Name Trends

Homestyle Names

Nothing is more homely than a good brew, snapped by me in Covent Garden.

Not content with having a gazillion different blogs to read new posts on a regular basis, I’ve recently taken a delve into vlogs as well.

One video that really caught my eye was by littlelunaful, who is a northern lass a few years younger than me. She talked about what she described as homestyle names, defining them as being comforting, familiar, informal and simple. I must say I found myself really liking some of the names she placed in this category. The names she selected for her list included:




















Admittedly, I found the male names a more eclectic list than the female one, but it’s a good collection of names nevertheless. Of course, I couldn’t resist coming up with my own ideas of names which one could consider homestyle:














Anyone care to suggest others?

Categories: Name Themes/Styles, Name Trends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Buzzing Bs

Bonnie of Toy Story 3 fame, from

Short names should in theory be coming back into style, given that nicknames have here in the UK, and there’s one brand in particular thats caught my eye over the past few weeks. Before I say what, consider this: Nameberry recently penned Betty as an unlikely comeback name, and we known that her siblings are called Belle and Beau. What’s more, I devoted an entire post to nicknames for Beatrix/ce earlier on this month, for which many names were also in this category. I try not to let name spotting take over my life, but something that has really struck me of late is the amount of four-letter, one-syllable B- names I’ve met recently. Everywhere I turn, I’ve been seing them. As far as I’m concerned nowadays, there’s literally tons (well, maybe a slight exageration there) of them. Here are a few of my favourites I’ve seen recently.

Buzz Aldrin, born Edwin Eugene, was one of the first men on the moon, but for him Buzz was simply a nickname derived from one of his sisters – however I do recall from reading somewhere that he has legally changed his name to Buzz. Buzz Lightyear was a character in the hugely successful Toy Story films. The word buzz has excelled in terms of colloquial English of late, since if I were to say that I’m buzzing about my upcoming birthday (which I am), I’m saying that I’m excited for it. It has also been abused in the sense that a drug high can also be referred to as a buzz.

What goes Buzz? Bees of course, and I had one doodled onto the back of my hand last week. Bee is one of those nicknames you can get from a huge variety of names: from Phoebe to Annabel; Beryl to Elizabeth. Sticking to the Elizabeth theme, she of many short forms, as Biff, Chip and Kipper were the three [fictional] siblings who taught me how to read, since my Infant school was stocked to bursting point with books about them starting at basic picture books up to more ‘advanced’ learner books, one of which my sister recently brought home. I’m not into one-up-manship, but when I was in Year 4, I distinctly remember reading Harry Potter 5, but we all develop at our own pace and Dips is much better at her times tables than I ever was at her age. Going back to the books, Biff was the girl and the eldest, whilst Chip and Kipper were her younger brothers. I used to believe they were actually their names, but thinking about it now, they were probably more like Elizabeth, Charles and Christopher – not that I’ve ever seen confirmation of that fact. They had friends named Wilf and Wilma, so it really was a child’s introduction to old-timey names. Other nicknames for Elizabeth such as Biff include Beth, Bets and Bess.

You could even derive Bass from the name Elizabeth at a stretch, and I recently met someone nickname Bass – predictably he played bass guitar, and his ‘real’ name was Sebastian, which still could shorten to Bass anyway. I also doodled my first Christmas tree of the year today, and a well-know singer with a bass-baritone voice, and King of Christmas tunes is Bing Crosby, born Harry Lillis. I really like the upbeat sound of the name Bing, and maybe that was one of the swaying factors in why Microsoft have named their internet search engine Bing. A similar name to this which I spotted on the news last Saturday was Buck. As well as being American slang for a dollar, the name also has another usage in the English language: the name for a male deer (where doe is the female deer equivalent).

