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Category: seasonal names

posted by: Elea View all posts by this author
octobr

By Eleanor Nickerson of British Baby Names

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:

Octavius
Octavian
Octavio
Ottavio
Octavia
Ottavia

Hedra is the Cornish name for October and has actually had some usage as a feminine name in Britain.
October itself has sometimes been put on birth certificates.

The Anglo-Saxons called October Winterfylleþ “winter full moon” because they considered the beginning of winter marked by the first full moon in October.

Winter and Wynter, therefore, both make very appropriate October-themed names.

For symbols, October counts Opal as its birthstone and the Calendula (more commonly known as Marigold) as its birth flower.

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.”
Vinicius
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:

Alella
Alicante
Asti
Bordeaux
Burgundy

Chianti
Elba
Graves
Jumilla
Lorraine
Madeira
Madiran
Margaux

Maury
Monti
Navarra
Ovada
Santenay
Tavira

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 Eleais a primary school teacher living in Coventry, England and author of the excellent, highly recommended blog British Baby Names.

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autumn

Since the Fall season is officially upon us, it’s time once again for an update of our annual round-up of crisp Autumn names–those appellations which refer to the season directly and those that are more subtle references.

Autumn — Autumn is ironically the hottest season name once again this year, the only one in the Top 100 where it’s maintained its status for over a decade now.  The name Autumn first entered the U.S. Top 1000 in 1969, inspired by the hippie nature names and word names.  While it’s still attractive, however, it’s hardly fresh. (Note: Winter is also in the air—though it hasn’t yet made the list, we’re seeing more and more interest in it as a name.)

Names from other cultures that provide a newer route to Autumn include the Japanese girls’ names Aki and Akiko, the Turkish girls’ name Hazan, the Vietnamese Thu, and, in Chinese, Qiu for either girls or boys.

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New Column! Nameberry Style

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We all know Berries have great style, right? As an extension of the chic baby names on nameberry, today we’re excited to announce a new column on children’s style by Elisabeth Wilborn, the genius behind the name blog You Can’t Call It “It”! along with the new child style blog The Itsy Factor. Look for Elisabeth‘s new Nameberry Style column here every weekend.

Recently I wrote about names compatible with the Chinese Year of the Rabbit, from Calista to Frederick to Harley. Since then, rabbits have been multiplying at a furious pace. Whether it’s filling an Easter basket or looking to commemorate the Year of the Rabbit, the furry darlings have our undivided attention.  Here’s a roundup that has a little something for everyone.

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Springtime Names: Fresh, new and green

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What does it mean when the days are getting longer and the first springtime flowers are beginning to bud?  It means that it’s time for nameberry’s annual round-up of spring-related names.

If poets and songwriters can draw inspiration from springtime, why not baby namers?  The fresh, green, uplifting season offers plenty of ideas.  There are the names of the season itself and its months, for starters:

SPRING – The mid-century actress Spring Byington, who played the grandma on a television show of my youth, was one of my early influences in the world of baby naming.  I’d never heard of anybody named Spring, but the whole idea was intriguing.  If you could name a baby Spring, why not….well, just about anything else?  Still an unusual, sprightly choice, and a lot more acceptable now than it was in the 1960s.

MARCH, APRIL, and MAYMay (or Mae, or Mai for that matter) is definitely the most fashionable of these choices, lovely as a first name or a middle.  March is the only one of the three that might work for boys, and makes an adventurous first for girls.  April (or Avril or Abril) feels a bit tired.

Original names from around the world that mean spring:

BAHAAR – Hindi, for girls
CAROUN – Armenian, for girls
CERELIA – of Latin origin, for girls
GEN – Japanese girls’ choice
HARUKI – Japanese for boys; Haruki Murakami is a wonderful novelist
JAREK – Slavic boys name that can stand alone or be a diminutive for any name that starts with Jar-
KELDA – Girls’ name with Norse origins
PRIMAVERA – Italian, for girls
RABIAH – Arabic girls’ name
VASANT – Sanskrit boys’ name
VERNA — another Latin girls’ choice.

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What To Name Your Autumn Baby

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It’s the first day of  fall…the air is getting crisper, the days are getting shorter…the moment to think about the names of autumn.

Unlike spring, summer, and even winter, fall is not a season that immediately brings a bonanza of name possibilities to mind.  But when you think about it, there are almost as many autumn blooms as there are springtime ones, there are harvest deities, and a palette-full of fall colors, among other options.

So if you’re expecting a fall baby, and are looking for a name reflecting the season of their birth, there are lots of colorful choices to consider, beginning with:

The autumnal flowers and shrubs:

Trees known for their brilliantly colorful fall foliage:

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