The many forms of Eleanor

I love Eleanor! And all her forms! It’s classy, regal, internationally known, has a whole pool of nicknames and forms and many great bearers – historical and literary. – Which one is your favourite? 🙂

Onomastics Outside the Box

Queen Eleanor of Aquitane (1122 or 1124–1 April 1204), painted 1858 by Frederick Sandys

The name Eleanor, in the U.S. Top 100 in 1895 and again from 1897–42 (with its highest rank of #25 in 1920), is now quite trendy again. It began slowly rising in 1987, and was up to #32 in 2018. It’s not such a secret that more than a few parents choosing this name just want the trendy nicknames Ella and Nora.

Eleanor is also fairly popular in England and Wales, at #54, and New Zealand, at #76.

The name derives from the Old French form of the Occitan name Aliénor. One of the earliest known bearers was the above-pictured Queen Eleanor of Aquitane, named for her mother Aenor (of unknown etymology) and called alia Aenor, “the other Aenor,” to tell them apart.

It’s uncertain if other early bearers were Aenors to whom the…

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Question of the day.

Hi people! 🙂

A quirky name related question for you today:

Has anyone ever told you that you don’t look like your name? Like: “You’re Mary? You don’t look like a Mary!” and if so, did they suggest what name you did look like?

My answer:

Don’t know if it was more about looks, or character/personality/behaviour, or perhaps both, but yes, my own mother, who gave me my birth name, told me that. 😀 Isn’t it a bit ironic?! When I told my Mum for the first time that I really liked the name Emilia, she told me that actually, she doesn’t feel like my birth name suits me, and if she was to make that decision again, she wouldn’t give it to me, and that Emilia did feel kind of better though she didn’t know what she’d rename me if she could and had to make her own choice. She said a strange thing, that when she mentions me or talks about me with someone and uses my name, it feels like she’s talking and thinking about two different people. 😀 That sounded weird, but felt even more weird for me because it corresponded with my feeling when people talked to me using my birth name. It felt as if they thought I am someone different, like I need to change my behaviour and the way I act to suit their expectations and their view of me. And there are still people who call me my birth name, and in most cases I get it because it’s family and if you’d always known someone by a certain name it’s hard to suddenly change it, and I still get this feeling when they call me my birth name, I didn’t know why it is so but I always felt a kind of annoyance when someone called me by my birth name, and there was some weird dissonance or something, I guess. Another weird thing here was that apparently when I was born, my gran asked Mum if she’d already picked a name for me. Mum said that she was hesitating, and she suggested Emilia. My gran! I was really surprised when I heard that because, well, my gran has five children, and looking at their names, her naming taste appears to be completely different and I can’t imagine her liking the name Emilia. Of course it was a different time when her children were born, late 50’s-early 70’s, and the name Emilia would be a bit more unusual then, but still… quite unbelievable for me even after a couple years since I learnt about that. Also I’ve never had a particularly close relationship with her, if any at all. That doesn’t mean we don’t like each other or anything, just can’t connect on any deeper level, we’re pretty glaringly different kinds of people, other than that we both seem to like the name Emilia. 😀 She didn’t comment though, or at least not to me directly and not so that I would know, about my name change.

And then there is my aunt, after whom I was named, who says I absolutely don’t fit the name Emilia. And I guess I know why she thinks so. Simply because most of my extended family, who knew me by my birth name, and don’t see me often enough and don’t know me well enough to feel familiar with the change even after about four years, still call me my birth name. And, among them, I don’t feel like an Emilia or not fully. I still feel like I have to play that other girl they want, don’t know why really because I’m not that desperate for their acceptance, maybe it’s just something that I can’t get rid of, or maybe it’s some coping/defensive strategy or whatever. I only feel fully like an Emilia when I’m with people I’m feeling at least a bit of a closer connection and like we get each other, or when I’m on my own, or doing what I love, or with people who don’t know me at all so don’t have any rooted assumptions/prejudices/expectations towards me.

