How popular is the baby name Desdemona in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Desdemona and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Desdemona.
Hubs and I went to a baseball game on Friday night, and one of the women sitting behind us spent time talking with her friends about the orchid in her office. And you know what? That orchid had a name: Octavia. The woman went on to say that she knew of another office orchid with a name (Desdemona) and that she thought all orchids deserved names because they’re so hard to take care of.
(I swear I’m not a creepy eavesdropper. I couldn’t help but overhear this stuff.)
Giving names to plants is nothing new, but her last point made me wonder if people are more likely to give names to finicky orchids than to plants that don’t take as much effort to grow.
Have you been introduced to any named orchids lately? More importantly, what name would you give an orchid?
P.S. In terms of baby names, both Orchid and the Spanish version Orquidea remain rare in the U.S. The fact that they stem from the Greek word for “testicle” (orkhis) could have something do with it.
P.P.S. The man-eating plant named Audrey in The Little Shop of Horrors may have been inspired by a man-eating orchid from a 1950s Arthur C. Clarke story, which in turn may have been inspired by an man-eating orchid from a 1890s H.G. Wells story. Disappointingly, neither of these two carnivorous orchids had names.
Wish the the top 20 names had a more Elizabethan ring to them? Well, wish no more!
I did my best to match each of the most popular baby girl names with similar-sounding names from Shakespeare:
Emilia, Othello; Winter’s Tale; Two Noble Kinsmen
Aemelia, Comedy of Errors
Hermione, Winter’s Tale
Isabella, Measure for Measure
Dionyza, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Ursula, Much Ado About Nothing
Anne, Merry Wives of Windsor; Henry VIII; Richard III
Viola, Twelfth Night
Miranda, The Tempest
Rosaline, Love’s Labor’s Lost; Romeo and Juliet
Regan, King Lear
Phebe, As You Like It
Bianca, Othello; Taming of the Shrew
Julia, Two Gentlemen of Verona
Olivia, Twelfth Night
Octavia, Antony and Cleopatra
Lavinia, Titus Andronicus
Agrippa, Antony and Cleopatra; Coriolanus
Margaret, Much Ado About Nothing
Helena, All’s Well That Ends Well; Midsummer Night’s Dream
Hermia, Midsummer Night’s Dream
Helen, Troilus and Cressida; Cymbeline
Elizabeth, Henry VI; Richard III
Eleanor, Henry VI; King John
Adriana, Comedy of Errors
Diana, All’s Well That Ends Well; Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Rosalind, As You Like It
Tamora, Titus Andronicus
Katherina, Taming of the Shrew
Paulina, Winter’s Tale
Audrey, As You Like It
Portia, Merchant of Venice; Julius Caesar
Luciana, Comedy of Errors
Nerissa, Merchant of Venice
Jessica, Merchant of Venice
Cressida, Troilus and Cressida
Maria, Twelfth Night; Love’s Labor’s Lost
Marina, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Mariana, All’s Well That Ends Well; Measure for Measure
Hero, Much Ado About Nothing
Cordelia, King Lear
Cleopatra, Antony and Cleopatra
Nell, Henry IV; Henry V; Merry Wives of Windsor
Juliet, Romeo and Juliet
Perdita, Winter’s Tale
Lucetta, Two Gentlemen of Verona
Silvia, Two Gentlemen of Verona
Celia, As You Like It
Alice, Henry V; Merry Wives of Windsor
Thaisa, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing
Blanche, King John
These are by no means equivalents, of course. Some of my “matches” don’t match at all. But I did as well as I could using about three-quarters of all the female characters mentioned by Shakespeare.
And, if you were curious about the names Dionyza and Thaisa, as I was, they seem to be based on Dionysus and Thaïs.