Category: yooneek spellings
Hey!, we thought. Here we are, a name site, with lots of regular visitors who are fascinated by names and think and know a lot about the subject, and yet they’re known by names they’ve invented for themselves. So where did those names come from?
The people of George R.R. Martin’s book series A Song of Ice and Fire (adapted by HBO to become the TV series Game of Thrones) are very much like the people of our world. Martin’s characters are vivid and real, and their names are an extension of that, including interesting similarities and alternatives to several classic names.
There’s the simple and lovely Jeyne, pronounced just like Jane. Tywin and Tyrion are similar to Tyler, while Edmure and Eddard sound much like our Edmund and Edward. Marcella was my grandmother’s name, so Myrcella holds a particular fondness for me. There are a dozen other examples in the series… and some names you’ll never have heard before, that are equally lovely.
Game of Thrones is about a continent (Westeros) of feuding noble families, all vying to control the Iron Throne. At the beginning of the series, the Iron Throne is held by King Robert Baratheon, who requests the aid of his childhood friend Eddard Stark to help him keep the Iron Throne which he won by defeating House Targaryen. Below, the noble houses are listed with the main characters included as well as some characters with more interesting names. Note: some of the characters listed don’t appear (or become important) until later in the series, but they are simply too good to exclude.
If you’re interested in knowing more about Game of Thrones, the series’ first season came out on DVD March 6th, and the second season began on HBO on April 1st. For the real experience though, I’d recommend the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, whose first book is called A Game of Thrones.
We’ve often wondered how teachers respond to the new menu of student names on their class lists each year. Guest blogger Emily Gough, an experienced educator, tells the story from her point of view.
At the start of every school year, I am organizing notes, planning lessons, hanging up posters, and of course looking over the new class lists. Each year brings 100+ new students, and of course new names. I am always eagerly checking to see if my class lists are available yet as the countdown to school starts. For one thing, I like to know what the class sizes are, but mostly it’s the names I’m interested in.
If I see any that I am at a total loss with pronunciation-wise, I do some research to try to prevent myself from butchering a kid’s name on the first day. I wonder over familiar last names, and whether this new student is a younger sibling, and if so will they be very similar or complete opposites? I prepare myself for trying to keep Kylee, Kylie, and Kyley apart in one class and I wonder if Devin and Dakota are boys or girls.
And the longer I teach, the more I get an impression of what each student might be like based upon previous students with the same name. I think every teacher can give you examples- for me, a male Jesse is going to be a handful and Lily will be a quiet, shy introvert. I even will differentiate my assumptions based upon spelling; I would predict John to be studious and Jon a jokester.
The idea for this blog arose, as so many good things do, from the nameberry forums, in this case one on name spellings. In particular, the focus was on names that had more than one legitimate spelling, and asked visitors to pick their favorite of the two (or more).
With so much talk these days about yooneek spellings of names – variations invented to make a name more “special” – it’s interesting to explore those names that have more than one bona fide spelling.
Of course, there may be some controversy over what constitutes bona fide name spellings. On the forum, some people took issue with spelling variations springing from different origins of a name: Isabelle as the French version and Isabel the Spanish, for instance, and so not really pure spelling variations in the way that Katherine and Kathryn are. Others argued over spelling variations that might more accurately be differences in a name’s gender or pronunciation.
There are obviously a lot of ways to split this hair. And we’ve made a lot of judgment calls some of you may disagree with. Sure, Debra might be a modern variation of the Biblical Deborah, but it was so widely used in mid-century America it’s now legitimate, or at least that’s the way we see it.
Here are some girls’ names with more than one spelling that we consider legitimate.
- Annabel and Annabelle (and Anabel)
- Anne and Ann
- Ariana and Arianna
- Briony and Bryony
- Brooke and Brook
- Claire and Clare
On a beautiful Saturday in July, I found myself where most people would love to be on a beautiful Saturday in July: sitting in a painfully boring continuing education seminar, hopelessly trying to remain awake. The air conditioner must have been set at a brisk 52 degrees, and after catching a glimpse of my now cerulean blue toes, I wondered if my lips had suffered a similar fate. My chattering teeth thankfully prevented me from entirely nodding off, but I was in need of a more cerebral distraction. Desperate for entertainment, I decided to count the goosebumps on my lower left arm, first by twos and then by threes.
As the counting fun began, I happened to glance at a piece of paper in front of the 20-something-year-old woman sitting to my left, and I realized that she had written her name in the upper right hand corner. Ever the name nerd, I simply had to take a peek, and after a lingering glance, I discovered that her name was Mykailah. Figuring it was code for Michaela, I naturally wondered about my other neighbor’s name. Pretending to do some right arm goosebump counting, I quickly looked at her paper, and was pleased to meet Tyffani. Mykailah and Tyffani? Tyffani and Mykailah? I was now the official filling inside of a yooneek name sandwich.