Naming Sprout was one of the hardest things to do. I wanted a name that was distinctive, without being really weird. Something that picked up on some of our ethnic background, though with Welsh, English, French, Belgian, Swedish, German & Polish in the mix, this was a tall order. We wrestled with names all the way through the pregnancy & didn't actually settle on Sprout's official name until he was a week old. We still rarely use it & he's only recently started to recognize it as his name, at the age of two.
Anyway, here's our list, annotated with what I found on the origins & famous people with the same names.
- Bastien (I prefer the french spelling) - short form of Sebastian, of Greek origin, meaning "revered". The original form of this name referred to those from a particular city or region of Asia minor, whose Greek name was from the Latin imperial title "Augustus". Saint Sebastian, probably a native of that place, was a third-century martyred centurion who became patron saint of soldiers. Shakespeare gave the name to the twin brother of Viola in "Twelfth Night". British use since the 1940s may have been influenced by a character in Evelyn Waugh's popular "Brideshead Revisited". Sebastien is popular in France.
- Byron (as a middle name perhaps) - of Old English origin, meaning "at the byres or barn". Place name & surname often used as a given name. Lord Byron in the 1850s was a poet famous for his wildness & debauchery. Literary: the variant form Biron was the name of a character in Shakespeare's "Love's Labours Lost".
- Falco (also "Falcon", the name of "Balloon Boy") - of Latin origin. A surname having to do with falconry. Who could forget the famous Austrian 80s glam-pop artist, Falco? "Rock me Amadeus!" Falke is a German form.This particular name lost because of the initials it would produce. No matter what the middle name was, when combined with our surnames you get: F_C-K. Not going to lay that one on my child.
- Haldor - from the Old Norse name Hallþórr, which meant "Thor's rock". Hallr "rock", combined with the name of the Norse god Þórr (Thor). Also a character (?) in World of Warcraft: "Haldor the Compulsive". A very manly name. Maybe too manly.
- Joachim (German pronunciation: yo-AH-km) - of Hebrew origin, meaning "established by God". Short form of the Hebrew name Jehoichin. According to medieval Catholic tradition, Joachim was the name of the Virgin Mary's father. Composer Josquin Des Pres; actor Joaquin Phoenix. Not sure anyone would ever pronounce it the way we would. Also a bit too religious for my tastes.
- Kiefer - of German origin, meaning "barrel maker". Variant of Cooper. "Kiefer" also means pine tree in German. Celebrity association: the ever-scrappy actor Kiefer Sutherland. Also the name of our friends' giant black hairy dog.
- Lyndon - of Old English origin, meaning "linden tree hill". Often a surname. American President Lyndon Baines Johnson, Canadian journalist Linden MacIntyre. But not because of Trevor Linden.
- Maximilian - of Latin origin, meaning "greatest". The name of three Roman emperors & various saints. Popular in Germany. Interestingly enough, there are tons of variants on this name: Mac, Mack, Maks, Maksim, Maksym, Maksymilian, Massimiliano, Massimo, Max, Maxey, Maxemilian, Maxemilion, Maxie, Maxim, Maxime, Maximilian, Maximiliano, Maximilianus, Maximilien, Maximillian, Maximino, Maximo, Maximos, Maxy, Maxymilian & Maxymillian.
- Oren - of Hebrew, Irish and Gaelic origin, meaning "ash or pine tree; fair, pale". Was somewhat popular in the US about a hundred years ago. Also spelled "Orin", which happens to be one of my favourite varieties of apple. Considering how fair Sprout turned out to be, this would have been an appropriate name.
- Stirling - a variant of Sterling (English), meaning "genuine, of high quality". Also sounds a bit like the annoying, raspy little starling, an invasive species brought from England. This name felt just a tiny bit too pretentious somehow.
What names were in the running when you named your child(ren)? Share in the comments below!
Nothing says “best gift ever” like a gray fox!
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