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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Literary Inspiration: The Help

Life has been busy and I have been slipping in my blogging! It happens. I just finished this post about the names from a best selling book and hit movie, The Help, about some black maids and their white employers in Civil-Rights era south. I have lots of ideas for posts, its just a matter of sitting down and hammering them out! I also thought I would mention I am having problems with the Social Security Baby Name site tonight... so no rankings. Hopefully that clears up soon. It would be nice to know how popular Stuart, Leroy, and Clyde are, and if any of these have started trending since the movie.

Eugenia - Previously mentioned on this blog as a possible way to get to the nickname Ginny, Eugenia is the feminine version of Eugene. It means noble and is of Greek Origin

Aibileen - A variation of the more common Abilene (strongly linked to the book), Abilene is a place name (both from the holy land and Texas) and also could mean "grass" in Hebrew. The variation in spelling could be interpreted to have a different pronunciation - Aib as in Abraham rather than Ab as in Abigail.

Gretchen -  This is a German variant of Margaret, meaning pearl.

Kindra - An Old Norse name meaning "greatest Champion"

Mae - Short and sweet, Mae and is a variant spelling of May, a month name.

Constantine - Here is a baby name with history. Constantine the Great was a Roman emporer. The twist here is that it is a woman. I think it jumps the gender barrier easily, as there are other female names structured like this - Angeline, Christine, etc . The name meaning is obvious - Constance, loyalty. Connie for short?

Yule May - A southern-style double-barrel name with a Christmas flare.

Lulabelle - A new (to me) addition to the "belle" names, and Lulu (either as a nickname or just as part of the name) is on trend with other names making a comeback like Ethel/Ettie, Harriet/Hattie. Just today Swistle wrote about a little girl who will be called Polly!

Sugar- Its unclear if this is a nickname or a given name in the book. As a given name it would be quite cutesy and feminine.

Minny - Again, this may be a nickname, but I don't think so. Minnie is traditionally short for Melinda or Minerva.

Hilly - Possible short for Hillary? I think its cute as a stand alone name, or it fits in with other nicknames like Hattie and Millie.

Leroy - I still cant' hear this name without humming Bad Leroy Brown. But it also has a certain appeal to it.

Carlton - And this name makes me think of the character on Fresh Prince of Bellaire (a very cheesy but lovingly remembered sitcom from the 90s where Will Smith got his start). Carlton fits the "Last name as first name" sound, and the character reference feels distinguished.

Raleigh - To the American ear this is a place name pronounced as Rall rhymes with ball Lee. It has more history though, as an old English name meaning deer's meadow. Also, Sir Walter Raleigh was an explorer.

Treelore - As far as I can tell, this is word as a name, a word (or words tree lore) referring to the ancient mythical, celtic, and wiccan beliefs about trees.

Clyde - Like Leroy, another old fashioned "southern" sounding name, which could offer some current charm. It is of Scottish origin and is a place name (Clyde river, for example).

Stuart - This is an Old English occupational name (Stewart, a type of servant). Offers the nickname Stew or Stewie, which may be contaminated by Family Guy right now, but still cute.

So what do you think? Would you consider any of these names? Is there a little Abilene in your future? Or perhaps a Stuart?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Name Rainbow: Yellow

Yellow is the most cheerful color. It offers some interesting name choices

Shades of Yellow
Aureolin - This reminds of of Aurelia or Aurora combined with Lynn. The color meaning is a bonus!
Citrine - For some reason, I have been loving the "soft" c names lately, and this fits right in. Why not twin girls - Cerise and Citrine. Too out there?
Ecru - A quirkier shade that would make a quirkier name.
Gold (Goldie) - One of the few actual "real" name options, makes me think of Goldie Hawn.
Goldenrod - A longer more floral way to get to Goldie?
Jonquil - This one sounds very masculine and could fit in quite well in some areas.
Mikado - Actually a Japanese word meaning emperor, yellow being the royal color.
Naples - This would be seen more as a place name than a color name
Sunglow - This definitely comes off more as "word as a name", but gives you a warm feeling.
Maize - Beware Ohio State fans (this is one of the official colors of their rival Michigan). I have seen interesting discussions about the use of Mace as a boys name due to its violent nature, Maize seems like a nice alternative Maizie could also be cute for a girl.
Gamboge - This is the color yellow used to dye Buddhist robes.
Lemon - A nice "word as name" shade.

Things that are Yellow (that could make good names)
Daffodil, Sunny/Sunshine, Marigold, Oxalis, Dandelion, Celandine, (Black Eyed) Susan, Turmeric, Curry, Oriole

Would you use any of these yellow names? I especially like Citrine, Celandine, and Jonquil.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Surprising Flower Names for Spring

It has officially been spring now for a couple of weeks. Sorry for not posting about it immediately, but living in Northern Minnesota means Spring is still a few weeks off for us.

To honor spring, I thought I would find  surprising flower names. We all are familiar with names like Rose, Lily, and Violet. And, while they are less common or old fashioned, we also know Petunia, Pansy, and Iris can be used. In the past year Swistle has been asked about a sister for Magnolia and whether Marigold will become trendy. These last two are more what I am looking for. Beautiful naming options, but not common. Marigold has never been in the top 1000 baby names in America, but has the popular name "Mary" in it and sounds natural as a name. Magnolia fell out of the top 1000 in the 1940s, and seems like a mixture of Maggie and Agnes with the popular 'ia" ending.

I think unexpected flower names fall into two categories - flowers everyone knows and just do not think to use as names, and rare or uncommon flowers (or not native to the U.S.) that would make pretty names but would not be necessarily associated with being a flower name unless the person asked or is scientifically inclined. 

Azalea & Zinnia - I actually met a sibset with these two names! A bit matchy together, but either is beautiful on its own, especially for"z" lovers
Calla - Like the more popular Callie/Kali, but with a twist!
Lilac - If Lily is so popular, why doesnt
Begonia -Another "ia" ending!
Gladiolus - OK. I admit it... Gladys made me think why not Gladiolus. Nickname Glady?
Tansy - This one has a bit more spunk!
Lotus - Or the exotic...
Briony - I did not even know that this was a flower until I got onto the baby name blog scene. It seems so much like a girls name!
Chrysanthemum - nick name Chrys?
Crossandra - A twist on Alexandra that is also the beautiful orange flower below.

Rafflesia - This reads as a feminine version of Raphael, but is actually one of the rarest flowers in the world!
Cosmos - This could work even for a boy, but there are some other non-flower connotations
Koki'o - Definitely an exotic twist, but I like how it comes off the tongue.

Are there any flower names, popular or rare, that you would consider using? Do you like any of the options here, or are they to "out there"?