Sunday, November 27, 2011

Names for Every Palette

With autumn vanishing, and the world turning brown and white, it seems an appropriate time to distract myself with thoughts of color.

  • Alban (AHL-ban)--German, English; from Latin, "white"
  • Arun (ah-roon)--Indian [Hindi], "reddish brown"
  • Blaine (BLAYN)--English, from Gaelic, "yellow"
  • Blake (BLAYK)--from English blæc "black" or blac "pale"
  • Bruno (BROO-noh)--German, French, Polish, Spanish; from Latin, "brown"
  • Ciar (KEER)--Irish, "black, dark"
  • Donovan (DON-o-van)--Irish, "dark brown". Anglicized from Donndubhán.
  • Fionn (FIN or FYUN)--Irish, "white". Anglicized as Finn.
  • Flynn (FLIN)--Irish, "red". Anglicized from Floinn.
  • Fulvio (FUL-vee-oh)--Italian, from Latin, "yellow"
  • Gláucio (GLOUS-yoh)--Portuguese; from Latin, "bluish grey"
  • Lloyd (LOID)--Welsh, "grey". Another variant is Floyd.
  • Gray, Grey (GRAY)--English
  • Reed, Reid (REED)--English, "red"
  • Roy (ROY)--English, Scottish; from Gaelic Ruadh, "red"

  • Ai (ah-ee)--Japanese, "indigo" [can also mean "love"]
  • Amber (AM-ber)--English--"yellow-orange". Other forms include Ambre (French) & Ambra (Italian)
  • Baila (BYE-lah or BAY-lah)--Yiddish, "white"
  • Blanche (BLANCH or BLAWNSH)--English; from French, "white". Other forms include Blanca (Spanish) & Bianca (Italian).
  • Ciara (KEER-ah)--Irish, "black, dark"
  • Azzurra (ah-DZOO-rah)--Italian, "sky-blue". English form is Azure.
  • Emerald (EM-er-ald or EM-rald)--English; from Greek, "green"
  • Garnet (GAR-net)--English, "dark red"
  • Glesni (GLES-nee)--Welsh, "blueness"
  • Gwen (GWEN)--Welsh, "white, pure"
  • Iole (YO-lay)--Greek, "violet". English form is Iola.
  • Kamala (KAH-mah-lah)--Indian [Hindi], "pale red"
  • Lavender (LAV-en-der)--English, "pale purple"
  • Livna (leev-nah)--Hebrew, "white"
  • Melanie (MEL-an-ee)--English; from Greek, "black, dark"
  • Midori (mih-doh-ree)--Japanese, "green"
  • Nila (nee-lah)--Indian [Hindi], "dark blue". Sometimes transliterated as Neela.
  • Ruby (ROO-bee)--English; from Latin, "red"
  • Saffron (SAF-fron)--English, "yellow-orange"
  • Scarlet (SKAR-let)--English
  • Sienna (see-EN-nah)--English, "orange-red"
  • Sigal (see-GAHL)--Hebrew, "violet"
  • Sini (SEE-nee)--Finnish, "blue"
  • Uaine (WAN-yeh or OO-in-yeh)--Irish, "green"
  • Violet (VYE-oh-let)--English; from Latin Viola.
  • Xanthe (ZAN-theh or ZAN-thee)--Greek, "yellow"
  • Zuriñe (soo-REEN-yeh)--Basque, "white"

  • Ailbhe (ALV-yeh)--Irish, "white". Anglicizations include Alva, Elva, Alby & Alvy.
  • Cyan (sye-AN)--English, from Greek, "green-blue"
  • Phoenix (FEE-niks)--English; from Greek, "dark red"
  • Sable (SAY-bl)--English, "black"
  • Shani (shah-nee)--Hebrew, "scarlet red"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pilgrim Baby Names

Happy American Thanksgiving!
The Puritans & other first colonists seem to have quite the reputation for crazy word-names. In honor of Thanksgiving, I decided to see how true that was. So, here are the children of the Pilgrims--some travelled on the Mayflower; most were born in the New World (and one was born on the voyage...take a guess which! :p).

