Posts Tagged ‘Faramond’

Yesterday, I featured my pick of girls’ names here at the Nook in 2011.

Now it’s the boys’ turn:

  • Alban — most people associate Alban with St Alban of St Alban’s, Hertfordshire. However, Alban is also an old Welsh word meaning “equinox” and “solstice,” and it features in the Druid names of the Solstices and Equinoxes. As for the saint, there are actually three of them and two are British. The one who gave his name to St. Albans was supposedly a Roman soldier martyred in or around 283 CE. However, there is no evidence for his existence before the late fifth century, and the fact he was executed by beheading is a big give-away that a Celtic divinity lies behind him. If he truly was a real historical figure, his name may derive from the Latin cognomen Albanus “of Alba (Longa).” But this is unlikely, as even the legends say that he was a native Briton. Therefore, real or divine, his name probably derives from the Common Celtic *albiyo- “(upper) world” and “white” — the source of  the Old Welsh alban “solstice,” which brings us full circle.
  • Angus — A wonderful old Scottish name, which still sees plenty of use in Scotland but deserves more attention elsewhere, especially by those proud of their Scottish roots.
  • Ao — Love this short, snappy ‘”-o” ending discovery from France.
  • Faramond — With its splendid meaning of “journey-protection,” Faramond has cropped up more than once this year. Uncommon, but with a long, rich history, I think it’s an underused gem just waiting to be embraced.
  • Felix — Another name which has justly had a lot of mention at the Nook. A great meaning, a great “look,” I love it.
  • Iolo — A very accesible Welsh name with a wonderful past, and lots of great Pagan overtones.
  • Loxias — I’ve always thought this epithet of Apollo would make a glorious name…
  • Lucius — I’m an unashamed champion of this magnificent name from Ancient Rome!
  • Odin — the Norse God, Lord of the Wild Hunt; a great name, especially appropriate this time of year, when he rides his eight-legged Sleipnir in the Wild Hunt — seen by many as one of the sources of the modern myth of Father Christmas and the reindeer.
  • Orion — Another name from the ancient world with a very contemporary ring.
  • Rafferty — I have quite a crush on this fabulous Irish surname which is yet to reach the top 1000 in the US, but was 406th in the UK last year and continues to rise.
  • Rufus — Rufus is deservedly on the rise again on both sides of the Atlantic, but is still far from common.
  • Sol — If short and sweet with a big Pagan/Druid/Wiccan punch is what you’re after, Sol can barely be beaten. For those who have issues with short, snappy names in their own right which might be mistaken for a nickname, there are plenty of “long-form” options, from the biblical — but still distinctly witchy Solomon — to the Pagan-and-proud Solstice, not to mention the magical Latin Solifer.

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Matilda in Australia and her husband have a little boy with the beautiful name of Peregrine.

Their great passion is travel; they love the outdoors and also enjoy reading. Matilda found out she was expecting Peregrine when travelling, and when her husband encountered the name, they thought it was perfect for their child, as they like unusual, but long-established names with a history.

Peregrine, with its meaning  “traveler,” fitted the bill perfectly.

They are now expecting twins and would like help in finding a name which has a similar sort of background to Peregrine, or sounds harmonious with it.

I’m very flattered to be asked my opinion, and these are my thoughts.

There’s certainly a lot of names of Latin origin, like Peregrine, which would complement Peregrine beautifully, and if the search is widened to include Latin’s close partner Greek, then there are even more beauties to tempt the discerning parent to be:


  • Aeneas (ǝ-NAY-ǝs/ǝ-NEE-ǝs) — Greek: ainê “praise.” The son of the Goddess Venus by a mortal, Aeneas according to Greek and Roman myth was one of the few Trojans to survive the Trojan war. The Romans believed he and his followers sailed from the smoking ruins to found a new home in Latium and was the direct ancestor of Julius Caesar and the Emperor Augustus. Virgil’s masterpiece The Aeneid chronicled that epic journey. In use since the 16th C, mostly in Scotland as an “English form” of Angus.
  • Felix — Latin: felix “auspicious” and “happy.” It was very common in the Roman world, and has also been used in the ESW since the 16th C. Seems to be rising in popularity at the moment, but at 122nd in the UK, and 331st in the US, I think it still falls in the not-common quality.
  • Hector — Greek: hektôr “holding fast.” The name of the champion of the Trojans. Although he was eventually killed by the Greek hero Achilles, he was held in high repute in the ancient world, considered an honorable, loyal, brave and noble man. Used since the 16th C, especially in Scotland, where it was used instead of the Gaelic Eachann (“brown horse”).
  • Octavian — English form of the Latin Octavianus meaning “belonging to the Octavius family (gens) “; the Octavii derived their name from octavus “eighth” from octo “eight” — a very auspicious number, associated with infinity. The two circles represent the joining of Heaven and Earth (or this world and the Otherworld, depending on your perspective). This was the Emperor Augustus’s name from the time of Julius Caesar’s death (and Octavian’s adoption as his heir in Caesar’s will) and the time he took the name Augustus on becoming emperor. Used from the 16th C, but always rare.
  • Philemon (FIL-ǝ-mǝn) — Greek: philêma “kiss.” Philemon and his wife Baucis entertained Zeus and Hermes as they traveled in mortal guise. As a reward they were blessed with long life and the gift that neither would outlive the other; at the moment of their death they were transformed into an oak and linden respectively. Philemon was used as a genuine given name in Ancient Greece, and has been found in the ESW since the 16th C. Although it begins with a “p,” like Peregrine, the initial sound is different, so I don’t think it’s a problen.
  • Ptolemy (TOL-ǝ-mee) — English form of the (Macedonian) Ancient Greek Ptolemaios. Ptolemy’s 2nd C Geographica is one of the most important sources of information on the geography of the Roman Empire to survive from the ancient world. It was only one of his works — he was a true polymath. Ptolemy was a very common name in the Greek world; it occurs in mythology and in history; another significant Ptolemy was the Macedonian general Ptolemaios Soter, founder of the Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt (to which Cleopatra belonged), and most of Egypt’s last pharaohs were also called Ptolemy. The only drawback of Ptolemy, in my view, is its origin; it derives from the Greek ptolemos, a variant of polemos “war,” and ptolemaios carries the meaning “belonging to war,” “hostile” and “enemy.” But this doesn’t have to be interpreted negatively — there are many things which are worthy to be hostile or an enemy of, including war itself, but also injustice, prejudice, intolerance, hatred, greed, etc., etc. And although it also formally begins with a “p,” that “p” is silent.
  • Rufus — Latin rufus “red.” Not just for red-heads :). The name can also be chosen for its positive associations with red. Like Felix, is definitely on the up at the moment, but still has a long way to go before it is in danger of falling out of the unusual category. Occurs as a nickname as early as the 11th C (a famous example being King William II — known as William Rufus), and as a genuine name from about the 16th.
  • Silvanus — Silas is very much coming into vogue at the moment, but I prefer Silvanus, the name from which it almost certainly derived. Silvanus is the Roman God of woods and wild places. Also used from the 16th C or so.
  • Theophilus — meaning “friend of (a) God/Divine Being,” Theophilus makes an interesting alternative to Theodore and, of course, shares the lovely short-form Theo. Used since the 16th C.


