Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Your Name Could Have Been .....

Yesterday's post about glade - the sunlit clearing and the man - made me think of all the other names for places that can also be names for people. For instance, lea - a grassland, pasture or meadow.

The cows are in the lea of Clonalis House near the town of Castlerea in this picture I took in County Roscommon, Ireland.

Or, spelled Leigh (meaning delicate or weary), it is also the name of my sweet girl. How would she like to be Kari Meadow instead of Kari Leigh?
Or maybe Gael Lea? The name Gael is one I liked, but not spelled Gale or Gail. A gale is a strong wind or an emotional outburst. I only like it if spelled Gael - which means 'native Irish speaker'.

A fen is a wetland. This picture is of Wicken Fen (love that name) a nature reserve in Cambridgeshire, England. Typical fen vegetation is in the foreground while carr vegetation is in the background. Carr is the northern European equivalent of our wooded swamps like those found in the southeastern U.S.

Would either of my boys liked to be named Finn? Doug strikes me as a more likely Finn, but Finn Fleming (Preston's last name) does have a certain ring to it. Finn means 'fair' while Douglas is derived from the Gaelic dubh which means 'dark', so I guess Preston with his blond hair would have been the more likely Finn.

I always liked the name Glen. Probably because it was the name of one of my favorite cousins. I remember when I first learned that glen was also the word for a secluded narrow valley, I wondered why my Aunt Evelyn would have named her second son for a valley.

I have so many pictures of various glens in Ireland. This one of the Powerscourt Waterfall on the Dargle River near Enniskerry in County Wicklow is in the most enchanting glen. The valley is surrounded by Djouce Mountain and the Great Sugar Loaf.

Clouds over Great Sugar Loaf Mountain as I drove through the 'Glen of the Downs', Gleann dá Ghrua, meaning "The Valley of the Two Brows."

A ridge is a geological feature consisting of a chain of mountains or hills that form a continuous elevated crest for some distance. This photo of Bud standing on a ridge with the Arkansas River in the background was taken at Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas.

Ridge seemed to me a very unusual name for a little boy when I heard that it was what my first great-grandson was named. But I have grown to be very fond of the name. After all, his Dad, the first of my grandchildren is named Brock. I wonder if he knows that his name comes from the Irish broc - a male badger.

My kids are lucky they were born when they were. With all the reading and traveling I have done if I were naming them now their names would probably be of the, shall we say, unusual, ilk.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that Gael is the only good way to spell that name. It would have been pretty funny if you'd named me "gaily".

    I always notice names that are also verbs. Like your kids: Dug, Carry, Pressed-on, and Mark. :-) Oh, plus Bud and Ken! <3