2021 stats in review

I know I totally dropped the ball yet again and wasn’t nearly as consistent with posting in 2021 as I had hoped to be, apart from Blogging from A to Z April. My utmost apologies for not keeping to a more regular schedule and paying more attention to my primary blog, though my Dantean posts were my main focus in 2021 on account of the landmark septcentennial death anniversary year. I also had other things to preoccupy me.

Being the kind of oppositional, nonconformist person I am, I never make New Year’s resolutions, but I’d like to try to finally resume a more regular posting schedule here. Perhaps one post a week, at least. I still have a number of topics I’ve not yet gotten around to, and would love to hear readers’ suggestions.

My Top 10 most-viewed posts in 2021 were:

“Steely, metallic names,” published 23 June 2017, at 3,578 views in 2021 and 9,824 overall. This is still my most-viewed post of all time. (Always the ones you least suspect!)

“Doll and puppet names,” published 12 October 2020, at 3,539 views in 2021 and 3,593 overall. This has become my fifth-most-viewed post.

“The great and powerful Ing (and the names he spawned),” published 3 December 2017, at 2,374 views in 2021 and 4,103 overall. This has risen to become my third-most viewed post of all time.

“Apple names,” published 21 October 2017, at 1,917 views in 2021 and 6,199 overall. This is still my next-most-viewed post ever.

“Thor-inspired names,” published 23 February 2019, at 1,198 views in 2021 and 1,480 overall. Norse mythology has become very popular, particularly on account of the movies featuring Norse deities like Thor and Loki. This is now my tenth-most-viewed post.

“The many nicknames for Katherine,” published 8 February 2017, at 1,030 views in 2021 and 3,845 overall. This is my fourth-most-viewed post of all time.

“The many forms of Joshua,” published 21 November 2019, at 977 views in 2021 and 995 overall.

“Nocturnal names,” published 5 October 2016, at 875 views in 2021 and 2,717 overall. This is my sixth-most-viewed post ever.

“Dusty, screaming shrieking names,” published 12 October 2017, at 771 views in 2021 and 1,762 overall. This is still my ninth-most viewed post.

“Names with heart,” published 13 February 2017, at 734 views in 2021 and 2,067 overall. This slipped one position to become my eighth-most-viewed post to date.

Please let me know if there are any topics or names you’d like me to cover in 2022!

All about Theodore

It’s been four months since I last posted, despite my plans to post more often on my secondary blog this year. Since March, my main blogging focus has been on my Dantean posts on my primary blog (which I’ve also been converting into vlogs), so this one fell by the wayside. Let’s get back into the swing of things with a post about my third-fave male name! I had a 2016 post spotlighting my fave forms of Theodore, but haven’t had a full post devoted to every form of the name.

Theodore is an English name which derives from Greek Theodoros (gift of God). The female name Dorothea comes from the same roots, only in reverse. Theodoros was a popular name in Classical Greece, and it remained popular after the advent of Christianity, due to several saints with the name. However, this name wasn’t very popular in the Anglophone world till the 19th century.

Theodore was on the U.S. Top 100 from 1880–1944 and 1950–51. Its lowest rank to date has been #314 in 1999. In 2015, it re-entered the Top 100 at #99 and began rising rapidly. In 2020, it was #23.

The name is also popular in England and Wales (#14), Canada (#15), New Zealand (#15), Québec (#38), Scotland (#50), Northern Ireland (#57), and Ireland (#66). The spelling Theodor is #18 in Norway, #26 in Denmark, #41 in Sweden, and #42 in Austria.

Swiss physician Théodore Tronchin, 1709–1781

Other forms of the name include:

1. Theodor is German, Scandinavian, Romanian, and Czech.

2. Theodoor is Dutch.

3. Teodor is Czech, Bulgarian, Romanian, Polish, Serbian, Scandinavian, Slovenian, Macedonian, Slovak, Catalan, Albanian, and Croatian. The alternate form Teodòr is Provençal and Languedocian.

