Category: artists’ names
I was in Williamsburg, Virginia not too long ago, where there was a wonderful show of folk art portraits at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Museum. I was transfixed by the art, of course, but even more transfixed by the colonial names.
These are names that are mostly rooted in the bible or mythology, but that you just don’t hear much in the modern world.
But that doesn’t mean that many of these colonial names aren’t ripe for revival. A few of the colonial names on this list — notably Mercy, Augustine, and Susannah — are being rediscovered by today’s parents.
The others, well, are they undiscovered gems or mere curiosities? What do you think?
This collection is simply based on the (real) 18th century people pictured in the portrait show.
- Burneretta — This is not a literally unique name — a few others are findable online — but seems to be an invention.
- Debrah — Interesting to see that Deborah had spelling variations 300 years ago.
- Delia — An old-fashioned name with a sleek modern feeling (like Celia), Delia can also be short for Adelia or Cordelia.
- Dorothea — Coming back along with brother Theodore.
More people are coming to nameberry these days in search of cool middle names to use on Facebook. The whole give-yourself-a-new-middle-name thing started on Facebook way back in 2008, when supporters of Barack Obama took his middle name Hussein.
Next up: Facebookers began adopting the middle name Equality, to show their support for marriage equality.
Of course, adopting new cool middle names on Facebook is not all altruism. On a more self-serving level, they can keep snoopy relatives, school administrators, and would-be employers from finding you and your potentially-embarrassing party pictures.
Self-namers in search of a cool cover can check out nameberry’s list of Cool Middle Names. Short and spunky, these names work best for girls. Among the best choices:
We’ve always loved the O names and have taken an ever-expanding view of the category since publishing our first name book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason, in which we (shockingly, at the time) declared names that end in O such as Theo and Milo to be “So Far Out They’re In.”
Bardo is also a Buddhist concept meaning “intermediate state” – significant, many say, because of Bullock’s marital woes and decision to divorce, announced at the same time as her baby’s adoption.
Wikipedia lists the Six Bardos for those who want more illumination on Bardo, as well as other people and places that have a relationship to the name. In a more earthly realm, David Boreanz named his infant daughter Bardot, as in the surname of French star Brigitte.
Other obscure O names with celebrity connections (how’s that for a nameberry-only subgroup?) include:
We looked at trailblazing women in Part One of this blog yesterday—bold and courageous achievers who would prove worthy namesakes for a daughter. Now we turn to those with major accomplishments in the arts—a varied mix of writers, artists, and musicians of the far and fairly recent past—many of whom seem to have appropriately creative names—whether they were born with them or not.
APHRA Behn (also seen on the trailblazer list)