Aside from that, when I was a kid in nursery, I met a woman who constantly called me Anna, and I didn’t correct her, but at some point someone else did, and she was like: “Oh really?! I’m sorry, I must have forgotten. But you look so much like an Anna!”. 😀 I also had a teacher who once renamed me, I assume either on purpose and jokingly or because he forgot my real name but still wanted to call me something, and he called me Maryla. 😀 I am 100% sure he didn’t think that was my real name, because… I don’t know how to explain it really haha… well I guess because it’s one of those names with a really kind of dusty, outdated feel, that aren’t bad or that don’t have any common bad associations but that most people just don’t like. So the likelihood of me or my equal being called Maryla is like if your average kid in an American school was called Muriel for example (I love Muriel but I’ve heard there are also many people in the US who hate it). 😀 A girl standing next to me immediately said in a very serious voice that I am not Maryla, but he was laughing and like: “No? What a pity. But from now on she’ll be. She looks so to me”. That was kinda funny, although, trying to be objective, I couldn’t and still can’t think of anything in myself that could make me seem like an average Maryla. 😀 And the girl beside me was even more confused than me. 😀 The guy was generally quite bizarre though.

Also a girl from our neighbourhood whom I used to play for some time when we were children once said a similar thing, though not exactly that I don’t look like my name. We were playing some make-believe game and I picked the name Helena for myself in it, and she was like: “Oh Helena, you’re really like a Helena!”. I do love Helena to pieces, but I’d go mad if someone called me Hela, if it was my name, and that would be highly likely. And I’m not really convinced Helena would fully suit me, I think you need to be a bit more expressive than I am to be a good example of a Helena and in harmony with this name, not extroverted, but just a bit more expressive, more engaging with other people I’d say, and maybe a bit impulsive too which I’m normally not at all.

OK, so how about you? Have you ever been renamed like that? 😀

Question of the day (5th May).

Would you ever consider naming your child after yourself, so she/he would be a “junior”? What would you think if this custom came back?

My answer:

Back when I was still using my birth name, and didn’t really think seriously about changing it, despite I did already think about myself as Emilia and loved this name, I thought that maybe if I had a daughter, I could call her Emilia instead. But now, even if I wouldn’t change my name to Emilia, it doesn’t seem a good idea for me. I think I would feel like something is not right if I did that. I could give my potential daughter my name as a middle, but probably wouldn’t, despite it is a kind of custom in our family and our region. I find it nice but boring.

Emilia is also a really hot name at the moment, I guess quite a bit more popular than among girls my age, not far below the top 10 and rising, and with Amelia being #9 and other -lia names in close proximity, and that’s off-putting for me for a baby name. As for this custom in general, of naming children after parents, like using a parent’s first name as a child’s first name, it’s not really common in Poland. I remember when I was a child, Olek told me about his class teacher “You know, you would get along with my class teacher, she likes the name Jacek, just as you, her husband is Jacek, and her son is Jacek too!”. 😀 And we were both like WOW! That’s crazy! How does she tell them apart? She really must love that name. So, I’d say it’s not really normal here. If you want to name your child after yourself or your spouse, use your name as their middle name. OK, my Dad wanted to call me Anna, after my Mum, but that’s probably why he didn’t in the end, because it’s her name already and because it’s not normal. But since I am now pretty familiar with lots of weird naming customs all around the world and especially in the English-speaking countries, it doesn’t really impress me and I don’t mind it, if someone wants it, it’s not my business. I just think it’s a little bit boring because there are so many beautiful names out there. Why limiting ourselves to just a handful?! Because I can see that if a parent names their child after themself, and a lot of people start to follow that trend, their children will likely do the same, and then naturally people’s names might suddenly become really boring and repetitive. I even have a problem with this middle names tradition over here, that everyone needs to have their parent’s name as a middle almost obligatorily, even though I do love my middle name after my Mum, I feel like it doesn’t allow creativity, especially that you can have only one middle in Poland if you’re a Polish citizen, not counting confirmation or a few traditional/obsolete hyphenated exceptions. Also, I can’t ignore the baby namer in me shouting “NO!” because as a firm believer in that a name carries a personality, or at least a strong potential influence on a person with itself, I just can’t help but feel that if you call your child after yourself, he or she may feel kind of unconsciously forced to be like you! To fulfill your expectations, follow your footsteps, won’t feel their own sense of identity, or at least that their name doesn’t belong fully to them. I was named after a close family member and my Mum’s best friend at the same time (they both shared a name), and still felt that way, like they want me to be someone I’m not, so how must a person named after their parent feel? That’s how I see it, you don’t have to agree with me and I’m pretty sure many people wouldn’t. So if someone would ask me for an advice regarding this, I’d say yes, you can, but if your name is easily nicknamed, try to find a different nickname for him, even if it’s just one letter or syllable more/less or a slightly altered spelling or let him have a nickname unrelated to the nickname that he likes and can go by daily, you’ll have to try to show your child that you embrace who he comes to be, that you accept him as he is and you’ll have to really stress that in his upbringing and make sure his personality develops harmoniously. I feel though like there really is a risk of some kind of disharmony between your own individuality and the way your family influences you. On a little different note, it’s just a little thought and it doesn’t mean that I have a problem with people naming their kids after themselves or am prejudiced but in a way it kinda feels a bit selfish to me. ‘Cause generally if we name our children after someone, we admire that person, or want to honour them because of something. So it feels slightly as if someone had a bit too large an ego. 😀

