Monday, April 30, 2018

"Bear" with me

(so, so sorry for the title. Punning well is not my strong suit)

I was part of a discussion not long ago about how to honor a Christopher without using a common Chris-name (like Christian, Kristin, Christine, Crystal, etc), and it got me thinking about using the second element -pher/phoros. The only name I could easily come up with was Lucifer, but that seems like a  no-go.
So of course I had to go looking for more, and it turns out it was a reasonably common name element in Ancient Greece. Christopher is "Christ-bearer", and Lucifer is "light-bearer", and it's interesting to see what other things parents wanted their kids to "bear". [yes, if you want to get technical, Lucifer is from Latin, not Greek, but -fer is the Latin cognate of Greek -phor/pher-]
With one exception, all the constructions I found were masculine, some with feminine forms.

I've also included reasonable (IMO) Anglicizations, based on how other Ancient Greek names have been adapted to Modern English (just as a fun exercise for me). :)

  • Agathephoros (Agathephore)  -- "bearer of good". Feminine: Agathephoris
  • Anthesphoros (Anthespher) -- "flower-bearer" 
  • Aristophora -- "bearing the best" [the one exclusively-feminine construction]
  • Chrysiforos (Chysipher) -- "gold-bearer" 
  • Doryphoros (Dorypher) --"spear-bearer" 
  • Elpidephoros (Elpidepher) -- "hope-bearer". Feminine: Elpidephoris, Elpidephoria
  • Euphoros (Eupher) -- "well-borne" 
  • Halophoros (Halopher) -- "salt-bearer"?? 
  • Heosphoros (Eospher or Heosphore) -- "dawn-bearer"?? 
  • Kalliphoros (Callipher) -- "bearer of beauty" 
  • Karpophoros (Carpophore-- "fruit-bearer". Feminine: Karpophora, Karpophoria.
     [carpophore is an actual botanical term]
  • Kerdophoros (Cerdopher) -- "profit-bearer" 
  • Nikephoros (Nicopher-- "victory-bearer". Far and away the most common -phoros name I found! Feminine: Nikephoris.
    [Nikifor is the modern Slavic form, Nicefor a Polish form, and Nicéphore a rare French form]
  • Oinophoros (Oenopher) -- "wine-bearer"
  • Onesiphoros (Onesipher) -- "advantage-bearer". Feminine: Onasiphoris.
    [Onésiphore is a rare French form, Onisifor a rare Romanian form]
  • Pamphoros (Pamphore) -- "bearing all" 
  • Pherekles (Pherecles)-- "bearing glory" 
  • Pherekrates (Pherecrates) -- "bearing power"
  • Pherekydes (Pherecydes) -- "bearing fame" 
  • Pherenikos (Pherenicus-- "bearing victory". Feminine: Pherenika.
    [although you probably already know this name by its pseudo-Latinized form, Veronica]
  • Pheretimos (Pheretimus) -- "bearing honor". Feminine: Pheretima
  • Phosphoros (Phosphore) -- "light-bearer" [haha, don't use this one on a human, please; in any form]
  • Prophoros (Propher) -- "bearing forward" 
  • Stephanephoros, Stephephoros (Stephanepher, Stephepher) -- "crown-bearer". Feminine: Stephanephoria
  • Symphoros (Sympher) -- "bear together". Next most common after Nikephoros.
    Feminine: Sympheron, Symphoris
  • Telesphoros (Telespher) -- "bearing fulfillment" Feminine: Telesphoris, Telesphoria, Telesphora.
    [Telesfor is the modern Polish form, Telesforo the Spanish, and Télesphore the French]
  • Theophoros (Theophore) -- "god-bearer"
    [possibly not actually given to children, but it was the adopted title of at least a couple historic figures]
  • Zoophoros (Zoopher) -- "life-bearer" 

Aaaaand now you know what a giant dork does when she's bored. :p

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