The original title of Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Names was A Pagan’s Book of Names; it quickly became apparent, however, that this didn’t really take in the book’s full scope. Besides, although the starting premise for writing it was to provide a thorough, helpful source for Pagan and like-minded folk, it was obvious pretty much from the start that it would be helpful not just for the beardy-weirdy types with a penchant for mead, cloaks and candles, but for anyone who was looking for a book of names that was thorough and accurate – but different from the run of the mill. Be not afraid; here ye will not find woolly wafflings or fluffy flights of fancy. There are references to the spiritual and magical significance of names and words where appropriate, certainly. Examples of bearers often have a Pagan/Witchy theme, true. But as far as etymology and history are concerned, the touchstone I worked with was verifiable fact.
But don’t take just my word for it. This is what the lovely English novelist Kit Berry, author of the wonderful and evocative Stonewylde series, published by Gollanz, has to say:
This amazing reference book will very quickly justify its place on any bookshelf. An invaluable source of thousands of names from every corner of the globe and every century of civilization, this book will be a treasure to readers and writers alike. It’s comprehensively researched, thorough in detail, and utterly fascinating.
K. M. Sheard’s style is entertaining; the initial chapters explain lucidly the history of names from the Sumerians, five and a half thousand years ago, to the present day. The research is meticulous and scholarly, yet never dry. This is the sort of reference book that you’ll dip into and find yourself still immersed in an hour later. I really wish I’d had access to this book when writing my novels; it’s brilliant not only for ideas for Pagan or unusual names, but also in tracing their etymology and ensuring that blunders aren’t made.
Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Names will become the definitive source book for anyone needing to research or choose a name – be it for themselves, a baby, a character, an animal or anything else requiring a name. I cannot recommend this special dictionary highly enough, and will be using it for many years to come as an invaluable writing aid. Congratulations must go to K.M. Sheard on producing a classic reference book that will doubtless be used throughout the world.
But, at the end of the cliché Pagan folk are the people the book was written for, and it has a Pagan beating heart, so I’ll end this post with a list of names currently in either the US or UK top 100 which by virtue of their meaning and/or history, are ‘Pagan friendly’. Some may surprise you…
Boys: Aaron, Adam, Adrian, Aidan, Aiden, Alex, Alexander, Alfie, Andrew, Angel, Archie, Arthur, Ashton, Austin, Ayden, Bailey, Ben, Benjamin, Blake, Bradley, Brandon, Brayden, Brian, Brody, Bryan, Caleb, Callum, Carlos, Charles, Charlie, Chase, Cole, Colton, Connor, David, Dominic, Dylan, Edward, Eli, Eric, Ethan, Ewan, Finlay, Finley, Freddie, Frederick, Gavin, George, Harley, Harrison, Harry, Harvey, Hayden, Henry, Hunter, Jason, Joel, Jordan, Julian, Justin, Kai, Kian, Kieran, Kyle, Landon, Leo, Leon, Lewis, Liam, Logan, Louie, Louis, Luca, Lucas, Luis, Luke, Mason, Max, Michael, Morgan, Nathan, Nathaniel, Nicholas, Noah, Oliver, Oscar, Owen, Parker, Reece, Reuben, Rhys, Robert, Ryan, Sam, Samuel, Sebastian, Stanley, Theo, Thomas, Tristan, William, Wyatt.
Girls: Aaliyah, Abigail, Aimee, Alexa, Alexandra, Alexis, Alice, Allison, Alyssa, Amber, Amelia, Amelie, Amy, Andrea, Angelina, Anna, Ariana, Arianna, Ashley, Aubrey, Audrey, Autumn, Ava, Avery, Bailey, Bella, Brianna, Brooke, Brooklyn, Camila, Caroline, Charlotte, Chloe, Claire, Daisy, Destiny, Eleanor, Elizabeth, Ella, Ellie, Emilia, Emily, Emma, Erin, Eva, Eve, Evelyn, Evie, Florence, Freya, Genesis, Georgia, Grace, Gracie, Hailey, Hannah, Harriet, Heidi, Hollie, Holly, Imogen, Isabel, Isabella, Isabelle, Isla, Isobel, Jasmine, Jessica, Jocelyn, Julia, Kaitlyn, Katherine, Katie, Kayla, Kayleigh, Keira, Khloe, Kimberley, Lauren, Layla, Leah, Lexi, Lexie, Liby, Lilly, Lily, Lola, Lucy, Lydia, Mackenzie, Madeline, Madelyn, Maisie, Makayla, Maria, Mariah, Matilda, Maya, Megan, Melanie, Mia, Millie, Molly, Morgan, Mya, Naomi, Natalia, Natalie, Niamh, Nicole, Olivia, Phoebe, Poppy, Rachel, Rebecca, Riley, Rose, Rosie, Ruby, Sara, Sarah, Samantha, Savannah, Scarlett, Serenity, Sienna, Skye, Sofia, Sophia, Sophie, Stella, Summer, Tilly, Trinity, Valeria, Victoria, Zara, Zoe, Zoey.
Read Full Post »