4. Todor is Bulgarian, Serbian, and Macedonian. The alternate form Tódor is Hungarian.

5. Tudor is Romanian.

6. Théodore is French.

7. Teodoro is Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.

8. Tedore is Georgian.

9. Teodors is Latvian.

10. Toros is Armenian.

Polish pianist, composer, and teacher Teodor Leszetycki, 1830–1915

11. Tivadar is Hungarian.

12. Thei is Limburgish.

13. Teuvo is Finnish.

14. Tewodros is Amharic.

15. Tédór is Kashubian.

16. Teodoru is Sicilian and Corsican.

17. Tiadoru is Sardinian.

18. Tiudoru is Corsican.

19. Teodoro is Asturian.

20. Tiutôk is Greenlandic.

Filipino businessman and philanthropist Teodoro R. Yangco, 1861–1939

21. Todrus is Yiddish.

22. Téodóir is Irish.

23. Teador is Belarusian.

24. Suoder is Yakut.

25. Fyodor is Russian. This is one of the few names I like where an F appears in place of a TH, probably because it’s the first letter of the name instead of in the middle.

26. Fedir is Ukrainian.

27. Kvedor is Mordvin.

28. Joder is Swiss–German.

29. Fyodar is Belarusian.

30. Khvedar is also Belarusian.

Romanian revolutionary hero Tudor Vladimirescu, ca. 1780–1821

31. Teodoras is Lithuanian.

32. Tevazirus is Turkish.

33. Tewdwr is Welsh.

34. Tewodros is Arabic and Coptic.

35. Tedros is Eritrean and Ethiopian.

36. Tuudor, or Tuudur, is Estonian.

Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark, 1906–1969

Female forms:

1. Theodora is Greek, German, Dutch, Scandinavian, and English. The alternate forms Théodóra and Theodóra are Icelandic, and Théodora is French.

2. Teodora is Scandinavian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Serbian, Macedonian, Polish, Bulgarian, and Romanian. The alternate form Teodóra is Hungarian.

3. Théodorine is an elaborated, modern French–African form.

4. Fyodora is Russian.

5. Feodora is an alternate Russian form.

6. Fešu is Veps, a Finnic language spoken in Russia.

7. Söduöre is Yakut.

8. Todora is Serbian.

9. Tiadora is Sardinian.

Girls’ names ending in O

Girls’ names ending in the letter O seem to be fairly uncommon in much of the world, across most languages. However, there are still more than a few names falling into this category.

The obvious, probably best-known exception is Japanese, which has a plethora of female names ending in O. For the sake of brevity and spotlighting a wider variety of names, none of them will be featured here. It’s similar to the reason I deliberately excluded Polish names ending in SZ and Hebrew names ending in TZ when I did my post about names ending in Z, since they’re so common they would’ve overwhelmed the list.

Aino (Finnish) means “the only one.”

Callisto/Kallisto (Greek) means “most beautiful.” This was the name of a nymph whom Zeus seduced, and who was later turned into a bear by Hera. She ultimately became the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) constellation.

Calypso/Kalypso (Greek) probably means “she who conceals.” This was the name of another nymph, who detained Odysseus on her island for seven years.

Cielo (Spanish) means “sky.”

Cleo (English), Cléo (French) is a short form of Cleopatra/Cléopâtre.

Clio (Italian) is the Latinate form of Kleio, a Greek name meaning “glory.”

Consuelo (Spanish) means “consolation.”

Dido is of possibly Phoenician origin, and unknown etymology. This was the name of the legendary Queen of Carthage, who married Aeneas while he was on his way to Rome.

Echo (Greek) is the source of the word “echo,” and the name of a nymph who could only repeat what other people said. Then she fell in unrequited love with Narcissus and wasted away until only her voice remained.

Hero (Greek) was the lover of Leander, who drownt while swimming across the river to see her one night. For obvious reasons, I wouldn’t recommend this as a first name in an Anglophone country.

Ildikó (Hungarian) may be a form of Hilda (battle).

Ilo (Estonian) means “delight, happiness, joy” and “beauty.” This is the name of a minor goddess of feasts.

Indigo (English), the name of a purplish-blue colour, derives from the Greek word indikon (India, from India).

Ino (Greek) means “white goddess.” This was the name of a Theban queen and the aunt of Dionysus, whom she raised after her sister Semele’s untimely death during pregnancy.

