Saturday, May 19, 2012

Anne of Green Gables: Naming A Home

"That's Barry's pond," said Matthew.  "Oh, I don't like that name . . . I shall call it--let me see--the Lake of Shining Waters. Yes, that is the right name for it. I know because of the thrill. 
When I hit on a name that suits exactly it gives me a thrill."
~ Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

It may be the British blood in me, but I think every house should have a name.  I love how the name of a home can convey its personality:  Green Gables is quaint and homey, Pemberley is elegant and stately, and Bleak House is, well, bleak.  Now, if I were to go the literal route in naming my home, I would probably have to name it something like "Mt. Missing Socks" or "Carbohydrate Corner."  Fitting?  Yes.  Romantic?  Not so much. 

So this week, instead of trying to round up all of those missing socks, I did something truly important:  I did some research on toponymies (place names) to find the perfect name for my home.  (Can you say "avoidance behavior?")  Here are a few fun roots/suffixes I found in my internet meanderings:
"bourne"means "brook"
"bre" means "hill"
"cot" means "wood"
"combe" means valley
"don/den" means "hill"
"ey" means "enclosure"
"gate" means "road"
"hurst" means "wooded hill"
"ham" means "homestead"
"stow" means "holy place of assembly"
"wold" means "rolling open country"
"worth" means "enclosure"

I thought naming this abode of ours would be easy.  Boy, was I wrong.  I have spent less time and energy naming my children.  When I called my sister Hillary to have her weigh in on my list of options, I explained that I was afraid some of the names sounded too pretentious, to which she sarcastically replied, "Yes, you should be worried about that . . . because naming your house isn't pretentious at all."   

Well, pretentious as it may be, we have christened our home "Stonebury Hill."  
Ahh.  It makes me sigh with delight just saying it.  

We chose "Stone" because of this . . .

"Bury" or "fortified enclosure" because of this (our kids' castle in the backyard) . . .

and "Hill" because of this . . .

and this.

Plus, I liked it.  Hubby did too. 
(As did 92.3% of the family members I polled before making my final decision.)

To make our house name official, I painted an old calendar board 
and then free-handed the name (and a little flourish on it) with some chalk.

 I filled in the design and the lettering with some acrylic paint . . .

and then hung our plaque on the front porch.

I'm sure there are passersby who may find the sign a bit pretentious, but I think they are just jealous that they don't have a Green Gables or Stonebury Hill of their own to call home.  

May you all have a wonderful week full of house-naming delights . . .


  1. Your home is absolutely g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s, and your kids have their own castle? How magical is that?! It must be Heavenly for them being raised in Stonebury Hill. It all looks so romantic, not unlike Green Gables itself.

    I really like the name you chose. Good choice!

    We have a couple acres a few hours away, and probably will never build on it, but my mother and I both do have fun coming up with ideas of what we'd name a home if we ever built a house there.

    Have a nice weekend!


  2. Ladies, I can't believe I have missed all those wonderful "Anne" posts until now. You are so inspiring! I only wish my own writing for FGH was as fun and inspirational. Going to spend quite some time reading through each wonderful one!

    Xo Lidy

  3. I love the idea of naming a home! I always loved the sound of Orchard House from Little Women. I really like the name you chose! I fully intend to name the home we buy someday. Being Pretentious is fun, right?! ;) ~ Jamie

  4. So sweet! I love the name...and I loved the quote from your sister; it made me laugh out loud. I just found your blog from OC Cottage and I'm loving it.

    I used to have a decorating blog and a family blog, but it got to be too much, so I combined them. Now I'm thinking a book blog is a good idea, haha. It's hard to have so many interests ;). I love your angle on your blog...and I love that you do it with your sister.

  5. Your name is great, and the sign looks really nice. Why not name your house? It's so much more interesting than plain old street numbers.

  6. I just found your blog yesterday and am so glad that I did! I am loving it! Now I want a house to name :)

  7. Love the sign and your blog. I am a new follower!

  8. I think you chose the perfect name for your home! I named mine, when I moved in thirty years ago, but never made a sign. Sooo...I guess I'm the only one who knows the name. I'm not the brightest home owner out there! ~ Maureen

  9. ooohhh swoon. Your house is my dream home. I adore stone houses with a quaint feel, and yours is definitely that. And I simply love that you named it :) The sign looks beautiful! Great job!!

  10. I love the British tradition of naming your home. I have always wished that we would do the same here. I don't know why is has to be 'pretentious'. If it makes you happy, then who cares? Your home is lovely, and I always enjoy my little visits when I stop by your blog. Have a great day.

  11. Sorry for the "test". I've been having trouble commenting on blogs this morning. I'm here via M from Tales From an OC Cottage. I am now encahnted and following along!

    I've always been a Green gables fan and I'm currently renting a Green Gabled house. :)

  12. I have recently named our home Babbitt Abbey.....................sounds faintly familiar, wonder why? Oh well, it works for me but try saying it fast five times. Love your blog, your gentle wit makes me think of my daughter. Bless you, D

  13. Wonderful blog! I'm going to catch up on all your Anne posts, then pursue the Jane Austen ones.
    Our home is called Rose Cottage!

  14. Changing flats all the time (this is how it feels...) I don't own a house yet - but I'm already thinking how to name it. You made a good choice calling your home Stonebury Hill, and no, your sign is not too pretentious, it is wonderful!


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