Tag Archives: character names

Beauty and the Beast Names

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The live-action remake of Disney’s 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast opens on March 17th.  In anticipation for its release, let’s look at the fabulous names from the cast and characters in the upcoming fantasy film!

belleemmaBelle
What little girl wouldn’t like to be named for a Disney Princess? Belle is a sweet, chic, French name that fittingly means beauty. Belle fell out of the Top 1,000 in the early 1930s, though I think it stands a chance to rise following the release of the film. Belle is more often seen as a middle name.  Celebrities like Dylan Walsh, Rosie O’Donnell, and Bruce Willis and Demi Moore have used Belle as a middle name for their daughters.  Belle was only used by 248 girls as a first name last year.

Emma
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson plays Belle in this adaptation. The most popular name in the US right now, chances are you know a little Emma. A German name meaning universal, Emma has been a Top 5 name for the past 14 years.  The equally lovely Emilia and Emmeline are less popular alternatives, but have both risen greatly in the past few years. Emma is a celebrity favorite too, used by parents Martina McBride, Mick Taylor, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Harvey Weinstein.

beastdanAdam
We talked about the beauty, but what about the Beast? Beast definitely isn’t a usable name choice, but Adam, the Prince’s human name, definitely is. Adam is a Hebrew name meaning man or son of the earth.  In the Old Testament God created Adam and Eve, the first humans from the earth. Currently ranked at Number 73, Adam has been a Top 100 name since 1970. Adam Lambert, Adam Levine, and Adam Sandler are just a few of the many popular bearers of this name that you may recognize.

Daniel
Dan Stevens, best known for his role as Mathew Crawley in Downton Abbey, is our Beast/ Prince Adam.  Dan’s full name is Daniel Jonathan Stevens, a classic name for the handsome actor.  Daniel is another popular name choice, currently ranked at Number 12.  Daniel has always been a well-loved name, ranking in the Top 50 since the early 1920s. A Hebrew name meaning God is my judge; Daniel was a Hebrew prophet in the Old Testament. There is also the tear-jerking Irish melody Oh, Danny Boy.

GastonLukeGaston
Gaston is the hunky villain with a distinguished French name. French from a German name, Gaston means stranger or guest. There was a 2004 Hurricane and a 2010 storm called Gaston.  Today it’s hard to part the name from this vain character. A rarely used choice in the United States, only 27 boys were named Gaston last year.

Luke
The dashing Luke Evans portrays the Gaston, the character we love to hate. Luke is an English form of the Greek name Loukas meaning from Lucania.  A much more usable name than Gaston, Luke peaked in popularity last year when it reached spot Number 28. Similar names Luca and Lucas are also rapidly rising in the charts. Luke is one of the four books in the New Testament.  Luke may remind you of Luke Duke from The Dukes of Hazard or Luke Skywalker from Star Wars.

mauricekevinMaurice
Maurice is Belle’s absent-minded yet lovable father.  Maurice is French from the Roman name Mauritius meaning dark-skinned.  Maurice ranked in the Top 200 for most of the 20th Century.  Peaking in 1914 at Number 94, Maurice now ranks the lowest it has ever been at Number 621. Saint Maurice is the patron saint of locales and kingdoms. You may also like the variations Mauricio (Spanish), Meuric (Welsh), Moritz (German), or Morris (English).

Kevin
Kevin Delaney Kline is a beloved actor playing the part of Belle’s whimsical father. Kevin is a popular anglicized Irish name meaning handsome or kind. Currently ranked at Number 79, Kevin has been a Top 100 name in the US since 1949. Kevin has long been a popular name choice amongst Irish-American’s, in part due to Saint Kevin, one the patron Saint’s of Dublin.  John McEnore and Tatum O’Neal have a son named Kevin, as does Jimmy Kimmel.

LeFouJoshLeFou
LeFou is Gaston’s bumbling little sidekick. LeFou has the distinction of being one of the few character names I would not recommend as it translates in French to the fool or the crazy one.  If you do like the sound of Le Fou, perhaps I can interest you in the French surname Lafayette meaning faith.  Lafayette is a rare choice and was only given to 10 baby boys last year.

