Busiris and Bremusa

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Busiris, also called Bousiris, is an Egyptian king who features in several Greek myths and legends. He took his name from a city called ḏdw in its native language (pronounced Djedu), a major necropolis and center of Osiris worship. The name thus derives from Osiris, whose etymology is unknown. The original Egyptian form of the name is Asar.

Busiris was one of Aegyptus’s 50 sons, all but one of whom were killed on their wedding night by the Danaides. The myth about the Danaides, the 50 daughters of King Danaus (Aegyptus’s brother), is pretty refreshing! Too many myths feature only huge amounts of sons, as though it’s impossible for anyone to ever have a girl, or like it’s realistic for everyone to only have boy after boy after boy.

Busiris was described by Isocrates as a villainous king and the founder of Ancient Egyptian civilisation. He was the son of Poseidon and Anippe, and maternal grandson of river god Nilus. He had a model constitution which Isocrates used as a parodied contrast to Plato’s Republic. He sacrificed all his visitors, until Hercules showed up during his Eleventh Labor, the quest for golden apples. Hercules escaped his shackles at the last minute and killed Busiris.

Busiris is also claimed as the founder of the line of kings of Thebes (i.e., the Eleventh Dynasty). He also appears as the leader of a revolt in Roman satirist Lucian’s True History, parodies of travel stories.

© Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 2.5

Bremusa was born in 1204 BCE in Themiskyra, and was one of the twelve Amazonian warriors who fought with Queen Penthesilea during the Trojan War. The Amazons were on the Trojans’ side, and came to rescue them from the Greeks. Before reaching Troy itself, however, Queen Penthesilea needed to purify herself for the accidental killing of her sister Hippolyta.

Troy was in mourning for Hector, who’d been slain by Achilles. Thus, the sight of the Amazons came as a most welcome relief, particularly to King Priam, who promised to reward Queen Penthesilea richly. King Priam put the Amazons up in his palace for the night.

Next morning, the Amazons went into battle and fought as well as any male army, but all but one of them perished. Queen Penthesilea herself was beaten to death by Achilles, and Bremusa was killed by Cretan commander Idomeneus. She uttered a last gasp of life as the spear entered her right breast.

Epic poet Kointos Smyrnaios (Quintus Smyrnaeus) compared Bremusa’s perishing to an ash tree felled by a woodcutter’s axe, with a dry roar.

The name Bremusa means “raging female.”

The many nicknames for Elizabeth

Elizabeth seems to be tied with Katherine as the name with the most nickname forms. Instead of only one or a few, there are numerous choices. Some of these might feel a bit dated, while others are more modern or timeless. There are also nickname forms for the many foreign versions.

1. Betty/Bettie was extremely popular both as a nickname and a given legal name during the first half of the 20th century.

2. Betsy not only is a nickname, but also works well (at least in my opinion) as a full name. It’s one of those nicknames that can go both ways, like Ella or Jack.

3. Bessie was very popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, but was gradually displaced by Betty.

4. Bess was never super-popular like Betty or Bessie, but it was more common in the late 19th century.

5. Buffy comes from a lisped or childish mispronunciation of the last syllable of Elizabeth.

6. Beth seems like one of the most timeless nicknames, not tied to one particular era.

7. Eliza can work as both a nickname and full name.

8. Elisa works as both a nickname and full name.

9. Ella seems more popular as a nickname for names like Isabella, Gabriella, and Arabella nowadays, but it also has precedence as a nickname for Elizabeth.

10. Ellie/Elly/Elli seems a little old-fashioned, but it’s been experiencing quite a comeback in recent years.

11. Elle probably got more popular after the Legally Blonde movies.

12. Elsie is a nickname I’ve always liked, though I know many people think it’s more of a cow’s name.

13. Elyse is a more uncommon nickname.

14. Elsa obviously got more trendy after a certain massively overplayed Disney song and overrated movie.

15. Lisa works as both a nickname and full name.

16. Libby/Libbie is a more old-fashioned nickname, but I think it’s cute.

17. Liddy is also rather old-fashioned.

18. Lise has never been particularly common.

19. Liza works as both a nickname and full name.

20. Liz is like Beth, very timeless and versatile.

21. Lizzie/Lizzy seems like more of a nickname for a young girl. I like how some names have nicknames that work for young children, as well as more mature nicknames one can graduate to (e.g., Lizzie and Liz, Joey and Joe).

