Category: mythological names
Spring is the time of year for gentle rains and soft winds, the greening of leaves and the growing of flowers. The animals are all awakening and the season of rebirth starts. It’s probably the most romanticized season. Historically, Spring has been known as the time for having babies, for birth and fertility and in recent studies, Spring and mid-Summer have statistically had more births. If you’re looking for a name that represents the springtime and all its lovely flowers and greenery, I have a list of generally underused Greek names just for you.
Goddesses of the Spring
Persephone – Persephone is pronounced per-SEF-oh nee and she’s the queen of the underworld, wife of Hades and goddess of spring growth. While Persephone generally has a bad rep, it’s really a very lovely name. She’s the reason we have flowers and green things during the Spring and Summer. Though her name has been attributed to having a negative meaning, it’s really an unknown as the words for ‘dark blue’ and the word for ‘sound’ both appear in her name.
Mermaid names have made it big in recent years. There’s Madison, Darryl Hannah’s character from Splash. Disney christened The Little Mermaid Ariel in 1989, and she and her princess friends are now found on little girls’ gear everywhere you look.
Deema – From the new Nickelodeon series Bubble Guppies, about a group of preschoolers and their adventures with teacher Mr. Grouper
Diana – From 2003 movie Mermaids, about a trio of fish-tailed sisters who set off to avenge the death of their merman father
June – From 2003 movie Mermaids
Molly – Another of the Bubble Guppies
Muirgen – An Irish story says that she was brought from the sea and baptized, and in some tellings, became a saint
Nixie – Yet another name for a water-dwelling spirit
Ondine – A German water sprite who marries a mortal, but never gets her happily ever after. In 2009, Colin Farrell played a fisherman who makes a surprising catch in the movie Ondine; Audrey Hepburn rose to fame playing Ondine on Broadway in 1954.
Oona – Another of the Bubble Guppies
Venus – From 2003 movie Mermaids, and known for posing on a shell in the Botticelli painting
Names That Would Fit a Mermaid
At Nameberry, plummeting temperatures mean just one thing: it’s time to revisit our annual survey of winter-related names.
Just a few years ago, it might have been fair to say that Winter was the season least friendly to names, while now it seems to offer the newest choices for the adventurous baby namer. Why? Two reasons: Nicole Richie choosing Winter as one of the middle names for her high-profile little girl Harlow, and January Jones, beauteous star of the hit show Mad Men.
Winter is the season name that’s seen the least amount of use over the years, yet one that holds the most potential for boys as well as girls. Variations include Winters, Wynter, and (please don’t) Wintr. Translations of the seasonal name include the French Hiver (pronounced ee-vair), Italian Inverno, and in Spanish, Invierno. In Dutch and German, it’s still Winter and and in Swedish, the comical-sounding (to the English speaker’s ear) Vinter.
In mythology, winter was said to be caused by Demeter in grief over the loss of her daughter Persephone, consigned forever to the underworld (but rising again as a baby name, with or without the pronunciation of the final long e).
December, still a highly unusual month name yet certainly a usable one, means ten. Other versions you may want to consider: Decima, name of the Roman goddess of childbirth; Decembra, Decimus, or Decio. December’s flower is the narcissus or holly, suggesting the names Narcissa (difficult at best) and Holly (already a bit worn at the edges). December gem Turquoise can work as a name, as can Aqua or its Turkish equivalent Fairuza. Red, however, seems more suitable as December’s color, which leads you to a whole spectrum of great names, from Scarlett to Crimson to Rufus and Rory.
Baby namers have started to dig deep back into ancient history and myth in their search for fresh and interesting choices. Roman names like Atticus are rising up the charts, and the whole pantheon of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses is up for rediscovery—already there have been such starbaby sightings as Atlas (Anne Heche), Mars (Erykah Badu) and Hermes (Kelly Rutherford).
Here, Nameberry’s Top Dozen picks in this category:
2. Echo was a mythological mountain nymph and her o-ending name carries pleasant reverberations.
3. Flora, the name of the Roman goddess of flowers and fertility, is symbolic of spring and apt for a baby born in that season. Like cousin Florence, it is definitely having a rebirth among retro name-seekers.
4. Juno, the name of the patron goddess of ancient Rome, has become a hot modern option, especially since the release of the popular eponymous film. Coldplay’s Will Champion chose it for one of his twins.