Sunday, December 8, 2013


Photo courtesy of Molly Wassenaar Photography

What do you think when you hear the name Perdix? I'm guessing you're probably not thinking of the Christmas Carol 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', but that is the inspiration for todays' name.

To backtrack a little, I was reading a post at new name blog 'A Blooming Garden of Names' about the name Pyrus. I love this name! It's very rare and a super cool sounding nature name - and this blogger has given it to her son. Pyrus is a genus names for pear trees and shrubs, and one of the reasons she chose Pyrus (besides her love of nature names) was for it's association to 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', as her son was born at this time of the year. So I thought I'd take some inspiration from her and try to get in a name for each of the twelve days of Christmas before Christmas day.

And so back to Perdix. The line that inspired Pyrus is also the inspiration for Perdix - "a partridge in a pear tree". I'm not really a fan of Partridge or Pear as name possibilities, although interestingly, Pear appeared on the U.S SSA lists in 1923 when it was given to 6 girls that year.

Instead I thought I'd look a little into the story of the partridge. Legend (in Greek mythology) goes that the partridge first appeared when Daedalus threw his nephew Perdix off the sacred hill of Minerva (or a tower in many versions) in a jealous fit of rage. His grandmother the goddess Athena saved him mid-fall by turning him into a partridge, and branded Daedalus with the image of a partridge so he would never forget his crime.  It is thought that the bird avoids heights and is mainly a ground dweller because it is still mindful of that ill-fated fall. These origins are also reflected in the large number of partridge genus names that have Perdix in them.

Due to the above story, Perdix (pronounced PER-diks)  is considered a boys name meaning 'partridge'. Some versions give the nephew a different name, and say that Perdix was actually the name of Daedalus' sister, and hence it is a girls name meaning 'sister of Daedalus'. I'm not sure how this explains the fact that so many partridge genus' have Perdix in their name though, so I'm inclined to out more faith in it being a boys name. Really though, you could probably use Perdix for either gender.

This is a good pick if you are looking for a rare, never charted, little known mythological name. Nameberry this week also name Greek names as one of the top 12 naming trends for 2014, so Perdix would be right on trend without getting lost amongst the more popular Greek choices.  And I wouldn't be overly concerned about the dix sound in this name - the Dixons and Dixies of the world show that this needn't be a problem.

What do you think? Is Perdix wearable? I tend to think it could be, or maybe even Perdyx or Perdixx if you like your ends-in-X names to have a little more "oomph" at the end.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh now this is different! I never heard of this name before and it is a very interesting bird name.