  • Alexander
  • Bartholomew
  • Benjamin (x2)
  • Caleb (x2)
  • Charles
  • David 
  • Edward (x2)
  • Francis
  • George
  • Giles
  • Isaac (x3)
  • Jabez
  • Jacob
  • James
  • Jasper
  • John (x11)
  • Jonathan
  • Joseph (x6)
  • Josiah
  • Josias
  • Love
  • Myles
  • Nathaniel (x3)
  • Oceanus 
  • Peregrine
  • Resolved
  • Richard
  • Samuel (x3)
  • Stephen
  • Thomas
  • William (x2)
  • Wrestling
  • Zachariah

  • Abigail
  • Ann
  • Constance 
  • Damaris
  • Deborah
  • Desire (x2)
  • Dorcas
  • Elizabeth (x11)
  • Ellen
  • Hannah (x2)
  • Hester
  • Hope
  • Jane
  • Lora
  • Lydia 
  • Mary (x10)
  • Mercy (x2)
  • Patience
  • Priscilla (x3)
  • Rachel
  • Rebecca (x2)
  • Remember
  • Ruth (x3)
  • Sarah (x4)
  • Susanna

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Same Name?!--George

George. It's one of those names where the consensus is split pretty evenly--some think it's purely boring, stodgy old-man, and some think it's stately & timeless. George caught on pretty early because of a dragon-slaying saint, first primarily in Eastern Christianity, and then spreading to the western world during the crusades. It even became moderately used for women for a while in the 1930s & 40s. 

Original Greek form: Georgios [Γεωργιος] (gee-OR-gee-ohs)

Modern forms:
  • Deorsa (JOR-sa)--Scottish
  • Đurađ (JOOR-ahj)--Croatian, Serbian. Also spelled Djuradj or Juraj.
  • Gevorg (gev-org or kev-ork)--Armenian. Also transliterated to Kevork.
  • Giorgio (JOR-joh)--Italian
  • Gorka (GOR-kah)--Basque
  • György (DYOOR-dyeh)--Hungarian
  • Jerzy (YEHR-zheh)--Polish
  • Jordi (JOR-dee)--Catalan
  • Jorgen (YOR-gen)--Scandinavian
  • Jorge (ZHOR-zheh)--Portuguese
  • Jorge (HOR-heh)--Spanish
  • Joris (YOR-is)--Dutch
  • Jory (JOH-ree)--Cornish
  • Seoirse (SHOR-sheh)--Irish
  • Seoras (SHOR-as)--Scottish
  • Siôr (SHOR)--Welsh
  • Xurxo (SHOOR-shah)--Galician
  • Yorick (YOR-ik)--English (via Jorgen)
  • Yuriy (YOO-ree)--Russian. Also spelled Yuri.

Feminine Forms:
  • Đurđica (joor-JEE-tsah)--Croatian
  • Georgeta (jor-JET-ah)--Romanian
  • Georgette (zhor-ZHET)--French
  • Georgia (JOR-jah)--English
  • Gergana (gehr-GAHN-ah)--Bulgarian
  • Jirina (YEE-ree-nah)--Czech

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Usual Nickname, Unexpected Name--Lola

Again, not really a "usual" nickname, but the poor nickname of an outdated name. Another example of the archaic R to L shift, Lola was originally a nickname for Dolores. Thanks to a few different songs and the German film Run Lola Run, Lola has stayed out of obscurity, and is even rapidly gaining popularity in many areas. But, if you want to further distance Lola from her "sorrowful" roots (Dolores is Spanish for "pains" or "sorrows"), a few options are nice.

  • Anatola (ahn-ah-TOH-lah, Polish)
  • Bellona (bel-LO-nah, Latin)--Roman goddess of war
  • Carlota (cahr-LOH-tah, Spanish)--feminine form of Charles
  • Carola (cahr-OH-lah, German)--another feminine form of Charles
  • Finola (fin-OH-lah, Irish, Scottish)--anglicized from Fionnuala. Another form is Fionola.
  • Hannelore (HAH-nah-lor-ah, German)
  • Ilona (ee-LOH-nah, Hungarian)--form of Helen
  • Lorelei (LOH-reh-lye, German)
  • Lorena (loh-REH-nah, Spanish)--form of Lorraine
  • Lorenza (loh-REN-zah, Italian)--feminine form of Laurence
  • Paloma (pah-LOH-mah, Spanish)
  • Valora (vah-LOH-rah, Esperanto)--"valuable"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

People with People-Names

No, I haven't lost it (completely). One post has again inspired another, so I've felt the need to compile name derived from nationalities, tribes, and the like. And I found more than I expected! They make up a fairly small percent of the total "naming pool", but this type of name is in constant use--while Frank & Judith have gone out of style, Roman and Cheyenne have been rising to take their place, while others, like Sabina & Wendel, remain relatively rare.

