Saturday, July 08, 2006

Eglantine with comments '-ine' names

Certainly an unusual flowery name, Eglantine has over the last few weeks appealed to me.
Firstly, names such as Evangeline or Emmeline are getting popular - being used more - certainly around the name forums. I do not foresee Eglantine ever becoming popular and that adds to its charm. However, neither Evangeline or Emmeline have broken the top 1000 in USA for 40 years. Emmeline in particular, has never even got into the top 1000 and Evangeline's peak was way back in 1901 at #398. But nowadays more and more people are searching for unusually traditional names - Sarah, Alice, Rebecca are all being seen as lovely but too popular. Thus the rise of the '-ine' names - Josephine (2005 #229), Madeline (#69), Angelina (#43) and Katherine (which has been wallowing around #35 since 1978 with dips into the 20s in early 90s.).

Angeline, which was popular at the turn of the century, is back in the charts at #925 after an eighteen year hiatus. This could either be due to film star Angelina Jolie or because of its '-ine' ending.

Back onto Eglantine.
First thoughts:
The spelling - this is quite an ugly name really. The 'lantine' part is pleasing to the eye, but the 'g' is off-putting especially put next to the E.
Egg-lan-teen, Eg-lan-tin or Egg-lan-tine (to rhyme with twine)? My research seems to suggest teen or tine.

Meaning - possibly the most important part of a name - if you like sound and spelling then the meaning can break or make a name:
It is a flower name - sweet brier - from Old French aiglent which is from the Latin acus meaning 'needle' as the plant has a prickly stem.

So, does Eglantine have a long and illustrious history?
Depends which way you look at it.
It was used by Geoffrey Chaucer in 'The Prioress's Tale' and by JRR Tolkien as the mother of the Hobbit Pippin. A Wikipedia search comes up with it as the 'the estate of the Irish Mill Baron, Edward Thomas Green'.

My own thoughts on Eglantine are that it is a sing-song name, but should only be used as an alternative to Emmeline and Evangeline if they become popular. I like that it is unusual but dislike the spelling. Recently I have used it as a minor (who may become major) character in my current novel.