Monday, 26 November 2012

A Collection of Randoms

File:1698 de Bruijin View of Bethlehem, Palestine (Israel, Holy Land) - Geographicus - Bethlehem-bruijn-1698.jpg

I'm a bit low on name inspiration at the moment. I think it must be because Christmas is just less than a month away and I'm focused on other non-name related projects. But there have been some pretty interesting names that I've heard and seen lately. So here are a few randoms that got me thinking:

Bethlehem - I shared this name on Twitter already, but it's worth another mention. I was stunned when I came across it and I still can't really get over it. I talk about unusual names so much that it is a joy to meet someone who I feel has a truly 'out there' name. But although I was at first taken back, I can now see it working. It's a location name that packs a punch; it's no romantic Paris or trendy London. Bethlehem is full of imagery, history and connotation. No matter where you go, people know at least one fact about Bethlehem. Its very strong religious connections may put people off, but if it is not a deal breaker then it is a fantastic option. The Bethlehem I know was hidden behind a very common nickname, Beth, which is often used for Elizabeth or Elspeth. Personally, I find Bethlehem a much more exciting, daring choice.

Holland - This pick has a literary connection for me. A while back I was reading a book where the main character's name was Holland, nicknamed Holly. It's really grown on me, and now Holland has shot up my favourites list. It works well for both genders, I think, and I would love to see it being used more often.

Mhairi - It's the first name of author Mhairi McFarlane. I'm currently reading one of her books, You Had Me At Hello. Not a very imaginative title, sure, but it's a sweet and fun read, and I can't wait to see how it all comes together. The characters' names are pretty standard - although an Ivor was sneaked in - but the author's name is quite interesting. It's the Scottish form of Mary, but pronounced VA-ree, which I find fascinating. It's like someone's taken proper, buttoned-up Mary and dropped her in a pot of va-va-voom red paint.

Mayim - The Big Bang Theory has had far too much influence on my name tastes lately. It has made me love Penny, made Leonard my favourite way to get to Leo, and has even warmed me up to Sheldon, but its Mayim that has really caught my eye. Mayim Bialik plays Amy Farrah Fowler, Sheldon's sort of girlfriend. I'm surrounded by 90s Amys, and little Mayas, so Mayim is a breath of fresh air. It's a Hebrew name meaning 'water'.

Bo - It's one of the few names that I like equally on boys or girls (Holland is another). I tend to like longer, more elaborate names so short, tiny Bo makes me a little nervous. There's always Beau, but there's something about it that doesn't appeal to me. Plus, I'm partial to the meaning of Bo in Swedish and Danish, 'to live'. So I've turned to Robert. If Robert can take us to Bobby, why not Bo? It may be a stretch, but it's one that can be easily explained.

Xenia - It's has a trendy vibe, it's spunky, fresh and unusual, Xenia is a name that I've actually see quite a lot of. There's something sweet but tough about her, a no-nonsense vibe that appeals to those who prefer to stay away from cute, girly names. To me, she sounds very modern, but she has ancient Greek roots, with the nice meaning of 'hospitality'. My personal favourite nickname for her is Zeze.


Image: Bethlehem 1698 by Cornelius de Bruijin.