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.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Ask NOT "Who did stealeth the said cookie from yon cookie jar" BUT rather ask "Who did stealeth yon cookie jar and with it all the cookies therein?" OR "Who did breaketh this cookie jar that he might steal some cookies?"

I came across not one or two, but SEVERAL depositions from the mid 1700s in an attempt to find out whether or not a William Lockhart who had stolen some things from a Gentleman might be related to my Lockharts from Frederick County, Virginia.

I would urge you to consider that all of this, so far as I can tell, relates to the theft of a brass kettle, a jug of molasses, and some silver spoons. And the breaking of a sugar jar in order to steal the brass kettle.

My favorite line of the deposition so far:
one Night when this Deponent was at the said Ross's House on the South Branch of Potowmack the said William Ross & his Sons the said Lawrence Ross and Robert Ross came there and brought an Iron Pot with them with a Bit broke out of the Edge which this Deponent had seen in the said Cresaps lower Fort sometime before which Pot the said Ross told this Deponent he had brought for him to cook in while he stayed there, and that the said Ross told this Deponent it was his Pot. and further this Deponent saith

I just think it's funny that last part "and further this Deponent saith not". It sounds so grand and important and it's about who stole a kettle. 


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Names 218-224


Mehitabel - Hebrew, meaning "God rejoices". Often spelled Mehitable and also Mehetabel.

Nieves - Spanish, meaning "snows".

Osburga - a variant of Osburh




Salathiel - Greek variant of the Hebrew name Shealtiel. This name means "I asked El" (referring to the child being named as the thing asked for). El means God.

Thelonius - Behind the Name lists the meaning as "ruler of the people" suggesting it is the Latin form of Tielo, a German nickname for people with names like Dietrich.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Names -Y, Z, A, for Girls and B, C, D, E for Boys


Yentl - Yiddish, form of the French nickname Gentille, meaning "noble" or "aristocratic".

Zuleima - derived from the Semitic root 'slm' meaning 'peace'.

Acacia  - Greek, from 'akakia' which is derived from 'akis' meaning "thorn". The acacia tree is also known as the thorntree or whistling thorn. However there are other meanings associated with the acacia tree besides its etymology that makes it a good source for a name. The acacia is associated with the tree of life in Egyptian mythology. Its bark is used to make various types of incense used in rituals, such as those to ward off demons and evil spirits and to please the gods. Some consider the acacia tree to be the burning bush seen by Moses in the Bible and acacia was the wood to be used for a table in the tabernacle of the Hebrews and to make the ark of the covenant. Some believe the crown of thorns worn by Jesus at his crucifixion came from the acacia tree. The acacia tree provides a home for various animals, is used as timber in building or as firewood, and it is used to make paper, specifically the kind of paper on which Bibles and dictionaries are commonly printed and tissue paper because of its softness. The tree spreads fast and is difficult to eradicate - which can be either a positive or a negative. It is a positive as it helps protect against erosion but a negative only in the sense of competing with native plants in a region that it is not native to, which is not necessarily seen as a negative by everyone, but some in ecology do see it this way. The acacia is a miracle tree, in a way, for how many beneficial things it provides to us and other lifeforms. It has chemical compounds which protect it from pests and grazing animals, and the alkaloids in them have psychoactive effects in humans, and are therefore used to produce drugs for treating certain types of mental illness. The properties of these are "powerful immersive experiences; often described as a total loss of connection to external reality and an experience of encountering indescribable spiritual/alien beings and realms" though in smaller amounts they may produce lesser psychedelic experiences and hallucinations.


Bezaleal -Hebrew, meaning "in the shadow of God" where shadow means 'protection'. This is also spelled Bezalel and Betzalel.

Caelum there are two Latin words spelled like this, one meaning sky or heaven and the other meaning chisel. However, it may simply be an alternate spelling of the Scottish name Callum, which is a form of Columba, which is Latin in origin, and means "church dove".Caelum is the name of a constellation in the southern sky.

