Names of the Week: Charlie and Connie

Konnie Huq and Charlie Brooker from

On Thursday, Charlie Brooker and Konnie Huq announced that they were expecting a baby boy. Brooker is one of my favourite writers, and I try to keep up with his newspaper column even if I forget sometimes. Also, I watched Blue Peter around the time Konnie Huq was presenting, so I’m very much interested in what they name their child, even if I think there’s a real chance they’ll keep the name quiet.

We’ve mentioned Brooker before only briefly when we talked about the name Charlton – because that’s his name which he shortens to Charlie. Wife Konnie isn’t actually a Konnie either – her birth name is Kanak Asha (born to Bangladeshi parents in London). Therefore, one could expect an interesting choice of name for them. In theory.

But, let’s get on track and talk about the name Charlie. He’s currently #5 in England&Wales, so suffice to say, we Brits love the name Charlie. Perhaps that’s all down to the famous tale by Roald Dahl – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I remember receiving that book one Christmas in amongst a whole bundle of Dahl books given to me by my Auntie. I loved it, and still do even to this day even if it did slightly tarnish the name Violet for me.

Charlie was once a nickname of Charles, but nowadays you’re more likely to meet a Charlie than you are a Charles – which sits at #62 in England&Wales. Still of relatively popularity, but nowhere near the same league as Charlie currently is. I also think what it great about Charlie is that he can be fun, but equally he can also be rather serious – though not as much as brother Charles is. That makes him rather like Jack in my eyes.

Charles is either from the Germanic name Karl, which comes from their word for man; or it could have derived from another Germanic element: hari, meaning army, warrior.

Whereas both Charlie and Charles have been enjoying relative popularity for many decades now, on the other hand we have Connie who has only recently started to be used more frequently in England&Wales after a spell of being an out-of-fashion name. Certainly, I can also imagine a situation where Konnie also rises – although the Kardashian family isn’t as prominent over here just yet. This table hopefully demonstrates just how Connie has fared recently in terms of popularity:

2003 2004 2005 2006
Rank 238 231 220 226
Births 188 197 217 214
2007 2008 2009 2010
Rank 128 110 125 144
Births 434 504 430 382

Looking at the graph, you should notice a sudden rise between 2006 and 2007. Why did we all started to name our baby girls Connie in 2007, and the answer is delightfully simple. Connie Fisher won the talent show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? back in 2006, which involved Andrew Lloyd-Webber searching for a Maria for his stage adaptation of The Sound of Music. It’s therefore likely she was part of the sudden resurgence of the name in 2007, whereby it rose 102 places with the number of births increasing more than twofold.

And I’m thrilled for it. Connie is one of those names which was once hopelessly out of fashion, but she really sits well with other more popular names such as Lily and Maisie.

However if you would prefer to use a longer form of Connie, there are a few options available. The most obvious one being the virtue name Constance, a name which currently sits at #281 with 176 births. I’ll admit, she’s much more popular than I expected her to be, which acts more of a nice surprise for me than anything else.

A few months ago, we also mentioned the name Contessa, which is the Italian word for Countess. Other names which one could shorten to Connie at a slight push are:

  • Azucena
  • Caroline
  • Coraline
  • Cornelia
  • Corisande
  • Florence
  • Nicola
  • Veronica
Categories: Names of the Week | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Names of the Week: Charlie and Connie

  1. What a pity Connie has not taken off here – the male form Con is significant enough to make it hard for a female form to get a look-in.

    Corisande is lovely though.


  2. The Name Station

    I think in Britain Connie and Constance has the same sort of flair as Florence, but neither of those names have much style/substance over here.

    Brooker, Huq, and Fisher aren’t notable over here, either.


  3. Roald Dahl also ruined Agatha for me


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