Bay

Origin: English, Germanic, Gaelic/Scottish, Turkish

Meaning: from Latin baca meaning “berry”, originally referring to the berries of a bay tree.

As a surname it comes from Old English Beaga (m) and Beage (f) which mean “garland”, “crown” and “treasure thing”. Bay is also an English word referring to an area of water bordered by land on three sides, as well as referring to the color “reddish brown”.

It also seems to be a variant spelling of Turkish bey, a title used by wealthy leaders referring to a cheiftain or lord.

Bay is also a short form of Bayer, a German surname meaning “Bavaria”, referring to someone from there.

Bay could also be a short form of Gaelic surname O’Bae, itself a short form of McBeth/Macbeth meaning “son of life”, though it also seems to have an implicit meaning of “righteous man” or “religious man”.

Variants: Bae, Baye

Rainey

Origin: Gaelic, English

Meaning: from what I could find, it’s a Scottish or Irish surname, the Anglicized form of Gaelic O’Raighne meaning “descendent of Raonull”, the latter being either a form of Ronald which means “advice,counsel +power,ruler” or a form of Reynold meaning “advice+rule”.

It can also be a variant spelling of English rainy.

Variants: Rainy

Beverly

Origin: English

Meaning: a surname that means “beaver stream” from Old English beofer meaning “beaver” and licc meaning “stream”, denoting someone who lived near one.

Beverly was originally used as a masculien name before becoming more popular for women.

Bev and Verlie are diminutives of the name.

Variants: Beverley

Sohrab

Origin: Persian

سهراب (Persian) Sohrab

Meaning: it means either “illustrious, shining” or “red water”.

In the Persian epic of Shahnameh Sohrab is the name of the son of the hero Rostam. It’s rather a tragic story. Rostam is searching for his lost horse Rakhsh and enters the kingdom of Samangan, becoming the guest of the king whose daughter, Tahmina, falls in love with him at first sight. She visits him in the night wanting to have a child with him and they do spend the night together. Before Rostam leaves, he gives Tahmina two tokens and tells her that if she has a girl she should take one of the tokens, a jewel, and plait it in her hair. If it’s a boy, she should take the other token, a seal, and bind it around his arm. Years pass and Rostam and Sohrab face each other on opposites sides of a war, wrestling each other one on one. Rostam doesn’t know Sohrab is his son and although Sohrab knows the identity of his father, he doesn’t realize that the man he’s fighting is him. Eventually Rostam kills him by stabbing him through the heart, only then seeing the token he’d given Tahmina, who arrives at the battlefield too late to find her son dead in his father’s arms.

Variants: Suhrab; Zurab (Georgian); Sukhrab (Kazakh, Kyrgyz)

Merlin

Origin: Welsh, English

Meaning: from Welsh Myrddin meaning “sea fortress”.

Meaning: Merlin is a key figure in the King Arthur romance, a sorcerer who is Arthur’s closest adviser and ally. The name was Latinized into Merlinus by Geoffrey of Monmouth because its regular form, Merdinus, was similar to the Anglo-Norman word merde that meant excrement.

Myrrdin Wyllt is a figure in Medieval Welsh legend, depicted as a madman after a battle in which his lord was killed, who went to live in the forest with the animals and received the gift of prophecy. Interestingly enough, this Myrrdin was the same person Geoffrey of Monmouth took and conflated with his character of Merlin .

Merlis is also the name of a species of falcon.

Variants: Merlin, Merlyn

Kaito

Origin: Japanese

海斗 (Kaito)

海翔 (Kaito)

Meaning: from Japanese kai 海 meaning “sea, ocean” combined with either to 斗 referring to the constellation of the Big Dipper, or to 翔 meaning “to soar, fly”. There are probably more meanings with different kanji but these were the most common meanings I could find.

Kaito (怪 盗) is also a word meaning phanton thief or gentleman thief. It seems to be the same pronounciation as the name but with different kanji.

Yima

Origin: Avestan

Meaning: the ancient Avestan form of Persian Jam (a short form of Jamshid), meaning either “twin” or “river”. In all honesty, however, I could find little information about the name’s etymology with the exception of Behind the Name and Wikipedia.

Yima is not a name found in A Series of Unfortunate Events– there were no Y names I could find so I just chose one myself.

Winnipeg

Origin: Native American

Meaning: from what I could find online, it’s a transcription of Western Cree words win-nipi meaning “muddy/brackish or dirty water”.

The name Winnipeg is mentioned in Book 10 (The Slippery Slope) as the surname of one of the children Esmé Squalor plans to steal the fortune of.

Winnipeg is also the capital of Manitoba located in Canada.

Marisol

Origin: Spanish

Meaning: A contracted form of Maria de Soledad, the title of the Virgin Mary meaning “Mary of Solitude”.

