Posts Tagged With: Tryphena

Tooting the T

My vice, from

A friend commented to me today that there aren’t many decent girl’s names which start with the letter T, and how could I not take on her challenge by writing a piece on awesomely kick-ass T- girls? This is by no means a complete list of T-girls, rather, a selection of the known and unknown which I think are deserving of some acknowledgement, for whatever reason. You may disagree, or wonder why your favourite name didn’t receive a mention. It was a hard category of names to cut down to a reasonable number, I ended up cutting Tate out from the post on the grounds that he has a whole post dedicated to his wonderfulness here.

1. Tabitha

The name Tabitha comes from Aramaic and means gazelle, it also happened to be the name of a character in the New Testament. The Greek variant of Tabitha is Dorcas.

2. Taika

This is a Finnish name which means magic, spell and rune.

3. Tamarind

Rosalinde and Rosamund not quite what you’re looking for? This is the name of a tropical tree and its fruit, which are much valued in the realms of cusine and medicine. The name itself derives from Arabic and means Date of India; it has the variant forms of Tamarintha and Tamarinth – which seem like quirky alternatives to Samantha. I also have a friend whose sister is called Tamaranth.

4. Tamarix

Whilst Tamarind reminded me of Rosalind, this name has me thinking Beatrix – another fashionable darling. Like Tamarinth, it’s the name of a tree, this time found in the Mediterranean – although it is strictly spelt Tamarisk, with Tamarix existing as a variant.

5. Tegenn

A Cornish name meaning trinket and jewel, and I can’t deny just being a little excited by the meaning. This is not to be confused with good ol’ Tegan, who is Welsh and means fair and beautiful.

6. Treasa

One of two Irish variants of Teresa – the other being Toiréasa. The name Teresa is generally taken to derive from Greek and mean to reap/harvest. Equally, since it was first recorded as Theresia, the name could derive from an island bearing the name.

7. Theano

A name one can find hidden in Greek myth and history, borne by several women and notably a 6th century mythical priestess of Athene at Troy. Theano derives from the Greek theos, much like Theodore does, which means a God.

8. Tomoko

The name comes from Japanese tomo, meaning wisdom or friend and ko, meaning child. There is a similar name, Tomiko, for which the tomi element means wealth, fortune.

9. Tryphena

We love a good ol’ Greek-origin name, and this is no exception. This time, Tryphena means dainty and in the New Testament there was a character with this name, and she had a sister called Tryphosa. A variation of this name is the Romani one, Truffeni.

10. Tulsi

Considered, after the lotus plant, to be one of the most sacred plants in Hinduism; it is also known as the Holy Basil. This plant also has medicinal properties and means incomparable in Sanskrit. Not to be confused with Tuuli, a Finnish girls name meaning wind.

And then, tagged on at the end are some equally lovely T-boys, since I’m acutely aware that I haven’t talked about many of late:

1. Tadhg

I love this name, it’s Irish and means poet. Quite a few parents are considering simply using poet as a name, but there’s a lot to be said for Tadhg. Some will translate this name to Teague, but strictly speaking the pronunciation is more along the lines of the first syllable of tiger.

2. Taliesin

BBC’s documentary Child of Our Time features a lad named Taliesin born at the turn of the millenium; he shares his name with a legendary 6th century Bard. The name means fair and beautiful, but he is sometimes also taken to mean shining.

3. Tancred

This name was popular amongst the Medieval aristocrats. He comes from the Old German name Thancharat and means thinking counsel, which makes him seem like a good name to pick for any budding theologians. This name was brought to Britain, like so many others, by the Normans but it came to mostly die out. In the 19th century, Benjamin Disraeli wrote a novel called Tancred. This name is also not to be confused with Tarazed, a Persian name that means balance and the traditional name for a star called Gamma Aquilae in the Aquila constellation.

4. Tegfan

The name of a friend of my Dad’s, who usually goes by Teg. The name itself is Welsh, sharing similar origins with the aforementioned Tegan, in that he means fair peak, but he’s more obscure.

5. Tercel

The name given to a male hawk, used particularly for the goshawk and the peregrine falcon. The rather makes me wonder about the possibility of twin boys named Tercel and Peregrine. The name itself derives from the Latin tertius, which means third.

6. Timon

This was a popular name back in Ancient Greece, and it means honour. Most will recognise this as the name of the meerkat from the Disney film, The Lion King.

7. Toivo

The second Finnish name on this list, and it means hope and trust.

8. Torquil

The English form of the Scottish name Torcall, which comes from the Old Norse name Thorketil; it means thunder cauldron. This name is not to be confused with Tarquin, a name my father has an unexplained fondness for. He is the English form of the Latin name Tarquinius, and is mostly associated with the Kings of Rome.

9. Trent

I live near to the River Trent, which flows through the Midlands of the UK out to the Humber estuary. It is actually the Humber estuary which is often cited as being the marking point of the so-called north/south divide here in the UK. He could derive from the Celtic tri, meaning thrice and sentu, meaning path.

