Fascinating E Names

Part 5/26.

Eirwen- I included this in my Blizzard names post that was also posted on Nameberry, and a Welsh reader there pointed out something fascinating- “Eir” means “snow,” and “wen” means “white,” so Eirwen literally means “snow white” or “white snow.”

Elysia- Elysia shares a rhythm with Olivia and a sound with Elise, but its origin is what’s truly interesting- it’s related to Elysium (“bliss”), a Greek and Roman mythological place somewhat similar to the Christian heaven.

Ethel- It’s the quintessential old lady name. Ethel comes from Old English and German names, but was vigorously revived in the 19th century. It was a top 10 name from 1888 to 1903 and remained fairly popular through the 1930’s. Ethel faced a rapid decline in popularity, dropping out of the top 1000 by the 70’s, and has yet to resurface. But what’s out often comes back in, and names that were popular at the same time as Ethel (like Frances and Pearl) are trendy again. Ethel may be a grandma name to people my age, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of us end up with grandchildren bearing the name!

Everly- This name, unranked in 2011, skyrocketed over 800 places in only 4 years. It’s now ranked #138, and I predict it will enter the top 100 in the next 2 years. And it’s no wonder it’s popular- it sounds very much like the mega-popular Emily mixed with trendier names like Ever and Eva. It’s the name of three celebrity babies: Anthony Kiedis’ son, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan’s daughter, and Cam Gigandet’s daughter (spelled Everleigh).

Eoin – The original form of Owen. It’s a Gaelic form of John. Its Anglicized spelling is popular (#36) in the US, but the original is more popular in Ireland, ranking #47.

Emeril- The famous chef has a family name (he’s the third, and son EJ is the fourth), but it’s unclear where the first Emeril got his name. But creative naming is nothing new- Djuna Barnes’ father invented her name way back in 1892, so it’s very possible that a Lagasse ancestor thought the name up!

Eissa- Janet Jackson recently chose this name for her son. It’s unusual in the US, but Eissa is more common in Qatar, Jackson’s husband’s home country. Interestingly, Eissa is etymologically related to the name Jesus.

Elhanan- A very rare old testament name, Elhanan’s biblical pedigree and popular –n ending could appeal to modern parents looking for a highly unusual name.

2 thoughts on “Fascinating E Names

  1. Hello, I was the Welsh reader on nameberry! I’m glad I was able to pass on some knowledge and happy to find your blog, looking forward to reading more!


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