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names with negative vibes from history


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#1 Plaxy

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:02 PM

The suggestion of Drusilla on another thread made me wonder if some names just can't get past their negative vibe... This name could grow on me, like Ladidah says it has great nicknames, Dru and Cilla, and well, yes the more I think about it the more I like it... Or will it always conjure up Dracula as one PP said?

But what about names like Jezebel, Lucretia and Adolf? Could they ever conceivably be liked again or is their history too strong?

Can you think of any others like this? and what about names that were negative in history but are now current? Can't think of any myself.

I've always like Boadicea - though not  really a negative history, still I've only ever come across it used once - she is called Bodie mostly.

So, what are your thoughts about names from history?

#2 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:08 PM

Well, one name in your list is perfectly acceptable...ahem...! (Not my real name btw...)

I have a Henry....so I wasn't too concerned with the whole Henry VIII thing...I would draw the line at Adolf though...

Edited by Lucretia Borgia, 16 November 2012 - 04:09 PM.


#3 rabbit hyde

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:13 PM

Not so much the name of an actual person from history - but I've heard the name "Gypsy" used about 3 times for a baby girl in the last year or two.

I'm going to take a stab in the dark and assume the parents weren't actually aware of the history and persecution of the Romani people and the fact that "Gyspy" is actually considered a racial slur.

It'll probably continue to be used as a lot of people aren't aware of Romani history.  But I'd say it would still be thought of negatively for those who are aware.

Edited by rabbit hyde, 16 November 2012 - 04:14 PM.


#4 la di dah

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:17 PM

Delilah's semi-current. Jezebel isn't actually doing as badly as you'd think, either. I think -bel trend helps it.

I wouldn't use either of those, but I like Drucilla (is there a Dracula connection? I know it was on Buffy but I thought the girl from Dracula was Mina?) and Lilith. Lilith is not exactly history but it's a pretty loaded name so well.

Adolf would be a no no no no from me but I'm a Jew. I've heard murmurings from other people of different backgrounds that hey, they have great-granddads by that name and it means a nice thing so can they have their name back? And I slightly sympathize but I couldn't ever contemplate it.

My mom has ancient historic beef with Isabel due to Queen Isabel I of Castile, but she is pretty lonely in that particular grudge. She was peturbed I could "even consider" Isabel/Isabella. I should see what she thinks of Drucilla, but I bet it would have to go over better than Isabel did.

Edited by la di dah, 16 November 2012 - 04:18 PM.


#5 kadoodle

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:18 PM

Isn't Drusilla one of Cinderella's ugly stepsisters?

I have a neighbour called Attilla (as in The Hun), which is a big name to dump on a little kids, IMO.

I dare say you'd give your kids just as much angst naming them Winston or Jefferson as Edward Kelly or Moriarty though.  I would call Adolf as being untouchable.

#6 Ianthe

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:19 PM

I think it depends on how many references a name has. If people only have one strong negative about a name that is reasonably cultural, then it probably isn't a great idea to use it.

Judas and Jezebel are good examples. Both lovely names but very negative. Salome is another one that I would hesitate to use for the same reason.



#7 NotBitzerMaloney

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:19 PM

The 'big bad' names like Adolf I just can't see taking off again. Ditto Judas. Just asking for trouble with those

I had a name that I always thought was fabulous for us if we had a son. Then I looked up the history of Ezra and worked out he attempted to do away with mixed marriages.... which is what DH and I have.

I decided not to jinx ourselves and picked another name!

Edited by NotBitzerMaloney, 16 November 2012 - 04:21 PM.


#8 Feral_Pooks

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:20 PM

If I had a George, his middle name wouldn't start with a W, that's for sure.

#9 la di dah

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:21 PM

QUOTE (kadoodle @ 16/11/2012, 05:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Isn't Drusilla one of Cinderella's ugly stepsisters?

I have a neighbour called Attilla (as in The Hun), which is a big name to dump on a little kids, IMO.


I know an Attila too, but he's Magyar and its pretty common there.

Cinderella's stepsisters were Anastasia and Drizella. I know a handful of Anastasias. Even I, who like Drucilla and Zelda, am not about to mount a huge campaign in defense of Drizella.

#10 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:21 PM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 16/11/2012, 05:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My mom has ancient historic beef with Isabel due to Queen Isabel I of Castile, but she is pretty lonely in that particular grudge. She was peturbed I could "even consider" Isabel/Isabella. I should see what she thinks of Drucilla, but I bet it would have to go over better than Isabel did.


Did she start the Inquisition and/or persecute Jews living in Spain?

#11 lynneyours

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:22 PM

I said Drusilla sounds like Dracula!  But whilst I don't mind Dru/Drew, I am not a fan of Cilla.  Too long in the UK and looking at Cilla Black.

I don't think Adolf (nor possibly Osama or Saddam) are acceptable right now, although there are people who've called their child Adolf recently. I am not sure about Muslim naming habits.

I don't think Manson has good associations, nor Bundy etc

I don't think it gets much worse than Adolf though.

