Cinnabar is the name of a bright red color with an orange tint and is the source the color vermilion comes from. The origin of the word comes from Old French cinabre via Latin cinnabaris via Ancient Greek kinnabari, itself derived from a pre-Greek origin, perhaps from an Oriental origin, either via an Arabic or Persian source.
Meaning: “cinnabar”, a bright red color with an orange tint
…and I need a break from this blog. The truth is, this blog takes up time and energy which I don’t have much at the moment. I’m tired, I want to recharge, and I want to create a decent amount of buffer before beginning to post again. I’ve also been rewriting some of my older posts, not satisfied with many of them, but that’s been a slow target, and I’ve been rethinking how I use my categories (too many of them I think) and tags, and until I’m satisfied with how to handle those, Names Throughout the Ages will be on hiatus. I’m hoping to be back sometime next month. Until than, if anyone has any names you want me to profile that isn’t on this blog already, just post it below. I’m always on the lookout for names I haven’t come across 🙂
A while ago I planned on starting a series of posts of all the names of characters in the books I read (like here). It’s been a while since that post but I can assure you, I’ve been reading and keeping a list of the names, but I procrastinated on writing them up and now, unfortunately, it seems I’ve lost some of the papers with the names.
I figured I’d start with The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I picked up this book over the summer because I’m a fan of mystery books and the premise sounded so interesting I wanted to see how it held up. I wasn’t disappointed. It was a bit confusing at times and I had to reread some parts of it, but that’s just due to the complexity of the plot rather than the writing. This was truly the best book I’ve read this year.
*The setting takes place in a mansion in England, sometime in the 1930s or 40s, which I mention since the names would be contemporary of their time. As for the title, in the U.K. it’s known as the The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, in the U.S. as The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, to avoid confusion with another similarly titled book, The Seven Husbnds of Evelyn Hugo
It was written by Stuart Turton; Stuart comes from an English surname, a variant spelling of Stewart, an occupational name for someone who was an administrative official of an estate or someone who was in charge of domestic affairs of a household. The names comes from Old English stiweard meaning “house guardian”.
PeterHardcastle- Peter is the English form of Greek Petros meaning “stone, rock”;
HelenaHardcastle- Helena is the Latinate form of Helen, the English form of Helene, an Ancient Greek name of uncertain etymology though it’s been linked to Greek helene meaning “torch” or “corposant”, though it might also be linked to selene meaning “moon”;
Evelyn Hardcastle- it comes from an English surname, derived from given name Aveline, the Norman French form of Germanic name Avelina, a diminutive of Avila from Germanic element avi of unknown meaning though possibly meaning “desired”;
Michael Hardcastle- a male name meaning “who is like God?”, a rhetorical question implying there is no one like God;
Edward Dance- comes from Old English elements ead (wealth, fortune, rich) and weard (guard, guardian) meaning “rich guardian”, “rich guard” or “wealthy guard/guardian”;
Rebecca Dance- comes from Hebrew Rivka which has been linked to Hebrew r-b-q meaning “to tie, to join, snare”, and has even been linked to an ensnaring or captivating beauty;
ChristopherPettigrew- the English form of Christophoros, a Late Greek name meaning “bearing Christ” from Greek pheros (to carry, to bear, to bring) and Greek given name Christos meaning “anointed”;
Philip Sutcliffe- an Ancient Greek name meaning “lover of horses” from Greek elements philos (friend, lover) and hippos (horse);
Grace Davies- comes from Latin gratia meaning “favor, kindness” and usually referring to qualities of elegance, pleasantness, charm, kindness, courteousness, and attractiveness. It derives from grātus (pleasing, acceptable, agreeable) via PIE *gʷerH- (to favor, approve; praise);