Bolt is another English word, used for the eponymous name of the dog in the film Bolt. I remember my sister trying to convince me that it would be a good idea to take her to see it. There’s also the champion sprinter Usain Bolt. A well known film critic duo here in the UK are called Floyd and Boyd, who occasionally sub in for Mark Kermode when he’s not available to do the film reviews for 5Live on Fridays afternoons; their full names are Nigel Floyd and Boyd Hilton. Boyd was also the surname of Peter Boyd in the BBC crime drama Waking the Dead which recently closed up shop after a near 10 year run. I loved Waking the Dead, even if it [briefly] convinced me that a murderer lived at the end of my bed, despite being a mostly rational person. Keeping with the Christmas theme, I’m thinking of gifting a boxset to someone over the holiday season; not sure who exactly I want to target with it yet though.

And with the partying season drawing near, it seems an apt time to mention Beck, as in the lager Becks. I know that I’ve mentioned Beck a few times recently, but that means he really does qualify for this list since I’m hearing Beck everywhere. To be fair, I discovered recently that Rebecca was the most popular female name for England&Wales in 1994, which is the closest year to my birth year that has data published about it. No wonder every Beck I’m currently running into is my age or thereabouts.

I recently mixed some chemicals together to make a wonderfully inky blue colour – and by chemicals I mean sodium carbonate and bromothymal blue. That may mean something to you, but it probably doesn’t. Suffice to say that bromothymal blue is an indicator which goes blue in alkaline solutions and yellow in acidic solutions, thus sodium carbonate is the former. In terms of using Blue as a name, I’m all for it since Blue is a fantastic colour, but I still take issue with anyone using Bleu and saying it exactly the same as Blue. But I’m a French student, so you can understand my nit-picking. My littlest sister has just started to learn French, quite sweetly anglicising the pronunciations of all the words she’s being taught.

Earlier on in the year we mentioned the sisterly trio of Bliss, Blythe and Elfie, or which the first two names kind of fit into this category if we ignor that fact that they’re both a letter too long. In the almost category with them is Bonnie, which nicely rounds off this post since it takes up back to our first name, Buzz, as Bonnie was featured in the third, and currently most recent, Toy Story film.

Categories: Name Trends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Lourdes: The Next Lily?

Gerrard and Beckham on the pitch for England, from

David Beckham famously welcomed little Harper Seven earlier on this year and at the time Alex Curran, the partner of England player Steven Gerrard announced that she wouldn’t be giving her third child with him the middle name Eight after his shirt number. One thing that did seem for sure was that after two daughters named Lilly-Ella and Lexie, they were going to use another L name. Personally, I thought it was a done-deal that they’d use one of the following name which seemed right up their street:

Lucy. A shameless plug of my own name, but she is a Top 100 name as Lily, Ella and Lexie are.

Luna. Not as wildly popular as L&L, but still well-recognised and recently covered in depth over as My Advice, where she mentions that fellow England teamate Frank Lampard already has a Luna Coco (sister of Isla) with his former Spanish fiancée Elen.

Lola. Another Top 100 pick that seems right up their alley, but they gave it a pass.

Lilou. Perhaps all his travelling may have informed him of the popularity of this name in neighbouring France.

Lila(h). Like Luna, this name is getting quite a bit of attention at the moment.

Libby/Lacey. Two names relatively new in popularity, just as Lexie is; both are also Top 100.

They ended up, as you may have guessed from the title, choosing the rather less well-known name Lourdes which some papers are claiming is in honour of his Catholic roots. Madonna famously has a Lourdes, who is known as Lola. That means I may have been on the money about Lola, should the Gerrards wish to follow Madonnas lead when it comes to nicknames for Lourdes, but there are other L- nickname options options they could consider:

Lou/Lulu. Two own-name plugs in one post?! You bet.

Laure. French form of the fading Laura, Lori/Laurie is another possibility.