Normans who conquered England, about the time of Roger Deramis

Deramis - One of the funner names I've researched. I 'believe' I got this as the surname of Roger Deramis, mentioned in the Domesday Book. A little research turned up his name as de Ramis and his origin as one of the Normans who came to England with William the Conqueror from Northern France. Rheims is a city in northeastern France, and de Ramis could very well mean that Roger was 'from Rheims', as French surnames often work that way. Rheims is an old city. Before the Romans conquered Gaul there were many tribes who lived in various parts of the country and allied themselves with some and fought relentlessly with others. Rheims was settled by a people called the Remi. There is even a legend that the Remi were founded by Remus, one of the mythical founders of Rome. He was one of the sons of Rhea Silvia, whose name comes from the name of the goddess Rhea, an earth goddess. The meaning of her name is uncertain, but the Greek 'rheo' means "to flow" and "era" means "ground". Another way to look at the meaning of Deramis is that the city of Rheims for a long time was the place where French kings were crowned. The Remi who lived in this area were good horsemen, living in the part of France near Belgium, in the Ardennes forest and near the Meuse and Marne rivers.

Elam - Sumerian name for an ancient civilization in eastern Iran. Elamites called their country Haltamti. According to the Bible they are descended from Elam, son of Shem, Noah's eldest son. The Persian name for this place is Susa and the Old Persian name is Hujiya. Other names are Susiana, Huz, Xuz. There seems to be some connection between the name Susa and Susan.

210 New Names so far in 2,014, Plus 7 New ones today = 217 total new names, Subtracted from goal of 2,014 = 1,797 names left to learn this year!


Nancy Ann Story Book Doll #174  Flossie

Flossie - a nickname for Florence.

               Flossie came from Dublin Town
               With forty frills upon her gown,
                A hundred trunks of linen fine,
                If she'll have me, I'll make her mine.

Glynnis - Welsh, derived either from Glenys, meaning "clean" or "holy" or "fair" or from glyn, meaning "valley".

St. Hedwig's Cathedral, Berlin, Germany

Hedwig - German, from Hadwig and Haduwig which derive from the roots "hadu" meaning "battle" and "wig" meaning "fight".

Icie - according to one blogger this derives from the spelling Icesis (for the goddess Isis). I found a lapse in her logic, though, as she suggested that the use of this as a name made sense if there had been a great fascination with Egypt at the time this name was popular. There was a fascination with it (she showed it popular from the 1880s through the 1910s) but the thing is, Egypt only increased in popularity in the 1920s and 1930s and her explanation that it fell out of popularity due to the use of the phrase 'ice princess' does not really coincide with that time period. Use of ice princess nowadays may be common enough, but it was not back then. In addition, if Icie was being used in place of Isis or as a nickname for Isis (or Icesis) then those two names should have shared some level of popularity similar to the nickname's. However Isis did not even enter the U.S. Top 1000 names for girls until the mid-1990s.

I find it much more plausible that Icie is a nickname for Isabelle and Isadora, which were much more popular at the time.

I think it would even be more likely that all the Icies named at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century came from names other than Isis which WERE more commonly used at the time, such as Eunice or as a way to honor someone, such as Isaac or Isaiah.

Dicy is a name to consider, since it is so similar to Icie. Dicy was a nickname for Diana and other names and it seems possible that Icie could just be a variation of Dicy.

I came across a woman whose middle name was Ica and her nickname was Icie. Likely that c in Ica is pronounced with an s sound, which would make it a variant spelling of Isa, which IS a nickname for Isabelle.

Here is some evidence for Icie as a nickname for names other than Isis.

 Isadora Icie Ferguson (1877 - 1963)

Birth: Dec. 6, 1877
Roanoke County
Virginia, USA
Death: Feb. 2, 1963
Roanoke County
Virginia, USA

Isadora was the 3rd child of William Harrison Ferguson & Margaret Rachel Owens of Back Creek, Roanoke, Virginia. She was the oldest daughter of eleven children. She was called Icie all her life. Her father was a civil war veteran. Icie was a small woman with a waist of 18 inches. She had wavy brown hair, blue eyes & fair skin. She was an excellent seamstress & cook. 

