Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Vicesimus seems completely untouchable at first glance, but with the rising popularity of names such as Demetrius, could it be a serious option?

Vicesimus simply means twentieth in Latin. It was mainly given to the twentieth child in a family. For example, George Vicesimus Wingram, an English Biblical scholar, was his father's twentieth child. Likewise, Thomas Vicesimus Ivey's father also had twenty children.  

The most famous carrier of the name was Vicesimus Knox, who inherited the name from his father. Knox was a Church of England priest and headmaster. I must confess that the idea of reading religious tracts sends me running, so I was unable to look through Knox's writings. But from what I've been able to gather, Knox was a traditionalist and popular essayist. His works include Essays Moral and Literary and  Elegant Extracts. 

Looking through some records there is evidence of other Vicesimus in England, with one born in 1915. The feminine equivalent of the name, Vicesima, could also be found in the same records twice.

Throughout researching this name all I could think about was the Duggar family. How appropriate would Vicesimus/Vicesima be for their next child? If it only started with a J.

Image: Painting by Louis Charles Moeller.