Free to a Good Home: Boys, pt. 1

"Ferdinand lured by Ariel" by John Everett Millais
Ferdinand - 
Origin: Germanic
Gender: Male
Meaning: "Brave voyager"
Pronunciation: FUR-di-nand
Other forms: Fernand, Ferran, Ferdinando, Ferdynand, Hernando, Nándor/ Ferdinanda, Fernande
Combos: Percy Ferdinand, Jasper Ferdinand, Ferdinand Xavier, Ferdinand Poe

I think this name is regal and handsome, and has a wonderful meaning along with a great history, having been used by both Shakespeare and royalty alike. Ferdinand came from Ferdinando, an old Spanish form of a Germanic name made up of the elements fardi, "journey", and nand, which meant "brave" or "daring". Put together more poetically it's "brave voyager". Ferdinand hasn't ranked in the US since 1971, when it was way at the bottom at #984.  This name first truly struck me when I saw actor Sir Ben Kingsley used it for one of his sons (the other two are named Thomas Alexis and Edmund), who is also an actor and most famously plays Charles Elmé Francatelli on "Victoria".

Soren -
Origin: Danish
Gender: Male
Meaning: "Stern"
Pronunciation: SOR-in
Other forms: Severus, Severinus, Severin, Seweryn, Severino
Combos: Nathaniel Soren, Soren Tobias, Soren Fox, Marcus Soren

This name has quite an interesting and for me, unexpected origin. Soren (Søren if you're Danish or Norwegian, Sören if you're Swedish or German) comes from Severinus, the ancient Roman family name, which itself came from the name Severus, meaning "stern" in Latin. To people outside of English speaking countries it is pronounced a variety of ways: SIR-en, SUU-ren, or ZUU-ren, which I find all very pleasing to the ear. Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher, theologian, critic, and poet to just name a few, who lived from 1813 to 1855, and was seen as a sort of precursor to the approach of existentialism. The fact that it's used in Germany is a plus for me as it could honor my heritage, and so far this one strikes as one I might use on a child. So maybe one day this post will come back to bite me!

Marius -
Origin: Roman
Gender: Male
Meaning: "Male"
Pronunciation: MAR-ee-es, MAIR-ee-es
Other forms: Mars, Mario, Marios, Marijo, Marijus, Mariusz
Combos: Marius Oleander, Marius Theron, Marius Bail, Victor Marius

One thing I really love about this name is that it is sometimes used as a male form of the name Maria, something I find so fascinating and rare. Marius is an ancient Roman family name that either came from the name of the God of war, Mars, or from the Latin maris, meaning "male". Either way the meaning remains the same as Mars is thought to come from the same place. I also like how Marius is used in so many different countries, from Germany to France to Romania, which I think lends a sort of classic feeling to it. My favorite bearer of this name is Marius Pontmercy from Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables". Another interesting namesake is that of Crown Princess Mette-Marit's first born son, Marius Borg Høiby, whom she had before marrying Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway.


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