Isadora Icy Harper, Born in Tennessee on 12 Jul 1856 and died 25 Nov 1947 in Dallas, Texas
Isadora "Icie" A Dull
Roma Isadora Icie Brown
Isadora Virginia Brown
Isabelle Icie or Isey Mullins
Isabelle Icie Geren

There WERE some people named Isis with Icie for a nickname:

Isis Icie Chenoweth

I had a hard time finding people named Isis (nicknamed Icie) that were born in the 19th or early 20th centuries. And I found an abundance of people born then named something OTHER than Isis that were nicknamed Icie.

Icy Basaak
And then there's just plain 'ice'. I found one woman who was named Icie whose mother's maiden name was Ice. In that instance, Icie is probably to honor the mother's maiden name. But finding Icie an appropriate name for her child was probably in relation to its usage at the time for other established girl names, like Isabelle.

I find it similar to my own name Dellitt. Dellitt is not just a variation of Della, but an unrelated surname. My grandmother was given this name in 1906, when the name Della WAS popular. Even though she was named for a relative with this surname, it is likely that her mother found Dellitt an acceptable first name for her daughter due to the popularity of Della at the time. 


Joah - Hebrew, from "Yahu" (or YHWH) meaning "Yahweh" or "God" and "ach" meaning "brother".

Kenji - Japanese, meaning "second-born son".

Lazarillo - Spanish, nickname for someone named Lázaro, which is the Spanish form of the Hebrew name Lazarus, which means "God will help". It can also come from the Italian or Greek name Lazaro meaning "resurrection". In Spanish a lazarillo was a little boy that served as a guide for a blind man. In Spanish this name is pronounced "lah sah ree yo", the r being rolled. A famous work of Spanish fiction is the picaresque novel "Lazarillo de Tormes", which recounts the life and adventures of a boy who worked as a lazarillo.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


More names toward our goal of 2,014 new names to learn this year.


Rumer - English, meaning "gypsy".


Saoirse -Irish, meaning "freedom" and pronounced "sair sha".

Tansy - according to this name comes from the Greek word athanasia, meaning "immortality", coming more directly  from the Latin form of this, tanacita. Tansy is the name of a flower.


Uda -a form of Oda, a Germanic name meaning "wealth" or "inheritance". Pronounced 'you da'.



Volney- German, meaning "spirit of the folk".   


Warrick - English, from Warwick, which derives from "weir" meaning "weir" or "dam" and "wic" meaning "dairy farm".


Xenophon - Greek, meaning "stranger's voice".

Monday, January 27, 2014

Names 190-196


Keely- Irish, from the surname O' Caollaidhe, referring to the male descendant of a person called "the slim one" or "skinny". There is also the form Keighley, which is both a place name and a surname in English. It means "the farm of Cyhha" which was an old personal name. I am not sure when this name came into usage as a first name, but there was a girl that I grew up with named Keely. The name fit her perfectly.

Lettice - a form of Leticia.

Mairwen - Welsh, from Mair, a form of the Hebrew name Mary and Gwen meaning "fair" or "white" or "blessed"



Careful, careful, with assumptions. Napoleon, the man, may have been Emperor of France, but his name comes from the Italian Napoleone meaning "Naples' lion"  (neo - new, polis - city, leone - lion....... napoleone)

Odón - a form of the name Odo, which is a form of Otto or Otho and derives from the German root meaning "possessor of wealth". Odón spelled like this is the Spanish version, pronounced "oh doan', with the emphasis on the second syllable. Spelled Ödön it is the Hungarian form of Edmond, which means 'wealthy protector'. Though I wonder if that might not also be seen as 'wealth protector' or 'protector of wealth', which to me is a different meaning entirely from 'wealthy protector'. There is a famous saint known in French as Saint Odón of Cluny who lived in the Middle Ages and is also known as Saint Odo of Cluny.