It could also be a combination of the names Maria (with several possible meanings: to be rebellious; well-fed; bitter, bitterness; or it could come from Egyptian meaning “beloved” or “love”; bitter, drop; myrrh, mistress) and Sol, the spanish word for “sun”

Marisol could also be translated from Spanish mar y sol meaning “sea and sun” though that isn’t it’s original meaning

Galatea

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Origin: Greek ( Γαλατεια )

Meaning: goddess of calm seas from galene γαλήνη (calm, gentle sea) or milky white from gala γάλα (milky white)

Though there are a few Galateas in Greek mythology, the most famous one I know is Pygmalion and Galatea. Pygmalion was a sculptor who carved such a beautiful figure out of ivory that he fell in love with it. After praying to Aphrodite, she turned the ivory statue into a living woman and they lived happily ever after.

There was also another Galatea, one of the Nereids, the 50 daughters of Nereus, god of the sea. Galatea was a sea nymph who caught the attention of the cyclops Polyphemos who tried to woo her but she rejected him for a handsome mortal named Akis (or Acis). Angry, Polyphemos crushed Akis beneath a rock and, grief-stricken, Galatea transformed Akis into a stream. Interestingly enough, Polyphemos is the same cyclops Odysseus later encounters and blinds, earning himself the wrath of Poeseidon and causing him to spend 10 years at sea before finally able to reach home.

Variants: Galateia, Galatia

Dover

Origin: English, Anglo-Saxon

Meaning: an ancient place name variously recorded as Dubris, Dofras, and Doferum. The meaning is a bit tricky since there seems to be different thoughts on it. The most held belief is that the name came from Celtic origin, Dubra, meaning “waters” but there’s also another claim that it means “port of the double banks” according to this detailed, incisive article on the name’s origins, the last link below.

 

Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dover

http://www.dover-kent.co.uk/history/name_origin.htm

http://www.proto-english.org/dover.pdf

Dillon

Origin: Irish, Welsh

Meaning: debated, and numerous.

Have you ever come across a name you think you know about but than you look it up and you realize that there are a lot of contradictory information about it? Well, this name was one of them. Originally I thought it was a variant spelling of Welsh Dylan (and it kind of is) but it also seems to have a completely different origin and meaning(s). So it’s of Irish origin, either coming from dealan “a flash of lightning” or an Irish word meaning “faithful, loyal” (http://www.babynamesofireland.com/dillon)

According to surnamedb.com, ancestry.com, and houseofnames.com, Dillon either comes from Dilwyn (or Dilun), a locational name referring to someone who lived near the town, which comes from Old English diglum meaning “recess” or”retreat”- referring to someone who lives at the shady or secret places (http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=dillon).

It could also come from a Germanic personal name, Dillo, meaning “destroyer”.

It could also be a transposition of de Leon, a place name referring to someone who came from a town in Lyon, France, or a nickname referring to a fierce/brave warrior, from the animal lion, introduced during the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1169.

Dillon is also an Anglicization of Gaelic O’Duilleain meaning “descendant of the blind one”.

Of course, like I said, it could be a variant spelling of Welsh Dylan, meaning “great tide/flow/sea” or “influence”. More on that in a separate post, though.

Links:

http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=dillon

https://www.houseofnames.com/dillon-family-crest

https://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/dillon

http://www.behindthename.com/name/dylan

 

Chad

Origin: English, African

Meaning: comes from Old English Ceadda of unknown meaning though possibly based on Welsh cad “battle”. It’s also the name of an African country (which is also spelled Tchad), the Republic of Chad. One site claims its name comes from a lake, Lake Chad, meaning “large expanse of water”. According to Wikipedia, Chad is derived from Kanuri tsade “lake”. Kanuri is a dialect continuum, “a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate in such a way that speakers from opposite ends of the continuum are no longer mutually intelligible.” (Wikipedia)

Doris

Origin: Greek

Meaning: From what I could find, there seem to be differing opinions as to what this name means. “Dorian woman” from behindthename; “gift of the ocean” from nameberry; and Wikipedia claims that Doris is derived from an ancient Greek tribe known as the Dorians, who supposedly derived their name from its founder, Dorus, which itself is either the Latin form of Greek Doros meaning “gift” or has an unknown meaning (as according to 20,000names.com

According to another site, the origins of Doris is: “connected with two words–dôron, “gift” or “bounty,” and zôros, “pure” and “unmixed.” Zôros was often used to describe fresh water and from it were derived words such as zôrua “a pipe for running water” and zôrux “a canal or water conduit.” (theoi.com). This would make sense since in Greek mythology, Doris was a sea nymph married to the sea god Nereus and the mother of the 50 nereids.

http://www.theoi.com/Nymphe/NympheDoris.html

Lyle, Lisle

Origin: It’s an English name and surname via Norman French word l’isle

Meaning: It means “island”

As Lyle, it’s a male name (and surname) and the same can be said for the spelling Lisle (pronounced the same, the s is silent); however, I’ve used this spelling for a female character so I’ve always seen it as a unisex name