  • Adrian (AY-dree-an, AH-dree-ahn)--From Latin, "of Hadria" [northern Italy]
  • Atticus (AT-ti-kus)--from Greek, "of Attica" [modern-day Athens]
  • Dakota (dah-KOH-tah)--from Lakota Sioux, "friends, allies" [modern-day South Dakota, Minnesota]
  • Dane (DAYN)--from Greek Danoi, meaning unknown [modern-day Denmark]
  • Dardan (DAHR-dahn)--from Illyrian Dardanii, poss. "from the pear trees" [modern-day Kosovo & Macedonia]
  • Dorian (DOHR-ee-an)--from Greek, poss. "woodlander" or "spearman" [modern-day southern Greece]
  • Finn (FIN)--from Old Norse Finnr, meaning uncertain [modern-day Finland]
  • Francis (FRAN-sis)--from Latin, "Frenchman". French/France are derived from Frank.
  • Frank (FRANK)--from Germanic, "javelin", or poss. "fierce". [orig. modern-day Netherlands & N. Germany; spread throughout Europe]
  • Lachlan (LAHKH-lan)--from Scottish, "from the lakes" [Norway]
  • Norman (NOHR-man)--from Germanic, "northman, Viking"
  • Roman (ROH-man, ROM-an, rom-AHN)--from Latin, "of Rome". 
  • Saxon (SAK-son)--from Germanic, "knife" [orig. modern-day N. Germany, also spread into Britain]
  • Scott (SKOT)--from Latin Scoti, "Gaelic speaker"
  • Wendel (WEN-del)--from Germanic Vandal, poss. "wanderer" [originally modern-day Eastern Europe]

  • Cheyenne (shy-EN)--from Dakota Sioux, "strange speakers" [modern-day Wisconsin, Colorado]
  • Daciana (dah-CHYAH-nah)--from Latin, "of Dacia" [modern-day Romania]
  • Dardana (dahr-DAH-nah)--feminine of Dardan
  • Doris (DOHR-is)--feminine of Dorian
  • Genevieve (JEN-eh-veev, zhahn-vee-ev)--from Gaulish Genovefa, "tribal woman"
  • Judith (JOO-dith, YOO-dith)--from Hebrew, "of Judea" [modern-day S. Israel & West Bank]
  • Lydia (LID-ee-ah)--from Greek, "from Lydia" [modern-day Turkey]
  • Paris (PAIR-is, PAHR-is)--from Celtic Parisii, prob. "craftsmen" [modern-day France]
  • Roxelana (roks-el-AH-nah)--From Turkish, "Russian"
  • Sabina (sah-BEE-nah)--from Latin, "of Sabine" [modern-day central Italy]
  • Saskia (SAS-kee-ah)--feminine of Saxon. Older form is Saxa.
  • Wanda (WAHN-dah)--feminine of Wendel

  • Dana (DAY-nah)--from English, "Danish person". Danish/Denmark are derived from Dane.
  • Kerry (KEHR-ree)--from Irish Gaelic, "Ciar's people" [modern day SW Ireland]

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Places with People-Names

I have to admit, I'm not generally a fan of place-names on people. I see names pretty literally, so something like "Cole's town" [Colton] or "barren field" [Leland] just doesn't make sense on a person to me. Obviously, I'm more in the minority in that matter.
But, it always make me giggle to see the argument, "Well, what about Austin, Georgia, & Chad? Plenty of people have those names!" Well, yes, they do, but in the first two cases, they were named for a person, and in the final, it's just a coincidence.

  • Adelaide, Australia--after Queen Adelaide, wife of King William IV of England
  • Africa--coincidence: the name can be an anglicization of Gaelic Aifric,"pleasant"; the continent's name is of uncertain origin
  • Alberta, Canada--after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, and her father Prince-Consort Albert, daughter & husband, respectively, of Queen Victoria
  • Alexandria, Egypt--after Alexander the Great
  • America--after mapmaker Amerigo Vespucci, whose name is a form of Emmerich
  • Austin, Texas, USA--after Texas colonial leader Stephen F. Austin, whose surname is a form of Augustine
  • Brittany, France--after the ancient Britons, "painted people"
  • North & South Carolina, USA--after King Charles I of England
  • Chad--coincidence: the name is from Welsh Ceadda, "battle"; the country from the Kanuri word for "lake"
  • Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA--from the Dakota name for another Native American tribe, "strange speakers"
  • North & South Dakota, USA--from the name of the Native American tribe, "allies, friends"
  • Devon county, UK--after the Celtic tribe the Dumnonii, "valley dwellers"
  • Europe/Europa--after legendary Phoenician princess Europa
  • Florence, Italy--coincidence: the name is from Latin Florentius, "flourishing"; the city from Latin fluentia, "flowing"
  • Gary, Indiana, USA--after lawyer & businessman Elbert H. Gary
  • Georgia, USA--after King George II of England
  • Israel--from its Biblical founder, Israel, aka Jacob, grandson of Abraham
  • Kerry county, Ireland--after the Celtic tribe the Ciarraí, "dark", named for its founder, Ciar
  • Madison, Wisconsin, USA--after Pres. James Madison
  • Milan, Italy--coincidence: the name is from Slavic mil, "darling"; the city from Latin Mediolanum, meaning uncertain
  • Orlando, Florida, USA--after local legend Orlando Reeves, whose name is a form of Roland
  • Paris, France--after Celtic tribe the Parisii, poss. "craftsmen". It coincides with a (masculine) Greek name of unknown meaning
  • Santiago, Chile--from St. Iago, a form of Jacob/James
  • Virginia, USA--after Elizabeth I, "the Virgin Queen". It is also the feminine form of Verginius.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Usual Nickname, Unexpected Name--Jo/Joe

