Category: Nature, Place and Word Names
When I was at University, I was lucky enough to study Ancient History as an undergraduate degree. l found the whole subject absolutely fascinating, but I must admit that I could often get sidetracked from my studies whenever a research paper or book contained a map or list of ancient cities. You see, the name-nerd in me couldn’t help revelling in the names of ancient places — I’d frequently roll the lyrical syllables around my tongue and scribbled them down on the corner of my research notes.
A whole heap of ancient place names are not only mellifluous but also aesthetically pleasing. Sadly, many are lost to us today or have long-since been renamed. Wouldn’t it be nice to reclaim a few of them back into nomenclature?
By Jane Ní Chaoimh
There are many Irish place names that could happily be used as baby names — in the US or elsewhere–of which this list is just a sampling. I have chosen names which are easily pronounced outside of Ireland and which have a positive meaning or origin. I’ve purposely omitted some well-known options (Kerry, for example, which probably suggests politics – à la US Secretary of State John Kerry – more than the Emerald Isle, at the moment!). Several of these could also fit into the nature name category (river names and so on).
What makes a name real?
Curzan points out that dictionaries are written by people, people who are listening very carefully to how the general public uses words. So tweet and defriend make the cut.
The same thing happens with baby name books and websites. Nevaeh wouldn’t have appeared in the 1980s, but she’s firmly installed today. And while Jayceon might be too new to appear in print, the fast-rising variant can be found on most of the major baby name sites.