Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hazen

Hazen Audel on 'Survive the Tribe'

Recently Nancy shared some of her name predictions, in which she mentioned Seanix, who is on the show 'Treehouse Masters'. I was intrigued - it certainly seems like the kind of name that would catch on in our era of all boys names "X". But while checking out this show, I also stumbled across one called 'Survive the Tribe'.

This show stars Hazen Audel, a survivalist who visits remote tribes to live with them as they do. He seems like quite an interesting person. He's an adventurer, explorer and biologist who has worked as a survival instructor, jungle guide and high school biology teacher. Oh yeah, and he's also an artist. Busy man.

Hazen strikes me as such a cool name - I have a feeling Hazen could be a real winner. He's not totally unheard of, but is pretty rare. He has charted more often than not in the U.S since 1896 but has never been given to more than 52 children in a year. That was in 2011, and they were all boys, although there were three years in the past decade when it charted for girls too. It has the potential to rise much higher though. Girls name Hazel has been climbing since 1994, currently charting at #157. Sound-alike boys name Hayes has also been rising - it entered the top 1000 in 2009 and has continued to climb since then. So there's no denying that Hazen has a sound that many people find attractive.

Speaking of Hayes, most sources claim that Hazen (pronounced HAY-zen) is a variant of Hayes, and hence has the same meaning as Hayes of 'hedged area'. It's also possibly a form of Sanskrit name Hasin, which means 'laughing', although for Western use it's more likely it was adopted from surnames Hayes and Hazen. It's most likely that you'll have seen Hazen as a surname, although famous faces with Hazen as a first name include baseball player Hazen "Kiki" Cuyler, Canadian politician Hazen Argue and American politician Hazen S Pingree. It's also a place name in many parts of the U.S.

Maybe one of those places has a personal meaning to you. Maybe you like the cool nickname possibility Haze. Or maybe you just really like it's sound. There are plenty of things to like about Hazen. He feels at home among nature choices like Oakley, Moss and River; or classic names like Jasper, Brooks and Noah. What kind of vibe do you get from Hazen - and would you use it?


Monday, August 4, 2014

Taggart

All too often we find that we never give a name a second thought until something happens that makes you see it in a different light. That happened to me this weekend with Taggart.

Like many people, I was spending some time browsing Pinterest when I came across this pin of a cute personalised teddy bear from Etsy store World Class Embroidery.

I was sold - I could totally picture a baby Taggart with his cute little monkey.

And why not? He fits in so well with the surname trend. Taggart is roguish and rascally, a rough and tumble lad with intelligence and charm in spades. Somewhat how I'd envision a modern day Tom Sawyer to be.

Taggart (pronounced TA-gurt) is a Gaelic name derived from McTaggart/MacTaggart. These surnames are Anglicisations of the Gaelic phrase "Mac-an-t-Sagairt" meaning 'son of the priest (or prelate)'. So how did it get to be such a  widespread surname when priests weren't legally allowed to marry after the 12th century? Apparently these laws were often ignored and priests frequently married anyway. It's also possible it was given to people who were simply suspected of being the son of a priest.

Photo Courtesy of
Kimberley G Photography
Taggart is not often seen as a given name in the U.S. It first charted there in 1964 and in 2013 was ranked #3152, the highest it has ever climbed. This still make sit quite rare, and you don't have to go too in depth to get a couple of notions as to why that may be.

Firstly, there's the suggestion that it sounds like discount store Target. Or that there are at least two rhyming options that would lead to inevitable schoolyard teasing. I've also seen it derided as sounding like a name that Sarah Palin would use, closely followed by the observation that it actually is the name of Mitt Romney's son (he goes by the preppy nickname Tag). Then there's the TV show that was my first association with Taggart. 'Taggart' is a serious Scottish detective drama featuring main character Detective Taggart. Unfortunately he's not quite the young, brooding, handsome sleuth we often see on TV these days. The show was very popular though and ran for 28(!) years, ending just a few years ago.

Despite these, I think Taggart could be quite the surprising hit. I could easily see him as a brother to Rafferty, Killian, Kendrick or Llewellyn. Then I saw this last little tidbit that I adore. Apparently the Taggart motto is "Ratione non vi", which means "By reason, not by force". I can just picture it printed above a young Taggarts crib in his nursery. And what a beautiful sentiment it is to raise a child by.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cheesy Baby Names


Like Penryn, another building that I pass everyday on the way to work is named Monterey. It's such a lovely sounding word, one that would probably work well as a persons name. And why not? Back in the 80's, I was a big fan of a cartoon called 'Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers'. The show featured the existing chipmunk characters of Chip and Dale, plus their new friends Gadget Hackwrench, a young female mouse and the team's pilot, mechanic and inventor, and little housefly and sidekick, Zipper. But my favourite was the burly adventuring Australian mouse named Monterey Jack – Monty to his friends, and Cheeser to his mum.

So I find it easy to see Monterey as a name. Cheeser or Cheese not so much. And apparently most people have similar feelings. Headlines were made late 2013 when BabyCenter released results of a survey of half a million American parents that revealed that three of those parents named their child Cheese in 2013. Three is not enough children to show up on the official SSA lists, so we can't really verify if that is true or not. We can only hope that those three responded incorrectly as a joke.

Although Cheese as a given name leaves a child open to ridicule, there are plenty of other ways to subtly honour your love of (or obsessive cravings for) cheese with your choice of name for your child. And it's been a while since I did a “just-for-the-fun-of-it” list, so here goes!

Abertam
Caravene
Lairobell
Rubens
Airedale
Carlow
Leafield
Rushan
Alverca
Colby
Leyden
Sakura
Ambert
Crescenza
Malvern
Samso
Ambrosiana
Croghan
Margotin
Sardo
Ameribella
Crowley
Maribo
Siraz
Anari
Crozier
Minas
Sirene
Aura
Derby
Montasio
Stilton
Azeitao
Dunlop
Mycella
Tala
Balaton
Emlett
Myzithra
Teifi
Banon
Esrom
Niolo
Telemea
Beaufort
Filetta
Nis
Toma
Berkswell
Finn
Orda
Tometta
Bosworth
Friesla
Orla
Tommes
Braudostur
Gowrie
Parenica
Ulloa
Brick
Graviera
Parrano
Vacherin
Brie
Kenafa
Penbryn
Wellington
Brin
Kernhem
Piora
Wensleydale
Bryndza
Kiri
Rodoric
Winnimere
Capretta
Kishta
Roncal
Zamorano
Capriola
Korall
Roquefort
Zimbro


Thanks to Cheese.Com and Wikipedia for the great ideas

What do you think – would you consider using any of these? Or is the idea just too “cheesy” for you?