Baby Name Nicknames: Getting to Gus
By K. M. Sheard, Nook of Names
Here are some alternatives!
Agastya — A name from Hindu mythology. Agastya is a name of Shiva, as well as the name of a legendary Hindu sage, believed to have received many of the earliest mantras which feature in the Rig Veda from Brahman. It is also the Indian name for Canopus. It comes from the Sanskrit, and is usually translated as ‘mountain-thrower’.
Angus — a classic and very old Gaelic name, from the Old Irish óen ‘one’ + gus ‘excellence’, ‘force’ and ‘courage’. The standard modern Gaelic form is Aonghas, but Aengus, Aonghus, Oenghus and Óengus are all known. In Irish myth Aengus is the God of love, youth and poetic inspiration.
Asparagus – the vegetable. The name is ancient, coming from the Greek asparagos, of uncertain origin, though possibly from the Proto-Indo-European – ‘to spring up’. In the past, also much valued for its healing and healthful properties, hence its botanical name Asparagus officinalis. (Note: This is the full name of Gus in “Cats.”)
Constantine — Gus is often found as a short-form for Constantine among the Greek community. The name of the Roman Emperor responsible for legalizing Christianity in the Roman Empire, Constantine is revered as a saint in the Orthodox church. His name derives ultimately from the Latin constans ‘firm’, ‘stable’ and ‘invariable’.
Crataegus — the botanical name for hawthorn. One very much for Pagans and Nature lovers! Comes ultimately from the Greek krataigos ‘thorn-tree’.
Finegas — a name from Irish mythology. Finegas was an elderly druid who taught Finn McCool. From the Old Irish fionn + éices ‘scholar’, ‘sage’, ‘seer’ and ‘poet’.
Ghassan — Arabic name meaning ‘youth’.
Gurgustius — the name of a legendary king of Britain. From Welsh meaning ‘power’, ‘force’ and ‘excellence’.
Gustavus — Latinized form of German Gustav, a very old name of uncertain origins. Often translated as meaning ‘staff of the Goths’, its oldest form Chustaffus suggests that its first element might be the Old German chud, from chûton ‘to meditate’ –giving Gustav the meaning ‘staff of meditation’. The French form is Gustave, Italian Gustavo, and Gustaf is Scandinavian.
Magus — Latin magus ‘mage’, ‘learned man’.
Moritasgus — a Celtic God, identified by the Romans with Apollo, whose name means ‘great badger’.
Pagasaeus — an epithet of Apollo. It comes from the Greek harbor Pagae, itself meaning ‘(fishermen’s) nets’ in ancient Greek.
Zygus — the ancient Greek name for Libra, from zugos ‘yoke (of a plough)’, ‘crossbar’ and ‘balance beam’.
This blog previously appeared in an extended form in Nook of Names.
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on March 12th, 2014 at 2:01 am
If I remember correctly, in Cinderella, Gus the mouse’s full name is Octavius.
on March 12th, 2014 at 5:45 am
Why not use Augustus??? I’d rather hear that name any day than Asparagus!
on March 12th, 2014 at 8:00 am
My husband’s name is Gasparo (Italian) and his nickname is Gus. 🙂 People are always surprised by both the full and the nickname. I told him recently that Gus is suddenly becoming fashionable…. Oh and…. yes, people will always call you ‘Gus Gus’.
on March 12th, 2014 at 10:11 am
I love Gaspar and Gaspard, but, unfortunately, my husband doesn’t feel the same.
This is a wonderful list. Thank you for putting it together. My favorites are Crataegus, Finegas, Gustavus, and Magus.
on March 13th, 2014 at 12:14 pm
I love Augustus, Augustine and August and I’ve grown to like Angus despite its beef association.
Sorry to say but any parent who names their child Asparagus needs their head examined. And as Mrs. Slocombe used to say on the Britcom “Are You Being Served?: “I am unanimous in this”.
on March 14th, 2014 at 6:06 am
Asparagus reminds me too much of the vegetable and Angus will get called Anus
on April 21st, 2014 at 8:29 am
Why not Octavius? I always thought the mouse from Cinderella’s name was Augustus until only recently when I rewatched the movie and found out Octavius was his real name! Also, Asparagus? That is too far-fetched even for me. Rocket, Apple, whatever. I can deal with that. But Asparagus? Not only is it fusty, it’s downright weird.
on August 27th, 2014 at 7:10 pm
My grandfather’s name is Gustine, but he is called Gus.
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