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Archive for the ‘Latin Names’ Category

Florea

Time for some more name inspiration from Latin.

These are the gems that F has to offer — and words which sound delightful but leave much to be desired in their meaning!

  • Faba — “broad bean” (the word behind names such as Fabia and Fabian)
  • Fabella — “little story”
  • FaberFabra — “skillful,” “ingenious”; as a noun, it means “smith” and “craftsperson”
  • Fabula — “talk,” “story,” “fable”
  • Fabularis — “mythical”
  • Fabulosus, Fabulosa — “fabled”
  • Facetus, Faceta — “fine,” “elegant,” “witty”
  • Faeneus, Faenea — “made of hay”
  • Fagus — “beech-tree”
  • Falco — “falcon”
  • Falx — “sickle”
  • Fama — “talk,” “rumor,” “fame” — personified as a the Goddess Fama — by the Romans
  • Famosus, Famosa — “famous”
  • Far — “spelt”
  • Farina — “flour”
  • Farreus, Farrea — “made of spelt”
  • Fas — “divine law”
  • Fautrix — “patroness”
  • Favilla — “glowing ashes,” “spark”
  • Favus — “honeycomb”
  • Fax — “torch,” “firebrand,” “flame,” “light”
  • Femella — “young woman,” “girl”
  • Ferax — “fruitful,” “fertile,” “prolific”
  • Feriae — “festivals”
  • Ferinus, Ferina — “wild”
  • Feritas — “wilderness”
  • Fero — “I bear,” “I produce,” “I bring,” etc
  • Ferox — “fierce,” “courageous,” “wild”
  • Ferula — “fennel”
  • Ferus, Fera — “wild”
  • Festinatio — “speed”
  • Festinus, Festina — “hurrying”
  • Festivus, Festiva — “festive,” “merry”
  • Festus, Festa — “festive”
  • Fidelia — “earthenware pot”
  • Fidelis — “faithful”
  • Fidentia — “confidence,” “boldness”
  • Fides — “trust,” “confidence,” “belief,” “faith”; “lyre,” “lute,” “harp”
  • Fidicen, Fidicina — “harp/lute/lyre-player,” “lyric poet”
  • Filia — “daughter”
  • Filius — “son”
  • Filix — “fern”
  • Finis — “boundary,” “limit,” “end,” “summit”
  • Firmus, Firma — “firm,” “strong”
  • Flagrantia — “burning,” “blazing,” “glittering”
  • Flamen — “priest”; “blowing,” “blast”
  • Flamma — “flame”
  • Flavens — “yellow/gold-colored”
  • Flavus, Flava — “golden-yellow” (the adjective behind the name Flavia, etc)
  • Flexus — “bending,” “turning,” “modulation”
  • Floreus, Florea — “made of flowers”
  • Florifer, Florifera — “bearing flowers”
  • Flos — “flower”
  • Flumen — “stream”
  • Fons — “spring,” “fountain”
  • Forma — “form,” “figure,” “manner,” “beauty”
  • Formosus, Formosa — “beautiful”
  • Fortuna — “fate,” “luck,” “fortune”
  • Frater — “brother”
  • Fraxineus, Fraxinea — “of ash-wood”
  • Fraxinus — “ash-tree”
  • Frons — “leaf,” “foliage”
  • Frugifer, Frugifera — “fruit-bearing”
  • Fulgor — “lightning”
  • Fulgur — “flash of lightning”
  • Fulmen — “lightning”
  • Fulmineus, Fulminea — “of lightning,” “like lightning”
  • Fulvus, Fulva — “tawny yellow” (the adjective behind the name Fulvia, etc)
  • Furvus, Furva — “dark,” “black”

And the loathlies:

  • Fallax — “treacherous”
  • Fallo — “I deceive”
  • Fames — “hunger”
  • Fastus — “pride,” “arrogance”
  • Febris — “fever”
  • Fel — “gallbladder,” “bitterness”
  • Ferreus, Ferrea — “like iron,” “unfeeling,” “cruel,” “unyielding”
  • Fessus, Fessa — “tired,” “exhausted”
  • Fleo — “I weep”
  • Foedus, Foeda — “filthy,” “horrible”
  • Fossa — “ditch”
  • Fraus — “deceit,” “delusion,” “crime”
  • Frivolus, Frivola — “worthless”
  • Furax — “thievish”
  • Furcifer — “gallows-bird,” “scoundrel”

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With Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Names at last completed and gone forth into the big bad world, this week’s pick of the week — the lovely and evocative Elysia — is a thank you to Llewellyn’s Elysia Gallo, who, throughout the whole process of writing and editing, was so supportive, helpful and encouraging.