How about you? 🙂

Question of the day (23rd March).

Hey people! 🙂

Oh God that was such a weird week for me really. Don’t know if I’ll be writing anything about it, it’s very complicated and I’m terribly ambivalent about the whole thing, but if I will, not now I guess, need to think about it. The definitely positive thing is that I got to finally finish my Welsh course for good, and now I’m doing very advanced stuff, or so it feels for me, my brain is all steaming and burning.

So let’s get to our overdue questions of the day.

Are you named after anyone? If you had to choose, who would you be named after in your family?

My answer:

My original (birth) name was after my Mum’s friend, and my aunt –
Mum’s sister, they both had the same name – though if you know me a bit better you know that I changed it, and my middle name Anna is after my Mum, and I’m very happy about it, although that wasn’t very creative because in our area most people have their middles after their parents first names, Zofijka’s middle name is also Anna, I’m curious what would they come up with otherwise. I certainly wouldn’t like Anna to be my first name, it’s so typical and universal and although it’s absolutely beautiful, I just wouldn’t like to be one of millions of ANnas in the world, plus I think that the sort of default nickname in Poland – ANia –
takes away lots of charm from very elegant and sophisticated sounding Anna and makes it shallow, I definitely wouldn’t like to be an Ania, and being an Anna in Poland I would inevitably be called Ania by almost everyone pretty much automatically. If my first name was Anna, I would like to be called just that, Anna, but that would be quite unusual here, where people like to nickname most names, especially if I was a kid, I doubt anyone would call me by my full name. 😀 But I’m digressing horribly hahaha. So yeah, I’m named after my Mum, and I’m OK with it. But if I had to choose another person from my family to be named after, I would go with my grandma – Helena. – I just love this name, and I’d like to be named after her. And I could keep my middle name happily. I could be also Anna Helena, but, as I said, as long as they’d call me Anna, or maybe even (a bit fancifully) with my both names, that would be cool, albeit a little snobbish I guess to always go by Anna Helena. 😀 Not quite normal here.

OK, so how about you? 🙂

Best Girls Names on Kids TV

Despite having a tween-aged sister who watches unbelievable amounts of both kids and teen shows with catchy earworm tunes, I myself live under the rock and neither of these sound particularly familiar to me. 😀 Nevertheless, the names of the heroines are all very nice, yeah I must say I like all of them to some degree. My most favourite on this list is Luna, I love its cold and smooth sound, and I love the moon so how couldn’t I like this lovely name. Personally I wouldn’t use it, it seems to be more popular for pets than kids over here, and I’ve got a little fed up with hearing it over and over again from my sis who is a die hard fan of the “Soy Luna” series, but despite that, I still love this name. Oona has a lovely, Celtic feel, and Esme is very pretty, even though I dislike the fact that “Twilight” has made it so popular.
Which is your favourite among these? 🙂

