This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Saturday Rave: fantasy names.

I was wondering what to rave about this week, so I had a look at Wikipedia to see if today is any sort of literary anniversary (and it is, it's seventy years since the publication of 1984. But 1984 is much too miserable a book to think about on a sunny summer morning).

Now, as it happens, I also discovered that the 8th June 1552 was the birth date of the Italian poet Gabriello Chiabrera, aka the Italian Pindar...but none of his poems seems to have been translated into English, and translating sixteenth century Italian isn't a job for a sunny day, either.

But I did find something else in the Wikipedia list of birthdays. Something marvellous and splendid.


862 - Emperor Xizong of Tang (d.888)
1236 - Violant of Aragon, queen consort of Castile and Leon (d. 1301)
1332 - Cangranda II della Scala, lord of Verona (d. 1359)
1508 - Pimoz Trubar, Slovenian Protestant reformer (d. 1586)

...and then, in 1552, we get to Gabriello Chiabrera.

The Emperor Xizong of Tang. How exotic and full of possibilities is a name like that?

And the same goes for Violant of Aragon and Leon (evil witch-queen with a lion familiar, obviously (though I'm sure that in real life she was lovely)).

Cangranda II della Scala, lord of Verona. A mighty aristocrat, clearly, dripping with wealth and pride, and with a ladder (scala) that leads...where? Well, I'd have to write a book about someone like him to find out.

Pimoz last, an honest man. Not a hero, with a name like Pimoz, but he could be the heroine's father, perhaps. Luckily heroes are easy to name....why, I'll call him Gabriello, and let him be a bit of an angel.

So there we are: a cast of characters for a fabulous book.

You know something? N
ext time someone asks me where do you get your ideas from? I'll be able to say Wikipedia.

It'll make a change from what I usually say, which is Tesco.

Word To Use Today: Wikipedia. Wikiwiki is Hawaiian for fast or quick. The word was first used, to mean a website which users could edit, by Ward Cunningham in 1995 when he created the software called WikiWikiWeb. 

-pedia comes from the Greek word encyclopedia. Paideia means education, from pais, child.

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