So, what are the chances of the name Lourdes catching on? Well, first to mention that only 7 females were given the name last year [2010] in England&Wales, up from 6 in 2009. A select few other L- names which ranked alongside Lourdes in 2010 were:

  • Lacey-Lou
  • Leah-Marie
  • Libby-Rose
  • Livvie
  • Lolah
  • Luca
  • Lyla-May

I think they could’ve easily used any of the above names, but instead they used a place name. But not just any place name, Lourdes is a noted place of pilgrammage; I’ve been offered the opportunity to go there myself. This is as it was in Lourdes during the 17th century that a young girl by the name of Bernadette had several visions of the Virgin Mary. The spring water at Lourdes is said to have healing properties as a result.

So, back to the question in the title. Could Lourdes be the next Lily? The fact that she’s clearly being used as a sister name for Lily can’t be ignored, but this is just one case and as my psychology teacher used to always say: case studies can seldom be generalised! Wise and accurate words. Like Lily, she sounds like she could be the name of the elderly lady next door or your boiterous 4 year-old neice.

Finally, generally speaking, footballers seem to have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to naming trends, consider some of the names of the offspring of some of the most recently called up for England squad (i.e. 2006 World Cup forward):

Freya (Gareth Barry, ?)

Gemma Rose (Michael Owen, 2003)

Georgie John (John Terry, 2006)

Isla (Frank Lampard, 2007)

Jacey (Michael Carrick, ?)

Jack (Paul Robinson, 2008)

Kai Wayne (Wayne Rooney, 2009)

Lorenz (Rio Ferdinand, 2006)

Lucy May (Paul Robinson, ?)

Luna Coco (Frank Lampard, 2005)

Molly (Gary Neville, 2009)

Oscar (Gareth Barry, ?)

Ruby Tatiana (Joe Cole, 2010)

Sancha Natasha (Jermaine Jenas, 2007)

Sophie (Gary Neville, 2010)

Summer Rose (John Terry, 2006)

Tate (Rio Ferdinand, 2008)

Tia (Rio Ferdinand, 2011)

Can Lourdes be the next thing? I wouldn’t advise placing your bets right now, but she’s definitely a name to watch in the future.

Categories: Girl Names, Name Trends | 4 Comments

Weekend Post: Hattie’s Friends

Today's unnecessary fact, discovered on my trip to the transport museum in Covent Garden, London - refers to London population

A little Hattie was recently welcomed into this world by Tori Spelling, and you know what? I love the name Hattie, not just because I know a delightful one in her late-teens. She’s not too cutesy, and whilst Hattie is traditionally a short form of fusty favourite Henrietta and relatively popular Harriet she works well on her own, especially since the Hattie I know is just Hattie.

In 1904, Harriet ranked at #78 and in 2010 she ranked at a roughly similar #86. Let’s delve deeper then into the world of vaguely vintage nicknames; all of the below names to the left ranked alongside Harriet in the Top 100 in 1904, with noted ‘-ie’ or ‘-y’ short forms to the right of them. In some cases, the short form performs better, and in some cases the 1904 Top 100 name doesn’t even rank in the 2010 data. If no rank is given, the name therefore does not rank in the 2010 England&Wales data.

Agnes (#754) – Aggie/ Nessie

Ann (#1150)/Anne (#1040) – Annie (#148, not technically a short form, I know)

Barbara (#1040) – Barbie

Beatrice (#116) – Trixie (#1993)


Caroline (#683) – Carly (#512)/Carrie (#988)

Catherine (#290) – Cathy/Katie (#40)

Charlotte (#20) – Lottie (#146)

Christina (#398) – Christie (#2589)/Chrissie (#5707)

Constance (#281) – Connie (#144)

Dorothy (#695) – Dotty (#3156)

Edith (#259) – Edie (#293)

Eileen (#1653) – Eily (#5707)/Nelly (#747)

Eleanor (#61) – Ellie (#29)/Nelly (#747)

Elizabeth (#49) – Ellie (#29)/Bessie (#1520)/Betsy (#320)/Betty (#576)/ Elsie (#108)

Esther (#156) – Essie (#5707)/Tessy (#5707)

Evelyn (#87) – Evie (#10)