Paris - Greek, meaning "backpack". Now, I did not see THAT one coming. It is related to the myth of Paris, where he is brought home in a backpack after surviving for 9 days on Mount Ida as a newborn (he was prophesied to be the person who would bring about the ruin of his household, so he was to be killed, but no one could bring themselves to kill him and the man sent to do it left him exposed on the mountain. BUT a female bear came and gave him milk and kept him alive. When the man came back and found the baby still alive, he took him home, carrying him in his backpack.)

If you are using Paris as a name to honor the city of Paris, France, the etymology is different. The people of that area were called the Parisii by the Romans and the city of Paris was actually called Lutetia Parisiorum, which means "Lutetia of the Parisii". In the middle of the 4th century AD (about 360 AD) it became known as Paris. Humans are known to have had a settlement there since at least 9000 B.C. As for the meaning, it might come from the Celtic word 'par' which means "boat" (consider the Greek "baris" and that the word barge refers to a type of boat). The coat of arms of the city of Paris features a boat.

Quinlan- Irish, meaning "strong" or "well-formed" or "athletic".

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sunday's Names for 2,014 7 on the 7th day, perfect!


Dulcinea - the perfect name to describe the ideal woman who does not exist. In Don Quixote there is a country girl that Don Quixote builds up in his mind as his true love. He refers to her as Dulcinea del Toboso. Of course, no one will answer to that name, the girl's actual name is something else. In addition, he uses such flowery language to describe her that no one would mistake the actual girl for the one he describes. Dulce means sweet in Spanish and is sometimes used as a given name. Dulcinea is about the prettiest way of saying sweet in Spanish I can think of. IF the Dulcinea that Don Quixote did exist she would be exquisite in every way - in her virtues as well as beauty and wealth and power.

Earlette - feminine variant of the Old English 'earl', a rank or title of nobility for a chieftain who ruled over a territory for a king.

Falba -I have not been able to nail down an origin or meaning for this name. I have found it as a surname and as a first name, sometimes with Falby either as another spelling or perhaps as a nickname. As a given name it is used for women. As a surname I have found it with Polish and Irish roots, but it may be that Falba exists as a name in more than one language and has more than one meaning or etymology.

Galadriel - a name invented by the writer J.R.R. Tolkien for a female elf character in the Lord of the Rings trilogy of books. It is considered a Sindarin name to mean "maiden crowned with gleaming hair".


Hermenegildo- Spanish form of the Gothic name Ermen Gild meaning "immense tribute". In Spanish this is pronounced 'air men eh hill doe'. The English form is Hermengild or Ermengild. Hermenegildo was the son of Leovigild, king of Visigothic Spain. His father was an Arian Christian and Hermenegildo converted to Roman Catholicism, and was later made a saint. His mother was Theodosia and his brother was Reccared and he married Ingunthis, daughter of King Sigebert I of Austrasia. Ingunthis was Catholic. Hermenegildo's step-mother was Goiswintha. In the end his father had him beheaded for refusing to convert back to Arian Christianity. Saint Hermengildo (San Hermenegildo) is the patron saint of the Spanish Armed forces and the Real y Militar Orden de San Hermenegildo (Royal and Military Order of Saint Hermengild) is a military honor for bravery and a legion.

Here is Saint Hermengild's family tree in Spanish. His mother is here listed as Rinquilde. His son is Atanagildo and his mother in law is Brunequilda. Brunequilda is the daughter of his step-mother Godsuinta, who was instrumental in his prolonged imprisonment that finally led to his death. Folks, careful who you choose for in-laws.

Issachar - Hebrew. It may derive from "ish sakar" meaning "man of hire". The other possibility is that it comes from "yesh sakar" meaning "there is a reward". One of the Tribes of Israel tracing their ancestry to Issachar, son of Jacob.

Jan - a variant of the name John, pronounced "yahn", in several European languages. It can also be used as an Arabic name or title meaning "beloved one" or "dear", tracing its origin to Persian and meaning "life".