Io (Greek) possibly means “moon.” She was yet another of Zeus’s conquests and punished by Hera, who turned her into a cow. Eventually she was changed back into a human.

Juno (Latin) may mean “youth,” from an Indo–European root, or may be of Etruscan origin. This was the Roman name for Hera.

Leelo (Estonian) means “folk song.”

Lilo (Hawaiian) means “generous.”

Lucero (Latin American Spanish) means “luminary.”

Nino (Georgian, Armenian) is possibly a feminine form of the Greek name Ninos, which probably derives from the Assyrian city Nineveh and thus may be related to the Akkadian root nunu (fish). Despite the very similar spellings, it’s unrelated to Nina.

Rocío (Spanish) means “dew.”

Rosario (Spanish) means “rosary.”

Socorro (Spanish) means “succour, help, relief.”

Are there any other names you’d add to the list?

Name theft

While no one can claim sole ownership of a name, and there are cases of friends and relatives giving their kids the same names without malicious intentions, common decency dictates not deliberately taking a name.

Let’s explore what name theft is and isn’t.

Name theft isn’t:

1. Using the same names in a culture where it’s common to name children after relatives, esp. if there’s a fairly small pool of names to work with. E.g., Great-Grandma Julia and Great-Uncle Roger might have 10+ namesakes in the same generation because they were so beloved and everyone wanted to name kids after them.

2. You’re part of a religion and/or culture where just about everyone has a family with multiple people named for the same saints, important historical figures, rabbis, rebbetzins, holy people, etc. It’s pretty much a given, for example, that every single Lubavitcher family will have a Chaya Mushka (which has a myriad of nicknames by necessity) and Menachem Mendel. If there are no kids with those names, that means they belong to the parents instead. Many Catholic families also have sons named for Pope John Paul II.

3. You and your best friend, cousin, etc., coincidentally happen to have always adored the same name, maybe for different reasons. Daniel has been your favourite male name since you can remember, while the other person had a dear grandfather by that name.

4. Not everyone is a name nerd who’s been passionately researching and making lists of names for years. If several people in the same group of friends or cousins are taking their cues from the Top 100 and the latest trends, it shouldn’t be a big shock if they all happen to end up with children named Madison, Jayden, Liam, and Isabella, particularly if they all get filler middle names like Marie, Anne, Michael, and John.

5. You fell in love with one name combo on a list of potential names someone was considering, and had no idea that person would end up using that one too.

Name theft IS:

Only deciding to use a name after someone close to you announced it, despite having no personal connection to it and not thinking of it on your own, and then making it even worse by insisting the couple who chose it first can no longer use it, since you claimed it. If they use it anyway when their child is born a few months or weeks after yours, you accuse them of being the name thieves and acting like spoilt children.

I’ve heard so many stories like this, and they always make me so angry on behalf of the parents!

Truly, were there no other names, and name combos, in the entire world you could use instead? It’s one thing if it’s a rather common name like Sarah Jane, James Robert, William Peter, or Emily Rachel, but when both names are lesser-used, AND chosen to honour special people you never knew, that’s such a dirty deed.

How would you feel if you asked your parents about your naming story and were told their now-former friends or estranged relatives decided to name their baby after a dear sibling who died young and a great-grandparent they had a special relationship with, or a historical figure they always admired and a character from their all-time fave book, but those names meant zilch to you beyond sounding cool or pretty?

I have more respect for people who just randomly choose names from the Top 100, a names book, or names shuffled in a hat! At least they’re honest about how they approach naming. Not everyone wants to name kids after relatives, heroes, or fictional characters. They care more about the sound and/or popularity, not deep personal meaning.

If you truly fell in love with that name and aren’t just a lazy, unethical copycat, why not look for names with a similar sound or meaning? Or use the first name as a middle name on a later child?

The existence of name thieves makes me glad I’m old-fashioned and don’t want to find out the sex of a potential child until the moment of birth. It’s also an excellent reason to not announce the name until it’s on the birth certificate. That way, if anyone still steals it, their intentions will be obvious.

