When a friend recently caught wind that I’m no video-gamer, he almost dragged me to his computer to play this zombie-killing game called Left 4 Dead 2.

You may have heard of it, but I ended up playing as a character called Rochelle. In the game she is one of four playable characters, and indeed the only one of the four to be female. Which is exactly why I ended up playing as her.

Believe it or not, that’s not my only experience with Rochelle this week; I shared a taxi with two girls from La Rochelle a few nights ago.

Two runs-ins with the same name in a week can only lead to it’s eventual appearance on the blog. So, here it is.

Left 4 Dead 2 was released in 2009, not particularly long after the original was released itself. Given that the sequel occurs in a different city to that of it’s predecessor, the original four ‘survivors’ (Bill, Zoey, Francis and Louis) were replaced by a new gang, with the names Ellis, Rochelle, Coach and Nick.

As for the wonderful city of La Rochelle, grab a world map and you’ll find it located on the west coast of France, with it’s seaport looking out onto the Bay of Biscay. It’s foundations were laid in the 10th century, and by the 12th century had become an important harbour.

La Rochelle is also vaguely of interest in the naming world because it has connections with Eleanor of Aquitaine, a rather influential lady and likely first bearer of the name Eleanor. Her father effectively made La Rochelle a free port, whilst she herself helped the city become the first in France to appoint a city mayor.

It is this city which brings us the name Rochelle, as opposed the her being some strange mutation of Rachel – although it must be acknowledged that some of Rochelle’s use is likely down to her similarity to Rachel.

The name La Rochelle means little rock in French, with the roche part being the French word for rock.

Let’s end with some stats: Rochelle ranked at #1374 in England&Wales in 2011, having been given to 22 girls. She’s actually in good company in the ’22 club’: she sits alongside Viola; Theresa; Seraphina; Suki; Winifred; Karen; and Elsie-May. Another name to rank at #1374 for the girls – and this may surprise some of you – is Mackenzie (a name that ranks at #310 for the lads).

To quote Jeremy Clarkson: and on that bombshell, it’s time to end, goodnight.

Categories: Name Profile | Tags: | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Rochelle

  1. thenamestation

    I love the names Rochelle shares space on the Names List with – you can see names like Seraphine are probably on the way up, while Theresa and Karen are on the way down, but they all meet together there. And Mackenzie, of course, is so much more popular for girls in North America (but I believe comparable to the UK for the boys…)


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