How Storms Are Named


Naming storms here in the UK is a relatively new phenomena – the Met Office and Met Eireann only started doing it in 2015. Since then we’ve had the likes of Storm Doris and Storm Barney; this post was inspired by the recent Storm Brian.

The main reason that they’ve adopted using names is to raise awareness, you see.

Names are quite good at that. In my absence, you may have heard about the attempt to get Britain excited about a new research vessel by opening the name suggestions to the public – which gave rise to the incredible Boaty McBoatface.

The names the Met Office and Met Eireann use are also crowd-sourced, but they select names from the most popular suggestions rather than it being an open vote.

Part of me is particularly heartened by the possibility that Doris may have been a popular name suggestion. I had a *slight* crush on the name Doris a few months back which just happened to coincide with her being published on a list of extinct names that made the rounds in the media.

I feel like I might be digressing slightly.

Before 2015, we simply did just call storms ‘The Great Storm of 1985’ and so forth.


However, at the same time, the US is also naming storms and since we’re a helpful bunch over here, we don’t rename any US-named tropical storms or hurricanes that head our way – we refer to them by the name our American cousins bestowed the storm. A recent example of this is when Hurricane Ophelia came our way and rather than renaming, e simply called it ex-Hurricane Ophelia.

As for home-grown storms, they only get a name if they’re thought to have the potential to cause significant impact in the UK and/or Ireland, i.e. when an amber or red weather warning is issued.

As for the names used, I’ve alluded to the process of picking the names, and below is the list of current names in use for this season.

Aileen, Brian, Caroline, Dylan, Eleanor, Fionn, Georgina, Hector, Iona, James, Karen, Larry, Maeve, Niall, Paul, Rebecca, Simon, Tali, Victor and Winifred

There are no names beginning with Q, U, X, Y and Z (for obvious reasons!), and names already associated with a prior catastrophic weather event – like Hurricanes Katrina and Irma – are also avoided.

The Met Office have done some research to check whether their theory that naming the storms raises awareness – and 89% of the people they asked were aware of the impact of Storm Doris bringing severe weather.

So it seems that it really does work!

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8 Game of Thrones Names That Could Work Outside The Fantasy Realm

Like many, I’m very much caught up in the Game of Thrones hype and am currently working my way through A Dance With Dragons

Reading the books, I couldn’t help but put together a mental list of names that I think could work outside the pages of the book.

My selection criteria for this list was that the name had to appear in at least one book, and lack popularity (i.e. Catelyn, Arya) or a long history of usage (i.e. Robert).

Also, with character descriptions, I’ve deliberately tried to avoid spoilers – especially hard given I’m pretty much up to date with the books.

1. Tommen

Prince Tommen is the third child and second son of Queen Cersei Lannister and King Robert Baratheon. He spends the beginning of the series mostly as a background character, although events later lead him to become slightly more prominent.

The name Tommy is popular in England&Wales at the moment, and perhaps for those wanting to use Tommy as a nickname, but not for Thomas, this is a compromise.

2. Samwell

Samwell Tarly joins the Night’s Watch at the same time as Jon Snow, having been forced to by his father so that his younger brother could inherit the family lands (when one joins the Night’s Watch, one gives up all claims to family titles etc.).

When you think about it, this name is pretty similar in sound to Samuel. Admittedly, that means there’s likely to be confusion, but if you’re looking for a quirky long form of the nickname Sam, the name Samwell is an alluring possibility.

3. Sansa

Sansa Stark is the eldest daughter and second child of Eddard and Catelyn Stark. She starts off the books aged 11, and is enthralled by the popular ladylike pasttimes, unlike her more rebellious sister, Arya.

Whilst perhaps not the most popular of characters, Sansa is a beautiful name. Something that crossed my mind whilst compiling the list is that Sansa could quite easily be used as a nickname for the ever-delightful Anastasia.

