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Posts Tagged ‘Rosa’

In celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens, here is Part II of the best of the names from Dickens’s works for babies… and cats.

  • Lupin — believe it or not, J.K. wasn’t the first to use this flower name as a surname; Mrs Lupin features in Martin Chuzzlewit.
  • Magwitch — I’d love to name a cat Magwitch after Abel Magwitch in Great Expectations!
  • Magnus — Peter Magnus is another of Pickwick Papers‘s characters. As a first name, Magnus (simply Latin for “great”) has become regarded as particularly characteristic of the Shetlands. It makes the perfect choice for lovers of Felix and Rufus wanting something that is still off the radar…
  • Malta — named after the island, Malta Bagnet appears in Bleak House.
  • Manette — the surname of Dr. Alexandre and Lucie in A Tale of Two Cities.
  • Marley — now most associated with Bob, never forget the other Marley — the ghost of Jacob Marley with his rattling chains in A Christmas Carol… The surname derives from the Old English mearth “pine marten” or “weasel,” or mǣre “boundary” + lēah “wood,” “woodland clearing,” “glade,” “pasture,” and “meadow.”
  • Maylie — a cheerful surname borne by Mrs Maylie and her children Harry and Rose in Oliver Twist.
  • Merry — not uncommingly used as a nickname for Mercy, as it is in Martin Chuzzlewit for Merry Pecksniff.
  • Micawber — one of the most likeable of all Dickens’s characters is the perennially optimistic Mr Wilkins Micawber in David Copperfield. Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones has a guitar called Micawber.
  • Mulberry — a great name for a not particularly savory character — Sir Mulberry Hawk in Nicholas Nickleby.
  • Nancy — undoubtedly one of Dickens’s best-loved characters, Oliver Twist‘s Nancy is perhaps the best embodiement, in so many ways, of what Dickens’s work was all about. Like Betsy, it’s a Victorian charmer of a name, still falling in America, but reviving in the UK (the oldest daughter of British Prime Minister David Cameron is called Nancy).
  • Nell — another tragic Dickensian character is “Little Nell” — a.ka. Nelly Trent — of  The Old Curiosity Shop. Traditionally, the pet-name for Eleanor, it is also used for Ellen and Helen, and very much falls in that same category as Nancy and Betsy.
  • Nemo — Jules Verne was not the first to have a Captain Nemo — Dickens was; he used Nemo as the pseudonym of Captain James Hawood in Bleak House.
  • Nickleby — surname of the hero of eponymous her of Nicholas Nickleby.
  • Ninetta — the real name of “The Infant Phenomenon” in Nicholas Nickleby.
  • Oliver — the eponymous hero of Oliver Twist. Number One in England and Wales in 2010, and rising rapidly in the US. Usually shortened to Olly or Ollie, there’s always Ol too, and how about the medieval Noll or snappy, modern Liv instead? I’ve even seen Levi suggested…
  • Peggotty — Clara Peggotty, always known as “Peggotty,”  is David’s kind and loving nurse maid in David Copperfield.
  • Pet — the name by which Minnie Meagles is known in Little Dorrit.
  • Phenomenon — “The Infant Phenomenon” is how the Crummles refer to their beloved daughter Ninetta in Nicholas Nickleby. Offers interesting nicknames, such as Phen, Phenie, Nomi, Nomie, Menon, Mena and Minnie.
  • Pip — obliged to legally change his name to Pip, Philip “Pip” Pirrip is the hero of Great Expectations.
  • Pleasant — first used by the Puritans, Dickens used Pleasant  for the character of Pleasant Riderhood in Our Mutual Friend.
  • Plummer — we have Tyler and Mason, so why not Plummer? Caleb Plummer appears in The Cricket in the Hearth.
  • Pumblechook — definitely one for the cats, but too great a creation to leave out. A pompous and somewhat ridiculous character in Great Expectations.
  • Quebec — another of the Bagnet children in Bleak House.
  • Quinion — Mr Quinion, good name, though not a particularly nice character, in David Copperfield.
  • Rogue — Rogue has the halmark of a modern “word name”, but Dickens used it in Our Mutual Friend for Rogue Riderhood. He lives up to his name!
  • Rosa — the charmingly named Rosa Bud features in The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Why doesn’t America like the lovely Rosa? She’s 238th in the UK, and rising, but 564th in America — and falling…
  • Seth — another of the Pecksniffs in Martin Chuzzlewit, Seth has been threatining to go stellar for a while, but peaked in 200o in the US in 63rd place and has since slipped back to 165th. Curious, as it ticks the boxes — why Ethan and Noah, but not Seth? The same’s not true in Britain, where it wouldn’t surprise me if Seth enters the top 100 this year.
  • Sophronia — an unusual option for lovers of Sophie and Sophia looking for that something slightly different. Sophronia Lammle is another of Our Mutual Friend‘s characters. From the Greek sôphrôn “sagacious,” “prudent,” and “of sound mind.”
  • Sophy — Although the French-spelling Sophie with an “ie” is the most popular vernacular form of Sophia in Britain at the moment, in the past, Sophy with a “y” was more normal. David Copperfield. Sophy Crewler features in David Copperfield.
  • Sweedlepipe — a particularly good cat name, as Paul “Poll” Sweedlepipe in Martin Chuzzlewit is a bird-fancier!
  • Sydney — Sydney Carton of A Tale of Two Cities is one of my personal favorite characters — I’ve mentioned before my preference for the flawed hero, and Sydney epitomises flawed hero so well. It is he who utters those immortal lines: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” Nowadays, Sidney is the preferred spelling.
  • Tattycoram — the name given to Harriet Beadle by the Meagles when she becomes their servant in Little Dorrit. Tatty is a pet-form of Harriet (via Hattie) and Coram was added because it was the name of the founder of the foundling hospital where Harriet spent the first years of her life. Would make a lovely name for a cat.
  • Tite — Tite Barnacle appears in Little Dorrit.
  • Turveydrop — Prince Turveydrop is a dancing master in Bleak House. Cat.
  • Uriah — Like Ebenezer, Uriah may well have suffered because of a Dickensian character. In Uriah’s case it is the odious, unctious Uriah Heep in David Copperfield. I have seen Uriah mentioned positively in recent times, and he made it to 549th place in America in 2010, but can her really shake Heep off? And his disconcerting similarity to the word urine?
  • Wemmick — John Wemmick is a kind man in Great Expectations, known for caring really well for his elderly father.
  • Wopsle — a minor character in Great Expectations, Wopsle would work well for cat — though perhaps reserve it for an indoor one (unless you fancy the idea of standing on the doorstep yelling “Wopsle, Whiskas!”)
  • Zephyr — “The Zephyr” is the pseudonym of Mr Minvins, a character in Pickwick Papers.

Happy Birthday, Charles!

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This week’s pick of the week is the romantic Rosamund.

It is a name which isn’t quite what it seems.

Even in medieval times, the name was associated with the Latin rosa “rose.”

It was taken one step further, with mund interpreted as the Latin munda “pure” or mundi “of the world” — thus “pure rose” or “rose of the world.”

As a result it even became an epithet of Mary.

But they were wrong.

In fact Rosamund is an Old German name, a combination of (h)ros “horse” and munda “protection.”

It was taken to the British Isles by the Normans.

An early, but significant bearer was the tragic Rosamund Clifford (bef. 1150-c.1176), the mistress of King Henry II.

Known as “Fair Rosamund,” many legends surround her.

Henry was said to have kept her in a house surrounded by a maze which only he could penetrate. Unfortunately, his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, managed to breach it too.

She ensured that Rosamund was sufficiently mistreated that she died not long after – a tale distincitly reminiscent of the Greek myths surrounding Zeus and Hera.

Whether she bore Henry any children or not is still disputed.

Other bearers include the British actress and Oxford graduate Rosamund Pike (b.1979), who played Jane Bennet in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice, and British novelist, Rosamunde Pilcher (b.1924).

Variants include Rosamond, Rosamunde, and Rosemonde, and it shortens comfortably to Rose, Rosie, Rosa, Ros and Roz, as well as the more unusual Mundy or Romy, and quirky Momo.

Rosamund has never been in the US top 1000; Rosamond featured a little in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, but never got into the top 500.

In 2010, less than three baby girls in America received the name — if any at all — in any form.

The name fares a little better in Britain, where six little girls were called Rosamund in 2010.

Why this beautiful, classic and romantic name has been so long neglected is anyone’s guess, but surely it is ripe for resurrection?

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Yesterday, I gazed into my crystal ball (a.k.a. the American SSA’s Popular Baby Name website), and predicted what boys’ names will be in the top 10 in 2035.

They were:

  1. Lucas
  2. Judah
  3. Jacob
  4. Rafferty
  5. Elijah
  6. Owen
  7. Silas
  8. William
  9. Indigo
  10. Joseph

My method is simple. How were today’s top ten ranked in 1985? And what names occupied those spots in 2010?

Today’s top ten girls’ names were ranked as follows in 1985:

  1. Isabella: Unranked (only 34 girls received the name in 1985)
  2. Sophia: 236 (in slight decline in 1985, though generally rising)
  3. Emma: 267 (rising)
  4. Olivia: 248 (in decline — but started to rise again in 1986)
  5. Ava: Unranked (only 132 girls called Ava in 1984, but it re-entered the charts again in 1986)
  6. Emily: 24 (rising rapidly)
  7. Abigail: 153 (rising)
  8. Madison: 628 (its first appearance in the rankings, prompted by the 1984 film Splash)
  9. Chloe: 564 (rising)
  10. Mia: 438 (rising)

And their 2035 replacements look like this (with a bit of tweaking)

