On My Mind: 7-16-17

Statue of Libuše in Prague
Gus, Theo, and Ruby - At work I recently heard of a sibset consisting of eldest brother Gus, and then Theo, and a little sister named Ruby. It's so unusual (especially in my small southern town) to hear such stylish names that I was pretty floored when I heard it.

Augustine - Another name sighting from work - a little boy was calling for his friend all across the arcade - his name was Augustine.

Libuše - I've really been into Czech names here lately, and this one is one of my favorites. It comes from the Czech lib - which means "love". In legend, Libuše, also sometimes called Lubuše, Libussa, or Lubossa, was the name of a Princess and the founder of Prague.


Origin: Māori
Gender: Unisex
Meaning: The name of a bird native to New Zealand
Pronunciation: TOO-ee
Other forms: N/A

I know there aren't that many, but I'm a person who is totally obsessed with birds of all kinds. I myself own a cockatiel named Icarus (but just called Birdie), have owned a parakeet, and plan on owning birds for the rest of my life. I also love wild birds, and have recently discovered the name Tui, which is used as a name, and is also the name of a bird from New Zealand. The Tui, which was called the "parson bird" by European colonists, is one of the largest birds in the honeyeater family. 
At first glance they may appear to be solid black, but they actually have a beautiful iridescent sheen, and some brown feathers on the back and flanks, along with a collar of lacy white feathers around the neck. Tui have two voice boxes, and along with being as intelligent as many parrots, are able to make an assortment of noises and calls, and even imitate human speech. The Māori would sometimes capture and tame them, and teach them greetings and prayers and even how to sound like their chief - they would call those birds "a manu rangatira" - a chiefly bird. 

Tui as a name is unisex, but much more common for girls than for boys. Tui Sutherland is one of the authors of the popular kid's books series "Warriors".

Names à la mode: Interesting Picks from France's Most Popular Names, 2015 (Boys)

art by frédéric bazille
2. Jules - The French are so stylish (especially when it comes to names!) and I was so happy to see something like Jules at number two. Jules is the French form of Julius, which is thought to mean "downy-bearded", and was a Roman family name. It is pronounced "ZHUYL"

95. Marceau - Known to me, and probably to most of the English-speaking world, as the surname of French actress and Bond girl/villainess Sophie Marceau, I was surprised to see this name being used as a first. It is apparently a medieval French form of Marcel. Marcel comes from Marcellus, a Roman family name which started out as a diminutive of Marcus.

113. Lilian - I never knew that Lilian was used as masculine name in France! Count me as pleasantly surprised.

133. Corentin - This gorgeous name possibly means "hurricane" in Breton, and is the name of a 5th-century Saint.

177. Sofiane - A Maghrebi transcript of Sufyan, which could have a meaning relating to something like "wool", "purity", or "comes with a sword", just to name a few.

207. Lino - A Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Galician form of Linus.

230. Gustave - Gustav is a guilty pleasure of mine, and I'm so happy to see a form of it being used. It means "staff of the Goths". The Goths were a Eastern Germanic people who played an important part in the building of medieval Europe - and the destruction of the Roman Empire.

241. Arsène - Another guilty pleasure of mine, the most famous bearer of this name is the fictional gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, who was first introduced through short stories published in a magazine in France in 1905, and went on to star in several novellas, books, films and even some video games. Arsène is the French form of the Greek Arsenios, meaning "virile".

286. Elouan - A Breton name meaning "light" and the name of a 6th-century Saint, also known as Elwen.

317. Célian - This name comes from a variant spelling of Caelianus, a Roman cognomen which came from Caelius which in turn came from the Latin caelum, "heaven".

350. Vadim - Russian Vadim's meaning is unknown, though it is used as their form of Bademus, a Latinized Persian name of a Saint. It's true source is possibly the Slavic Vadimir, which is thought to come from vaditi - "to accuse"- and miru - "peace, world".

432. Jibril - Arabic form of Gabriel - "God is my strong man".

Names à la mode: Interesting Picks from France's Most Popular Names, 2015 (Girls)

art by georges de feure
Note: I know I haven't posted anything in forever, but I'm hoping to try and at least get to posting a few things every month. Work has been hectic, especially now since it's summer (the perks of working at an amusement park/arcade), so I apologize!

While France doesn't release name stats every year, we do have the one from 2015 to give us an idea of what's popular at the moment. I chose only the names I found beautiful, or interesting, to highlight. Hope you enjoy!

22. Louna - I love this possible variant of Luna. I think it adds a sort of gravitas that Luna may be lacking. In Finland, this name is pronounced "LO-nah" and comes from the word lounas, meaning "southwest".

50. Capucine - A guilty pleasure of mine, this lovely name means "nasturtium". The nasturtium, or tropaeolum, is a genus of about 80 species of flowers, most often bright in color. Along with some of them being edible, with a peppery taste reminiscent of watercress, it is also has antiseptic and expectorant qualities which make it highly useful in herbal medicine. Capucine is best known as being the stage name of the French actress and whose acting career spanned from 1948 to her death by suicide in 1990.

75. Alix - This short and sweet name is the French medieval version of the classic Alice. Namesakes include the Blessed Alix Le Clercq, the founder of the Canonesses of St. Augustine, an order that's goal was to educate girls, especially those in poverty; and Alix of Hesse and by Rhine, better known by her married name of Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Nicholas II of Russia.

99. Zélie - A diminutive of Azélie, which possibly comes from the short form, Adelais, of the Ancient Germanic Adalheidis. Adalheidis would later on become the popular Adelaide, meaning "of noble sort".

115. Lison - A rather intriguing - and beautiful - diminutive of Elisabeth.

137. Garance - This beautiful and unusual name comes from the French word for madder, a plant in the coffee family, commonly used as a natural red dye since the ancient world. It has also purported many different medical uses throughout history, including the cure of yellow jaundice, palsy, sciatica, and bruises. In the movie 1945 film, "Les Enfants du Paradis", the main character is called Claire "Garance" Reine.

145. Anaé - A French diminutive of Hannah.

194. Cassandre - A gorgeous unisex name currently more popular for girls than boys in France. It is simply the French form of Cassandra or Cassander, which means "shining man".

217. Laly - A diminutive of Eulalie, which means "sweetly-speaking".

291. Tasnim - A beautiful Arabic name meaning "a spring in paradise".

493. Camelia - The French and Romanian form of Camellia.