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Husband has an acquaintance through work who has named his new daughter Xenon. Sort of like Zenia or Xena, in sound I suppose. The man is a chemist. (Daughter points out Xenon it is a noble gas, and if he is going for elements  at least he is not naming her lead or tin!)

Got me thinking about names. The Incryptid series has a so-far-unmet character named Antimony. That is actually very pretty.

I always thought Feldspar sounded like a boys name.

Fraggle Rock had a muppet named Cotter-pin. (For ages I had it mixed up with Catherpin, but they are different items, said differently. Mr Bush and Jack Aubrey are performing simultaneous head-desks, If fear.)

There are certainly enclaves of weird names in NYC. But old names are making a robust showing too My own daughter has a name that was popular 1000 years ago. But things were a little different then-- nobody was trying to be original. Names were not then, for that. But Jack and Henry are making a strong showing in Brooklyn. And I saw a little tiny on the bus the other day-- 2 and rather uncooperative. Her name, as the whole bus heard, was Helena. When she is older they can read her Marlowe.

What do you guys think?



( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 15th, 2014 04:15 pm (UTC)
Do you know the 1970s TV series, Sapphire and Steel?
Mar. 15th, 2014 09:55 pm (UTC)
Love it despite the logical silliness. Or maybe because of it.

Character names are Elements (says so in opening credits) that include gold, silver, but also steel, sapphire, jet...

Oh, and younger Joanna Lumley & David McCallum star. What's not to love?
Mar. 15th, 2014 04:18 pm (UTC)
I see trouble ahead. "Xenon? It's hard to get a reaction out of her," etc. Chemists can be so cruel...
Mar. 15th, 2014 05:15 pm (UTC)
I like that. I would call a boy Krypton
Mar. 15th, 2014 10:49 pm (UTC)
Hee. Made me laugh.
Mar. 15th, 2014 04:55 pm (UTC)
Xenon is sort of pretty, though my ears are so used to a-e vowels in girls names that it sounds more like a boys name to me. Xenan looks more like a girl name. Ah the arbitrariness of gender boundaries.

Obviously I'm pro-unique names though, since I totally made up my daughter's.
Mar. 15th, 2014 10:50 pm (UTC)
I love your little girl's name.
Mar. 15th, 2014 05:11 pm (UTC)
My son's nom de plume is Feldspar!!

I think parents should think long and hard about giving 'unusual' names. It often means their child will struggle in school with people being unable to spell/pronounce their name and teasing. "Cutesie combos" are to be avoided, too, in my opinion. My kids knew an unfortunate girl in school named Krystal . Unfortunate, because her last name was Shandaleer.
Mar. 15th, 2014 05:17 pm (UTC)
I like the idea for a girl's name as being Neon, as it lights up the night , in neon lamps. For a male, i would drop the n and call him Neo, as based on the main protagonist in The Matrix.
Mar. 15th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC)
Or maybe Nemo!
Mar. 15th, 2014 08:32 pm (UTC)
Xenon is rather cool. We made up our daughter's name, though it's based on a gaelic word that means either "secret" or "beloved". The same word in Norwegian means "witch"!
Mar. 15th, 2014 10:02 pm (UTC)
I like her name. It is nice also how it fits with your name, not the same, but related.
Mar. 15th, 2014 09:22 pm (UTC)
Herr Benz was inspired by his daughter's name...Mercedes
I share my 'unusual' name with the first and most beloved wife of the King/Emperor Charlemagne; 'saint' who was a composer, healer and ...well she was a nun which saved her from being burned as a witch.
I refuse to be mistaken for a nun!
2 actresses: the one who inspired my mother's choice and one who had a good career in England in the 60s and 70s and when she came to live in the same village that I had the misfortune to have to live in when I was 16 said gracefully "well then I shall always be 'the other xxxxx my dear' (she didn't need to worry - once i left to go to college I didn't go back!

I see names defined by Americans as 'weird' when they are perfectly average names outside of...of....Hicksville? One online quizz defined 'Melanie, Jean-Pierre' and others as 'weird'.

I like Xenon. I like to see old names revived.

Of course names can backfire: how many Puritans called daughters Patience and Charity only to find that their daughters were devoid of such qualities? Two TRUE (I promise) stories from when I worked in a 'difficult' area of 'projects' outside London. The Bottoms family and their daughters Rosie and Lilac. And the dear little boy, with an engaging smile and a will to get through the shit life threw at him. Black dad, white mum, (not a problem but in the context you'll understand I hope) cleft lip and palate, missing upper part of one ear; cross eyed and a limp from a deformed foot related to the same 'fusion' breakdown that gave him the cleft lip. this gorgeous but ...well not pretty....kid rejoiced in the name of ...... suspense got to you yet?................go on scroll down....

Tyrone Power!

Edited at 2014-03-15 09:24 pm (UTC)
Mar. 15th, 2014 10:00 pm (UTC)
Mercedes is my daughter's middle name. No reason, just liked it.

I knew several New England girls named Prudence and also Pricilla. Old names. Chastity seems to me more of a problem, it is specifically sexual. Prudence is just good judgement.</p>

Mar. 16th, 2014 03:50 pm (UTC)
didn't cher call her daughter (now son) chastity?
Mar. 15th, 2014 09:55 pm (UTC)
Molly, short for Molybdenum.
Mar. 15th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC)
I like that.
Mar. 16th, 2014 01:41 am (UTC)
My RL first name is not just old, it's foreign. It's not pretty (it always sounds harsh to my ear), and I've always disliked it. I don't intend to have kids, but if I did I'd likely give them some common first name. If I want to be creative, I'll do it on their middle name.

Helena is a great name though. It sounds so strong!
Mar. 16th, 2014 03:01 am (UTC)
I know what you mean. I always felt that my name should have gone on somebody graceful. I am not.

Helena is a a great name.

This little girl had a set of strong opinions too. Of course it makes me think of Dr Faustus.

'O, thou art fairer than the evening air
Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
When he appear'd to hapless Semele;
More lovely than the monarch of the sky
In wanton Arethusa's azur'd arms;
And none but thou shalt be my paramour'

Mar. 16th, 2014 02:05 pm (UTC)
In wanton Arethusa's azur'd arms;
And none but thou shalt be my paramour'

As you probably know, Arethusa was Ned's previous ship to the Indy -I think a poet among the officers (Not sonneteer Archie of course since he had not yet joined a Ned ship) might have exploited this bit of Faustus:)

She is known in Folksong as 'The Saucy Arethusa' - part of the Henry Wood fantasia on British Sea songs which is always played at the Last NIght of the Proms in London
Mar. 16th, 2014 02:33 pm (UTC)
My real name is Niamh, which is Irish (and fairly common) - it comes from mythology. It's pronounced Neeve, and people in Ireland have no problem with it. Now I've moved to the UK though, things are different. I'm called Nev or Neville at work. No, I don't know why that stuck, it just has.

Me, I like solid traditional names. Arthur, Henry, etc. For a girl I love Imogen, it's just so pretty. I also love Eleanor, but would be tempted to spell it like Austen (Elinor) or maybe even Tolkein (Elanor).

Names are so much fun, but can be very frustrating sometimes. Some characters are impossible to name...
Mar. 17th, 2014 10:41 pm (UTC)
I tend to give my story characters plainish names when I can. I have a hard time picking names too.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )