Category: baby name Winter
I love the autumn season. I MISS the autumn season. Living in Thailand for the past couple of years, I have not experienced fall in all its glory and I miss it. This time of year brings thoughts of the colorful season, and those thoughts inevitably turn to names (of course). What’s the history with the seasons as given names? How have Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn fared over the years?
It’s probably no surprise that Autumn has been the most widely used season name since 1880. But here are some things that you may not know…
Everyone knows the story of Cinderella.
There’s a wicked stepmother and a prince. During the royal ball, a glass slipper is lost, left behind by a mysterious girl who vanishes into the night.
Retellings galore have updated and twisted the tale. Hilary Duff turned it into a teen movie, with Chad Michael Murray as Prince Charming. Drew Barrymore made a version that mixed in Leonardo da Vinci.
Now Marissa Meyer has written a completely different Cinderella story, transporting her from a castle-filled past to the city of New Beijing, in an indefinite – and rather terrifying – future. There’s plague and the threat of war, but happily, her Cinderella will become a true heroine.
Snooki is looking for another Italian name. David Arquette promised to name his baby something normal. Kerry Washington honored her daughter’s Igbo heritage with a distinctive middle, and blogger Dana Miller borrowed a street name for a deeply meaningful choice.
For many of us, we know the characteristics we’d like in our child’s name long before we arrive at the actual name.
It seems sensible. It’s the way we shop for a car – seats six, good safety record – or a couch – stain-resistant fabric, big enough to fill up the family room, convenient delivery available.
But it isn’t the same at all, is it? When it comes to naming our children, we’re not completing a checklist that gets us to good enough. The standard is higher – we’re looking for a certain magic.
As a new month of the year arrives, it can be easy to forget where the name of October comes from. Though we count it as the tenth month, its name actually derives from the Latin octo meaning “eight,” as it was once the eighth month of the Roman calendar. From the same route as October we also get several other names:
Libra “the scales” is the astrological sign that runs roughly from September 24th to October 23rd. According to Greek mythology the scales belonged to Astraea (Virgo), the goddess of justice. Libra was used occasionally as a given name in Scotland in the 17th century, and in England in the 19th century.
For thousands of years, and in many different cultures, October was a time of the grape harvest.
The medieval wine trade was big business, but it was very much seasonal. The wine vintage usually took place in early October, and within a few weeks new wines were being widely exported, with annual wine fairs taking place in all of the major wine producing regions throughout October. An Old English name for October was Win-mónaþ “wine month,” also reflected in the Germanic Weinmond.
Wine-inspired names are hard to come by but the importance of the vine is immortalised in a few names:
Oenone – a Greek nymph; her name comes from the Greek oinos “wine.”
Vinicio – from the Latin vinum “wine.”
Heilyn – a Welsh boys’ name meaning “wine bearer.”
Famous wine producing towns have also been known to be used as names. Here a few that either have, or potentially could, be used as given names:
As for the grape itself, the Spanish, Italian and Portuguese know it as Uva, while the Danes and Norwegian call it Drue.
Eleanor Nickerson, better known to nameberry message board visitors as Elea, is a primary school teacher living in Coventry, England and author of the excellent, highly recommended blog British Baby Names.
I have this fascination with the Arctic Circle. I think it stems from my love of Christmas movies, as most of them feature scenes set in the magical North Pole. Rudolph, Elf¸ The Santa Clause, The Polar Express…they all show snippets of what I believe to be real-life documentary footage from the Northernmost regions of our globe, complete with the striped peppermint stick that is the North Pole. What a haven of whimsy and charm that polar region is.
In all seriousness, the real Arctic Circle that I have visited on Google Earth is, of course, nothing like the sparkling, colorful Santa Land featured in those films, but it has a breathtaking beauty and splendor all its own. It may not feature singing snowmen or dancing elves, but it is magical in its own right. Its bleakness is eerie and mystifying. Its simplicity is elegant. Crisp, clean, untouched. I have never been there in person, though I would love to visit someday (any Alaskan Berries have a guest bedroom??), but I have had a lifelong fascination with the frozen North. I have seen the Northern Lights twice from my hometown in Pennsylvania, and no scene on earth compares to that sublime light show that hails from the skies above the North Pole. For us name enthusiasts, things like that inspire us in the area we love best: naming.