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Category: artists’ names

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artistrock

By K. M Sheard, Nook of Names

I’ve been musing for a while now on the rich mine of names that are the surnames of artists.

Many of them have a great ring in themselves, as well as carrying strong artistic connotations.

With the most famous, it is as though their names “mean” their paintings.

Say Monet, for instance, and lovely, soft, impressionistc images float into the mind.

Here, then, is my pick of the artists:

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Saint-Cecilia-picture

By Linda Rosenkrantz

In the pantheon of Catholic patron saints, we find protectors of counties and cities, of living things ranging from caterpillars to wolves, not to mention those who guard against conditions from compulsive gambling to gout. What I’ve always found especially interesting are those associated with various occupations—in particular the ones relating to the creative arts–and the stories behind those patronages. Like how did a thirteenth century nun get to be the patron saint of TV?

So, if you’re a poet or a potter or a photographer, you just might find some naming inspiration here.

GIRLS

Barbara According to Catholic beliefs, the martyred Saint Barbara offers special protection for architects and stone masons because her troubled life included imprisonment in a tower.

CatherineCatherine of Bologna is considered the principle patron saint of artists. An Italian cloistered nun, she was a painter herself, in fact one of her surviving works, a 1456 depiction of St. Ursula, now hands in the Galleria Academia in Venice. Catherine of Alexandria protects potters and spinners.

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Colonial Names: Great New Old Choices

abby-americanfolkart

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.

Colonial names never cease to surprise and fascinate me.  Among the many (many many) people named Mary and Elizabeth, Henry and James, there are always several names that are real doozies.

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.

girls

  • 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.

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Cool Middle Names: Find one for Facebook

facebook

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:

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Bardo (and other celebrity O names)

liv-tyler-milo

Sandra Bullock’s choice of Bardo as her newly-adopted son’s middle name puts the spotlight back on the O names – names that begin, end, or otherwise emphasize the letter O.

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.”

Linda wrote a blog last year on popular O names, ranging from Leo to Inigo, Alessandro to Juno and including such newly-hot not-technically-ending-in-O girls’ choices as Harlow and Margot.

But Bardo wasn’t in there – though it was included on nameberry, as a German saint’s name (he was the 11th century bishop of Mainz) and also an Aboriginal name meaning water.

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:

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