Names 176-182


Willowdeana - a variation of Willowdean or Willowdene. I've found this as a place name and also as a given name combo. My theory is that it is a variant spelling of Willadina (or Willadine in the case of Willowdean and Willowdene). Willadine or Willadina would be forms of Willamina/Willamine, which comes from Wilhelmina and Wilhelmine. Wilhelmina is a feminine form of the German name Wilhelm which is itself a variant of the English Gwilliam. Willadeana would be possible as "willa" could be a short form of the name Wilhelm (also written as Willahelm), which comes from 'wil' meaning 'will' or 'desire', and 'helm' meaning 'helmet' or 'protection'.  If it is composed from willow and dean or deana, as a place name first and a personal name thereafter, willow comes from the Old English 'welig' for the name of the tree and Deana could come from the term used for a monk in charge of a group of monks, usually 10, this meaning of a Latin origin.

 Another blogger, Spastic Onomastic, has already tried to figure this name out, and seems to have come across a lot of the same information online that I have. Which has resolved nothing, so far as I can tell. Her research does not go back before the 19th century when the name use could easily have come from a name popularized in literature, music, art, or plays or just be popular due to that type of name being popular. I also came across at least one person who pronounced the last part of the name as 'dee ann uh'. That pronunciation seems unlikely to me given the various spellings of the name, and the use of Willowdene - which would exclude that pronunciation entirely.

Xaviera - feminine version of Xavier. In Spanish Xaviera is pronounced 'hah vee air uh'. It could also be spelled Javiera.
the Immortal Anna Pavlova, the definition of graceful

Yamileth -Arabic, from Jamila, the feminine form of Jamil, meaning "beautiful" or "graceful" or "handsome". In Spanish this is sometimes written Yamilet.


Zaccheus- from the Greek Zakkhaios which comes from the Hebrew "zakkay" meaning "pure" or "innocent" which comes from "zakhah" which means "was clean" or "was pure".

Ardghal - Irish, from "ard" meaning "high" and "gal" meaning "valor". Pronounced 'AR dahl'.

Beauregard - French meaning "beautiful outlook" and pronounced "BO reh gard".

Cadwallader - Welsh, from "cad" meaning "battle" and "gwaladr" meaning "leader". Dwalad seems to be a nickname for this in Welsh. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Names for Today: P, Q, R, S, T, U, V


Phylida - pronounced 'fill ih duh'. From Phyllidos, the genetive form of Phyllis, which is ancient Greek and means 'foliage'.

Queen Esther - 



This is not to explain the etymology or origin of the name Esther used for the Biblical queen (one of the most fascinating names etymologically or historically speaking, I think, and so I think it requires its own separate entry). Rather, this is the use of both Queen and Esther as part of the name.

The first person I found in my research was a woman who is still living and a famous jazz musician. I'm not sure if she was born Esther and being called Queen Esther is related to her virtuosity with music. I do think it's pretty neat, if you're going to become a musician, to reach a status or level of performance or maybe just longevity that rates you a high-sounding nickname like Queen.

The second and for me most fascinating story involved a woman named Queen Esther who lived in Pennsylvania in the 18th century around the time of the American Revolution. Her given name did not contain 'queen'. She was born Esther Montour. She married a chief, though, and had her own town called Queen Esther's Town where she lived in a castle or palace, as people claimed who visited her there. How should I attack each facet of her story that is so compelling? Her history suggests that she was descended from Madame Montour (whose name may have been Isabelle or Elizabeth -- Isabelle is just the French form of Elizabeth). Mdme Montour became an important interpreter at tribal councils and when treaties were proposed. Several of her children followed a similar life path - marrying a Native American  and becoming important in the politics of their clan or tribe, often serving as interpreters. Mdme Mountour was actually born in the late part of the 17th century, so jumping forward we come to Esther Montour. Esther was considered friendly somewhat to white people who met her. However their opinion of her changed after she massacred several American soldiers. The Americans had been responsible for the death of someone important to her, either a family or tribe member, and the massacre is seen as her revenge for this death.

