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Why are some nature names regarded insubstantial, and others not?

(28 Posts)
persephoneplum Fri 09-Oct-09 05:26:41

I have a huge soft spot for the names Willow and Juniper, but I often get the comments that they're insubstantial.

So can anyone put a finger on why Lily and Rose are so well regarded, and the above regarded as wishy washy hippie names?

Also what are your thoughts on Dahlia in terms of substance? This is another favourite of mine.

seeker Fri 09-Oct-09 06:47:29

Historical precedence?

I've often wondered why flowers are OK and vegetables and (most) trees not.

Tortington Fri 09-Oct-09 06:59:20

im partial to carrot

belgo Fri 09-Oct-09 07:02:16

Willow and Juniper are lovely names, I wouldn't call them insubstantial but they are less mainstream and more hippy then Lily and Rose.

Dh wanted Willow for dd2 but I just couldn't agree.

Prunerz Fri 09-Oct-09 07:02:58

What does 'insubstantial' mean?! Willow is fairly common, though, I know 2, anyway.

Dahlia - well if you are a plantswoman (as opposed to just a gardener) you have to pronounce it Daaaaahhhlia, as in Roald Dahl.

Wasn't there a Dahlia in PG Wodehouse, as well?

persephoneplum Fri 09-Oct-09 07:46:12

Umm, without substance, so as to say lacking strength. As in clause 2 of the following:

  /ˌɪnsəbˈstæn&#64 3;əl/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [in-suhb-stan-shuhl] Show IPA

1. not substantial or real; lacking substance: an insubstantial world of dreams.
2. not solid or firm; weak; flimsy.
3. not substantial in amount or size; inconsiderable: an insubstantial sum.

This is just an opinion however, and of course little Willows exist. I tend to like much stronger names.

Carrot is just fantastic custardo! Now why didn't I think of that? ;)

persephoneplum Fri 09-Oct-09 07:47:46

God knows what happened there, but apologies for the mess up there

FlamingoBingo Fri 09-Oct-09 07:52:29

I prefer Aubergine and Leek myself but ho hum!

Cortina Fri 09-Oct-09 08:15:23

I know a Saige, a Barley and a Clover!

Prunerz Fri 09-Oct-09 08:38:11

I mean what makes a name insubstantial. It's arbitrary, isn't it? A willow could be common, tall, strong, and has the life force (you put a willow twig into the ground and it'll grow). Juniper is hardy as anything, grows in wild conditions.
There is nothing insubstantial about either.

mathanxiety Fri 09-Oct-09 19:09:56

In some cultures, trees have otherworldly links and come in male and female varieties that are not related to biology. Irish mythology is full of examples of this. I tend to see trees with such lore attached as strong, inspiring, mysterious. So I think of tree names as having gravitas, whereas imo a name like Poppy or Daisy seems a bit fluffy, more like a wild flower growing at the side of a field -- nothing wrong with that either, just more lightweight. I think Dahlia has an elegant sound. Hazel, Willow, Juniper are all nice names, imo.

SarfEasticated Fri 09-Oct-09 19:34:16

I would always think 'weeping willow' tbh. Juniper is lovely though

janeite Fri 09-Oct-09 19:46:00

Barley? Don't like that at all.

Don't mind Willow but dislike Juniper - it sounds like a character in a gothic romance (not that there's anything wrong with gothic romances).

My favourites are Robin for a boy (not for a girl though) and probably Violet for a girl (though I have a Daisy).

Dahlia sounds a bit 1970s cullotte-wearing to me - not necessarily a bad thing!

brockleybelle Sat 10-Oct-09 14:59:14

I did American Summer Camp in '02 and two campers, sisters, were cinnamon and ginger. Poor little mites.

nickelbabe Sat 10-Oct-09 15:03:30

Quote "Prunerz Fri 09-Oct-09 08:38:11 Add a message | Report post | Contact poster

I mean what makes a name insubstantial. It's arbitrary, isn't it? A willow could be common, tall, strong, and has the life force (you put a willow twig into the ground and it'll grow). Juniper is hardy as anything, grows in wild conditions."

arbitrary! love it! (like arbre, tree, geddit?)

sorry blush

Rowan works for a girl or boy.
Daisy's pretty for a blonde.
I love Rose and Lily and Iris is nice too.
and Robin, yep, lovely.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sat 10-Oct-09 22:41:12

I just think Willow is less well-established. I think it's a nice name, with good connotations. Juniper is a bit "fussy"

Dahlia - not sure - Dahlias are not my favourite flower.

I like Iris too.

or Avocado for a boy

MaggieBehave Sat 10-Oct-09 23:03:09

I think Lily is a bit insubstantial to be honest. Along with Lila, Leila, Ella, Lola...

But Anna, Leah, Emma - they pass my substantialness test! It might not be logical. It's just a feeling.

I know a family where the names are
Camilla (for Camelia)
Sorrel and Rowan

No-one thinks they are insubstansialgrin

MaggieBehave Sat 10-Oct-09 23:12:13

I know of a Spanish Camellia and I love that. It doesn't rhyme with Amelia. It's not Cameelia it's CamELLya. love that one too.

TAFKAtheUrbanDryad Sat 10-Oct-09 23:12:56

My friend has just named his ds River - I was a bit hmm at first but I love it now. It really suits him!

MaggieBehave Sat 10-Oct-09 23:13:42

Brockleybelle, as bad as Ginger is at least it wasn't Ginger with a J like that Duggar family! one of theirs is a Jinger... number 21 is Jurex.

TAFKAtheUrbanDryad Sat 10-Oct-09 23:15:16

I think they're probably running out of names beginning with J, in all fairness.

I love Forest for a boy too. Wouldn't match either of my other dc's names though, so it's out, should the impossible happen and I have another baby! wink

Fibilou Sun 11-Oct-09 01:57:21

While I love Dahlia it does make me think of Bertie Wooster's Aunt Dahlia

BiteOfFun Sun 11-Oct-09 02:31:24

Dahlia makes me think of an Aussie accent for some reason- and then I see Dame Edna, and it's all over for me.

seeker Sun 11-Oct-09 07:29:06

I am always wary of any name that makes people say "Oh, that's pretty"

Adult women don't want one of the first impressions anyone has of them to be "Oh, that's pretty"

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