Names of the Week: Jack and Liberty

Outside of Liberty Stadium, from

I began to write this post whilst watching the Swansea v Arsenal match. It’s certainly been thrilling, and my team won! Since we’ve already covered Swansea, instead we’re turning to their club nickname and the name of their stadium. What’s great about both names is that neither screams Swansea supporter – even if you use both (unless you live in Swansea, of course).

It’s also apt to cover Jack since today is my brother’s birthday. Well, the day this should’ve been posted. One of the nicknames for Swansea City, aside from the swans, is the jacks, hence why we’re covering him.

The name Jack evolved as a nickname for John, and these days is much more popular than John in England&Wales. Consider this, since the year 2000 Jack has only fallen 1 place in the popularity list: from #1 to #2. John, on the other hand, has fallen 36 places, falling 11 places between 2009 and 2010, putting him at #94 and making me class him as one of the most likely current Top 100 names to have said goodbye to the Top 100 when the 2011 data is released. He may have a resurgence, but I can’t see it happening.

That said, I did then check the US data since they have a track record of the full names tending to outrank their nickname counterpart, and John does indeed outrank Jack in their 2010 data: John ranks at #26 and Jack at #44. However, a similar pattern of falling has taken it’s toll on John – he’s fallen 12 places since 2000, whilst Jack has risen 2 places from his 2000 ranking.

The name Jack is particularly popular in folklore. First off, we have Jack Frost – the personification of frost; there is also Jack O’ Lantern and Jack-in-the-Green. You could also class Jack from Jack in the Beanstalk into this category, too.

Outside of folklore, the name Jack also makes an appearance in several nursery rhymes, which you may or may not recognise:

  • Jack and Jill
  • Jack Sprat
  • Little Jack Horner
  • Jack Be Nimble

What I loved about the name Jack was that he wasn’t just a name, he’s used for so many different things. You could accuse him of being one of the most popular word names for boys. A few notable uses of the name Jack, but not for a person includes:

  • A device used to lift heavy objects
  • An electrical connector
  • An archaic unit of volume
  • Lowest value face card in a pack of cards
  • The target ball in several games such as bowls.
  • Six-tipped gmaes pieces used in the game of the same name
  • A Navy Jack is flown from warships
  • A Union Jack is another name for the Union Flag of United Kingdom

As for Liberty’s association with the side, it’s the name of their stadium; The Liberty Stadium has been the home to Swansea City since 2005, and whilst you may think the name Liberty is without company branding, such as with the recent controversy surrounding the potential renaming of St.James’ Park as Sports Direct Stadium. Swansea-based developers called Liberty Properties Plc won the naming rights a few months after the stadium opened.

During construction it was affectionately known as White Rock, and remained known as New Stadium Swansea until the aforementioned name sponsors came forward. The White Rock name was in reference to the local copper works which had previously occupied the site; Steve the Swansea fan, however, thought it referenced crack more than anything. Despite being brand new, following Swansea recent promotion into the Premier League (in a game I attended!) they now have the second smallest stadium in the Premier League, beaten only by Loftus Road, home of fellow 2011 promoted side Queens Park Rangers.

Most countries have little mottos, and France’s is one of the simplest to remember: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. I’ve seen this on political posters, and even seen some French grafitti mocking the phrase: Le gaz, l’électricité, l’eau – la prix! Liberty is, of course, a word name meaning freedom. The French quite famously donated The Statue of Liberty to the States, which is one of the best-known symbols of liberty. Here in Britain, we have Britannia instead, who can be found on most 50p coins. She especially came to represent British liberties and democracy during the World Wars.

As a name, Liberty is currently less popular than her potential short form of Libby. In 2010, Liberty ranked at #401, compared to Libby, who was at #98. However, since 2009 the name Libby fell 20 places to her current ranking, so she may be poised to join the same club as John. The same can be said for Liberty, who was at #390 – thus has fallen 11 places, herself.

Categories: Names of the Week | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Names of the Week: Jack and Liberty

  1. Happy birthday to your brother!

    Jack and Liberty both sound quite patriotic – Jack for the UK and Union Jack, and Liberty for the US and their statue.


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