I have to say, I am very jealous of Elysia’s name — and I absolutely love it. As a girl’s name, it is found in the records from the seventeenth century, though it is clear that, especially in many early cases, it was mixed up with Alicia —  sometimes also Eliza.

But it is also clear that for others, the association intended was clearly Elysium…

Elysium itself is the Latin form of the Greek Êlusion.

This is the name the Ancient Greeks gave to the part of the Underworld reserved for heroes, righteous individuals selected by the Gods, and initiates of the mystery cults, particularly the Mysteries of Eleusis.

It is probable, but not certain, that Elysium and Eleusis share the same origin. And, if not, they have certainly been blurred together since ancient times.

The Eleusinian Mysteries are probably the best-known of the ancient Mystery cults; they are, indeed, the Mysteries. Centred on the small town of Eleusis in Attica, and within walking distance of Athens, the focus of the Mysteries were Demeter and Persephone, in her maiden aspect, Kore.

Unfortunately, the exact rites, rituals and beliefs of the initiated are, quite literally, a mystery. Absolute secrecy regarding practices and beliefs among initiates was a major component, and they those ancient initiates took their secrets with them to Elysium.

However, enough clues do survive, in the form of oblique references, and archaeological remains, including wall-paintings and mosaics, for scholars across the ages to have pieced together some of it.

The rites included fasting, consumption of ritual drink, the showing of special objects, the re-enactment of the myth of Demeter and Persephone, and revelation of secrets.

To reveal those secrets to a non-initiate, the penalty was death.

It is thought that the Eleusinian Mysteries date back to Mycenaean times (i.e. the second millennium BCE); in decline from the second century, they were banned by the new Christian elite in 396 CE.

The etymology of Eleusis and Elysium are as shrouded as the practices — though by passage of immense time, rather than by design.

The most obvious derivation of Eleusis is from the Greek erkhomai “to come.” Eleusis “coming,” is also a variant of the noun êlusis, which carries the prosaic meaning of “step.”

But a credible and alluring alternative explanation is that its actual origins lie with another Greek word — enêlusios “struck by lightning”; ta enêlusia was a name given to places set apart from worldly uses because they had been struck by lightning.

A further intriguing option is that the roots of Elysium actually lie with the Egyptian: jArw “rush,” a reference to sxt-jArw the “fields of rushes,” which was a similar concept to Elysium in Egyptian religion, ruled over by Osiris.

Given the long history of trade between Greece and Egypt, it is perfectly plausible that this notion would find its way into the Greek belief system.

Both Greek and Latin have adjectival forms of Elysium — Greek êlusios, Latin Elysius. They were used of Elysium and its queen, Persephone, and are often translated as “Elysian,” most famously in the expression Elysian Fields, a translation of the Latin campi Elysii.

In English today, “Elysia” is frequently used interchangeably with “Elysium.” Although its original use was quite specific, it has come into general use to mean “paradise,” passing, largely without hint of irony, into Christian language and iconography too.

As well as Elysia herself, Elysian makes a noteworthy name choice — and could also be used for a boy, as could Elysion, the usual Anglicized form of the original Greek Êlusion, which is sometimes found (mostly in poetry) as a variant spelling of Elysium.

As a name, there are a number of variant spellings, such as Elisia, Elizia and Elyzia. Elyse also wanders into the category, demonstrating the distinct blurring at the edges between Elysia with Alicia, Alice, Elise, Eliza and Lisa.

Certainly, Elysia presents an unusual, meaningful but also very contemporary alternative to those names, especially for a Pagan parent looking for a name with deep and strong Pagan roots.

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Era

Here are some more tempting delights from Latin, just waiting to be adopted as names…

And their dark side; those with lovely sounds but loathly meanings.

