Posts Tagged With: Avalon

Weekend Post: Good, Fresh, Uncomplicated Names

Eat’s ethos

Since I shared this photo in last week’s Spot post, I’ve been thinking about the Eat ethos, which is good, fresh, uncomplicated food.

What would be the naming equivalent?

Let’s break it down.

FRESH

Fresh is often used (and I’m particularly guilty of this one) as another way to say unusual, but one could also see it as a name that hasn’t been overexposed.

In the end I settled for 4 set criteria for a name to pass this category and go on to the next category. For a name to be fresh in my eyes, it must not be:

  • A name that has been in the Top 100 for 10 years at some point in time
  • A name that ever been #1
  • A name that has been given to a high profile celeb offspring
  • A name that has risen more than 100+ places in the Top 500 since 2000

Taking this into consideration, names that fail this category include:

  1. Amber
  2. Amelie (up 1420 since 2000)
  3. Chloe
  4. Harry
  5. Jack
  6. Kayden (up 1326 since 2000)
  7. Lexi (up 1949 since 2000)
  8. Oliver
  9. Suri
  10. Thomas

GOOD

For a name to be good, I believe it has to have little negative connections such as an evil forebearer (whether fictional or not) or less-than-lovely meaning.

8 names that would fall down at this hurdle, but would’ve passed the previous category include:

  1. Adolf – self explanatory
  2. Azrael – aka The Angel of Death
  3. Bellatrix – think Harry Potter
  4. Dolores – means sorrows + think Harry Potter
  5. Gretel – Hansel&Gretel tale
  6. Louhi – name of a death goddess in Finnish mythology
  7. Memphis – the US city known for crime
  8. Mordred – rival of Arthur in Arthurian legend
  9. Nuala – the Nuala in Irish mythology was less-than-nice
  10. Persephone – means murder /to destroy

UNCOMPLICATED

What makes a name complicated? One could say it is a name which causes little spelling/pronunciation issues, such as James and Ruby.

8 names that fail this test, but passed the previous two include:

  1. Caoimhe – pronounced KEE-va
  2. Ceridwen – pronounced ke-RID-wen
  3. Eluned – pronounced EH-lee-ned
  4. Heliodoro – just generally a mouthful of a name
  5. Joachim/Joaquin – just generally a name that causes me a headache when it comes to pronunciation
  6. Schuyler – pronounced SKY-ler
  7. Solveig – pronounced SOL-vay
  8. Xanthe – pronounced ZAN-the

So, without further ado, here’s the list of  some of the names I think  pass all three tests:

BOYS

  1. Angus
  2. August
  3. Barnaby
  4. Bruno
  5. Caspian
  6. Cosmo
  7. Ever
  8. Ezra
  9. Fergus
  10. Gray
  11. Indigo
  12. Ivor
  13. Rio

GIRLS

  1. Avalon
  2. Blossom
  3. Coral
  4. Gwen
  5. Hero
  6. Ingrid
  7. Josie
  8. Lux
  9. Nova
  10. Orla
  11. Roma
  12. Rosemary
  13. Vera

Do you dispute any of these choices? Are there any names you think qualify too?

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Disney

Princess Merida, from inquisitr.com

Ariel and Jasmine are the classic examples of names which can both attribute some of their popularity to a Disney film. Logically speaking, therefore, upcoming Disney films could feature future starlets of the name world.

And the most recent release of Tangled has shown just that – the male lead character was called Flynn. Well, nicknamed Flynn for Eugene. At the same time, the Disney Channel Original Series Good Luck Charlie is about to welcome child no.5. The names of the currently four of them are:

  • ‘PJ’
  • ‘Teddie’
  • Gabriel ‘Gabe’
  • Charlotte ‘Charlie’

Teddie is female, and I’m fairly certain it’s short for something; I haven’t the foggiest what, though. As for the name of no.5, if I’m honest, none of the names on the poll really stood out for me when I went to cast my vote, but here are the ones in contention:

  • Sydney
  • Erika
  • Mallory
  • Talia
  • Jenny
  • Noah
  • Jonah
  • Bobby Jr.
  • Bo

Wreck-it Ralph is due to be released in November 2012, featuring the eponymous character and there’s a fellow character called Fix-It Felix. Ralph and Felix? Both names I’m hearing more and more often, so Disney could be bang on here. For England&Wales in 2010, the names ranked at:

  • Ralph – #258 (2009 ranking: #294)
  • Felix – #122 (2009 ranking: #122)

Ralph comes from Old Norse roots, and means wolf counsel, whilst Felix is well-known for meaning lucky in Latin.

Moving closer to now we get to The Secret World of Arrietty is yet another take on the classic tale of The Borrowers. It was actually released in Japan in 2010, but is due to be released by Disney in the US at the start of 2012. Other members of the Clock family include Pod, Homily and Peagreen. According to the Disney page, it’s AIR-ee-ett-ee, and one could presume that neatly side-steps the issue Harriet and Harry seem to suffer in the States – that being people pronouncing it as they do hairy. One set of parents from 16 and Pregnant have recently welcomed child no. 2, a daughter: Arri.

