The State of Pop Culture Naming (Harry Potter Edition)

November 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

We’ve talked before about how pop culture influences naming trends (try clicking here or here for more on the topic; and click here for some examples of when it sort of went the other way), but when it comes to some of the classical names used by author J.K. Rowling in her Harry Potter series, it can be tough to tell how much influence the books really had, or whether those particular names hold their places on the list because, well, they’ve just been around for ages.

In any case, the linked article gives you some popularity rankings for many of the names used for characters in the series; some are more instantly recognizable as “Potterhead-influenced” than others, to be sure! (Bonus game: Can you remember the last names of the characters whose names made the list before you click through to learn more about the names themselves?):

Harry Potter’s Influence on Baby Names

For witches: Amelia, Arabella, Bellatrix, Ginny, Hermione, Lavender, Lily, Luna, and Minerva
For wizards: Cedric, Cornelius, Draco, Dudley, Godric, Harry, Kingsley, Lucius, Neville, Percy, Remus, Ron, Seamus, Severus, Sirius, and Viktor

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By Any Other Name?

November 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

It’s common knowledge that, as Juliet (via William Shakespeare) says, “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet” . . . or would it? The linked articles discusses some of the ways in which your name may reflect your background . . . and affect your prospects:

Who Wins in the Name Game?
(“From dating to job prospects, a name has remarkable power over the path of its owner’s life.”)

5 Ways Your Parents Changed Your Life When They Named You
(alternate title: 5 Bizarre Ways Your Name Defines Who You Are)

Examples of Elongated Eponyms

November 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

Some folks prefer the simple, straightforward, short-and-sweet when it comes to names, but there is something to be said for the long-and-lovely names in this article, no? (As always, be sure to click through for more info!)

25 Baby Names That Push The Character Count

For girls: Alessandra, Alexandria, Clementine, Elisabeth, Evangeline, Guadalupe, Gwendolyn, Jacqueline, Katherine, Magdalena, Montserrat, Temperance

For boys: Alessandro, Alexzander, Broderick, Christopher / Cristopher / Kristopher, Demetrius, Francisco, Johnathan, Maximilian / Maximiliano, Remington, Zachariah

Sukey

November 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of names such as “Susannah”, “Susan“, “Sarah“, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Sooki, Sookie, Sooky, Su, Sue, Suse, Susey, Susi, Susie, Suki, Sukie, Susy, Suze, Suzey, Suzi, Suzie, Suzy, Zooey, Zooie, Zsazsa, Zsuzsa, Zsuzsi, Zsuzsu, Zu, Zuza, Zuzi, Zuzia, Zuzu, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Sukey, a servant girl at Sam Adams’ house in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

WRITERS:
Sukey Vickery (1799-1821), American novelist and poet.

QUOTATIONS:
– The second verse of the nursery rhyme “Polly Put The Kettle On” (1797), based on the writer’s observation of his young daughters at play, goes: “Sukey, take it [the kettle] off [of the table] again, / They’ve all gone away.”

Jenifer

November 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Jennifer”, a variation of the Welsh “Gwynhyfar” / “Guinevere” /  “Gwenevere” / etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Jen, Jena, Jenae, Jenelle, Jenessa, Jeni, Jenna, Jenni, Jennie, Jennifer, Jenny, Jinelle, Jin, Jinessa, Jini, Jinifer, Jinni, Jinnie, Jinny, Yenifer, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Jenifer Lorne (née Silsbee), Rab’s aunt, “tiny-footed and too plump”, a kind-hearted woman who is very fond of Johnny, in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

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