Posts Tagged With: Sora

Weekend Post: Aki&Friends


I’ve become hopelessly addicted to Masterchef of late, and there was a contestant on the currently airing series called Aki. She caught my eye since she rather reminded me of myself, we even sharing a love of science- with her doing a PhD in Quantum Physics.

Her name caught my attention too: Aki. Said much the same as Hackey, sans the h. Or at least, that’s how they were saying it on Masterchef. The name, much like the contestant, is from fair Japan; it means sparkle, bright, autumn – a delightful trio of meanings (indeed, one for each letter).

What I like about Aki is that she’s a quirky, short Japanese name. I’ve covered a few over my time on this blog, but there are so many more delights to see. Here’s a quick selection of 10 of my favourites:

1. Aya

I knew an Aya at primary school, and she said her name ay-ah. However, she was of Arabic origins, and Aya is a name derived from Arabic, meaning verse, sign, miracle. An alternative pronunciation I see is eye-ah.

Meaning: colour, design

2. Chou

Whilst it is the French word for cabbage, they do also use this as an endearing term in France – much like how I fondly call people duck on a regular basis, or chick.

Meaning: butterfly

3. Emi

Emily is still hugely popular here in England&Wales – she was at #3 in 2010. Emi acts as a potential short form of her, or indeed a relative, say, Emma. Or Emmeline. You get the picture.

Meaning: beautiful blessing, picture

4. Michi

The name Mitchell started off life as a surname, but I’ve met two young lads with him as a first name over the past month or so – one of whom answered to Michi. I’ve seen that it’s also of use in Japan as a male name – and in the case of both genders, it’s a frequent nickname option over there too.

Meaning: path

5. Ren

Reported as being currently very popular in Japan for girls right now, whilst Wren is on the receiving end of heightened interest.

Meaning: lotus, romance, love, water lily

6. Riko

Spelt Rico this name is a masculine nickname in Italy and Spain.

Meaning: jasmine or truth child

7. Rio

Rio de Janeiro is due to host the 2016 Olympics, and rio is well-known for meaning river in Spanish. Whilst there is lively debate as to the gender of Rio in the English speaking world, in Japan this name is first-and-foremost feminine.

Meaning: jasmine, village / centre, thread

8. Saki

I’ve always had a soft spot for Suki, and this name is equally as sweet. She rather looks like a short form of Sakura, and I guess could be used as such if one’s heart desires it so.

Meaning: blossom of hope

9. Sora

A name previously covered extensively in a names of the week post, alongside Gem.

Meaning: sky

10. Yumi

Yes, she does rather look like the English word yummy, and point of interest, the French translation of the word is miam miam. However, the name is pronounced with a long oo sound.

Meaning: beautiful archery bow

Categories: Name List | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Names of the Week: Gem and Sora

So I did finally think up of a name to pair with Sora, and it occured to me whilst listening to the radio one morning. How is this so? Because there’s a radio station in my area called Gem 106.
It’s only recently though that we’ve had a radio station called Gem, as it was launched on the 1st January 2011 – so is a few weeks older than 1. Prior to being called Gem 106, the radio station existed with a previous name: Heart 106. For those wondering about the 106 at the end, that denotes the radio frequency – Gem Radio can be found at 106 FM. We used to have a radio station called 96 Trent FM, whose name followed a similar format; infact, Trent FM was relaunched on the same day Gem was as Capital FM – following a merger between Trent FM, Leicester Sound and Ram FM.
The reasoning behind the naming of Gem FM is worthy of some eye-rolling, as GEM stands for Great East Midlands – and one of the favourite catchphrases on the radio is Great Music for the Great East Midlands.
Aside from badly named radio stations, a variety of moth carries the name Gem – also known as orthonama obstipata. It is commonly found in Continental Europe and bordering lands, but does not range much further beyond the Baltic regions, nor indeed into Russia. Thanks to the moth’s quality of being prone to vagrancy, you can also find them in Britain – although mainly down south.
Gem is also sometimes used to refer to one of the constellations of the zodiac. It was first described by Ptolmey in the first 48 described in the 2nd Century. These days there are now more like 88 constellations to sort through. As mentioned previously, Gemini comes from Latin and means twins. The constellation is associated with the twins from Greek Mythology, Castor and Pollux.
The alternate spelling of Jem is worth a mention too – he’s a nickname for James, Jeremiah, Jeremy or even the female name Jemma/Jemima. You can sometimes see the name as an anglicised version of the Turkish name Cem.
Probably the best known Jem would be the brother of Jean Lousie Finch aka Scout – Jeremy Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. I’ve definately seen an uptake in usage of the name Atticus, and both Scout and Harper are becoming somewhat fashionable.
There is a problem with the name, in that there are two rebel groups from Asia/Africa who bear the name Jem. The first one isn’t so bad since it’s the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) which is concerned with the Darfur conflict in the Sudan. They are fighting against the Sudanese Government, and are a member of the Eastern Front – which is a rebel coalition formerly active in the east of Sudan along the Eritrean border. After the Eastern Front signed a peace deal with the central government, the JEM lost access to its funding from Eritrea.
The second group is called Jaish-e-Mohammed, which literally translates to The Army of Mohammad. It is based in Pakistan, and is a known terrorist Islamic group, established in March 2000. It’s probably not one you’d have heard of, given that their aim involves India. They wish to end Indian rule in the disputed area of Jammu and Kashmir – to expel Indian security forces from the area and then unite Jamu and Kashmir with Pakistan.
As for our female name, not much time has lapsed since I covered Sora a few weekend posts ago, but I’ve been itching to cover her. Aside from being the Japanese word for sky, you can find the name Sora elsewhere.
First off is that Sora is the name of a tribe in Northern Indian. Sometimes their name may be spelled as Saora, Soura, Savara or Sabara. This tribe is the second most prominent tribel community in the Rayagada district of Orissa, and in specific areas in Koraput and Gajapati.
The people of this tribe speak a Munda language, but the written language is not followed by all. They practice was is called shifting cultivation, rather that what we know as settled agriculture. This means that they farm one land, then move onto another piece of land after a few years and thus leave the land to recover from cultivation. My geography teacher used to call it the Slash&Burn method. Some of them are taking up the settled agriculture these days.
There is also a language called Sora which is a Munda language of India, which has roughly 300,000 speakers. It is mainly spoken in the Ganjam District, but can be heard elsewhere such as Koraput and Phulbani regions. Despite the name of Sora generally being pronounced in this area as Savara, it has no relations to a Dravidian language also called Savara. The Sora language is written in the Latin alphabet and the Telug script, and in 1936 the Sorang Sompeng script was devised for the language.
Stepping away from India, you may also like to know about the type of small waterbird called the Sora. They can be mostly found in the Americas, but you can occasionally find them in Western Europe – when they are usually mistaken for the Spotted Crake, which has a different wing pattern.
The fnal thing I want to talk about is the fictional character called Sora, who is male. He appears in the best-selling Kingdom Hearts series, first introduced in the first game of the series in 2002. He’s a cheerful teenager, and is best friends with Riku and Kairi. Sora has also made supporting appearances in a few games from the series, and reprised his role in manga and novel adaptations of the games.
That perhaps a best palce to end, since it shows us that both names have the potential to be used for both genders, but the ones I’ve sort of assigned them in this post seem to be my preference.
Categories: Names of the Week | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Weekend Post: Flora and friends

Silent film actress Musidora, from

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:

  2005 2010
Cora #545 #438
Flora #432 #409
Nora #866 #695

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.

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