Monday, 14 November 2011

Name in the Spotlight: Ellora


 I was perusing the news yesterday when I came across an article by The Sun titled Baby, It Was Cold Outside. It was a cheeky look at the results of last winter's cold temperatures across the UK. It was snowing outside, many people were trapped inside their houses, and, let's be honest, English TV can be a bore at times. No wonder there seems to have been a mini baby boom. The Sun stated that 'The Office For National Statistics reported birth rates at levels not seen in 40 years'. The babies they featured were named Rafferty, Merlin, Isabelle, Olivia, Austin, Tommy, Kieran, and Ellora. You can guess which one grabbed my attention.

The name Ellora is perhaps best known for its connections with the Ellora Caves in India, a World Heritage Site. The caves were built between the 5th and 10th century, and were made into Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temples, most with walls filled with intricate carvings. Last year, 9 baby girls were given that name in UK. However, the alternative, Anglicised spelling of Elora trumped it with 16. 

Film enthusiasts may think of the 1988 fantasy film Willow and its baby princess called Elora, rather than the Indian Caves.

Elora is said to be a variant of Hebrew name Eliora, the feminine form of Elior, meaning 'my God is my light'. Although the name could also be seen as a variant of Eleanor, meaning 'bright, shinning one'. 

Perhaps what makes Ellora so attractive is its many nickname options. There is Ellie, the nickname given to the little girl in The Sun article, Ella, Lora, Lorie, and Lola.

Ellora ticks all the boxes for me. She has a long history, she's not popular, she has a nice meaning, and some cute, modern nicknames. Ellora is unusual but fits right in next to Eleanor and her other EL friends.