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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Literary Inspiration: The Help

Life has been busy and I have been slipping in my blogging! It happens. I just finished this post about the names from a best selling book and hit movie, The Help, about some black maids and their white employers in Civil-Rights era south. I have lots of ideas for posts, its just a matter of sitting down and hammering them out! I also thought I would mention I am having problems with the Social Security Baby Name site tonight... so no rankings. Hopefully that clears up soon. It would be nice to know how popular Stuart, Leroy, and Clyde are, and if any of these have started trending since the movie.

Eugenia - Previously mentioned on this blog as a possible way to get to the nickname Ginny, Eugenia is the feminine version of Eugene. It means noble and is of Greek Origin

Aibileen - A variation of the more common Abilene (strongly linked to the book), Abilene is a place name (both from the holy land and Texas) and also could mean "grass" in Hebrew. The variation in spelling could be interpreted to have a different pronunciation - Aib as in Abraham rather than Ab as in Abigail.

Gretchen -  This is a German variant of Margaret, meaning pearl.

Kindra - An Old Norse name meaning "greatest Champion"

Mae - Short and sweet, Mae and is a variant spelling of May, a month name.

Constantine - Here is a baby name with history. Constantine the Great was a Roman emporer. The twist here is that it is a woman. I think it jumps the gender barrier easily, as there are other female names structured like this - Angeline, Christine, etc . The name meaning is obvious - Constance, loyalty. Connie for short?

Yule May - A southern-style double-barrel name with a Christmas flare.

Lulabelle - A new (to me) addition to the "belle" names, and Lulu (either as a nickname or just as part of the name) is on trend with other names making a comeback like Ethel/Ettie, Harriet/Hattie. Just today Swistle wrote about a little girl who will be called Polly!

Sugar- Its unclear if this is a nickname or a given name in the book. As a given name it would be quite cutesy and feminine.

Minny - Again, this may be a nickname, but I don't think so. Minnie is traditionally short for Melinda or Minerva.

Hilly - Possible short for Hillary? I think its cute as a stand alone name, or it fits in with other nicknames like Hattie and Millie.

Leroy - I still cant' hear this name without humming Bad Leroy Brown. But it also has a certain appeal to it.

Carlton - And this name makes me think of the character on Fresh Prince of Bellaire (a very cheesy but lovingly remembered sitcom from the 90s where Will Smith got his start). Carlton fits the "Last name as first name" sound, and the character reference feels distinguished.

Raleigh - To the American ear this is a place name pronounced as Rall rhymes with ball Lee. It has more history though, as an old English name meaning deer's meadow. Also, Sir Walter Raleigh was an explorer.

Treelore - As far as I can tell, this is word as a name, a word (or words tree lore) referring to the ancient mythical, celtic, and wiccan beliefs about trees.

Clyde - Like Leroy, another old fashioned "southern" sounding name, which could offer some current charm. It is of Scottish origin and is a place name (Clyde river, for example).

Stuart - This is an Old English occupational name (Stewart, a type of servant). Offers the nickname Stew or Stewie, which may be contaminated by Family Guy right now, but still cute.

So what do you think? Would you consider any of these names? Is there a little Abilene in your future? Or perhaps a Stuart?


  1. I like Kindra & Carlton.

    Kindra is a nice spin on Kendra, with history :)

  2. An Australian celebrity couple have a daughter named Skeeter - presumably inspired by the character in "The Help". Skeeter's twin sister is Maple.