Posts Tagged With: Asher

Landed

Father filled in the name badge, just so ya know

I landed back at Gatwick this morning, bleary eyed and in desperate need of a sugar boost. I was also brimming with name news, so much that it deserves it’s own post. This is kind of like a Name Spot post, in fact, it really is.

I spent most of my time exploring the various areas Disneyland Orlando and comparing them with their Paris counterpart which I hold so dear in my heart. Ebba and I are agreed that we much prefer the It’s A Small World in Paris. Some interesting tidbits from that part of my holiday were:

  • I met my first Asher at Magic Kingdom.
  • My Christmas dinner waiter was named Kim. Not particularly exciting until you know that Kim was a hulking Norwegian dude.
  • There’s a ride in the Norway section of Epcot called Maelstrom, which continually reminded me of the name Maelle.
  • I noticed in amongst the scenery for Splash Mountain a three-tier letterbox outside one of the ‘houses’ of what I presumed to be sisters, who were named Pansy, Poppy and Petunia.
  • On my birthday I watched the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular show-thingy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where the main female stunt lady was called Devin. Or maybe Devon. One of the ‘extras’ sourced from the crowd was also celebrating a birthday. Her name? Cady. She was probably my age-ish.
  • I also drew Pascal from Tangled at the drawing class. The lady taking the class said he was named after a real-life chameleon some lady owned who had some relations with production. She gave more details, but I was too busy having a crisis with his eyes.

And from other areas of our Florida epic:

  • On the flight back I cracked and watched Come Fly With Me for the first time. Whilst most of the names were picked for their double meanings, there were some interesting names used: Melody, Omar, Moses, Fearghal (in the episode I watched he mentioned brother Finnbar), Judith, Buster, Hetty and Precious.
  • Something I also watched during the flight back was the hugely popular sitcom Outnumbered. The youngest child of the family is called Karen, and is played by a girl named Ramona. Two things: I once had someone tell me that Karen was one of the ultimate baby-boomer names, yet this is a girl born circa mid-noughties; the last Ramona I met was a similar age and was frequently referred to as Manon.
  • Whilst sat at the departures gate, I took a bash at a crossword. I’m more of a suduko girl than crossword one, mostly because I pick the Metro up most days and they only have sudokus in it. Either way, one of the clues was simply Reverie (5).
  • Predictably, Bear Blu has made it onto most of the Worst Celeb Baby Names list going. I never mentioned this at the time, but it seems apt given whats on the plate next to me: Billy Bear is a type of reformed ham for kids which is extremely popular in my household. It’s always my first thought when I hear Bear Blu.
  • Something that always surprises me when I go abroad is the lack of crisp flavours available. Thanks to Walkers, we have such flavours as Worcestershire Sauce, Smokey Bacon and Builder’s Breakfast on offer here in the UK. When you get abroad, Walkers is almost invariably known as Lays and only appears to offer the standard Ready Salted variety. Why am I babbling on about crisps? There’s another brand of crisps here in the UK called Phileas Fogg – a possible alternative to Phineas, should you want one? He’s also a character in Jules Verne’s Around The World In Eighty Days.
  • I opened the majority of my Christmas/Birthday presents a few hours ago, and it prompted a thought in me. What about Meccano? It’s a construction toy invented by Frank Hornby (the train dude) that I’ve always wanted but never given.
  • I showed the Fenton video to an American. It’s easily my most favourite viral name of the year. Currently we’re called my brother Fenton.

It seems ages ago now that I posted the Lies Non-Name Nerds Tell Me post, but I now have yet another interesting occurence to add to the list:

  • My Fatyher showed an American the infamous Carling Black Label advert whilst at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. You know, that one which heavily references the war, in line with a very British sense of humour. The man in question was not particularly impressed, to say the least – but he later asked why Carling was such a popular name. Perhaps there was something lost in accent translation, but I think he may have meant to say either Charlie, Carly or maybe even Carter. That said, Carling is an interesting option if you don’t mind the alcohol reference. Stella hasn’t done too bad, and plenty of Rebeccas are known as Becks without issue. Let’s not even get onto the subject of ladies named things such as Shandy, Brandy and Meade.
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Disney

Princess Merida, from inquisitr.com

Ariel and Jasmine are the classic examples of names which can both attribute some of their popularity to a Disney film. Logically speaking, therefore, upcoming Disney films could feature future starlets of the name world.

