Posts Tagged With: Anastasia

Oui, mais Maisie est…

Maisy Mouse, from walker.co.uk

I love the name Maisie, for a variety of reasons, and despite not being a fan by any means of similar-sounding sister Daisy. Mais also happens to be one of my favourite French words – it means but. I remember a French teacher of mine trying to coax us out of the standard ‘oui, mais’ response when engaged in a debate.

Maisie does originally derive as a nickname – she’s one of the many Margaret offshoots, along with the aformentioned Daisy. Strictly speaking, she comes from Margaret’s Scottish form of Mairead. However, I had my mind on another name the other day, and realised she too could shorten to Maisie – fantastic! And thus I went in search of more:

Anastasie

I’m suggesting this name on what I shall dub the Bob-principle, that is, whereby Bob evolved as a nickname for Robert as a slight alteration of his short form – Rob. Plenty of Anastasia/e’s are likely known as Stasie, which rhymes with Maisie, unless you re-jig things to make Stasie sound just like Stacy. The name Anastasia comes from the Greek anastasis which means resurrection.

Artemis/Artemisia

Maisie is composed of 5 different letters, all of which make a slightly jumbled up appearance in the name Artemis. Shortening Artemis to Maisie rather tickles me somewhat, given that as a child I was confused about the gender of Artemis thanks to Eoin Cowlfer, but Maisie is, frankly, all-girl. Artemis is the Greek Goddess of the moon and hunting and she had a twin brother named Apollo.

Jessamine

The same 5 letters make yet another appearance in a name belonging to a completely different style of names, and this one certainly feels more-girl to me than Artemis, but that’s probably more down to personal opinion than anything else. I don’t think shortening this name to Maisie feels completely natural to me – Jessie probably takes that honour – but it remains another option one could further explore. Jessamine herself evolved as a variant of the name Jasmine, another name which also exists as a possibility but she has the same number of syllables as Maisie, which always makes me question the worth of the nickname.

Mazarine

The name that inspired this post. I stumbled across the name Mazarine about a fortnight ago, and she’s remained on my mind ever since. I recognise that I like her as a name, but couldn’t imagine myself not shortening her to something, so have been dedicating time to exploring the options. Maze was certainly one thought, as were Rin, Azure and Ari. The Azure thought certainly tickled me, since Azure is a shade of blue – and so is Mazarine.

Melissa

Hello once more to our favourite 5 letters. Like Jessamine, this name doesn’t easily lend itself to the nickname of Maisie, so little Melissa may well end up as a Mel despite your protests. It is a great, if even modern, take on Melissa – as she’s a name one would more likely associate with children of a previous decade, but given that Maisie is certainly enjoying peak popularity right now, she’s certainly a name one would more likely associate with today’s children. I do love the meaning of Melissahoneybee.

Rosemarie/Rosemary

There are plenty of short forms for RosemaryRomy, Rosie, Marie etc. so there’s plenty of competition if you wish to view it as such. If you think about it, the names Mary and Maisie are pretty similar sounding. There’s also a herb called Rosemary, whose name means dew of the sea. Also, if you switch Rose and Mary you get Mary Rose, the name of Henry VIII’s prized warship for which the common explanation for the name is that is was named after the Tudor Rose and Henry VIII’s sister Mary. It’s currently on display in Portsmouth after being salvaged in the 1980s.

Thomasina/ Jamesina

A last minute brainwave of mine was Thomasina, and one I’m reasonably proud of. I then realised whilst writing about her that the similar name Jamesina could also apply which is why these two have been lumped together as one. Both a feminisations of male names which have never enjoyed the popularity of their male counterparts – Thomas and James were both in the Top 10 for 2010 in England&Wales. I’m probably more of a fan of the name Jamesina than Thomasina, although I’ve met few who’ve liked either which likely explains why neither feature highly in the popularity charts.

Categories: Nicknames | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Phantom Manor of Names

Jilted bride Melanie from the start of the Phantom Manor ride, via flickr (peterpanfan)

I mentioned Chatsworth House earlier on this week, and now it’s time  for a completely different direction even if I am somewhat sticking to big house theme – but this time incorporating my recent Disney trip into it. Those who can see where I’m going with this, bear with me because you may be wondering why a certain ride has changed it’s name.

I’ll get back to that later, but first, a statement from me about me. I hate ghost rides, as a general rule. The one at Blackpool Pleasure Beach is noted as being one of the first Ghost Trains (and indeed first to call itself as such) in the world, and I’ve been on it. Several times. Why? Because it isn’t actually that scary, it’s just skeletons painted in luminescent paint. There’s an Alice in Wonderland ride opposite it which has exactly the same concept of luminous-ly painted animatronics in dark rooms, I kid ye not.

Aside from the relatively unscary Blackpool Ghost Train, the only ghost ride I’m happy to go on frequently is Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris. The different name indicates a different storyline, even if several key moments in the ride remain similar. It does seem odd that I’m so content with going on the Phantom Manor ride, thinking about it, since it was intentionally designed to be darker than the Haunted Mansion versions in other parks. I did go on Haunted Mansion whilst at the Florida park, but I found myself not enjoying it as much as the Phantom Manor, but maybe that’s because I spent most of it confused as the bride went from a weeping mess of the Paris version to a axe-wielding maniac. My sister was particularly not impressed.

In the Phantom Manor version of the ride, the plotline revolves around a young Melanie, rather than a Constance. The plot goes that she fell in love with a train engineer from the town, Thunder Mesa, below the manor (aka Frontierland), and her father, Henry, disapproved of this. Henry tried to stop the wedding, but tragically died in an earthquake along with his wife, Martha. On Melanie’s wedding day, a phantom lured her groom to the attic and hanged him from the rafters. Melanie spends the rest of her days roaming the manor waiting for her groom to return.

All rather sad, really. Infact, it all seems rather apt that Melanie means dark. She comes from the Greek melaina, which means either black or dark. Before you start wondering why the bride doesn’t have a French name, you’d best hold your horses. The name Melanie was popular in the Middle Ages in France, and was later brought to Britain by them. Of course, the French like to spell her Mélanie.

I will grant that the bride names in Magic Kingdom, Florida are far more fascinating. At the Florida version, the emphasis is on what they liked to call happy haunts, with references to dear Constance who killed all five of her husbands. It is from her fifth – George – that she came to presumeably own the Haunted Mansion. When we went on the ride for the first time, my sister and I were confused as to why there was no bride crying in the ballroom scene or in her boudoir, and indeed why she turned up in the attic with an axe and a manic grin since we did not realise the extent to the plot change between Paris and Florida until Google informed us that night.

Not just Constance was mentioned, however. When you leave the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World, you see the tomb of a man named Bluebeard, which lists his seven wives:

  • Penelope
  • Abigail
  • Anastasia
  • Prudence
  • Phoebe
  • Eugenia
  • Lucretia

Certainly an interesting selection of names, but wait, it gets even more interesting from there (more interesting than Lucretia? No!), since there is a man from French folklare called Bluebeard who took several wives himself; however, they weren’t given the above names. The French writer Maurice Maeterlinck certainly wrote extensively on Bluebeard, giving the name of at least six former wives with suitable fascinating French names:

  • Sélysette
  • Alladine
  • Ygraine
  • Bellangère 
  • Mélisande
  • Ariane

But he’s not the only one to name a wife of Bluebeard, two more men have notably named two other wives:

  • Anatole France gave us Jeanne (naming her as Bleubeard’s last wife)
  • Bela Bartók gave us Judith (he numbers her as Bluebeard’s 4th wife)

I certainly struggle to fault Disney when it comes to the names they choose, that’s for sure. There’s plenty of names there to sift through, and plenty I could see myself happily using – even with the association of the ride because it’s a pretty decent, well-though out ghostie. Both sides of the atlantic.

Categories: Disney Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

From Russia, With Love

Here’s a quick look at some popular Russian names, some which could easily pass through the culture barrier, others which may falter slightly.

Vladimir

– This name means to rule with greatness. There are two well-known namesakes: Vladimir Putin who was president of Russia until recently and Vladimir Nabokov was the author who penned the infamous ‘Lolita’

Igor

– Russian form of Ingvarr. Pronounced EE-gahr or EE-gawr.

Nikolai

– Russian version of Nicholas. Stems from the the Greek wrods nike and polis, meaning people’s victory. Borne by the last two Russian Tsars.

Sasha

– Russian diminuative of either Aleksandr or Aleksandra. Common Russian boys name.

Katya

– Diminuative of Yekaterina, the Russian version of Catherine. Cute alternative to Katie.

Anastasia

– Feminine form of Anastasius. The Russian pronunciation sounds all the letters: An-nah-stah-SEE-yah. This name can also be broken down into a multitude of different nicknames, such as Anna, Stacy, and Nastia (Lukin).

Svetlana

– Derived from the slavic element svet meaning light, world.

Tatiana

– Feminine form of the Roman name Tatianus, which itself derived from the Roman name Tatius. Pronounced by the Russians as tat-TYAH-nah.

Natalya/ Natasha

Natalya is the Russian form of Natalie. The name Natalie is from the latin word Natalia, meaning Christmas day. Natasha is a Russian pet name of Natalya.

*As Russians don’t use the Latin Alphabet, the spellings of Russian names when altered to the latin alphabet varies. Thus, Anastasia and Anastaysia are both legitimate spellings.

Categories: Russian Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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