News: Fabulously Foxy Names Inspired By Fabulously Foxy Foxes!
Today’s date, the 13th October, has a number of fascinating features that you might not know about; for example, this particular date doesn’t exist in the year 1582 (in Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain anyway) due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar AND it is also International Skeptics Day (unless you believe the skeptics who say that 13th January is actually Skeptics Day!). More importantly though, it is also the birthday of the fictional character Special Agent Fox Mulder, which got us taking a closer look at words and names associated with foxes!
Foxes around the world…
Foxes feature in myths, legends, and folklore from all around the world; they are commonly associated with magical transformations and often appear as tricksters, magical familiars, or anthropomorphic creatures. In Western folklore, foxes tend to be associated with cunning and trickery (perhaps a reflection of their ability to “outfox” hunters and farmers attempting to protect their livestock OR a reflection of the association made between foxes and evil during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, when foxes were burned as symbols of the Devil). Other folklore depicts foxes as spirits with magic powers (used for making mischief or for more malicious purposes) or even as mystical and sacred creatures (that are either good omens that bring wonder or bad omens that bring ruin).
One of the most famous examples is “Reynard the Fox”, an anthropomorphic red fox and trickster figure, who featured as the main character in a cycle of European fables, including Dutch, English, German, and French tales. The success of these fables was such that the name of the central character was adopted into the French language as the standard word for “fox” (replacing the Old French “goupil”).
Names inspired by Foxes
Working in the name labels industry, we encounter a range of different names daily. To celebrate fabulous foxes everywhere, we’ve put together a list of names that have their origins in different words for “fox” or in stories that feature foxes:
- Fox: an English name that developed either from the word “fox” itself or from the surname “Fox” (itself traditionally given as a nickname to individuals who exhibited fox-like cunning).
- Tod/Todd: another English name that developed from a surname; the surname “Todd” comes from the Middle English word for fox – todde.
- Reynard/Renard: Reynard is an English name derived from the Germanic name “Raginhard” (made up of the German elements ragin meaning “advice” and hard meaning “brave/hardy”); the name was used for the medieval character “Reynard the Fox” and the French version (Renard) has become both a French name and the French word for “fox”.
In fact, while female foxes are known as “vixens”, male foxes are commonly known as “dogs”, “tods”, or “reynards”, and the names Reynard/Renard and Tod/Todd are commonly used for fictional characters that are either actual foxes or that have fox-like characteristics.
Other names inspired by these fabulous creatures include:
- Balgair/Balgaire – Scottish, m
- Crevan – Irish, m
- Devoss – Dutch, m
- Refr – Icelandic, m
- Rennard – German, m
- Ræf – Danish, m
- Sinopa – Native American, f
- Tokala – Native American, f
- Vixen – English, f
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