Nomenclatural Musings

You know, if it weren’t for other people incessantly asking me about stuff, I probably wouldn’t have even these 21 posts on this blog. So, thank goodness for other people. This time, they’ve been asking me if I’ve thought of baby names. They’re not really looking for the answer that I’ve been thinking of baby names since, oh, the dawn of time, but rather if I have serious contenders now for this baby. The answer is, well, now I do!

I have a predilection for antique names and obscure saints’ names, so I’ve been rather hesitant to begin this process. I also like riffs on family names and I know I have to quench the “sounds more like a character in a book” impulses, especially when the book in question would most likely fit in the science fiction or fantasy genre. So, here’s a preliminary list of names floating around in my head. Note that NONE of these have been vetted by anyone.

Raphia Meredeth: I have always really liked the name Raphia. It’s probably my favorite. In seventh grade I wrote short story with a main character who had that name. This is one of two exceptions I make to the rule of “no character names” just because it’s such a great name. Also my husband’s Confirmation name is Raphael. As for Meredeth, yes I know it’s usually spelled “Meredith” but I don’t like how that looks and I prefer the “eth” pronunciation.
Alodia Pearl: Alodia is the name of one of two sister martyrs who were born to a Christian mother and Muslim father, and later Muslim stepfather when he died. Since they refused to follow Islam in favor of Christianity, and also refused to marry Muslim husbands in favor of remaining virgins, they were harassed and eventually sentenced to beheading. Pearl is another name for Margaret.
Anna Irene: These two names flow together really well. I thought of Irene and Anna decided it wanted to come too.
Judith Lydia: Judith is an AMAZING woman from the Old Testament who helped save the Jews by ingratiating herself to the conquering general, Holofernes, then later skewering him with a tent peg and cutting off his head as proof. Lydia is one of the first Christian converts, lauded as the first European convert (barely, as she lived in what is now western Turkey).

Peter Aloysius: Apart from the obvious, I’ve had a strong affinity for the name Peter ever since reading the Chronicles of Narnia. It’s the other “no character names” exception. Aloysius, besides being a nifty saint, is also the name of one of my great-grandpas.
Silas Jerome: “Ciceronianus es, non Christianus!” “Miserere mei, Domine, miserere mei!” Ha ha, the intellectual giant reduced to mewling terror because he likes his Cicero… Cracks me up every time. A-hrem. Jerome is a great name from a great saint, and Silas was Paul’s backup singer when they sang hymns all night in prison.
Isaac Martin: Besides being the name of a big figure in the Old Testament, Fr. Isaac Jogues was one of the first Jesuit missionaries to the Iroquois, who largely would have none of it, and subsequently tortured and martyred him. His writings are quite inspirational and a real eye-opener if your idea of Catholic missionaries in the Americas is one of thickheaded, prejudiced forced conversion and oppression. Martin is likewise a plucky soldier who is an object lesson in magnanimity to the poor.
Morgan Matthias: Morgan is the name of a greatx3 uncle of mine who fought in the Civil War, got his left middle finger shot off, and later went ’round the bend. He arranged for his niece to sneak him out of the asylum twice – the first time his doctor hunted him down and carried him back, but the second time he wasn’t so interested. The name Morgan has a pretty good military pedigree, with bearers such as Daniel Morgan and John Hunt Morgan to name a couple of examples. Matthias was the apostle chosen to replace Judas. He went on to preach to barbarians and cannibals, and eventually was either beheaded or crucified.

So there, now you know all there is to know so far about what appellation with which we might saddle this kid. Since I haven’t discussed this with anyone yet (notably the hubs) this is subject to complete overhaul. Just for kicks, what kinds of names do you all fancy?

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About kittenchan

I'm a Roman Catholic, conservative creative writing major with a penchant for cooking, crafting, and geek subcultures. View all posts by kittenchan

4 responses to “Nomenclatural Musings

  • Aunty Em

    A*hrem. . . a small correction, if I may. Uncle Morgan sneaked out the first time under his own power. Then your 3-greats-grandmother found out where he was, and she went and “fetched (him) out”.

    Next, a question! You have lots of great names here! Are any of them on the “memory sheets” you had us fill out at your reception? (p.s. “Alodia” sounds a lot like a feminine form of “Aloysius”. It’s so sweet to have Grandpa H. remembered like this!

    Love, Aunty Em

  • kittenchan

    Bother, I forgot to check those. I’ll bet there are some good ones there too. I’ll make an addendum. Speaking of those sheets, whoever guessed the closest date to this child’s birthday gets a prize! I haven’t yet decided what that prize will be, though.

  • Angela

    Oh, I love them!! Especially Alodia Pearl, Peter Aloysius, and Silas Jerome (probably because they’re the most obscure and most Catholic ;-) ). I’m a fan of the name Gennaro. He was a saint, has his own feast day in Italy (And Arizona! They’ve got a fair and everything) and is the middle name of both my Italian Grandfather and 7 year old brother. Sofia is another favorite. It is the Italian spelling of the norm “Sophia” and means Wisdom. I’ve already got a list of about 10 baby names…lol Great post :-)

    • kittenchan

      Unfortunately I have had to come to terms with the facts that we don’t look Italian “enough”, don’t have an Italian “enough” last name, and the child will not be Italian “enough” to bear a super-ethnic name. Otherwise I’d still have names like Guiseppa and Roman in the running (it also avoids the Ninja Turtles scenario). Alas! Ditto for any other strongly ethnic name… that’s what we get for being mutts! :) You’re lucky that way, ya pure-blood. Heh.

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