Little Old Lady Names

Many interesting names here…
As for my opinions, well I guess I can’t say for Americans and my view may be slightly different on these names.
I really really like Agnes. It has such an elegant, vintage charm to it, but if I didn’t know already that many people think it’s so very dated, I’d be really surprised to hear that, to me it sounds really girly and I just can’t comprehend why anyone can think it sounds elderly. 😀 Maybe that’s because our Polish Agnieszka, although maybe not the freshest of baby names these days, had been overwhelmingly popular since 70’s all the way to 90’s, and although not as favoured now, is still rather liked by people and doesn’t feel dusted at all, and I’d be happy to see it coming back in the English-speaking countries, but maybe it’s just too cute.
Dorothea probably is a bit too cute.
I definitely can’t see Frances and Gertrude coming back, they do sound rather old to me, even though last year I read a book where the main character was named Gertrude and she was a young girl. I can’t imagine it on a real life child in 21st century.
Ida is liked by namenerds and other quirky individuals in Poland, though we pronounce it EE-dah here, it’s maybe not my style or anything that I would use, but I think it’s perfectly usable overall and as opposed to Meagan’s view, what I imagine first thinking about this name is a little, hyperactive and inquisitive girl.
I’ve become more convinced to Mildred in recent months or years, and grew to even like it a bit, but I guess too many people dislike it to make it successful again and it will stay among the geeky, quirky and evoking extreme emotions. Unless someone makes a bestseller with a protagonist named Mildred.
Opal could be indeed a nice alternative to Pearl.
And I actually love Selma! I primarily associate it with Selma Lagerlöf – Swedish writer – and I think it has both some youthful charm but also a lot of strength to it. Though with this -elma ending it probably won’t be the next Emma.
And what do you guys think about these names Meagan wrote about? DO you like any of them? 🙂

Thor-inspired names

What a beautiful diversity here! 🙂 As a lover of all things Nordic/viking related, most of these are already well known to me, but still looking at all these Thor-inspired names at once, it’s quite impressive how many of them exist. Despite my love for Norse mythology, I can’t say that I particularly love Thor, I am pretty neutral about the name itself, have nice associations with it, and with most of those names, usually because of some literary characters with these names that I know, I think if I wanted to have children I wouldn’t consider using any of these, though Thor reminds me also of my friend who did want to call his future son Tor in honour of this Norse god, haha, and given his incredible and steely determination I’m sure he would if he only got a chance.
I was quite surprised to see that Torquil also comes from Thor – I mean it sounds like it’s quite obvious but when I first stumbled upon this name, I only knew it’s used in Scotland so somehow didn’t think it could have anything to do with Thor or the name Torkel despite a very similar sound. – I do like Torquil a bit, it sounds a bit like the word tranquil, and is both strong and peaceful. I also kind of like Torkel, Torgeir and Torgny, and Torill is nice. Also I’ve heard somewhere about the feminine name Thorgunn, which I’d also suppose is derived from Thor, and I think it sounds so beautifully powerful.
Do you guys like any of these?

Onomastics Outside the Box

Dedicated in loving memory of Peter Tork, né Peter Halsten Thorkelson, 13 February 1942–21 February 2019, whose birth surname inspired this post.

Thor’s Fight with the Giants, Mårten Eskil Winge, 1872

I’ve wanted to do a post on Thor-inspired names for quite some time. Though many might consider the name Thor itself to be pompous and pretentious, there are quite a few other names whose meanings relate to Thor. If you wouldn’t consider the name Thor for a real child, perhaps you’d be more inclined to use one of these names.

Unless otherwise noted, all these names are male.

Thor was the Norse god of thunder, from Old Norse þórr, ultimately from Ancient Germanic *þunraz. The name was #48 in Denmark in 2017. Its modern form is Tor, and the feminine forms are Thora and Tora.

Haldor (Norwegian) means “Thor’s rock,” from Old Norse Hallþórr

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The many forms of Christopher and Christina

