Posts Tagged With: Jazz

Names of the Week: Jazz and Sorrel


Two word names last week, ‘lo and behold, two word names this week. Even more in keeping is that one of last week’s names was a musical name, and the other was a nature name; this time we’ve switched genders, at the very least.

Back in my days of secondary school I was in the same form as a guy named Jared and he went by the name Jazz on a day-to-day basis. Then again, one could also argue the case for using Jazz as a short for of Jasmine, a female name. Speaking of gender ambiguity, remember the debate that erupted over a Canadian gender-neutral baby last year? The baby in question was called Storm, and the elder siblings were called Kio and Jazz (we know them to be male).

As a word, Jazz is difficult to define; a jazz critic by the name of Joachim Berendt has attempted to do just that, describing as:

form of art music which originated in the United States through the confrontation of blacks with European music…a spontaneity and vitality of musical production in which improvisation plays a role….sonority and manner of phrasing which mirror the individuality of the performing jazz musician

Pretty wordy, but I guess it does the job of defining Jazz well enough. The origin of the word also happens to be a bit of a grey area (of course it would be). The American Dialect Society even named Jazz as the Word of the 20th Century. Since Jazz began life as a slang word, that’s why it’s exact origins are hard to place.

I think that Jazz has a certain vibrancy to him, and he ends with some snazzy zs – almost as fantastic as ending-in-x. You could also link him to Jack on the basis of sound, since both are short, 1-syllable names starting with J.

In terms of his popularity, the name Jazz only ranks on the female list in England&Wales – and only just with 3 of ’em born. That means that I still see the gender of Jazz as fluid since he’s hardly used right now.

Then we have Sorrel, another name which lives in the grey area of gender-ambiguity. It ends in -el, like plenty of female names do – but then again, so does Lionel and that’s one name that is quite firmly male. British author, Sir Julian Sorell Huxley was a notable male bearer, as is Sorrell Booke, an American actor.

Sorrel, in botanical terms, is a plant with acidic leaves, sometimes used in cooking. Personally I’ve never used sorrel before in the kitchen in my life, but there we go.

There’s a plant in the Caribbean known as Jamaican Sorrel, or otherwise as Roselle, and another link to Jamaica is that they have a hibiscus tea there known as Sorrel.

Related names could include Sora on the basis of sound-similarity (a name which we’ve previously covered in this feature) and perhaps even Perenelle.

On to popularity and it’s not exactly an exciting set of statistics: in 2010 the name Sorrel was given to 8 girls born in England&Wales. Not a sizable number by any means, but if you’re looking for a less-than-often used name this may be a statistic you’re happy to hear about.

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4-Letter, 1-Syllable Word Names


A rather specific title, but there’s a reason for that. I noted down a few names a few days ago, and they all complied to these specific criteria. Odd, huh? A post about these types of names was therefore necessary, because one mustn’t dismiss such a coincidence.

In truth, the original post was going to look at many, many of them, but there are hundreds to consider. So instead we’re turning this into a Top 10 post, consisting of mainly names that captured my imagination and interest. The only main filter I used was omitted potentials which had less-than-lovely meanings, since they’re more obvious when using English words as names, than say, using a name derived from Latin, such as Claude which means crippled. The definitions used are courtesy of my long-suffering Cambridge Dictionary. That, and the original list was heavily biased in favour of female names, so Soul and Bell ended up on missing out in favour of names not necessarily masculine, but more in the way of unisex-ness (#5&#9).

1. Lace

a decorative cloth which is made by weaving thin thread in delicate patterns with holes in them

2. True

(especially of facts or statements) right and not wrong; correct

3. Wren

a very small, brown bird

4. Dove

a white or grey bird, often used as a symbol of peace

5. Jazz

a type of modern music with a rhythm in which the strong notes are usually not on the beat and which is usually improvised

6. Plum

a small round fruit with a thin smooth red, purple or yellow skin, sweet soft flesh, and a single large hard seed

7. Arch

a structure consisting of a curved top on two supports, which holds the weight of something above it

something that has the shape of this structure, often used for decoration

the raised curve on the bottom of your foot

8. Glow

to produce a continuous light and sometimes heat

to look attractive because you are happy or healthy, especially with eyes that are shining

9. Sage

wise, especially as a result of great experience

10. Maze

a complicated system of paths or passages which people try to find their way through for entertainment

an area in which you can get easily lost because there are so many similar streets or passages

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