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Of the "V" names so far, I like:
Avril-- even more I like the spelling Averill
Valancy-- what a wonderful find
"Van" is a sporty yet substantive short name which is sometimes a nickname for Evan, sometimes a nickname for a Dutch surname-name, like Vandenhoevel or Van Wyck or something like that.. A little preppy, but fun.
"Alva/Alvah" used to be for boys but I like it on a girl as a spunky "diner" name, a la "Mabel".
"Ivor"-- Anglicized form of Welsh "Ifor", or, Anglo-Saxon, meaning "hero".
'V' names that are admittedly a bit more "out there":
"Morveren"-- Cornish name meaning "maid of the
"Avice"-- Elizabethan variant of "Avis", which
helps remove the car rental aspect
"Averick"-- One of a variant cluster of Manx
Gaelic names including "Aurick" and
"Affrica". I think Averick would
be a neat way to honor one's
"Vorgell"-- Another Manx Gaelic name meaning
"sea bright". I'm thinking the "g"
Wow, Easternbetty, I like your suggestions of "Piers", "Alaric" and "Frederick".
The fact that they are not stereotypically Scandinavian, yet have that "northern" association is an asset. Paired with a name like "Axel", they would subtly enhance a theme but not pound it unduly.
Zoerhenne's "Matilda" seems to hit that same sweet spot. Wonder what other female names do the same-- "Pippa"? "Lisbeth", "Greta", "Johanna", "Renata", "Petra" or "Mariel"?
For some reason, I prefer that direction rather than something more overtly Scandinavian like "Dagmar" or the ever-popular "Linnea"...
Oh, if you'll indulge one final comment on Elisha. The name had two periods of "popularity"-- the sixteenth century with the Puritans, and then in the nineteenth century. I do tend to be drawn to names of those two periods, coincidentally.
Zoerhenne, "Asher" comes to mind with the "sh" sound. I agree that "sh" generically seems more feminine, but b/c the Biblical Elisha is in my mind, I continue to see it in the male column. He was a close associate of Elijah, and continued his work for him.
To your point, I've always had trouble with the young actor's name "Shia LeBoeuf", because "Shia" intuitively seems feminine to me. I understand it is pronounced "SHY-ah", but for me that still doesn't help!
Harriet, I've only heard it pronounced "E-LYE-sha" in English, but perhaps in Hebrew the emphasis is different? Where are you, Miriam?
I also think the E-LYE-sha sound is more masculine, so better for a boy. If I were to use it, I would use "Eli" as a nickname, which is also a wonderful, stand-alone name. Packs a lot of power for three letters...
Blythe, thanks for pointing out that subtlety about the meaning of "blithe". How astute of you to note that sub-text. Example: When hubby and I are pointing out the merry (and annoying!) obliviousness of our son Banks, we might say something like "He blithely ignored the huge mess in his room, and proceeded to construct an elaborate paper skeleton", or something on that order!
That said, the happy, joyful aspect is over-riding for me, so I love the name. You chose well for your screen moniker! I do like that it is both a woman's first name and a surname at the same time. Always liked L.M. Montgomery's character "Gilbert Blythe" (is that how he spelled it?)
Easternbetty, I would ditto your pronunciation of the two blithe/Blythe's. I love the meaning of "blithe", don't you?
I think Blythe Danner the actress pronounces her name as in "thanks" also.
"Kitt" is sort of a tribute name-- for my late mother, Katherine, known from childhood as "Kitty" or "Kit". As you know, I just love those nonchalant nicknames like Tess, Nell, Kit, Nan, Bess, Moll, etc. Maybe I'll stick with Kitt for a while (if the computer lets me!), but feel free to call me Eo if you prefer...
A further interesting note on all the Barrymore "Blyth's". The first well-known Blyth(e) was matinee idol Maurice Herbert Blyth, whose SURNAME was Blyth, but took Barrymore off a marquee or sign and adopted it as his surname. Then he simply incorporated "Blyth" as a middle name. Thus all the famous Barrymores to come were using a "pirated" last name, and were really all Blyths.
So you can see why so many of them hung onto Blyth so tenaciously as a middle name...
N. Amanda, I really like "Elisha" as a name, although I personally wouldn't twin it with "Elijah". Seems to me Elisha is getting more traction lately. Wonder if it's the soft sound?
I rather hope it isn't taken over by girls, but I fear it might be. There was a fabulous Forties actor who appeared in "The Maltese Falcon" named Elisha Cook, Jr., who had a memorably neurotic quality...
