UPDATE: Round 2 of the process of editing the Monster List has begun over on this thread, if you are interested: Round Two of the Monster List: The Questioning
We are due in less than two months, and I am starting to feel the pressure! I’ve finally assembled all my favorite magical, witchy, nature-drenched names into one long list of femme and unisex names, and it totals to a whopping 140 plus. This is entirely too many names to take with us to the hospital, so I’m hoping that with your help I can narrow it down to the gulp thirty-ish range.
For a little context, I am in a long-term polyamorous relationship with two live-in partners, and we will all be co-parenting together. I’ve called them T and S to avoid confusion. We’re also super pagan, hence all the witchy names! We’re planning to use two middle names, which is part of how the list got so long in the first place. Our last name spelled phonetically is KAY-lahr.
Because this list is so long, I’m breaking it down into multiple threads so I hopefully don’t overwhelm everyone. When I get all the posts up, I’ll come back and include links to each one at the end of the others for convenience. Once we get the list narrowed down somewhat, I’ll probably make a combo brainstorming thread as well.
Okay, on to the monster list: Part 3!
- [name_f]Oceane[/name_f] - F - “ocean,” [name_u]French[/name_u] name that was often used for girls born at sea. You may have noticed that I’m obsessed with any name that has to do with the ocean, and I particularly like the pronunciation of this variant. Middle only.
- [name_f]Octavia[/name_f] - F - “eighth,” not the most inspiring meaning, but she makes up for it with lots of great references: [name_m]Shakespeare[/name_m]'s [name_m]Antony[/name_m] and [name_f]Cleopatra[/name_f], amazing sci-fi author of color [name_f]Octavia[/name_f] [name_m]Butler[/name_m], [name_u]Tavi[/name_u] from the Codex Alera series, and best-for-last, the incredible illegal second child turned warrior turned gladiator queen turned badass co-parent, [name_f]Octavia[/name_f] [name_u]Blake[/name_u] from The 100. T just saw the page I’d pulled up on this name and said, “That one might need to go near the top of the list,” so that’s a good sign!
- [name_f]Oleanna[/name_f] - F - “oleander,” Polynesian flower and title of a play by the same name. When I first saw this name, I thought it was related to olive trees, because their Latin name is [name_f]Olea[/name_f] europaea.
- [name_f]Olwen[/name_f] - F - “circle; white footprint,” an enchanting Welsh fairy tale name from Arthurian romance in which [name_f]Olwen[/name_f] was the daughter of a giant chieftain who assigned a series of increasingly difficult tasks to her suitor because of a prophecy that if she married, he would die. Her name comes from the fact that she was such a pure, gentle soul, white clovers sprung up wherever she walked. I’m a sucker for O names, Welsh names, and fairy tale names, so this one hits a sweet spot for me.
- [name_f]Oona[/name_f] - F - “lamb,” Irish version of the Finnish name [name_f]Una[/name_f]. She was an Irish fairy queen and wife of [name_m]Finbar[/name_m]. Variant [name_f]Oonagh[/name_f] is a sorceress from one of my favorite series, Sevenwaters by [name_f]Juliet[/name_f] Marillier. Very obliquely honors S, who is of Finnish heritage.
- [name_f]Opal[/name_f] - F - “gem,” actually the Sanskrit word for gemstone, believed in Greek mythology to bestow prophetic powers. References to one of my all-time favorite television shows, [name_m]Steven[/name_m] Universe, and one of my all-time favorite book series, The [name_u]Raven[/name_u] Cycle by [name_f]Maggie[/name_f] Stiefvater. Middle only.
