The other day a friend was telling me about the fabulous name a family member had chosen for her new daughter.
It is a fabulous name, no doubt. But the “research” the new parents had done had yielded some information that was … wrong.
Wrong enough that I went home, puzzled, and started Googling. Could it be that I was the clueless one? I may be name obsessed, but I’m still human.
Nope. My gut reaction – that the name did not mean what they think it means – was right. Whatever research they did was a mix of wishful thinking and information gleaned from the many less-than-accurate name meaning resources floating around out there.
The very wise Sara of the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources has pointed out that it’s not always clear that names have meaning, at least not as we understand the concept, and not in every language, culture, and historical era.
But we want them to having meanings, and nice, lovely meanings that we can easily incorporate into a tasteful piece of nursery decor. So we’re all forgiven for believing things like this:
It just doesn’t make them true.
But the baby is already here and named, and the friend wasn’t asking for a professional opinion. She was waiting for me to say “Congratulations.” And so I did.
- I loved the idea of a rocker dad named Rufus on Gossip Girl. Matthew Settle, the actor who played Jenny and Dan’s father, is a dad in real life. He and partner Maria Alfonsin have welcomed a daughter named Nalu, which is Hawaiian for wave. (This Hawaiian-English dictionary agrees. After my opening, I figured I’d better fact check that one!) Settle is also dad to daughter Aven with his ex-wife.
- Do you think Gotham works as a given name? I have my doubts. The Name Lady handled it nicely.
- Lovely lunar names from Meagan at Tulip.
- Short names rule in Slovenia.
- Nothing Like a Name looks at under-used Z names for girls. Can I say that Zella is really growing on me?
- Crispin Valentine! Saskia Tiger! And more great British Baby Names from 1999.
- Siblings named Bugsy, Jem, and Tallulah Dorothy, called Lou? How fabulous. Read the whole story at Waltzing More than Matilda.
- Animal names are also trending in the Netherlands! Though the list includes names like Caleb and Lionel, which are on the subtle side.
- Mostly about naming a lipstick collection, not children. Except that the lipstick collection claims their colors – Tiana, Alice, Belle – aren’t named after Disney princesses, but popular baby names. Hmmm …
- There’s another Hotel Transylvania movie coming out at the end of the month, just in time for Halloween. Will the sequel boost the name Mavis? The name is already up considerably since the 2012 release of the original. There were a mere nine girls called Mavis in 1999. In 2011, just 39. By 2014, there were 231 – that’s a huge increase! Credit surely goes, at least in part, to Drac’s daughter in the animated feature. And, yes, the name’s on-trend sound. If you’re counting, 231 newborn Mavises puts the name only about 30 births away from re-entering the US Top 1000, from which Mavis has been absent since 1964.
That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading – and have a fabulous week!