Thursday, 25 July 2019

Betula Began It

Indeed, Betula began it! For years, I've belonged to an on-line discussion group whose special interest in 20th Century girls' fiction, centred on school stories, but embracing pony stories, ballet and theatre stories, sport stories, adventure/camping and mystery. One of the other long-term members is named Betula. Early on I, probably along with just about everyone else she's ever encountered, asked about her name. (I'm a sucker for a good name.) Betula explained kindly and patiently that it means birch tree. I stored it up in my mind and I've since used it twice in fiction; once for a walk-on character, and again, more recently, for a character born Betula Grene but known in the books in which she's mentioned by her married name, Betula Bakewell. In The Pixie Grip series, Betula features in some chapters. On the strength of Betula's name, I decided to give some of her family members plant names as well. Her brother is Birch. Her cousin Berryman Grene has a son named Quercus, which means oak, and his son is named Salix, which means willow.

This isn't the only name I appropriated from the book discussion group; a former member had the first name Richenda, although she didn't use it. I didn't borrow it directly, but when I was looking up Cornish names I found that one on the list and remembered the person I'd once known.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading