Wednesday, February 29

Leap Names

Early love days -- I had black hair for a year

It's extremely difficult for me to believe, but I first met my husband on Leap Day 2004 — so today is our 2nd/8th dating anniversary. Here are ten names from my favorites list that would be a real leap for me to actually use in real life:

Earnest — I prefer this variant spelling of Ernest, for some reason. I like that it's the way the word is spelled, and maybe it's less likely to get Ernie as a nickname (I'd prefer just Ern). From a Germanic root meaning "serious," its literary connections are appealing. There's Hemingway, of course, and Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest." Some pretty cool variants, too: feminine French Ernestine, Dutch & German Ernst, Finnish Erno and Spanish Ernesto
Indus — taken from the name of the river (which flows from Tibet through India and Pakistan), Indus is a derivative of the word Hindu, which is why it seems a little too weighted-down to use on an actual child, though I love the sound and the connection with nature and early human civilization
Makepeace — one of my favorite name-smushes, Makepeace was the middle name of writer William Thackeray. I love to use a daring middle name — so many times the middle name choice is an afterthought, when really they are the perfect opportunity to use something more adventurous. Who wouldn't want their middle name to be Makepeace? For a pacifist like me it's got a pretty solid meaning
Spintho — no idea where I found this, but I think it has something to do with the term spinto, which means "pushed" in Italian and refers to a certain type of soprano or tenor. It read kind of new-wavey to me and I think it would work really well for a character in a story
Wycliffe — Wycliffe has been up and down on my list since I added it. I can never decide where it falls, and it's impossible to pair it with anything suitable (suggestions welcome!) 

Almira —  a variant of Elmira, this name comes from Germanic elements meaning "noble" and "famous," though I wonder if it might be connected to Alma, from the Latin almus, meaning "nourishing," or the Spanish word for "soul."  I prefer the "AL-meer-ah" pronunciation to one with a long "I" sound 
Anca — a diminutive of Ana, this name is pronounced like Bianca, without the Bi. I'm a sucker for sharp, succinct, yet feminine names, and this is one of them. There's also a town in Portugal called Ançã, though I assume the pronunciation is different
Dovima — 1950s fashion model Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba created a stage name by taking the first two letters of each of her given names. The result is an exotic, unusual name that is totally created (not all namers are averse to making up names, after all, most names were made-up at some point or another). Such great nickname possibilities here: Dovi, Vim, Mimi ...
Ivalo — another river name! The Ivalo river is in Finland's Lapland province, and it's also the name of a town. The little Danish Princess Josephine has Ivalo as one of her middle names. It's actually a Greenlandic name meaning "tendon, thread," or "sinew"
Vilde — this one is currently quite high on my list. It's a short form of Alvilde, which is a variant of an Old Norse name (Alfhild) meaning "noble," which belonged to a warrior maiden from Norse legend


  1. I love that picture. Happy Anniversary!
    I enjoy Earnest and hadn't thought much about it before...

  2. love Vim! and of course, Ivalo! Earnest is a solid favorite for boys.

  3. Oh, Vilde. How I adore you. It actually wouldn't take all that much for me to use her.


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