And the most recent release of Tangled has shown just that – the male lead character was called Flynn. Well, nicknamed Flynn for Eugene. At the same time, the Disney Channel Original Series Good Luck Charlie is about to welcome child no.5. The names of the currently four of them are:

  • ‘PJ’
  • ‘Teddie’
  • Gabriel ‘Gabe’
  • Charlotte ‘Charlie’

Teddie is female, and I’m fairly certain it’s short for something; I haven’t the foggiest what, though. As for the name of no.5, if I’m honest, none of the names on the poll really stood out for me when I went to cast my vote, but here are the ones in contention:

  • Sydney
  • Erika
  • Mallory
  • Talia
  • Jenny
  • Noah
  • Jonah
  • Bobby Jr.
  • Bo

Wreck-it Ralph is due to be released in November 2012, featuring the eponymous character and there’s a fellow character called Fix-It Felix. Ralph and Felix? Both names I’m hearing more and more often, so Disney could be bang on here. For England&Wales in 2010, the names ranked at:

  • Ralph – #258 (2009 ranking: #294)
  • Felix – #122 (2009 ranking: #122)

Ralph comes from Old Norse roots, and means wolf counsel, whilst Felix is well-known for meaning lucky in Latin.

Moving closer to now we get to The Secret World of Arrietty is yet another take on the classic tale of The Borrowers. It was actually released in Japan in 2010, but is due to be released by Disney in the US at the start of 2012. Other members of the Clock family include Pod, Homily and Peagreen. According to the Disney page, it’s AIR-ee-ett-ee, and one could presume that neatly side-steps the issue Harriet and Harry seem to suffer in the States – that being people pronouncing it as they do hairy. One set of parents from 16 and Pregnant have recently welcomed child no. 2, a daughter: Arri.

As much as I loved The Borrowers when I was a kid, the film I’m really looking forward to? Brave. The lead character is to be a redhead, so it can only do wonders for my kind. I did initially believe that the lead female was called Brave, but alas, she’s actually called Merida. Sounds rather mythical, but the film really gets down to choosing whimsical Scottish-esque names when it comes to most of the other already-announced characters:

  • Fergus
  • Elinor
  • Angus
  • Harris
  • Hubert
  • Hamish

I tip my hat to ye Disney. All perfectly wonderful names. But something we should not forget is that Disney don’t just make films for theatrical release, they make plenty for their TV channels, which remain full of inspiration. Frenemies is due to be aired in January 2012,  names from which includes:

  • Avalon
  • Halley
  • Kendall
  • Cherie

Both Geek Charming and Lemonade Mouth have already been released this year, so aren’t upcoming releases per se, but there are some names featured in them which are worth a mention; from the film Geek Charming:

  • Dylan (female)
  • Asher
  • Lola
  • Ari (male)

Ari, Arri and Arrietty in one post from three different sources? It’s certainly not a trend I’d have intended to mention. I guess it makes sense, for me, given the immense popularity of similar sounding Harry and Harriet here in England&Wales – both are Top 100. I guess this is yet another potential trend for me to keep an eye on.

And some names from Lemonade Mouth (which has an upcoming sequel):

  • Wendell ‘Wen’ (male)
  • Mohini ‘Mo’ (female)

To be honest, if I’d seen only the nicknames and had been told one was male and the other female, I’d have guessed the opposite to what they actually are. Does that qualify Wen and Mo for our Girlish Nicknames on Boys post? It probably does.

As a final thought, the Disney Channel Original Series, Shake It Up, has an upcoming film in the works, thus the names of it’s characters qualify for this post:

  • Cecelia ‘Cece’
  • Raquel ‘Rocky’
  • Flynn (brother of Cece)
  • Ty (brother of Rocky)
  • Tinka

All very modern-mama sounding names, and it’s yet another mention of Flynn. Something that has to be said, though, is that Flynn fell between 2009 and 2010: from #216 to #289. It will be interesting to see next year’s list to see where he’s heading next.

Categories: Disney Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Straining Bookshelfs

The Thief Lord cover, from amazon.com

One of the best places to root around for names inspirations is books. The fictional world is where anything goes really – I once read a book named Storm’s Child where the main characters were called Rail (male) and Moa (female). Whilst I never got into Garth Nix’s main successes, I did love his book Shade’s Children – where the main characters were called Drum (male), Gold-Eye (male), Ninde (female) and Ella. Eoin Colfer once wrote a book called Supernaturalist, with characters Cosmo, Stefan and Mona. I digress, I read too much as a mid-teen and now my bookshelfs strain under the weight of all the books I own.

