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Review: The New Book of Magical Names, by Phoenix McFarland

By Psyche | July 23, 2003 | Leave a comment

The New Book of Magical Names, by Phoenix McFarland
Llewellyn Worldwide, 0738703958, 415 pp. (incl. bibliography, list of names, and index), Second Edition, Revised, 2003

“Magical names hearken back to rituals deep in our past when we first named ourselves, when we first looked at ourselves and knew that we were sacred.”

McFarland opens with a brief description of the history of nomenclature and its social context from the ancient Celts of 1000 CE with names like “Aelfraed”, derived from aelf meaning elf, and raed council (the modern equivalent “Alfred” lends a new perspective to Batman’s butler and confidant), to the more bizarre and occasionally amusing Puritan reign where such names as “Kill Sin Pimple” appear in court documents, to the current day, and even offering predictions for future naming trends. Continue reading