  • Althea — the Greek name for the marsh mallow, from althos “healing.” A name from Greek mythology, used by 17th C poets (most famously by Richard Lovelace in “To Althea, from Prison” (1642), containing the famous lines: “Stone walls do not a prison make/Nor iron bars a cage.” A more unusual “long-form” of Thea.
  • Amabel — from the Latin amabilis “loveable.” Amabel has been used since medieval times, though it was quickly eclipsed by its simpler form Mabel. Amabel never quite died out and saw a slight revival in the 19th C, but remains a rarity.
  • Beatrix — Latin: beatrix “she who causes happiness.” Much talked about in name circles, Beatrix is still rare (Beatrice is the more popular spelling, but still uncommon, ranked 834th in the US and 116th in the UK last year).
  • Felicity — Latin: felicitas “happiness.” Felicitas is the Roman Goddess of happiness and good fortune. It’s a name full of cheerfulness and positivity. In use since the 16th C, it has only made it over the parapet in America in the last decade (due to a TV series of the name, which ran 1998-2002), though it has enjoyed a fair amount of popularity in Britain (and Australia too, I think) in the mid 20th C, but is currently still only in quiet usage, ranked 195th in Britain last year.
  • Flora — from the Latin flos “flower”; the name of the Roman Goddess of flowers. Another name used since the 16th C, particularly in Scotland, this time in place of the Gaelic Fionnuala. One of the best-known bearers was Flora Macdonald (1722-90), who famously helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape after his defeat in 1745, helping him “sail over the sea to Skye.” The related Florence is one of those names everyone seems to be watching at the moment, but Flora, although increasing, is still under the radar.
  • Hermione — I’ve featured Hermione a couple of times here at the Nook (here and here) and that’s because I think it’s such a beautiful and special name. Despite being catapulted to fame by Harry Potter, it’s not seeing very much use (yet). As essentially the feminine form of Hermes, one of whose spheres of influence was as the proctector of travelers, Hermione would make a nice choice for those for whom travel is important. It has been used as a genuine given name since the 17th C.
  • Ianthe (eye-AN-thee) — Greek: ia “violets” + anthos “flower.” The name of an Oceanid in Greek mythology. A favorite of the poets since the 17th C; Percy Bysshe Shelley called his daughter, born in 1813, Ianthe. Related are the equally attractive Ione (eye-OH-nee) and Iole (eye-OH-lee), both meaning “violet” and the 19th C hybrid of Iole and Ianthe — Iolanthe (eye-oh-LAN-thee).
  • Miranda — from the Latin mirandus “worthy of admiration.” I rather like Miri/Mirie as a pet-form.Used by Shakespeare for the heroine of The Tempest, the lovely noblewoman exiled since childhood with her slightly mad, wizard father on a magical island, which Caliban describes with exquisite beauty in one of my favorite Shakespearean passages:

… the isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again; and then in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again.

  • Oenone (EE-nō-nee/ee-NŌ-nee) — from the Greek oinos “wine.” The name of a mountain-nymph, the first wife of Paris of Troy.
  • Zenobia — although interpreted as “life of Zeus” in Greek, the name is probably from the Palmyrean form of Arabic Zaynab, the name of a fragrant flowering plant, as the original Zenobia was a 3rd C Queen of Palmyra who defied the Romans. Although she was ultimately defeated, she was said to have lived out her days in Rome as a respected philosopher and socialite. Used since the 16th C, but always a rarity. The American actress Tina Fey called her daughter Alice Zenobia in 2005, but it doesn’t seem to have impacted very much on the name’s use.

Non-classical names which I think also work well with Peregrine are:


