Heptune presents:

Heptune's Baby Names for December, 1999

Lucretia, James, Arabella, Zebulon

By Brenna Lorenz

    Arabella and Zebulon were a married couple who lived during the 19th Century. They had a daughter named Lucretia. Isn't that a grand set of names? When Lucretia grew up, she married James Garfield, who later became the President of the United States for a few brief months before he was assassinated.

    Lucretia was brilliant and witty, with a keen mind, and was very religious, a member of the Disciples of Christ. Her nickname was Crete. Her name is old, going back at least as far as the 5th Century BC. It was reported to be the name of a woman who was raped by the Roman emperor Sextus, and who helped to bring about the end of the monarchy. Her story was told by Shakespeare in The Rape of Lucrece, Lucrece being the French form of the name. The name is pre-Roman in origin, so the meaning is unknown. However, people have assigned the meaning "wealth, riches" to the name, based on its similarity to the Latin word, lucrum, meaning "profit, gain, advantage."

    Arabella is another name of uncertain origin. Apparently it goes back to the 12th C in Britain. One source says that it comes from Latin orabilis, "yielding to prayer," whereas another says that it is a corruption of the name Annabella. Annabella in turn may be a corruption of Amabel "lovable" from Latin amabilis, or Arnhilda, a Germanic name meaning "eagle battle maid." A Dutch source lists the name as meaning "little Arab," and other popular interpretation is "beautiful altar" from Latin ara + bellus. So take your pick!

    Zebulon is a Biblical name; in Genesis, he is the sixth son of Jacob, In Hebrew, the name means either "to exult, to honor" or "heavenly dwelling."

    Of this set, James is by far the most common and familiar name. Our President, the husband of Lucretia, was an academic turned politician. He was very bright, very religious, and very fond of the women. During his bachelor years, he habitually dated several women simultaneously, and broke many hearts. During his brief few months in the White House, he managed to fit in an extramarital affair with a Mrs. Calhoun (no, not that Calhoun!) before his assassination.

    The name James is found in the New Testament of the Bible as the name of two disciples, and is derived from the Late Latin form of the Hebrew name Jacob. Jacob comes from the root akev "heel," because Jacob seized the heel of his slightly older twin Esau during birth. This meaning has been extended to mean "one who seizes another by the heel," which in turn has been interpreted as "one who takes the place of another, or supplants him." Thus, the meaning of Jacob and James is generally given as "the supplanter."

    James has been a common name in England, Scotland, and the United States for centuries, and has been the name of several kings.


     American: Crishiana, Crizalee, Lacresha, LaCresha, LaCressa, Lecrete, Locresia, Lucreacia, Lucrece, Lucrecia, Lucresia, Lucreta, Lucretta, Lucrezia, Lucricia, Lucrina, Lukresia, Nacrisha, Nacrisia, Nakretia
     French: Lucrece
     Italian: Lucrezia
Diminutives: Crete, Crisha, Kreesia, Kresha, Krisha, Krizia, Krysia, Lu
      Hispanic: Quecha


Variations: Arabelle, Arbelle


     American: Zebrulin
     Fijian: Sevuloni
Diminutive: Zeb


     American: Jaime, Jaimes, Jaimmie, Jame, Jamey, Jamie, Jamin, Jamy, Jas, Jayme, Jaymes, Jaymie, Jeam, Jeames, Jieme, Jimmylee
        Chuukese: Semes
        Fijian: Jamesa, Jemesa, Semesa, Semisi
        Hawaiian: Kimo
        Irish: Shamus
        Portuguese: Jayme
        Provençal: Jaume
        Spanish: Jayme (Old Spanish)
Diminutives: Gimmy, Jay, Jem, Jemmie, Jemmy, Jim, Jimbo, Jimi, Jimm, Jimmey, Jimmie, Jimmy, Jimy
        Fijian: Mesa

Go to next month's names: Akhenaten, Isa, Shelby and Sunil!
Return to Heptune's Journal of Lore and Levity!
Return to Heptune's Baby Names Central.
Check out Names from the Ocean!
Read about A Tragedy Told in Names.
Check out Names in Early Jazz and Blues.

Published 12/21/99.