4. Davos

Davos Seaworth is one of Stannis Baratheon’s aides and is a smuggler turned good after he smuggled a boat load of onions to Stannis during the Siege of Storm’s End and was knighted for his actions, leading to his nickname The Onion Knight. He also happens to be one of my favourite characters.

Davos works as an alternative to the ever-popular name David.

5. Roslin

Roslin Frey is the wife of Edmure Tully, younger brother of Catelyn Stark. The pair marry during A Storm of Swords to appease Walder Frey after Robb Stark backs out of his marriage contract with the Late Lord Frey.

Similar to both Roisin and the many Ros- names. When you think about it, essentially, she’s a stripped down version of Rosalinde.

6. Renly

Renly Baratheon is the youngest brother of King Robert, and starts off the book series on the Small Council.

The name Wren is popular, and with the added -ly ending, this name becomes all the more interesting prospect. However, the name would most likely be favoured for females, rather than males, despite it coming from a male character.

7. Eddard

Eddard Stark is the Lord of Winterfell, and one of the main POV characters in A Game Of Thrones. He is lured by his longtime friend King Robert from the north to King’s Landing to act as the Hand of the King.

A quirky change to the popular name Edward, with Ned remaining a potential nickname, as used by the character in the book.

8. Ashara

Ashara Dayne is a character often spoken of, but never seen due to her committing suicide before the beginning of the book series at the end of Robert’s Rebellion for reasons unknown.

Names like Clara and Mara have won fans, and so could Ashara. It also works as a more modern take on Ashley.


There are plenty of other names I think could be worthy of a place if the list were longer, for example: Pia; Theon; Alannys; Jorah; and Lyanna. But are there any others I haven’t thought of that you think could work outside the world of Westeros/Essos ?

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Spot of the Week: Ribena Facts

It seems like it’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these posts, and I apologise for that.

The other day I found myself sitting on the bus next to a lady with two young sons. Of course, these being mischievous tykes, I caught their mother saying their names a few times: Jamie and Jacob ‘Jakey’; whether or not Jamie was short for James I do not know.

Either way, as many of you may know, Jacob and James are pretty much the same as, say, John and Jack in that the both derive from the same source.

Finally, a picture of one of the many joys of my life:


I haven’t actually checked to see if this claim is true, but it’s a wonderful little fact if it is.

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Is Caprice Such a Bad Name?

It always upsets me to see a name given grief by others, and the name Caprice is one which more often than not I find negative comments about, as opposed to positive ones.

The thing is, maybe with Caprice it’s a case of because I happen to know a girl with the name (who happens to be one of the nicest people going), I feel somewhat obliged to defend her name.

It’s also because I can relate with the name, as I’m quite an impulsive person  by nature, and Caprice happens to mean impulse/whim.

Much of the negative commentary on the name is on the meaning, and it got me thinking, especially since I don’t particularly see my own impulsiveness as a really bad thing, more something that is a relatively positive part of personality as long as it’s not a continuous thing.

Is it bad that the name Caprice is closely linked to the characteristic of impulsiveness?

We can’t ignore the fact that there are plenty of word names out there which allude to potentially worse personality traits, and even some ‘proper’ names, such as the wonderful twosome of Jacob and James, who both mean supplanter.

Too much impulsiveness is certainly a bad thing, but having too much hope can lead to big disappointment, yet 313 girls were given the name Hope in England&Wales in 2011, as opposed to the 8 who were given the name Caprice.

One drawback many seem to have is the name’s association with the model Caprice, but it seems like a trivial tidbit when you think that you’re stopping yourself potentially using a name you like because someone else also has the name.

Then again, we have to narrow down the long list somehow, don’t we?

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Le Monde

I picked up a copy of Le Monde recently, which is a French newspaper that for some reason is stocked by my local off licence. Flicking through it I came across several wonderful names that I just had to share with you all:
















































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Spot of the Week: Eurovision

Did you see who won Eurovision? It was Sweden’s entry, a young lass named Loreen. Now, here’s what I found fascinating: Loreen is her stage name, whilst her real name is Lorine. I’m guessing she altered the spelling to avoid potential pronunciation issues, much like Mika was originally Mica. You know the other thing that had me humming? Euphoria, the title of her winning song. What with Euphemia and co. getting interest, I can’t help but think that Euphoria would make for a quirky middle name.

