Drake Reveals Name of Son

Drake and Adonis

Drake has announced the name of his son, who was born in October of 2017 to Sophie Brussaux, as Adonis Mahbed.


Kate Dolan as Portia by John Everett Millais

Origin: Ancient Roman
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Pig" or "Port, harbor"
Pronunciation: POR-sha
Other Forms: Porcia

Portia is a favorite of mine, with a rich history and plenty of strong namesakes.
The only thing holding it back is the meaning - "pig".
Portia is thought to come from the Ancient Roman family name Porcius, which comes from the Latin porcus, "pig". The original feminine form was Porcia, giving Portia a bit of ambiguity, with some thinking it's more likely to be a form of Portius which means "port" or "harbor". It last placed in the US top 1000 in 1991 at #961, making it a perfect pick for someone looking for something unique.

In Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice", Portia is the beautiful and witty Belmont heiress with a love of proverbs and wordplay. She later saves the life of her choice of suitor, Bassiano's, friend Antonio in court by disguising herself as a man and a lawyer's assistant. This Portia was said to be inspired by not only Elizabeth I, who herself was fond of proverbs, but by Porcia Catonis, the second wife of Marcus Junius Brutus. She inspired the "Portia Hypothesis", which claims women with more masculine sounding names are more successful in legal professions than women with more feminine ones.
Portia Doubleday

Porcia Catonis is most famous for convincing her husband she could keep the secret of his plans to assassinate Julius Caesar by cutting her own thigh with a barber's knife, thus proving she could take the pain and keep the secret, even if she was tortured. She was said to later kill herself by swallowing hot coals, though the plausibility of this is debated, with it being suggested she burned coal in an unventilated room instead and suffocated.

John Adams called his wife Abigail Adams "Portia" in his letters, with her calling him "Lysander". There is also a moon of Uranus called Portia, named after the Shakespearean character. As for more recent bearers there is model and actress Portia de Rossi, who changed her name from Amanda Ross, and actress Portia Doubleday, best known for her role in "Mr. Robot". 


"Alexandrine Le Normant d'Étiolles" by François Boucher

Origin: French, Greek
Gender: Female
Meaning: Diminutive of Alexandra; "Defending Men"
Other Forms: Alexandra, Alexandrina, Alexandria, Alessandra

This diminutive of the strong and ancient Alexandra gives the name a bit of feminine frill. Alexandra itself is the female form of Greek Alexander, which comes from alexo, which means "to defend, help", and aner which means "man". Alexandra was the Mycenaean epithet for the Goddess Hera, who held dominion over marriage and birth and considered the cow, lion, and peacock sacred animals.

Illustration of an Alexandrine Parakeet from around 1770 to 1786
Alexandrine is a purely French concoction, with a few royal and aristocratic namesakes, like Alexandrine Le Normant d'Étiolles, the daughter of Madame de Pompadour, one of Louis XV's most famous mistresses, who he was the official stepfather to. She was nicknamed "Fanfan", and tragically died just a few months shy of her tenth birthday from acute peritonitis. There is also Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, a Queen of Denmark and Iceland who was married to Christian X, and a Princess Alexandrine of Baden. It last ranked in France's top 1000 in 1999 where it sat at #467, and peaked in 1900 and 1901 at number 90.

If you're talking poetry, Alexandrine is a type of poetic meter, sometimes called the "French alexandrine". An Alexandrine parrot or parakeet is a brightly colored bird that can be found from Germany to Saudi Arabia. It is named after Alexander the Great, who transported several different kinds of birds from Punjab to several countries and regions of the Mediterranean and Europe which were prized greatly by nobility.      

Miss Universe -- 2006-2019

Zozibini Tunzi - South Africa - 2019

Zuleyka Rivera - Puerto Rico - 2006
Riyo Mori - Japan - 2007
Dayana Mendoza - Venezuela - 2008
Stefanía Fernández - Venezuela - 2009
Ximena Navarrete - Mexico - 2010
Leila Lopes - Angola - 2011
Olivia Culpo - United States - 2012
Gabriela Isler - Venezuela - 2013
Paulina Vega - Colombia - 2014
Pia Wurtzbach - Philippines - 2015
Iris Mittenaere - France - 2016
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters - South Africa - 2017
Catriona Gray - Philippines - 2018
Zozibini Tunzi - South Africa - 2019

On My Mind: 3-8-20

"Daughters of Pacini, Giovannina and Amazilia" by Karl Bryullov

Giovannina and Amazilia/Amacilia - While looking at art by Karl Bryullov I came across a gorgeous painting of two girls who were the daughters of the Italian composer Giovanni Pacini. Their names were Giovannina, a diminutive of Giovanna, and Amazilia, sometimes called Amacilia. I can't find much on either version, except for a genus of hummingbird called Amazilia, but they're both gorgeous.

Artwork by Iben Sandemose
Iben - I have a soft spot for girls names that end in an N or an O or any other letter that seems to be more common for boys. Scandinavian Iben is no exception. Thought to possibly be a feminine form of the Danish nickname Ib, short for Jakob, it is also associated with the Danish word ibenholt, "ebony". Children's book author and illustrator Iben Sandemose gives it a touch of the whimsical.

Arantzazu - There's this Spanish painter, Arantzazu Martinez, who's work just takes my breath away. And her name does, too. It comes from a place near the town Oñati where there is a Franciscan shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary called "The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Arantzazu". Arantzazu means "thorn-bush" or more poetically, "place abounding in hawthorn". The legend states that the Virgin Mary appeared to the shepherd Rodrigo de Balanzategui in a thorn-bush, and he cried out "Arantzan zu?" meaning "Thou, among the thorns?".

The Children of Elena of Montenegro

Elena of Montenegro, Queen of Italy

Princess Elena of Montenegro was born Jelena Petrović Njegoš to Nicholas I of Montenegro and Milena of Montenegro. She married Victor Emmanuel III of Italy
Their children were:

Yolanda Margherita Milena Elisabetta Romana Maria, "Princess Yolanda of Savoy"

Mafalda Maria Elisabetta Anna Romana, "Princess Mafalda of Savoy"

Umberto Nicola Tommaso Giovanni Maria, "Umberto of Savoy, Prince of Piedmont", later "Umberto II of Italy"

Giovanna Elisabetta Antonia Romana Maria, "Princess of Giovanna of Savoy"

Maria Francesca Anna Romana, "Princess Maria Francesca of Saxony"

Queen Elena with Yolanda and Mafalda