Cricket is a massive sport here in the UK, and it’s a crime that it’s not included in the Olympics 😉
So why am I talking about the sport? Well, I have a younger brother who plays cricket with a team and since I passed my driving exam about 2 months ago now I’ve been the one to ferry him around to various training sessions and games.
Of course, I’ve come to learn a lot about names and perception of names amongst the 13ish year olds of the UK since I always seemed to be sat next the the man keeping score, who uses the players first names rather than surnames.
I’d like to therefore share with you some rather interesting exchanges/findings, and the first one may surprise a few.
Remember the belief that using a popular name will mean ease of spelling? Forget it. At this week’s game, it was a 12 year old keeping score under the watchful eye of his Grandad, and the next kid up to bat was called Jacob. Oh yes my friends, he queried as to how to spell the name that has now ranked at #1 for boys in the USA for many years.
However, I have my own mini-theory on this, which namely involved the Polish. You see, with the influx of people immigrating to the UK from Eastern European countries such as Poland, that brings with you an increased exposure to Polish names at school. I remember sharing a physics classroom with a lad named Bartek, but just don’t ask me how to say his name. Getting to the point, the only Jacob I know is a Polish lad named Jakub.
Thinking about it, though, Jakub and Jacob are said differently; Jakub is said more like YAH-kuwp, not JAY-kub.
The other thing I wanted to mention was the name Elliott. I’ve sat and watched my brother play against at least 3-4 other teams and every single one seemed to have at least one player named Elliott.
So I went and took a look at the 1999 data for England, and there Elliott is at #95. Since then he has fallen outside the England Top 100, and currently ranks at #130 for England&Wales.
That’s still not rare, though.
The last thing I wanted to mention is that these aren’t boys only teams, just boy-dominated ones. The only two girls I’ve seen in the teams this year are called Sashi and Kayley.
Sashi is an interesting one because it’s not a nickname for Sasha, rather, a legit female name from dear India. It is a slight variant of Shashi, which is a traditional word for moon in Sanskrit.
The name rather reminded me of the male name Sachin, as in, the famed Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. He’s considered to be one of the greatest batsmen of all time. The name means pure in Sanskrit.
I would end this post by saying this: it’s not only Olympic sports that are a great source of names.
But I’m sure many of you already knew that, indeed, I highly recommend you go take a peek at Ren’s blog, which has spent the last few weeks running a series on names from the MLB, whilst Gabby has recently set up a blog and is covering names from the NFL.