Florence (#54) – Flossie (#4012)/ Florrie (#1180)

Frances (#521) – Frankie (#191)

GertrudeGertie/Trudie (#4012)

Gwendoline (#2392) – Ginny (#3533)/Dolly (#664)/Wendy (#2589)

Isabella (#12) – Izzy (#555)

Kathleen (#616) – Kathy (#3533)/Katie (#40)

Laura (#125) – Laurie (#1815)

Lillian (#337)/Lilian (#463) – Lily (#4)

Margaret (#505)/Margery/MarjorieMaggie (#276)/Meggie (#5707)/Daisy (#15)/Peggy (#1332)

Marion (#5707) – Marie (#647)/Meri (#5707)

Martha (#85) – Marie (#647)/Matty (#5707)/Martie

Millicent (#538)/MildredMillie (#32)

Miriam (#330) – Miri (#2843)/Mimi (#1013)

Rosina (#1584) – Rosie (#59)

Winifred (#1257) – Winnie (#1332)

Quite a few Hattie alternatives to ponder over there. Personally, I have a feeling that Lottie, Elsie, Annie and Connie are all potential Top 100 names in the coming years. Hattie herself actually ranks at a reasonable #521, so out of the nicknames above, these ones do actually rank above her:

Annie, Betsy, Carly, Connie, Daisy, Edie, Ellie, Elsie, Evie, Frankie, Katie, Lottie, Lily, Millie and Rosie

And these ones rank inside the Top 1000:

Betty, Carrie, Dolly, Izzy, Marie and Nelly

It’s also worth noting that there were several nicknames which ranked by themselves in the 1904 Top 100, some of which were mentioned above:

Annie (#6)

Bessie (#69)

Elsie (#10)

Fanny (#89)

Jessie (#36)

Lily (#20)

Marie (#79)

Minnie (#48)

Nellie (#22)

Quite a few of these names could be considered modern – I’m looking at you Lily – but there are some intriguing options out there for anyone looking for something fusty and sweet, yet completely underused. Such as Wendy, or even Bessie to a certain extent.

Categories: Name Trends, Weekend Post | 2 Comments

Lace Market

Nottingham Lace Market Tram Stop, from

I’ve really been thinking seriously about the possibility of the name Lace of late. For me, she really makes quite a bit of sense, but many of you out there may think that I’ve finally fallen off my rocker.

Lace is an openwork fabric, either made by hand or by machine with a key characteristic of being patterned with open holes. The craft of lace-making is almost ancient, but true lace in its accepted form nowadays dates back only to around the 15th and 16th century. True lace is created when a thread is looped, twisted or braided to other threads independently from a backing fabric. But enough of my Lace snobbery, because there are a few good reasons why I haven’t fallen off of my rocker, and I am thinking straight when I say Lace is a lovely option:

1. Word Names Galore

Word names are a category quickly expanding, with me finding out a few minutes ago that Katy of No Big Dill  has named her first son after five girls Drummer. Then we have the cakies sibset of True, Brave, Soul and Glow. So word names are becoming more adventurous, and I’d actually quite like to meet a little Lace.

2. Lacey is at #36 in England&Wales

There have been several cases when a more popular name [Emily] has helped a name with lesser popularity [Emma], so there’s every chance we could suddenly embrace the name. That said, there has to be something peripherary use in existence beforehand, which isn’t the case with Lace, who doesn’t rank in the 2010 data.

3. She’s not dissimilar to lovely Lucy and graceful Grace

This idea works on the same principle as #1, since one of the reasons I opt to go by Lou rather than Lucy is because people began to shorten my name to Luce, which is only a letter away from Lace, whereas Grace rhymes with Lace. Currently Lucy sits at #12 and Grace at #9, so they’re even more popular than Lacey. As an aside, my father told me that he wished he’d named me Lacey the other day – proof that those who love Lucy also have the potential to love the name Lacey.

