Earlier this year, singer Ed Sheeran welcomed a baby girl named Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran. She wasn’t actually born at sea — “Seaborn” is her mother’s surname — but did you know that many of the babies named “Seaborn” throughout history were in fact born at sea?
And it doesn’t stop at “Seaborn.” These sea-born babies got all sorts of interesting names hinting at the circumstances of their birth. Here’s a round-up of what I’ve spotted in the records…
Seaborn (The earliest American example I know of is Seaborn Cotton, born in August of 1633 while as his parents were traveling from England to New England. Notably, he was the uncle of Cotton Mather.)
“150” boy names: Ibukunoluwa, Luisenrique, Morireoluwa, Oluwamayowa
6 via 159
The following baby names add up to 159, which reduces to six (1+5+9=15; 1+5=6).
“159” girl names: Krystalynn, Charlotterose
6 via 168
The following baby names add up to 168, which reduces to six (1+6+8=15; 1+5=6).
“168” girl names: Oluwasemilore, Chrysanthemum
“168” boy names: Quintavious, Oluwasemilore
6 via 177
The girl name Oluwajomiloju adds up to 177, which reduces to six (1+7+7=15; 1+5=6).
What Does “6” Mean?
First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “6” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “6” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.
“6” (the hexad) according to the Pythagoreans:
“They rightly call it ‘reconciliation’: for it weaves together male and female by blending, and not by juxtaposition as the pentad does. And it is plausibly called ‘peace,’ and a much earlier name for it, based on the fact that it organizes things, was ‘universe’: for the universe, like 6, is often seen as composed of opposites in harmony”
“They also called it ‘health’ and ‘anvil’ (as it were, the unwearying one), because it is reasonable to think that the most fundamental triangles of the elements of the universe partake in it, since each triangle is six, if it is divided by three perpendiculars”
“It arises out of the first even and first odd numbers, male and female, as a product and by multiplication; hence it is called ‘androgynous.'”
“It is also called ‘marriage,’ in the strict sense that it arises not by addition, as the pentad does, but by multiplication. Moreover, it is called ‘marriage’ because it is equal to its own parts, and it is the function of marriage to make offspring similar to parents.”
“They also called it…’measurer of time in twos’ because of the distribution of all time, which is accomplished by a hexad of zodiacal signs over the Earth and another under the Earth, or because time, since it has three parts [past, present, future], is assimilated to the triad, and the hexad arises from two threes.”
“It is also called ‘Thaleia’ [etym. Greek, “the plentiful one”] because of its harmonizing different things, and ‘panacea,’ either because of its connection with health…or as it were self-sufficiency, because it has been furnished with parts sufficient for wholeness.”
“6” according to Edgar Cayce:
“Six – the strength of a three, with a helpful influence” (reading 261-14).
“Six being the changes that have been made in the double strength of three” (reading 261-15).
“Six – again makes for the beauty and the symmetrical forces of all numbers, making for strength” (reading 5751-1).
Does “6” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 33, 42, 96, 123) — have any special significance to you?
Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. For example, maybe your favorite book is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which highlights the number 42.
Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.
If you have any interesting insights about the number 6, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!
Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).
A reader named Danielle wrote to me the other day. She is searching for a name for her second son. She says:
We love the beach, ocean, boating and water and would like something unique to go with that.
Her first son is named Landon Kai. (Kai is the Hawaiian word for “sea,” among other things.)
Dylan, Welsh for “great sea,” was the first name that came to mind. It’s fashionable, and I think it goes well with Landon. Popular variant spellings of Dylan include Dillon and Dillan.
Murdoch/Murdock and Murphy are also tied to the sea. Both can be traced back to the Gaelic name Murchadh, which means “sea warrior.” (Morgan might also be sea-related, depending on the etymology you trust.)
For something more avant garde, sea gods and goddesses with cool names include Lir/Llyr (Irish), Mazu (Chinese), Moana (Polynesian), Nereus and Triton (Greek).
Branching out to other bodies of water…Lincoln and Lachlan are both lake-related, while Kyle refers to a channel or strait. River has been used as name (so has Rio), and specific rivers have given rise to names such as Clyde, Jordan, Kelvin, Shannon and Trent.
The name Jonah is associated with the biblical tale about a prophet who is swallowed by a large fish. The name Ulysses is associated with the Odyseey, a Homeric poem featuring a long sea journey. (The former means “dove” in Hebrew, while the latter comes from a Greek verb meaning “to hate.”)
Finally, a short note to Danielle: Do you have any favorite beaches or bodies of water? Try taking a look at their names. (None will mean “water” or “beach,” but you’ll personally associate the name with those things.) For instance, beaches in my town have names like Gray, Parker and Wilbur. Beaches in nearby towns include Crosby, Ellis, Fisher, Glendon, Orrin and Ryder. And these don’t even cover all the local ponds, lakes, inlets, bays, and so forth.