Hey all, sorry for the sporadic posting lately, but I’ve been trying to get a lot of stuff done. Between scheduling classes and fighting with my mom about living on campus, it’s been quite a week! Anyway, today’s post will be on two names I’m undecided about, Cordelia and Cornelia.


I have a billion papers to do, so a quick post today. In case you guys are ever confused about why I use certain names often, they’re probably honoring. Here’s a list of the names of people I’d consider honoring, for reference.


I know Eowyn is properly spelled with an acute diacritic mark, but I have a laptop and it’s really annoying to do on it. Also, I don’t think it’s necessary: most people will know the pronunciation by now anyway.

I love The Lord of the Rings. And I’m not talking about “I’ve seen the movies, omg Aragorn is so hawt” love. I’m talking “read the series countless times, slogged through the Silmarillion, plan to read more of Tolkien’s literature, want wedding bands engraved in Elvish or Dwarvish” love. So you could say I’m a bit of a fangirl.

Which brings us to today’s topic: Eowyn. Its usability, particularly, and whether or not I’d use it over another LOTR name. The name itself is pretty, the character admirable (better than Arwen by miles and quite the proto-feminist) and the sound easy to grasp. I actually knew an Eowyn in high school, and she never had any problems that I knew of.

Now then, the problem with Eowyn. Fangirl much? I feel as though to name a child Eowyn is to brand her with the nerd stamp early. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a nerd (says the girl who writes a blog on names), but it feels a little presumptuous to decide that your child will be connected to a piece of well known literature for all time. This isn’t usually a problem with naming after characters, since most names are pretty well used anyway. For example, I have Jane for Austen and Eyre on my lists. It’s not like someone would go “Oh, like Austen!” upon meeting a little Jane. However, can you think of anything else besides the Rohirrim upon meeting Eowyn? The pronunciation also gives me fits: Ay-oh-win seems to be the accepted one, but it’s wrong, technically. It should be more like “ear-win,” but that’s not nearly as pretty.

There are some other LOTR/general Tolkien names I’d probably use before Eowyn: Lorien and Elanor, maybe Melian (hi!). Peregrine for boys. However, I’ve been finding Eowyn’s sound appealing lately.

All in all, I’d probably use Eowyn in the middle to honor my nerd-dom, if I were to use it at all. Elanor is a more likely choice for me, though.

What do you think of Eowyn? Usable? What about in the middle?

Hey guys! Remember me? Your steadfast blogger has been ripping her hair out over the past week or so, so I had to take an absence.

So, two things have brought me to Marianne today. One is a thread an another board I visit, and the other is that I recently finished reading Pride and Prejudice. Of course, I compared it with Sense and Sensibility in my head, leading me to today’s name. By the way, I loved both, and I’m planning on reading Emma next. Any Austenites out there?

Anyway, I think Marianne is gently old-fashioned and altogether much different than Maryann or any other permutation of the compound name. It’s all about the pause in the middle: Mary(half-breath)Anne vs Maryann, pronunciation wise. Also, Marianne has roots as a diminutive of Marie, so it’s not simply a prettied up version of the compound name. And, from what I hear, the English pronounce both names completely differently. Mairy-Anne (which, for what it’s worth, is the way I pronounce Mary, Mairy) vs Marry-Anne. Of course, depending on where you live, you might not see the difference between Mary and Marry, even when it’s Mairy phonetically!

There are a few different associations with Marianne. For me, first and foremostly, it’s Dashwood, one of the protagonists of Jane Austen’s novel, Sense and Sensibility. She represents sensibility, or feeling, while her sister Elinor represents sense. While altogether I’m much more of an Elinor, I love Marianne’s character equally, and she’s the one who first made me love the name. Other folks’ first associations are the symbol of the French Revolution, which isn’t a bad one, I suppose.  It might depend on your politics, but I don’t see too much bad about it. Anyway, the third most popular association seems to be a Leonard Cohen song, but I haven’t heard it, so I’ll reserve comment.

All in all, Marianne is a name that recalls carriages and country houses, revolt and politics, and music. Varied enough for you? A Marianne can be pretty much any kind of girl, but it’s so tied to Dashwood in my mind that I only think of her. However, it’s not a bad association at all, unless you think having an excess of feeling is an awful thing. It’s also very uncommon; the last time it was in the top 1000 was 1992! It peaked around the same time Maryann and all of those did, in the 40s and 50s, but it never got too high, stopping at 183. I don’t think this spelling is dated though. Only the compound versions are dated.

What do you think of Marianne?

It’s no secret that I’m a big reader. I imagine that some of you reading my blog are too, so let’s talk literature, and the names in it.

As a dork, I am, of course, a huge JRR Tolkien fan. So is my boyfriend. When you add these together, you get someone seriously pondering Tolkien names, for better or for worse. We all know that Frodo is ill-advised, but what about these?

  • Peregrine
  • Melian
  • Miriel
  • Eowyn
  • Lorien
  • Luthien
  • Beren
  • Elanor

All would be perfectly usable, I think. Maybe a little weird, but overall fine. I personally wouldn’t use them in a first name spot, but I find them really lyrical, for the most part. I leave Arwen off the list because it seems to be the choice of people who’ve seen the movie and want something that sounds Welsh (it’s similar to the Welsh name Anwen). I am an unrepentant snob about these sorts of things. My personal favourite, Tinuviel, is also left off the list because I find it completely unusable, although the story of Beren and Tinuviel is beautiful. I make up for Tinuviel’s absence by adding Philomel; They share a meaning: nightingale, and my great grandmother’s name was Philomena. Any other Tolkien nerds out there? Share your favourites and go into nerd rage with me about the exaggerated role of Arwen in the movies!

Another one of my favourite books for names is Sense and Sensibility. I love both Elinor and Marianne, and their names. All the names are fairly classic, including:

  • Edward
  • Robert (such a scoundrel!)
  • Lucy
  • Eliza

Of course, that’s not the half of it, and not all these characters are people you’d want to name a child after! But there’s nothing wrong with taking a little inspiration from the classics.

The last book I’m going to name check (buh-dum-crash) here is Wesley Stace’s Misfortune. This is one of my favourite recent novels, and I’ll put a bit of a plug in here by saying I highly recommend it. It’s full of good names, too, such as:

  • Geoffroy
  • Dolores
  • Prudence
  • Edgar
  • Julius
  • Alice
  • Augustus
  • Edith
  • Camilla

Along with a few oddballs, including the main character, a biological boy named Rose. Other “different” names include Anonyma, Praisegod, Esmond, Lothar, Reliance and Edred. There’s a huge cast of characters and plenty of good names. My favourites are Prudence, Alice, Julius, Dolores, and Geoffroy (Geoffrey).

So guys, what are your favourite literary names?