Josh
Actor Joshua Ilan “Josh” Gad offers a much more usable name choice than that of his character LeFou. Disney fans will recognize Gad as the voice of the lovable snowman Olaf in Frozen. Joshua is a Hebrew name meaning Jehovah is salvation.  The Biblical Joshua was chosen to succeed Moses as leader of the Israelites.  Joshua was a Top 10 name from 1979 to 2009.  Today Joshua is still well-loved and used at Number 33 in popularity.

LumiereEwanLumière
The charming candelabra Lumière gets his name from the French word for light. A few other male names that have meanings related to light include Abner, Lior, Lucius, Lugus, Ori, Ray, and Uriah.  As you may have guessed Lumière was not used by any babies born last year.

Ewan
Ewan Gordon McGregor channels his inner-cupid as the charming match-making candelabra Lumière. Ewan is the Scottish spelling of the Gaelic Eoghan meaning born of the yew tree. Pronounced YOO-un, other spellings include Eoin, Euin, and Ewen. A cool alternative to the rising name Owen, Ewan was only used by 138 boys last year.

MaestroStanley.jpgMaestro Cadenza
This new version of Beauty and the Beast will introduce us to a brand new character, Maestro Cadenza who is a grand piano and a neurotic maestro. Maestro would make for a cool and quirky word name.  Maestro is a term given to a distinguished musician, usually a classical musical conductor. Cadenza is another musical term for a solo passage inserted into a concerto typically near the end of a piece.

Stanley
Stanley Tucci will be bringing the new character of Maestro Cadenza to life.  Stanley is an Old English name meaning stone clearing.  At 688 in popularity, Stanley could be a hidden gem ready for a revival by hipster parents. Stanley was a Top 100 name in until 1960 and currently ranks at the lowest it’s ever been.  Sir Henry Morton Stanley initially gave rise to the name Stanley in 1871 with his historic contact of Dr. Livingston in Africa.

CogsworthIan.jpgCogsworth
You may have noticed already that many names in this tale relate to who or what the character is; for example Belle meaning beauty and Lumière meaning light. Cogsworth is a French term for “Big Ben,” the well-known clock tower in London, and this character is the persnickety little clock in the story.

Ian
Sir Ian Murray McKellen is a distinguished actor playing the role of the fussy Cogsworth.  Ian is a Scottish variation of the name John meaning the Lord is gracious. Currently ranked at Number 76, Ian has been a Top 100 name since 1982.  Other interesting forms of John include Evan, Giovanni, Hans, Ivan, Johan, Juan, Sean, and Yannick.

mrspottsemmaMrs. Potts
Another play on words is the head housekeeper Mrs. Potts who was transformed into a teapot.  While Potts might not make the best name choice, perhaps Potter could work? Potter is an English occupational name meaning maker of storage vessels.  Less popular than other similar sounding occupational surnames like Porter or Parker, Potter was used by less than 5 babies last year.  Potter may also remind you of the character Harry Potter.

Emma
Emma Thompson takes on the nurturing role of Mrs. Potts.  Since we already looked at the name Emma earlier with Emma Watson, I thought it would be fun to mention Emma Thompson’s children’s names.  Thompson is truly a namer at heart having chosen the names Gaia Romilly and Tindyebwa Agaba for her children.  Emma Thompson and Emma Watson share more than just a first name, they also share a birthday and both starred in the Harry Potter series.

MadameAudraMadame de Garderobe
Madame de Garderobe translates to Mrs. Wardrobe, a fitting name for the woman who is magically turned into a wardrobe. This is another fun spin as we see it relates to who and what the character is, though it doesn’t quite work for a human child.

Audra
The wildly talented Audra Ann McDonald will bring the wardrobe to life at Madame de Garderobe.  Audra is an English name meaning noble strength.  No longer in the Top 1,000 Audra was only given to 190 girls as a first name last year.  Audra makes for a lovely less-popular alternative to its sister Audrey which ranks at Number 37.

Plumette
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, born Gugulethu Sophia Mbatha, plays the role of maid turned feather duster Plumette which was known as Babette and Fifi in other versions of this tale.
Gugulethu is a Zimbabwe name of Ndebele origin meaning our precious child.

