In 2014 I featured a series of blog posts introducing you to 2,014 names. For the most part they were names that were brand new to me as well. Some names may be more familiar but I found the meaning or origin or some other aspect of the name made it worthy of inclusion here. You may love some of the names, you may hate some, but hopefully you enjoy learning about all of them.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Names 127-133 of our 2,014 goal this year


Wretha - I have 4 theories on the origin of this name.

1- it is a nickname for Margaretha. I found that Retha spelled like this is a nickname for Margaretha and it is possible that Wretha is just a creative spelling because of the similarity in sound to the word wreath.

2- its origin is tied to the English word wreath, which meant 'band' and of course, a wreath is associated with various rites of passage and a symbol of honor, respect, and reverence, as well as beauty.

3- it is related to the Cornish word for 'to do', wreth.

4 - it comes from the Greek name Aretha, meaning 'virtue' (the old form would have been 'arete'. An 'arete' in Spanish is an earring - again the symbolism of a decorative band or circle).

Xandrine -French feminine short form of Alexander, a Greek name meaning "defender of men".

Yomara - alternate spelling of the name Xiomara, which is a form of the name Guiomar, which has an older form, Wigmar, which would come from the Germanic root 'wig' meaning 'battle' or 'fight' and 'mar' meaning 'famous'. I knew a Yomara and she was a darling.

Zipporah -Hebrew, meaning "female bird".

This is the name of Moses' first wife, the one he marries when he is sent in to exile after killing an Egyptian guard who was beating a Hebrew slave. I think this must be one of the most beautiful names ever, in sound and form. It seems a romantic story for her, to have this Egyptian prince come out of the desert and live with you. He was obviously into climbing mountains (so that part of Moses I like) and I imagine Zipporah taking her goats or sheep through the mountains and Moses going with her. Imagine how vast the world must have seemed and how magical. I like to imagine the fabric of her clothes, it seems they would have been woven at home or by people nearby, but maybe sometimes there were travelers and a special fabric was bought, dyed a rich scarlet or deep blue. Maybe she wore a heavy gold ring, so well made we would still find it a fine ring today.


Adlai - Aramaic, meaning "refuge of God". There was an old man named this in the town where I grew up (I want to say his name was Adlai Peterson). Anyway, I remember loving this name from the get-go. It's been a very long time since he was alive so I can't even picture the man, but he must have been very nice for me to like the name so well. I will have to feature more names of the old people from my town, even if they are somewhat more well known, just so I can tell you about the people! I think Adlai lived to the east side of town. By the way, Downton Abbey and Agatha Christie novels are great, but not nearly as neat as talking to someone who was young then. Even if they just lived on a farm and went to school and church and the store. They did everything different and there are always so many things to learn about what has been and is no more. As I said, he lived on the east side of town, near the river and the highway and the road to Salina, the grocery store and the gas station and the ball park.
2 pronunciations for this name - 'add lay' and 'ad lye'
By the way, I think it would be a very stylish choice for a boy nowadays.

Update: Talked to my dad and he recalled that Adlai always had candy in his coat pocket at church and would give us some as kids. No wonder I remember him as nice!! Now you know, if you want to be remembered when you're gone, candy is a good way to go.

Quasimodo on the Cathedral of Notre Dame -  one of my favorite tales of refuge and where gods and demons dwell

Bushrod -Germanic, meaning 'young shrub'. I was curious about this name as my 5th great-grandfather on my mother's paternal line (her father's father's father's father's mother's father) has this as a middle name and I had never heard it before. Only recently have I noticed several people with this name when doing genealogy (not necessarily related to me). Unusual names are like that. You think you've never heard or seen a name before, then once you notice it, you start seeing it a lot more. It was always there, you just didn't notice it before.

Collier - English, meaning "coal seller" and pronounced 'call yer' or "kohl yer". Another stylish choice for nowadays. In fact, many of the names on this page are.

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