Donald Davies-comes from Old Irish Domnall via Celtic Dumnoualos meaning “ruler of the world”, “world ruler”, or “world ruler”;
Clifford Herrington- derived from an English surname meaning “ford by a cliff” originally used to refer to someone who lived near one;
Millicent Derby- the English form of Germanic Amalasuintha meaning “strong labor” or “strong work”;
Jonathan Derby- the English form of Hebrew Yehonatan meaning “Yahweh has given”;
Daniel Coleridge- comes from Hebrew meaning “God is my judge”;
Cecil Ravencourt- the English form of Caecilius, an Ancient Roman family name which comes from Latin caecusmeaning “blind; hidden, invisible”;
Jim Rashton- Jim originated as a nickname for James meaning “holder of the heel” or “supplanter” from Hebrew;
Richard “Dickie” Acker- a male name made up of Germanic elements ric (power, rule) and hard (brave, hardy) essentially meaning “strong ruler” or “brave ruler”;
Sebastian Bell- comes from Latin Sebastianus meaning “from Sebaste”, Sebaste being a city in Asia Minor (in what is now modern day Turkey). The name is derived from Ancient Greek sebastos meaning “venerable, august, exalted” (a Greek translation of Latin Augustus) via Ancient Greek sebázomai (to feel awe, revere) and the adjectival suffix -tos, meaning “worthy of being revered”;
Ted Stanwin- Ted is a nickname, either for Edward or Theodore meaning “gift of God” or “God’s gift”;
Roger Collins- means “famous spear”, made up from Germanic elements hrod (famous, fame) and ger (spear);
LucyHarper– Lucy is the English form of Lucia, the feminine form of Luciuswhich is an Ancient Roman praenomen (given name) meaning “light”;
Alf Miller– Alf is a nickname for Alfredmeaning “elf counsel” and in this case it seems likely that Alf is a nickname for Alfred; Alf is also an Old Norse name meaning “elf”;
Gregory Gold– the English form of Latinized Greek form Gregorius deriving from Greek Gregorios meaning “watchful, vigilant, alert”;
Charles Cunningham- it comes from Germanic Karl meaning “man” via Proto-Germanic *karilaz (free man) derived from a PIE root word;
Madeline Aubert- Madeline comes from French Madeleine, itself the French form of Magdalene, originally a title meaning “of Magdala” in reference to someone who came from the town or village of Magdala, originally located at the Sea of Galilee. Magdala comes from Hebrew migdal meaning “tower”;
Thomas Hardcastle- the Greek form of an Aramaic name, Ta’oma, meaning “twin”;
CharlieCarver- Charlie is a nickname for Charles meaning “man”;
Anna– the Latinate form of Hebrew Channah meaning “favor” or “grace”;
Annabelle Caulker- the character Anna’s full name, Annabelle is a variant spelling of Annabel which is a variant form of Amabel, the Medieval English feminine form of Amabilis, a Late Latin male name meaning “lovable, worthy of love”. It’s also possible that Annabelle could be a combination of given names Anna (meaning “favor” or “grace” from Hebrew) and Belle, a French name (and word) meaning “beautiful”;
Henrietta– the feminine form of Henrymeaning “home ruler”;
Beth– a nickname for Elizabethmeaning “my God is an oath” or “my God is abundance”;
Heather Hardcastle- refers to a variety of small shrubs with pink or white flowers which commonly grow in rocky places. The name comes from Old English hather, hæddre, of uncertain origin and meaning,though it seems the spelling was changed to resemble heath which refers to a tract of uncultivated land or a wasteland overgrown with shrubs;
AidenBishop- a variant spelling of Aidan, which is the Anglicized form of Aodhán from Old Irish Áedán, a diminutive of Áed (or Aodh) with the diminutive suffix -an meaning “fire” or “fiery” so Aiden would mean “little fire” or “little fiery one”;
Felicity Maddox– Felicity is an English female given name derived from the word meaning “happiness” which comes from Latin felicitas;
Elspeth– the Scottish form of Elizabeth;
Oswald– is an Old English male name meaning “god power” or “god ruler”, made up from Old English elements ōs (god) and weald(power, ruler);
KeithParker– comes from a Scottish surname of uncertain meaning though it may be derived from Proto-Brythonic word *koɨd meaning “wood, forest”, ultimately from a Proto-Celtic origin;