  • Diggory — A name of a knight in Arthurian Romance. The meaning is very uncertain; the traditional interpretation has it from Medieval French de “of” + egaré “lost,” but this is unlikely. Diggory is probably a much mangled French form of a name which was probably Celtic in origin. There is a legendary king of Dumnonia (Devon and Cornwall) called Dungarth (meaning “deep love”), who might conceivably lie behind the character. Diggory has been used since the 15th C, especially in Devon and Cornwall, and was used by C.S. Lewis in The Magician’s Nephew, for the hero, whose fantastical journey led to the creation of Narnia and the Wardrobe.
  • Faramond — Old German: fara ‘journey’ + munda ‘protection’.
  • Guy — Old German: witu “wood” or wit “wide” (encompassing the sense of “widely travelled” as well as referring to experience, knowledge, etc).
  • Jago (JAY-go) — the Cornish form of Jacob.
  • Jasper — Jasper is the English form of Caspar, one of the names attached to the fabled three “wise men” in medieval times. Its etymology is not known for certain, but most favor a derivation from the Persian khazāndār “treasurer.” Jasper has been used since the 14th C, and Caspar (the Dutch form) since the 19th. The vampire of the name in the Twilight series has put it in the spotlight, and it is increasing in use, but hasn’t yet reached the top 150 yet.
  • Ludovick — from the Latin form of LouisLudovicus — in orgin an Old German name meaning “loud battle” or “renowned warrior.” As with Ptolemy, the martial element may not immediately appeal, but there are many battles of a non-violent kind to be fought metaphorically in life. Shortens to the fabulous Ludo.
  • Matthias (mǝth-EYE-ǝs) — the Greek form of Matthew “gift of Yahweh.” Depending on your religious persuasion, you may or may not be able to see past the meaning, but it certainly sounds magnificent. A related name which presents the same dilemma is Ozias (ō-ZEYE-ǝs) “strength of Yahweh.”
  • Orlando — an Italian form of Roland dating from the Renaissance, when it featured in two of the most important works of literature of the period, Boiardo’s Orlando Innamorato, and Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso. It also had an outing in Shakespeare, and has been used in the English-speaking world since the 17th C. It was actually at its most popular in America in the 1970s (reaching the dizzing heights of 247th place in 1975), and although Orlando Bloom has raised its profile, he doesn’t seem to have affected its use all that much. It remains uncommon.
  • Rafferty — The wild-card. Rafferty is an Irish surname, but can be considered the Anglicised form of the Gaelic names behind that surname, both bynames, one meaning “wielder of prosperity” — highly auspicious — the other “spring-tide” — full of the promise of new journeys to be taken. Its use as a given name without connection to a Rafferty is quite recent, but its roots are old.
  • Torquil


  • Christabel — a literary creation of medieval times, a combination of Christ with the –bel ending of names such as Isabel. It returned to modest use in the 19th C thanks to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Christabel” (1816); his own granddaughter was named Christabel in 1843. The suffragette Christabel Pankhurst (1880-1958) is the most famous bearer.
  • Clemency — one of the Puritan names which was first used in the 17th C. With its attractive meaning, it remains a lovely choice.
  • Emmeline — a Norman-French name, starting out as a diminutive of the Germanic Amalia, from amal “work.” Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928) was the leader of the Suffragettes.
  • Estrella — a Spanish name used in the English-speaking world since the early 19th C. Its roots lie with the Germanic Austrechildis “Easter battle,” but it has long been associated with the Spanish estrella  “star.” Alfonso and Estrella (1822) is an opera by Schubert.
  • Imogen — the heroine of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, one of the few tragedies with a happy ending. Imogen is a princess who undertakes a physical and emotional journey to be reunited with the man she loves. It is generally accepted that the name arose as a misreading of the Celtic Innogen, meaning “daughter.”
  • Jessamy
  • Rosamund
  • Sabrina — don’t let the teenage witch put you off this gem!
  • Topaz — the wildcard in the girls. The name of the precious stone. It derives ultimately from the Sanskrit tapas “heat” and “fire.” It is one of the gem names adopted at the end of the 19th C. Borne by the wonderful character of Topaz Mortmain in Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle (1949).

So what does everyone think? What would you choose?

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Rad is the fifth letter of the Runic Alphabet. As with others, its name varies depending on which Runic Alphabet is being used:

Rad is quite unusual in the Runic alphabet, in that they all agree that it means “ride” and “journey.”

Similarly, the emphasis in the poems is all pretty much in agreement, focusing  on the hard work of horses, which makes traveling for their riders so much easier.

Modern rune-users interpret Rad as signifying journeys, both physical and spiritual, and either such journey with a specific goal — a quest, or a pilgrammage. And as journeys inevitably take us from one place or state of being to another, it also stands for change and growth.

A journey also involves a certain level of control over one’s destiny; it is a pro-active, not a passive state of being.

As a name Rad could work — although it has a distinct “short-for-something” air about it which some dislike. There are some interesting long form options though:

For boys, there’s Caradoc, Conrad, Nostradamus, Radagast, Radamisto, Radomil, Radoslav, Radulf and Rhadamanthus.

For girls, how about Angharad, Aradia, Paradise, Rada, Radegund, Radiance, Radiant, Radmila, Radoslava, and Sharada.

None of these names are related etymologically to Rad, but they all shorten nicely to it.

Meanwhile, I think Raido and Reith make great names on their own, both have very contemporary vibes.

