Flower Fairy Names

June 29, 2009 Pamela Redmond

Visitors to the Flower Fairy Names nameberry message boards have recently been treated to personalized anagrams of their names by Nephele, who’s turned ordinary appellations into charming, creative names worthy of flower fairies and elves. Here, she writes about the Flower Fairy legacy and names.  To buy the Flower Fairy prints by Cicely Mary Barker, go here.

It’s certainly no news to names enthusiasts that flowers and herbs can be a great source for inspired baby-naming. Familiar flower names such as Jasmine, Lily, and Rose are perennial favorites. Less familiar flower names such as Celandine and Tansy also make lovely choices.

Such names inspired poet and artist, Cicely Mary Barker (1895-1973) for her classic series of little books titled The Flower FairiesBarker illustrated, with accompanying poems, the beloved flowers of her English countryside and gardens, personifying them as fanciful fairy-children.

It is Cicely Mary Barker who has inspired me to bring my anagramming craft to Nameberry, to see what sort of “Flower Fairy Names” we might discover among some of our forum members here.

You may find a name from among those below that appeals to your own naming aesthetic. These Flower Fairy names have been anagrammed from the scrambled letters of people’s actual names. Names of flowers, herbs, and trees — especially in foreign languages — serve as likely surnames complementing the flowery-sounding forenames.

While the vast majority of Nameberry participants appear to be female, males are also welcome — although, I may give dudes the somewhat more flatteringly masculine title of “Elf”.


“Nelke” is the German name for the Pink.


“Bramble” is another name for the Blackberry bush.


Lilla” is the Italian name for the Lilac.


“Gelbe” is from “Gelbe Narzisse,” a German name for the Daffodil.


“Achillea” is the Latin botanical name for Yarrow.


“Chicoria” is the Italian name for Chicory.


“Crinllys” is a Welsh name for the Dog-Violet.

For an added treat and postscript, I offer you the following list of Welsh flower names.  Many are in actual use for Welsh girls, some are merely pretty-sounding Welsh names for flowers.

Welsh has always struck me as an almost magical-sounding language — small wonder that fantasy novelist J.R.R. Tolkien used Welsh as a basis for the Elvish languages he created for his Lord of the Rings series.  By the same token, Welsh flower names make likely-sounding fairy names.

BLODYN (flower)
BLODWEN (white flower)
BRIALLEN (primrose)
CEILYS (pink)
CELYNNEN (holly)
EIRLYS  (snowdrop)
EIRYS (iris)
FFIONA (foxglove)
GWENITH (wheat)
GWENONWY (lily of the valley)
LILI (lily)
LILWEN (white lily)
PANSI (pansy)
PERLLYS (mignonette)
RHEDYN (fern)
RHOSLYN (rose valley)
RHOSMARI (rosemary)
RHOSYN (rose)
SERENYN (scilla)
SIASMIN (jasmine)
TANSI (tansy)

Nephele is the ‘net name of an obsessive anagrammatist who for years has provided unique name makeovers for people on numerous message boards (mostly gothic) on the Web. Her anagramming work has been praised by gothic musician Voltaire and, most recently, by baby names experts and authors Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz. Another obsession of Nephele’s is ancient Rome, and she can be found moderating the history discussion forums of (where she is also the online-published author of a scholarly series on ancient Roman surnames). Despite the popularity of Nephele’s anagrams, she is not prepared to give up her day job in an undisclosed public library in New York.

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles


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