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Nephele Berry Juice profile image

Steampunk Baby Names: Victorian tech

posted by: Nephele View all posts by this author
steampunk baby names

By Nephele

What is steampunk?

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 nineteenth century Victoriana.  Much of steampunk fashion incorporates goggles (the apparent badge of the Victorian scientist/adventurer).  Steampunk jewelry features clockwork motifs.

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vintage girls' names

So many vintage names have been retrieved, polished up and restored for baby use, from Amelia to Zachariah, that it sometimes feel that the attic’s been stripped bare. Not so. There are still lots of names that were popular in the past and are still waiting to be rediscovered. The examples here were all given to at least one hundred babies in the year 1914—a century ago—but have yet to enter the current Top 1000.

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two aggies

By Linda Rosenkrantz

For what seems like forever, this pair of sainted sister names, Agnes and Agatha, have seemed like the quintessential starched, buttoned-up, high-lace-collared, mauve-dressed Great-Great-Grandmother appellations.

I’d like to propose that we let the unbuttoning commence.

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What Names Are Ripe for Revival?

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You know who are the biggest berries of all?  That’s right, me and LindaEven if we didn’t work here, we’d probably spend all our time obsessively tooling around the site.

And though we wrote all the name entries ourselves, we’re constantly re-encountering names that we maybe kinda forgot existed and now appreciate anew.  Wow, we think.  That’s a cool one.  Wonder if it will ever come back?

This just happened to me with the name Cyrilla.  The boys’ equivalent Cyril is handsome if a bit effete for the modern world, though it may get rediscovered thanks to the revival of the similar Cyrus and Silas. But what about Cyrilla? That’s a cool old name that’s at once exotic and familiar, highly unusual — there were NO girls named Cyrilla recorded on the most recent Social Security list — yet not invented. Besides being the feminine form of the Latin Cyril, it’s also a botanical name for flowering plant found throughout the tropics.

So I nominate Cyrilla as a name that’s ripe for revival. What are some old names you think might become new again?

Photo of antique doll from Kathy Libraty’s Antiques at Ruby Lane.

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bluejuniper Berry Juice profile image

Adelaide or Adeline?

posted by: bluejuniper View all posts by this author
Sweet_Adeline_sheet_music

By Brooke Cussans, Baby Name Pondering

Both Adelaide and Adeline are beautiful, classic sounding names that have been gaining popularity for the past decade. Although similar, they are also distinct enough that it’s very possible they would both appear on many people’s lists. So how do you choose if you are partial to both? Sometimes it helps to look at them side by side.

Origin and Meaning

Meanings can carry aspirations for our children, or be a way to honour someone or something we love, while origins can be a way of honouring a particular heritage or your ancestry.

Adelaide – Adelaide has quite the European heritage. She’s German, originally Adalheid from the words ‘adal heid’, meaning ‘noble kind’. In Adelaide‘s original context, noble was meant to denote that someone was highborn. These days though we’re more likely to associate nobility with the virtue.

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