Chip
Chip Potts is the son of Mrs. Potts who was transformed into a chipped teacup.  Chip has traditionally been used as a nickname for Charles.
Nathan Mack will be playing the sweet role of Chip.  Nathan is a popular Hebrew name meaning given, that currently ranks at Number 38.

Monsieur D’Arque
Monsieur D’Arque is the local madhouse owner who is bribed by Gaston in his scheme to win over Belle.  It’s no coincidence that his name D’Arque sounds a lot like dark.
Adrian Schiller will play the unscrupulous Monsieur D’Arque.  Adrian is a Latin name meaning man of Adria that is currently Number 58 in popularity.

Agathe
Agathe is the Enchantress that curses Prince Adam and his castle. Agathe is a French form of the name Agatha meaning good.
Hattie Morahan, born Harriet Jane “Hattie” Morhan plays the Enchantress Agathe.   Hattie is a diminutive of Harriet meaning estate ruler that currently ranks at Number 488.

What are your favorite names from the cast and characters?

Hear me chat about some these names:

 

 

 

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The Doctors are in

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The Doctors are in and they have some fabulous names!

Just what the doctor prescribed! Let’s explore great names of famous TV doctors past and present for a healthy dose of name inspiration!

Jack Shephard
Dr. Jack Shephard was a spinal surgeon on Lost played by Matthew Fox.  Jack may sounds like an all-American kid, but it is actually derived from the English name John, meaning God is gracious. There are numerous wonderful associations to Jack, from author Jack London to actor Jack Nicholson.  Jack is currently Number 41 in the U.S, but is popular worldwide, ranking in the Top 5 in Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

Michaela Quinn “Dr. Mike”drquinn
Michaela Anne “Dr.Mike” Quinn, M.D. was a doctor on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman played by Jane Seymour. Michaela is a feminine form of Michael meaning who is like God. Currently ranked at 478, Michaela peaked in the late 1990s. Other spelling variations including Makayla, Mikaela, and Mikayla also rank within the US Top 1,000. Dr. Quinn’s character went by the nickname Mike. A few other fun nicknames for Michaela include Mickey, Mika, Millie, Kaylie, Kayla, and Kay.

Hawkeye Pierce
Captain Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce, B.S., M.D. was a doctor on M*A*S*H played by Alan Alda (TV) and Donald Sutherland (film). I bet a lot of little boys would enjoy the nickname Hawkeye, but let’s look at Benjamin, this characters given first name.  Benjamin is a wildly popular Hebrew name meaning son of the right hand. Benjamin is currently the most popular it has ever ranked at Number 12.  If you love Ben names like I do, you may also consider Bennett, Benedict, or Benson.

Doogie Howser
Douglas “Doogie” Howser, M.D. was a teenage physician on Doogie Howser, M.D. played by Neil Patrick Harris. Douglas comes from the Scottish name Dubhglas meaning dark water. Douglas originated as a river name and is also the name of a Scottish clan.  Currently Number 598 in popularity, Douglas has been used as a first name since the 16th century. George Clooney played another famous doctor named Douglas in his role as Dr. Douglas “Doug” Ross on the hit show ER.

Frasier Cranefrasier.png
Frasier Winslow Crane M.D. Ph.D. was a Psychiatrist on Cheers and Frasier played by Kelsey Grammer.  Frasier is a spelling variation of Fraser, a Scottish surname meaning strawberry. Although rarely used in the US, Fraser is Number 67 in Scotland and Number 220 in England and Wales. Frazier is another spelling variant, which you may recognize as the surname of TV host Kevin Frazier and former basketball player Walt Frazier.

Addison Montgomery
Dr. Addison Adrianne Forbes Montgomery was a neonatal surgeon on Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice played by Kate Walsh. Addison is a unisex English surname meaning son of Adam. Addison is a Top 100 girls name in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US where it currently ranks at Number 24.  Addison first entered the Top 1,000 in 1994.  It has a similar sound to the popular Madison, the 9th most popular name.  Addison also shares the same beginning sound as Adelaide and Adeline, both of which are rising in popularity. We’re sure to hear more little Addie’s/Addy’s on the schoolyard.

