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  • Writer's pictureJessica Nacovsky

114: Making Name Portmanteaus For Fun

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Howdy! Remember how trendy it was to hate on the Twilight series (which I unabashedly enjoyed)? Well, Renesmee has become the go-to invented name to mock, online. Whether folks are teasing people for merging names (which is not a new phenomenon), or for potentially naming their young after their fandoms, Renesmee gets thrown around a lot. To be clear, I see the argument against naming children after fandoms, in that children are their own people and not billboards for their parent's interests. My take is that, hobbies and media have replaced religion as a passion for many people. It's always been acceptable to delve out faith-based names. So why not people's other passions? The addendum is that, if the name will be a burden, then it shouldn't be used. People are going to disagree on which names constitute a burden, and at the end of the day, parents just have to use their best judgement. And it's wise to get a second opinion if they're on the fence.

I do not plan on having children. I just enjoy playing around with names. So without further ado, here are some of my blends:

  • Aslandiel (Aslan & Nathaniel): Aslan is of Turkish origin, meaning lion. Apparently, C.S. Lewis was super literal with his naming! Nathanial is of Hebrew origin, meaning "Gift of God." I did squeeze a bonus "d" in there but the sound needed it. This is a male name.

  • Deviathan (Devon & Leviathan): Devon is a British name, meaning "deep valley dweller." The Leviathan is a sea monster in the bible. The term is of Hebrew origin. Is Leviathan a typical boy name? Nope but it's technically listed on the baby naming sites and sounds cool. So! This is a male name.

  • Liamiah (Liam & Jeremiah): Liam is an Irish name meaning strong-willed warrior. Jeremiah is of Hebrew origin, meaning "The Lord Exalts. I wanted to draw out the nice, soft name Liam, into a slightly longer variation. This is a male name. A cursory google search revealed I'm not the first person to think of this name.

  • Liamnestra (Liam & Clytemnestra): Liam is an Irish name meaning strong-willed warrior. Clytemnestra was a fabled Spartan princess who murdered her husband, in vengeance, after he sacrificed their daughter to a god in order to win some war. Her story is pretty dark, but I like the sound of the latter half of her name, so I was messing around with alternatives for the first half. Similarly, Willemnestra sounds pretty too. Liamnestra and Willemnestra would both be feminine names. Willa is of German origin, having to do with protection, a helmet, will and desire.

  • Omnisophia (Omni & Sophia): This is less a blend of two names and more me altering Sophia (Greek for wisdom), with the Latin prefix for "all," to make a feminine name meaning, "Know it all." I invented this name in high school and loved it.

  • Sethriel (Seth & Rielle): This is a feminine variation of Seth. Seth is of Hebrew origin, meaning "appointed, placed." Reille is a shorter variation of Gabrielle, which is the feminine form of Gabriel, a Hebrew name meaning "God is my strength." I invented this name in high school and loved it.

  • Sorrelwen (Sorrel & Edwin): Sorrel is an old Germanic name, meaning reddish brown. Edwin is an old English name meaning "rich friend." This is a male name.

  • Twylinnea (Twyla & Linnea): I blended Twyla, a traditionally Southern USA feminine name meaning "twilight," and the flower name, Linnea. Twyla is very pretty but I like it better as a nickname for a longer name, but I'm not a fan of Twilight as a name. Too much of a literal noun for my taste, but to each their own.

  • Willamine (Willa & Jessamine): I like the Willa sound in the name Wilhelmina, but the spelling feels distant from the contemporary common pronunciation, and I prefer the extended version of Willa not to end on that "ah" sound. Willa is of German origin, having to do with protection, a helmet, will and desire. Jessamine is another name for the flower, Jasmine. This is a feminine name.

I played around merging the prefixes and suffixes of nice (or interesting) sounding names to make these, which is super easy to do. If name portmanteaus are something you're interested in learning more about, I found a blog that has touched on the topic. Roses And Cellar Doors wrote about contemporary Alexander & Xavier name blends.

Are any of these suited for real live children? Honestly, I think Liamiah, Twylinnea, and Willamine aren't so far out as to turn heads. The others? Might be better as middle names, pet names, and fictional character names. I've never played Dungeons and Dragons but I bet these could work for a character in that.

Will I include these in my own writing? Possibly! I don't write a ton of stories that take place away from contemporary earth, but I have at least one on the back burner. And there's always room for a character with hippies for parents.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by! I drop a new blog post every Monday. Toodles!

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