted as a name in Iceland in 2015. Here are a few others to mull over:

Brynhildr - could be shortened to Bryn (or just go with Bryn as an "honor" name). It could mean "armor battle" or "bright battle."
Eir - pronounced AYR, this is easy to say and short, but the spelling and pronunciation is not intuitive to a native English speaker. It means "peace, mercy."
Herja - prononced HARE-yah, its a lot like Freja or Anja, so if people see th…

Herb Baby Names

I often wonder what makes Rose a more popular choice for a baby girl than Hyacinth, or River more chosen than Ocean, and in the case of herbs, why Sage is taking off but Sorrel is still quite rare. Here is a list of herbs and spices that have baby name potential with how many times they were used in 2016.

Tarragon, 0
Chervil, 0
Calamint, 0
Belladonna, 22 girls
Lavender, 82 girls
Celandine, 0
Chicory, 0
Anise, 13 girls
Verbena, 0
Dittany, 0
Damiana, 22 girls
Thistle, 0
Centaury, 0
Chamomile, 0
Pandan, 0
Bay, 33 girls, 8 boys
Clover, 172 girls
Basil, 22 girls, 60 boys
Marjoram, 0
Parsley, 0
Artemisia, 12 girls
Caraway, 0
Betony, 0
Vervain, 0
Vetiver, 0
Galingale, 0
Coriander, 0
Hyssop (which reminds me of Aesop), 0
Korarima, 0
Koseret, 0
Cicely, 16 girls
Gentian, 0 (the nickname Gent would be adorable)
Orris, 0
Valerian, 0 Valeriana, 6
Perilla, 0
Cayenne, 8 girls
Rue, 35 girls
Nigella, 0
Hawthorn, 0, but 36 spelled Hawthorne
Paprika, 0
Ginger, 56 girls
Saffron, 30 girls
Cassia, 62 girl…

Sibyl

Sibylla Palmifera by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Sibyl, from Greek sibylla, meaning "prophetess," was originally a word referring to one of the ten female oracles, and they were so mystically respected that even in early Christian theology their gifts were highly regarded, or at least intriguing, and Sibyl began being used as a given name in the Middle Ages.

Sibyl also comes with a delightful list of variants, each quite beautiful. The spelling Cybil/Cybill has been used, as well as English Sybella and sometimes versions starting with a Z, such as Zibylla. Both Sibylle and Sybille have been used in France, Sibylla in Sweden, Sybille and Sibylle in German, Sibylla in Greek, Sibilla in Italian, Sybilla in Late Roman, Sébirein Norman, and my favorite - Sibyllina, as in Blessed Sibyllina Biscossi (although she may have been known as Sibila, Sibilina or Sybil).

This name has not ranked in the U.S. since 1929. In 2016 it was only given to 19 baby girls. Sybella was given to 11 girls, wh…

Beryl & friends

Beryl (BEHR-ill) is a girl's baby name that is also a mineral gemstone, and it has been used since the 19th century. The etymology of Beryl can be traced from 12th century Old French beryl, from Latin beryllus / Greek beryllos, to Prakrit veruliya and Sanskrit vaidurya. It may ultimately come from the city Velur in India. The Greek meaning was considered "precious blue-green, color-of-seawater stone."

There are seven varieties of Beryl that often get overlooked, especially as baby name potential: morganite, emerald, aquamarine, maxixe, goshenite, and heliodor or golden beryl, and red beryl (formerly known as bixbite). While Morgan and Morgana are still used as baby names, Emerald is unusual but familiar, and Heliodor, Heliodoro, and even Heliodorus had their day in the sun, Aquamarine is usually reserved for fantasy characters and movie titles, and Maxixe is unheard of. Goshenite comes from the name of Goshen, Massachusetts.

Beryl last ranked for girls in the U.S. in 19…