Friday, November 11

Friday Faves

the gloaming (blue nights), in the Scottish highlands, by Drew Withington

As far as numbers go, it's pretty hard to beat 11.11.11. A few eleven-related names are on my mind today. 

The 11th moon of Jupiter is Himalia, named for a favorite nymph of Zeus. In the Basque language, the word for eleven is Hamaika, which also means "infinite." In blackjack, an Ace card can function as either a 1 or an 11, depending on which is more advantageous for the player. A straight translation yields some interesting name prospects — Elf (Danish/German), Ellefu (Icelandic), Elleve (Norwegian), Elva (Swedish) and Onze (French/Portuguese). 

My birthday is this Sunday, and my lovely husband bought me an early present — three books I've been dying to read. One is Haruki Murakami's latest, 1Q84. Murakami pays great attention to the names he chooses for his characters, and a glance at the inside cover reveals two very interesting ones — a girl named Aomame, and a man named Tengo. In Joan Didion's Blue Nights, she writes about the death of her only daughter, Quintana Roo, named for the Mexican state on the eastern part of the Yucatán peninsula. Margaret Atwood's In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination should be an interesting read. She is the author of one of my favorite works of science fiction, Oryx and Crake. The Oryx in the title takes her name from the African antelope, and Crake takes his from the name of a small bird. I love finding names in literature — a great character can make me love a name I never thought to consider. 

There were many great suggestions for the names of the two mystery colors featured in my Polished Jewels post. My favorites were Night's Altum, Midwinter Names' Zelda, and Dearest's Lumina

Mer de Noms and Waltzing More than Matilda guessed correctly! The green polish is actually named Apple, a choice that is obviously obvious. The pearly white color is named Celeste, whose "heavenly" meaning isn't too far off from the "light" meaning of Lumina. Thank you to everyone who played along!


  1. Beautiful post. Eleven is one of my favorite numbers. Crazy tidbit: I always seem to look at clocks that read 11:11. I've tried to find reasonable explanations for this so, so many times: the vertical lines attract my attention (but it happens on dial clocks); my body is subconsciously attuned to the time and cues me to look at a clock (but I see it on clocks with incorrect time); and (most likely) I actually see many more numbers, but I only remember this one, so it seems I see it more often, though I actually do not (but I so rarely look at never, so I think I really do see it most often.) My old office mate's idea was that aliens were trying to communicate with me. nice. While I can't say I share her theory (and might have even heavily mocked it a few times), I can't deny the odd nature of this occurrence (I land on the number in so many other ways, as well), so this day is weird/special for me, I must say, even if just to celebrate the beautiful nature of coincidence.

    Ellefu, Elleve, and Onze are so pretty. And stunning image, too! This also reminds me that I've been needing to pick up Blue Nights for a read.

  2. Oryx is so amazing (As was the book. I think I even cried at one point. It was such a sad, hopeless world Atwood created.) Celeste is very pretty, too.

  3. I love this! Just wanted to let you know, I accidentally posted Altum as anonymous- it's Night here. Thanks!

  4. I always seem to notice the 11:11 thing on the clock; it sticks out when you have a digital clock eg on the computer or mobile phone.

    Elva is sweet!


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