As much as I loved The Borrowers when I was a kid, the film I’m really looking forward to? Brave. The lead character is to be a redhead, so it can only do wonders for my kind. I did initially believe that the lead female was called Brave, but alas, she’s actually called Merida. Sounds rather mythical, but the film really gets down to choosing whimsical Scottish-esque names when it comes to most of the other already-announced characters:

  • Fergus
  • Elinor
  • Angus
  • Harris
  • Hubert
  • Hamish

I tip my hat to ye Disney. All perfectly wonderful names. But something we should not forget is that Disney don’t just make films for theatrical release, they make plenty for their TV channels, which remain full of inspiration. Frenemies is due to be aired in January 2012,  names from which includes:

  • Avalon
  • Halley
  • Kendall
  • Cherie

Both Geek Charming and Lemonade Mouth have already been released this year, so aren’t upcoming releases per se, but there are some names featured in them which are worth a mention; from the film Geek Charming:

  • Dylan (female)
  • Asher
  • Lola
  • Ari (male)

Ari, Arri and Arrietty in one post from three different sources? It’s certainly not a trend I’d have intended to mention. I guess it makes sense, for me, given the immense popularity of similar sounding Harry and Harriet here in England&Wales – both are Top 100. I guess this is yet another potential trend for me to keep an eye on.

And some names from Lemonade Mouth (which has an upcoming sequel):

  • Wendell ‘Wen’ (male)
  • Mohini ‘Mo’ (female)

To be honest, if I’d seen only the nicknames and had been told one was male and the other female, I’d have guessed the opposite to what they actually are. Does that qualify Wen and Mo for our Girlish Nicknames on Boys post? It probably does.

As a final thought, the Disney Channel Original Series, Shake It Up, has an upcoming film in the works, thus the names of it’s characters qualify for this post:

  • Cecelia ‘Cece’
  • Raquel ‘Rocky’
  • Flynn (brother of Cece)
  • Ty (brother of Rocky)
  • Tinka

All very modern-mama sounding names, and it’s yet another mention of Flynn. Something that has to be said, though, is that Flynn fell between 2009 and 2010: from #216 to #289. It will be interesting to see next year’s list to see where he’s heading next.

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Cardcaptor Sakura

Sakura Avalon/Kinomoto from her wikipedia page

I have two wonderful friends who are into the world of ‘cosplay’, which for those not in the know basically boils down to dressing up as characters from Japanese anime. I’ve never particularly become involved in the practice myself, or ever attended expos, but there were two highly popular anime shows I did get into as a child: Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura. To be honest, this was mostly because they were the only things my sister and I could agree on watching. One of these afforementioned friends, Tiff, is celebrating her birthday at the beginning of the new year, so I see this as an early birthday present for her. It also gives us an oppotunity to look into Japanese names and how well they do at translating into the English speaking world – for the English version of the show many names were altered to more English ones; and also stress me out as I try to find reliable sources on name meanings for the following Japanese names.

Sakura is easily one of my favourite Japanese names, and is likely to be one of the first such names to cross my path. In a way, she reminds me of the name Saskia, or even the slightly more cutesy Suki. For the English version of the show her surname was changed to Avalon, as opposed to her Japanese surname in Kinomoto – and doesn’t Sakura Avalon sound strikingly whimsical? Her design was originally based on illustrator Mokona Apapa’s two-year-old neice Kawaji. She was almost renamed as simply Nikki for the English version, but this was cast aside for varying reasons, including the cost it would’ve incured to implement the name change, but I have heard from people that the English version does say her name slightly different to how the Japanese do. In terms of meaning, Sakura is Japanese for cherry blossom, which for the Japanese symbolises the fleeting moment of life. In 2010, 13 girls were given the name Sakura in England&Wales, compared to the 112 given the name Saskia and the further 18 given the name Suki. I’ve also read that Sakura is a name of relative popularity in Japan.

As for the relations of young Sakura, she has an older brother named Toya in the Japanese version, which is altered to Tori in the dub. Toya is a short form for Victoria, as indeed can Tori be (maybe someone did their research?) but also comes to mean door into the valley in Japanese. As an aside, there’s a male Tory in Mythbusters, whose full name is Salvatore Paul.

Her father is Fujitaka/Aiden and her deceased mother is Nadeshiko/Natasha. Yamamoto nadeshiko is a Japanese term relating to the personification of an idealised Japanese female. Nadeshiko refers to a frilled pink carnation, whilst Yamamoto is an ancient name for Japan. I must say, whilst writing this post I have been won over by the name Nadashiko in a way Natasha has never suceeded with me. Excessive research on the internet suggests that Fujitaka means tall wisteria. How on Earth they got to Aiden from Fujitaka remains a mystery to me – part of me wishes they’d gone with Fergus instead.

Another main character is called Syaoran Li, whose name is altered to Li Showron. Syaoran means little wolf, whilst Li means plum. Then there’s also Eriol Hiiragizawa, who arrives in the English version as Eli Moon. The name Eriol reminds me of another English name: Errol, as in Errol Flynn. Whilst Errol has roots as a Scottish place name, Eriol appears to mean broken chain.

Two characters get the complete works when it comes to transforming their names into English-language ones: Sakura’s best friend Tomoyo Daidouji becomes Madison Taylor (whilst mother Sonomi becomes Samantha) and substitute teacher Kaho Mizuki becomes Layla Mackenzie. Closer translations include classmate Rika Sasaki who simply becomes Rita. Personally, I would’ve preferred her to remain as the delightful Rika. I’ve found sites saying Sonomi means beautiful garden, whilst Tomoyo means wise age or intellgient making her rather like the Japanese equivalent of the name Sage.

Now as a final thought, I’ve been racking my brains trying to remember where I’d seen Kaho before recently, and of course the slightly different Kahlo was covered over at Bewitching Names at the end of September. Thanks to the joy that is differing kanji, this name has more meanings than letters, depending on how you interpret it. Some of my favourites include sail, summer and perfume.

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