- [name_f]Ophelia[/name_f] - F - “help, succor,” as an herbalist and [name_m]Shakespeare[/name_m] enthusiast, I geek out HARD over this name. The most famous [name_f]Ophelia[/name_f] is of course from the play [name_m]Hamlet[/name_m], and a conventional surface interpretation indicates that she goes mad and drowns herself. However, the scene where she hands out flowers to the king’s court takes on a whole new meaning once you’re familiar with Victorian flower language. Each plant she references is a clear condemnation: handing [name_m]Claudius[/name_m] columbine and fennel accuses him of flattery, deceit, and adultery; rosemary demands they remember the dead and foreshadows her own demise; setting down the daisy says there is no innocence left in the court; and so on. To me, this knowledge reframes [name_f]Ophelia[/name_f] as wickedly clever and incredibly brave, to accuse these powerful people to their faces under the guise of seeming madness. It also makes her death seem far less likely to be an accident or a suicide. [name_f]Ophelia[/name_f] is by far my favorite character in all of [name_m]Shakespeare[/name_m]. The name also shows up in Uncle [name_m]Tom[/name_m]'s Cabin and The Addams Family, while variant [name_f]Ofelia[/name_f] is the main character of the lush dark fairy tale film [name_m]Pan[/name_m]'s Labyrinth. Also one of the moons of Uranus.
- Oriande - F - “to rise,” a fairy who bestowed a legendary sword on the hero Maugris in the [name_u]French[/name_u] parallel to the legend of [name_m]King[/name_m] [name_m]Arthur[/name_m].
- [name_f]Orinthia[/name_f] - F - “to rise,” variant of Oriande with literary and ballet references.
- [name_f]Pandora[/name_f] - F - “gift of all the gods,” in Greek mythology, she is the first woman, who is gifted a mysterious box. When she opens the box in curiosity, it unleashes all the evils of the world, though in the bottom of the box, hope remains. I go back and forth on this name. The myth is not the problem, but rather the associations with the music streaming service and the jewelry brand.
- [name_f]Pearl[/name_f] - F - “pearl,” the beautiful oceanic birth “stone.” To me, the way pearls are formed from a grain of sand in an oyster’s shell symbolizes turning adversity into advantage. I also love the [name_m]Steven[/name_m] Universe reference and the literary cred. Big downside: There is a very difficult individual in our lives who uses this name as her online handle. I loved this name for years before I met her, and don’t want to give it up, but the association is pretty inescapable.
- [name_u]Phaedra[/name_u] - F - “bright,” Greek mythology name with a veritable wealth of references in literature, theatre, opera, ballet, art, etc. I am utterly captivated by the name itself, its look, sound, and meaning. It activates my synesthesia to see a cloud of floral pastels, like [name_f]Monet[/name_f]'s Water [name_f]Lilies[/name_f]. I also adore the character Phedre from [name_f]Jacqueline[/name_f] [name_u]Carey[/name_u]'s trilogy Kushiel’s [name_u]Legacy[/name_u]. [name_f]My[/name_f] concern with this name is the myth itself, a torrid, passionate, and tragic tale of a woman in love with her stepson. When he rejects her, she accuses him of attempted sexual assault, which results in his death and her own suicide. There are many different variations of the tale, each with their own explanations of how and why these events happened as they did. In some, she is an irredeemable predator, while in others she is an unwitting victim of a goddess’s curse. Regardless, the content of the myth makes me worry that this name would be problematic.
- [name_f]Reverie[/name_f] - U - “daydream,” a captivating word name for an ethereal dreamlike state, which can also reference being lost in memories. This is the name of one of my favorite pieces of music by impressionist composer [name_u]Claude[/name_u] Debussy. I love the idea of [name_f]Reverie[/name_f] as an unexpected path to the nickname [name_f]Evie[/name_f].
- [name_u]River[/name_u] - U - “stream of water that flows toward the sea,” a watery nature name usually given to boys. We like it for the references to a pair of badass sci-fi ladies: [name_u]River[/name_u] Song from [name_u]Doctor[/name_u] Who and [name_u]River[/name_u] [name_m]Tam[/name_m] from [name_u]Firefly[/name_u]. Middle only.
- [name_f]Rosalind[/name_f] - F - “soft, gentle horse; beautiful rose,” A gorgeous botanical name that I love for the reference to [name_m]Shakespeare[/name_m]'s As You Like It. First featured in pastoral poetry by [name_m]Edmund[/name_m] [name_u]Spenser[/name_u]. I was surprised by the connection to horses.
