Model Names: Girls, no.1

Out of all celebrities models have the best names. On my previous blog I used to make posts every now and again featuring model's names, and I thought I would do that again, here. Enjoy!

Kawani Prenter - Australia - Middle name is Yumi, father's name is Kieron, mother is Liliane, and sister is Yasmin

Willow Hand - America - Real name is Alexandra

Eduarda Reis

Cora Keegan - America

Waleska Gorczeski - Brazil

Moa Åberg - Sweden

Astrid Holler - Australia

Naro Lokuruka - Kenya

Aliz Menyhert - Hungary

Kirin Dejonckheere - Belgium

Marthe Wiggers - The Netherlands

Hedvig Palm - Sweden

Kai Newman - Jamaica

Abi Fox - England - Real name is Abigail

Catrinel Menghia - Romania

Queeny van der Zande - The Netherlands

Noam Frost - Israel

Amilna Estevão - Angola

Othilia Simon - France

Thea Arvidsson - Sweden

Ophélie Guillermand - France

Teddy Quinlivan

Afrodita Dorado

Getter Killing - Estonia

Beasley Nester - America

Zuzu Tadeushuk - America

Famous Name: Idina

Lady Idina Sackville
I'm a pop culture junkie, so these new posts unabashedly feed into that obsession. I'll be highlighting famous and rare names in these posts, discussing where they came from and if they're usable at all, or if they're too tied to said celebrity. First up is Idina.

Origin: Possibly Hebrew
Gender: Female
Meaning: Possibly "delicate" or "gentle"
Pronunciation: EYE-deen-uh
Other forms: Possibly Adina or Edina

Mezzo-soprano Idina Menzel has been on the verge of really breaking into common knowledge for years now, originating the roles of Maureen Johnson and playing her in the film version of Broadway hit "Rent", and Elphaba in "Wicked", which won her a Tony, and playing the role of Patrick Dempsey's fiancee in Disney's "Enchanted", but it wasn't really until she voiced the character of Princess Elsa in "Frozen" that she really hit it big. Born in New York, Menzel comes from a Jewish family, and started working as a wedding and bar mitzvah singer at 15. She attended the Tisch Schools of the Arts and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drama.
But where did that name come from?

Well, the most probable option is that it comes from Adina, which means "delicate, gentle" in Hebrew. Another option is that it could be derived from Edina, which might be a Hungarian form of Germanic name or the name of a Hungarian town. Menzel's grandparent's immigrated from Eastern Europe, so it, too, is a possibility.
Or maybe, it's both.

Lady Idina Sackville, born Myra Idina Sackville and cousin to writer Vita Sackville-West, was an aristocrat and part of the Happy Valley set, a group of Anglo Aristocrats and adventurers who settled in the "Happy Valley" region of Wanjohi Valley in Kenya and Uganda in the '20's and '30's. They were not only sexually promiscuous, but also reportedly dabbled in drugs. Idina herself was known for her wild parties, and would reportedly greet guests in a bathtub made out of green onyx and then proceed to get dressed in front of them.

Whatever the case is, it's a beautiful name with a lovely sound and an even lovelier namesake. As to whether it's too tied to Ms. Menzel, I would say...maybe. My first thought would be of her, but it's not exactly a bad thing, is it? And for parents who enjoy music and musicals, it might be a perfect choice.

Free to a Good Home: Girls, pt. 1

"The Penitent Magdalene" by Tintoretto
Okay, so here's the truth about me: I'm super picky about what names I would actually consider, so picky that at any given moment I have only about 2-3 names for boys and girls I actually love and would give to a child, so my list of names I'd like others to use is definitely longer. I have decided to set them free, and list what's so great about them, and feature a few combos, in the hopes that others will use them and find inspiration in them! So here is part one of a probably pretty long series, that I have split up into boy's and girl's.

Magdalene -
Origin: Hebrew
Gender: Female
Meaning: A title meaning "Of Magdala", Magdala meant "tower"

Pronunciation: MAG-da-len
Other forms: Magda, Malene, Magdolna Malin, Magali, Madeleine, Magdalena
Combos: Cecily Magdalene, Magdalene Rose, Thea/Theodora Magdalene, Magdalene Plum.