But there are also plenty of other names to choose from inspired by Rad. Here are just a few:

  • Christopher — Greek: khristophoros “bearing Christ.” The famous patron saint of travelers.
  • Eachann — Old Irish: each “horse” + donn “brown.”
  • Éowyn — Old English: eoh “horse” + wynn “joy.” The name of a princess of Rohan in Lord of the Rings; the Rohirrim (“Riders of Rohan”) are famed horsemen.
  • Epona — Common Celtic: *ekwo- “horse.” The name of a Gaulish Goddess of horses, and probably also of sovereignty.
  • Euodia — Greek: euodia “good journey.” Ancient name (crops up in the New Testament).
  • Faramond — Old German: fara “journey” + munda “protection.”
  • Farilda — Old German: fara “journey” + hildi “battle.”Ferdinand — Germanic: fart “journey” + nanþ- “courage.”
  • Garnet — a stone long used as a protective talisman for travelers.
  • Geoffrey — one source of this name is the Old German valha “traveler” + frithu “peace.”
  • Hermes — one of Hermes’s roles was to protect travelers.
  • Hippolyta — Greek: hippos “horse” + luô “to set free.” Hippolyta was an Amazon queen, and the mother of Hippolytus.
  • Ingrid — Old Norse; one interpretation of the name is Ing (the God) + rida “ride,” referring to the symbolic first ploughing of the year by Ing on a golden boar.
  • Isra — Arabic: “night journey.”
  • Journey — self-explanatory!
  • Llywarch — Welsh: llyw “leader” + march “horse.”
  • Marcán — Old Irish: marc “horse” + diminutive suffix –án.
  • Marshall — Old French: mareschal; used originally of someone who looked after horses.
  • Peregrine — Latin: peregrinus “traveler,” “stranger.” Often shortened to Perry, or, in the case of Tolkien’s character, Peregrin Took, to Pippin.
  • Philip — Greek: philos “friend” + hippos “horse.” Not forgetting its feminine form Philippa, popularly shortened to Pippa.
  • Pilgrim — the word “pilgrim” derives from the same source as Peregrine.
  • Pushan — Sanskrit: “cause to thrive.” The name of a Hindu God of journeys, who protects travelers from bandits and wild animals.
  • Rhiannon — Common Celtic: *r-gan- “queen.” In mythology, Rhiannon is an otherworldy woman closely associated with horses. It is quite likely she represents the survival of the Goddess Epona.
  • Rider — English surname meaning simply “a rider.” Also spelled Ryder.
  • Rosalind — Old German: (h)ros “horse” + linde “serpent” or lindi “gentle” and “soft.”
  • Rosamund — Old German: (h)ros “horse” + mund “protection.”
  • Rose — Old German: (h)ros “horse.”
  • Séadna — Old Irish séadna “traveler.”
  • Steed — Old English stēda “stud-horse.”
  • Xanthippe — Greek: xanthos “yellow” + hippos “horse.”

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Thorn is the third letter of the Runic alphabet.

Like Ur, Thorn has a split-personality, with the different Futharks parting ways. The Eldar Futhark *þurisaz  and Younger Futharks þurs  mean “giant”, while the Anglo-Frisian and Marcomannic connect it with the Old English þorn “thorn.”

Interestingly, þyrs — the Old English equivalent of þurs — was in use throughout the Anglo-Saxon period and passed into Middle English as “thurse,”  with the meaning “demon,” “devil” and “goblin.” Why, then, the Anglo-Frisian rune mutated to Thorn is unknown.

In the runic poems, Thorn’s giant and thorny attributes are focused on. The giants do not have a good reputation when it comes to treating women, it seems, while the focus on the thorn is, predictably, on its sharpness, readiness to wound and the discomfort of sitting on one.

Emphasis by modern diviners varies, depending on which Futhark is preferred. Those using the Eldar — and thus *Thurisaz — see it as symbolic of both destruction and protection, conflict and cleansing. It is a strongly masculine rune, of masculine energy and fertility.

As for Thorn itself, its sharpness too is equated with destruction and defense. It can also serve as a warning, or represent an obstacle — a “thorn in the side” which needs to be addressed.

