I’ve been rather fixated with French names this week, and so today we’re trying something a little different and going to Scotland for inspiration.

You see, the highest peak in the British Isles is called Ben Nevis, which resides in the fair part of Scotland known as the Scottish highlands. Ben Nevis stands at 4409 ft above sea level, not putting the mountain anywhere near in contention with the likes of Everest, but it’s still enough for the tallest in the British Isles crown.

The name Ben Nevis for a mountain may seem odd, but it is possibly a contracted form of the Scottish Gaelic phrase, beinn neamh bhathais, which means mountain with it’s head in the clouds.

I remember as a child being frequently accused of having my head in the clouds.

There also exists Nevis as a surname, which has two separate possibly sources. The first is that he could be a variant of Nevin, the English form of the Irish name Naomhán, which means little saint.

The name could equally derive from the Old English nefa, which means nephew.

All things considered, Nevis is a quirky, nature-esque pick you wouldn’t think to consider, but he’s certainly worth another glance. He’s not as clunky as sound alike Neville, nor does he come with what you may consider to be unwanted Harry Potter associations.

Categories: Name Profile | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Nevis

  1. When I saw the name Nevis, I thought it was going to be about St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean; apparently the isle of Nevis got its name from the Spanish for Our Lady of the Snows, after the Virgin Mary who did a miracle with snow). Nevis comes from the Spanish for “snows”.

    That weirdly seems to fit with Ben Nevis, where it’s far more likely to snow than in the Caribbean!

    It seems like a fantastic name for someone who is both Scottish and West Indian in their heritage. To be it seems feminine as much as masculine.

    I like the sound of it, but I must admit it sounds a bit like “never is”, so you’d need to be careful what the surname was.


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