Posts Tagged With: Artemis



Welcome to the first post of many in our Offbeat Alphabet Series, and we’re starting with a name I’ve been dying to properly cover for a very long time. This is a case of a draft sitting in my pending pile for an embarrassing number of years (basically when this blog started way back on Blogger in May 2010, that’s over 4 years).

It seems apt then that I kick the procrastination bucket and actually post this. So, hello Artemis. Hope your wait wasn’t too much of a bore.

The name Artemis is a Greek name with a disputed meaning and a side-line gender crisis. So, naturally, I’m a huge fan.

When most hear the name Artemis, they likely think of the Greek goddess who presided over hunting, the moon, childbirth, wilderness, virginity and maidens. According to legend, she’s the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin brother by the name of Apollo. She is often depicted wearing a crescent moon on her head, and always carries her bow and arrow. Deer, bears, hunting dogs, and cypress trees are especially sacred to her.

In Roman Mythology, she was known as Diana. This lead some to speculate that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge might use Artemis as a middle name for a daughter to honour his mother. Personally, I feel it’s more likely that they’d simply use Diana.

It may seem odd that a Greek goddess’ name might be used as a male name, but there’s precedence for it, never mind the fact that two of the most prominent pop culture uses of the name are male.

For example, the Greek goddess Demeter is the source of the name Demetrius. Then we have the fact that Marie remains a note-worthy middle name for the male population of France (think: Jean-Marie, Philippe-Marie), as a nod to the Virgin Mother.

A few months back I introduced a close friend to the anime show Sailor Moon. The show is based on the manga which is considered one of the defining works of the genre for it’s depiction of kick ass girls with magical powers using said powers to fight evil. Despite this, my friend was unimpressed with the amount of crying the titular character does, and much preferred Cardcaptor Sakura. However, he was a huge fan of the feline characters, who in the English translation are all given names related to the moon: Luna, Artemis and Diana. The cats can talk and dish out guidance to the troupe throughout the series; Artemis is a male cat, not female.

Outside of Japanese manga, the most famed use of Artemis in the UK is in children’s literature. The Artemis Fowl series of books are written by Eoin Colfer and first came to a good bookstore near you back in 2001, and the last one is made it’s début in 2012. The series of books has been compared to Harry Potter – but Mr. Colfer prefers for the series to be referred to as Die Hard With Fairies.

Artemis Fowl revolves around the antics of a teenage mastermind by the name of Artemis – a male teenage mastermind. It may seem odd to those with preconceptions that Artemis is a female name – the character himself mentions the gender dispute a few times – but Artemis was good enough to be given to one of Alex James’ twin sons. During the books, Artemis takes on an alter-ego named Orion, who is almost his exact opposite – notably being carefree and optimistic. Artemis was the Greek goddess of hunting, whilst Orion is the name of a legendary Greek hunter.

Despite all this talk of Artemis’ dude-cred, the name in 2013 only ranked for girls born in England&Wales at #1639. The Russian/Ukrainian/Belarusian name Artem, which traces it’s origins back to Artemis, ranked at #1539 for the boys. However, with a film adaption of the Artemis Fowl books in the pipeline, all that could change.

As for the origins of the name, it is possible that the name stems from the Greek: artemêse, meaning safe; artamos, meaning butcher; artios, meaning complete; artemia meaning recovery; or even arktos, meaning bear. Suffice to say, it’s pure speculation when it comes to the meaning as, with many aged names, this one’s is long lost with the passage of time.

A similar name to Artemis is Artemas, sometimes touted as the male form of Artemis, he actually derives as a short form of Artemidorus; he means gift of Artemis.

What you have with Artemis is an ancient Goddess name which in this day and age could work for either gender and as long as you’re not bothered by not knowing what exactly the name means, you’re sure to appreciate him/her.

Categories: The Offbeat Alphabet Series | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Artemis Fowl

One of the book covers for Artemis Fowl, from

I promised this post, and have duly been digging around ever since. The Artemis Fowl series of books are written by Eoin Cowlfer and first came to a Waterstones near you back in 2001. The last one is making an appearance later on this year, and I’m sure I’ve heard talks about turning the series into a film too. Think you should be getting excited about The Hunger Games becoming a film and the potential naming inspirations? I’m apparently already thinking ahead of the game by the looks of it given that this series of books has been described as the new Harry Potter – and that’s one series of books which put several names on the map. Of course, Mr. Cowlfer prefers to refer to the series as Die Hard With Fairies. Nevertheless, here’s a quick look at some of the more notable names from the books.

