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.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Birthday Eve

Celebrating the last day I'm 40 with a few more names than usual.


Airel - I'm familiar with this as a Spanish name, pronounced 'eye rell'. However, so far I have found that Airel is the name of an area in northern France. d'Airel was the name of a Norman family (this gives us the male name Darrel) from this place in France.

It also seems possible that it is a variation of the Hebrew name Ariel, as the sound is similar in Spanish. Ariel is pronounced 'ah ree EL'.

Tefnut was an Egyptian goddess, often depicted with the head of a lioness. She was the goddess of water and fertility.
I also found that airel is a Scottish term for a flute, but a very old term, possibly a corruption of 'air hole'.


Bhoomi - Sanskrit, meaning "the land" or "the earth".

Charlize Theron was named for her father Charles. She is South African.
Charlize - Afrikaaner feminine form of the Germanic name Charles, meaning "free man". 

a woman of the French Resistance
Dickens' character has Dorrit for a last name,
Dorrit- Nickname for Dorothy or similar names. Dorothy comes from Greek and means "gift of God".

an Irish lass collecting peat with her dog
Enda - Irish. Now that I have researched the name a bit, I don't recall if I did encounter this as a girl name. I may have assumed it was a girl name as it ended in a. In which case I was wrong (but I don't know, it 'may' have been used for a girl). Enda is the name of the son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. It is also, therefore, part of a tribe name, Ui Enda, from County Limerick.

Florisela -Spanish, feminine form of the name Florisel. Don Florisel de Niquea is a book set in the age of chivalry and Don Florisel a brave and illustrious knight. Florisel derives, I believe, from the Latin Flor. Flor means 'flower'.
Spanish girls selling flowers

Grannis- possibly Norman or Flemish.

Hannabelle - It seems this may have a couple of possible origins. It may be a way to use the boy name Hannibal for a girl. Hannibal is Phoenician. Or, more likely it would seem, it is a smoosh of the name Hannah and the French name Belle. Hannah means grace and Belle means beautiful. Hannibal comes from the Phoenicia 'hann' meaning 'grace' or 'favor' and Baal, the Phoenician god. Baal means 'lord'.

Inesila - Portuguese variant of the Spanish name Ines, which is derived from the Greek name Agnes, meaning "pure".
a sweet, innocent child

Jneil - no definite etymology as yet. I've found it as both a woman's name and a man's name. One woman was of Scandinavian descent (mainly Danish and Swedish, it seems). I don't know if it is pronounced like the name Janelle, or is a variant on that with the 'eel' sound rather than the 'ell' at the end. I've seen the name Jenille, so I think either is possible. It could be that it is pronounced 'jay neel', and I have seen it written as J'Neil. These could represent separate origins, such as the smoosh of the parents' names, Jane and Neil or Jan and Neil or Jay and Neil, or it might be a feminine variant of a male name (perhaps an invented one or a variant someone came up with on their own. I can picture it as honoring someone named John or Jon, for instance, or Donnell, replacing the d with a j.) If the j is said 'ya', as seems possible, I think the origin is still inevitably some form of John, in which case the 'eil' part, I suppose, is to make it feminine, or indicate youth or familiarity. It could be a very simplified spelling of a smoosh of Jo and Neil, in which case Jo eventually derives from the Hebrew Joseph or some variant or feminine version, such as Josephine. A lot of possibilities but nothing concrete so far. There is a town near here named Genola and so I suppose there are more options if you consider that people just spelled names sometimes how they heard them, and due to differences in accents or native languages or dialects, some sounds are too soft for some people to notice. The j sound sometimes is a simplification of the z or 'zh' etc sounds in other languages, in which case it might be said more like 'zha neil'. IF this is a form of the 'sh' or 'ch' sound then there are NEW options. Sh would perhaps tie it the name Shawn, which is the Celtic form of John but it could tie it to Susan, which comes from the name of ancient Susa in today's country of Iran. At least once in the Bible that place is written as Shushan. THIS makes me think of Chinese. Due to wars and famines and plagues and natural disasters, just like today, people moved quite a distance. So that people in Susa, over the millennia might wind up much farther west or north in Asia. If that people eventually is pushed, by other nations or tribes yet again, they can wind up sacking Rome and putting their feet up on the settee of a home in the French countryside. Which brings me to another possible pronunciation in which the l sound is left off entirely, so that it sounds more like 'zha nay' or 'zha nee ah' or 'zha nee'. Of course now I feel silly considering every possible origin or pronunciation or spelling change, as I think of people I've known named Shawnee, which is North American and would seem (at least), to be WHOLLY unrelated.

