Category: European baby names
We’ve talked about the names of great poets and painters and musicians and worthy political and social namesakes, but one area we’ve somewhat neglected is athlete names.
The names of tennis champs are interesting because they include both genders and are international in scope. And since the US Open (then called the US Men’s Singles Championship) dates back to 1881and the Women’s to 1887, with Wimbledon starting in 1877 and the Davis Cup to 1900, there’s plenty of opportunity to look back and include some cool vintage names as well.
Nameberry guest blogger Andrea, whom many of you may know for her intelligent and thoughtful advice on our message boards, is both a newspaper reporter and a royal watcher. Here, her rundown of the names of the littlest princes and princesses of Europe.
The British royal family is traditional enough that it’s fairly easy to make an educated guess about its naming habits. Other European royals are far more creative in their naming, sometimes reflecting the current styles in their countries or setting styles themselves. The Crown Prince and Princess of the Netherlands gave all three of their daughters “A” names: Princesses Catharina-Amalia (called Amalia), Alexia, and Ariane. (That’s them with their parents on the right.)
Belgian Crown Prince Prince Philippe, the Duke of Brabant, and his wife Princess Mathilde, reportedly have a subtler theme in the naming of their children and have included the element “el” in each name. The children are Princess Élisabeth, born in 2001, and her younger siblings Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel, and Princess Eléonore.
Young Princess Eléonore is one of several young European royals with variants of the name Eleanor. Spain has the Infanta Leonor, born in 2005, whose parents pored over the family tree to find the name, which honors a medieval queen. Royal watchers also tried to guess what name the new Spanish infanta would receive; none I saw got it right. The following year another royal baby was given the name in the Netherlands: the Countess Leonore, daughter of Prince Constantijn and Princess Laurentien. Will all the Leonors set off a naming trend in other countries? Well, according to at least one newspaper article, Leonor is currently among the five most common names given to baby girls in Portugal.
Let’s say you like the basic concept of a place name, but you’re not so thrilled when it’s tied to the image of a specific locale. If, for example, you’re thinking Tulsa sounds like a nice, friendly, easygoing, Western name– but then suddenly the image of Oklahoma oil fields spring to mind, or say you think Trenton might be the perfect boy’s name—if it weren’t for the New Jersey connection.
There is one way around this. You could consider place names that are no longer on the map, either because of a name change, possibly for political reasons, or because the place itself disappeared—or may have never even existed at all.
Here, some romantic, faraway examples, mostly with non-specific images:
ANGLIA—Latin name of England
ANNAM—historic name for part of Vietnam
ATLANTIS—legendary island supposed to have sunk into the Atlantic
BRIXIA—the ancient Latin name of the modern Northern Italian city of Brescia
CANTON—Chinese city now called Guangzhou
CARAL –a Peruvian settlement considered the most ancient city of the Americas
CEYLON—old name of Sri Lanka
Continuing her exploration of motion picture award names, one of our favorite guest bloggers, Abby Sandel, creator of the popular site Appellation Mountain , looks beyond Hollywood to find some interesting names associated with winners at Cannes, Berlin and Britain award ceremonies.
Marquee-worthy baby names are all the rage, with choices ranging from the Top Ten Ava to surnames like Harlow. Searching past Academy Award winners can provide inspiration for baby names, from the glamorous to the unusual.
But what about all those other Award shows? Oscar may be king in the US, but elsewhere, actors and directors compete for Goyas, Bears, BAFTAs, Ariels and, of course, the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes.
The following names are culled from award winners from across the globe, but proceed with caution. Just like not every Oscar-winning character makes for a worthy name sake, that remains true for this list.
CALYPSO: Neither an actress nor a character, the Calypso was the name of the ship used by Jacques Cousteau in the celebrated 1956 The Silent World, a documentary and early work by famed director Louis Malle.
CANDELARIA: The first Mexican film to achieve widespread international acclaim, Maria Candelaria starred Dolores del Río, the first Latin American actress to make it big in Hollywood. The movie was released in 1943, but wasn’t screened at Cannes until post-World War II.
GERTRUDE: 1946’s La Symphonie Pastorale is a French film based on a novel. Gertrude is a blind orphan adopted by a pastor. Both her foster father and stepbrother fall for her. Drama follows. The luminous Michèle Morgan starred as Gertrude – and would later lose out on the starring role in Casablanca.
KESA: Japan’s first post-war international hit was 1953’s Gate of Hell. The story of a samurai and Lady Kesa, the woman he rescues propelled Machiko Ky? to stardom. She went on to work with Akira Kurosawa and Kenji Mizoguchi.
LUCIENNE: Not an actor at all, but the jeweler who designed the original Palme d’Or award for the Cannes Film Festival.
MAGALI: Turkish-French actress Magali Noël was best known for her work with Italian director Federico Fellini, including appearing as Fanny in 1960’s legendary La dolce vita. She also scored early French rock’n’roll hits as a singer in the 1950s.
SERAFINA: Decades before Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner chose Seraphina for their second daughter, French director Marcel Camus made Black Orpheus in Brazil in 1959. A truly international production that would garner recognition at Cannes as well as an Academy Award and a BAFTA, Serafina was one of the characters.
It’s not really so surprising that the names of dances would be strikingly rhythmic and melodic, but when I started to look into it, I was somewhat taken aback by the sheer number and variety—and by how many of them could conceivably be seen as baby names.
The following list cuts across time and space, from Italian Renaissance peasant dances and stately minuets to complex international folk dances to Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers to 1960s line dancing to 1980s Brazilian zouk.
ABHIA—a ceremonial dance done by southern Sudan tribal women around a mango tree
ABRAXAS—a serpentine ritual dance of the Greek Gnostics to the deity of that name
ALEMANDER—folk dance performed in Germany and Switzerland
APARINA—a Tahitian dance for 60 men and women sitting in four rows
BARYNYA—a lively Russian folk dance; also the name of several Russian folk dancing ensembles
BOSTON—the original name of the American Waltz, introduced in that city in 1834
BRANSIE—an old French follow-the-leader dance
CALATA—an Italian town dance done in triple time
CARINOSA—Philippine dance of love
CEROC—a simplified version of modern jive dance
CHACONNE—a slow, solemn dance of Spanish or Moorish origin; also a popular social dance in 17-18th century France
CHULA—a traditional dance from Portugal and southern Brazil; also means beautiful in Spanish