The Lovelies:

  • Ebenus — “ebony tree”
  • Ebur — “ivory”
  • Efferus, Effera — “very wild”
  • Effigia — “likeness”
  • Egregius, Egregia — “excellent,” “extraordinary”
  • Eia — an expression of joy and surprise
  • Elegantia — “refinement,” “grace”
  • Elegia — “elegy”
  • Eminentia — “prominence”
  • Eno — “I swim out,” “I fly away”
  • Ensifer — “sword-bearing”
  • Ensiger — “sword-bearing”
  • Ensis — “sword”
  • Enthymema — “thought,” “line of thought”
  • Ephemeris — “journal,” “diary”
  • Ephorus — a type of Spartan magistrate; used as a given name in Ancient Greece
  • Epicus, Epica — “epic”
  • Epitheca — “an addition”
  • Epulo — “feaster”
  • Equa — “mare”
  • Eques — “knight”
  • Equester — “equestrian”
  • Equinus, Equina — “relating to horses”
  • Era — “lady,” “mistress (of a house)”
  • Ericius — “hedghog”
  • Erilis — “of a master/mistress”
  • Erus — “master”
  • Euax — “good!” (exclamation)
  • Excelsus, Excelsa — “lofty,” “distinguished”
  • Exter — “foreign,” “from abroad,” “strange,” “different”

The Loathlies:

  • Ebriosa — “drink-loving”
  • Ebrius, Ebria — “drunk”
  • Edax — “greedy,” “glutonous”
  • Egenus, Egena — “needy,” “destitute”
  • Egestas — “poverty”
  • Elixus, Elixa — “boiled,” “sodden”
  • Emax — “shopoholic”
  • Eneco “I kill off,” “I torture”
  • Esca — “food,” “bait,” “titbits”
  • Exta — “entrails”

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Want an unusual name, but one with a bit of clout?

Latin has been a popular source of such names since well, Roman times!

But you have to be careful… some Latin words look great, but have less than attractive meanings:

Lovelies:

  • Damma — “fallow-dear”
  • Daphnon — “grove of laurels”
  • Daps — “sacrifical feast,” “religious banquet”
  • Dapsilis — “sumptuous”
  • Dator — “giver”
  • Deamatus, Deamata — “loved dearly”
  • Decem — “ten”
  • Decentia — “propriety”, “decency”
  • Decorus, Decora — “graceful,” “beautiful”
  • Decus — “that which adorns,” “honor,” “glory”
  • Dextella — “little right hand”
  • Diadema — “diadem,” “crown”
  • Dialis — “relating to Jupiter”
  • Dignus, Digna — “worthy,” “deserving respect”
  • Dispar — “different”
  • Diurnus, Diurna — “belonging to the day”
  • Dius, Dia — “divine”
  • Divinus, Divina — “divine”
  • Dulcedo — “sweetness”
  • Dulcifer, Dulcifera — “sweet”

Loathlies:

  • Danista — “moneylender”
  • Debilis — “weak,” “feeble”
  • Dedecus — “shame,” “dishonor”
  • Delator — “informer,” “denouncer”
  • Deletrix — “that which destroys”
  • Delirus, Delira — “silly,” “stupid”
  • Depugis — “without buttocks”
  • Desaevio — “I rage violently”
  • Deses — “lazy”
  • Desidia — “idleness,” “apathy”
  • Dilator — “loiterer”
  • Dirus, Dira — “terrible,” “dire”
  • Dolabra — “pick-axe”
  • Doliaris — “tubby”
  • Dolor — “pain,” “anguish”
  • Duramen — “hardness”
  • Duritia — “hardness,” “harshness,” “austerity”
  • Dureta — “wooden bath-tub”

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I have been trawling through my old Latin dictionary once more, digging out some more gems — and duds.

The Lovelies:

  • Caecias — “north-east wind”
  • Caelator — “engraver,” “carver”
  • Caelestis — “heavenly”
  • Caelifer, Caelifera — “bearing the heavens”
  • Caeruleus, Caerulea — “blue”
  • Caesius, Caesia — “bluish-grey”
  • Calcar — “spur”
  • Calix — “goblet”
  • Calor — “warmth”
  • Caltha — a plant, probably the marigold
  • Camella — “goblet”
  • Canor — “melody”
  • Cantamen — “incantation”
  • Caprea — “roe-deer”
  • Carex — “rush,” “sedge”
  • Cassis, Cassida — a type of helmet
  • Castanea — “chestnut-tree”
  • Castimonia — “purity”
  • Castus, Casta — “pure,” “clean”
  • Cedrus — “cedar”
  • Celeber — “celebrated,” “famous”
  • Celer — “quick”
  • Celox — “quick”
  • Cerintha — the waxflower
  • Cerinus, Cerina — “wax-colored”
  • Chalybs — “steel”
  • Chara  — a type of edible root
  • Ciris — a type of bird
  • Cistella — “little box”
  • Cithara — a type of instrument
  • Clinamen — “inclination”
  • Coluber, Colubra — “serpent”
  • Columen — “that which is raised high”
  • Columna — “column,” “support”
  • Comiter — “kindly”
  • Concha — “sea-shell”
  • Conviva — “guest,” “table-companion”
  • Cornicen — “horn-blower”
  • Corniger, Cornigera — “horned”
  • Cornix — “crow”
  • Cornu — “horn”
  • Corona — “crown”
  • Corvus — “raven”
  • Cottana — a type of small fig
  • Crista — “crest”
  • Croceus, Crocea — “of the crocus,” “golden-yellow”
  • Culter — “knife”
  • Cura — “carefulness,” “care”
  • Currus — “chariot”

The Loathlies:

  • Caenosus, Caenosa — “muddy”
  • Caepa — “an onion”
  • Calamister — “curling-iron (for the hair)”
  • Calva — “bald patch”
  • Cantharis — “beetle”
  • Caper — “he-goat,” “the smell under the arm-pits”
  • Carcer — “prison”
  • Caris — a type of crab
  • Catasta — the name given to a stage on which slaves were exposed in a market
  • Catena — “chain,” “fetter”
  • Cena — “dinner”
  • Cenula — “little meal”
  • Cera — “wax”
  • Ceroma — a type of ointment made of wax used by wrestlers
  • Chane — “sea-perch”
  • Cheragra — “gout in the hands”
  • Cimex — “bug”
  • Cinis — “ashes” (specifically cremation ashes)
  • Clades — “destruction”
  • Clava — “knotty staff”
  • Cloaca — “sewer”
  • Clunis — “buttocks”
  • Collyra — a type of pastry broken into broth
  • Contumelia — “outrage”
  • Cordyla — the fry of the tunny-fish; “mackerel”
  • Crambe — “cabbage”
  • Cruor — “gore,” “murder”
  • Culex — “gnat”
  • Curtus, Curta — “shortened,” “mutilated”

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Ever since Roman times, people have been coining names from Latin.

A couple of weeks ago I featured a number of Latin words beginning with “A” which are yet to be used as given names, but which have considerable potential.

There were also those which looked and sounded pretty cool, but had pretty awful meanings.

Here are some interesting options — and some perhaps to steer clear of — from “B”.

  • Babae — an exclamation of joy; “wonderful”
  • Baca — “berry”
  • Bacatus, Bacata — “set with pearls”
  • Baccha — a female worshipper of Bacchus (Dionysus — Bacchae is used as the name of a play by Euripides)
  • Bacchanal — the place where the festival of Bacchus was held
  • Balanus — “acorn” (technically feminine)
  • Beatulus, Beatula — “blessed little one”
  • Bellaria — “dessert (consisting of fruit, nuts, confectionary and sweet wine)”
  • Bellator — “warrior”
  • Bellicus, Bellica — “relating to war,” “warlike”
  • Belliger — “warlike”
  • Beneficus, Benefica — “kind,” “generous”
  • Benevolentia — “good-will,” “friendly disposition”
  • Benevolus, Benevola — “kind,” “well-disposed”
  • Benignus, Benigna — “kind,” “friendly”
  • Beta — “vegetable,” “beet” (also the second letter of the Greek alphabet)
  • Bicornis — “two-horned”; used poetically of the new moon
  • Bombyx — “silk-worm,” “silk”
  • Bonitas — “goodness,” “excellence”
  • Bonus, Bona — “good”
  • Boria — a type of jasper
  • Bractea — “a thin plate of metal,” “gold leaf”
  • Bracteola — ” a thin leaf of gold”
  • Bruma — “winter solstice”
  • Brumalis — “belonging to the winter solstice”
  • Bucina — a type of trumpet, specifically a shepherd’s horn or a military trumpet
  • Bucula — “heifer”
  • Buxus — “box-tree” (techincally feminine)

And the loathlies:

  • Ballista — a piece of military equipment for throwing large stones
  • Barbula — “a little beard”
  • Bardus, Barda — “stupid,” “dull”
  • Baris — “(Egyptian) barge”
  • Baro — “simpleton,” “blockhead”
  • Bilis — “gall,” “bile”
  • Blatta — “cockroach”
  • Blennus — “stupid fellow”
  • Bucaeda — “one who is beaten with the thongs of ox-hide”
  • Bucca — “the cheek,” “bawler,” “parasite”
  • Bucco — “foolish fellow”
  • Buthysia — “a sacrifice of oxen”

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Latin has always been a popular source of names — partly because of its classical associations, partly because its sinuous, silky sound produces many a melodious word.

Sometimes such words belie a less than attractive meaning!

Starting with ‘A’, here is a selection of Latin words not yet in use as names, which look, sound and mean nice:

  • Acerra— a casket for keeping incense
  • Adamas — ‘hardest steel’, ‘adamant’, ‘diamond’
  • Aedes — ‘temple’
  • Aegis — ‘shield’, specifically of Jupiter or Minerva
  • Aequor — ‘the sea’
  • Aetherius, Aetheria — ‘belonging to ether/the upper air’, ‘heavenly’
  • Ager — ‘land’, ‘field’
  • Agrestis — ‘belonging to the fields’
  • Alacer, Alacris — ‘quick’, ‘lively’, ‘animated’
  • Alcedo — ‘kingfisher’
  • Ales — ‘winged’
  • Algus — ‘cold’
  • Alica – ‘spelt’, also a drink made from it
  • Aliger, Aligera — ‘winged’
  • Amatrix — ‘sweetheart’
  • Amoenus, Amoena — ‘sweet’, ‘pleasant’
  • Amnis — ‘stream of water’, ‘river’
  • Ancora — ‘anchor’
  • Annona — ‘yearly produce’, ‘crop’, ‘harvest'; also the name of a Goddess who personified the year.
  • Apiana — ‘belonging to bees’
  • Arator — ‘ploughman’
  • Arboreus, Arborea — ‘belonging to the trees’
  • Arcus — ‘bow’, ‘rainbow’, ‘arch’
  • Argenteus, Argentea — ‘of silver’
  • Arista — ‘ear of grain’, ‘harvest’
  • Armilla — ‘bracelet’
  • Arula — ‘little altar’
  • Arx — ‘fortress’, ‘citadel’, ‘refuge’, ‘protection’
  • Asper, Aspera — ‘wild’, ‘stormy’, ‘rough’, ‘severe’
  • Astus — ‘cleverness’, ‘astuteness’
  • Audax — ‘daring’, ‘bold’
  • Aurifer, Aurifera — ‘gold-bearing’
  • Aurigena — ‘gold-born’ — an epithet of Perseus
  • Auriger, Aurigera — ‘gold-bearing’
  • Auspex — the name of a diviner who observed the behaviour of birds; source of English ‘auspicious”
  • Auster — the South Wind
  • Autumna — ‘of autumn/the fall’
  • Avena  — ‘oats’
  • Avidus, Avida — ‘vehemently desiring’, in both a good and bad sense
  • Avius, Avia — ‘out of the way’, ‘wandering’, ‘remote'; avia also means ‘grandmother’
  • Axis — ‘axle’, ‘axis of the earth’

And here are a few which look and sound good — but leave a bit to be desired in their meaning!

  • Alazon — ‘braggart’, ‘boaster’
  • Alea — a dice game; ‘chance’, ‘risk’
  • Aleator — ‘gambler’
  • Aleo — ‘gambler’
  • Alvus — ‘belly’
  • Amara — ‘bitter’
  • Amentia — ‘insanity’
  • Amystis — ‘the emptying of a goblet in one go’
  • Anas — ‘a duck’
  • Andron — ‘corridor’
  • Anilis — ‘like an old woman’
  • Anser — ‘goose’
  • Arvina — ‘fat’, ‘lard’
  • Asellus/Asella — ‘little ass’, ‘donkey’
  • Asinus/Asina — ‘ass’, ‘donkey’
  • Ater, Atra — ‘dead black’, ‘dark’, ‘gloomy’, ‘sad’, ‘malicious’, ‘poisonous’
  • Avara — ‘greedy’, ‘covetous’

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