Posts Tagged With: Aiden

Some Popular A Names, Boys


Yesterday we covered popular A names for girls, so today it’s the turn of the boys. The premise is the same: this is a list of boy names beginning with the letter A that have risen and are now within the Top 200 in England&Wales in 2013. Whilst there were 16 girls names, there are only 9 male names that qualified.

1. Arlo

Our highest riser started at #567 in 2008 and is now at #189 – that’s an impressive 378 places. Like Arthegal before him, this name likely came via The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, which features the location of Arlo Hill. However, there are alternative suggestions that he originates from Charles, or even Carlo.

2. Albie

The new Alfie ? It’s an intriguing possibility as in the past 5 years the name has risen 202 places from #341 to #139. Since the name is originally a nickname for Albert (see below), he could follow him into the Top 100 in the near future.

3. Austin

The first of many names on this list that  is already in the Top 100. For Austin, he briefly entered the Top 100 in 2009 at #100, before dropping back out and not re-entering until 2013 at his current ranking of #94. Given his shaky popularity in recent years, this name could go either way. That said, in the five year difference we’re looking at, he rose 66 places from #160. Whilst the name looks modern, he’s actually a medieval contracted form of Augustine, which comes from the Roman name Augustus, a name that means great.

4. Arthur

This name is one that I’ve always liked in the back of my mind, and what’s not to love ? The Legend of Arthur is my second favourite folklore to come from this fair isle behind my local hero of Robin Hood, of course. The name is also our second name on the list to already rank inside the Top 100 at #43, and I was personally surprised to discover that Arthur’s current reign in the Top 100 only began in 2009, as his 2008 ranking was #101.

5. Ayaan

This name has risen 52 places, from #167 to #115. Ayaan is probably the first unfamiliar name on the list. He appears to be Arabic in origin, and appears as a word in the Koran, meaning good luck and destiny; the name is particularly used in the Somali community.

6. Alan

Probably the biggest surprise on this list is this name. After falling down to a low of #296 in 2003, he’s started to rise back up again and in the last few years has risen a total of 41 places from #226 to #185. The name likely originated from the Brittany region of the world and means little rock or handsome in Breton – this means he’s one of the many names that came to Britain in the Norman Conquest.

7. Albert

One of the new entries for the boys in the Top 100 in 2013, he has risen 18 places in the last five years from #117 to #99. The name became a mainstay amongst the British Royal Family thanks to Prince Albert – the current members of the senior royal family to bear the name are Prince Harry and Prince Andrew, both obviously as middle names. The name is Germanic in origin, coming from Adalbert, and means bright and noble.

8. Archie

The highest ranking name on the list is Archie at #16. In the past five years he’s risen only 15 places, from #31, but it’s worth noting that names tend to rise more slowly at the very top of the list due to the leap in number of births needed to go up a ranking. the name is a short form of Archibald, a name meaning genuine and bold.

9. Aiden (#104 to #92, 12 places)

It’s also worth noting that whilst this spelling has flourished – rising 12 places from #104 to #92 – alternative spelling Aidan has instead fallen 52 places to #143. An indication of Aiden’s future ? Perhaps. The name in the anglicised form of Aodhán, which comes from the Old Irish name Áed and means fire.

Categories: Popular Names, Popularity | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cardcaptor Sakura

Sakura Avalon/Kinomoto from her wikipedia page

I have two wonderful friends who are into the world of ‘cosplay’, which for those not in the know basically boils down to dressing up as characters from Japanese anime. I’ve never particularly become involved in the practice myself, or ever attended expos, but there were two highly popular anime shows I did get into as a child: Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura. To be honest, this was mostly because they were the only things my sister and I could agree on watching. One of these afforementioned friends, Tiff, is celebrating her birthday at the beginning of the new year, so I see this as an early birthday present for her. It also gives us an oppotunity to look into Japanese names and how well they do at translating into the English speaking world – for the English version of the show many names were altered to more English ones; and also stress me out as I try to find reliable sources on name meanings for the following Japanese names.

Sakura is easily one of my favourite Japanese names, and is likely to be one of the first such names to cross my path. In a way, she reminds me of the name Saskia, or even the slightly more cutesy Suki. For the English version of the show her surname was changed to Avalon, as opposed to her Japanese surname in Kinomoto – and doesn’t Sakura Avalon sound strikingly whimsical? Her design was originally based on illustrator Mokona Apapa’s two-year-old neice Kawaji. She was almost renamed as simply Nikki for the English version, but this was cast aside for varying reasons, including the cost it would’ve incured to implement the name change, but I have heard from people that the English version does say her name slightly different to how the Japanese do. In terms of meaning, Sakura is Japanese for cherry blossom, which for the Japanese symbolises the fleeting moment of life. In 2010, 13 girls were given the name Sakura in England&Wales, compared to the 112 given the name Saskia and the further 18 given the name Suki. I’ve also read that Sakura is a name of relative popularity in Japan.

As for the relations of young Sakura, she has an older brother named Toya in the Japanese version, which is altered to Tori in the dub. Toya is a short form for Victoria, as indeed can Tori be (maybe someone did their research?) but also comes to mean door into the valley in Japanese. As an aside, there’s a male Tory in Mythbusters, whose full name is Salvatore Paul.

Her father is Fujitaka/Aiden and her deceased mother is Nadeshiko/Natasha. Yamamoto nadeshiko is a Japanese term relating to the personification of an idealised Japanese female. Nadeshiko refers to a frilled pink carnation, whilst Yamamoto is an ancient name for Japan. I must say, whilst writing this post I have been won over by the name Nadashiko in a way Natasha has never suceeded with me. Excessive research on the internet suggests that Fujitaka means tall wisteria. How on Earth they got to Aiden from Fujitaka remains a mystery to me – part of me wishes they’d gone with Fergus instead.

Another main character is called Syaoran Li, whose name is altered to Li Showron. Syaoran means little wolf, whilst Li means plum. Then there’s also Eriol Hiiragizawa, who arrives in the English version as Eli Moon. The name Eriol reminds me of another English name: Errol, as in Errol Flynn. Whilst Errol has roots as a Scottish place name, Eriol appears to mean broken chain.

Two characters get the complete works when it comes to transforming their names into English-language ones: Sakura’s best friend Tomoyo Daidouji becomes Madison Taylor (whilst mother Sonomi becomes Samantha) and substitute teacher Kaho Mizuki becomes Layla Mackenzie. Closer translations include classmate Rika Sasaki who simply becomes Rita. Personally, I would’ve preferred her to remain as the delightful Rika. I’ve found sites saying Sonomi means beautiful garden, whilst Tomoyo means wise age or intellgient making her rather like the Japanese equivalent of the name Sage.

Now as a final thought, I’ve been racking my brains trying to remember where I’d seen Kaho before recently, and of course the slightly different Kahlo was covered over at Bewitching Names at the end of September. Thanks to the joy that is differing kanji, this name has more meanings than letters, depending on how you interpret it. Some of my favourites include sail, summer and perfume.

Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names, Japanese Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Babies in the early ’90s

Let’s number-crunch. Courtesy of my sister, I got my hands on the class lists for her year (grade) at school. The names totalled around 150, and when we factor in the sixth form class list, who are two years older, we have a reasonably sized data covering popular baby names for catholics (catholic school) in England in the early 1990s:

British Babies Born Circa 1990-1994


Aidan +Aiden

Alexander x3 +Alistair +Alisdair

Andrew x2

Ashley x2

Benjamin x2 +Ben

Bryn +Finn

Christopher x2

Connor +Conor

David x4

Hugo +Hugh +Huw

Jack x5

Jacob +Jakub

James x7

John +Jonathan

Joseph x7 +Joe

Joshua x2

Frederick + Freddie

Matthew x2 +Matteaus

Michael x4

Ryan x2

Theodore +Theo

Thomas x7

William x2 +Liam x2

BOYS – NUMERICALLY (3 or more)

Joseph et al = 8

James = 7

Thomas = 7

Daniel = 6

Alexander et al = 5

Jack = 5

Michael = 4

William et al = 4

Benjamin et al = 3

Hugo et al = 3

Matthew et al = 3


Alexandra x2 +Alexa

Alice x2 +Alicia

Amy x2

Ana + Anne +Joanne +Leanne +Rhian +Roxanne

Beatrice +Beatrix x2

Cara +Clare +Clara

Caroline +Karolina

Chloe x3

Eleanor x3 +Ellen x2 +Helen x2 +Helena

Elizabeth +Eliza

Emma x2 +Emily

Esther +Esme

Eugenie x2

Frances x2

Hannah x2

Hayley x2

Jennifer x3

Jessica x3

Kathryn +Catherine +Katie x2

Laura x5 +Lauren

Lucy x4

Lily x2 +Lila +Lillian +Lilia

Maria x2 +Marie

Molly +Mollie

Natasha +Sasha x2

Olivia x3

Sarah +Sara

Sophie x3

Vanessa x2


Eleanor et al = 8

Ana et al = 6

Lily et al =5

Kathryn et al = 4

Lucy = 4

Alexandra et al = 3

Beatrice et al = 3

Cara et al = 3

Chloe = 3

Emma et al = 3

Jennifer = 3

Jessica = 3

Natasha et al = 3

Olivia = 3

Philippa = 3

Sophie = 3


Daniel x6 +Danielle

George x2 +Georgina

Harry +Hattie +Harriet

Phillip +Philippa x3

Valentino +Valentina


Sean x2 +Shaun +Sian

Sinead +Seamus +Roisin +Bronagh +Lorcan +Ciara x2 +Niall

Patrick x2


The prevalence of Irish names is not taken as uncommon in a catholic school.

Jack was outnumbered by several names: Joseph, James and Thomas. He began his stay at the top of the UK Top 100 list at the end of the decade. Two of the Jacks had the same surname.

Both of the Ashley’s, born when America embraced the name as a female one, were male.

The Eugenie’s were born just after Princess Eugenie, and the Beatrice/trixes born after Princess Eugenie’s sister: Princess Beatrice.

Non of the Lucy’s were a Lucille, Lucienne etc. They were all just Lucy.

The Emma’s outnumbered the Emily.

From personal knowledge:

-None of the Philippa’s in the list shortens their name to Pippa.

-All of the Eleanor’s were nicknamed Ellie.

* In the interests of not boring you all to death with an endless list of data, any name on the class lists which appeared once, without a similar name has been omitted from the data. This accounts for around 30 names out of the roughly estimated 240 names.

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