House
Gregory House, M.D. was a doctor on House M.D. played by Hugh Laurie. Currently number 316, Gregory is steadily declining in popularity.  A Greek name meaning watchful and alert, Gregory peaked in 1963.  Gregory was a popular name among early Christians and was used by several popes and saints. If you’re looking for a new twist on this old name you may consider Gregor or Greer, both of which share the same roots as Gregory.

J.D.jd.png
John Michael “J.D.” Dorian, M.D. was a doctor of internal medicine on Scrubs played by Zach Braff. It doesn’t get more timeless than John, a Hebrew name meaning God is gracious.  Currently Number 26 in popularity, John has never dipped below Number 28. Several celebrities, including Mira Sorvino, Steve Carrell, Denzel Washington, and Julie Bowen have used this classic name for their sons. Johnny, Jack, and Jay are popular nicknames for John.

Dr. McCoy “Bones”
Leonard H. “Bones” McCoy was a doctor on Star Trek played by DeForest Kelley. Leonard peaked in 1923 when it was Number 37 in popularity. Leonard is much less popular now, though it is still used at Number 662. A German name meaning brave lion, Leonard was introduced to England by the Normans. Another fun TV tie to the name Leonard is the character Leonard Hofstadter, on the show The Big Bang.

Meredith Grey
Meredith Grey, M.D. is a general surgeon on Grey’s Anatomy played by Ellen Pompeo. Meredith originated as a male name and is now more commonly used for girls.  Meredith peaked in the early 1980s and is now Number 606 in popularity.  Meredith is derived from the Welsh Maredudd or Meredydd, meaning sea lord or great ruler. Other notable Meredith’s include journalist Meredith Vieira and singer Meredith Brooks.

Marcus Welbywelcy.png
Marcus Welby was a doctor on Marcus Welby, M.D. played by Robert Young. Marcus is a Latin name most likely derived from Mars, the Roman god of war. Marcus is a name with staying power.  Never dipping in the charts below the 300’s, Marcus peaked in 1984, and currently sits at spot 158. Marcus is in the Top 100 right now in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, and Norway. Michael Jordan used the name Marcus James for his son in 1990.

Sean McNamara
Sean McNamara was a plastic surgeon on Nip/Tuck played by Dylan Walsh. Sean is a popular Irish form of the name John, meaning God is gracious.  Sean was in the Top 100 from 1965 to 2009 and currently sits just out of the Top 200 at spot 193. Several actors share this handsome name, a few of which include, Sean Penn (Thomas) Sean Connery, Sean Astin, and Sean Hayes. I have a soft spot for Sean as it is my little brother’s name.

Some other famous TV Doctors include…

Ben Casey from Ben Casey played by Vince Edwards

Christian Troy from Nip/Tick played by Julian McMahon

Christopher Duncan Turk from Scrubs played by Donald Faison

Cristina Yang from Grey’s Anatomy played by Sandra Oh

Derek Shepherd from Grey’s Anatomy played by Patrick Dempsey

Doug Ross from ER played by George Clooney

Elizabeth Corday from ER played by Alex Kingston

Heathcliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show played by Bill Cosby

James Kildare from Dr. Kildare played by Richard Chamberlain

Jeffrey Geiger from Chicago Hope played by Mandy Patinkin

Joel Fleischman from Northern Exposure played by Rob Morrow

John Truman Carter III from ER played by Noah Wyle

John “Trapper” McIntyre from Trapper John, M.D. played by Pernell Roberts

Kathryn Austin from Chicago Hope played by Christine Lahti

Leanne Rorish from Code Black played by Marcia Gay Harden

Mark Sloan from Diagnosis Murder played by Dick Van Dyke

Miranda Bailey from Grey’s Anatomy played by Chandra Wilson

Paul Lochner from Medical Center played by James Daly

Phillip Chandler from St. Elsewhere played by Denzel Washington

Steve Hardy from General Hospital played by John Bernadino
Who are your favorite TV Doctors?

Beyond Anne

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Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables novels bring back warm childhood memories for me. I believe these books positively impacted my imagination as well as my naming style.  I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the title character, Anne Shirley, and her insistence on spelling her name Anne, with an ‘e’.  “But if you call me Anne, please call me Anne with an ‘e’.” Let’s explore some of the rich and wonderful names for girls that Montgomery used in this series!