Expectant parents, who might smoosh their names to come up with Jneil for their child.

Which brings me back to my original theory. That it is a creative spelling of Janelle or an entirely invented name or a smoosh of two names. Such a small name and yet, I can't leave it be. Like the pea under the mattresses that kept the princess from sleeping well, it interrupts my attempts to consider something else.

a school in Quierzy, France
eta: of course, I have another theory (there's always one more). The name could be J.Neil. As one name. Either honoring someone who went by their middle name or just for the heck of it. J.Neil would seem more feminine than Neil (I have yet to hear of a girl named Neil. Nell, but not Neil).

Oh, that just opens up a whole new can of worms. Which I may manage to keep a lid on for now.

Kiersey -English, from the name of the town Quierzy in Aisne commune, Picardy, France (northeastern France, near Belgium). This is quite an old town. It was very early on, during Roman times, called Cariciacum (or Carisiacum or Karisiacum) or Charisagum. Other early names of the town were Charilitae, Cherisy, Chirisiacus, Kiriacus, and Karisy, along with other spellings, like Kerzy and Kierzy. The medieval chateau has been retained only in the structure of a square tower. It is often used as a surname, which would have indicated once that the family was from this place in France. The town sits on the river Oise and this is also part of the name of the town (Quierzy-sur-Oise). It is a small town but during the Middle Ages kings and popes came to the chateau here to decide or declare an opinion (well, law) on some quite monumental topics, like the predestination of the soul and the hereditary nature of aristocratic titles.

Lodusky -Cherokee

Norma Smallwood, Miss America 1926, Cherokee

Magletine - the most I could find on this is a variant, Magletina. I did find that 'maglia' in Italian, refers to knitting.


Nad -

Onezime - French, derived from the Latin name Onesimus, which comes from the Greek name Onesimos, meaning "beneficial" or "useful" or "profitable". This was the name of my great-great-grandfather, who was French Canadian. It is pronounced 'awn ehz ih mee'. 

You will notice that the biography I have provided, from the book Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, published in 1913, says he was an apiarist. His daughter Harriet, my great-grandmother, was as well, and this is one of the things that family remembers well about her. My uncle Charles also kept bees. I suppose he liked that fresh and delicious honeycomb he got at his grandmother's!

You can see that my great-great-grandfather lived up to his name. Keeping bees is such a beneficial thing (not that I would do it. Terrified of flying, stinging things).

Lincoln Center has benefited from this man's patronage
Patrocinio - Spanish, meaning "patronage". Pronounced "pah troh SEE nee oh".

Rogelio - Spanish, from the Latin name Rogelius. Rogar in Spanish means 'to plead' or 'beg'. Rogelio is pronounced 'row HELL ee oh'.
St. Martin of Tours gives half his cloak to a man in need
ancient Hebrew judge Samuel

Shaphat - Hebrew, from Shephatiah, meaning "Jehovah has judged". Some people list the meaning of this name as "he has judged" or "judge". One website I found had the meaning as "one who pronounces sentence".

Tavian -perhaps from the family name of the Roman emperor Octavian, which was Octavius, and meaning 'eighth'. 
Roman emperor Octavian

Zebadiah - Hebrew, meaning "Yahweh has bestowed".

No comments:

Post a Comment