As a child growing up, I truly believed Demi to be a commonplace name since I went to primary school with several Demis of varying ages. At #161 in 2010 in England&Wales, she still is in frequent use, but consider this: back in 1994 the name Demi ranked at #84. She also re-entered the Top 100 in 2005 briefly, dropping out again in 2007. Demi also happens to be popular in the Netherlands of all places; according to Voornamelijk, in 2009 she ranked at #47 along with variants Demy and Daimy.
What this means is that Demi is very much a name that seems to be everywhere in my day-to-day life, but almost completely absent in terms of her coverage in the virtual world of name blogs and name boards. It seems an odd conundrum, really.
Part of the success of the name must likely be put down to actress Demi Moore. At this point it is worth noting that all the Demis I know are simply Demi, not Demetrias as Ms. Moore can claim to be (and indeed Demetria ‘Demi‘ Lovato, who spookily is pretty much the same as my Demi friends and I). Then we have me, since I was nearly a Demi myself, as my father in particular wanted me to be called Demelza – and I know for a fact that particular brainwave of his was indeed inspired by the 1970s show Poldark.
Demelza comes from the delightful area of the world called Cornwall, where she is a place name of a little hamlet. A man by the name of Winston Graham used it as the name of the heroine in his series of the novels with the blanket name of Poldark. These books were turned into the aforementioned tv series in the 1970s, and for some reason my father was amongst it’s fans.
I’d also like to mention at this point that in the series, Demelza was played by an actress named Angharad Rees, whose name means love.
As for the name Demetria, she derives from the Greek name Demetrios, which means belonging to Demeter.
Demeter features in Greek mythology as the Goddess of fertility, and her Roman equivalent was called Ceres. The usual interpretation of the meaning of the name Demeter is earth mother, which rather sits nicely with her role. Another theory revolves around the first part of the name implying her being originally perceived as the female counterpart of Zeus.
The biggest problem many have with the name Demi is the fact that in French there is a word demi, which means half; used in a time sense (i.e. half past seven) or measures (i.e. glass and a half full of milk). But hey, if the French happily use the name Fanny so much that she’s in their current Top 100, why can’t we use Demi?