Cordelia
I have to start with the name Cordelia as it inspired me to write this article. Underwhelmed with her own sensible name, Anne requests to be called Cordelia. Cordelia has a bit of an unknown meaning.  It may be a Celtic name meaning daughter of the sea, or a Latin name meaning heart. A personal favorite of mine, there are many lovely nickname options for Cordelia, such as Cora or Delia. At 993 in popularity, Cordelia is a familiar, but still underused name choice.

Sybil
Sybil is a Greek name meaning prophetess. According to an ancient Greek legend, the sibyls were women that prophesied at holy sites. Sybil peaked in 1919, though it has dropped significantly, used by only 86 girls last year. Audiences were reintroduced to this lovely, understated name as it was used by the admirable youngest Crawley sister on Downton Abbey. Sybil in the Anne of Green Gables series is affectionately called “Dovie.”

Aurelia
My love of the name Aurora often makes me overlook the stunning and grand Aurelia. If you are looking for an Aurora alternative, Aurelia is a mirror in beauty, and less commonly used. Aurelia is currently Number 832, whereas Aurora sits at 116. That said, Aurelia was one of the most rapidly-rising names in 2013. The name of many early saints, Aurelia is a feminine form of the Latin Aurelius, meaning golden or gilded.

Esther
The Biblical Esther was a heroic Jewish queen in the Old Testament that saved her people from obliteration. Esther’s original Hebrew name was Hadassah. A Persian name meaning star, Esther peaked in 1913, though it is still wearable ranking at Number 203. As a lover of nicknames, I love that Essie, Estee, Etta, and Tess could all stem from Esther.

Theodora
Theodore is all the rage right now, rising 150 spots just in the last five years. If you’re worried about the recent spike that Theodore has made, you may want to consider the less popular, feminine variation, Theodora. A Greek name meaning gift of God, Theodora has a sophisticated old world charm. Robbie Williams used the name Theodora “Teddy” Rose for his daughter born in 2012.

Blythe
Blythe is a surname in the Anne of Green Gables series that makes for a fresh and spirited first name. Blythe comes from an Old English surname meaning happy and cheerful, a wonderful meaning to bestow upon a child. A rarely used virtue name, 167 girls and 9 boys were given the name Blythe last year. Perhaps the most well-known bearer of this name is actress Blythe Danner.

Muriel
Muriel is derived from a Celtic name meaning bright sea.  There are forms of the name Muriel in Irish, Breton, and Scottish Gaelic languages.  Muriel peaked in 1922, but dropped off the charts in the mid-1960s.  Last year only 30 girls were given the first name Muriel.

Flora
Flora is a sweet, chic, vintage name prime for a comeback.  Nora and Cora have both had recent dramatic leaps in popularity, could Flora be next? Flora peaked in 1902 and was given to just 167 baby girls last year.  A Latin name meaning flower, Flora is a Roman goddess of flowers and springtime.  You may also recognize Flora as the name of one of sweet fairy-godmother’s in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

A few more beautiful names from this series include:

Avonlea
Charlotta
Clarice
Cornelia
Hester
Jamesina
Lavendar
Laurette
Louisa
Marilla
Mirabel
Myra
Pearl
Persis
Philippa

What are your favorite names from Avonlea?

Seven Sweet Names from Under the Sea!

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As a child of the 1980s I, like many girls my age, repeatedly watched Disney’s 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid. A name enthusiast from the start, I loved the small scene that introduces Ariel’s six sisters, whom all share the first initial A. There are so many gorgeous names that begin with the letter A. The seven most popular girls names right now beginning with the letter A are Ava #5, Abigail #8, Avery #13, Amelia #15, Aubrey #20, Addison #24, and Aria #31. Let’s explore the A names that King Triton and Queen Athena used for their seven daughters.

Aquata
The word aqua is Latin meaning water, very fitting for a mermaid, though perhaps a bit too literal in comparison to her sister’s names. Five little girls were given the first name Aqua last year. If you like sound of A and q together, you may also consider Aquila or Aquinnah.

