Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Song of Ice and Fire

Photo Courtesy of Beloved Photography

Firstly, apologies if you're reading this hoping for a list of names used in the books by George R.R. Martin. Since I'm doing nature names this month, I wanted to do a post on snow inspired names in honour of the Winter Olympics that are currently taking place in Sochi, Russia. But it's a little hard to think of snow and ice at the moment when we are currently experiencing a very hot summer here in Australia, and bush fires are raging across much of the state Victoria which I live in. So I thought why not have a look at my favourite picks from both sides.

Icy Names
Ice and snow means Winter, and for half of the globe it also means many happy holidays such as Christmas, New Years and Valentines Day. There's something special about the image of pure white snow and ice crystals blanketing the land. Like the title of the song 'Winter Wonderland' suggests, it's magical and enchanting, a feeling that many are trying to capture when they choose a wintry name. My personal favourites are:

For a Girl -Eirwen
Pronounced AYR-wen, this Welsh gem literally means 'snow white'. It comes from the words eira meaning 'snow' and gwen meaning 'white, blessed'. The pronunciation is not very intuitive for non Welsh speakers, which is probably why it has never charted in the U.S. I love the look of it though - it reminds me very much of a fairy princess.
Close Contenders - Eira, Frostine,  Neve, Nivea, Tuhina.

For a Boy - Frost
There's something about this sharp one syllable boys name that feels masculine and cool - both figuratively and literally. Not just a word name, Frost also means 'white haired' or 'born in a cold spell'. Although I've heard it mentioned a bit lately, and wintry names seem to be on the rise, this surname turned first name has only appeared on the SSA charts once - in 1916.
Close Contenders - Himesh, Neige, Pyry, Snowden, Tuhin.

Unisex Pick - Winter
It's the ultimate wintry name. It feels like a natural progression from long time popular seasonal names Summer and Autumn, yet feels the most wearable on boys. Possibly because the -er ending puts in in league with occupational names such as Carter, Hunter and Cooper. Currently it's more popular for girls (ranked #772 in 2012 as opposed to #3338 for boys) but given time that may change. It also makes for a great unexpected middle.
Close Contenders - Hima, Nevada, Snow.

Fiery Names
For some, fire can be comforting, conjuring images of snuggling up beside a warm fire with a cup of hot chocolate when it's cold outside. For others it's all about passion and spice - the things we love that make life interesting, fun and exciting. Either way, ever since the cavemen first discovered fire it gets our heart racing and helps to keep us alive. And like ice and snow it can be magical and wondrous. Some great names for your little firecracker include:

For a Girl - Edana
A Gaelic name that is pronounced ee-DAH-na, she's a feminine form of the extremely popular boys name Aiden and means 'fire'. She's rare in the U.S, and feels kind of like a smoosh between Eden and Alana but somehow a little more mysterious and noir feeling. She'll be a great option one day when people are looking to honour dads named Aiden, too.
Close Contenders - Aithne, Celosia, Edana, Fiametta, Lehava, Nandalia, Seraphina.

For a Boy - Brando
There are some great boys names with fire related meanings, but this one has real pizzazz. As an Italian variant of the Old English/Old Norse name Brand it means 'fiery torch' or 'beacon'. This name immediately conjures up thoughts of legendary movie sex symbol Marlon Brando, but that what makes it a handsome,  spunky choice. Brando was given to just 58 boys in the U.S in 2012.
Close Contenders - Aidan, Ashbel, Brando, Egan, Inigo, Kenneth, Keegan, Vulcan.

Unisex Pick -Ash
I have to admit I personally prefer Ash as a nickname on girls and as a given name on boys (thanks for that, Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi). I guess I'm not alone in this as it has consistently charted for boys every year since 1996, but only three times in that same time frame for girls.
I also love that it has dual nature meanings, also being a tree name. Maybe when Willow and Rowan have had their run, and the juggernaut that was Ashley has faded, people will rediscover the sleek simplicity that is Ash.
Close Contenders - Ash, Blaze, Ember, Flame, Kenna, Kimba, MacKenzie, Phoenix.

What are your favourites? Do you prefer the pure enchantment of ice and snow names, or the feisty passion of fire names? And could you make a sibset with these names?

1 comment:

  1. I love Frost, Winter and Ash, and also Seraphina, Inigo, Ember and Phoenix.

    Great fire and ice names!