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On My Mind: 2-22-18

Svetlana, Sveta, and Severija - I've been watching and enjoying Babylon Berlin on Netflix. It's a German TV show following a cop new to Berlin who uncovers much more than he signed up for.
One of the characters in the show is Countess Svetlana "Sveta" Sorokina, a white Russian who sings at a cabaret, and who is playing all the sides - she is lover to Trotskyist Alexei Kardakov, right wing industrialist Alfred Nyssen, and is even working for the Soviet secret police.
Svetlana (called Svetaby her lover) comes from the Slavic svet, meaning "light, world". Interestingly enough, it is sometimes used as a translation of Photine, most likely because they have the same meanings. The character is played by a Lithuanian actress named Severija Janušauskaitė. I couldn't find any information on the name, but I assume it's a form of Severa or Severina.

Zaida - At work the other day there was a little girl called Zaida. It was pronounced "ZAY-da" and I th…

On My Mind: 1-16-17

Nolwenn Leroy
Nolwenn - This charming Breton name is said to come from the phrase "Noyal gwenn", meaning "holy one from Noyal" (though some claim it means "white lamb"), is one I can't get my mind off of. It would fit in perfectly in America, and is unusual without being too strange. Breton singer Nolwenn Leroy is also beautiful in a mystical, Arthurian way that only adds to name's charms.

Ellis - I watched the WWII film "Black Book", which tells the story of Rachel Stein who, in order to survive, starts working for the Dutch resistance under the name of Ellis de Vries. I can't find any information on the name's use among the Dutch but I think it's really lovely.

Mahershalalhashbaz and Amatus - I recently watched a clip of actor Mahershala Ali on Jimmy Kimmel talking about the baby he's expecting, and how they want something unique, but maybe not as unusual as their names. They talk some about his name, and how Mahershala is actually a nickname - his full name is Mahershalalhashbaz, the longest word in the Bible and the name of the prophet Isaiah's son. It means "hurry to the spoils!". His wife's name is Amatus - which means "beloved" in Latin, and was the name of a 7th-century (male) saint.

Comments

  1. Oh I love Nolwenn Leroy! And her name definitely adds to the charm.

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