22. Lizbeth/Lisbeth/Lisbet is an uncommon choice I’ve always liked.

23. Lizette/Lisette works as both a nickname and full name.

24. Lilibet/Lilibeth is a very distinctive nickname.

25. Lillian may have originated as a nickname for Elizabeth, but is now much more common as a name in its own right.

26. Liana is really cute, both as a nickname and full given name.

27. Lisie is really cute.

28. Tetty is obviously not a nickname I’d recommend in modern times!

German nicknames for Elisabeth:

29. Bettina.

30. Bettchen.

31. Ilse/Ilsa.

32. Liesel/Liesl.

33. Liese. This is also Dutch.

34. Else. This is also Scandinavian and Dutch.

35. Elise. This is also Dutch and Scandinavian.

36. Lilli/Lili.

37. Lies. This is also Dutch, and obviously not a name I’d recommend in an Anglophone country.

38. Liesa.

Dutch nicknames for Elisabeth:

39. Betje.

40. Els.

41. Elsje.

42. Liesje.

Other nicknames:

43. Babette is a French nickname for Élisabeth.

44. Špela is a Slovenian nickname for Elizabeta.

45. Eliška is a Czech and Slovak nickname for Alžběta.

46. Erzsi is a Hungarian nickname for Erzsébet.

47. Bözsi is an alternate nickname for Erzsébet.

48. Zsóka is another nickname for Erzsébet.

49. Elża is a Polish nickname for Elżbieta.

50. Elżunia is another Polish nickname.

51. Jela is a Serbian nickname for Jelisaveta.

52. Jelica is another Serbian nickname.

53. Liisa is an Estonian nickname for Eliisabet.

54. Liisu is also Estonian.

55. Liisi is another Estonian nickname.

56. Liis is also Estonian.

57. Eliso is a Georgian nickname for Elisabed.

58. Veta is a Macedonian nickname for Elisaveta.

59. Beti is also Macedonian.

60. Elzė is a Lithuanian nickname for Elžbieta.

The many forms of Beatrice

This is my third Beatrice post on this blog, since I love the name that much. It’s such a beautiful, timeless, versatile classic, and hasn’t gotten über-trendy like certain other names which were once considered too musty and geriatric (e.g., Ava, Max, Sophia, Emma, Henry, Oliver). I and many of my fellow name nerds were worried Beatrice might suddenly become trendy and shoot up the charts after Paul McCartney used it on his surprise fifth child, but that thankfully didn’t happen.

I also love this name because Beatrice was Dante’s great unrequited love, his muse, his inspiration, his guide through Paradise and the final leg of Purgatory. He wrote The Divine Comedy to immortalize her for all time.

Beatrice is used in English, Italian, and Swedish. Other forms include:

1. Beatrix is Dutch, German, Hungarian, and English. Trixie is the Dutch and English nickname, while Trixi is Hungarian.

2. Beatrisa (my favorite alternate form) is Russian and Georgian.

3. Beatriz is Spanish and Portuguese.

4. Beatrise is Latvian.

5. Béatrice is French.

6. Beatriu is Catalan.

7. Viatrix is the original Latin form.

8. Beatrycze is Polish, and quite odd for a Polish feminine name. It’s the only one that doesn’t end in A.

9. Betrys is Welsh.

10. Beitris is Scottish.

11. Batirtze is Basque. This is a modern, not traditional, name.

12. Beatrica is Serbian and Croatian.

13. Béatris is Gascon. The alternate form Beatris is Medieval Occitan, Spanish, and Flemish.

14. Beatricia is Middle English.

15. Beatrijs is Flemish and an alternate Dutch form.

16. Beatrisia is Medieval Italian, Occitan, French, and German.

17. Beatritz is Provençal.

18. Beatrys is Medieval and West Flemish.

19. Bétry is a local variant used in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region of France until the 18th century.

