Names of the Week: Castle and Derby

Castle TV Series Logo, from wikipedia

This week’s names reflect the drama of my day yesterday, Castle as I was in Newcastle on an Open Day, Derby because I missed my connection and was trapped at Derby Railway Station in the middle of the night for a good two hours. The excitement of my life never ends.

Either way, I have mentioned both names before, but not in much detail. So let’s get down to business of rectifying that.

First up is Castle, whom I previously mentioned in a weekend post. I still maintain his potential, even if he still isn’t as popular as some Castle related names, such as Bailey.

The best known Castle I can think of is the title character of the crime show Castle, although technically called Richard Castle, he is, like all great detectives, mostly referred to by his surname.

An example of a real life Castle is Andrew Castle, a former British tennis player who, as an aside, has two daughters named Georgina and Claudia. He was the British No.1 as one point, much like Andy Murray is nowadays. Perhaps less angry though, and less controversy on his nationality, as Murray has put it himself: it depends whether I win or not.

See him, perhaps, as a step on from Casey, which nowadays has as many females as males. For example, in the UK in 2009, Casey ranked at #280 for lads, not bad, but for the females, Casey was at #159.

Our second name is Derby, pronounced DAR-bee, and alternate spelling Darby was given to 11 baby girls in 2009. Since I come from Derby’s rival city, Nottingham, I perhaps may not be the best person to sell this name, but I will give it my best shot.

Like Castle could be a Casey alternative, maybe we could see Derby as an undiscovered gem to replace you’re recently discovered one: Darcey. Again, they’re pretty similar in style, but one is sitting at #107 in the UK popularity list, and the other isn’t.

There is a tad bit of controversy surrounding the origins of Derby, it could come from the Anglo-Saxon word Deoraby, meaning village of the deer, which is interesting, since Derby is connected usually with Rams and Sheep, not deer. However, this belief is backed up by Tim Lambert.

Another theory is that Derby is a corruption of Derventio, which is the Roman name for the area.

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Names of the Week: Castle and Derby

  1. I can see pronunciation issues once used outside the UK. We have towns called Derby too, but we say DER-bee rather than DAR-bee, and DER-bee just doesn’t sound pleasant.

    And some people called Castle say their surname CAH-suhl, while others say CASS-uhl.


  2. I think there’s probably a bit of truth in both interpretations of the origin of Derby. People in past ages had a habit of reshaping names to sit more comfortably in their own language. In the Middle Ages, Derby bordered the great forest of the East Midlands, now shrunk to what remains of Sherword Forest. By the Middle Ages, this had essentially become a royal hunting park – so a place called ‘deer-village’ would seem entirely natural to an Anglo-Norman, when the meaning of whatever was left of the place-name Derventio (taken from the name of the river, itself from the Common Celtic for ‘oak’) had been long lost to the ravages of time.


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