Names of the Week: Jolyon and Esther

This week, we’re looking at two classics that may shine into prominence in the near future.

Jolyon is the Medieval form of Julian, meaning youthful. It came about in The Forsythe Saga by John Galsworthy. As for the pronunciation, it is debated as to the correct one, the most widely used one is Jo-lee-on (the JOE replacing the JU sound of Julian) although some say Jolly-awn. The ‘Joly’ at the start of the name adds to its appeal as a cheerful name.

The female equivalent of the name is Gillian. Other variants include Julien, Juliana and Julius.

One of the most notable Jolyon’s at the moment is Julian Assange, the owner of Wikileaks. In the UK, Julian Clary is a popular comedian, and John Lennon’s son is a Julian. As for Jolyon, he’s seen increased use amongst the London Telegraph Birth Announcements Baby Namers.

Esther is actually of Persian origin, meaning star. It is an underused Biblical name that has a strong history, although it has been rising: currently sitting at #267. She’s the name every parent lusts after: underused, but recognisable.

She is the eponymous heroine of the Biblical Book of Esther, but was born Hadassah. She was a Jewish Queen, whose story is the basis for the celebration of Purim in Jewish Tradition. The name should not be thought to be exclusively Jewish, however, as it is a beautiful name that has even been used by Ewan McGregor for one of his daughters. Another notable bearer is Esther Rantzen, a British Journalist/ presenter. Esther, liker Jolyon, has also seen increased use by the fabulous namers who use the London Telegraph Birth Announcements.

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