Racabinah - I have yet to encounter a definite origin for this name. Possibilities include the name of a region of Africa (I came across Reccabena in an 18th century text, NOT in English so I'm not certain if Reccabena is the French or Italian name of a place in Africa or an African name), a name related to Rechab in the Bible  --- this one seems the most likely to me. There are the forms Rekah and Rekabi used for names of descendants of Rechab. Rechabina, then, might be some Latin form of the name for a female. If so, its meaning is "square" or "a chariot led by 4 horses" or "rider" or "bands of riders".
As a fan of the Lord of the Rings books and especially the Riders of Rohan, I love this idea. Tolkien was an expert with linguistics (well, a professor in fact) and it would make sense that the name he chose for his plains people, the people who were excellent horsemen (and women) would sound similar to the name of an ancient people associated with this or named for this  (Rechabites were supposed to be descendants of Rechab).

Check out these places in the Bible to learn more about this (I haven't yet, but will eventually):

Svetlana - Slavic, from the word 'svet' meaning "light" or "shining" or "luminescent" or "pure" or "blessed" or "holy".  Светлана is how the name is written in Russian. Prettier even in Cyrillic, isn't it? Could we do a C version of the name in English? Cvetlana? No, then you would want to say 'kuh vet lana' instead of 'suh vet lah na'  (well, no 'uh' in between the c  and v or s and v). Cevetlana doesn't improve things. But maybe Civetlana? Or Zvetlana? The c doesn't work but the Z just might.


Tacitus - Latin, meaning "silent".

If you love History or Geography or Culture or Language or Religion then you might love the idea of naming your son Tacitus. Or anyhow, of the ancient Roman writers there are that you could name your son after, I think this is one of the best choices, as far as having an awesome name and awesome writings. And just think, Tact would make a great nickname!

Here are a few of his insights:

“They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger… they are driven by greed, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor… They ravage, they slaughter, they seize by false pretenses, and all of this they hail as the construction of empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace.” 
“Greater things are believed of those who are absent.”

Usher- English, from the Anglo-Norman French "usser" (I also found the French form 'huissier') which comes from the Latin "ustiarius" which in turn is derived from 'ostiarius' which comes from "ostium" meaning "door" (also found the forms 'uscio' and 'huis'). It was the name for a doorkeeper in a court of justice or in a palace. It's modern meaning, though, refers to the person who guides a person to their seat at formal social events like weddings or banquets or at large public events, such as a play in a theater.

I also came across the Gaelic 'uis' and pronounced 'uish', which meant "utility" or "service" or "a courteous reception". 

 Usher is the name of a popular music artist in the United States - and this shows my age. I know that, I can recognize him, but I could not tell you anything about his music. I think more of the story The Fall of the House of Usher which is such a dark story, I can't imagine naming a child Usher. However, it's also a gothic tale and quite a good one. It's not an unappealing name as far as anything about the name itself, except that ushers, in the workplace, are not high on the totem pole.

Vanja - nickname for Ivan, the Slavic variant of the Greek name "Ioannes" which comes from the Hebrew name "Yohanan" meaning "Yahweh is gracious".

Thursday, January 23, 2014

More New Names!

Iolanthe - Greek, meaning "violet flower".

Jessamy - Persian, a form of the names Jasmine and Jessamine, which derive from the Persian Yasmin, meaning "jasmine" - a flower known for its fragrance. Jessamy seems to be the Hebrew version of Jasmine/Yasmin.

Kerensa - Cornish, meaning "love".


Lazio - Hungarian, form of Lazly. What I was able to find out about this possibility is that there was a St. Ladislaus in Hungary, a king who was later canonized as a saint. A chronicle of his life and kingship was called Gesta Ladislai (written in Latin). I also came across a reference to a church named in his honor being referred to as St. Lazle. Lazlo is the Hungarian form and Ladislaus is the Croatian form of the name. The Slovak form is Ladislav. Ladislav is a Slavic name, a variant of Vladislav, meaning "one who commands glory" or "glorious". It is possible also to connect Ladislaus with the ancient goddess Lada (or Lado) - goddess of youth and beauty and harmony and joy. I love this irony. This goddess Lada (or Lado) supposed to have been worshipped before the arrival of Christianity is considered by some not to have existed. But not in the 'atheist' concept of 'not existing', as in, there was no supernatural being like this, but rather that she never existed as a being in the social customs and beliefs of an ancient people. However, she IS celebrated in modern customs by modern pagans (I think of them as neo-pagans). Though I have no idea whether or not they believe they are worshipping an actual being or essence or if they see their rites as related to something else, but not supernatural. Who knew that the history of the name Lazio could be so interesting? And here's more:
It can also be a nickname for someone named Alazio, which is Germanic. In a book on the Augustine Order I found the Order of St. Alazio founded in 1309. I suppose that this is an Augustinian Order.  I haven't found out anything else, or even proof of this claim, except that it makes sense that you could use Lazio as a nickname for Alazio. Just a guess, but perhaps it is a form of the name Alois or Aloysius?

