Names of the Week: Gwaine, Cadmus, Ouroboros and Rosalinde

Ouroboros, from

I know, I know, I missed names of the week last week, I was too busy being a footie hooligan. But let’s step over my matchday antics, and look instead at four names, to make up for my incompetance last week.

This week’s accidently theme is dragons. Well, for the first two names anyway, as I settled on Gwaine and Rosalinde a few days ago, noticed a dragon connection, then added a further two names into the mix. Both male to make up for the week before, when we only covered female name. Whew. Let’s go.

Gwaine is the name of the dragon in The Fire Within by Chris d’Lacey, the names of his fellow dragon friends appear in the next Name Spot, but Gwaine is my favourite,  although, in the books it’s spelt Gawain, and most people spell this name as such. But the first a disturbs me for some reason.

But Gwaine also appears in another piece of literature, he’s a knight of the round table, specifically, the nephew of King Arthur. He was a popular hero in medieval stories such as the 14th-century poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Some Welsh sources consider him indentical to an earlier Welsh hero, Gwalchmei, from which we get the meaning, may hawk, which may or not be accurate, but makes the time of this post rather apt.

The most popular form of this name is Gavin, and the most famous Gavin I can think of is Gavin Henson, a Welsh (ahem) Rugby Player. Nowadays he’s more famous for the reality shows he does, and has recently been let go by his current team for disorderly conduct. Looking past this, his son is named Dexter, which speaks to me.

For me, Cadmus, or Cadmos is like the even cooler persons Cosmo. His name origins lie in Greek, and he means one who excels, or one from the east. This is not the name of a dragon, but infact the name of a dragon-slaying hero from Greek mythology, kind of like St. George, but without the patron saint status.

Cadmus, in Greek Mythology, is the brother of Europa, and after slaying a dragon, he had time to invent the alphabet, and found the Greek city of Thebes.

De nos jours, you may recognise Cadmus at the middle Peverell brother from Harry Potter. He aquired the resurrection stone from the grim, and went on to ressurect his girlfriend, but later committed suicide. He is Lord Voldemort’s ancestor. 

And our final male name is Ouroboros. I was first introduced to the idea of Ouroboros by space sitcom Red Dwarf, when it is revealed the main character, Lister, was left in a cardboard box, under a pool table in a pub, which had Ouroboros written on it. The people who found him thought his parents were illiterate, and meant, our Rob or Ros. Lister still ended up as a David, or Dave.

The concept of Ouroboros is one of a snake or dragon eating his own tail, coming from the Greek elements, oura and borós, which collectively mean he who eats the tail. Delightful, non?

The idea reflected from this is that of something constantly re-creating itself, similar to the mythology of the phoenix. And the Lister above is his own father.

Unsurprisingly, Ouroboros is seldom heard as a first name, but if you do know one, it is a moral obligation to post below about them. I am fortunate enough to know a lad who’s middle name is Ouroboros; his parents were indeed inspired by the above sitcom.

And last, but by no means least, we have our female name. Ever since last week’s weekend post, I can’t shake Rosalinde from my mind. There was I, wondering why I’ve never considered this Rose elaboration before, when I saw Nameberry list her meaning in German as Red Dragon. Now that is a seriously cool name meaning. Three years of German, one A grade German GCSE and I still didn’t cotton on. Although, in my defense, the german word for Dragon is lindwurm, and the german word rosa is translated as pink (rot is the German word for red). Thus, this meaning is a bit shaky for me. Pink Dragon is delightfully feminine and tomboyish at the same time, however.

What is for certain, is her Spanish meaning: pretty rose.

You may be surprised to hear that only Rosalinde ranks on the US Top 1000 list, albeit as Rosalind, and her last appearence was in 1978, at #918. Her highest ranking is at #306, back in 1943.

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