Names of the Week: Charlton and Meadow


The match that inspired the post, from

Man, I really missed football during the summer break. So life is good now for me, given that the football league is now back up and running, even if the Formula 1 is now absent from my Sunday afternoons. It seems apt to celebrate the excitement of the new 11/12 season some more by looking at two names inspired by football. One is the name of a team which recently came up against my own team, and the other is the name of my team’s ground.

I must say, I was very tempted to cover Bolton, who’ve been at the top of the Premier League (There are four leagues here in England&Wales: Premier, ChampionshipOne and Two. Premier is the top flight) this week, above such sides as Chelsea and Arsenal, but are (as of yesterday’s result) now at #5, which still places them above both Man U and Man City.

Charlton Athletic and Notts County clashed at Meadow Lane last weekend, resulting in a 2-1 win for the visitors. But the name Charlton interests me. Some of you may have heard of the journalist by the name of Charlie Brooker, whom I discovered about a month ago was born as Charlton. So it has been used as a name, and works well because it’s conventional nickname is currently in the Top 10 at a respectable #5.

Charlton Athletic are one of the many London sides currently contesting in the football league, and thus hail from the south London district of Charlton. The doomsday book lists the area as Cerletone, which comes from Old English and means farmstead of the freeman.

In 2010, whilst 5410 Charlies entered the world, only 5 Charltons were born. Other spellings of Charlie in the 2010 data includes:

  • Charley (99)
  • Charlee (12)
  • Charly (8)
  • Charli (3)

Plus a handful of hyphen names:

  • Charlie-James (8)
  • Charlie-Jays (7)
  • Charlie-Joes (6)
  • Charlie-Jacks (4)
  • Charlie-Rays (3)

Then we have Meadow. Notts County, who are the oldest professional football club in the world after being founded in 1862, have lived at Meadow Lane since 1910, which is 5 years after Charlton Athelic were founded. Their rivals, Nott’m Forest, live about 300 yards across the river, which makes them the closest two football stadiums in England, and also, incidently puts Nottingham Forest in the county of Nottinghamshire, not the city of Nottingham as Nottinghamshire County are, even if the former’s stadium is called The City Ground. Confused? Most are.

Before 1910, Notts County actually played over at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground, which is just down the road from where they currently live. Any cricket fans will know England played India in a test match at Trent Bridge a few weeks ago. Our rivals have temporarily moved in a Meadow Lane a handful of times due to either floods, or indeed a fire in 1968 following a tie against Leeds United.

As for the word meadow, which has it’s roots in Old English, it is commonly used for grassland cut annually for hay, also known as a haymeadow. A transitional meadow occurs when a pasture or other cleared land is no longer farmed or heavily grazed and starts to overgrow, whilst a perpetual meadow is one in which environmental factors restrict the growth of woody plants indefinitely.

As for it’s success as a name, in 2010 the name Meadow was at #747 in England and Wales, with 49 born that year. That’s up from 2009, when it ranked at #897 with 37 births.

Categories: Names of the Week | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Names of the Week: Charlton and Meadow

  1. Awkward Turtle

    Charlton is unnecessarily surnamey for me, but Meadow is interesting as a middle name.


    • I see what you mean, I occasionally got to say Charleston instead, which is a type of ballroom dancing. But I do have a place in my heart for Charlie, he is lovely.


  2. I love Meadow and suggest putting her right up front! She’s just lovely.


    • I have a rule that any name which makes me smile must be written down for later referral, a list Meadow sailed onto with ease. For me, she’s a cheerful, care-free child.


  3. C

    Wow football and names in one blog, looks like I’ve found a good one!
    I support Crystal Palace, and as you can imagine you do hear of a few parents calling their daughters Crystal in honour (like the many Chelseas I know!)
    But I have seen a birth announcement for a Crystal Paris (first and middle) in the program!


    • Crystal Paris! Now THAT’S some commitment to the side, but perhaps not immediately obvious if one didn’t know the family football team. Personally I have no aversion to naming your child something such as Chelsea or Forest – wait, maybe not Forest because I’m a County fan – in honour of your football team provided you make an effort to buy them a footie shirt. Ima still waiting for my Dad to offer me one, given he randomly took my brother out last year to get him one.


  4. Oh dear, our footy season is just coming to a close … only a month of finals and then a whole summer of nothing. 😦

    I’ve seen Meadow suggested so often on name forums and baby name boards that it seems like nom de jour. It sounds like a brand of dairy food to me.


  5. Pingback: Names of the Week: Charlie and Connie « Mer de Noms

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