Since both Abby and Elea have both covered names of fictional characters this week in their own ways, I’m instead going to bring you inspiration from the names of the author’s which I read back when every waking moment of my life curled up with a book, along with the name of one of my favourite titles by them and some names from said title:

Benjamin Zephaniah (Teacher DeadJackson)

Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is his full name, and I’m in awe of the mix of styles he’s been bestowed. I’ve met two young Zeph’s recently – one was a Zephyr and twin of Asher, whilst the other was a Zephaniah.TV’s Julia Bradbury welcomed a son named Zephyr earlier on this year in August.

The name Benjamin is of Hebrew origins and means son of the south/right hand, whilst Zephaniah is also of Hebrew origins and means Yahweh has hidden. For the sake of completion, Zephyr means west wind, whilst Asher means happy or blessed.

And a quick breakdown of each name’s popularity in 2010 in England&Wales:

Benjamin Zephaniah Zephyr Asher
Rank 22 1407 3332 364
Births 3005 17 5 112

Blue Balliett (Chasing VermeerPetra and Calder)

Balliett purposefully chose unusually names, believing that’s exactly what would appeal to her readers. When I initially read Chasing Vermeer about 3 years ago I didn’t like the name Petra all that much, but she’s grown on me. She’s the female form of Peter, which means rock, although the character was named with reference to the ancient city of Petra and as part of family naming tradition.

Now, for some hard data from the 2010 data for England&Wales. Blue doesn’t rank for girls (the author is female), but does for the boys:

Blue Calder Petra
Rank 1801 n/a 1472
Births 12 n/a 20

Cornelia Funke (The Thief LordProsper, Boniface ‘Bo’, Scipio, Esther and Ida)

I adore the name Prosper, and it’s from this book that my love for him was first sparked. I acknowledge that Funke’s other work, the Inkheart trilogy, is better known, but this one has a special place in my heart.

As for the name of the author, first we must note that the author is German, and then note the name is the female form of the Latin name Cornelius. The name comes from the Latin element cornu, which means horn. 4 girls were named Cornelia in 2010 in England&Wales, putting it at #4688. On the flip side, 6 lads were named Cornelius last year, and thus at a ranking of #2941. And for the names of her characters I mentioned above? (The ranking for Bo is the male ranking)

Prosper Boniface Scipio
Rank n/a n/a n/a
Birth n/a n/a n/a
Esther Ida Bo
Rank 156 878 1483
Birth 334 40 16

Cressida Cowell (How To Speak DragoneseHiccup, Fishlegs and Camicazi)

I know that I’m probably too old for Cowell’s books these days, but I am still eagerly awaiting the next installment of the Hiccup franchise next month (the film adaption of the first book dissolved me into tears-the only film to ever do so). I love the name Cressida, and she’s the medieval form of another name I love: Chryseis and also means gold. In Greek legend, Chryseis was the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo. Since Hiccup and friends don’t rank, but Cressida does at #4688, with 4 births – same as Cornelia.

Enid Blyton (The Mystery of the Burnt CottageFrederick ‘Fatty’, Margaret ‘Daisy’, Lawrence ‘Larry’, Philip ‘Pip’ and Elizabeth ‘Bets’)

Enid is almost synonymous nowadays with the author, and the name comes from Welsh and means either soul or life. As an author, she chose rather classic names, all of which are not as popular nowadays as they were back when the books were first published, the one mentioned above came out in 1943:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
Rank 2104 95 355
Births 12 688 117
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
Rank 296 505 49
Births 152 80 1356

Compare the rankings of 2010 with that of 1934 when  all six names were in the Top 100:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
1934 68 24 72
2010 2104 95 355
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
1934 56 1 14
2010 296 505 49

Malorie Blackman (Noughts & CrossesPersephone ‘Sephy, Jasmine and Meggie)

The Noughts&Crosses trilogy was the one which first introduced me to the name Persephone, although I wasn’t sure of the pronunciation until I watched the television show Firefly. My copy of the first book is also signed by the author, Malorie Blackman, which I won, rather than stood in a line for.

