Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Enid (pronounced "EE-nid") is a Welsh name. The meaning is uncertain, but most sources connect it to the Welsh word enaid, meaning "soul." It is a word used as a term of affection, although I'm not sure how often it is used now.
Enid, sometimes spelled Enide, is an important character in Arthurian legend. Depending on which version you read she is the wife of either Erec or Geraint, but no matter which one you go by the story is basically the same. While the knight Erec/Geraint is on a quest, Enid's parents provide him with food and supplies. They fall in love and get married. But Enid begins to worry that she is damaging her husband's reputation because since the marriage he has put off his chivalric duties. Erec/Geraint overhears her crying and assume that she's having an affair. Erec/Geraint forces her to accompany him on a long, dangerous trip and forbids her from talking. Enid breaks that rule repeatedly in order to warn him of danger, and her love is proven to be pure. Historians believe that this story was most likely based on an earlier myth that has since been lost.
When I first saw this name I thought, "Gee, this sure looks like something that would have been popular the same time Ethel was popular." And I was right. It's peak was during the 1910s at #471. It hasn't been on the charts since the 1940s.
There are plenty of namesakes but most of them were born in that time period. Enid Kent played Nurse Bigelow on M*A*S*H. There is also a silent film actress, a children's author, and an author/playwright. One more recent namesake is a literary one, Enid is the lead character in the comic book series and movie Ghost World. I've never watched the show, but apparently Enid is the name of an icy boss that Carrie has at one point.
I have to admit that this Enid doesn't have a sound that I would gravitate to. It's like Astrid. I don't see the appeal in Astrid either, but a lot of name enthusiasts and Neo-Pagans like it. Judging from the types of fictional characters this name is often given to, I think the general public sees it as old, nerdy, or cold. But if you're into your Camelot stories, it has a great past. Some name enthusiasts believe that Ethel will make a comeback, so why not Enid too?
Found via http://ffffound.com/