March 2009


I was thinking today about one of the most perfect names I’ve ever heard: Ada Lovelace. Born Augusta Ada Byron in 1815, she is widely regarded as the first computer programmer. She was the daughter of Lord Byron, the poet (who I love, by the way; I’m not incredibly familiar with his work, but what I know, I like) and Annabella Milbanke. She was the countess of Lovelace, which is where she got the name she is most known by.

Augusta Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace

Ada Lovelace

I think she’s a fantastic role model for any young girl, and an especially auspicious namesake for any programmer or coder.

Anyway, thinking about Ada Lovelace made me love Ada. It’s simple but sturdy and feminine without drowning in frills. The only problem is its similarity to Ava and Eva. She’d probably get called Ava most of the time these days. Although Ava is pretty, I vastly prefer Ada for its old fashioned charm and more sturdy feel.

Don’t count Ada out of the fashion game, though. It’s top 100 in Norway and has recently re-entered the charts here for the first time in a while. As of 2007, it sat at 646, and I expect it to rise some more, especially given the continued popularity of Ava.

I think Ada is a fantastic name, overall. It’s short but substantial and packs a great punch. For such a short name, it manages to sound serious, but still retains its playful, almost nickname like feel. (For you origin buffs, it was originally a nickname for Adelaide, but I think it stands alone fine now.) I fully endorse it as a full name, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it as a nickname. A few ideas if Ada isn’t substantial enough for you: Adelaide, Adara, Adela, Adeline, Zenaida. However, I really feel that this one stands on its own. I like Ida, too, for the record.

A few Ada combos:

  • Ada Juniper
  • Ada Beatrix
  • Ada Cecile
  • Ada Jane
  • Ada Prudence
  • Ada Penelope
  • Ada June
  • Ada Susan

What do you guys think of sweet, simple, Ada?

First, some news: I put in my paperwork to transfer to the college of Education at my university today! I should be enrolled as a student of secondary English in about six weeks, and I’m super excited! GAHHH I WILL SHAPE THE YOUTH OF TOMORROW AND MAKE THEM LOVE JANE AUSTEN AS MUCH AS I DO! Okay, maybe not, but I am really excited.

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Anyone else feel like crap? I’ve had some sort of bug this weekend and it knocked me out. Luckily the only thing I have now is a runny nose and sore throat, but it hurts like the dickens!

Anyway, Ancestry is letting me look at other people’s trees again (don’t tell them ;)), so I’ve been able to make some more tentative progress. If you don’t mind, I’ll run you through my process, so no one has a heart attack over my sourcing. First, my tree is private. No one can see anything on it, so they can’t use possibly wrong information from it. Anyway, I use the other trees to get a foot in the door, hint wise. Sometimes I work straight from books and other sources, but they’re difficult to find since I can’t really travel. So if I think John Smith’s mother was, say, Elinor McGillacutty, I can google her and see if there’s any books or websites backing me up. Not the most sound research technique, I know, but I work with what I’ve got. You guys probably don’t care too much about that, though, as long as I’ve got names to share!  Anyway, the list!

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Sorry for my absence and whatnot lately, guys. I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. I skipped my first class to sleep today, though, so I’m fresh as a daisy!

So I was thinking of what to blog about today, and was thinking about doing a post on Latinate versions of names I like; Olive vs Olivia, etc. That got me wondering if I’ve ever covered Olive, maybe in my floral names post, which got me thinking about all the florals I didn’t cover. So to make a nerdy story short, I decided to expand my list. This time, I’m including boys and other kinds of nature names.

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First, let me talk about St. Patrick’s Day; you know, my general thoughts on it, since I love to give my opinion on everything. 😉 I really dislike this holiday. I like the idea of a day to celebrate Irish heritage, since so many Americans have it. What I don’t like is people running around getting drunk and screaming “I’M SO OIRISH GUIZE! ERIN GO BRAUGH! SHAMROCKS!” It’s too much.

This is where my great great grandfather and great great grandmother likely got married

Conwal Parish Church: This is where my great great grandfather and great great grandmother likely got married

First, you aren’t Irish. I’m sure you don’t even know where in Ireland your family came from. (Putting my money where my mouth is: My Irish ancestry, through my grandmother, is from Carrickatimpan, Gartan, Donegal, Ireland. They came over a little later than most others; 1893, through Glasgow port to New York on the SS Anchoria. I can’t get any farther back than 1817 on one branch and 1839 on another; McLaughlins and Dohertys are a dime a dozen over there.) Anyway, I have a great distaste for drinking to the point of drunkeness (or drinking in general, really), so this isn’t exactly my holiday. However, it might be a nice idea to look at some decidedly Irish names I like. Since I am proud of my heritage, and don’t need green beer to show it.

Yeah, I didn’t feel like saying much, so I think I’m just going to list. I know I’m being lazy.

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I have just been loving Anne lately. Between the sound, look, history, and literary connections, what’s not to like? True, I have been reading Persuasion by Jane Austen lately, and the main character is an Anne, but I doubt that’s the really reason I’ve been loving it so much. There are other Austen heroines I much prefer.

First, let’s look at the spelling and usage of Anne. The e spelling that I’ve been using is the French form (of Anna). It’s my favorite one. It looks complete and refined, where Ann looks dowdy and incomplete. The Ann spelling peaked in the 30s, whereas Anne peaked in the 1910s. I know they’re the same sound, but this difference might be why Anne looks much less dated than Ann. Of course, these numbers don’t tell the story of the little filler that could: Ann/e was the middle name du jour for so many women, over the ages. Even if it is family, it has the possibility of being  boring in the middle, much like Elizabeth, Nicole, Grace (to go through 3 cycles of filler). The only way to avoid it is to put it after some more unexpected choices. Right now, Anne is 517 and Ann is 786. With Anna at 25, why not give simple Anne another try?

Of course, this similarity could be a strike against sweet Anne. If everyone’s going to mistake her for an Anna, why try? Well, for the sake of Anne! It’s a beautiful, history rich name, and, for me at least, more pleasing than Anna. Anna gets nasal for me, while Anne avoids it with its 1 syllable simplicity.

Of course, the problem I have with Anne is the same problem I have with pretty much every one syllable name; it’s hard to pair with middles! The flow always seems off, and you can’t put a vowel name after Anne, lest it sound like an indefinite article instead of a name. Anne Margaret is out, too. 😛 So it’s a bit difficult to pair.

What do you guys think of Anne?

Felt like doing one on a group today, since no new names are grabbing me at the moment, just all the same ones. So, let’s talk about April, May, June, Summer, and even March and January!

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