Last Sunday saw the return of the live elimination shows for both ITV’s X Factor and BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing, with six people’s dreams crushed in the space of a few hours live on TV, not that I watched all of it since I was far too busy being ill. Plus I’m no fan of reality television. They’re both major crowd-pullers in the UK and conversation starters amongst even the most strange of strangers – I had a man at the bus stop ask me what I thought of Frankie Cocozza, a man I’ve seen described as a deranged womble.
But let’s start with Strictly, a show my mother likes to watch but then gets a bit snobby about the dances. She really hated Ann Widdecombe last year, whilst I actually liked her bravado in the face of scorn, much like John Sergeant from a previous series. She didn’t have to wait long for this years most hated contestant to go:
Edwina Currie (&Vincent Simone)
Famous for many things, from affairs to eggs, Edwina was the first to get the boot off Strictly at the weekend after receiving the least amount of votes from the public – put together with the judges score from the night before. I wasn’t particularly surprised to see Edwina go last weekend – her political career came before me but even I managed to pick up on the slight hostility directed towards her.
Her name is the feminine form of Edwin, which itself comes from Old English and means rich friend. Unsurprisingly, the name doesn’t rank in 2010, presumeably because of her more famous bearer.
Now, onto The X Factor, which kicked off one act from each of the four categories in a ‘surprise’ new twist which was revealed on Saturday, but most diehard fans would’ve already known since it was leaked during the week. Even I knew, and I don’t watch it religiously like some do.
Amelia Lily Oliver (GIRLS)
Billed in the show as simply Amelia Lily, both of which truly are noms du jour, since Amelia is at #5, whilst Lily is doing 1 better at #4 in the 2010 England&Wales rankings. It’s always a nice surprise for me to see names which are currently fiercely popular today on people from a different generation, since this Amelia is currently 16. I do know a handful of Amelias myself, but most still can’t write their own name.
The name Amelia has her origins in the Germanic name Amala, which comes from amal and means work, whilst Lily is clearly the name of a flower.
Charley Bird, from Two Shoes (GROUPS, currently expecting her first child)
One of the things that irks me about the name Charley is all the various forms one needs to keep up with as, in 2010, 5410 Charlies entered the world, along with several other variations of the spelling in the male section of the 2010 data:
- 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)
The highest ranking female name in the category is Charlie, which sits at #261 with 192 little girls given the name in 2010. Either way, the name itself comes as a nickname of Charles, which itself likely derived from the name Karl, thus means man. The name could also come from the Germanic element hari, which means army.
James Michael (BOYS)
We previously mentioned the name James last week in our post inspired by my littlest sister, the source of much entertainment for me, so let’s remind ourselves on what I said then:
‘…James heralds from the same places as the current  US #1 name Jacob, and thus both mean supplanter, which in it’s most basic form means one who takes the place or another – some suggesting it be a wrongful action. In 2010, the name James nabbed the #10 with 4531 of ‘em born.’
Jonjo Kerr (OVER-25s)
At first, I wrongly assumed this was a nickname for a man named something along the lines of John Joseph, but I’ve yet to see any indication that’s not the case and so he really may be named Jonjo. It kind of reminds me of the name Banjo, which itself has seen notable use as a name. And by notable I mean Rachel Griffiths who has a son named Banjo Patrick, brother of Adelaide and Clementine.
Jonjo does have his origins as an old Irish way to shorten the name John Joseph, but some people are walking around with the name Jonjo, with 4 more lads given the name in England&Wales in 2010.
Lucy Texeira, from Two Shoes (GROUPS)
Another nom du jour, Lucy is a fantastic name, but I may be slightly biased. The thing that always winds me up is when people describe her as a nickname for Lucia et al, when whilst she can be, she is a name in her own right coming from the latin word for light – lux.
In terms of popularity, the name currently sits just outside the Top 20 at #21 in 2010. She’s a constant figure in the top females names, since she was #13 in 1994 – which is touching two decades ago now. Going further back, the name was at a still respectable #24 in 1984 and #38 in 1974. I’d class Lucy as a borderline mainstay favourite, given how long she has been hanging around in the top flight – but I wouldn’t class her in the same league as Elizabeth just yet.