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October Baby Names: Marigold, Libra and Lorraine

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By Eleanor Nickerson of British Baby Names

October baby names take their cue from the rich associations to the month.

It can be easy to forget where the name of October comes from. Though we count it as the tenth month, its name actually derives from the Latin octo meaning “eight,” as it was once the eighth month of the Roman calendar. From the same route as October we also get several other names:

Octavius
Octavian
Octavio
Ottavio
Octavia
Ottavia

Hedra is the Cornish name for October and has actually had some usage as a feminine name in Britain.
October itself has sometimes been put on birth certificates.

The Anglo-Saxons called October Winterfylleþ “winter full moon” because they considered the beginning of winter marked by the first full moon in October.

Winter and Wynter, therefore, both make very appropriate October-themed names.

For symbols, October counts Opal as its birthstone and the Calendula (more commonly known as Marigold) as its birth flower.

Libra “the scales” is the astrological sign that runs roughly from September 24th to October 23rd. According to Greek mythology the scales belonged to Astraea (Virgo), the goddess of justice. Libra was used occasionally as a given name in Scotland in the 17th century, and in England in the 19th century.

For thousands of years, and in many different cultures, October was a time of the grape harvest.

The medieval wine trade was big business, but it was very much seasonal. The wine vintage usually took place in early October, and within a few weeks new wines were being widely exported, with annual wine fairs taking place in all of the major wine producing regions throughout October.  An Old English name for October was Win-mónaþ “wine month,” also reflected in the Germanic Weinmond.

Wine-inspired names are hard to come by but the importance of the vine is immortalised in a few names:

Oenone – a Greek nymph; her name comes from the Greek oinos “wine.”
Vinicius
Vinicio – from the Latin vinum “wine.”
Heilyn – a Welsh boys’ name meaning “wine bearer.”

Famous wine producing towns have also been known to be used as names. Here a few that either have, or potentially could, be used as given names:

Alella
Alicante
Asti
Bordeaux
Burgundy

Chianti
Elba
Graves
Jumilla
Lorraine
Madeira
Madiran
Margaux

Maury
Monti
Navarra
Ovada
Santenay
Tavira

As for the grape itself, the Spanish, Italian and Portuguese know it as Uva, while the Danes and Norwegian call it Drue.

Eleanor Nickerson, better known to nameberry message board visitors as Eleais a primary school teacher living in Coventry, England and author of the excellent, highly recommended blog British Baby Names.

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About the author

Elea

Eleanor Nickerson, better known to Nameberry message board visitors as Elea, is a primary school teacher living in Coventry, England and author of the blog British Baby Names.
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8 Responses to “October Baby Names: Marigold, Libra and Lorraine”

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dramagrl19 Says:

October 2nd, 2013 at 6:59 am

I think sweet Lorraine needs a comeback!!! 🙂

Erinm Says:

October 2nd, 2013 at 7:49 am

Libra is a tampon brand here in Australia so that one is a no no 🙂

tori101 Says:

October 2nd, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Jeez this post has just made me realise that winter is coming (NOOO!!!) cool post with interesting names my favourites are…
Octavio
Octavia
Winter (despite not being a massive fan of the season)
Opal
Marigold
Margaux

: )

Alyssalorraine Says:

October 2nd, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Lorraine is my middle name, it was after my great grandmother. <3 I love it and I wish they would've made it my first name instead.

KickinKay Says:

October 2nd, 2013 at 2:08 pm

My birthday is in October and I was born in Madeira, Portugal so I love this list!

October is actually on my top 10 list as a middle name because of my favorite book “The Secret Life of Bees”. I’m not sure if many Berries have read it, but the main character and her maid escape from her abusive father and go to live with a family of sisters who are all named after months (May, June, & August). The main character Lily Owens talks about wanting to change her name to October to sort of become part of the family.

rainierloner Says:

October 2nd, 2013 at 4:48 pm

My middle name is Lorraine, but I don’t see why it’s an October name. I love the name Marigold, especially with the nickname Mari. 🙂

Beautiful_Haiku Says:

October 3rd, 2013 at 6:57 am

I’ve always thought October nickname Tobi would be kinda cool on the right girl. I really like Marigold as a middle name. Octavia has been on my list for awhile and Octavian would make a great middle for a boy. Great to see a fall themed list beyond Autumn!!

Briestoll Says:

November 19th, 2013 at 2:34 pm

My name is Libra, this is the very first time that my name has come up as a name in a baby name search. I am excited!!

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