Artemis Fowl revolves around the antics of a teenage mastermind by the name of Artemis – a male teenage mastermind. It may seem odd to those with preconceptions that Artemis is a female name – the character himself mentions the gender dispute a few times – but Artemis was good enough to be given to one of Alex James’ twin sons. During the books, Artemis takes on an alter-ego named Orion, who is almost his exact opposite – notably being carefree and optimistic. Artemis was the Greek goddess of hunting, whilst Orion is the name of a legendary Greek hunter.

Another fascinating name from the Fowl family is Angeline – the name of Artemis‘ mother (his father is also called Artemis). It’s a French variation of the name Angela, which ultimately means messenger.

At one stage in the series, Artemis came face to face with what one could describe as his female equivalent – it may therefore come as no surprise that her name also has links with mythology, Minerva; the Roman goddess of war and wisdom. Minerva has a brother named Beau and parents named Gaspard and Penny.

One of the main villains who makes frequent appearance throughout the series is a narcissistic pixie genius (in other words, the pixie equivalent of Artemis) by the name of Opal. But she isn’t truely like Artemis, given that Cowlfer has described her as being an insane, power-mad pixie. She first appears alongside a character named Briar, whom we mentioned last weekend.

A rivalry exists between Opal and good-guy centaur Foaly – who also happens to be married to a lady centaur named Caballine. I take Foaly to be a play on the English word foal, and as for Caballine – another English word meaning of or pertaining to a horse.

A main character I’ve yet to mention is a spirited elf by the name of Holly. The name Holly is hugely popular in England&Wales – she was actually the most popular name given to girls born in December 2010 – but she ranks at #25 when the whole year is taken into account. Her mother was called the equally botanical Coral – who could see somewhat of a revival in the wake of sister Coraline.

Categories: Book Names | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Oui, mais Maisie est…

Maisy Mouse, from

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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Sibset of the Week: The James’

Alex James, from

I’ll admit it, I’m a draft hoarder with currently 145 of ’em patiently waiting to be finished, and this one in particular has had a long road to being published, since I actually first drafted this post on the same day the first Sibset of the Week was posted, and it slipped into my drafts graveyard to be forgotten for many, many weeks. It resurfaced on my radar whilst I was searching through my draft backlog last weekend, trying to once again reduce the number of never-finished-posts. This post was almost put on the bak-burner again on Friday, when I let slip the name of his youngest child; so I spent most of the weekend hoping none of you would spoil my fun by commenting on Friday’s post with the names of her siblings.

But, onto the post. When I was at school, if you didn’t know who Busted or Blur were, you were nothing short of a fool (try not to be shocked then that I did know of them). Today’s famous Daddy was the bass player for Blur, and named his kiddies as if the naming community was looking over his shoulder. Alex James, we salute you.


Artemis, male & twin of Galileo

Galileo, twin of Artemis



My intial thought when I see Geronimo is Wallace of Wallace and Gromit. Wensleydale and Geronimo would make a killer pair for any major fan of the W&G dynamic duo. Indeed, James now lives on an organic cheese farm and has produced his own range of cheeses. This is Rock ‘n’ roll.

On the subject of Blur, it’s fair to mention lead singer Damon’s daughter is named Missy and guitarist Graham’s daughter bears the name Pepper.

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Coming Soon, to an all-girl preschool near you

Think about it. Twenty years ago, commonplace names we know now such as Alfie and Jasmine were much less popular. Here are just a few names I can imagine becoming much more popular in the coming twenty years:

Old Lady Chic





Weird, but wonderful


Araminta. Popular amongst the London Telegraph namers, she’s sure to trickle down to use by us mere mortals.

Belphoebe. She has a lovely sound, and you can use the popular Belle nickname.

The Thorns of Rose




The Goddesses

Artemis. Eoin Colfer claimed this name as the name of his male character, so this name could easily be the next Ashley/ Madison.

Cynthia. From Greek Mythology.

Diana. From Greek Mythology. The late Princess of Wales

Hera. From Greek Mythology.

Nuala. From Irish Mythology, pronounced NOO-la,

The New Emily/Emma



Emer. The name of an Irish Goddess, who possessed the six virtues of womanhood.

Emery. Emory


Others to look out for:




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

Blog at