MargaretRashton- an English female name which comes from Ancient Greek margarítēs meaning “pearl”;
Audrey– an English female name, the Anglo-Norman form of Æðelþryð, an Old English name meaning “noble strength”;
Josephine– the feminine form of Joseph, derived from Hebrew Yosef meaning “Yahweh will increase” or “Yahweh will add”;
Oliver– a male given name that has two possible origins. The first is that it could be from Germanic Alfhar from Old Norse Alvar meaning “elf warrior” or “elf army” from Old Norse elements alfr (elf) and arr (warrior, army); or it’s derived from another Old Norse name, Áleifr, meaning “ancestor’s descendant” from Old Norse anu (ancestor) and leifr (descendant);
JulietteBishop- a French diminutive of Julie, which comes from Julia, the feminine form of Julius, an Ancient Roman name of uncertain meaning though it’s been linked to Greek ioulos (downy-bearded) or it could be related to Jupiter, the name of the Roman god derived from Indo-European *Dyeu-Pater meaning “Zeus father”, Zeus meaning “shine” or “sky”.
Ruslan is a shortened form of Yeruslan, a Slavic male name which comes from Tatar Uruslan which could be derved from Turkish arslan, aslan meaning “lion”. YeruslanLazarevich is the name of a Russian folk hero who seems to have been influenced by the Persian hero Rostem.
Taharqa is the name of a 7th century Egyptian pharaoh of the Nubian dynasty located in what is now modern-day Sudan. I couldn’t find anything behind the meaning of the name. He’s mentioned in the Bible, known as Tirhakah, who went to war against the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib at the king of Judah Hezekiah’s request, stalling the army and eventually forcing Sennacherib to abandon the siege.
Kylie is a female given name. I’ve seen it listed as coming from an Australian Aboriginal word meaning “boomerang”; it could also be a variant form of Kyla, the feminine form of Kyle, which comes from a Scottish surname likely derived from Scottish Gaelic caol meaning “narrows”, “strait”, “channel”. It may also be derived from Scottish Gaelic coille meaning “wood, forest”.
For a while now I’ve been thinking of doing posts of names of characters in the books I read, mainly because as a name lover I’m always interested in the names authors use, but also because I’ve become curious about what names are popular in different genres and which ones tend to repeat across them. I don’t read as much as I used to (unfortunately) but I just finished reading a book recently and I took note of all the names mentioned, no matter how minor.
I recently finished reading The Sins of the Father by C.B. Hanley, a mystery set in medieval England in the early 13th century (1217 to be exact). It takes place during a civil war in England between the forces of King Louis VIII of France and King Henry III of England. It was first published in 2009. The author is C.B. Hanley, short for Catherine, a variant spelling of Katherine which comes from Greek Aikaterine though the etymology behind the name is not certain. It could be derived from another Greek name, Hekaterine from hekateros meaning “each of the two” or from Hecate, the name of the Greek goddess of witchcraft, the underworld, and crossroads, from hekas possibly meaning “far off” though another theory states it comes from a Greek word meaning “will”. It might also be derived from Greek aikia “torture”. Katherine could also be from a Coptic name meaning “my consecration of your name”. The spelling of the name was later changed to be associated with Greek katharos “pure”. Now on to her characters:
Edwin Weaver- the main protagonist of the novel, Edwin is the son of the bailiff who is forced to take over his father’s duties when a murder occurs at his lord’s castle. Edwin comes from Old English Eadwine. It’s composed from Old English elements ead (wealth, fortune, riches, blessed, happiness) and wine (friend) so the name essentially means “rich friend”, “blessed friend” or “happy friend;
William– this name was pretty popular in this book, the name of 3 different characters including William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, a real life figure in the early 13th century. It becomes from a Germanic name meaning “desiring protection” or “willful protection” and has always been a common name in medieval England to the present day;
Joanna de Lacy- Joanna is the feminine form of John meaning ‘Yahweh is gracious” from Hebrew Yochanan;
Isabelle de Warenne– the sister of William de Warenne,Isabelle is the French form Isabel which is the medieval Occitan form of Elizabeth, the English form of Hebrew ‘Elisheva meaning “my God is an oath” or “my God is abundance”;
Robert Fitzhugh- Robert comes from Germanic name Hrodebert meaning “bright fame” from Germanic elements hrod (fame) and beraht (bright);
Simon– the name of several figures in the New Testament, including the second son of Jacob and Leah, it means “he who hears” or “he has heard” derived from Hebrew shama (to hear, listen). However, Simon is also Greek name coming from Greek meaning “flat-nosed”;
Martin– comes from the Roman name Martinus meaning “belonging to Mars”, Mars being the Roman god of war (the Roman counterpart to the Greek god Ares). Mars is a name of uncertain etymology and meaning though it could possibly be related to Latin mas meaning “male”; this name became common among Christians because of St. Martin of Tours;
Berold– a Medieval English name which seems to derive from Germanic name Bernwald meaning “bear ruler”;
Louis– this name is mentioned regarding King Louis VIII. It ‘s the French form of Ludovicus, the Latinized form of Germanic name Ludwig, from Chlodovech, meaning “famous battle” or “famous in battle”;
Geoffrey– this name of 2 different characters, it is the Norman French form of a Germanic name. The second element of the name comes from Germanic frid meaning “peace” while the first element is trickier. It could be derived from Proto-Germanic *gautaz meaning “Geat”, Old Germanic gawia meaning “territory”, walha meaning “foreigner, Celtic, Gaul”, or gisil meaning “hostage, pledge”. It’s also been conflated with Godfrey in the past meaning “peace of God”;
Ignatius– is a variant spelling of Egnatius, an Ancient Roman family name of unknown meaning though it’s likely that it was Etruscan in origin. The spelling of Egnatius was later altered to resemble Latin ignis meaning “fire”;
John– it comes from Hebrew meaning ‘Yahweh is gracious” and is mentioned in connection to King John, dead by the beginning of the novel. He was the younger brother of Richard the Lionheart and became king of England after his brother’s death, even going to war against his own nephew, Arthur of Brittany, this on of his older brother Geoffrey. He was unpopular among many of the English nobles because of his policies, leading to rebellion and civil war;
Henry– used twice in the novel, it comes from Germanic given name Heimirich meaning “home ruler” from Germanic elements heim (home) and ric (power, rule);
Gringolet– it’s the name of a horse, not a person. In Arthurian legend it’s the name of Sir Gawain‘s charger which is probably where the name comes from; though it’s etymology is uncertain,it could be derived from either Welsh guin-calet (white and hardy), or keincaled (handsome and hardy);
Ralph de Courteville– a contracted form of Ráđúlfr, an Ancient Scandinavian name meaning “wolf counsel” or “counsel wolf” from Old Norse elements ráđ (counsel) and úlfr (wolf);
Walter de Courteville– meaning “ruler of the army” from Germanic elements wald (ruler, leader, power) and hari (army);
Richard– used twice, it’s made up Germanic elements ric (power, rule) and hard (brave, hardy) essentially meaning “strong ruler” or “brave ruler”;
Peter– coming from Greek Petros meaning “stone, rock”;
Roger d’Abernon– means “famous spear” from Germanic elements hrod (fame) and ger (spear);
Maud– a medieval diminutive of Matilda meaning “strength in battle” or “might in battle” from Germanic elements maht (might, strength) and hild (battle);
Ela– this name was definitely used in medieval England; there’s an Ela of Salisbury, 3rd Countess of Salisbury (1187-1261) but I’m not sure if it was used as a short form for Eleanor or whether it comes from Proto-Germanic *allaz (all, whole, everything) from Latin alia;
Adam– from Hebrew, it has various meanings such as “man”, “earth, soil, ground”, and “red”;
Hugh– used 3 times, it comes from Proto-Germanic element *hugiz meaning “heart, thought, mind, spirit”;
Godric– an Anglo-Saxon name meaning “God’s rule” or “power of God” made up from Old English god (god) and ric (power, rule);
Anne– the French feminine form of Anna, the Greek form of Hebrew Channah meaning “favor” or “grace”;
Warin– it means “guard, protect” from Germanic element warin;
Agnes-is the Latinized form of Hagne, a Greek female name meaning “pure, chaste” from Greek hagnos (pure, chaste). The name later became associated with Latin agnus meaning “lamb” because of a virgin-martyr who died for her faith in ancient Rome, even though the name has nothing to do with it;
Aelfrith– an Anglo-Saxon male name meaning “elf peace” from Old English ælf (peace) and friþ (peace);
Gilbert– an English male name meaning “bright pledge” or “bright hostage” from Germanic elements gisil (pledge, host) and beraht (bright);
Reginald– a Latinized form of Reynold, which comes from Germanic Raginald meaning “advice + rule” from Germanic elements ragin (advice) and wald (rule);
Stephen– used twice, it comes from Greek Stephanos meaning “crown, wreath”;
Crispin– the English form of Roman cognomen Crispinus, a diminutive of Crispus meaning “curly haired”;
Giles– the medieval English form of Aegidius, a Latin male name meaning “young goat; kid” which comes from Ancient Greek aegis (shield; defense) via Ancient Greek aigis (goatskin) from a Proto-Indo-European root word *h₂eyǵ- (goat);
Arthur– the meaning behind the name is unknown though it has often been linked to Celtic *artos meaning “bear” combined with rīxs meaning “king” meaning “bear king” or gwr (man) meaning “bear man”. The name may also be related to Artorius, a rare Roman family name of unknown etymology and meaning;
Hamelin de Warenne– comes from a French name, a diminutive of Hamel meaning “village, homestead” from Old English ham from Proto-Germanic *haimaz.
Cornflower is the name of a flower (also known as bachelor’s button) so named because it grew in cornfields. It’s made up of corn (a grain or seed of a cereal crop such as oats, wheat, and barley) which comes from Proto-Germanic *kurną (corn, grain, cereal) derived from a PIE root word meaning “grain”; and flower. Cornflower blue is also a color of a bright blue with a tint of purple.
Coriander is the name of an herb used in cooking (also known as cilantro) which comes from Latin coriandrum which comes from Ancient Greek koriannon which seems to be derived from kóris, koriosmeaning “bedbug”, which may ultimately derive from a pre-Greek origin, perhaps Phoenician.
Violante is the Latin form of Yolanda, the Spanish form of French Yolande which seems to be possibly influenced from Greek Iolanthe meaning “violet flower” from Greek elements iole (violet) and anthos (flower), though it’s just as likely that it’s a derivative of Latin violameaning “violet”, related to Ancient Greek ion (violet) which seems to be from a pre-I.E. Mediterranean language. Violante is also an Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese surname originating from the given name.
Sierra is a female given name which comes from the Spanish word meaning “mountain range”, a term applied to mountains with particularly jagged edges; it also means “saw”. It comes from Latin serra (saw) derived from a PIE root word. Sierra is also a Spanish surname, originally a locational surname for someone who came from a place called Sierra.
Lorimer comes from a Scottish surname, originally an occupational name for a maker and seller of spurs, bits, and other metal parts for a horse’s bridle. It comes from Old French loremier via Latin lorum (thong, leather strap; rein of a bridle) which cold possibly be derived from a PIE root word though it could also be derived from an unknown or extinct Indo-European language.
Ross comes from a Scottish and English surname via a place name meaning “promontory, headland” from Scottish Gaelic ros which ultimately comes from a PIE root word. Although traditionally a male name, I can see Ross as being used as a unisex name, perhaps because of its similarity to Roz.