Names of the Week: Fawkes and Avie

V for Vendetta poster, from

This week we’re covering two names picked mostly off the top of my head, which predictably turned out to have a strenuous link to one another. My spidey senses work overtime on these posts, clearly.

First off, our male name. It’s no where near the 5th November, but I’m itching to cover Fawkes nevertheless. Here in the UK he’s synonymous with Guy Fawkes, whilst elsewhere many may firstly think of a certain phoenix.

Guy Fawkes was also known as Guido Fawkes and was involved in the famed, yet failed Gunpowder Plot. I visited the Tower of London a year or two ago, and was told a rather humorous joke relating to Guy Fawkes by a Yeoman Warder there, which ran along these lines:

Guy Fawkes is famous in English history for being the only man to have entered Parliament with honest, noble intentions, a clear agenda, and the resources to see it through (6.40).

The main aim of the Gunpowder Plot was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England’s Parliament on the 5th November 1605, thus resulting in the death of the reigning monarch, James I. Things, however, didn’t go exactly to plan and Guy Fawkes was later sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered for treason.

The Gunpowder Plot also happened to be the basis of the cult film V for Vendetta. There has recently been a feature on the BBC news channel regarding the masks seen in V for Vendetta, and their usage by groups opposing Government in some way; the most recent example being the Occupy protests. It also so happens that the main female character in the movie is called Evey, which happens to be startlingly simple to our female name this week.

Goin back to the name, Fawkes likely derived from the Latin falco, which means falcon, a type of bird. You may therefore be able to see the aptness of assigning the name Fawkes to Dumbledore’s phoenix in the Harry Potter series of books.

There are actually plenty of other names related to falcon which merit a mention here, too:

Eleonora, a species of Falcon.

Fox, a type of Kestrel found in Africa.

Kestrel, a type of bird also categorised as a falcon.

Merlin, a species of Falcon also called a Pigeon Hawk.

Peregrine, a species of Falcon also called a Duck Hawk.

Taita, a species of Falcon found in Africa.

Speaking of birds, the Latin word for them is avis, which has been linked to our second name: Avie. I’ve had her continually on my mind since I mentioned her several weeks ago. Aside from a possible connection with the Latin avis, the name may also be an offshoot of another Av- name, a category which includes (numbers which come after indicate number of girls given the name in 2010, England&Wales):

Avalon, means apple orchard and is the name of an island in Arthurian legend. (7)

Aveline, a diminuative of Avila. (3)

Aven, the name of a river in Brittany, France.

Averil, a variation of Everild, which means boar-battle.

Avila, a name of Old German roots, possibly meaning desired. Could also be related to Avis.

Aviva, a Hebrew name meaning spring.

Avocet, a species of wading bird.

Avril, the French for april. (8)

All delightful choices, and mostly obscure ones at that. It’s worth noting that Avie makes it onto Nameberry’s list of Lost Names From the 1880s, alongside Hettie, Delphia and Vesta.

There is another name which Avie may be linked to and that is Avi; he’s a Hebrew male name and means my father. He also happens to be related to Abe, a name we made mention of earlier on this week.

Either way, Avie is right up the alleyway of nicknames so much in vogue right now here in Britain. She startlingly similar to Evie, who lives at #10 in the 2010 England&Wales rankings, so could make for a viable alternative if Evie’s popularity isn’t your cup of tea.

Categories: Names of the Week | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Names of the Week: Fawkes and Avie

  1. So many lovely names here. Falco is one of my all time favourites but Merlin is a family name, so I can’t help but love it.


  2. magicbabynames

    I love Avie (and also Hettie), and you did a great job on it.


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