4. We all love a bit o’ Nottingham Lace

A slightly more Lou-centric reason, since I’m a Nottingham lass at heart. The lace from the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress came from Nottingham, who used to be the world’s powerhouse of the stuff. Nowadays there’s only a few ‘factories’ left, but it’s still part of the area’s heritage.

5. She’s another one of these so-called ‘ace’ names I mentioned the other day

If you didn’t catch that post from a week or two ago, I made mention of the fact that many of our most favoured names, such as Scarlett, Alice and Darcey, all share three common letters: a, c and e. So does Lace.

All in all, there is a shred of logic behind the presumed madness, and Lace really does have potential. Or maybe that’s just me.

Categories: Name Trends | 3 Comments

The Curious Case of Second Children

A screenshot of the online version of the live game show, which I've really gotten into, from

I played along online with Million Pound Drop Live for the first time a few Saturday nights ago, and loved the fact that I managed to go something like 5 questions with my fictional one million still intact (you have a choice of four answers to a question currently being posed to the contestants on the live show, and can split your initial million pounds between all but one of the options). One of the questions which came up during my winning streak was about the popularity of the names of the Beckham children and, being a name nerd, I would’ve been ashamed if I had gotten the question wrong, but I didn’t. The actual popularity is in line with the age order of Posh and Becks kids, thus Brooklyn had the most popular name and Harper had the least popular name if one looks to the popularity data for boys in England&Wales in 2010, and indeed if we took Harper with her female ranking she would still come fourth since she currently ranks lower as a female name.

The key thing to note about this, for me, is that the people who took to Twitter during the show overwhelming believed either Romeo or Cruz was the answer, and for those who are interested, here’s how the popularity of each name for their respective gender works out:

  Rank Births
Brooklyn 248 190
Romeo 343 122
Cruz 433 87
Harper 930 37

And this got me thinking, what is the tendency for later children to have less popular names? We covered the conundrum of the difference in popularity in the names given to boy/girl twins last week, and so this posts acts as a natural progression of the topic.

Aside from the Beckhams, another notable example is Myleene Klass, who currently has two daughters: Ava Bailey and Hero Harper. There’s around a 3 year age gap, but the gap in popularity between the two is much more, even their middle names have a marked difference in popularity:

  Rank Births
Ava 11 3438
Bailey 505 80
Hero 4012 5
Harper 930 37

The scenario of finding out just how popular the name you gave your first child is a popular one to come across on the name boards, especially amongst the less than name-data savvy parents. That said, it still surprises me how underused the name Harper remains to be, but that may be more because I hang loose with American name bloggers quite a lot, where the name was given to 119 baby girls in 2010, which is a threefold increase in popularity – but if you were to factor in the differing population sizes of the States and England&Wales, I’m sure the popularity numbers would come out roughly the same.

Of course, I’ve seen parents go the other way, starting off with child #1 having a particularly wonderful name, and by the time darling daughter #6 comes along, the popularity of your child’s name no longer seems important in life. Looking at my own sibset, this is pretty much the way my parents went, in a sense, since out of the four of us, the two youngest both have names in the Top 10, whilst the two eldest are outside that magic number. That said, my name [Lucy] isn’t exactly unheard of, since she’s currently lurking around the Top 20, whilst the name of other sister [Heather] doesn’t even make the Top 100, although my parents did intend on calling her Isabelle which is, like my name, in the Top 20 for England&Wales in 2010.

So, what can we draw from this? Well, setting out to name all your children names of similar popularity may not work out. My siblings and I were born over a decade long period, so names that were popular when I was born (Jade was #16 in 1994, the nearest year to the year I was born for which E&W data is available) were no longer in fashion by the time my youngest sister came along (Jade was at #77 by 2003). That’s something to take into mind, and the other thing to note is the role of existing children. The topical example is Scary Spice aka Melanie Brown who gave naming rights to her eldest daughter, the creatively named Phoenix, who chose the popular name Madison.

