Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014

I've decided to introduce you, over the next year, to 2,014 names you might not know. Here are 14 to start.

Girl Names

Aase  -  Norwegian, pronounced 'oh sah'   -- it's the only time the long o sound looks like an a in my mind!
Meaning - 'god'

Berengaria was also called Berenguela
Berengaria - Spanish - name of a medieval queen. Looking for someone more admirable than Eleanor of Aquitaine? Someone who sounds like she came from a fairy tale, or lived one? Replete with all the scheming of a Shakespearean drama? Read about Berengaria. Her son, Fernando III, el Santo, reconquered some important parts of Spain from the Moors and he would never have become king if not for her. And probably not such a successful one. Her name is long and a bit unwieldy, even in Spanish, if you ask me. But 'she' was definitely cool. It seems to be a feminine form of Berengar - a Germanic name coming from roots that mean "bear" and "spear".

Callirhoe - Greek,  meaning "beautifully flowing", it was the name of a naiad (my favorite kind of nymph!), a daughter of the river god Achelous. There is a hot springs with curative powers near the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, also associated with Callirhoe. Pronunciation is 'kah lear oh ee". Callirhoe is also the name of an ancient Greek novel, the oldest novel there is a copy of still in existence. And it sounds like the ultimate adventure/romance novel. I think it is next on my list of books to read! Callirhoe also is the name of a species of plant, with pretty delicate flowers. I think of how they blow in the wind and that this beautiful, fluid motion must have inspired the scientific designation, given the ancient meaning and associations of the name.

Dellitt - for anyone new to my blog -  usually a surname, my grandmother and I have both had it as first names. My theory on its origin is that it relates to being from the city Delle in Alsace, France. I'll let you know when I can prove it more, but here's my argument so far. I know my Dellitt ancestors came here from France. I know that Germans would add certain endings to a surname to indicate if a woman was married to or the daughter of someone (Wingerter could become Wingerterton  - showing that it was a woman or the unmarried daughter of a man with the last name of Dellitt). I know that the origin of Dulles and Dallas as surnames relates to the name Delles which means someone from the city Delle in France - happens to be in Alsace. A partially German-speaking part of France that has at times, NOT been part of France.

Pronunciation - 'dell it'   short e, short i, like Dell computers and the word it. It's not complicated but it's more rare for someone to know to say that instead of something else. So I guess it is complicated.

Eponine - French. If you have read Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, or seen the play or one of the many movie versions, then you already know the name. Eponine is my favorite character in this story. It comes from the old language of Gaul (which is where France is now) and the name in that language was Epponina. Epona was a Celtic horse goddess. I have heard Eponine pronounced 'ep oh neen', but correct me if I'm wrong on that!

Fallon - Celtic, meaning 'descendant of Fallamhan' which comes from 'follamhnus' which seems to mean 'leader'.

Gwenllian - Welsh, pronunciation, 'gwen hthlee un' (yes, complicated pronunciation is why many Welsh names are not popular here nowadays). Also the name of several medieval princesses. One such princess, after her father was killed and the English king assumed control, was imprisoned in a convent far from Wales (England, I think) where she lived the rest of her life, til age 52, never knowing she was a princess, heir to the throne in her home country. (she was taken to the convent when she was just 2 years old).

Boys

Hamish - a Scottish name that is anglicized from the name Sheumais which is a version of the Scottish name Seumas which comes from the English and Hebrew James which originates from the Hebrew name Jacob which means "supplanter" or "holder of the heel" or possibly "Yahweh may protect"  (Yahweh is the name written for the Hebrew god). I discovered that I've been pronouncing this name wrong! Its correct pronunciation is 'hay mish', which makes perfect sense since it is a form of James.

Iago - Spanish - form of the name James and Jacob. Pronounced 'ee ah go'. Famous villain in Shakespeare's Othello.

Janos- Hungarian form of John, which means "gift". Pronounced 'yah nosh'. I have also seen Janosh - pronounced 'jah nosh'. I suppose it's a form of Janos but I'm not sure where the different pronunciation comes from. Seems the spelling is to just make it easy on folks, as Janos' pronunciation is not easy to guess.


Kal'el- name given to Superman by his parents on Krypton. Not sure where the creators of Superman got the idea for the name, but 'el' in Hebrew means 'god' and 'ka' in ancient Egypt referred to one's soul. So perhaps it could be translated as meaning 'soul of god' or 'the soul is god' or even 'god is the soul'.

Lycurgus - Latin form of the Greek name Lykourgos which means "deed of a wolf"  - from 'lycou' 'of a wolf' and 'ergon' 'deed or work'. He was a mythological king who the gods drove mad due to his impiety. I think it's an odd name, with a really awesome meaning. I want to figure out a way to make this name cool. ....

Manfred-Germanic meaning "man of peace" or "strong peace" or "much peace".

Nicanor- Greek, comes from the word 'nike' which means 'victory' - Nike was the goddess of victory.

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