Free lighthouse tour for people named Patrick, Patricia

Hook lighthouse, Ireland
Hook Lighthouse

Is your name is Patrick or Patricia? Do you live in Co. Wexford, Ireland?

If so, go check out Hook Lighthouse (“the oldest operational lighthouse in the world”) on St. Patrick’s Day — you’ll get a free guided tour!

Here’s the announcement from the Hook Lighthouse events page:

Celebrate all that is uniquely Irish at hook Lighthouse this St. Patrick’s Day … from a green theme in the café and the celebration of Paddy’s… yes, that’s right, if your name is Patrick, Pat, Paddy or Patricia you can enjoy access to a free Lighthouse tour on St. Patrick’s Day and enjoy snake hunts at 2 pm and 3 pm on the lighthouse lawns!

The tours don’t actually cost much — just €10 per adult, and about half that per child — but it sounds like a fun promotion nonetheless.

Source: Hook Lighthouse offering free tours for Patricks and Patricias this St Patrick’s Day

Image by Braden Collum from Unsplash

The creepy-crawly signature of Jan van Kessel

Painted signature of artist Joan Van Kessel, 1657
“Joan Van Kessel” (1657)

Let’s end the year with something different!

At least twice, 17th-century Flemish artist Jan Van Kessel painted his name out of caterpillars and snakes. (And he made sure to include plenty of spiders, for good measure.)

In the earlier painting, created in 1657, he spelled his first name “Joan.”

In the later painting, created in 1666, he spelled his first named “Jan.” (Just to make things complicated, the signature was featured as a painting-within-a-painting dated “1664.”)

Painted signature of artist Joan Van Kessel, 1666
“Jan Van Kessel” (1666)

Have you ever drawn/painted your name out creepy-crawly creatures? Or any creatures at all? If so, and it’s online somewhere, comment with a link!

Sources: Jan van Kessel the Elder – Wikipedia, Jan van Kessel’s Signature of Caterpillars and Snakes (1657)

Brünnhilde, the Viking cat

Brunnhilde the Viking kitty

Today is Leif Erikson Day! To celebrate, here is a photograph of “Brünnhilde” — a cat dressed up like a Viking, complete with a tiny Viking helmet. The photo was taken in 1936 and is now part of the Library of Congress photo archive.

Her Viking name — a version of the valkyrie name Brunhild — is derived from a pair of Germanic elements meaning “coat of mail, armor, protection” and “battle, fight.”

Something tells me that Brünnhilde wasn’t this kitty’s real name, though. What do you think this cat was called on a day-to-day basis?

Sources: Behind the Name, Nordic Names, Brünnhilde – LOC

[Similar posts: What Would You Name the Catfish-Riding Boy? and What Would You Name the Two Frenchmen?]

Unusual baby name: Zelute

Here’s an interesting name I spotted a few months ago: Zelute. It belonged to Miss Zelute B. Cheever (1796-1873) of Lynn, Massachusetts.

The name apparently comes from a Greek word — more often transliterated as zeloute — that’s used several times in the Bible. It means something along the lines of “desirous,” “covetous,” or “earnestly seeking,” but also “jealous” or “envious,” depending upon the context.

It’s related to the more familiar words zealous and zeal. (Zeal has begun popping up in the data lately, btw.)

What are your thoughts on the name Zelute? (How about Zeal?)

Baby name battle: Piper vs. Pippa

Piper and Pippa have a lot in common: both are 2-syllable p-names, and both debuted in the SSA data in the 1950s thanks to the influence of famous actresses.

Since the ’50s, though, their paths have diverged. Piper has become popular, and now sits inside the top 100. Pippa, on the other hand, has yet to reach the top 1,000.

Piper comes directly from the surname, which was originally an occupational name for a pipe player.

Pippa, short for Philippa, can be traced back to the ancient Greek name Philippos, meaning “fond of horses.”

If you were having a daughter, and you had to name her either Piper or Pippa, which would it be? Why?