I never notice the ads either! Shows how single-mindedly I'm focused on names when I come here, I guess..
(Wonder why the computer keeps switching my handle back and forth from Kitt to Eo-- I never know when I first log on which one I'll be!)
For that small group of enthusiasts interested in how names come "dynastically" down through families, here's something:
Have been reading Margot Peters' "The House of Barrymore", about the famous acting family, which included John,("The Profile"), Lionel, Ethel, and now of course, Drew Barrymore.
The Barrymores are always described as this legendary American theater family, of English-Irish origins. Peters traces them back to the eighteenth century, to Thomas Haycraft Lane. Watch how the names and surnames get woven down though the generations:
Thomas Haycraft Lane
Louisa Lane (Mrs. John Drew)
Georgiana Emma Drew
Maurice Herbert Blyth Barrymore
John Sidney Blyth Barrymore
Lionel Herbert Blyth Barrymore
Ethel Mae (!) Blyth Barrymore
Diana Blanche Barrymore
John Blyth Barrymore
Samuel Griswold Colt
John Drew Colt
Drew Lord Devereaux
Louisa Lane Devereaux
Antony John Barrymore
John Blyth Barrymore
Blythe Barrymore (there was constant confusion within the family re Blyth/Blythe, and it was spelled both ways)
John Drew Mighetta
and of course, Drew Barrymore, born 1975
Drew's mother added her own exotic moniker to the family-- "Ildiko Jaid", which I think is Hungarian?
But I love the way the different generations pick up bits and pieces of names from other generations and tie them in...
Would love to know Drew Barrymore's middle name(s), if any...
A few thoughts, Miranda: Since you like "An-" names, have you given any thought to "Anthea" instead of "Althea"? "Anthea" is a Greek name meaning "flower-like". Also gives you the "Thea" nickname you like.
"Anna" is one of those popular traditional names which will survive that popularity and remain a beautiful classic.
If you live in North America, I would think almost everyone would pronounce it to rhyme with Hannah, manna, nanna. Which is lovely.
But if you are looking for a European-ized "AH-na" pronunciation, I wouldn't think you would get that sound very much if you are in this part of the world.
I agree with you about "Ava". Too trendy, time-stamped, and too associated with celebrity offspring for my taste...
Anna, a million years ago I went to first or second grade with a very traditional little "Archer"-- his name was Archer Guy, and I always thought it was one of those fun names that is completely reversible: "Archer Guy", "Guy Archer"...
Anyway, it's been around forever as both a surname and first name, so you needn't worry on that score. I very much like it, and love the nickname "Archie" too. Isn't Archie still quite stylish in Britain? I suppose you need to consider whether that is a plus or minus to you.
Ditto Arthur. Prefer Archer to Arthur, even though the Camelot association is very appealing.
I love the suggestions of "Libby" (Elizabeth, presumably) and "Charlotte" with Samuel. Let's see, Rjoy, if the couple like Angelica and Veronica, maybe they'd like the sound of "Clarissa". "Samuel and Clarissa" have a charming, old-fasioned air...
Like so many others, I adore Samuel too. It is one name that one suspects shares a problem with Benjamin-- people arbitrarily shortening the names to, respectively, Sam and Ben. There's something about these very traditional, three syllable Biblicals!
I almost think that people feel a kind of friendly "ownership" of the names and therefore nickname at will.
I've never heard of a "Jeremy" getting his name lopped off to "Jer" though...
Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz covered the whole "Maverick" trend long before this political season. In "The Baby Name Bible" (my copy was published in March 2007), they have this entry:
"MAVERICK. American, 'independent, nonconformist.' At the rate it's growing, Maverick soon won't seem like such a maverick anymore. Heard first in a 1950's James Garner western TV series, and then as the Tom Cruise character in 'Top Gun', Maverick symbolizes an unfettered, free spirit."
Next to the name "MAVERICK", they have one of their little arrows pointing up, indicating that even back then the name was on the upswing, but I don't know how to reproduce that on a computer...
Hi, this is Eo, posting as "Kitt". An "idea" name that has always had an appeal for freedom-minded parents is "Liberty".
It has that rolling, three-syllable sound, and is associated with the high-minded works of the American founders.
Interestingly, I was reading somewhere about a very stylish young English woman, who also sported the name "Liberty". It fits with my penchant for similar names Charity, Verity, et al.