Joe has been such a common name for so long that it's even spawned idioms--"Joe Blow", "Average Joe", "Joe Public", etc. While Joseph is still an extremely popular name, just plain Joe has been steadily declining since the 40s. The feminine form, Jo, followed, while its usual given names--Joanna & Josephine--have had their ups and downs.

  • Jericho (JEHR-ih-koh, Hebrew)
  • Jethro (JETH-roh, Hebrew)
  • Joab (JOH-ab, Hebrew)
  • Joachim (JOH-a-kim, English)--form of Biblical Jehoiakim
  • Joash (JOH-ash, Hebrew)
  • Jolyon (JOH-lee-on, JOL-ee-on, English)--form of Julian
  • Jonas (JOH-nas, Greek)--form of Jonah
  • Joram (JOR-am, Hebrew)--form of Jehoram
  • Josiah (joh-SYE-ah, Hebrew)--alternate transcription is Josias

  • Adjoa (ahd-JOH-ah, Akan)
  • Georgette (jor-jet, French)
  • Jocasta (joh-KAS-tah, Greek)
  • Jocosa (joh-KOH-sah, English)
  • Josette (zho-SET, French)
  • Josiane (zho-see-AHN, French)
  • Marjolaine (mar-zho-lehn, French)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What's in a Nickname?

Modern American English has a pretty regular system for making nicknames (the fancy word is hypocoristics)--take the main phoneme/syllable (or at least a prominent one) and add "ee" or "a", or just leave it as is. Ex: Jackson-->Jack or Jax; Eleanor-->Ella; Madison-->Maddy. Foreign, or even archaic English, nicknames thus can seem pretty strange or unintuitive to modern American ears, but they sure can be fun!

  • Arabic: take the root consonants (3, sometimes 4), and follow this pattern--first consonant/A/second consonant/second consonant (or 3rd, if 4)/U or O/U/final consonant. 
    • Barak --> Barruuk, Maryam --> Maryuum
  • archaic English: adding '-kin' or rhyming (or both!).  
    • Robert --> Robin. Rick --> Dick. John --> Jankin --> Hankin --> Hank.
  • Australian English: adding '-az' or 'azza' if a prominent central/end R is present; add '-o' or 'ooey' to any other name. 
    • Caroline --> Caz, Cazza. Daniel --> Danno. Moses --> Moey.
  • older French: adding '-ot' for male; '-ette' or '-ine' for female. 
    • Pierre --> Pierrot. Jeanne --> Jeannette. Amanda --> Amandine.
  • even older French: adding '-on'.  
    • Alice --> Alison.
  • Hindi: adding '-u'.  
    • Anita --> Nitu.
  • Italian: adding '-ino', '-etto', or '-ello' for male; '-ina', '-etta', or '-ella' for female.  
    • Cesar --> Cesarino. Clara --> Claretta. Fiore --> Fiorella.
  • Japanese: simply dropping a syllable, and/or adding '-chan' for either sex, or sometimes '-ko' for females.
    • Koyomi --> Yomi. Kyou --> Kyou-chan. Usagi --> Usako.
  • Russian: adding '-ka', '-sha' or '-ya'. 
    • Ekaterina --> Katenka. Mikhail --> Misha. Tatiana --> Tanya
  • Scottish: adding '-an', '-agan' or '-aidh' for male; '-ag' for female. 
    • Angus -->Angaidh. Dubh -->Dubhagan. Bran --> Branan. Anne --> Annag.