Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Over the Garden Wall Names

Somewhere, lost in the clouded annals of history lies a place that few have seen- a mysterious place, called the Unknown, where long-forgotten stories are revealed to those who travel through the wood.

Narrator, Over the Garden Wall, "The Old Grist Mill"

In 2014, Cartoon Network broadcast a miniseries entitled Over the Garden Wall, created by Patrick McHale. This ten-episode animation focused on two brothers trying to get home through a mysterious land, dealing with fantastic events and characters along the way.

Featuring the actors Elijah Wood, Christopher Lloyd, Melanie Lynskey, Tim Curry, John Cleese, and Bebe Neuwirth (among others), the miniseries won quite a few awards. I highly recommend watching! It's rated PG, so use discretion when showing the series to kids.

Until watching Over the Garden Wall, I had never heard the name Wirt before. According to various sources, it either means "host" or "one who is worthy". Wirt was recorded as a name in the US in the first half of the 20th century, but hasn't been used since 1959. I'm not sure how much I like the sound of the name, but the connotation with the coming-of-age main character is a plus!

The name Gregory has been declining in recent years, but adorable little brother Greg in OTGW might give the name a boost! Greg means "watchful" and aurally connects to gregarious, meaning "sociable". It's less expected than George or Gary, but it still has a classic vibe.

The bluebird who helps Wirt and Greg through the Unknown is, of course, called Beatrice - a reference to the guide in Dante's Divine Comedy. Beatrice means "she who brings happiness", and its vintage sound and literary links will keep it rising in popularity. Beatrice is also a personal favorite, and the nickname options - Bea, Betty, Trish - are lovely, too!

The shy young caretaker of Auntie Whispers, Lorna has an unusual secret that surprises Wirt and Greg in episode 7. The name Lorna was a literary creation for Lorna Doone, based on Lorne, Scotland (which also seems to have unknown origins). It's a pretty alternative to Laura or Lauren.

The most popular Q-name for many years, Quincy was associated with stuffy nobility for awhile - hence the snobby character in the miniseries. But today, Quincy is at #622, so not too shabby! There are plenty of non-elite Quincy's out there that would make for excellent namesakes. And of course, the Q initial is quirky and fun!

This version of Marguerite has been in use for awhile, but the single-T version is more established. It's the French form of Margaret, meaning "pearl". Marguerite is a personal name crush - I love it for its French sound, feminine vibe, and beautiful meaning.

With Eli and Noah topping the charts, it's no surprise that Enoch is moving up the top 1000 very quickly! Enoch comes from the Hebrew for "dedicated", and a few Enoch's are listed in the Torah and Bible. There are a lot of cool historical namesakes, and the name has come up in pop culture recently - see Boardwalk Empire and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

Other names in the series include Jimmy, Fred, Jason, Sara, and countless nicknames for Greg's pet frog. Watch if you can!

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