Andrina
A rare name with a familiar sound, Andrina was only given to seventeen girls last year. Andrina is a feminine form of the name Andrew, meaning manly. Though this name means manly, the -ina ending gives Andrina a very feminine feel. Andrina easily lends itself to lovable nicknames like Annie or Andy. Andrina is also a cool alternative of way to honor someone named Andrew or Andrea.

Arista
Arista is a Greek name meaning harvest. It may also be derived from the ancient Greek name Aristos, meaning the best. Arista was the name of a record company and is the name of a star in the constellation Virgo. Arista has a spunky sound, though it is seldom used. Seven baby girls were named Arista last year.

Attina
Attina is a spelling variation of Atina or Atena, which are both forms of the name Athena. Athena was the name of the seven mermaid sister’s mother in the film. Athena is a Greek mythological name possibly meaning sharp or praise. Attina is scarcely used though it could be a fun alternative to Tina.

Adella
Adella peaked in popularity in 1901 when it ranked at Number 547. Last year seventy-six girls were given the name Adella. Adella is a spelling variant of Adela, a name with German roots, meaning noble. Adella has a lovely vintage vibe that makes it prime for a comeback. The nickname Della may be enticing to modern parents looking for an old name that feels fresh.

Alana
Alana is an Irish feminine form of Alan meaning harmony, fair, or little rock. One of the more familiar and utilized names on this list, Alana currently ranks at 198 in popularity. Model and actress Alana Hamilton Stewart’s fame gave this name a boost in the 1970s and 80s. She and former husband Rod Stewart used Alana as the middle name for their daughter, Kimberly Alana Stewart.

Ariel
The most popular name in this bunch of sisters is Ariel. Ariel peaked in 1991, two years after the film’s release, when it ranked at Number 66. Currently Number 133, Ariel is still a well loved and used name. Ariel is a Hebrew name meaning Lion of God. You may have noticed that Ariel the only name on this list that doesn’t begin and end in the letter A.

Which of these names do you like best? Andrina gets my vote.

What would you name seven mermaid princesses using names that begin with the letter A?
I would choose Arianwen, Aurelia, Alexandrina, Aveline, Astoria, Ariadne, and Arabella.

 

Wonderful Whimsical Disney Fairy Names

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Name inspiration can be found anywhere, even in Pixie Hollow, home of Disney’s Tinker Bell and her fairy friends.

The Main Fairy Characters

Tinker Bell
Tinker or a tinkerer was a term for a traveler that repaired small items. Tinker does have a bit of a quirky sound, similar to names like Timber or Piper. Bell, a word name and fairly popular surname, makes for a more familiar name choice. Tinker bell does make for an endearing nickname.

Rosetta
Rosetta is one of the many attractive forms of the lovable flower name, Rose. Rosetta is an Italian diminutive of Rosa. Only 49 girls were named Rosetta last year in the U.S.

Zarina
Zarina sounds perfectly fit for a Princess and has the cool “Z” factor to it. Zarina is a Persian name meaning golden. Zarina rhymes with other lovely names such as Karina and Marina.

Vidia
Vidia may be a form of Vidya, a Sanskrit name meaning knowledge, science, and learning. Vidia may also be a short form of Ovidia, a Romanian name sheep. Either way Vidia is unexpected and delightful.

Silvermist
Two pretty cool word names come together to create Silvermist. This name is definitely fairy-worthy! Silver is a lustrous color name with a hippie or rock star vibe.

Iridessa
Iridessa comes from the word iridescent, referring to luminous colors that appear to change colors when seen from various points of view. Fittingly, the word iridescent comes from the Latin word Iris, meaning rainbow. Iris could make a cool nickname for Iridessa.

Fawn
Fawn is an animal name used to describe a young dear. Fawn was briefly in the Top 1,000 in the 1960s and 1970s but was only used by 19 girls last year. I think Fawn would make a great middle name choice.

Periwinkle
Periwinkle can be a five-petaled flower with glossy leaves, though it is mostly known as a color in a blue and purple hue. Periwinkle comes from the Middle English word parwynke and would definitely be a whimsical way to get to the nickname Peri.