How do you like Christopher and Christina? Which forms are your favourite?
I really really really like Christopher! To me, it has a bit of a similar feel to my most favourite Jack, strong, manly, safe, down to Earth. Though all the Krzysztofs I know well are quite impulsive and complex people paradoxically.
I also like most forms of Christopher, I think Chris is very nice, but not as cool and handsome as full Christopher. I didn’t even knew many of the forms that Carrie-Anne mentioned in this post, and they seem to be very varied and different.
I also love our Polish Krzysztof to pieces, it’s really really cool together with its nicknames. As a Pole I can also confirm what Carrie-Anne wrote, that rz and ż are pronounced the same way in Polish, but that historically rz was a bit different, more like Czech ř than Russian zh sound I guess. However in the pronunciation of Krzysztof the rz is not voiced, as it comes after K so sounds more like sh, otherwise would be a bit tricky to pronounce haha.
I can also say that in Poland we even have a feminine variant of Krzysztof, which is not very surprisingly Krzysztofa. I think it’s lovely, especially nicknamed to Krzysia.
I’m more neutral to Christina, Christine and all the like, but they are nice names, I particularly grew to like this name after reading Sigrid Undset’s “Kristin Lavransdatter”.

Onomastics Outside the Box

Saint-Christophe, by Claude Bassot, 1607

Christopher, which comes from the Greek Christophoros (Christ-bearer), has been an extremely popular name since the Middle Ages. Contemporary evidence shows the Saint Christopher of legend may have actually been the historical Saint Minas of Egypt. Though he was removed from the liturgical calendar in 1969, Christopher is still very much a saint. Decanonization isn’t a thing.

The name began rising in popularity in the U.S. in 1939, and entered the Top 100 in 1949. It continued rising, and broke the Top 10 at #9 in 1967. Christopher was #3 and #2 from 1972–95, and remained in the Top 10 till 2009. In 2017, it was #38.

Danish statesman Christoffer Gabel (1617–73), by Karel van Mander III

Other forms include:

1. Christoffer is Scandinavian.

2. Cristoforo is Italian.

3. Cristóvão is Portuguese.

4. Cristóbal is Spanish.

5. Christoffel is Dutch.

6. Christophe is…

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The many forms of Magdalena

Do you like the name Magdalena?
For some reason, i’ve never been a fan. Despite (or maybe because) it’s been so popular in Poland since about 60’s I guess and that I know many really lovely ladies with this name. Well Magdalena is maybe not that very bad, and I slightly like that it’s so classic
and has so strong Christian conotations, but when it’s nicknamed to Magda… ughhh it really loses that tiny bit of charm it has for me. I love Madeline though, and even Madelaine (although slightly less since when someone made me realise it looks like Mad Elaine) and Madeleine. I also do like all those creative Madelyns, Madilyns and other Madelynnes, and some other forms as well. But Madeline is gorgeous! Oh, and there is also Dutch Madelief! Well I know it’s not linguistically related to Magdalena whatsoever, but it sounds similar and it’s one of my newest name discoveries. It means daisy in Dutch and I love it a lot! It’s beautiful.
So, how about you guys? 🙂

Onomastics Outside the Box

The Repentant Magdalen, Philippe de Champaigne, 1648

Some people express surprise the name Magdalena, so popular for so long in Europe and parts of Latin America, isn’t particularly common in the Anglophone world. It is, but the onomastic connection may not be so immediately obvious. English-speakers know this name as Madeline.

Magdalena, used in German, Dutch, Romanian, Spanish, Catalan, the Scandinavian languages, Occitan, the Southern Slavic languages, Polish, and English; Czech, Slovak, Hungarian (as Magdaléna); Latvian (as Magdalēna); and Icelandic (as Magðalena), comes from the Latin Magdalene. That in turn derives from a title meaning “of Magdala.” Magdala is a village on the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kineret), meaning “tower” in Hebrew.

Though nothing in the Bible calls Mary Magdalene a prostitute, she’s historically been conflated with Mary of Bethany and an unnamed “sinful woman” who anoints Jesus’s feet in Luke 7:36–50. Since…

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The most popular names in Sweden

Yaay! My curiosity has been quenched! Swedish ranking of most popular names in 2018 has just been released a little while ago! And so I reblog the post from Watching The Swedes about most popular of them. It seems like William and Alice are ruling again. Which ones out of all these mentioned here do you like the most? Off to look up the whole statistics now. 😀

Watching the Swedes

Oliver was the most popular name for male newborns in the UK last year. And Olivia was the most popular female name. In London, it was Amelia and Mohammed and in Ireland it was Jack and Emily.

So what about Sweden in 2018? Just-released information from Sweden’s office of statistics give us the following answer.