Beautiful, wonderful, forgotten Magdalene. Saint Mary Magdalene was given the title Magdalene because she was from Magdala, a village on the sea of Galilee, whose name meant "tower". Named more than any of the other apostles in the Bible, Mary Magdalene witnessed the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. It wasn't until the Middle Ages she gained the reputation as a prostitute, a claim which is not substantiated in the canonical gospels whatsoever. Still shockingly rare, Magdalene hasn't ranked in the U.S. since 1944.

Cassandra -
Origin: Greek
Gender: Female
Meaning: Possibly something like "shining man"

Pronunciation: kuh-SAHN-dra, kuh-SAN-dra
Other forms: Kassandra, Cassandre; Cassander
Combos: Cassandra Beatrix, Cassandra Genevieve, Cassandra Violet, Cassandra Adele, Ruby Cassandra.

Originally Kassandra, this name of a Trojan princess is magical and feminine with enough weight to not be frilly. Possibly coming from the Greek kekasmai which meant "to shine, to excel", and aner, which meant "man", Cassandra ranks at #516 only. In Greek mythology she was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, and was given her powers to see the future in a ploy by Apollo to seduce her. However Cassandra declined his advances, and Apollo spat into her mouth, cursing her to never have her prophecies believed. Another version tells how she fell asleep in a temple, and a snake licked her ear, giving her the ability to hear the future.

Jessamy -
Origin: English
Gender: Unisex

Meaning: Possibly an older form of Jasmine
Pronunciation: JESS-uh-mee
Other forms: Jessamine, Jessamyn, Jasmine

Combos: Jessamy Fern, Jessamy Coriander, Jessamy Louella, Jessamy Thora, Jessamy Dahlia.

While the general consensus is that most people prefer Jessamine, I love Jessamy (not only for a girl, but for a boy, too). I find the sound more appealing overall, and it seems like Jessamy would be spunkier than sister Jessamine. Jessamine is a older variant spelling of Jasmine, the beautiful and fragrant flower. A truly unusual choice, Jessamy has never ranked in the U.S. top thousand.


Origin: Unknown, possibly Germanic
Gender: Female
Meaning: N/A
Pronunciation: N/A
Other forms: N/A

Thank you to Winter Flodman-Cash for suggesting Thadéline!

I always love discovering new and unusual names, and love trying to find where they come from, so I was excited to do some research on Thadéline. To me, Thadéline looks like a form of the Ancient Germanic Theudelinda, also sometimes seen as Theodelinda or Dietlinde, which comes from theud, "people", and linde, "soft, tender". I would pronounce it either as "THAD-day-leen" or "TAH-day-leen".
Another idea is that is possibly just an elaborate feminine form of Thaddeus, meaning something like "heart". Theodelinda was a Queen of the Lombards, and is credited as building churches in Tuscany and Lombardy, after converting her second husband, Agilulf, to Catholicism. Either way, it is a beautiful name! Thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

Praxis and Her Sisters

"Saint Praxidis" by Vermeer
Origin: Greek
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Practical", or "action"
Pronunciation: N/A
Other forms: Praxilla, Praxedes/Praxedis/Praxidis, Praxède/Praxéda, Praxed, Prassede

Thank you to Winter Flodman-Cash for suggesting Praxis (and her many other forms)!

Praxis is a Greek name meaning "practical", and is an epithet for the Goddess Aphrodite, and in that sense it is thought to mean more "action" or "active", as in the action of sexual intercourse. I'm not sure on a pronunciation, but I figured it could be something like "prah-ZEES", or the way I automatically say it, "PRACK-sus".
Praxis is also the word used for the practice of faith and worship for the Eastern Orthodox church, and "The Praxis School" is a school of Marxist philosophy. You must pass a Praxis test to become a certified teacher in the United States. Praxis is also a genus of moth in the Noctuidae family, mostly found in Australia, and brown in color. 

The more elaborate form, Praxedes, is the name of a 2nd-century Saint, and little is known about her. She is sometimes referred to as a sister of Saint Pudentiana, Saint Donatus, and Saint Timothy. Other times it is said that one of her brother is Saint Novatus, and not Donatus, and that she is a daughter of Saint Pudens. Praxedes and her siblings buried the bodies of Christians during a time of persecution and gave their goods to the poor. They died supposedly during the reign of Emperors Marcus and Antoninus II.

Praxilla, a form I wrote about on my previous blog, was the name of a Greek lyric poet, Praxilla of Sicyon, named one nine "immortal-tongued" women poets, and was highly esteemed, even having a statue made in her likeness.