Sunday Summary: 3.1.20I’m fascinated by very similar names that exist in two very different languages – despite having no obvious shared origin.

Elea at British Baby Names recently wrote about Cariad. I thought I’d read it wrong – surely she meant Caridad? But no. Cariad is a gorgeous Welsh name, ultimately from caru – to love.

Caridad is Spanish, and it translates to charity. Like many similar virtue names, it’s sometimes used because of Mary’s title: la Virgen de la Caridad. I’ve heard it used as a given name; Dadi is the short form.

Trace either name back far enough, and it’s possible they’re connected. Love and charity overlap. They may share a root in the distant reaches of Proto-Indo-European. (That’s the theoretical language spoken circa 4500 to 2500 BC.)

Maybe they’re long-lost cousins. Or maybe the resemblance is coincidental. Either way, I appreciate these moments. They can solve problems for parents trying to span two (or more) cultures. And they also remind us that, no matter how separate and distant our cultures and languages may seem, we really do have quite a lot in common.

Elsewhere online:

I’m much too invested in what the Xela-Axel-Alex-Exla family will name their next baby. That said, it’s fun to look at anagram names that do work. The best of them all, I think? Alice and Celia.

Reality star names in Germany. Because if Jenny-Jasmine or Sükrü takes off, now you’ll know why. (Found via Clare’s endlessly fascinating Name News.)

What goes with Astrid? I love everything about the list Duana compiled for this mom expecting twin girls.

Laura Wattenberg, once again, makes the case that maternal age dramatically alters the names we choose. This always feels wrong to me, because I know some great namers who had their children young. But it also seems right, because my shortlist in my teens was pretty bananas. (Though I’d abandoned my invented name, Mystina – a Misty-Christina hybrid I adored around the age of twelve – by then.) And she clearly has the data to back up her argument.

Like your names long? Onomastics Outside the Box has your list! These all come in at five syllables or more. Crushing on Alexandrina, Elisabetta, and Michelangelo.

That’s all for this week. As always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!

Girl Names: 3.1.20 Boy Names: 3.1.20









Image by Pexels from Pixabay

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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  1. As the mom of an Astrid, I loved Duana’s suggestions. So many of them are ones I’d use myself – Allegra, Delphine, Juniper. I also think Beatrix would be an awesome pairing with Astrid.