A few minor fairy friends include…

Queen Clarion
Fairy Mary
Bobble
Clank
Terence
Dewey
Spike
Gliss
Sled

Remembering Maureen

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This morning I was saddened to read that legendary actress Maureen O’Hara had passed away. Maureen O’Hara, born Maureen FitzSimons, was an iconic, fiery redhead with the face of an angel. Today I’d like to look back at the names of some memorable characters O’Hara portrayed.

Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Esmeralda is a Spanish and Portuguese name meaning emerald. Esmeralda was the name of the gypsy in Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame who was loved by Quasimodo. Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes named their daughter Esmeralda Amada in September 2014. Esmeralda is currently Number 376 in popularity.

Angharad in How Green Was My Valley
Angharad is an old name Welsh meaning more loved. In Welsh mythology Angharad was known as Angharad Golden-hand, the lover of Peredur. Angharad was used a lot among Welsh royals, most notably by the daughter of King Owain Gwynedd. Angharad is rarely used in the United States.

Lady Margaret Denby in The Black Swan
* O’Hara also played a Margaret as character Margaret “Maggie” McKendrick in the film The Parent Trap.
Margaret is a classic Greek name meaning pearl. Currently Number 169 in popularity, 1,933 little girls were named Margaret in the US last year. My name, Meagan, is one of the many variants of Margaret. A few other great forms of Margaret include Marguerite, Mairéad, and Gretel.

Valentine Lee in Immortal Sergeant
Valentine is a name that conjures up images of love and Valentine’s Day. A French form of Valentinus, meaning strong and healthy, only 46 girls were given the name Valentine last year. If you like Valentine you may also enjoy Valentina, a much more popular choice at Number 112.

Doris Walker in Miracle on 34th Street
Doris peaked in the 1920s. In 2014 only 122 little girls were given the name Doris. Doris is a Greek name meaning gift or woman from Dorian. In Greek mythology Doris was a sea nymph and the daughter of Oceanus. A famous bearer of this name is Doris Day, another iconic actress.

Adelaide “Addie” Culver in The Forbidden Street
Adelaide is a variant of the German name Adelheid, meaning noble. Currently Number 316, Adelaide has steadily been rising in popularity. Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia. There are many great characters by the name of Adelaide, from Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, to Madame Adelaide in Disney’s The Aristocats.

Mrs. Kathleen Yorke in Rio Grande
Kathleen is an anglicized form of the Irish name Caitlín meaning pure. Kathleen peaked in the 1950s and is currently Number 674 in popularity. When I hear this name I think of the song “I’ll take you home again, Kathleen”. There are numerous lovable nicknames for Kathleen including Kate, Katie, Kathy, Kat, Kit, and Kitty.

Mary Kate Danaher in The Quiet Man
The Quiet Man is my favorite of O’Hara’s films. As a little girl I named a red-haired porcelain doll Mary Kate after O’Hara’s character in this movie. A double barrel name, Mary is a Hebrew meaning bitter, and Kate is a diminutive of Katherine meaning pure. Mary Kate Olsen is a well-known bearer of this name.

Prudence “Spitfire” Stevens in Against All Flags
The Puritans loved Prudence, a virtue name meaning cautious. Could Prudence come back into fashion? The Beatles had a song called “Dear Prudence.” Prudence was also the name of one of the Halliwell sisters on the TV show Charmed. There were only 58 little Prudence’s born last year in the U.S.

Olivia Spencer in Spencer’s Mountain
A Latin name meaning olive tree, Olivia was first used by Shakespeare in Twelfh Night. Olivia has steadily been rising in popularity and is currently the Number 2 name for girls. Olivia is also a Top 10 name in Australia, England, New Zealand, Scotland, and Sweden.

Katherine Gilhooley McLintock in McLintock!
* O’Hara also played a Katherine as character Katherine “Kitten” Hilliard in the film Do You Love Me .
Katherine is a classic Greek name meaning pure. There are several attractive variants of Katherine, from familiar names like Caitlin and Karen, to exotic beauties like Yekaterina and Catriona.

Moira in The Battle of Villa Fiorita
Moira is an anglicized form of the Irish name Máire, meaning bitter. Moira is memorable to me as one Wendy Moira Angela Darling’s middle names in Peter Pan. The name Moira was given to 126 baby girls in the U.S. last year.

