By Linda Rosenkrantz
Happy Valentine’s Day! When it comes to names befitting this holiday, certain obvious examples spring to mind—the Valentine/Valentina/Valentino triplets, Romeo and Juliet and other iconic romantic couples, and the over-the-top deities Cupid, Eros and Aphrodite. But there are other, more unusual names less obviously related to love and hearts, and here are 12 of the best, not just for babe born this time of year, but for every adorable recipient of love at any time.
Áine—Pronounced awn-ya, this is the name of a radiant Celtic goddess of not only love but also midsummer and the sun, brilliance and prosperity, the queen of he Munster fairies, also known as the deity who taught humans the meaning of love. Popular in Ireland, it recently reached Number 61 there, while here it’s more commonly seen as Anya.
Amias/Amyas—There are any number of amorous girl names starting with Am—Amabel, Amanda, Amara, Amy, et al, but this is one male name that stands out. Meaning loved, the Amyas version became known here via the hero of the 19th century bestselling Charles Kingsley novel Westward Ho!. And although it’s never cracked the national Top 100, Amias is fast becoming a Nameberry fave, now ranked at #232.
Carys—This Welsh name meaning love was one we thought might take off after Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas introduced it for their daughter in 2003, but it remains a relatively undiscovered treasure, with its sweet sound evocative of the word caress. It’s currently #437 in England and Wales, 484 on Nameberry.
Corcan—An unusual Manx (from the Isle of Man) name that stems from the Old Irish meaning heart, this could fit in well with other, better known, an-ending boys names. The Spanish Corazòn and saint name Cordula, as well as Cordelia, all share a heart-related meaning.
Freya—One of the most powerful goddesses in Norse mythology, Freya is associated with love, as well as beauty, fertility, war and death. Although the name didn’t catch on in the US till the past few years (it’s now at 330), it became popular in England in the late 90s and is now a Top 20 name there, also 15 in Scotland, and 33 in Ireland. Freya Stark was a noted British travel writer and Freya is the title of a Joseph Conrad novella.
Turan is a name with a split personality. It is both the name of an ancient Etruscan goddess of love, and a Turkish boys’ name
Zizilia—Zizilia is a goddess of love and sexuality in Slavic mythology—and she boasts the irresistible nickname of Zizi.
And some tidbits of particular interest spotted on the forums by Katinka this week:
–It’s the celebrity baby name that’s been kicking up a storm on social media this week: what do you think of the latest KarJenner choice?