The sophisticated Edmund and its nearly-identical French twin Edmond are coming out of mothballs now that Edward, inspired by "Twilight," is once again a hot name.
Edmund has had an enviable history, as evidenced by these quotes: "There is nobleness in the name of Edmund," says a Jane Austen character, and the poet John Keats once bemoaned, "Had my name been Edmund, I would have been more fortunate."
Famous bearers include the English astronomer Edmund Halley, after whom the comet was named, poet Edmund Spenser, great Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean, and New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary. Literary Edmunds appear in King Lear,, Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, and Dickens's Little Dorrit.
Edmund reached its highest point of popularity in the U.S. in 1914, when it was Number 130; it hasn't appeared on the list since 1997--making it even more attractive as an uncommon alternative to Edward.
Eamon is the cheery Irish version.