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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    1,550

    Names with History and Weight

    I was talking with my daughter, Phoebe, about why we chose her name the other day. All the reasons we loved it came back to the forefront-she's mythological! she's Biblical! she's Shakesperean! she's Salinger-ian!- she's a moon! she's a bird!-No wonder she stood head and shoulders above the rest when she chose her. But I feel like, when the time comes to name another daughter (hopefully very soon!) I want a name with as much meaning and history. What other names can you think of that stand up to Phoebe?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    4,854
    Susanna(h) - flower, Biblical, a lily in Biblical Hebrew and a rose in modern Hebrew, and a name Shakespeare named his daughter. Susie is cute but Susannah is timeless.

    Elizabeth - Biblical, royal, historic weight, a variety of nicknames to suit any personality, never trendy, always classic, array of namesakes stretching back thousands of years.

    Minerva/Athena - A goddess of wisdom, of war and craft, a wise woman. Associated with owls. At the moment I am favouring Minerva but I reserve the right to change my mind. Wikipedia quote: "goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic.[1] She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the "owl of Minerva"[2], which symbolizes her ties to wisdom."

    Iris - Flower, both a highly specialized delicate garden flower and a hardy roadside wildflower depending on variety. More colours than any rose or lily. Named after a messenger goddess; the goddess of rainbows. Some say the fleur de lis of France is an iris; others hold that it is the lily. Iris on wikipedia: "is the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. She is also known as one of the goddesses of the sea and the sky. Iris links the gods to humanity. She travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other,[1] and into the depths of the sea and the underworld."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    2,223
    I very much like the previous suggestions of Beatrice, Iris and Minerva. Others:

    Mary - Pretty much the quintessential "history and weight" name! You don't get to be the most popular name in the world for 400 years without that. Biblical of course, but also royal and literary, tons of great namesakes. Miriam (the original Hebrew) or Maria (the Spanish) each have their own individual charm with the same pedigree.

    Katarina - Of course Katherine in all forms is classic, but this one may have the most of what you're looking for. You have the Shakespearean Katharina, as well as Catherine the Great (Yekaterina in Russian). Matches well stylistically with Phoebe, I think.

    Diana - Roman goddess and British princess, as well as Shakespearean character and many others.

    Esther - Biblical queen, and derivative Hester was, of course, used by Hawthorne.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    492
    All the suggestions so far are great ones (I particularly love Beatrice, Iris, and Esther). Helen (and all variations) is name that I think falls into this category (the most beautiful woman in the world, "the face that launched a thousand ships"), as well as Josephine (Biblical and historical--I think of Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon). There are so many, but those are a couple of my favorites.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    27
    I agree with pp suggestion of Susannah, but I also love Tabitha! biblical, yet a little "other worldly". Goes wonderfully with Phoebe, imo. Also love Aurora, Alyssa, Rowan and Lydia with Phoebe!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    4,895
    My 1st thought was Helen. A lot of background, huh? Mythological, bibical, historical, etc.

    Daphne
    Diana
    Isabel
    Ariadne
    Lyra

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    108
    Avalon

    Morgan/Morgana (people don't give her enough credit)

    Elaine/Elena (Lady of the Lake/possibly the Lady of Shallott)

    Vivienne/Viviane (another name for the Lady of the Lake)

    Ophelia (Hamlet)

    Portia (The Merchant of Venice)

    Helena (Midsummer Night's Dream)


    Rosalind (As You Like It--which, by the way, has a character with a name very similar to Phoebe)

    Isolde (Tristan and Isolde)

    Viola (The Twelfth Night)

    Thisbe (The myth Pyramus and Thisbe, a sort of pre-Romeo and Juliet)

    Gwen (short for Guinevere, which is much prettier than people give it credit for)

  8. #8
    So far my favorites are Beatrice, Daphne, Ariadne, Helena.

    How about...
    Laura
    Miranda
    Juno
    Anna
    Delilah
    Magda
    Eve
    Lorelei

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,801
    Eleni popped into my head. Apparently the real name of Helen of Troy (this came from the father of a daughter named Eleni, not sure how true it is). I've also read that it's related to te word moon in Greek, so she'd have that in common with Phoebe.

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