I’m as guilty of this as any older sibling. I was something like 6ish when my brother came along, and I was the one who campaigned for that year’s number one name [Jack] for my baby brother. I will say in my defence that by the time I was 9 and ready to become a big sister for the third time, I wanted to call her Clover, which didn’t even rank in 2003.

Now, over to you dear readers. What is your perception of the issue? How important really is the popularity of names when selecting a name for your bundle of joy? Personally, I find myself not particularly bothered either way about the slight difference in popularity, provided one name isn’t noticeably more popular than the other, such is the case with Myleene’s children. It’s also worth noting that Brooklyn wasn’t that popular a name when the Beckhams chose it for their son at the start of the century, but it was boosted by it’s high profile use, much like the name Nevaeh which was bestowed on a celebrity child around the same time.

Categories: Name Trends | 4 Comments

Ace Names

Aces from a pack of cards, from

It’s already Friday? Time really is starting to fly, especially since Mother Nature has blessed Blighty with summer weather to see out the month of September. Part of me is glad to get another week of summer dress wearing; part of me really wants to get my pink scarf out of the back of the wardrobe.

Unlike the weather, the trends of names are slightly more predictable if you devote enough time to analysing the data contained in the popularity charts. Good job then that I find myself flicking through the data for England&Wales on an almost daily basis, such is the lifestyle of a name blogger. The point I’m working towards? As of late I’ve noticed a trend in the delightfully inspiring land beyond the Top 100. That trend is the domination of Darcey and Macey in their various versions, which disappoints me somewhat, since I’ve always penned my hopes on a resurgence for the name Darcey for the lads. That may be a fading dream though, just take a look at these figures:

Darcy – #115

Darcey – #126

Macey – #149

Darcie – #150

Macie – #154

I’m not a betting person, unless I’m offered a game of bingo, but I’m willing to place maybe a tuppence on the notion that Darcy in whatever form will be in the female Top 100 in the coming years. Of course, both names are relatively similar in style, since they both share the letters a, c, e and either y or i. So let’s combine those two ideas by looking at names currently in the Top 100 for England&Wales, which contain the letter combination of ace, in whatever order:

Alice – #43

Charlotte – #20

Grace – #9

Gracie – #51

Jessica – #6

Lacey – #36

Rebecca – #82

Scarlett – #24

It’s an interesting trend to keep an eye on, since it’s mostly a quietly bubbling one at the moment, not yet jumping into the raging kettle standard of bubbling alongside Aidan et al. It’s also interesting because I love many of the names listed above, so I have a personal interest in how they fare in the next few years. So the question we must now address is what are some alternative ace names, which are a little lower down in terms of popularity?

Angelica Catherine Cressida Marcie
Beatrice Cecelia Electra Mercia
Benedicta Cecilia Erica Nancie
Cadence Celia Felicia Nectaria
Calliope Chanel Frances Océane
Camille Claire Francine Octavie
Candice Clarice Frederica Patience
Caprice Clementina Hatice Peaches
Carmel Claudette Jacqueline Peace
Carmen Constance Leticia Temperance
Carole Coralie Mackenzie Valencia
Caroline Cordelia Marcelina Veronica
Cassiopeia Cornelia Marcella Zuleica

Any favourites? It’s an interesting mix of names, from classic choices such as Claire and Carole, with some modern-mamma options as well, such as Peaches and Caprice – I actually know a teenaged Caprice, who is the twin sister of a girl named Gabriella, usually known as Gabby.

I’ll be honest, I’m one of the select minority who don’t worship the ground the new Duchess walks on; it seems apt really, given how much my mother despised Diana. That said, I really do like the name Catherine to the extent she’s my preferred spelling and if I’d gone with the letter i instead of c, we could’ve added names such as Adelaide and Henrietta into the mix. Also lovely choices, both of which I’ve seen enjoy an increase in popularity on name boards recently.

Categories: Girl Names, Name List, Name Trends | 6 Comments

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