Sweets, Sausages and Soap

Smiley skittle face, from blogger.com

I love the letter s, and that’s not just because my surname starts with it. My littlest sister once claimed that all the best things in life had names which started with the letter s, her examples being sweets, sausages and soap – a list which still confuses me even today, although we often nickname her Soapy. Yes, there are plenty of unpleasant things which start with the letter, such as swearing (something I’ve yet to really get into), but one of my personal favourite things to call people is space cadet, slang for someone out of touch with reality. Yes, the letter s should be celebrated and let’s use it as an opportunity to cover some male names which end with the delightful letter:

1. Cassius

Some say CASH-us, but I tend to use the three syllable version: CASS-ee-us. Circa 2008 a band called Foals released a song entitled Cassius, which is my go-to song if I’m feeling poorly – it has some kind of magical healing properties which almost always makes me feel better. Falling back down into the world of the living, the song is actually about someone who is two-faced, inspired by Cassius Clay/Mohammed Ali and the man who helped assassinate Caesar. Two French men named Philippe and Hubert joined forces to become a band called Cassius, so this name has some serious musical credentials.

It is suspected that the name Cassius comes from the latin word cassus, which means empty or vain. I like to pretend, however, that he has an association with the French word cassis, which means blackcurrant.

For 2010, Cassius sat at a respectable #481 with 74 births.

2. Rubeus

Hagrid is one of the many Harry Potter characters who is easily recognisable and well-loved; I have a friend who’s described him as that eccentric uncle everyone just likes, although that Uncle in my family has the less-exciting name Kevin. For me, the most natural way to shorten this name is to use Ruby, which is currently the #1 female name in Wales, but one could go out on a limb and use Rubens. Either way, the name comes from latin and means red-coloured.

In 2010, the name did not rank, thus was given to less than three children.

3. Romulus&Remus

I’ve lumped the two founders of Rome together since I have a soft spot for Remus, and I would have to mention Romulus at the same time anyway, despite being mostly indifferent to him. I’ve never actually been to Rome, I think the closest I’ve got to it is Karlsruhe in the southern part of Germany, a city which claims to have a climate not too dissimilar to the Medditerranean, I digress.

Romulus and Remus wanted to build a city, but couldn’t agree on a site and in the kerfuffle Remus ended up dead. Romulus goes on to build his city and it is after him that the city is named. Or so the Roman legend goes according to my very brief account.

Either way, neither name ranks in the 2010 data for England&Wales.

4. Phineas

I’m a big kid at heart, so the Disney show Phineas&Ferb appeals to me big time. The lead character called Phineas has the surname Flynn, which I’ve always hummed over as a potential nickname for Phineas as opposed to Finn. What we can thank the show for is making this name much more accessible (I found out the other day that the middle name of his elder sister Candace is Gertrude) and thus the potential for incorrect spellings is vastly reduced depending on who you socialise with.

In 2010, only 6 little boys were given the name Phineas, which accounts to a ranking of #2941.

5. James

A popular option, but he’s actually really lovely and I may be in the minority of people who actually like the female form, Jamesina. I can name several well-known Jameses whom I have a liking for off the top of my head, not just the family I featured a few weeks ago: James Bourne; James Joule; James Bond; James Taylor and James T. Kirk are all examples which immediately spring to mind. That rather does scream a lot about my inner psyche, but we’re not here to discuss my issues.

James heralds from the same places as the current [2010] US #1 name Jacob, and thus both mean supplanter, which in it’s most basic form means one who takes the place or another – some suggesting it be a wrongful action. In 2010, the name James nabbed the #10 with 4531 of ’em born.

Categories: Boy Names | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Sweets, Sausages and Soap

  1. S-enders for boy’s names are really big at the moment, I would like to see a baby Phineas!


  2. I love Cass- names. I also pronounce Cassius cass-ee-us because I think it just sounds better. Rubeus sounds like the perfect name for a novel involving royalty, in my opinion. Very regal.


  3. You should consider writing something about names that have an “s” that makes a “z” sound. Like Isabelle, Winslow, Ramsey, etc. I tend to be drawn to those names, but I can’t quite figure out when and why we make a ssss sound versus a zzzz sound.


    • Sounds like a good idea, will start researching it for you.


      • Thanks! I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Sometimes I intuitively know when to make the S sound or the Z sound in these names, but then I just saw Isola and had no idea how to pronounce it! I’m interested in your perspective.


  4. Cassius! I had a sweet kitty with this name.

    And I’d never thought of Rubeus before…lovely.


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  6. There was a Celtic tribe of Britain called the Cassi, and a male member of this tribe might well have been known as ‘Cassius’ in Latin. The tribe’s name came from a root meaning ‘bronze’. Meanwhile, Latin ‘cassis’ the name of a type of helmet, which is just as likely to be the real source of Cassius as the less than inspiring ‘cassus’. ‘Cassis’ or ‘casses’ in Latin also means ‘hunting-net’ and ‘snare’ — and ‘spider’s web’ — and provides a further possible, more interesting, source of the name.


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