Jack the Ripper is obviously not a negative name now - is Jack still no 1 on the names lists? wink.gif

#12 dorkalicious

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:22 PM

I love Lilith - but whenever I've mentioned it people have always brought up the negative mythological connotations. Not sure it would stop me though....

Adolph I think is lost as a respectable name these days- its too distinctive to its historical connection....

#13 la di dah

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:27 PM

QUOTE (Lucretia Borgia @ 16/11/2012, 05:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Did she start the Inquisition and/or persecute Jews living in Spain?

She started the Spanish one, yes, and Torquemada was under her reign, as was the expulsion of Spain's Jews and the post-expulsion persecution of any Jews who stayed in Spain.

I know why she doesn't like it, but she gets practically offended when she hears it and I have to tell her, Mom, I don't think ANYBODY else immediately thinks of the Queen of Spain. Isabel being just a form of Elizabeth or Elisheva after all.

#14 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:30 PM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 16/11/2012, 05:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
She started the Spanish one, yes, and Torquemada was under her reign, as was the expulsion of Spain's Jews and the post-expulsion persecution of any Jews who stayed in Spain.

I know why she doesn't like it, but she gets practically offended when she hears it and I have to tell her, Mom, I don't think ANYBODY else immediately thinks of the Queen of Spain. Isabel being just a form of Elizabeth or Elisheva after all.

She better not come to my part of Sydney then! Every second girl seems to be called Isabel, Isabella or similar ..!

#15 la di dah

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:38 PM

QUOTE (Lucretia Borgia @ 16/11/2012, 05:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
She better not come to my part of Sydney then! Every second girl seems to be called Isabel, Isabella or similar ..!

I wonder if she'd prefer if they were named Drucilla?  laugh.gif

I don't know who Cilla Black is?  blush.gif

I don't think Judas even sounds attractive, just phonetically, personally, but I am fond of Judah. A few people have told me I oughtn't use it as it sounds too much like Judas but I'm not sure I care.

#16 gravity1

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:42 PM

I know of an elderly man named Adolph - he insists that everyone refer to him as 'Dolph'.

QUOTE (la di dah @ 16/11/2012, 05:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wonder if she'd prefer if they were named Drucilla?  laugh.gif

I don't know who Cilla Black is?  blush.gif

I don't think Judas even sounds attractive, just phonetically, personally, but I am fond of Judah. A few people have told me I oughtn't use it as it sounds too much like Judas but I'm not sure I care.


Judah is a lovely name.

#17 NotBitzerMaloney

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:45 PM

i liked Judah, but according to DH, too much like Jew-dar, as in Gay-dar. He is weird, but he does sometimes use the phrase, so...

Samson / Delilah are also no-go names for me

I'd be asking to be called Dolf, too. Poor bloke.

Edited by NotBitzerMaloney, 16 November 2012 - 04:46 PM.


#18 Cranky Kitten

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:46 PM

Vlad - I know a couple of guys named Vlad, so far they haven't shown any tendencies to impale people on pikes. I kind of like it

Judas - not sure how popular it is, don't know if I could name my son Judas even though I'm not religious.

Louis - rather a few French kings. Some were a little crazy. Not a completely unpopular name now though.

Mary - still a reasonably popular name but I always think of Bloody Mary.

#19 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:47 PM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 16/11/2012, 05:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think Judas even sounds attractive, just phonetically, personally, but I am fond of Judah. A few people have told me I oughtn't use it as it sounds too much like Judas but I'm not sure I care.

I don't like Judas ...poor kid, can you imagine, every time he went to kiss someone they would run a way from him...

Personally I couldn't name a little girl Azaria because of the history..fairly recent history ...with that name (was there a thread about this a while back?) ...but I guess it stands out because I don't know any Azarias...it's such a distinctive name...whereas I would call a girl Madeleine ...even though, obviously, there's the Madeleine McCann connection sad.gif

#20 GoneWithTheWhinge

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:48 PM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 16/11/2012, 05:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't know who Cilla Black is?  blush.gif


Think yourself very very lucky! She is highly irritating

#21 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:48 PM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 16/11/2012, 05:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wonder if she'd prefer if they were named Drucilla?  laugh.gif

I don't know who Cilla Black is?  blush.gif

I don't think Judas even sounds attractive, just phonetically, personally, but I am fond of Judah. A few people have told me I oughtn't use it as it sounds too much like Judas but I'm not sure I care.


Unstoppable English singer/TV personality - probably the closest thing we have here would be Kerry-Anne Kennerley or Denise Drysdale. She wasn't a Drusilla but she was a Priscilla.

#22 MummyakaGrinch

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:53 PM

apart from the fact ( or my perception)that Adolf is an ugly name I really think thats a no go ( as someone born in germany I probably have even more negative feelings towards it)

#23 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:56 PM

Would anyone do Marie-Antoinette? The two separate components of the name are quite pretty "Marie" and "Antoinette" ..but I don't know if I would go there...(I mean its moot..I'm not having anymore children!)

#24 Fyn Angelot

Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:03 PM

Hannibal strikes me as pretty unusable too.

I'm sure there are more, but they're not coming to mind just now.

#25 greatwon2

Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:18 PM

We really loved Lenore , but decided to go the safer Eleanor in the end




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