Names of the Week: Cloud and Nuala

The Future of Mer de Noms is here

I’m developing a deep-rooted fear than my sister, Dips, wants to take over this blog, since after insisting on a change to a post earlier on this week, she has now taken it upon her to pick the names of the week. Watch this space., I certainly will being.

Her reasoning behind choosing the name Cloud was that they’re fun to watch floating above you in the sky, and babies are fun to watch whilst they’re observing the new, exciting world around them – including clouds. This is an eight year old talking, please don’t expect anything groundbreaking-ly deep.

Generally, when the weather-dude or weather-dudess mentions cloud-cover, it means we’re in for yet another day of dreary weather. I’m a fan of cloud-spotting though, so it never really bothers me. Part of me wonders whether this is a cry of help from Dips, who wants me to take her cloud-spotting tomorrow. 

So, what is a cloud? The dictionary says that it is: a visible mass of condensed droplets or frozen crystals suspended in the air. Speaking of definitions, being on cloud nine is a saying used to express euphoria or bliss. Bliss has seen use as a name, and Eu- names such as Euphrasie have also seen use, so Cloud has it’s potential.

There was a St. Cloud, who has a town in France named after him. He was also known as Clodoald, and was the son of the King of Orleans. Clodoald was raised by his grandmother, Saint Clotilde, and he had two brothers: Theodoald and Gunther who were both killed by their uncle Clotaire, whilst Clodoald escaped to Provence and later renounced his claim to the throne.

Nowadays the world is moving towards something called Cloud Computing, whereby resources are shared over a network.

As for Nuala, I suspect Dips wanted me to cover Nala instead, as in, the Lioness from Lion King, but tapped it on my keyboard slightly wrong, despite going at less than 3 letters per 30 seconds. But, happily, I’m a big fan of the name Nuala, which is said NOO-lah, not NOO-ah-lah. Unless you’re a character in the second Hell Boy movie, which all happily referred to their fellow character called Nuala with the latter pronunciation.

Similar names to Nuala also include Nola and Nila, and perhaps even Nell, but we’re not here to talk about them either. Nuala herself, like Nell, comes from a longer name. Fionnghuala; that’s fin-oo-lah. She means white shoulder, but I’ve also seen people suggest the name to mean swan-necked. The nuala part means shoulder, so if you’re particularly proud of yours or your offsprings shoulders, this may be the name for you.

The swan-necked association does have some grounds however, thanks to Irish Mythology. Finnguala was the daughter of Lir, and according to legend, she was changed into a swan and cursed by her stepmother, Aoife, to wander the lakes and rivers of Ireland with her brothers Fiachra, Conn and Aodh for 900 years until saved by the marriage of Lairgren, which broke the curse.

There’s a similar male name, Nuada, which also appears in Irish Mythology. He was the first King of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His name possibly means protector in Celtic.

19 girls born in England&Wales in 2010 were given the name Nuala, plus 6 Fionnualas and 3 Finolas.

Categories: Names of the Week | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Names of the Week: Cloud and Nuala

  1. I can see you’ll have to hire her as a name assistant!

    Cloud is a pretty amazing name.


  2. My Small Child is the same — although some of the names she requests are interesting to say the least!

    Love Cloud. I think it has a LOT of name potential. And the Germans pronounce the “claud” of Claudia as “cloud”…


  3. Pingback: Names of the Week: Dougie and Aleesha « Mer de Noms

  4. In australia one of the reporters on the popular breakfast show Sunrise is named Nuala I can’t remember her last name though


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