Category: Halloween baby names
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was a respected and versatile 19th century author, critic and journalist who wrote dozens of ghost and horror stories, gathered together in an anthology called Can Such Things Be? The all-but-forgotten name Ambrose has a pleasant rosy, ambrosial feel. Popular in Bierce’s time, it’s still well liked on Nameberry, ranking at Number 267.
By Tara Ryazansky
The season is finally here. That first twinge of cold weather makes most people run for pumpkin lattes, cute sweaters and apple picking, but I must admit I start thinking about Halloween by the end of August. It’s the part of Autumn that I get most excited for. The costumes, the decorations, the new release horror movies and the old ones playing on television.But it got me thinking, can a horror movie ruin a great baby name? Lots of creepy character names have gotten more popular after gaining notoriety in scary films. Damien, Gage, Regan and Samara all became more appealing to new parents despite belonging to evil children onscreen. Which names can rise above those awful associations and which ones are unwearable because of them?
Damien- Damien Thorn, what a great sounding name. Too bad it’s the name of evil incarnate! At least it is in the 1976 movie The Omen, and in the 2006 reboot that they probably made just to drag a lovely name through the mud all over again! The Omen is such a classic film that plenty of people think Damien is synonymous with Devil Child or Son of the Devil. The name actually means to tame or subdue and it has lots of nicer namesakes. Still, the Damian spelling might be a better choice unless you’re a horror fanatic.
By K. M. Sheard of NookofNames.com
In keeping with the season, here is an offering of my favorite ghostly names:
Alexander. One of the ghostly children of Lucy M. Boston’s Children of Green Knowe, who lived and died during the reign of King Charles II. The most famous Alexander is, of course, Alexander the Great.
Banquo. The tragic figure of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, who was murdered by his erstwhile friend. The origin is uncertain, but even the historicity of the man is questioned. It is quite probable he was invented by a sixteenth-century Scottish academic.
In recent years, it seems that more and more writers are taking inspiration from classical mythology and medieval bestiaries. Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Supernatural and countless others are full of mythical creatures. This seems to be having an impact on parents, as many of these names are starting to see increased use on birth certificates.
Just in time for Halloween, here is a list of ten names inspired by mythical creatures that wouldn’t seem as out of place on the playground as you might at first think.
Cerberus – this three-headed dog (or hell-hound) seemed a lot less intimidating in Harry Potter when named Fluffy and guarding a trapdoor rather than the gates of the Underworld. The most commonly accepted pronunciation is SUR-ber-uss, meaning ‘formidable guard’ or some variation of this. Cerberus has never charted in the U.S, but it would be a very cool name for a boy.
Chimera – Pronounced ky-MEER– this one sounds like a smoosh of girls’ names Chiara and Mira. Thought to be a creature comprised of lion, snake and goat parts that breathes fire, it’s also used as a generic term to describe creatures that are composed of various animal parts. Despite the grim creature association, it has a pretty sound and could make a good girl’s name.
Dragon – Dragons capture our imagination like few other creatures, with depictions ranging from fiery vengeful beasts to wise advisers and companions. Dragon has only ever charted as a boy’s name, probably because on a boy it comes across as positive, conjuring images of strength and might, whereas calling a female a dragon is generally meant to be a slight, that her anger and “fiery” nature are uncontrollable.