Category: Historic Names
February 17th is the birthdate of Andrew Barton Paterson, affectionately known as âBanjoâ Paterson. Â He was named Andrew after his Scottish-born father, and his middle name Barton was a family name from his motherâs side; he was related to Edmund Barton, who would later become Australiaâs first prime minister. Because he and his dad had the same name, Paterson went by his middle name, and was always known as Barty to his friends and family.
Paterson lived with his grandmother while he was attending the prestigious Sydney Grammar School, and she encouraged in him a love of poetry. He was 21 when he first began submitting poems to The Bulletin, under the pseudonym of âThe Banjoâ (sometimes shortened to a simple âBâ). Â Full of fierce nationalism and a desire for a fairer society, he had some aspirations to write fiery polemic, and had even written a political pamphlet. Â However, The Bulletin had other ideas.
In the late nineteenthÂ century, there was a movement towards the British colonies of Australia becoming one country, a feeling that Australia should be a united nation, and Australians a united people. In the effort to provide Australia with a unifying mythology that wouldÂ instillÂ nationalistic pride, it seemed that the Australian bush and outback would be the symbol to draw everyone together.
Manx is one of the six Celtic languages that hail from the British isles. Â It is the native language of the Isle of Man, an island uniquely situated between the coasts of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. From its highest point,Â Snaefell, you can even see all four countries on a clear day.
Over the centuries it has passed from and between Welsh, Viking, English and Scottish rule, though now has its own democratic parliament. The Manx language âÂ a close relative of Irish and Scot Gaelic âÂ was spoken up until the 1970s, when its last native speaker died. However, it is now beginning to seeÂ some signs of revival.
I have found a catalogue of old birth certificates of Romani (Gypsy) children with their parent’s names. My understanding is that all of these records are from England with births throughout the 1800′s and early 1900′s. So many of the names are what I would expect from that place and time: Kate, Henry, Oliver, Matthew, Eliza, Sarah, James, Benjamin, Annie, Mary, Charlotte, Robert, Thomas…you get the idea. Â But here, I’m paying special attention to the glittery bits. There are some here that I can genuinely sayÂ that you’ve probablyÂ never seen before.
Spring is the time of year for gentle rains and soft winds, the greening of leaves and the growing of flowers. The animals are all awakening and the season of rebirth starts. Itâs probably the most romanticized season. Historically, Spring has been known as the time for having babies, for birth and fertility and in recent studies, Spring and mid-Summer have statistically had more births. If youâre looking for a name that represents the springtime and all its lovely flowers and greenery, I have a list of generally underused Greek names just for you.
Goddesses of the Spring
Persephone â Persephone is pronounced per-SEF-oh nee and sheâs the queen of the underworld, wife of Hades and goddess of spring growth. While Persephone generally has a bad rep, itâs really a very lovely name. Sheâs the reason we have flowers and green things during the Spring and Summer. Though her name has been attributed to having a negative meaning, itâs really an unknown as the words for âdark blueâ and the word for âsoundâ both appear in her name.
Brits love diminutives. We use them, often automatically, to shorten names in a familiar way, and they have been essential for centuries as a way of distinguishing individuals with the same name. We love them so much, many of them have now been elevated into full-name status, and happily litter the Top 100.
The most common are two-syllable, ie/y-endings we know and love well; Isabelles are Izzy, Olivers are Ollie, Katherines are Katies and Fredericks are Freddies. Â But more and more, parents are looking to aÂ more brisk and quirky style of diminutive.Â Edwards are often Ned, rather than Eddy; several Henrys are Hal, and Christophers are the striking Kit rather than Chris.
With this niche trend in mind, here is a rundown of some one-syllable diminutives that have become overlooked since they were developed in the Middle Ages. Several of them, perhaps surprisingly, were unisex.
In the 16th centuryÂ BessÂ was a popular nickname forÂ Elizabeth. You could almost say that it wasÂ theÂ diminutive for the name, as the most famous bearer, Elizabeth I, was known fondly as “Good Queen Bess“. It began to lose favour in the 18th century, but was revived as Bessie in the 19th. In some instances, Bess was also used as a diminutive forÂ Beatrice.