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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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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The many forms of Philip (and other horsey names)

I love horses! And I love quite a few of these intriguing horsy names.
I’ve always loved Filip – as the Polish form of Phillip – so much so that it was for years on my list of names for a potential baby boy, very high on it to be honest. But, although my love hasn’t lessened, if I had a child nowadays, I am not so sure anymore I’d call him Filip, it’s so crazily popular over here nowadays.
I can see that Phillip in the US feels outdated and “geriatric” indeed, but Polish Filip isn’t like this at all. It’s flourishing, incredibly popular, feels youthful, maybe even childish, very charming and lively, but also gentle. And because I love Filip I like Philip too. And Felipe, and Pilip (Pilip is also an archaic Polish form, quite funny sounding in my opinion).
Piripi is also very funny, when I came across it for the first time a couple years ago, I thought it sounded like piri piri peppers. 😀
And I really like Felipa, and Filipina is cool, as a little girl I had a doll named Filipina, people were always amazed hearing her name haha.
From other names in this post, I particularly love Jorunn, I used it in one of my short stories for a Viking woman, and Rosalind – so cute and vintage.
OK, so that’s enough from me, I really encourage you guys to read this post and I’m curious which names of these are your favourite, let me know or come over to Carrie-Anne and tell her in the comments. 🙂

Onomastics Outside the Box

Philip the Apostle, by Peter Paul Rubens

In spite of being considered somewhat outdated or geriatric these days, I’ve always quite liked the name Philip. It’s a solid classic that could use a comeback. Perhaps my positive opinion was influenced by having two friends named Philip in junior high, both of them great guys.

Philip means “friend/lover of horses,” from Greek philos (lover, friend) and hippos (horse). One of the Twelve Apostles, Philip was originally much more popular among Eastern Christians. In the Middle Ages, it became more common in the West.

Philip sank in popularity in the Anglophone world in the 17th century, thanks to King Felipe II of Spain launching the Armada against England. It became popular again in the 19th century.

Infante Felipe of Spain, Duke of Parma (1720–1765), by Louis-Michel van Loo

The one-L spelling was in the U.S. Top 100 from 1880–1971, and again from 1973–88…

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