TopGear: Jeremy and Richard

Jeremy helping Richard out of drying concrete, from TopGear special, Top Gear Ground Force, in aid of SportRelief, from tumblr

I’m a huge fan of TopGear, I think it’s a breath of fresh air on TV these days. It is a motoring show on the BBC, famed for the mostly daft antics of its presenters, rather than concise car reviewing. Lead presenter Jeremy Clarkson is particularly well known for saying it as it is. He is joined by two other presenters, Richard Hammond, aka Hamster, and James May, aka Captain Slow.

Now, we’re going to have a look at Jeremy and Richard’s names, as the two lesser used names of the trio:

  2003 2004 2005 2006
Rank 350 365 304 370
Births 78 80 105 92
  2007 2008 2009 2010
Rank 379 437 417 422
Births 96 83 92 89

This is how the named Jeremy has fared in recent years, and it’s worth noting that Top Gear relaunched in 2002, following ‘Old’ Top Gear, which broadcasted from 1977 to 2001 (in which both Jeremy Clarkson and James May were involved, but not Hammond). As you can see, Jeremy peaked in 2005 with 105 births. Since then he’s fallen slightly, but maintained a reasonably stable birth number. Which is pretty impressive, given how many controversies Jeremy Clarkson has been involved with in the past few years.

As for the short forms of Jeremy, Remy is currently at #792 with 37 births, whilst Jerry was at #1241 with 20 births. Personally, I see Remy possibly moving further up in the coming years.

Jeremy is the medieval form of Jeremiah, a hebrew name which boils down to meaning yahweh has uplifted. In the Bible, Jeremiah was one of the prophets in the Old Testament, and he also kindly wrote the Book of Jeremiah.

Personally, I like the name Jeremy, more so with the nickname Remy. Mr. Clarkson is, however, usually known as just Jeremy, or occasionally as Jezza by his two co-presenters. I think, again, this is one of these names you either like, or don’t, preferring Jeremiah. This is much like the show Top Gear itself, which is credited for it’s slick production, but also lambasted for the childish antics of it’s presenters, whilst rival show Fifth Gear is considered more ‘grown up’.

So then we have Richard, the name of three Kings of England, including Richard the Lionheart who lead the third crusade back in the 12th century. But this classic choice has not had much luck in recent years:

  2003 2004 2005 2006
Rank 148 167 172 188
Births 306 251 255 233
  2007 2008 2009 2010
Rank 192 200 209 221
Births 250 239 222 219

Over the 8 years covered, we can see Richard has significantly fallen about 71 places in rank and the number of births has dropped by 87. So the general trend for Richard is down.

The name Richard come from two Germanic elements:

  • ric, meaning power, rule
  • hard, meaning brave, hardy

This name supposedly came to Britain with the Normans in 1066. Since then there have been many more notable Richards than there have Jeremys; here are a few examples of well known Richards:

  • Richard Wagner, composer
  • Sir Richard Burton, explorer
  • Sir Richard Branson, businessman
  • Richard Dawkins, author

The list could go on, but I’ll stop there. When it comes to the name Richard, there are also several short forms to choose from, such as Rick and Richie, but I’m personally all for simply Richard.

There’s also the short form Dick, which is understandably fading away. The highwayman Dick Turpin was born a Richard, and was recently rather brilliantly featured on the children’s show Horrible Histories:

 

The nickname Dick could explain why parents are not too keen on using Richard as much nowadays, but it does seem a shame to see two names such as these be pushed out in favour of names such as Zac and McKenzie, but that’s the way these things work. But I guess if one of the more notable bearers you can come up with is a famed highwayman, things are amiss. Maybe we’ll see a resurgence in the coming decades.

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Categories: Boy Names | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “TopGear: Jeremy and Richard

  1. Awkward Turtle

    I think Remy’s similarity to Emmy makes it seem more feminine. It’s cute though and being short for Jeremy is a good solution.

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  2. Technically Remy isn’t a short form of Jeremy, but I guess you could use it that way.

    I used to love this show too, but then Channel 9 put it on for 2 hours every single night and now we’re all sick of it. It should have stayed on SBS.

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  3. Bourneville

    I’m a closet HH watcher, the show’s fantastic for all ages, nevermind the lucky few in it’s target audience!

    Personally, I quite like Richard, he’s a dashing young fellow.

    Like

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