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Category: Victorian names

Victorian Names: A Royal Legacy

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For this royal week, Eleanor Nickerson starts her guest blog with name-loving Queen Victoria herself, then goes on to explore the name trends in the Britain of her era.

Queen Victoria not only gave her name to an entire era, she also ‘gave’ her name to generations of children who were named for her, and was arguably a huge name icon of the nineteenth century.

It is said that Victoria was very particular about the names she chose, selecting from family members and friends, and even tried to dictate what her grandchildren were named.  Her nine children were named:

It is clear to see from the vast number of children named Victoria and Albert (or Victor and Alberta/Albertine for the opposite gender) that the Royal couple were huge namesakes for British Victorians, as were the queen’s children and grandchildren.  Many a Victorian child had at least one name that was also used by a member of the royal family –in many cases, the whole name – as can be seen in the records by the great number of children named Albert Victor (after Prince Albert Victor) and Helena Victoria (after Princess Helena Victoria).

Some lovely Royal names include:

 

The Birth Index clearly shows that if a name was used for a Royal baby, that name would most likely rocket in popularity. For example, Melita is recorded for 104 children from 1837-1876. In November 1876 Prince Alfred named his daughter Victoria Melita and in 1877 alone 41 children were given the name –with 276 more Melitas recorded over the following twenty years, peaking again in 1894 when the Princess married.

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Steampunk Names: Victorian Sci-Fi

posted by: Nephele View all posts by this author
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Our intrepid and ever inventive friend Nephele now ventures back to the future and into the fantastic territory of Steampunk names.

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that presents an alternative future or universe in which modern-day type inventions and conveniences are propelled by steam or inventive clockwork mechanisms.  Dirigible airships are also iconic to steampunk.

Although the steampunk movement emerged in the 1980s, there have also been novels, movies, and television series which are today identified as steampunk (or containing steampunk elements) that predate the actual coining of the term.

The steampunk movement has inspired an entire subculture consisting of enthusiasts who meet at steampunk conventions and who tend to dress in fabulous fashions that meld a futuristic look with 19th century Victoriana.  Much of steampunk fashion incorporates goggles (the apparent badge of the Victorian scientist/adventurer).  Steampunk jewelry features clockwork motifs.

The names in the following list include typical steampunk names (names which were in vogue during the latter half of the 19th century), character names appearing in popular works containing steampunk elements, and names of noted authors who have influenced the steampunk literary movement.

BOYS

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Vintage Baby Names: What’s your era?

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VINTAGE NAMES: What era are you?

Unless you’re a baby namer focused on finding a newly created or cutting-edge name, chances are you’ve considered using one from the past.  But which part of the past?  An ancient name or one from earlier in the 20th century?

So, the question of the week is: Which of these, if any, are you partiularly attracted to?

Needless to say, many if not most names move across time and are rarely connected to only one decade or even era–future berries just  might think of  Atticus as a 2010s name.

How about you?  Is there one period whose names you are drawn to?  Do you have a favorite vintage name—perhaps one that hasn’t been widely rediscovered?

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Beatrix Potter Names: Jemima & Jeremy

posted by: Nephele View all posts by this author
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By Nephele
 
Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) is a beloved children’s picture book author and illustrator whose stories have an enduring charm that will no doubt continue to delight readers well beyond our 21st century.
Her popular stories have made their way from the printed media into animated adaptations for television (The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends), and ballet (The Tales of Beatrix Potter).  Films have also been made depicting her life, the most recent being the 2006 movie titled Miss Potter and starring Renée Zellweger.

Beatrix Potter was an early conservationist, and her stories of Peter Rabbit and friends reflect her great love of the British countryside and nature.  Her animal characters (with the exception of the American animals appearing in The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes) were drawn from life, revealing Beatrix Potter‘s eye for realism as well as whimsy.

Apparent in her stories is a Victorian delicacy of understatement and wit in describing unavoidable unpleasantries, such as death: “Your father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”  In addition, the Victorian expectation of children to master vocabulary can be found in Beatrix Potter‘s use of the occasional “soporific” and “improvident” sprinkled among the more childish bobbitties and scrumplies in her books.

While many of Beatrix Potter‘s anthropomorphic characters bear whimsical names, such as the beloved hedgehog laundress known as Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, there nevertheless can also be found a number of baby-worthy names among her characters.  These names will mainly appeal to those with classic naming tastes, representing names (and nicknames) that also appealed to the people of the British Isles living in the Victorian and Edwardian eras:

GIRLS

ANNA MARIA

BETSY

CECILY

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