Free to a Good Home: Girls, pt. 1

"The Penitent Magdalene" by Tintoretto
Okay, so here's the truth about me: I'm super picky about what names I would actually consider, so picky that at any given moment I have only about 2-3 names for boys and girls I actually love and would give to a child, so my list of names I'd like others to use is definitely longer. I have decided to set them free, and list what's so great about them, and feature a few combos, in the hopes that others will use them and find inspiration in them! So here is part one of a probably pretty long series, that I have split up into boy's and girl's.


Magdalene -
Origin: Hebrew
Gender: Female
Meaning: A title meaning "Of Magdala", Magdala meant "tower"

Pronunciation: MAG-da-len
Other forms: Magda, Malene, Magdolna Malin, Magali, Madeleine, Magdalena
Combos: Cecily Magdalene, Magdalene Rose, Thea/Theodora Magdalene, Magdalene Plum.

Beautiful, wonderful, forgotten Magdalene. Saint Mary Magdalene was given the title Magdalene because she was from Magdala, a village on the sea of Galilee, whose name meant "tower". Named more than any of the other apostles in the Bible, Mary Magdalene witnessed the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. It wasn't until the Middle Ages she gained the reputation as a prostitute, a claim which is not substantiated in the canonical gospels whatsoever. Still shockingly rare, Magdalene hasn't ranked in the U.S. since 1944.

Cassandra -
Origin: Greek
Gender: Female
Meaning: Possibly something like "shining man"

Pronunciation: kuh-SAHN-dra, kuh-SAN-dra
Other forms: Kassandra, Cassandre; Cassander
Combos: Cassandra Beatrix, Cassandra Genevieve, Cassandra Violet, Cassandra Adele, Ruby Cassandra.


Originally Kassandra, this name of a Trojan princess is magical and feminine with enough weight to not be frilly. Possibly coming from the Greek kekasmai which meant "to shine, to excel", and aner, which meant "man", Cassandra ranks at #516 only. In Greek mythology she was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, and was given her powers to see the future in a ploy by Apollo to seduce her. However Cassandra declined his advances, and Apollo spat into her mouth, cursing her to never have her prophecies believed. Another version tells how she fell asleep in a temple, and a snake licked her ear, giving her the ability to hear the future.

Jessamy -
Origin: English
Gender: Unisex

Meaning: Possibly an older form of Jasmine
Pronunciation: JESS-uh-mee
Other forms: Jessamine, Jessamyn, Jasmine

Combos: Jessamy Fern, Jessamy Coriander, Jessamy Louella, Jessamy Thora, Jessamy Dahlia.

While the general consensus is that most people prefer Jessamine, I love Jessamy (not only for a girl, but for a boy, too). I find the sound more appealing overall, and it seems like Jessamy would be spunkier than sister Jessamine. Jessamine is a older variant spelling of Jasmine, the beautiful and fragrant flower. A truly unusual choice, Jessamy has never ranked in the U.S. top thousand.

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