Silent film actress Musidora, from simondrax.wordpress.com
I used to dislike Flora. I used to dislike Nora. I used to dislike Cora. Now I love all three in a rather unexpected reverse of fortunes for them. I’m not the only one who has had a change of heart, consider these stats from England&Wales:
The biggest jump is for Nora, who was outside the Top 1000 back in 2000, so she’s certainly enjoying more usage that before. Naturally, therefore, I’ve been taking a look into other names of similar quality – because you can never love two many two-syllable -ora names.
The first one which came to my mind is Sora. I have a few friends who are really into the whole Japanese anime thing, and this name came from one of them who used it recently in a short story she wrote; strictly speaking, the female character was actually called Ano Sora. The name Sora is, as you’ve probably guessed, Japanese and means sky. I really think that Sora is just as pretty as Sky is, so she’s a great choice if Skye’s current ranking of #73 puts you off the name. That said, a key character in the video game Kingdom Hearts is called Sora, who is a teenaged male.
A second Japanese name to consider is Tora, which means tiger. Certainly, at the very least, another great alternative to shorten Victoria to. You can also find use of the name Tora in Scandanavia, as a modern form of Þóra. You may also see Tora written as Thora, both being the modern, female versions of Thor which comes from Old Norse and means thunder.
Rather fittingly for this time of year, Albania gives us Bora which means snow. There is also a masculine name in Turkey of the same spelling which means hurricane instead. The Hungarians also use Bora as a short form of Borbála – their version of Barbara, which has me thinking one could also use Bora as a nickname for Deborah, too.
Next in the alphabet is Dora, with the most famed one being the explorer. There are a couple of names from which Dora could derive, most notably: Dorothy, Isadora and Theodora.
There are a few Dora smoosh names I’d like to take the opportunity to mention. The first is Elladora. Remember how J.K.Rowling managed to single-handedly ignite popularity for several names thanks to her books? Sadly, we’re not talking about the possibility of using either Dumbledore or even Dumbledora, but about Elladora. You may not remember a character given this name, but she gave Elladora as a name to not one of her characters, but three, albeit very minor, characters.
The first is Elladora Black, sister of Phineas Nigellus Black – the most unpopular Headmaster Hogwarts has ever had. The second is Elladora Gruffy, who really had no notable part to play in the books at all. The third and final is a lady called Elladora Ketteridge, who discovered the use of gillyweed.
The best known Dora smoosh J.K. used will probably be Nymphadora, much hated by her bearer: Tonks. Nymphadora comes from Greek and means gift of the nymphs. The inspiration for J.K with this name was likely the be a trio of virgin martyrs venerated by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. As well as Nymphodora, there was also her two sisters: Menodora and Metrodora.
There’s one more Dora smoosh I caught J.K use, and it’s Musidora. She gave it to a minor character who was noted for composing Wizarding Suite. It really says a lot that J.K would take the time to give her minor characters such fascinating names. The French had a popular silent film actress, whose stage name was Musidora (Real name: Jeanne Roques). The name Musidora is infact Greek, and means gift of the muses. There’s a really nice write-up of her over at Bewitching Names.
A Dora smoosh name which J.K didn’t use is Pandora. As well as being the name of a rather expensive jewellery store, Pandora is a famed character from Greek mythology. She was the first mortal woman and Zeus gave her a box/jar, telling her not to open it as it contained all the troubles that mankind now knows. Her curiosity got the better of her and she opened it, unleashing evil spirits into the world. Her name means all gifts.
The name Calidor was used by Spenser in his epic The Faerie Queen, for a male character who was the Knight of Courtesy. The female version is Callidora, and it comes from Greek, meaning gift of beauty.
The final Dora smoosh I’ll mention before stepping aside to other names is Eudora. She’s also from Greek origins (noticing a pattern?) and means good gift.
Aside from all the Dora names, we do then have Zora, who comes from the Slavic regions and means dawn. Aurora also means dawn, but in Latin. She’s three-syllables, not two but Rora is a legit short form if you’re after one.