|B is for Beach, photo by laliseuse via Flickr|
I love names like I love words — I could swim forever in all the elements of aesthetic appeal (the look of letters on their own and of letters in certain combinations), sound preferences, vibes (my mother-in-law is a synesthete, and the way she talks about letters and color feels very familiar, though I don't see them like she does) — I'm drawn to unexpected pairings and always strive for a sense of balance and evenness based on my personal preferences.
There are some letters I'm just not drawn to, and one of them is B. There are only two names on my favorites list that start with B — Balthasar and (very newly-added) Bodille. Poor, neglected B. A message-board post I read yesterday prompted me to come up with 5 B names I like for each gender. And, surprise, with a little digging, I did. And I really like all of them, as a grouping and on their own! Maybe enough to add one or two to my own B-starved list —
Balthasar — there's just something about Balthasar-with-an-S. Spell it with a Z and I'm not as interested, it just looks gawky and biblical. But the S softens it, makes it more romantic. It's a Latin variant of a Hebrew name which was originally from an Akkadian name meaning "Ba'al protect the king"
Basil — another B-herb! It also has meaning as an Arabic name ("brave, valiant")
Beau — obvious meaning, here. Beau has always been one that I like but can never commit to or add to my list. I've known a few, maybe that throws me off, or perhaps the meaning is just too literal. Still really like it though
Bruno — Blanche means white, Bruno means "brown." This one's well within the top 100 for Spain, Croatia and Chile, which should point to its international appeal, though I'd definitely avoid spelling it with an umlaut on the U
Bertrand — means "bright shield." It was close between this and Bertram, Barnaby, Benedict and Bartholomew, but Bertrand won out (maybe for Bertrand Russell?)
Bodille — this is one I found via the Dutch stats. It can also be spelled Bodil or Bodile, and it's from an ancient Scandinavian name, Bóthildr, comprised of Norse elements meaning "remedy" and "battle." I'm totally into it at the moment, and like the nickname Bo for a girl, too
Babette — a French diminutive form of Elizabeth. Probably my favorite Elizabeth diminutive (though I like Betty and Betsy too -- Betsy's my mom!) You know I love "-ette" endings and forgive me, but I find the nickname Babe irresistible, at least in theory
Blanche — come on, Blanche DuBois? It's French, it's technically a color name (means "white") and still ranks fairly high-up in France. I always forget about this one when old-lady names are brought up, but I think it's ready for some attention
Bergliot — now this one is very new to me. I'm not even sure how to pronounce it. Another Norwegian name, it's comprised of elements meaning "save," or "help," and "light" — love that. Save the light, ya know?
Betony — the name of a minty herb, I think the sounds here are familiar enough (Bethany, Brittany, actor Paul Bettany) that this name isn't too wild a choice
What are your favorite B names?