Spring is just around the corner! And so, with that in mind, we’ve given our database a spring cleaning, adding over a hundred of your fantastic suggestions from this thread on the Forums. A big thank you to all of the brilliant Berries who made suggestions for new baby names, and especially to those who offered valuable insights into origin, usage, meaning and more — and please do keep them coming!
Since there were so many worthy candidates for inclusion, we’ve focused here on baby names starting from A to M this time, so stay tuned for N-Z down the line…
Here are some of the most intriguing new additions offered up by our members:
“I adore Anduin and am surprised that it hasn’t been added to the database yet!”
A handsome choice with double pop culture credentials, the name Anduin belongs both to a river in Tolkien’s legendary Middle-earth and to two valiant and venerable characters in the popular video game franchise World of Warcraft. It means “great river” in Sindarin, an Elvish language created by Tolkien, who based aspects of it on ancient Celtic and Norse languages. The name is properly pronounced with two syllables in Sindarin (AND-win), although the video game version uses three (AN-doo-in) — take your pick!
Thanks to @minxtruck and @daphodil for suggesting Anduin.
“It could be shortened to the lovely Bree, and is very distinctive yet rooted.”
In Greek mythology, Briseis was a priest’s daughter who was captured during the Trojan War and presented to Achilles as a war prize. She later became the object of a dispute between Achilles and Agamemnon which almost cost the Achaean army the war, and which forms a central plot-point of Homer’s Iliad.
Thanks to @carolinemchd, @millia, @lumen, @kpearl8 and others for suggesting Briseis.
Ender and Evren
Despite its meaning (“very rare”), Ender is a mainstream choice in its native country. It’s familiar to English speakers as the title character of Orson Scott Card’s classic sci-fi novel Ender’s Game — although in the book, Ender is actually a nickname for Andrew, as pronounced by the character’s sister as a young child.
Evren or Ebren (“universe”) is a mythological name, belonging to a huge snake-like dragon which symbolizes power and might. It’s also in widespread use as a surname in Turkey — as in Kenan Evren, who served as Turkish President during the 1980s.
Thanks to @tfzolghadr, @elifsu, @kipperbo1, and @hopelesscause07 for suggesting these two.
“Much better than Khaleesi”
The second Tolkien-inspired name on this list (we’ve added five in total!), Galadriel (shown) has one of the most magnificent meanings around: “maiden crowned with a radiant garland”. The garland in question is the glittering golden hair of the powerful elf princess who bears the name in Tolkien’s books. The character of Galadriel — renowned for her beauty, wisdom, and might — would make a glowingly positive namesake for any girl.
Thanks to @enchantrasand and @millia for suggesting Galadriel.
“A pretty smashing name, you have to admit!”
A powerful name with a meaning to match (“bright iron” or “famous iron”), Isambard originated as Isanbert, an Old German name which arrived in Britain with the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century and was in widespread use until the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name’s most famous bearer — rather fittingly — is renowned British civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who inherited his eye-catching first name from his father. Brunel’s fame prompted a modest revival of the name in the 19th century, but it remains vanishingly rare in Britain today.
Thanks to @sweetkune, @rachelbrein, and @gr19 for suggesting Isambard.
“Well-used in the UK with a strong history. I went to school with at least 4 girls called Mhairi that I can remember.”
This strong Scottish name is unusual in that it’s a variant of a variant: it’s technically the vocative form (used to call or address someone) of Mairi, the Scottish Gaelic version of Mary. Nevertheless, Mhairi has become well established as a name in its own right — in fact, it was given to more than twice as many babies in Scotland last year than Mairi itself. The correct pronunciation in Scottish Gaelic is “VAH-ree” (to rhyme with Harry), although it’s increasingly commonly heard in the anglicized form “MAH-ree”.
Thanks to @oliviasarah and @morning_glory for suggesting Mhairi.
And here are the rest of your new additions, from A to M:
- Augustine (F)
- Avielle, Aviella
- Carwyn, Carwen
- Celestin (M)
- Fenrir, Fenris
- Gratian, Gratien, Gracjan
- Hesper, Hespera, Hesperia
- Magne, Magni
- Murdo, Murdoch
Which are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!
And here’s this week bonus of intriguing tidbits unearthed by Katinka on the Forums:
Popularity: it’s not always a good thing (just ask a name-nerd!) Would you let newfound popularity put you off your all-time favorite name?
And picking up on a theme from that thread… Baby name compromise: how did it work out for you?
There’s a whole palette of vibrant color names beyond Violet and Gray: what would you add to the list?
These ingenious “inconspicuous animal” nicknames are too cute!
And here’s one you’ve probably never considered… Iris for a boy! Shouldn’t gender-bending work both ways?