Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Quick Hello

Just a quick post today! I feel like I need to apologise to my regular readers as it has been a few weeks between posts now, which is pretty rare here at Baby Name Pondering.

Without going into too much detail, we've recently done our first cycle of IVF. I found it to be quite an emotional time, and the hormones left me feeling sore and tired most evenings, when I usually write posts. As I like to keep things mostly upbeat here, I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to be waxing lyrical abut what I find interesting and beautiful in names.

Unfortunately our first attempt was unsuccessful, but we plan to keep trying until it works for us. In other news though, I've started a second blog called Everything Else, which will basically chronicle those other things in my life besides names. It will definitely include our IVF journey, so if you are going down a similar path feel free to stop by. Hopefully there will be good news to share there before too long. I'll also share some of my craft projects, maybe the occasional recipe and probably some gratuitous photos of my adorable cat Luna and my Christmas decorations (which I have an unexplainable obsession with). And whatever else takes my fancy at the time.

And of course there will be new name posts coming soon here - I promise! There are still plenty of names and name related topics that I want to explore, so stay tuned. And most of all, thanks for reading

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Lisiantha

Photo Courtesy of Lindsay Wright Photography

Here's another pretty name from the floral world that is rare as hen's teeth. So rare she's never been given to more than 5 girls in any one year in the U.S, and is pretty much unheard of. Yet if blooms with exotic sounding names such as Wisteria, Amaryllis and Amarantha are seen as attractive possibilities, why not Lisiantha?

Lisiantha (pronounced LIZ-ee-an-thah or LISS-ee-an-thah) is a variant spelling of lisianthus. I have to admit to being a bit biased when it comes to this flower - I had lisianthus in my bridal bouquet when I got married, so it has a very sentimental place in my heart. I used two different shades of purple blooms (mixed with ivory roses), but the lisianthus also comes in pink, white and blue. It's also known by its' genus name Eustoma (meaning 'beautiful mouth'), Texas Bluebell, Prairie Gentian or Tulip Gentian.

The word Lisianthus comes from the Greek words lysis, meaning 'dissolution', and anthos, meaning 'flower'. Which seems somewhat ambiguous as a meaning, although popular thought is that this translates as symbolic of an outgoing and divisive nature. Other opinions are that the lisianthus symbolises appreciation; or deeply felt romantic attachment; or even old fashioned values and sentimentality because it often grows wild as a prairie flower.

So why has this pretty bloom been largely overlooked as a name option? It's possibly because the flower itself has not enjoyed the widespread popularity that many other flowers such as the rose has had. Word among growers and florists though is that demand for this flower has been increasing over the past decade, so looks like it may be just a matter of time before lovers of this flower start putting this flower name on birth certificates.

While technically the flower name is Lisianthus, I have a feeling that variants Lisiantha/Lysiantha and Lisianthe/Lysianthe (pronounced LIZ-ee-an-thee) will be the ones to watch. Names ending in "us" tend to be mostly masculine, whereas "a" endings are popularly feminine. They feel like a fresher update of Lisandra, while or the "the" ending makes it feel like an elaboration of names like Ianthe or Xanthe. Both could make great nickname options, with other possibilities being Anthe, Antha, Liss, Lissa, Liz, Lizzie, Ann or the less obvious Sia.

Sia is actually the nickname used by the character Lisianthus in the Japanese series 'Shuffle!' 'Shuffle!' started as a visual novel, and has been adapted into video games, manga and anime. It's a great source for floral naming inspiration, as "all of the characters' names are references to flowers in some way".

Lisiantha would be a charming, different but not weird floral option for a girl today. It feels pretty and feminine; soft and lacy; with just enough spunk to be interesting and refreshing. It's the kind of name that would receive plenty of compliments, and leave people wondering why they haven't heard this name used more often. What do you think - is Lisiantha bursting with unfulfilled potential, or has she remained overlooked and largely ignored for a reason?

My beautiful wedding bouquets with purple lisianthus
Made with love by my mum ☺

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?