The most popular top 5 names for male newborns were:

  1. William
  2. Liam
  3. Noah
  4. Lucas
  5. Oliver

In fact, there are 44010 males in Sweden with the name William. And 58 females!

And for newborn girls it was:

  1. Alice
  2. Maja
  3. Lilly
  4. Ella
  5. Wilma

Interestingly, there are 38957 females called Alice in Sweden. And 22 men!

The names Ture, Lias and Amir are the fastest climbing names in the list of boys’ names. And for girls, Hailey och Bianca. The names Sebastian, Neo, Simon, Emelie, Ellinor, Idun and Noomi have left the top 20 list.

If you want…

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The many forms of Sophia

Which of these forms of Sophia is your favourite? 🙂
I have a bit of an ambivalent approach to it. In opposite to Carrie-Anne, I dislike Zofia, even though it is my sister’s name. I just never liked it, nor the most popular nickname Zosia. So when she was born I started to call her Zofijka and that’s how she’s called to this day. We’ve also created a whole lot of other nicknames, most of them quite funny.
On the other hand though, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sophie, and Sofie, and Sofia, and I often call my ZOfijka Sofi or Sofija too, or Fifi. Sophia is cool too, though sooo popular, and it is a bit of a downside in my opinion.
I absolutely love the Hungarian diminutive Zsófika, which according to my knowledge should be read like ZHO-fee-kaw, it’s so funny and cute. I also like Finnish Sohvi, and it’s fabulous nickname Vivi.
I’ve never heard before about Hawaiian Hopi, mentioned in this post, but it seems lovely and quirky, will have to ask my zippy Zofijka what she thinks of it. 🙂

Onomastics Outside the Box

British novelist Sophia Lee, 1750–1824

Sophia, which means “wisdom” in Greek, has been extraordinarily popular over the last 15-20 years, after decades of being unfashionable and considered geriatric. In 1997, it shot into the U.S. Top 100, at #94, up from #124 the previous year. It continued rocketing upwards, reaching #1 from 2011–13. In 2017, it was down to #5.

It’s also #3 in Canada; #5 in Austria; #10 in Northern Ireland; #11 in England and Wales; #15 in Australia; #17 in Switzerland and Scotland; #18 in Ireland; #23 in New Zealand; #42 in The Netherlands; #54 in Belgium; and #90 in Norway.

Saint Sophia with her daughters Faith, Hope, and Love

Sofia, which is modern Greek, Italian, Catalan, Romanian, Slovak, Estonian, Finnish, Portuguese, Scandinavian, and German, has also been enjoying great popularity. It entered the U.S. Top 100 in 2003, at #97, and shot up to its…

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The various forms of Daphne and Laura (and other laurel names)

Which laurel names out of these are your favourite, guys? 🙂
I didn’t even know Daphne had so many forms, other than Daphne and Dafne, which apart from Italy can be also used in Poland, well it’s used extremely rarely but still is and of course it’s used in reference to the nymph as well. I’m not crazy about Daphne, but I like it.
I like Laura too. I used to like it far more in the past but now as it’s so popular here in Poland I am not as fond of it as I used to be, but it’s still a beautiful, slightly mysterious sounding name with cool and smooth charm to it. Though I much prefer it pronounced our way, LAH-oo-rah, rather than like Lora. I think Lauretta and Laurette are lovely. I also like Laurel itself. And Welsh Lowri is cute.
I haven’t heard about Kelila before but it looks very interesting.

Onomastics Outside the Box

Pauline as Daphne Fleeing from Apollo, ca. 1810, Robert Lefèvre

Daphne is a naiad in Greek mythology, a female nymph presiding over bodies of water such as lakes, fountains, springs, and brooks. She’s variously cited as the daughter of river god Peneus (Peneios) and nymph Creusa, or Ladon and Gaia.

Versions of Daphne’s story vary, but they all have the crux of Apollo falling in unrequited love with her after a curse from Eros (Cupid). As Apollo chased her, Daphne begged her father to save her, and she was turned into a laurel tree in the nick of time. Laurels thus became sacred to Apollo.

