Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On Thora: A Subtle and Strong Name For Girls

I made a post about Bernadette being a nice, strong name for girls. Lately, I've been having similar feelings for the name Thora. This could become a regular thing if I put my energy toward it.

Thora is pretty much the feminine version of Thor. Thor is the Norse god of, as wikipedia says: "thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing, and fertility."There are only two Thoras that people will recognise:

Thora Birch: well-known actress in such films as  The Neverending Story and Ghost World.
Grandma Thora: The cool granny from the well-known Arthur series.

Thora is one of those old-fashioned names I wish more people would use. It's got very strong ties. I mean, what's better than a god of thunder to name your child after? Thora sounds very feminine, however, and some would say it sounds soft despite her meaning (On Nameberry, they say exactly that). This soft, old-fashioned name has a lot of hidden power, which one could say all people have.

image source. I need to suck it up and post more images no matter what legal scaryness ensues.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A "Made-up" Real Name

I like to mention names I really like to my mom. it's a nice experiment on actually saying the names and getting an opinion from someone outside of the name-loving loop. I consider my mom has decent tastes in names (She gave my brother and I excellent ones), so I trust her opinion.
but then, when I said " what do you think about Sunniva?" she said that she felt it sounded made-up.
I don't know what to feel.
On one hand, not a lot of people would be familiar with Sunniva. It's a Norwegian name meaning "Sun's Gift". It's not in a lot of name databases , and you can forget about finding it in the top 1000 for baby names.
Still, Sunniva is easy to pronounce, has a positive meaning, and has a lot of cute nicknames (Sue, Sunny, Niva). I really like this name for these qualities. I find it interesting that with all these qualities of a real name, my mom still thinks it sounds made-up. Maybe it's just something to do with her generation, and I should use this as a reminder to take caution when mentioning my more out-there name ideas.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Names That Could Have Been Contenders

I would like to bring up a few names that I have stumbled upon, and have been talking about, that sound like popular or well-loved names, but are not nearly as popular. They could have been popular or even accepted, but there is something that gets in the way of the name from truly shining.

Lumi: I mentioned that I am loving Lumi in my previous post, but I would like to give away my defense. Luna is gaining admission into the public conciousness as a legitimate name thanks to Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter and people's new found love for using the names of goddesses. Some people say that their problem with Luna is how much the moon plays in imagery of craziness. Lumi is a nice alternative. It may sound more like Loony than Luna, but it also sounds more like Luminescence, which is a very very pretty word. I don't think of crazy or the moon. I simply think of light.

Sybil:If characters can revive old names, why hasn't Downton Abbey done anything to help with Sybil? It's an award-winning show, so there are plenty of people aware of a Sybil existing, and boy howdy is Sybil an awesome character! She is the kind of proto-feminist who paved the way for the modern woman we know of today. Perhaps I need to see the film with the other Sybil to understand the hesitations, but it was quite a while ago when that film came out.

Jezebel: Okay, I'll admit that I would never ever give my child this name. Jezebel has been the name given to a stereotype of African American women who are portrayed as sex-crazy in the media.It is simply too soon. That said, I follow the news blog Jezebel, and it's given another perspective to the name.Jezzie is the affectionate name many of the commenters on Jezebel give to each other, and I think it's a lovely way to bring Jezebel into the real world. The full name Jezebel is also a fun way to get to "bella" in a unique way. I would , however, not recommend the other nickname Jezzies give to each other : Lesbian Shitass. it's a long story how that got to be used, and it's all Scott Baio's fault.

Isadora: I've waxed poetic about the name Isadora, but I'd also like to point out how similar to Isabella this name is. Same syllables, first three words are the same, and both names can be nicknamed Izzy. Isadora is kind of like an alternate-universe version of Isabella. I'm sure in this alternate universe, people are wearing pants on their head and complaining about all the Isadora's on their naming blogs.In this universe, however, Isadora is surprisingly rare for how similar it is to the name given to the most girls.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thank you, Abby!

I cannot believe that my blog was mentioned on Appellation Mountain. That is an immense honor for me. It's the blog I go to every day for my daily dose of names. Her posts are always full of information and insight. I love to read every post that comes up, because I'm bound to learn something.I know a lot of other people visit her blog as well, which explains the huge spike of viewers in my stats. Thank you for giving my blog a gander, newcomers, and a special thank you and Happy Birthday to Abby.