  1. HERMIONE. Many people are pretty amazed to find out that not only was today’s darling Isabella not in the top 1000 in 1985, but only 34 baby girls were given the name at all. There were some interesting names in the same place in 2010, including Ara, Empress, Indiana, Mathilda, Saba, Wisdom and Zamora, but I can’t see any making the top 10 (Mathilda’s big sister Matilda might, but she is in the top 1000). There are one or two interesting possibilities among the names given to 35 little girls, such as Clarice, Lavinia and Polly; while another old classic Ursula was borne by only 32 girls in 2010, but it is lovely Hermione, given to only 37 baby girls in 2010 that gets my vote. I can’t help thinking it’s only a matter of time that the USA finally embraces her, and that she’s the one to watch from the bottom of this barrel.
  2. ELIZA. Jayda occupies the present 236th slot, but although she may rise quite high, I think her time in the sun will be over by 2035. Nearby, however, Eliza (240) is rising.
  3. ESTHER  is 267. She’s been away in the wilderness a while, but I think the tide is turning in her favor now.
  4. HARMONY. Ranked 248th is Cassidy, but she’s in decline. Harmony, however, is 249th, and rising…
  5. CLEMENTINE — 132 little girls were called Clementine in 2010. This beauty vanished from the top 1000 in 1953; in 1994, less than three girls received the name (if any at all), but since then, the numbers have generally been increasing.
  6. LEAH is 24. Like her predecessor Emily was, twenty-five years ago, she’s steadily rising. Will she have made the top ten by 2035? Perhaps.
  7. DAISY. Actually ranked 151 in 2010; 153rd was Makenzie, which is in decline and pretty unlikely to be in 6th place in 2035 now. Popular in the UK, Daisy, however, is on the rise again. Another possibility from the 150s is Vivian (158).
  8. ANNABEL is 628. She re-entered the top 1000 in 2000 and might well go places.
  9. ROSA is 564. She’s at her lowest yet, but surely the time is ripe now for her fortunes to change? They have already in Britain.
  10. ADELAIDE. In the 438th spot is Kadence, a doubtful top ten contender for 2035. Adelaide (434), however, is rocketing up the charts. Another possibility is Helen, languishing in the 437th spot. Its a long time now since she was in favor, and perhaps its her time to shine once more?

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I love burning essential oils — I find them more potent and pure than incense  — and smoke-free, which is a distinct advantage. The names, too, are rich and evocative. Of course, many essential oils share their names with herbs, but there are some which are found purely as essential oils, and they certainly make a good hunting ground for  wonderful names!

So here are some essential oil names. Most of these feature in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Names, but there are a couple which I missed. Fear not! They’ll get an entry here at Nook of Names erelong!

Anise, Basil, Bay, Benzoin, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cajaput, Cardamon, Carrot Seed, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Cinnamon Leaf, Citronella, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Coriander, Cypress, Dill, Elemi, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Helichrysum, Hyssop, Jasmine, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Litsea, Mandarin, Manuka, Marjoram, Melissa, Myrrh, Neroli, Niaouli, Nutmeg, Orange, Palmarosa, Parsley, Patchouli, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Pine, Ravensara, Rose Geranium, Rose Otto, Rosemary, Rosewood,  Sage, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Spikenard, Tagetes, Tangerine, Tea Tree, Thyme, Valerian, Vanilla, Vertivert, Violet Leaf, Yarrow, White Birch, Ylang Ylang.

If some of these essential oil names are a little ‘strong’, why not consider their botanical names?  One part or the other (or sometimes both) may have potential!

  • Benzoin — Styrax benzoin
  • Bergamot — Citrus bergamia
  • Black Pepper — Piper nigrum
  • Cajaput — Melaleuca cajaputi
  • Cardamon — Elettaria cardamomum
  • Carrot Seed — Daucus carota
  • Cedarwood — Cedrus atlantica
  • Clary Sage — Salvia sclarea
  • Clove Bud — Eugenia caryophyllata
  • Dill — Anethum graveolens (Anetha, maybe?)
  • Frankincense — Boswellia carteri
  • German Chamomile — Matricaria recutica
  • Ginger — Zingiber officinale
  • Grapefruit — Citrus paradisi
  • Lime — Citrus aurantifolia
  • Marjoram — Origanum marjorana
  • Niaouli — Melaleuca viridiflora
  • Nutmeg — Myristica fragrans
  • Parsley — Carum Petroselinum (tweaks to Cara Petroselina rather well!)
  • Peppermint — Mentha piperata
  • Pine Pinus — Pinus sylvestris
  • Roman Chamomile — Anthemis nobilis
  • Rose Otto — Rosa damascena
  • Rosemary — Rosmarinus officinalis (why not Rosmarina?)
  • Rosewood — Aniba rosaeodora (while rosaeodora has perhaps a bit much going on, Rosadora or Rosodora are food for thought!)
  • Sandalwood —  Santalum album (Santaly, perhaps?)
  • Spearmint — Mentha spicata
  • Spikenard — Nardostachys jatamansi
  • Tea Tree — Melaleuca alternifolia
  • Thyme — Thymus vulgaris
  • White Birch — Betula alba
  • Valerian — Valeriana officinalis
  • Vetivert — Vetiveria zizanoides
  • Violet Leaf — Viola odorata
  • Yarrow — Achillea millefolium
  • Ylang Ylang — Cananga odorata

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