Daphne is also used in English and Dutch. The variation Daphné is French. Other forms include:

1. Daphnée is French.

2. Dafni is modern Greek.

3. Dafina is Macedonian and Albanian.

4. Dafne is Italian.

5. Daffni is Welsh.

6. Dapine is Georgian.

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5 Names Rules to Ignore

I think this is a very useful post, so again I’m reblogging for those of you who don’t follow TulipByAnyName but might be interested. 😀
And what do you guys think about those naming rules Meagan writes about? Let me (or her) know in the comments. 🙂
As for me, I mostly agree that all of them we can happily ignore, although, probably because I live in Poland, I’m generally much more cautious with unisex/gender bending names. Not that I’m against them, as many names indeed do work for both genders well and interestingly can even have a completely different vibe on either gender in my opinion, but I always just prefer to be cautious with this thing.
Also if it was me naming my own baby, I would definitely try to avoid naming my child the same as someone else whom I’m close to did. But it’s more because I just like to be different than because I think it’s inapropriate or others shouldn’t do it or something. Though maybe if someone stole my most favourite name I could consider breaking this rule, hard to say.

The Top 19 Names in 1919

In this post Meagan writes about names that were popular 100 years ago.
If I lived in the US, I could happily name my daughter Helen, for me personally this one would be most usable, I think. Other than that, my opinions on the usability of these names are mostly covering with Meagan’s. Probably what I’m going to say will be more or less surprising for you, but one of my most favourite names in this set for girls is Mildred. Yes! I was hating it for years and used to call every elderly lady in my short stories Mildred if she wasn’t a likeable character, but I got convinced to it some time ago and I can see its speciffic charm now. Still though, I don’t think I’d use it on a child.

Leonine names

I think these are all brilliant names to consider for a baby born in the star sign of Leo. 🙂

Onomastics Outside the Box

Pope Leo XIII (1810–1903), painted by Philip de László (né Fülöp Elek László)

Leo, which means “lion” in Latin, is English, German, Dutch, Scandinavian, Finnish, and Croatian, and currently enjoying great popularity. In 2017, it was #61 in the U.S. (and has been jumping up the charts since 2000), after having been a Top 100 staple from 1880–1937. Its highest rank was #37 in 1903.

It’s #1 in Australia, Canada, and Finland; #7 in England and Wales (and in France as Léo); #11 in Spain, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Sweden, and Catalonia; #19 in Switzerland (and #96 as Léo); #9 in Scotland; #8 in Galicia; #33 in Ireland; #22 in Austria; #58 in Norway; #91 in Belgium; and #71 in Slovenia.

As abovementioned, Léo is French. Another alternate form, Leó, is Icelandic and Hungarian.

French artist Léon Augustin Lhermitte, 1844–1925

Leon, which means “lion” in…

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Why Swedes celebrate their names

I’ve always been curious why actually Swedes celebrate names, since they are mostly protestants, and now I finally know! 😀 As Poland is a Catholic country, we also have this tradition here, although I have an impression it’s generally better organised in Sweden, because we don’t really have a universal calendar and even a single calendar can be very repetitive and some names may have multiple days while others are mentioned hardly anywhere despite being used and sometimes it can lead to quite funny situations, or just to a bit of a chaos. As both a Christian and a name geek , I think in a way celebrating your name’s day can be even more fun than birthday. And I was quite surprised to see that Emilia’s nameday in Sweden is 14 November, when in Poland it’s Emil’s day. Though it makes more sense than making separate days for Emil and Emilia. If you aren’t familiar with this tradition, or like me, love Sweden, or names, I highly recommend you reading this post. 🙂

Watching the Swedes

Today is Svea’s Name’s Day. And October 8th is my Name’s Day. Well, not quite….but almost. It is Nils. And since I’m called Neil, well, I take Nils as my day.

Some of you might be wondering what the hell I’m talking about. What is a ‘Name’s Day’? Well, it’s like this. In Sweden, every day has a name, sometimes two. And if your name happens to be represented in this way in the calender, then you can celebrate your day. Strange? Maybe. Unusual? Not really.

