Female names of literary origin, A-F

Do you guys like literary names?
I love so many of these! Most of them actually. In fact, I think if I lived in an English-speaking country I could consider some of them as names for my potential children.
I particularly love Amaryllis, Araminta, Ariel, Celia (I didn’t even know it is a literary name, I knew it was Shakespearean but not that Shakespeare used it first), Belphoebe, Clarinda, Clarissa (I could actually use Clarissa in Poland on a real life child very happily), Cordelia, Dulcinea, Ethel, Evangeline (again, had no idea it was literary!) and Fiona. Which literary names out of these do you like? 🙂

Onomastics Outside the Box

Cosette on first-edition 1862 Les Misérables cover, by Émile Bayard

While all names necessarily have to be invented at some point, names created for literary characters are usually more recent creations than other names. Their staying power and popularity seems to hinge on how well they blend into the language of origin; i.e., do they sound like actual names, or do they only work in a fictional world?

This post only covers names invented for fictional characters, not names which already existed but only became popular after their use in literature.

Albena is the heroine of Bulgarian writer Yordan Yovkov’s 1930 play of the same name. It may be based on the word alben, a type of peony.

Amaryllis is a character in Virgil’s epic poem Eclogues. The name comes from the Greek word amarysso (to sparkle). The amaryllis flower is named from Virgil’s Amaryllis.

Aminta is a…

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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I can see that Phillip in the US feels outdated and “geriatric” indeed, but Polish Filip isn’t like this at all.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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