Tuesday, December 13

Panning for Name Gold: 1960

Awkward virgin statue

All right, finally, the '60s. We can all relax, right? The hippies'll figure everything out. 

Eamon — a variant spelling of the Irish form of Edmund (Éamonn), pronounced "AY-mon," this name means "rich protector." Irish names are reliably popular choices here in the US and though Eamon hasn't made the top 1,000 like, ever (at least in the past 131 searchable years on the SSA list) I think it's ready for a bit of attention
Imre — almost unheard-of in the US, Imre ranks in the top 100 for Hungary. It's the Hungarian form of the German name Emmerich, a name that's also due for some consideration. The meaning is wonderful ("universal power") and its unusual (for English) elements make it a real standout choice. Musician Alanis Morrissette recently chose it as a middle name for her son, Ever
Kjell — pronounced "chell," Kjell is the Swedish and Norwegian form of an Old Norse name meaning "kettle," or "cauldron." It has quite a history as a popular name in those countries (it's also used regularly in the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland). Other forms include Ketill, Kjeld and Keld
Ogden — "the cow is of the bovine ilk/one end is moo, the other, milk" Ogden Nash is probably the most well-known bearer of this name. It's from an Old English surname meaning "oak valley"
Remy — from the Latin name Remigius, meaning "oarsmen." Remy is a name I'll be watching when the SSA releases its statistics for 2011. It appeared on the list in '09 at #968 and jumped to #874 in 2010. It's hard to say whether or not it'll advance further, but I hope it does, as it's an interesting name with a great, unusual masculine sound

Lyra — sometimes I'm such a space-freak that names I might not like seem intriguing just because they're connected to outer space. Lyra is one of them — Lyra is a constellation in the northern sky, named by Ptolemy for its resemblance to the shape of Orpheus' lyre, which was thrown into the Hebrus after his death. Its principal star is Vega, and it's sometimes referred to as Aquila Cadens, meaning "falling eagle"
Minna — a Finnish short form of Vilhelmina, Minna currently makes the top 100 in Sweden. I like a lot of the short forms of this name, like Mimmi, Helmi, Vilhelmi and Willemijn. Minna was a rather steady presence in the US top 1,000 from (at least) 1880 'til 1916. The highest it ever rose was #369 in 1889 (the current-day equivalent of Bethany) — it's also the name of a city in Nigeria
Nieves — I love names that mean "snow," or that have snowy meanings. Perfect for a winter baby (though I've never had a snowy winter) — Nieves is a Spanish name referring to the Virgin Mary as she's known as Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, or Our Lady of the Snows. A variant is Nieve, a name I first came across as a child (it was one of the first names of someone I met that surprised and delighted me because I'd never heard it before)
Tanis — from the Greek name Tanith, this name means "serpent lady," and was the name of the Phoenician goddess of love, fertility, the moon and the stars (and all that good stuff) — also found as the Greek name of Djanet, a city in the Nile delta. A lovely variant is Tanit
Trilby — a literary name, Trilby is the title of a popular novel by George du Maurier and an 1822 novel by Charles Nodier. Both novels have ballets based on them, and the du Maurier novel is probably more famous for its hypnotist/musician character, Svengali. du Maurier's heroine, Trilby O'Farrell, is often depicted in stage-form wearing a short-brimmed hat now called a "trilby," a type of fedora


  1. My brother name is Eamon it's name short and very much sounded . if You would like to find out the meaning or origin of any of the names, you can simply search over the internet. where get really positive responses about the name with origin. The meaning of Eamon is "Wealthy Defender"

  2. Eamon is Top 100 where I live, and like you, Remy is a name I'm keeping an eye on, as I'm seeing it around the place (both both sexes).

    Lyra and Tanis are lovely. I think Tanis may also be a Cree word meaning "daughter", which could also be a source in the US.

  3. ooh, thanks for that info re: Tanis!

  4. Tanis is the name of a male character in the popularish fantasy series Dragonlance. [The series is published by TSR, who owns Dungeons & Dragons (the series is based off a D&D campaign that the writers played), so it's popular within a certain population.]


  5. I think Lyra has serious growth potential these days!

  6. I have always had a soft spot for Trilby. I am surprised it never caught on with other names like Shelby.


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