Aside from Eurovision, I went to see Men in Black 3 on Saturday night. The thing to note? There’s a character in the new film called Griffin, often referred to in the film as Griff. I really liked the character, and my sister, naturally, hated him.

Going back to Eurovision ever so briefly (I’m currently mapping out other Eurovision-related posts as we speak so expect even more on this subject), I just couldn’t NOT mention this guy, of whom those who either couldn’t bear to watch the frankly corrupt voting, or had simply gone to bed may have missed in the festivities:

He was the spokesperson for Finland’s results, and he won Eurovision himself in 2006. Known mostly by his stage name Mr. Lordi, his actual name is Tomi Petteri. All of a sudden, the name Tommy no longer seems infantile…

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Weekend Post: Iron Sky

Iron Sky poster, from blogger.com

So, I went to the cinemas on Wednesday to watch one of the craziest films I’ve seen in a long time. It’s premise? Nazis who, after being defeated in 1945, fled to the Moon and now they’re back to conquer Earth. It’s a shame that it was only open for the one day here in the UK, although I’ve been told by my father that it’s run has been extended due to demand.

It’s a joint Finnish-German-Australian film, so the names associated with the film are a mixed bag, but it’s a good kind of mix:

Aila – a Hebrew name meaning oak tree.

Götz – the German nickname for Gottfried, which is the German form of Godfrey, a name that means peace of God.

Klaus – the German short form of Nicholas, which means victory of the people.

Peta – the female form of the name Peter, which means rock.

Renate – the German feminine form of Renatus, which means born again.

Samuli – the Finnish form of Samuel, which means God has heard.

Tero – short form of Antero, the Finnish version of Andrew.

Udo – variation of Odo, which itself comes from Otto, which means wealth.

Vivian – derives from the Latin vivus, which means life.

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So today, I’m partaking in a little experimentation, because it’s always fun to change around formats and try new ones, this is an example of the latter. A word of warning: it was a mostly spur of the moment decision to record this video.

Some more about the names covered:

Dolores – 2010 E&W ranking: #3156

A Spanish name taken from the title of the Virgin Mary, it means sorrows. Has been widely used in the English speaking world since the 19th century.

Ralph – 2010 E&W ranking: #258

Of Old Norse origins meaning wolf counsel.

I did check up on this, ‘ralf’ is the American pronunciations, whilst ‘rayf’ is the traditional way to say it in England, although nowadays the name is usually said ‘ralf’.

Imogen – 2010 E&W ranking: #26

A name created by William Shakespeare for his play, Cymbeline, although the name was originally meant to be Innogen. Likely to derive from the Old Irish ingen, which means daughter, girl, maiden.

Bernard – 2010 E&W ranking: #1082

Of Old English origins, meaning hardy bear.

Anthony – 2010 E&W ranking: #148

From the Latin name Antonius, which is likely to be connected to the Latin word ante, which means before. The spelling with the h was likely to be influenced by the Greek word anthos, which means a flower.

Molly – 2010 E&W ranking: #42

An old nickname of Mary, which has evolved to become a name in its own right.

Marley – 2010 E&W ranking: #593

Originally an English surname, meaning pleasent wood, although I have seen it linked to the meaning of weasel.

Harry – 2010 E&W ranking: #3

An old nickname of Henry, which has evolved to become a name in its own right.


Of Greek origins, meaning peace.

I also looked this one up; this name was originally said with three syllables, but has since adopted a two syllable pronunciation used by most.

Alice – 2010 E&W ranking: #43

From the Old German name Adelheidis, meaning noble.

Lucy – 2010 E&W ranking: #21

Derives from the Latin, lux, meaning light.

Douxy – 2010 E&W ranking: n/a

Most likely from the French word doux, which means sweet. 