The negative aspects of both are pretty self-evident too; brutality, severity, pain, malice, curses, and so on and so forth.

As a name, Thurisaz certainly has zing — a distinct conversation starter, whether you like it or not.

The rune’s defensive associations mean that a number of the names which work well for Ur also work for Thorn. But here are some other names with meanings in tune with the rune’s associations of protection, cleansing, masculinity, sharpness and destruction:

  • Acacia ♀ — Australia’s national plant; most acacias are thorny. Greek: akis “sharp point.”
  • Acer ♂ ♀ — Botanical name for “maple.” Latin: acer “sharp.”
  • Acis ♂ — a character of Greek mythology. Greek: acis “sharp point.”
  • Alexander ♂ — Greek: alexandros “defending men.”
  • Andrew ♂ — Greek: andreios “manly.”
  • Arrow ♂ ♀
  • Ara ♀ — Latin “altar,” but also used by the Romans to mean “refuge” and “protection,” while ara in Greek means “vow” and “curse.”
  • Blade
  • Clarimond(e) ♀ — Latin: clarus “clear” + Old German: munda “protection.”
  • Dagger
  • Dart
  • Deianira ♀ — the name of the wife of Hercules. Greek: dêioô “to destroy” + anêr “man.”
  • Devlin ♂ — Anglicized form of Irish surname Ó Dobhaileín “descendant of Dobhailen.” Dobhailen is probably a byname deriving from dobhaidhail “boisterous,”  “destructive” and “terrible” + the diminutive suffix -án.
  • Dirk ♂ —  a type of dagger.
  • Edmund ♂ — Old English: ēad “rich” + mund “protection.”
  • Épée ♀ — a fencing foil.
  • Esmond ♂ — Old English: ēast “grace” and “favor” + mund “protection.”
  • Eryma ♀ — an epithet of Athene. Greek: eruma “defense.”
  • Faramond ♂ — Old German: fara ‘journey’ + munda ‘protection’.
  • Garmon ♂ — English surname from Old English name Garmund: gār “spear” + mund “protection.”
  • Gillebhràth ♂ — Old Scots Gaelic name. Gaelic: gille “servant” + bràth “judgment” and “destruction.”
  • Gunnora ♀ — Latinized form of Old Norse Gunnvǫr “war defense.”
  • Lance
  • Liv ♀ — Scandinavian name from Old Norse: hlíf “cover” and “protection.”
  • Montagu(e), Montacute ♂ — English surname, from Montaigu-le-Bois in France. OF: mont ‘hill’ + aigu ‘point’. Popularly shortened to Monty.
  • Mugain ♀ — the name of an Irish Goddess, which possibly derives from the Old Irish: múgha “perishing” — in Scots Gaelic it carries the meaning “destruction.”
  • Osmond ♂ — Old English: ōs “(a) God” + mund “protection.”
  • Oxys ♂ — an epithet of Ares. Greek: oxus “sharp” and “piercing.”
  • Persephone ♀ — the Queen of the Underworld in Greek mythology. Greek: perthô “to destroy” + phonos “slaughter” or “slayer.”
  • Perseus ♂ — the well-known Greek hero. Greek: perthô “to destroy.”
  • Pierce ♂ — technically, the name derives from Peter, but this version is obviously identical to “pierce.”
  • Raymond ♂ — Old German: regin “counsel” or “might” + munda “protection.”
  • Rosamund ♀ — Old German (hros) “horse” + munda “protection.”
  • Saber, Sabre ♂ ♀
  • Scimitar
  • Sharp ♂ ♀
  • Sigmund ♂ — Old English sige “victory” + mund “protection.”
  • Spike
  • Thormund ♂ — Old Norse theonym Thor + Old English: mund “protection.”
  • Tulle ♀ — the fabric takes its name from a French town, deriving from Latin: tutela “watching” and “protection.”
  • Vör ♀ — Norse Goddess, whose name probably meant “defense” and “protection.”
  • Yashpal ♂– Indian name, from the Sanskrit yasha “fame” + pāla “protector.”

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