Friday, January 20, 2012

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned To Embrace The Wierd

 Do you want to know what name I am in love with right now?Lumi
It does not age well at all, it sounds more like Loony than even Luna, and it's very, very Finnish (it's a more popular Finnish name, and means "snow").I still love Lumi. I will even defend Lumi.

I've realized something about myself, the life I want to live, and the values I would like to pass down: it does not encourage conforming to social norms.I am not an average person with average values, and I've yet to really meet one with "Everyday American" values that I liked. I prefer to hang with social outcasts and deviants. Why would someone like me worry about how normal a child could turn out? Names can be changed, after all, so what's the harm other than a little paperwork?Thus, I have given up on trying to use a name that's normal. using the anchor rule , I'm sure I can make the name work.  Here are some ideas I have for the name:

Lumi Arietty
Lumi Alicia
Lumi Araceli
Lumi Fae
Lumi Olivia
Lumi Pandora

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Anchor Rule

There are names that are so out-there that people find thier status as a real name questionable. There are names so well-known that thier use is sometimes a dissapointment to others the name it is uttered. Put them together and you just might have the perfect name.I call this The Anchor Rule in naming:

If one name is normal, it gains improvement from an abnormal name and vice versa.

Why don't we take this rule to practice. Let's use some names that are fairly unique:


and pair them with very normal* names:

now let's put them together:

Elizabeth Snow
Keziah Mary
Zea Lauren
Amity Isabella
Mia Pepper
Twila Catherine

I am pulling these names out of my butt, and I'm already kind of liking these combinations.I challenge you to give this a shot by making a list of strange and normal names. You'll be surprised what will come out of it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Word About Blue Ivy

I am going to put this out there and let it rest: I would have preferred the Bey-Z child to be named Ivy Blue. I have a soft spot for Ivy since it is one of my cousin's names. Since she was the closest I had to an older sister, I have always looked at Ivy as a very grown-up name.
As it stands, however, the child's first name is Blue.
Blue is, in my narrow opinion, nowhere near as adult as Ivy. I'd have the same opinion if the child was called Barbie Ivy or Bitsy Ivy.Luckily, however, in case of seriousness, the child has a serious name to work with. Thus is the magic of middle names.It's sort of like a backup if the first name fails.
But whatever my opinion on Blue Ivy, I wish her the best in life, and for her all the love a child needs when growing up.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Manic Pixie Dream Names

There is this trope for the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. She is a creative and free spirit whose use is to help the (usually male) protagonist learn to express themselves.While I find stories that utilize the trope tired and renders a woman as a tool, I have nothing against the person themselves. In fact, I wish there would be more stories from the perspective of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl's perspective. A  film I watched that did a bit of deconstructing of this trope was a film called Happy Go Lucky, and it was about your typical type for a Manic Pixie Dream Girl: "quirky", lighthearted, and a free spirit.The film, however, was shot from her everyday perspective and showed her motivations and trials with having such a personality.You rarely have that when the story is from the perspective of the man who needs that kind of woman to fix them. I'm not going to give away more about the story because I recommend you see it yourselves.
Where was I getting at? Oh yes: names. The name of the main character in the film Happy Go Lucky is Poppy. On reflection, I realized that of course her name would be Poppy. Poppy is upbeat, brings to mind the color red, and is a name better carried by bohemians than accountants.That is the essence of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl or MPDG: they live outside the corporate world and have no need to have a professional air about themselves.Their names can be cutesy or weird or plain and nobody within their artistic circle would care.

 Another "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" who isn't quite a "Manic Pixie Dream Girl is Clementine from the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. She has all the trappings of a MPDG: cool style (and awesome hair!), eccentric, and her name is Clementine. Her character "archeotype", like in Happy Go Lucky, is also deconstructed. Clementine bites back. But I am still hung up on her name.It's a true darling.

However, while the two films were deconstructions of the MPDG, the film that pretty much brought this trope to it's full definition is the film Garden State. The MPDG in this film who does what all MPDG's do is named Sam. From my name-fancying perspective, the name Sam is a bit of a letdown.I can imagine the person writing this film trying to find an oh-so-quirky name and finding it oh-so-original that  girl would go by Sam. Never mind the popularity of Samantha and how Sam is the obvious nickname for every little Samantha once she shows a whiff of tomboyishness.That is my main problem with the traditional use of the MPDG: she has so much potential to be cool (and have names like Clementine and Poppy), but the director just turns her into something traditional (Sam) in the end, thinking it's oh-so-original.

In honor of Sam, Here are some names that truly suit a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.They are special and lighthearted and suit a free spirit.