Gabriel – 2010 E&W ranking: #78

From Hebrew, meaning strong man of God.

Benjamin – 2010 E&W ranking: #22

From Hebrew, meaning son of the south.

Oh, and the film review I mentioned about half way through can be found here.

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I feel like I say this a lot, but I’m off on holiday for the next week or so. I fly to France tomorrow and have been hastily trying to sort out posts for the time lapsed in between.

Good news. Bad news.

The good news is that I’ve scheduled several wonderful posts for you all, including several posts revitalised from the drafts graveyard, the bad news is that I ran out of time and thus both Weekend Post and Names of the Week are cancelled for this weekend. It’s a shame too, I came up with a great idea for a name to pair with Sora. Feel free to guess it, I’m immensely proud of that particular brainwave 🙂

Blog back in action next Friday. Promise.

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Names of the Week: Ted and Lil

Lil DeVille, from wikipedia.org

This weeks names are inspired by two shows mentioned by my sister the other day during her rant on how awful the TV shows of today are. Ebba is the sentimental kind of person who hates change, so this rant was nothing out of the blue.

The first show she mentioned was comedy series Father Ted, featuring a priest called – you guessed it – Father Ted. It first hit the screens of Britain in 1995 and was set in the remote Craggy Island off Ireland’s west coast. The two other main priests were Father Dougal and Father Jack. All three priests answer to Bishop Len Brennan, who banished them all to Craggy Island as a punishment for different incidents in their past:

  • Ted for alleged financial impropriety (apparently involving some money ‘resting’ in his account and a child being deprived a visit to Lourdes so that Ted could go to Las Vegas)
  • Dougal for something only referred to as the “Blackrock Incident” (resulting in many “lives irreparably damaged”)
  • Jack for his alcoholism and womanising.

It was a hit series with the masses, and ranked at #11 in the Britain’s Best Sitcom poll conducted by the BBC in 2004 – making it the highest ranking for a Channel 4 show as the Top 10 were all BBC productions.

Ted is most usually seen as a nickname for Theodore – either him, Theo or Teddie are the usual suspects. If you’re desperate for more short forms of Theodore, here ya go:

  • Eddy
  • Teo
  • Tory/Tori
  • Otto
  • Terry
And for Theodora’s there are plenty more feminine ones to go around:
  • Dotty
  • Dory/Dora
  • Téa, or simply Tea/Tee
  • Heddy
The mention of the name Dotty is apt, since her usual long form of Dorothy has a vague connection to Theodore. Dorothy comes from the name Dorothea, which shares the same origins as Theodore – they both derive from the same Greek elements:
  • theos, meaning God
  • doron, meaning gift
If you’re looking to give boy/girl twins names with some sort of link, feel free to consider naming them Theodore and Dorothy; Teddie and Dotty. Yes, they are slightly similar in sound, but that’s what comes with sharing the same backstory. As for the rankings of the Theodore band of names, they are as follows:
  • Theo: #50
  • Theodore: #137
  • Teddy: #197
  • Ted: #278
  • Teddie: #668

But now, we come to the name Lil. She’s the name of one of the twins in Rugrats – sister of Phil. Her full name is Lillian Marie, which Phil calls her on occasion which is usually when they’re arguing with one another. Aside from Lillian, there are plenty of Lil– names inside the Top 500 right now (we’re discounting all the variant spellings of Lily which would simply take over this list):

  • Lily: #4
  • Lilia: #266
  • Lila: #267
  • Liliana: #330
  • Lillian: #337
  • Lilian: #463

There’s also the name Delilah which ranks at #451 and could also shorten to Lil. Philippa, too, could shrink down to Lil if you don’t want her to become yet another Pippa.

The name Lillian comes as either an elaboration of Lily, of which the Latin word for Lily is lillium. Of course, this is especially true nowadays when I see parents opting to use Lillian with the intention of shortening it to Lily – but wanting their child to not actually ‘be’ a LilyLillian could also be a diminuative of the name Elizabeth, which means my God is my oath.

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