A Name’s Day is actually a tradition in lots of countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia and Ukraine. According to Wiki, the custom originated with the Christian calendar of saints: believers named after a saint would celebrate that saint’s feast day. In Sweden, however, there is no longer any explicit connection to Christianity. It’s been a tradition since the Middle Ages and started…

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Diamond names

As a lover of both names and gem stones, I like many of these. 🙂

Onomastics Outside the Box

Though I personally amn’t that keen on diamonds (I prefer dark stones, and ones without long ad campaigns trying to make the masses believe they’re the be-all and end-all of stones), there are many nice names meaning “diamond.” I’ve also included the words for diamond in other languages, where they sound enough like real names.

Unisex:

Almas is Arabic and Persian.

Dorji is Tibetan.

Kaimana is Hawaiian, and alternately means “ocean/sea power.”

Pich is Khmer.

Almaz is Amharic, Arabic, Ethiopian, Kazakh, Azeri, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Russian, and Ukrainian. It obviously is a very rare name in the two lattermost languages, probably not frequently used by native-born Russians and Ukrainians.

Daiya is Japanese. As with just about all other Japanese names, it can also mean many other things, depending upon the characters used, and which writing system.

Heera is Sanskrit, and also found in the various modern Indian languages.

Timantti is Finnish.

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Holly and ivy names

I like Holly, and Ivy’s cool too, though I like it a bit less, but some of the names here are really great alternatives. My most favourite of these is Celyn – it’s also used for girls sometimes in Wales as far as I know – and Celynwen is lovely although I hadn’t heard it before, it has such a lilting sound to it. Also Zelenika is adorable, and I like the nickname Zelenka for it, although I guess Zelenka is also a Czech name in its own right.
On a side note, I really like the Polish word for ivy for some reason – which is bluszcz, I definitely wouldn’t advice anyone call their child Bluszcz as it would sound very odd, but the word itself is so, so lovely.
Which ones do you like? 🙂

Onomastics Outside the Box

In the spirit of the holiday season, here are some names meaning “holly” and “ivy.” The English names Holly and Ivy are obviously by far the best-known, but sometimes one wants a less-common variation. For those wondering, holly and hollyhock aren’t one and the same, though there are many names whose meanings relate to hollyhock.

This list also includes other languages’ words for “holly” and “ivy” (provided they sounded enough like realistic names), in which case I grouped them according to which sex I felt they’d best work with. As always, some of these names may be better-suited to pets or fictional characters than real-life children!

Unisex:

Leslie, or Lesley, comes from a Scottish surname derived from a place name whose ultimate origin was probably the Gaelic phrase leas celyn, “garden of holly.”

Female:

Celynwen means “white/blessed/fair holly” in Welsh. This is a rare name.

Hali is…

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Names ending in Z

I am generally rather neutral as for the letter Z in names, but I definitely love some names containing it, because it makes them sound crispy and ZZZippy. And lots of these ending in z have a particular, sort of exotic feel to me which is nice. I always loved Spanish Luz, I think it’s really full of ight in how it sounds, I don’t know maybe it’s my synaesthesia or autosuggestion but that’s how it feels to me, and there are lots of masculine names that I liked more or less in this post, but I guess I’d pick Luiz as my most favourite, especially that it is a masculine form of one of my all time favourite Polish feminine names, which is Luiza, since Luiza, apart from being a Portuguese name, is also Polish and Romanian.
Which ones are your favourite? Do you like names ending in Z? 🙂

Onomastics Outside the Box

I love names with the letter Z, whether they begin with a Z, have a Z in place of S (e.g., Izabella, Zofia, Jozef, Izydor), or end in Z. Many names ending in Z are of Spanish, Persian, modern Hebrew, and Arabic origin, but some come from other languages. I’m not including Hebrew names ending in TZ or Polish names ending in SZ, since those are their own letters/sounds.

Unisex:

Shahnaz means “pride of the king” in Persian. This name is also used in Urdu and Arabic. The Turkish, exclusively feminine, form is Şahnaz.

Paz means “gold” in Hebrew. This is an entirely separate name from the Spanish Paz.

Cruz means “cross” in Spanish and Portuguese.

Female:

Aliz is the Hungarian form of Alice. This name can also be rendered as Alíz.

Beatriz is Spanish and Portuguese.

Fairuz, or Fayruz, means “turquoise” in Arabic.

Inez

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