Posts Tagged With: Alan

Some Popular A Names, Boys

PopularANames-Blue

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

John Smith

He’s the nom de plume of Doctor Who, and he’s also the man opening the London Olympics tonight:

Well, maybe not 😉

As it so happens, the guy whose hands wave around at the beginning, and voice exclaims John Smith nearer the end is Osama from yesterday. This video was filmed by me at the technical rehearsal on Wednesday, and look out for the exploding balloons in the bottom right hand corner. I’m still impressed with my luck of getting a practically front row ticket too 🙂

The name John Smith is in theory one of the most popular names out there, given that Smith is one of the most popular surnames in the English speaking world and the name John having centuries of popularity under his belt.

Perhaps in these more modern days, here in the UK he would actually be Jack Smith instead – especially for the under 20s given that Jack reigned as the most popular name in England&Wales from 1996-2008.

The name is often used as a generic name to represent the everyday man, given the commonplace of both names.

An interesting exchange in Doctor Who sums the attitude to this name up nicely for me, when the Doctor gives his name as John Smith to a character, who retorts along the lines that nobody’s called that anymore.

One could see this as hinting towards a drive many parents have these days for a more unique name.

It’s also worth talking about the phenomena of the slightly different Alan Smithee. This was the official name used in films by directors who had disowned the film, and thus didn’t want their name in the credits. It was coined in 1968 and discontinued in 2000.

The downfall of the name has often been attributed to a film released in 1997 called An Alan Smithee: Burn Hollywood Burn. It is regarded as one of the worst films of all time, and thus brought harsh negative publicity towards the name Alan Smithee.

Other names like this include the name Joe Bloggs/Fred Bloggs, often used the the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and John Doe, the USA and Canadian equivalent. In both cases, the surnames are more distinctive, whilst the first names remain popular picks.

Other cultural versions of these names include:

  • Israel Israeli, israel
  • Jan Kowalski, poland
  • Jean Dupont, france
  • Jonas&Petras, lithuania
  • Luther Blissett, artists and activists in Europe and America
  • Matti & Maija Meikäläinen, finland
  • Max & Erika Mustermann, germany
  • Medel-Svensson, sweden
  • Ola & Kari Nordmann, norway
  • Seán Ó Rudaí (Sean O’Something), ireland
  • Tadhg an mhargaidh (Tadhg of the markplace), irish version of Average Joe
  • Tauno Tavallinen, finland
  • Tommy Atkins, the British army (dates from the World Wars)

I don’t suppose anyone actually knows a John Smith?

Categories: Olympics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Canadian Grand Prix

2010 Podium l-r Maclaren Mercedes Team Principal, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, from f1-gp.info

We’ve got a little longer to wait for the Canadian Grand Prix, since it isn’t until next weekend: 13th June. There’s been a Canadian Grand Prix on the Formula 1 race calender since 1961, bar ’75, ’87 and ’09. That’s a lot of winners, albeit, there have been 8 drivers who have won it multiple times. Some names you may recognise, some you may not, and they range from the distinctive Ayrton, to the not so unusual Peter:

1961 – Peter Ryan

1962 – Masten Gregory

1963/1964 – Pedro Roderígez

1965 – Jim Hall

1966 – Mark Donohue

1967 – John ‘Jack’ Brabham

1968 – Denis ‘Denny’ Hulme

1969/1970 – Jacques ‘Jacky’ Ickx

1971/1972 – John ‘Jackie’ Stewart

1973 – Peter Revson

1974 – Emerson Fittipaldi

1976 – James Hunt

1977 – Jody Scheckter

1978 – Gilles Villeneuve

1979/1980 – Alan Jones

1981 – Jacques Laffite

1982/1984/1991 – Nelson Piquet

1983 – René Arnoux

1985 – Michele Alboreto

1986 – Nigel Mansell

1988/1990 – Ayrton Senna

1989 – Thierry Boutsen

1992 – Gerhard Berger

1993 – Alain Prost

1994/1997/1998/2000/2002/2003/2004 – Michael Schumacher

1995 – Jean Alesi

1996 – Damon Hill

1999 – Mika Hakkinen*

2001 – Ralf Schumacher

2005 – Kimi Raikkonnen*

2006 – Fernando Alonso

2007/2010 – Lewis Hamilton

2008 – Robert Kubica

* There should be umlauts on some of the letters in their names. I can’t do them, apologies.

2011 – Jenson Button

Categories: Sport Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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