- [name_f]Rowena[/name_f] - F - “white spear; famous joy,” an incredibly witchy [name_u]Saxon[/name_u] name for a mytho-historical femme fatale who saves her people by seducing the [name_m]King[/name_m] of the Britons. Chock full of references such as [name_m]Ivanhoe[/name_m], [name_u]Harry[/name_u] [name_m]Potter[/name_m], and even my favorite TV show, Supernatural. I cannot figure out my feelings about this name. It has every single element of a name that I should love, but for some reason I just…don’t.
- [name_u]Rune[/name_u] - U - “secret,” the Germanic/Nordic magical alphabet. The runes are symbols of power and wisdom used in spell craft and divination, sacred to our gods and an important aspect of our various magical practices. In addition to referencing our spirituality, this name would specifically honor S, who is a runecaster. Middle only.
- Sabriel - U - “stop, rest; prickly pear,” an obscure angel of the seventh heaven. This name is entirely in reference to one of my favorite fictional characters, a powerful necromancer from [name_m]Garth[/name_m] [name_f]Nix[/name_f]'s Abhorsen series.
- [name_f]Saffron[/name_f] - U - “saffron crocus,” a rare spice made from the the stigma and styles of this particular flower. Also a color name based on the vivid orange-yellow threads of the spice. I have always loved the look and sound of this name, and as a bonus, it references a minor character from one of our favorite shows, [name_u]Firefly[/name_u]. Middle only.
- [name_f]Samara[/name_f] - F - “seed of the elm,” also used to refer to seeds of ashes and sycamores. Possible downside: the name is often associated with the antagonist from the horror movie series The [name_m]Ring[/name_m].
- Satia - F - “sufficiency, abundance,” a goddess of witches in medieval [name_u]French[/name_u] literature, also associated with the festival of [name_f]Samhain[/name_f]. Modern [name_f]Samhain[/name_f] is considered the witches’ [name_u]New[/name_u] Year, one of the most important pagan holidays. It takes place on Halloween night and is the time when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest, allowing us to communicate with the spirits of the departed.
- [name_f]Senara[/name_f] - F - “light,” associated with a Cornish folk tale of the Mermaid of [name_u]Zennor[/name_u], in which a mysterious woman who didn’t age would periodically appear at a church and captivate everyone with her singing. When sailors encountered a mermaid, the parishioners recognized her song. The name also connects to a [name_m]Breton[/name_m] legend of a pregnant princess cast into the sea by her wicked stepmother. She gave birth to her son in a trunk and the two of them floated to safety. I love the look and sound of this name and all the oceanic connections.
- [name_f]Serafina[/name_f] - F - “ardent, fiery,” derived from the seraphim, a particular class of angels. I love this name for a specific character reference, the fierce and powerful witch [name_f]Serafina[/name_f] Pekkala from [name_m]Phillip[/name_m] Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. Obliquely honors S.
- [name_f]Sereia[/name_f] - F - “mermaid,” I can find very little about this name beyond the fact that it’s the Portuguese word for mermaid. I like the look, sound, and meaning.
- Sinfai - F - “woman from the place of the moon,” obscure Romani variant of [name_f]Cynthia[/name_f]. I love the spelling and the nickname Sin.
- [name_f]Sireli[/name_f] - F - “lilac flower,” I can find very little about this name beyond the fact that it is Estonian for lilac. I like the look and sound.
- [name_u]Snow[/name_u] - U - “frozen precipitation,” a fantastically wintry word name littered with meaningful references. There is the obvious link to [name_u]Snow[/name_u] White, and my favored incarnation of her, [name_u]Snow[/name_u] from Once Upon A Time (as opposed to her [name_f]Mary[/name_f] [name_f]Margaret[/name_f] persona, who tends to irritate me, [name_u]Snow[/name_u] is brilliant, fierce, passionate, and rebellious, all things I love in a heroine.) [name_u]Snow[/name_u] is also one of my favorite characters in a very strange book called Solitaire by [name_u]Kelley[/name_u] Eskridge, a haunting story that I’ve read over and over again. This name also obliquely honors our gods, partly through the connection with their wintry homeland, but also because every time one of them has moved significantly in our lives, their arrival is heralded by an intense winter storm, unusual for the part of the country where we live. Middle only.
- [name_f]Soraya[/name_f] - F - “jewel, princess; star cluster,” this is the Arabic name for The Pleiades. I love the look and sound, as well as the celestial connection. Obliquely honors S.
- [name_u]Starling[/name_u] - U - “songbird,” a tough, adaptable, intelligent species of bird with a very celestial sounding name. They were brought from Europe to the US by a [name_m]Shakespeare[/name_m] enthusiast, because they are briefly mentioned in one of his plays. They flourished here to the point that they are frequently considered pests, but I admire the juxtaposition of their tenacious presence and delicate, ethereal name. Middle only.
- [name_f]Sylvana[/name_f] - F - “woodland,” female form of [name_m]Silvanus[/name_m], the [name_m]Roman[/name_m] god of woods and wild places, a domain that resonates strongly with us. Nickname [name_f]Sylvie[/name_f] also has special meaning to us due to the way it sounds like “silver;” a long story, but anything silvery is getting strong consideration for this baby. Variants we are considering include [name_f]Sylvia[/name_f], [name_f]Sylvaine[/name_f], Silvi, [name_f]Sylvianne[/name_f], [name_f]Silvia[/name_f], and even traditionally masculine variant [name_m]Sylvan[/name_m].
- [name_f]Sylvestra[/name_f] - F - “from the forest,” feminine variant of [name_m]Sylvester[/name_m]. I’m listing this separately from [name_f]Sylvana[/name_f] because not only is it chock full of wild and woodsy vibes and not only is it my favorite way to get to [name_f]Sylvie[/name_f] for that special silver reference, but it also has another layer of significance to me. I have been a tarot reader for over a decade, and it is one of my life’s great passions. The first deck I ever worked with is called Fenestra, and the similarity in sound makes me think of this deck every time I hear the name [name_f]Sylvestra[/name_f]. This one is very near the top of my list.
- [name_f]Taika[/name_f] - F - “magic, spell, rune,” obliquely honors S by virtue of being a Finnish name. I love the meaning of this one, but am not sold on the look and sound.
- [name_f]Tanith[/name_f] - F - “serpent lady,” a Phoenician moon goddess associated with Tiamat, one of my favorite ancient primordial deities (whose name I cannot use directly.) Potential downside: There is an absolutely horrible NPC in the Borderlands game series with this name.
- [name_f]Thalassa[/name_f] - F - “of the sea,” a goddess of the sea and name of one of [name_u]Neptune[/name_u]'s moons.
- [name_f]Thalia[/name_f] - F - “abundant, plentiful, rich,” the muse of comedy and laughter.
- Thelema - F - “will, to wish, to want,” a magical, mystical, and religious philosophy developed by Aleister Crowley, one of the most influential figures in modern witchcraft. The central tenet of Thelema is, “do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the [name_m]Law[/name_m].” Rather than a license to do what you please, this is a call to discover your [name_u]True[/name_u] [name_m]Will[/name_m], your deepest self whose destiny is a higher purpose in perfect accordance with the Universe.
- [name_f]Titania[/name_f] - F - “giantess, great one,” queen of the fairies from my favorite Shakespearean play, A Midsummer [name_u]Night[/name_u]'s [name_u]Dream[/name_u].
- [name_f]Vashti[/name_f] - F - “lovely,” a Persian queen who defied her husband’s order to appear naked for his guests and became a feminist icon. I’ve loved the look and feel of this name since I was a child, but go back and forth on actually using. It somehow doesn’t feel natural when said aloud.
- [name_f]Viola[/name_f] - F - “violet,” a botanical name and Shakespearean reference as well as a musical instrument.
- [name_u]Vivendel[/name_u] - “honeysuckle,” lively Norwegian botanical name that always sounds elvish to me, likely because of the similar sound to Tolkien’s Rivendell.
- [name_f]Vivienne[/name_f] - F - “life,” a lilting [name_u]French[/name_u] name with Arthurian cred, as it is one of the names given to the [name_f]Lady[/name_f] of the [name_u]Lake[/name_u]. Also connected to stories of the [name_f]Fey[/name_f]. Very obliquely honors S.
- [name_u]Willow[/name_u] - U - “willow tree,” an unearthly beautiful tree with a laundry list of literary and mythology associations, too many to name them all! Willows are another Ogham tree (Ogham is a druidic language in which each letter is associated with a calendar period, a magical tree, and a divinatory meaning.) and they have long been believed to possess magical properties. Their bark is a staple for any herbalist, as it is the substance from which aspirin is derived. Among the many references with personal meaning are the Grandmother [name_u]Willow[/name_u] from Disney’s [name_f]Pocahontas[/name_f], the eponymous male character from the fantasy movie [name_u]Willow[/name_u], and the [name_u]Willow[/name_u] Song from [name_m]Shakespeare[/name_m]'s [name_m]Othello[/name_m]. But the ultimate reference, and the reason I have fiercely adored this name since childhood is the incredible [name_u]Willow[/name_u] Rosenberg from *[name_f]Buffy[/name_f] the Vampire Slayer." Not only is she an amazing character possessed of great passion and strength beneath her shy exterior, but in many ways, she is the reason I became the witch I am today.
- [name_f]Wisteria[/name_f] - F - “Wister’s flower,” named after the horticulturist who discovered it. In Victorian flower language, wisteria is a symbol of devotion. I have adored this name since childhood, as wisterias are my favorite flower. Their dangling purple blossoms smell so heady and magical, and I love the juxtaposition between the delicate blossoms and the implacable strength of the woody vines. This flower never fails to remind me fondly of my childhood home in the Deep [name_u]South[/name_u]. [name_f]My[/name_f] favorite nickname option is the fanciful and unexpected Wish.
- [name_f]Yesenia[/name_f] - F - “floral,” name of a flowering tree in [name_u]South[/name_u] [name_u]America[/name_u], but used in Arabic and Spanish naming trends as well.
- [name_f]Yvaine[/name_f] - F - “evening star,” the fallen star from Stardust, one of our favorite movies. Also the feminine variant of Yvain, an Arthurian [name_m]Knight[/name_m] of the Round Table. Yet another way to get to nickname [name_f]Evie[/name_f].
- Zafiri - U - “emerald,” a children’s game that mimics the worship of [name_m]Adonis[/name_m].
- [name_f]Zelda[/name_f] - F - “grey fighting maid; dark battle; blessed, happy,” some sources cite [name_f]Zelda[/name_f] as a dimunitive of [name_f]Griselda[/name_f], which is where the first two meanings come from; others say it is a variant of the Yiddish name [name_m]Selig[/name_m], which is the origin of the latter meaning. The reference to the popular game series obliquely honors one of T’s loved ones. I fell in love with this name after watching [name_f]Miranda[/name_f] [name_m]Otto[/name_m]'s awesome portrayal of the badass Spellman sister and eventual matriarch of the witches from Chilling Adventures of [name_f]Sabrina[/name_f]. T and S have deemed this one middle only.
- [name_f]Zorya[/name_f] - F - “star,” the Slavic triple goddess of the morning, evening, and midnight stars, who take turns watching the sky to make sure the monster chained to the star [name_f]Polaris[/name_f] does not break free and swallow the world. These three were characters in American Gods, and [name_f]Cloris[/name_f] Leachman’s captivating performance in the TV series as [name_f]Zorya[/name_f] Vechernyaya stole my heart.
And that’s everything - the Monster List is complete! Whew!
Here are the links to Part 1 Help me narrow down my MASSIVE list! (Part 1: A-G) and Part 2 Help me narrow down my MASSIVE list! (Part 2: I-N)
Thank you so much, dear sweet Berries, for going on this journey with me. I don’t know how I would sort this all out without your invaluable assistance!