The many forms of Peter

Peter has long been my next-favorite male name, after only Samuel. If I ever have kids, and I have more than one boy, I’m naming my hypothetical future second son Peter. It’s such a lovely, classic, versatile name, and has surprisingly never been in the Top 10. It doesn’t feel oversaturated or unoriginal like some other perennially popular names might.

Other forms of Peter include:

1. Pierre. I’d assume most folks are very familiar with the French form of the name. Pierre was also my favoritest character in War and Peace. He was so awesome, and so easy to form a mental picture of. I also really respected how he and Natasha didn’t get together until Natasha was a grown adult and their seven-year age difference had levelled off a bit.

2. Pedro is the Spanish and Portuguese form.

3. Pietro is Italian.

4. Petar is Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Croatian.

5. Boutros is Arabic. Variant forms include Butrus and Botros.

6. Petros is Greek.

7. Bedros is Armenian.

8. Petro is Ukrainian and Esperanto.

9. Peder is the Scandinavian form.

10. Pieter is Dutch. Nicknames include Piet and Pietje.

11. Pyotr is Russian, with the adorable nickname form Petya.

12. Petras is Lithuanian.

13. Per is Breton, and an alternate Scandinavian form. Perig is the Breton nickname.

14. Petru is Romanian and Corsican.

15. Piotr is Polish.

16. Petre is Georgian, Macedonian, and Romanian.

17. Pitter is Limburgish. The nickname is Pit.

18. Petr is Czech.

19. Peru is Basque.

20. Petri is Finnish, and an alternate Basque form. Other Finnish forms are Petteri and Pietari. The nickname is Pekka.

21. Peeter is Estonian.

22. Petur is Faroese. The Icelandic form is Pétur.

23. Pika is Hawaiian.

24. Petera is Maori.

25. Piers is the Medieval French form.

26. Pèire is Occitan.

27. Peadar is Scottish and Irish.

28. Pedr is Welsh.

29. Péter is Hungarian, with the nickname Peti.

30. Petrus is Latin.

Names for the discerning arachnophile

If you’re a passionate arachnophile like I am, you may have considered giving either your child or your pet tarantula a spider-themed name. Everyone knows the Greek name Arachne, but there are a lot of other names with an arachnid flavour to consider. I was delighted to discover not only some new-to-me names whose meanings relate to spiders, but also to discover a number of spider genera names could work as personal names too.

Male:

Anansi means “spider” in Akan, a Central Tano language spoken in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Benin. This is the name of a popular folklore character who often assumes the form of a spider.

Araneus is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Ariamnes is a type of cobweb spider.

Atrax is a type of venomous spider.

Corryn means “spider” in Welsh.

Dolomedes is a type of large spider, resembling a wolf spider. The word means “deceitful, wily” in Greek.

Eresus is a type of velvet spider.

Hasarius is a type of jumping spider.

Menemerus is another type of jumping spider.

Níngut can mean “spiderweb” in Greenlandic.

Sicarius is a desert spider.

Simalio is a type of sac spider.

Tartarus is a cave-dwelling spider. The name comes from a place in the Greek underworld, even lower than Hades. This was also the name of a primordial deity.

Tenedos is a type of ant spider.

Thanatus is a type of false crab spider. This is also the Latinized spelling of Thanatos, the Greek god of Death.

Theridion is a type of tangle-web spider.

Tibellus is a type of slender crab spider.

Wabasso is a type of sheet-weaving spider.

Zelotes is a type of ground spider.

Zodarion is a type of ant-eating spider.

Zosis is a type of non-venomous spider.

Female:

Acacesia is a type of orb-weaver spider.

Admestina is a type of jumping spider.

Aganippe is a type of spider which resembles a tarantula, and the name of several women in Greek mythology. The name means “gentle horse” in Greek.

Agelena is a type of spider which traps its prey by weaving entangled, non-sticky funnel webs.

Agyneta is a type of sheet-weaver spider.

Allocosa is a type of wolf spider.

Alopecosa is another type of wolf spider.

Andasta is a type of ray spider.

Arania means “spider” in Persian.

Araniella is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Anansia is the feminine form of Anansi.

Archaea is an extinct type of assassin spider.

Arctosa is a type of wolf spider.

Argiope is a type of spider with a very strikingly-coloured abdomen. The name means “silver-faced” in Greek.

Artema is a type of cellar spider.

Bagheera is a type of jumping spider.

Bellota is another type of jumping spider.

Bredana is also a jumping spider.

Bromella is a type of hackled band-producing spider.

Camillina is a type of ground spider.

Cantuaria is a large spider which resembles a tarantula.

Carniella is a type of tangle web spider.

Cataxia is a large spider resembling a tarantula.

Catumiri is a type of tarantula. I could also see this name working on a boy or a male tarantula.

Cerocida is a type of spider found only in the tropics of South America.

Cesonia is a type of ground spider.

Cicurina is a type of hackled band-producing spider.

Clubiona is a type of leafcurling sac spider.

Colima is a Mexican-only ant spider.

Colopea is a type of spider which produces ecribellate silk.

Dalmasula is a type of goblin spider.

Dasumia is a type of woodlouse-hunting spider.

Dictyna is a type of hackled band-producing spider.

Diplura is a type of funnel-web tarantula.

Dysdera is a type of woodlouse hunting spider.

Erigone is a type of fanged, carnivorous spider.

Eriophora is a type of orb-weaving spider. The word means “to carry wool” in Greek.

Eris is a type of jumping spider. This was also the name of the Greek goddess of discord (which is also the meaning of the name).

Evarcha is a type of jumping spider.

Filistata is a type of carnivorous, fanged spider.

Galeosoma is a large spider resembling a tarantula.

Genysa is another large spider resembling a tarantula.

Ghelna is a type of jumping spider.

Gladicosa is a type of wolf spider.

Gossamer is the fine silk spiderlings use when they balloon through the air. This is also a very sheer, light, gauzy fabric.

Hentzia is a type of jumping spider.

Hersilia is a type of long-spinnered bark spider.

Hexura is a type of sheet funnel-web spider.

Kaira is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Larinia is another type of orb-weaving spider.

Lutica is a type of ant spider.

Maevia is a type of jumping spider.

Mangora is a type of orb-weaving spider.

Marpissa is a type of jumping spider.

Metellina is a type of long-jawed orb-weaving spider.

Micaria is a type of ground spider.

Moneta is a type of tangle-web spider.

Nagaina is a type of jumping spider, and a cobra in Rudyard Kipling’s famous story Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.

Neonella is a type of jumping spider. This is very similar to the old Russian name Neonila.

Nephila is a type of golden silk orb-weaving spider. The name means “fond of spinning” in Greek.

Palfuria is a type of ant spider.

Parameta is a type of long-jawed orb-weaving spider.

Pardosa is a type of wolf spider.

Pelegrina is a type of jumping spider. This is also the name of a famous pearl, with a disputed etymology.

Pirata is a type of wolf spider.

Portia is a type of jumping spider. This name was famously invented by Shakespeare for The Merchant of Venice, based on the Latin name Porcia (pig).

Sarinda is an ant-like jumping spider. This is also a traditional Indian instrument.

Synema is a type of crab spider.

Talavera is a type of jumping spider.

Tangata is a type of six-eyed spider.

Tegenaria is a type of funnel-web spider.

Telema is a type of fanged spider.

Theraphosa is a type of tarantula.

Theridula is a type of cobweb spider.

Thiodina is a type of jumping spider.

Ummidia is a type of trapdoor spider.

Ursa is a type of orb-weaving spider. The name means “bear” in Latin.

Wirada is a small, dark brown spider.

Zaitunia is a type of crevice-weaving spider.

Zilla is a type of orb-weaving spider.