It could also be used to describe someone from Lazio - a province of Italy. The Italian Lazio comes from the Latin "Latium". The name of the Latin people, the Latini, came from King Latinus, or perhaps as the name of the place where the god Jupiter "lay hidden" from his father Saturn, who wished to kill him. It probably is related to the word Latin word "latus" which means "wide" or flat land, such as was found in the Roman countryside.

Manasseh - Hebrew, meaning "causing to forget".

Nero - Sabine (?), meaning "strong" or "vigorous".

Olegario -Spanish, could come from the Germanic name Aldegar, which is derived from "alda' meaning "old" and "gar" meaning "spear". I have to wonder why Olegario is NOT related to the name Oleg - that was my first instinct. Oleg is Russian and comes from the Scandinavian name Helge, which is a form of Helgi which comes from 'heilagr' meaning "holy" or "blessed". Another possibility I came across is that it is related to the names Olaguer and Oleguer which are its forms in Catalan, a language spoken in the northeastern part of Spain. The theory on this is that they come from a Germanic name and mean "he who dominates with his strength and his lance".

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Annie Bangs

Among the common folk of Southern Utah there is a legend of a woman named Annie Bangs. The legend says that she traveled to the state with her family in a covered wagon, but the wagon hit a rock or bump in the road and the child fell out of the wagon. By the time her absence was noticed the family had traveled too far and could not find young Annie. However, a coyote found Annie and raised her as a sort of ‘wolf-child’. Annie therefore was a very wild woman, ferocious when she attacked and with a terrifying appearance, living like an animal as she did. And so, when you hear the howl of a coyote in the Southern Utah desert, it may be a coyote you hear, or it may be Annie Bangs, looking for her meal. She possesses a supernatural ability, in a way, since she continues to haunt the desert with her howls and her form, even though she is said to have lived more than a hundred years ago. Annie is timeless and not bound by death or any human morals. She is survival, rage, and terror.

7 New Names for 2014


Blodwen - Welsh, from "blodau" meaning "flowers" and "gwen" meaning "white" or "fair" or "blessed".

Ceridwen - Welsh, might mean "crooked woman" as the root cyrrid or cwr may mean "crooked" or "bent" and ben or ven may mean "woman". The wen portion of the name might be related in some way to the use of wen at the end of a saint's name or it might be from 'gwen' meaning "fair". Ceridwen is a curious sorceress in Welsh myth.

Desdemona - the name of an Italian woman in one of Shakespeare's tragedies - she is murdered by her husband who believes she has been unfaithful to him. Though she denies the allegation her husband refuses to believe her because he is heavily influenced by Iago, who constructs the lie. Desdemona is the ultimate tragic heroine, the female completely innocent of wrongdoing who suffers a violent death as the result of the entrapments of love (very similar to Ophelia in this respect, though Ophelia's death is not purposeful and Desdemona's is very brutal as her husband beats her to death. It comes from Greek and means "ill-fated" or "unfortunate". At Shakespeare's time belief in the role of the stars in a person's life and fortune was common among the educated and not viewed with disdain as it is today. The play I did my Master's thesis on was La Estrella de Sevilla - "The Star of Seville" whose main character is named Estrella and so there is a double reference to the character and the star that rules her fate, as well as the other layers of meaning in the play I won't go into. I'm not sure if the Greek roots of the name Desdemona relate to the term we have in English "cursed" since being "cursed" suggests an act that takes place to cause only misfortune to rule one's life. However in my experience people often say "I'm cursed" without the idea that somewhere sometime someone cursed them, but rather, for those who do believe in it (versus those who use the term purely figuratively) the meaning is more that 'something' rules their life such that they always 'get the short end of the stick' so to speak.

Eurydice - Greek, this name is closer to its original form spelled Eurydike (and pronounced 'yur uh dy kee', however, it is also correct to spell it Eurydice and pronounce it 'ur uh dice ee'). In Italian it is "yur oh dee chay". I also love the Spanish pronunciation of "ay oo ree dee say". One of my favorite love stories - Orpheus goes to the Underworld to rescue his love Eurydice. He is a great musician and his music convinces the gods of the Underworld to release her to him and return to life. However because at the last moment Orpheus looks back she is lost to him and they are not reunited again until his death (one of the worst in mythology - ripped apart by the 'mad' female worshippers of Dionysius - known as Bacchus in Roman mythology). The story of Orpheus and Eurydice remind me of Lot and his wife fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah. They are told not to look back at the cities or they will perish and Lot's wife turns to look at the awful destruction she hears behind her and is turned to a pillar of salt. I also think of Jezebel who is ripped apart at her death (she participated in the worship of idols that required human sacrifice and is in general represented as a cruel and brutal woman in the Bible). There is also a part of the Bible where the prophet Elisha is pursued by children mocking him and he curses them and they are ripped apart by wild dogs. But Orpheus is one of the great images of ancient Greek culture and together with Eurydice one of the great tragic romances.


Fergus - English form of the Celtic name Fearghas, from "fear" meaning "man" and "gus" meaning "choice" or "vigor" or "strength". A famous Irish legendary hero was named Fergus, supposed to have been from the north of Ireland.

Gawain - I thought this name would be simple and easy to explain as Welsh and the older form of Gavin, meaning "white hawk".  Gavin is the later form of the Welsh name Gwalchgwn which means 'white hawk'. Beyond that is more complicated. Gawain is the English form of the name of one of the knights of the Round Table (and one of my personal favorites, after Lancelot). The Welsh 'gwalch' does mean hawk and the name of the mythological Welsh hero Gwalchmei is thought to mean 'hawk of May'  - May coming from the name of the month of May. There are other explanations for the origin of the name though. There is the the Common Brittonic name "Ualcos Magesos" meaning "hawk of the plain", the Brythonic "Wolcos Magesos" meaning "wolf of the plain" or "errant warrior of the plain", "Gwalt Avwyn" meaning "hair like reigns" or "bright hair", the Dutch "Walewein". There are variants of Gawain such as the Latin Walwen, Gualguanus, Walganus, and Waluanus or the French Gauvain. Gawain, though, remains my favorite.

Hiawatha - This name turned out to be a bit more complicated in origin than I expected. I knew it was the name of a Native American hero in a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (The Song of Hiawatha) - a 19th century American. Apparently Longfellow used the name Hiawatha which was an Ojibwe name meaning "he who makes rivers" or "maker of rivers". There is some connection to a man various north-eastern tribes spoke of as a great leader, with the Iroquoian name "Hayowentha" or something along those lines, meaning "he who combs" according to some websites I visited. However, the important thing about the man of legend (haven't read the poem so I can't really comment on that) seems to be his wisdom and the way he modeled how to live or be. He was powerful in a magical sense as well, defeating serpents, riding in a 'magical' canoe. Though wouldn't the story tellers of 5 hundred years ago think that we ride in magical canoes as well? That our anti-venoms are magical potions? Doesn't an i-phone glow in the dark, emit sounds of all kinds, even carry the voices of the dead or pictures of people who have not yet lived (ultrasounds). I am beginning to doubt less and less the things that may have existed in the world I never saw. Someone who can figure out how to get a camel or a mule to move is pretty smart, actually, if you ask me. The wheel or fire seem simple by comparison. So who knows what things people once had or knew or did or hoped? Since we have obliterated so much of their world long ago, it is hard to say.