Today we’re back on familiar ground for a few, and the blog, with a revisit to Clover. She’s a name I’ve loved since I was a little girl, mostly due to a children’s cartoon called Totally Spies that I watched more than a lot of, which featured a character with the name. As many will know, I recommended it to my parents as a name for my littlest sister, but they decided against using the name at pretty much the last moment.

A Clover is a wild flower which ultimately comes from the Old English word clafre. It’s strongly associated with luck, due to the four-leaf clover, but she’s not has so much luck in terms of popularity in England&Wales:

2005 2006 2007 2008
Rank #3970 #3116 #2895 #2022
Births 4 6 7 12
2009 2010 2011 2012
Rank #2148 #1993 #2150 #2215
Births 11 13 12 12
As you can see from the above table, Clover appears to be plateauing in terms of use, and thus it seems doubtful she’ll ever become wildly popular (unless, of course, along comes a prominent use of the name). She could continue to stall and remain forever in the bottom part of the list with only a handful of uses each year, equally I must concede that she might suddenly lurch her way to the Top 1000 in the coming years, surprising us all cynics. I still think it may be a bit too early to tell either way (even if 5 years of non-movement is a concern).
Those who hesitate with the almost non-existent usage of the name should consider her familiarity to the likes of Heather and Chloe, meaning she isn’t an entirely outlandish pick. But maybe some might think that regardless due to Clover being a popular brand of margarine in the UK, although that hasn’t affected Flora so much – another brand of margarine – which in 2012 ranked at #404 in England & Wales.
And if the margarine connection comes up, you could sniffily respond by informing the person that the little sister of Katy Carr from the What Katy Did series of books bears the name.
There’s also the option to use Clover as a nod to Irish heritage, with links to their patron saint – St Patrick, who linked the clover to the Holy Trinity – and one of their national symbols is the shamrock, aka a little clover.
So when it comes to Clover, she’s a fan favourite who appears to be failing to convert people liking the name into parents of girls with the name. It’s a shame really, but that gives the name the familiarity that many obscure names struggle with which can only be a plus.
Categories: Floral Names | Tags: | 1 Comment

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