Names, Was: Hexwood's Goon

Ania theania at
Mon Mar 11 08:06:24 EST 2002

Baby names books are notoriously inaccurate. Especially the "Celtic" ones.
Caveat emptor, or should it be lector? As a linguist I find my blood boiling
at some of the manifest nonsense I have seen masquerading as truth.
I have seen one very good name book, which included many quite exotic
names - i. e. not common in the English-speaking world. It is, IIRC, The
Penguin Book of Names. Scholarly and reliable. I shall be buying one when I
have some spare cash (that will be next year then, if I'm lucky...).
Someone made a point about names like Elizabeth NOT being Hebrew but
English. But the point is, they were borrowed from Hebrew/ Greek/ Latin/
whatever, perhaps via the scriptures, and then underwent the same sound
changes as any other borrowed word would over the centuries, thus giving
them an English flavour and making them part of English, in effect. But it
still is a foreign name, or maybe it would be better to call it a name of
foreign origin.

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