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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Liberty, Equality, Nameberry

    It's early 1794 in Paris, the French Revolution is at its peak, and two babies are about to get names that will make them hate their parents...

    I need your help naming the newborn twin children of a fervently revolutionary French couple. Names got really silly during the Revolution as everyone scrambled to demonstrate their patriotism at the expense of their children's dignity, and Armand, the twins' father, exemplifies this. He wants to name them things like Défenseur de la Liberté and Citoyenne Vertueuse (Defender of Liberty and Virtuous Citizen respectively.) He definitely won't accept anything to do with the monarchy, religion, the old calendar, or any enemy of the Revolution, so Régine, Baptiste, Avril, and Louis are right out. Instead, he'd like a name from Greco-Roman mythology or history, a nature word, or a reference to something Revolution-approved, like Rousseau or the battle of Valmy. He'd probably name his daughter Guillotine if his wife let him.

    Of course, his wife definitely won't let him. She's a loyal Jacobin too, but she insists on names that the children can actually use. Nothing too extreme. She also wants something with good nickname options, so the children can have some degree of choice. Her last condition is that the name not belong to anyone she knows or knew - so, no Marat or Maximilien. Otherwise, she's on board with the silliness.

    In summary, here are the rules:
    • One boy and one girl
    • No royalist, religious, or counter-revolutionary names
    • Needs to work in French (Latin or English forms of names are fine, so long as French speakers won't have a hard time with them - Ophelia and Ophélie would be equally acceptable)
    • No names of notable contemporaries
    • At least one possible nickname, preferably more
    • Last name is Chauvelin

    Good sources:
    • Words from nature, even if they aren't usually used as names
    • Greek and Roman mythology/history
    • Abstract nouns or adjectives (e.g. Victoire, Républicain)
    • Anything revolutionaries would like, such as the American Revolution, the tricolor, or scientific advances

    Now... do your worst!
    Last edited by diyena; December 4th, 2013 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention their surname

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    United States
    I feel I should mention that Victoire was one of King Louis XVI's aunts, so if this family wants to reject all things royal, Victoire would not be the way to go.
    French Word Names:

    Myth Names

    I just realised that You wanted boys names too. I'll get back to you with those later.

    Top Girls: Under Construction

    Top Boys: Under Construction

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Thank you! Ah well, no Victoire, then. (My royalist alarms are going off at Dimanche, though. Sunday? There are no Sundays in the Republican Calendar! *righteous fury* xD)

    Aaaalright, here's what I've got for girls so far. I'm not too confident about the nicknames, so hopefully someone more familiar with French can help me out.

    Sarah - Sillette
    Faustine - Fanon, Tinette
    Marianne - lots of nicknames
    Éve - Evie
    Aurore - Roro, Rorette
    Verité - Vera, Vivi
    Liberté - Libi, Bertine, Bibi
    Acanthe - Cantette, Canto
    Mégara - Meg, Méga
    Maia - Mimi, Manon
    Tigrée - Tigrette, Tigrelle
    Bonté - Bontette, Bonbon
    Étincelle - Cecelle, Celine
    Nina - Ninette, Ninon
    Rébecca - Becca, Bebe, Réba
    Alouette - Alou, Louette, Loulou
    Génie - Génou, Gigi
    Virginia - Gini, Gigi, Ginette, Vivi
    Carmagnole - Magnon
    Galatée - Gala
    Diana - Didi, Nanette, Nana
    Théorie - Théo, Terette, Orie
    Lune - Lulu, Lunette
    Unité - Uni
    France - Francine, Francie, etc.
    Maîtrise - Triset, Mimi
    Fleur - Fleurette

    Sadly, Mort-de-la-Tyrannie, Vertu-et-Terreur, and Constitution didn't quite make the cut.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Aurore could be part of a longer name, meaning "Dawn of the Republic" or "Dawn of the Revolution" or something.
    I like Unité, Fleur, and Verité.
    Oh, la Liberté ou la Mort (liberty or death) was actually used then, as was Racine de la Liberté (root of freedom).
    Éponine was common then even before Les Mis, and apparently Nina is a nickname.
    Aglaé, from Aglaia (a grace)

    Robespierre would be an understandable middle, or Danton, or Marat/Maratine. Would the wife still object if it were a middle? Even today in France it's common to have a longer name, with one or more of the names (first or middles) being a godparent, saint, or someone they admire. And the day-to-day name used is/was often not the first name.
    Jacques or Jacobus after the Jacobins, perhaps?

    Rébecca and Sarah are biblical names, and Nina was a saint—I'm not sure how well known then, though. Eve is biblical too. My initial thought was that Marianne felt a bit Christian (virgin Mary + her mother Anne), but I'd forgotten: Marianne is the personification of liberty and reason, and would have just been gaining in popularity in the early 1790s. So Marianne as a first or middle would be rather perfect.

    Have you seen this? Apparently plant names were weirdly common for a while.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    I hadn't seen that particular list, but I'm definitely aware of the plant trend - it was because of the Republican Calendar assigning a plant (or tool or animal) to each day instead of a saint, leading people to use them instead of saints' names. One of the possibilities for the boy's name is going to be Artichaut. xD

    I figured Rebecca and Sarah might get a pass because they're Old Testament names, but I'm not certain. Eve is acceptable because she symbolically chose to pursue truth and freedom rather than blindly accept the tyranny of religion, and because of the idea of the children being part of the firstborn generation of the Republic.
    Oh, I like Aglaé!

    Good point on the multiple middle names. Maratine would probably work as a middle name. Or Jacobine, perhaps?

    The exhortation names like "Va de Bon Coeur pour la République" amuse me. I feel like, if Marat had had a son, he would have named him something like "Deliver All Men from Tyranny and Baptize Them with the Blood of Their Oppressors." He could go by Baptiste for short.

    Edit: That would be "Délivre Tous de la Tyrannie et Baptise-les dans le Sang de leurs Oppresseurs," I think? Definitely needs its own Nameberry page.
    Last edited by diyena; December 5th, 2013 at 06:03 PM.

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