The Amelia Bedelia books are great, though Amelia Bedelia herself is kind of a bumbling idiot. A well loved bumbling idiot, but still. She is this rich lady's maid and she always does things in a spectacularly wrong way (example: when asked to make a sponge cake, she cuts up sponges and puts them in the cake batter) and the rich lady throws her hands up and says, "oh, Amelia Bedelia!"
I think Elspeth is actually very pretty and usable.
I love Bernadette! I know a brand new baby named J@da Bernadette and I just adore that. I have a serious weakness for feminine versions of masculine names- like Paulette and Jamesina, stuff like that. The less naturally the name translates into a feminine form, the more I seem to like it.
I don't have any boy names like this. Or rather, I probably like boy names that others would think of as hideously enchanting, but I don't recognize them as such.
I'm surprised to hear Bedelia is a real name. I've heard of the books and just thought it was the same idea as someone saying something like Hannah-Banna-Bo-Banna or Margot Escargot. Very interesting!
Elspeth isn't that unusual to me, maybe because I've known a couple. People always got them to clarify their names, thinking they were saying Elizabeth with a bit of a lisp, which must have gotten annoying. I recently saw it spelled Elsbeth (character on TV's The Good Wife). Haven't seen that spelling before.
Ok, those are my random thoughts. My guilty pleasure, some-might-consider-ugly (if they're not particularly open-minded or sophisticated), favourite names are Agnes, Agatha, Astrid, Leonie, Harriet, Ingrid and Gretchen. Maybe not as rare as yours. I need to search farther afield!
Well, if you think about it for a bit... what is wrong with 'bed'? It's our solace, our place to rest when the world has exhausted us, the place where we dream - literally are flooded with the fantastical and poetic images of our psyches, the place we (at least, most of us) are intimate with our beloved mates, and where many mothers nurse and snuggle with their children. If a bed signifies anything, it is physical comfort, familial bonds, and the inward journey of dreams. :)
I think for me, it's the name Desdemona. Do I even need to explain why? So sad, really. It could be such a great grand name in modern usage... but I doubt it will ever get its fair shot.
Iolanthe- went to the Gilbert and Sullivan production with my father and have been in love ever since!
Adair- my mum despises this one, but oh well :)
Edwin- my late grandfather's name
Sullivan- see Gilbert and Sullivan note for girls :)
Hector/Hektor- ever since I read the Iliad, I've been in love with Hector
Ransom- another that my mum absolutely hates
Reuven- The Chosen!
I adore the funky/clunky names! I'm loving Elspeth, Morgana and Aracely!
One of my favorites is Rowena.
Another secret crusher of elspeth. I don't think I'd ever use it, especially in the states because everyone would think it was Elizabeth, but I still love the unusual sound of it, like whispering a magical spell.
Too bad the boyfriend acted as if I had lost my mind when I said it, and practically spat the name out ten times in a row... Sigh.
@tarynkay - Thank you for more information about the Amelia Bedelia books - I have just "Wiki'd" them and she does seem a little "bumbling" as you describe! And the names you mention are lovely - Solveig and Petra are my favourite but I have a feeling Moira is going to be a new favourite...Jericho seems like such a strong name, and with the subtle Biblical connection, I just think it's wonderful. Thomasina and Jamesina are long-loves of mine, but I haven't been able to work up such enthusiasm for Bernardette yet - I know quite a pushy lady with the name and she tarnishes it for me a little. I'm also having trouble finding boys' names that fit this descrption - the most outrageous name on my boys' list is Alban, which I suppose is a little odd. Thank you!
@m_darling - I agree, those not open-minded/sophisticated types really put a spanner in the works sometimes :) But I'm glad to hear you know a few Elspeths. I totally love all the names you just mentioned - it seems that Scandinavian charm often takes a little time to work, perhaps? Good luck with your searching - thank you.
@argenta_genova - I had never thought about it like that - that changes Bedelia for me, in a way. Perhaps it isn't so "ugly" after all? It does have a lovely sound... But Desdemona is truly gorgeous. Although I see why it might be hard for others to separate the name from her associations. It's so sad when that happens! Thank you.
@evelynmargaret - So happy to see Adair in there: Adair, Alba and Antheia are all already on my list (I can't seem to resist those A-names) and Iolanthe, Lilias and Alene are all so wonderful, I think they might be becoming new additions! Edwin is just darling, and it's lovely that it has such meaning to you and Hector...what can I say about Hector. I'm reading the Iliad at the moment, and who could not fall in love with the name?! (I'm also quite liking Paris for boys, despite his slightly irritating character, but I know a boy with this name would be teased mercilessly about Paris Hilton - what a shame primary schools don't teach Ancient Greek :) ) Thank you!
@anotherkate - Soon we're going to have to make a club - I can't get over how many people don't hate it! But the similarity to Elizabeth is a problem, as is the fact that my mother says it as if she can't wait to have the horrid taste out of her mouth... Dear me, some people. Anyway, I wish you luck with your Elspeth-y ways of persuasion. Thank you!
Ooh. Seconding Elspeth, Petra, Adair, Lilias and Desdemona.
I also like Marceline, Lilith, Ozma and Aravis, which I think fit this category. For boys, I have a soft spot for Bartholomew.
@sidura - Thank you very much for commenting - I really am so surprised at all these Elspeth fans! Rowena is lovely as well - I think I must be a funky/clunky name fan too...
@geeknamezyo - Count me in as thirding all the names you just seconded...if that makes sense. Marceline (always reminds me of marzipan, in a good way), Lilith (I had never heard the negative associations until recently, but I have always loved the painting Lady Lilith) and Aravis (which you have just introduced me to) are all simply beautiful, and I'm warming up to Ozma. (A recent thread was asking for middle names for Ozma and that's where I saw it first, so I haven't had much time to get to know it yet) And Bartholemew (nicknamed Art/Arty) - ADORABLE! (also love Ajax and Julian in your signature) Thank you for commenting!
For girls, my favorites tend to be very liquid and ethereal rather than earthy/clunky. I think Wilhelmina is lovely because of Mina Harker, and I have a great-great-Aunt Thelma whose name I always loved despite the hate. But I have lots of clunky vintage Biblical boys' names that I just die for that most people seem to dislike:
The Z's: Zebulon, Zephaniah, Zaccheus, Zebediah
Malachi (on my short list)