Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The "Good", the Bad, and the Ugly

Well, the "good" is guaranteed, anyway. Whether they're bad or ugly is subject to individual tastes!

In cultures where name-meanings hold great importance (which is most ancient cultures, as far as I can tell), often one element is quite common, occurring in dozens of names: -gwen- in Welsh, for instance, or -el- and -iah- in Hebrew. 
While we're swimming in El-s today (named for the nicknames, of course, though, not the meaning), the ancient Greeks seem to have been swimming in Eu-s.
Although only a couple names have survived to modern usage in English ("modern" being relative, as they're still too fusty for many parents), there were numerous Eu-names in use in ancient times, on both genders.
Now, in Modern Greek, ευ is said "ev"or "ef", but in Ancient Greek, it was a diphthong--"eh-oo". In English, this was, of course, simplified to "yoo".

*yes, some of the meanings are a bit odd or insulting to modern ears, but many were originally from legend/mythology, where the names were linked to the character's place/role. There's also the whole "completely different culture" thing. :)

  • Euandros (yoo-AHN-dros)--"good man" [Evander in modern English]
  • Euangelos (yoo-AHN-jel-os)--"good messenger"
  • Euaristos (yoo-ah-RIS-tos)--"well-pleasing" [Évariste in modern French]
  • Eukleides (yoo-KLAY-des)--"good glory" [Euclid in modern English]
  • Eugenios (yoo-GEN-ee-os)--"well-born" [Eugene in modern English]
  • Euphemios (yoo-FEM-ee-os)--"speaks well"
  • Euphranor (YOO-fran-or)--"good mind"
  • Euripides (yoo-RIP-ih-dees)--"good throw"
  • Eusebios (yoo-SEB-ee-os)--"good worship"
  • Eustachys (yoo-STAH-khis)--"good grain" [Eustace in modern English]
  • Eustathios (yoo-STAH-thee-os)--"good" +  "stable"
  • Eustorgios (yoo-STOR-gee-os)--"good affection"
  • Eutropios (yoo-TROP-ee-os)--"good character"
  • Eutychus (yoo-TYE-kus)--"good fortune"

  • Euadne (yoo-AHD-nee)--"good" + " holy"
  • Euagora (yoo-AH-gor-ah)--"good assembly"
  • Euanthe (yoo-AHN-thee)--"good flower"
  • Euarne (yoo-AHR-nee)--poss. "good sheep"
  • Euboea (yoo-BEE-ah)--prob. "good cattle"
  • Eudaimonia (yoo-dye-mon-EE-ah)--"good spirit"
  • Eudocia (yoo-DOS-ee-ah)--"good will"
  • Eudora (yoo-DOH-rah)--"good gift"
  • Eudoxia (yoo-DOKS-ee-ah)--"good fame"
  • Eugeneia (yoo-gen-AY-ah)--"well-born" [Eugenia in modern English]
  • Eukleia (yoo-KLAY-ah)--"good glory"
  • Eukrante (yoo-KRAHN-tee)--poss. "good accomplishment"
  • Eulalia (yoo-LAH-lee-ah)--"speaks well"
  • Eulimene (yoo-LEE-men-ee)--"good harbour"
  • Eumelia (yoo-MEH-lee-ah)--"good song"
  • Eunice (YOO-nis, yoo-NEE-see)--"good victory"
  • Eumolpe (yoo-MOL-pee)--"good singer"
  • Eunomia (yoo-NOM-ee-ah)--"good order"
  • Eunostos (yoo-NOS-tos)--"good yield"
  • Eupheme (yoo-FEM-ee)--"speaks well" [Euphemia in modern English]
  • Euphrasia (yoo-FRAHS-ee-ah)--"good cheer"
  • Euphrosyne (yoo-FROS-in-ee)--"good cheer"
  • Eupompe (yoo-POM-pee)--"good escort"
  • Euporia (yoo-POR-ee-ah)--"good journey"
  • Eupraxia (yoo-PRAHKS-ee-ah)--"good conduct"
  • Eusebia (yoo-SEB-ee-ah)--"good worship"
  • Euterpe (yoo-TEHR-pee)--"good" + " delight"
  • Euthalia (yoo-THAH-lee-ah)--"blossoming well"
  • Euthemia (yoo-THEH-mee-ah)--"good order"
  • Euthenia (yoo-THEH-nee-ah)--poss. "good supply"
  • Euthymia (yoo-THEE-mee-ah)--"good spirit"
  • Eutropia (yoo-TROP-ee-ah)--"good character"
  • Eutychia (yoo-TYE-kee-ah)--"good fortune"

Honorable mention goes to Evangeline, which, although derived from Greek ("good news"), has no record of use before Longfellow's poem, "Evangeline". 

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