A versatile, international classic

Catherine (Yekaterina) the Great (née Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg) as a Grand Duchess

Though I’ve previously featured the many nicknames for Katherine in all its forms, and my personal favourite forms of the name, I’ve never done a post on the name itself in all of its many international variations.

Katherine derives from the Greek name Aikaterine, which has a disputed etymology. It may come from another Greek name, Hekaterine, with the root hekateros (each of the two), or be derived from Hecate/Hekate (possibly from the root hekas, far off). It also may come from the Greek word aikia (torture), or a Coptic name meaning “my consecration of your name.” Eventually, it became associated with the Greek word katharos (pure), and the Latin spelling was thus changed from Katerina to Katharina.

The name has been extraordinarily popular ever since the fourth century, on account of St. Catherine of Alexandria, an early Christian martyr. Because some scholars believe she was fictitious or confused with Neo-Platonist philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria and St. Dorothea of Alexandria, she was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969. In 2002, she was put back in as an optional memorial.

Princess Katarina Konstantinović of Serbia, 1848–1910

The spelling Katherine has long been a staple of the U.S. Top 100, from 1880–1934, in 1936, and 1940–2016. Its highest rank to date was #25 in 1991. The spelling Catherine (which is also French) has also long been a Top 100 mainstay, from 1880–1997 and 1999–2001. It was in the Top 50 until 1939, and then again from 1942–61, with its highest rank of #18 in 1914 and 1917.

Kathryn was in the U.S. Top 100 from 1881–1928, 1941–68, and 1974–2001. Its highest rank was #45 in 1951.

Other forms of the name include:

1. Katharina is German and Scandinavian.

2. Katarina is Scandinavian, German, Slovenian, Sorbian, Serbian, and Croatian. The alternate form Katarína is Slovak.

3. Katarzyna is Polish.

4. Kateryna is Ukrainian.

5. Katsyaryna is Belarusian.

6. Katariina is Estonian and Finnish.

7. Katerina is Macedonian, Bulgarian, Russian, and Greek. Kateřina is Czech, and Katerína is Icelandic.

8. Katarin is Breton.

9. Katelijn is Flemish.

10. Katelijne is also Flemish.

Hungarian singer and actor Katalin Karády (1910–1990), who was posthumously honoured by Yad Vashem in 2004 as Righteous Among the Nations for hiding a group of Jewish children in her apartment

11. Katharine is German and English.

12. Katalin is Hungarian and Basque.

13. Kattalin is also Basque.

14. Kotryna is Lithuanian.

15. Katrina is English. The alternate form Katrīna is Latvian; Katrína is Icelandic; and Katrîna is Greenlandic.

16. Kakalina is Hawaiian. For obvious reasons, I wouldn’t recommend this name in an Anglophone area.

17. Katell is Breton.

18. Kateri is Mohawk, pronounced Gah-deh-lee.

19. Katarzëna is Kashubian.

20. Kateryn is Manx.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha, 1656–1680

21. Kattrin is a rare Coptic form.

22. Catarina is Portuguese, Galician, Gascon, Occitan, Provençal, Languedocian, Aragonese, and Sicilian.

23. Caterina is Italian, Galician, and Romanian.

24. Catrin is Welsh.

25. Catalina is Spanish, Corsican, Sardinian, Occitan, Catalan, and Galician. The alternate form Cǎtǎlina is Romanian.

26. Caderina is Sardinian.

27. Caitrìona is Scottish.

28. Catriona is Irish and Scottish.

29. Catala is Asturian.

30. Gadarine is a rare Armenian form.

Russian human rights activist and humanitarian Yekaterina Pavlovna Peshkova, 1887–1965

31. Kaa’dren is Sami Skolt.

32. Kasia is Vilamovian. This is also a Polish nickname for Katarzyna.

33. Catheleine is Picard.

34. Cathrène is Norman.

35. Cath’rinne is Jèrriaias.

36. Katel is a rare Cornish form.

37. Katarino is Esperanto.

38. Keteriine is Yakut.

39. Chatrina is Romansh.

40. Ekaterine is Georgian.

41. Ekaterina is Bulgarian and Macedonian.

42. Yekaterina is Russian.