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Monday, February 25, 2013

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The independent film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is about a group of British elderly that for various reasons go to India, to Marigold Hotel, an old folks home. The movie offers some great names because most of the main characters are elderly - that generation of names that is currently being revived (Just look at Evelyn). The rest of the characters are Indian, names not used much in the USA. 

The English
Evelyn - Enjoying a recent surge of popularly, Evelyn is a name with diverse origins and meanings. It has been in the top 100 for the past 10 years, ranking 24th in 2011. It has great nickname options like Evi and Lynie

Norman - Unlike Evelyn, Normal has been dropping in popularity and is currently ranked 910. It is of Old German origin and means northerner.

Madge - This is a nickname for Margaret that has been lost to the ages in favor of Maggie and Margo. I think its retro feel fits perfectly with Hattie and Millie, which are rapidly on the rise. It has not been in the top 1000 since 1948, maybe it will come back soon?

Graham - Current ranked 255th, Graham is at its most popular point since statistics were tracked for America.  It is of Old England origin and refers to a gravelly area.

Douglas - This name was discussed briefly during the Christmas post as a possible Christmas name due to Douglas pines (or, for me, the song Douglas Mountain). Douglas is a place name of Gaelic origin meaning black river. It has the nickname Dougie (or Doug), which I think is cute despite the recent associated dance. Douglas has been slowly declining in popularity since a high of 23rd in 1942. Perhaps it should start a slow rise again soon.

Muriel - I am a big fan of Mir/Mur names. Unfortunately my husband is not. Muriel is a great example. It reminds me of the words mural and miracle, both positive associations. Muriel has not been in the top 1000 since 1964. It is of Irish origin and means sparkling sea.

Judith - Another name, like Douglas, that has been declining since the 40s (when it got as high as 4th), but has since been steadily declining. The adorable nickname Judy is something to consider.

Jean - Simple and sweet, this is a variant on Jane or John and means God is gracious.

The Indians
Sonny - Despite being the first of the "Indian" names, Sonny is actually of English origin, perfectly reflecting how entwined India and Britain are. Sonny could be a short form of names like Santino and might be worth a "How to get your nickname" post.

Sunaina - Sanskrit for Beautiful Eyes, what a lovely meeting! Pronounced Suh-nen-uh.This could have nicknames like Sunny or Nena.

Anokhi - Sanskrit for Unique, pronounced uh-no-kee. Unfortunately to me this sounds a bit too much like Nokia, the brand, but it is pretty.

Gaurika - Sanskrit for pretty girl, pronounced gah-ree-ka.This feels like a play on Erica or Enrique.

Manoj - Sanskrit for "born of mind", pronounced muh-no-j.

So what do you think? Will Madge make a comeback? Would you consider an Indian name?

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