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Rollo’s Favorite Names: A memorial tribute

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By Laura Miller Brennan

If the Nameberry forums had an ambassador, Rollo (also known as Margot, or Carolyn Margot) was it. Carolyn Margot Delohery hailed from Sydney, Australia, but her goodwill, sensibility, and unmatched enthusiasm for names extended to online namers around the world. She died on June 14, 2014.

As much–or more–than any member of the Nameberry community, Rollo was especially passionate about certain names—ardent, romantic girls like Dorothea and Zoraide; new masculine classics like Christian and Hunter. She joined when the site was in its infancy, in 2008. But her contributions weren’t just about name choices; in discussion posts public and private she followed William Penn’s old dictum to carry out “any good thing I can do to any fellow being.” The doting grandmother-of-five and mom-of-two often chimed in with gentle and relevant words of encouragement for her fellow name folk, earning her a well-loved place here.

In remembrance of Rollo, here are a few of the names she loved best.

Paul: A simple and currently underappreciated classic; it means “small”. Rollo campaigned for a big Paul revival.

Zoraide: The name of a Kate Chopin character, and also appearing in Charlotte Bronte’s The Professor. It appears to be a variant of Zoraida (“Zoh-RIY-duh”), an Arabic name meaning “enchanted woman”.

Austin: Short version of the medieval Augustine, not to mention the Texas city. Its meaning is “great; magnificent”.

Georgia: A feminization of George and perennial Aussie favorite. Rollo especially loved this in combination with Clementine.

Noah: Biblical righteous man and current top boy name in the U.S. (#4 in Australia).

Gilliana: (“I like the flow and frilliness of it and that it is so unusual.”) An ultra-feminine extension of Gillian (the name of her beloved sister) and form of Julian (Roman, related to Jupiter of mythology).

Winston: English surname name famously worn by Prime Minister Churchill. From the English place name and given name Wynnstan–“joy stone”.

Gaynor: To Rollo, Gaynor may have been more reminiscent of the medieval-era long form Guinevere than of American singer Gloria.

Percy: English surname and French (Perci) place name, and cheeky Thomas the Tank Engine character.

Dorothea: From Greek and meaning “gift of God”, this deeply spiritual name seems especially fitting for a favorite of our late friend, who kept a nod to the 23rd Psalm in her signature.

Christian: From Greek for “follower of Christ”, and having a secular literary association in The Pilgrim’s Progress.

Ethel: An underused English “noble maiden”.

Zinaida: (“Now there is a name with presence!”) Rollo seemed to appreciate the flowing quality of this rarely heard, feminine Russian name, which is pronounced “Zee-nah-ee-dah”.

 

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mill1020

Laura Miller Brennan is a stay-at-home mom of four and an M.S. candidate in biology. Her blog, Letters to Aunt Kay, --http://letterstoauntkay.blogspot.com-- the long, strange trip of parenting as told to a compassionate witness. Her favorite pastime is reading to her kids.
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