10. Tristan

The English form of the name Trystan, who comes from lovely Wales. He is one of the title characters in the tale of Trystan and Iseult, or, Tristan and Isolde. The name derives from Celtic and means noise, cry. There has been speculation that the spelling of the name as we know it today was influenced by the French word triste, which means sad – but then there was also the Middle English word trist knocking around at that time as well, which means hope and confidence.

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When Penelope Gets Popular

Paloma Faith may inspire you, from

When I originally penned the Clementine post, I never imagined doing a sequel post or even turning it into a series, but the fact of the matter is that the name Penelope is getting popular, and I’ve started to wonder about what alternatives are out there. This post started off as me pondering about what other names I could get Penny from (the final three being Typhena, Peony and Euphemia), but the original draft of such a post seemed like more should be said. An elaboration was in order, and a sequel was born. So, what other names could we use when Penelope gets too popular for our liking? Just to illustrate the fact that she has grown in popularity, here’s how she’s fared in the past few years:

2003 2004 2005 2006
Rank 583 565 562 678
Births 50 55 59 46
2007 2008 2009 2010
Rank 515 427 328 272
Births 72 99 135 181

A ranking of #272 is something to take note of, since she’s shot up from #678 in 2006 to where she is today. To start off with, it seems best to first approach this topic by asking what exactly are the kinds of names people are pairing the name Penelope with, either as sibling or middle names? A trip to the London Telegraph Birth Announcements was in order to find just that out, and it was an eclectic bunch of names to say the least; here is a cut-down version:

  • Annabel
  • Aurelia
  • Bróna
  • Clementine
  • Esther
  • Evelyn
  • Dorothea
  • Felicity
  • Florence
  • Georgina
  • Harriet
  • Hettie
  • Horatia
  • Jemima
  • Lucinda
  • Marissa
  • Muriel
  • Nancy
  • Orla
  • Scarlett
  • Serena
  • Willa

The names Clementine and Florence came up severeal times, whilst Lucinda also came up at least twice. There are some conflicting styles in the names, from the seldom heard Horatia, to the very Irish name Bróna. Since Florence is a clear favourite, it seems apt to kick off a list of suggestions with the younger Nightingale sister’s name: Parthenope. Like her sister before her, Parthenope was named after an Italian city, and like Penelope, she’s four-syllables. If long names are your preference, another four-syllable P name is Philomena, which shares Penelope’s Greek roots. Dorothea from the above list also shares this trait. Other four-syllable Greek names include:

  • Angeliki
  • Calliope
  • Cassiopeia (technically five-syllables)
  • Elisavet
  • Eugenia (modern Greek form: Evgenia)
  • Konstantina
  • Louiza
  • Ophelia
  • Paraskeve (Pah-rah-ske-vee)
  • Persephone
  • Theodora
  • Timothea
  • Zenovia/Zenobia

But you may have no Greek heritage, which means the above list may means nothing at all to you. Fear not, for there are other, more English-based, options out there. The current leader of the pack for me is Peony. She’s floral, like Lily, and could also shorten to Penny if your heart so desires. I’m astonisahed that only 9 of them were born in England&Wales in 2010, because she is such a pretty name. I first came upon her, myself, when reading a book which I can’t for the life of me remember. But what I can remember was that Peony wore trousers with different coloured legs. She was an eccentric child, to say the least. Another seldom used name in England&Wales in Tolulope, given to just 4 girls in 2010, whilst Temitope was given to 10 girls.

Another P name that I reckon will be rising fast here in the UK in the next few years is Paloma. We’ve already had pop act Florence&The Machine attributed to the rise of Florence, and there’s another similar artist in the UK right now called Paloma Faith. She was the goth girl, Andrea, in the first of the rebooted St.Trinians films, but has since embraced colour to the max. Her name is Spanish for dove. Another British pop act, Mika, has three sisters named Yasmina, Paloma and Zuleika.

Going back to 2000, Penelope was given to 35 girls that year, as was Henrietta. Other names ranking similarly to her, and also containing four syllables (within 45-25 births) in 2000, with their 2010 ranking/birth number in brackets after are:

  • Angelica (#531, 75 births)
  • Henrietta (#730, 50 births)
  • Ophelia (#559, 71 births)
  • Valentina (#521, 77 births)
  • Veronica (#452, 92 births)

As you can see, non of them have broken the Top 300 as Penelope has done, but they have all risen since 2000 and could rise further but maybe not as quickly as dear Penny. That leads us onto another point, one could simply use a nickname of Penelope instead. Aside from Poppy, which resides firmly in the Top 100, the nicknames are generally not as popular as their long form:

  • Nell – #390
  • Nelly – #747
  • Penny – #396
  • Petal – #3156
  • Piper – #719
  • Polly – #300
  • Posy – #4688

I would also suggest Pippa as a nickname for Penelope, but she’s also on the express train to popularity at the moment. I guess one could argue that Philippa is another great alternative choice, who has actually been going backwards in the past few years. Other vintage-sounding P names include Patience, Prudence and Pearl, and Pomeline is a name with Royal heritage.

To conclude, Penelope is a great name with some great alternatives should her popularity put you off. My line on popularity is the same as always, though: if your heart says go for it, just go for it regardless of how popular the name may be.

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