Martha McCandles in Big Jake
* O’Hara also played a Martha as character Martha Price in the film The Rare Breed.
Martha is an Aramaic name meaning lady. The first First Lady, Martha Washington, wife of President George Washington, is a notable bearer of this name. Martha is a popular character name appearing in a variety of TV shows from Downton Abbey to The Simpsons.

Rest in Peace, Maureen O’Hara

this article is dedicated to my Mom for sharing her love of film

Checking In – Names from American Horror Story: Hotel

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The fifth season of American Horror Story promises to bring thrills, chills, and some great names! Let’s look at the names of some of the main characters from American Horror Story: Hotel.

Main Characters


Kathy Bates as Iris

Kathy Bates as Iris

Iris is the hotel manager. Portrayed by Kathy Bates.
Iris is a not only the name of a beautiful flower, is it also Greek meaning rainbow. In Greek mythology Iris was the goddess of the rainbow. Iris has gradually been climbing the charts, currently Number 245 in popularity.

James March built the hotel and was the original owner. Portrayed by Evan Peters.
James is a classic name that just re-entered the Top 10 at Number 9 in 2014. James is an English form of the name Jacob, meaning supplanter. Several celebrities have recently used the name James as first or middle names for their daughters.

Sally is a drug-addicted hotel resident. Portrayed by Sarah Paulson.
Sally was one of my Names of the Week this week, a nod to Sally in The Nightmare before Christmas. I was surprised by the positive reaction Sally received! Sally is a diminutive of Sarah meaning Princess.

Wes Bentley as John

Wes Bentley as John

John Lowe is a detective that moves into the hotel. Portrayed by Wes Bentley.
It doesn’t get much more classic than John. A Hebrew name meaning God is gracious, John is currently Number 26. There are numerous great variants of John, from Ian to Johannes.

Alex Lowe is a pediatrician and detective Lowe’s wife. Portrayed by Chloë Sevigny.
Alex is a unisex name that works well on either sex. For girls we often see Alex used as a nickname for Alexandra, Alexandria, and Alexis. Alex stems from the Greek name Alexander, meaning defender of the people.

Liz Taylor is the eccentric hotel bartender. Portrayed by Denis O’Hare.
Liz is a popular nickname for Elizabeth. The epitome of a timeless name, Elizabeth is Number 14 and has never ranked below Number 26 in the U.S. A Hebrew name, Elizabeth means God is my oath.

Denis O’Hare as Liz Taylor

Denis O’Hare as Liz Taylor

Will Drake is the hotel’s new owner. Portrayed by Cheyenne Jackson.
Will is a diminutive of William meaning resolute protection. Will can also work as a word name. Will is Number 763 on its own, while William comes in at Number 5.

Ramona Royale is a film star. Portrayed by Angela Bassett.
I fell in love with the name Ramona reading the Beverley Cleary series starring the character Ramona Quimby. Ramona is a feminine form of the Spanish name Ramon, meaning wise protector.

Lady Gaga as "The countess" Elizabeth

Lady Gaga as “The countess” Elizabeth

“The CountessElizabeth is a sex and blood crazed murderer. Portrayed by Lady Gaga.
“The Countess” bears the beautiful name Elizabeth as well. Since we already looked at Elizabeth, let’s talk about Countess as a given name. Countess is a word name or title referring to the wife of a count or an earl.

Donovan is Elizabeth’s lover. Portrayed by Matt Bomer.
Donovan is an Anglicized Irish surname meaning dark. Currently Number 284 in popularity, Donovan would be a great name to use if you are looking to honor a Donald.

Additional Characters


 

Marcy portrayed by Christine Estabrook
Gabriel portrayed by Max Greenfield
Detective Hahn portrayed by Richard T. Jones
Scarlett Lowe portrayed by Shree Crooks
Agnetha portrayed by Helena Mattsson
Vendela portrayed by Kamilla Alnes
Holden Lowe portrayed by Lennon Henry
Lachlan Drake portrayed by Lyric Lennon
Tristan Duffy portrayed by Finn Wittrock
Claudia portrayed by Naomi Campbell
Aileen Wuornos portrayed by Lily Rabe
Justin portrayed by Darren Criss

* Many more surprise characters are believed to be on this season, this is based off the information released as of now.