J.M. Barrie was best known for creating the energetic and eternally youthful character, Peter Pan. His story Peter and Wendy has been adapted into numerous plays and films. I do have a fondness for the name Peter, but today I thought I would explore Wendy’s character and name.
My first introduction to Wendy was in the Disney film version of Peter Pan. I was an imaginative and introspective child (I like to think I’ve retained these traits). As I said, I was taken with Wendy’s name, but I also related to her more than I had with any other Disney character. Wendy and I were both big sisters, nurturing, and motherly by nature. Wendy is on the brink of adolescence, not quite ready to give up childhood wonders, but also sensible enough to realize the impact of her actions. She seeks adventure but also stability. I love the human dilemma that is present in Wendy.
Deconstructing her name…
A lively and cute little name! We need more Wendy’s in this world. Ranked #703 in popularity last year (U.S. 2013) it doesn’t run the risk of overexposure.
Wendy has an interesting and a bit of a disputed meaning. It is often credited as an invented literary name by J.M.Barrie who playfully called a little girl that he knew “Fwendy-wendy”.
It may have been used years before his birth though, as a nickname to the Welsh name, Gwendolen, which means “white or fair”.
Either way, J.M. Barrie brought this name in to mass awareness when he choose it for the character of Wendy Moira Angela Darling.
An elegant and sorely underused name. Moira hasn’t been in the top 1,000 in the U.S. since 1967! And the most popular it’s ever been here was #833 (in 1965).
Moira is an Irish variation of the name Mary meaning “bitter”. If you meet a little girl named Moira, please give her parents a high-five on my behalf.
Angela really peaked in the U.S. in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Once at spot #5 (1974-76) it has steadily been decreasing in popularity and now sits at #196.
I can’t help but think of the 90’s show My so called life when I hear this name, but that’s for a different post.
Angela has Latin roots and means “angel”. A fitting name for a baby born under miraculous circumstances or the Christmas season.
How precious is Darling as a surname? A sweet term of endearment, and irresistible character name. It reminds me of Evening, an equally charming name that is on my Guilty Pleasure list.
Have a lovely week & remember to “think happy thoughts”