The name Malorie is a variant spelling of Mallory, a name that comes from Norman French and means unfortunate. Rather makes me think of the CBBC show Trapped, where the contestants are known as unfortunates. Persephone’s meaning is not established, although she has been linked to Greek words which means murder or to destroy, whilst Meggie is a short form of Margaret and Jasmine is a lovely botanical name. They rank, as such:

Malorie Mallory Persephone
Rank n/a 4688 3156
Births n/a 4 7
Jasmine Meggie
Rank 41 5707
Births 1466 3

Tamora Pierce (The Magic In The WeavingSandrilene ‘Sandry’, Trisana ‘Tris’, Daja, Briar (male) and Lark)

I actually took this book out of my local library by mistake more than anything, but found myself reading it anyway. Whilst a little difficult to follow to begin with, I loved it enough to read all it’s sequels. This is the first real occasion I came across the name Briar, since I was never really shown Sleeping Beauty as a child, and I actually like it. The character himself chose the name, wanting something botanical, yet masculine. I think he achieved that, since I’ve often misread the name as Bear.

As for the name of the author, Tamora, she’s a variant spelling of the name Tamara, which is a variant of the name Tamar, which means palm tree in Hebrew. Predictably, none of the names have really made an impact in the popularity data for England&Wales (the data for Briar is the female one, since there is no male ranking):

Tamora Tamara Sandry Lark
Rank n/a 458 n/a 5707
Births n/a 90 n/a 3
Trisana Daja Briar
Rank n/a n/a 5707
Births n/a n/a 3

Tom Becker (DarksideCarnegie, Vendetta and Marianne)

I listed him because of his surname, rather than his first name. Becket is a nouveau name getting some attention right now, and I think I like Becker a tad more. He’s a German surname and variant of another surname, Becke, which means baker. The Carnegie Award is given out annually to a single children’s book which has impressed, and named after Andrew Carnegie.

Out of all the names, only Marianne ranks in the England&Wales data – at #946 with 36 uses.

Categories: Book Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Names of the Week: Asher and Katinka

Asher was suggested by PoppySeeds, Katinka was suggested by Tinker.

We covered Asher very briefly in a previous post, but I didn’t want PoppySeeds to feel short-changed with the coverage of her suggested name. So, here is Asher Pt.II.

People of my generation would’ve grown up with Ash, he of Pokémon infamy. I remember sitting infront of the TV and wondering whether Ash’s name was a nickname, a short form of Ashley (A name still mostly male in the UK), or his name was quite simply just Ash, much like Brock and Misty were just Brock and Misty. But this is a deviation from our topic, since Asher is not related to either Ash, Ashley or even Ashton. 

Asher, as we have previously mentioned, is a name that means happy or blessed in Hebrew, coming from the Hebrew term osher. An Asher appears in the Old Testament in the Bible, as the son of Jacob and Zilpah, and a founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, quite cunningly named Asher.

In the Torah, it is argued that the name Asher means happy, therefore meaning it is derived from the Hebrew word osher, as mentioned above, but it could come from either one of two variations:

  • beoshri, which means my fortune.
  • ishsheruni, which is attributed to different sources, one Yahwist, the other Elohist.

Many Scholars also argue that the name Asher has more to do with the deity originally worshipped by the Tribe of Asher, this being either Asherah, or even Ashur, the chief Assyrian diety. The latter is likely to come from the same sources as Asher.

Ashley is now almost completely a female name in the USA, but in the last 100 years, not once has Asher been in the Top 1000 for females, as for it’s success as a male name in the top 1000 is quite recent. He first came into the top 1000 in 1983 at #933, before promptly falling off the next year, then returning at #938 , before disappearing altogther for 6 years. He returned again in 1992 at #960, and has not fallen off since. He’s been climbing rather steadily, in 2009, he broke the top 200, being placed at #165.

Now for Katinka. Suggested by Tinker, and a name that first came to my attention when I was browsing the London Telegraph Birth Announcements, although her origins are likely to not be from England.

Instead, we’re travelling to either Russian or Hungary, where Katinka is a short form of Ekaterina/ Katerina, the Russian/ Hungarian version of Katherine. Like it’s anglicised and other forms, Katinka means pure, coming initially from Greek .

What I like about Katinka is it’s ability to be an unknown name, but one that is not frighteningly so, such as Moádhóg. She also has the rather attractive nickname Tinker. It would work for those who’s guilty pleasure name is Tinkerbell.

Where has Katinka entered our culture? She appeared as the name of a song in Eurovision. But no, it wasn’t the Russian entrant, it was the entrant of the Dutch in 1962. The song was in Dutch, but do not think this makes for a good story for your little Katinka. The song received the dreaded nul points, and had the honour of being one of the first to do so in all of Eurovision’s history. Do not despair however, on the night, it was one of four songs (the others being Spain, Belgium and Austria) that achieved the lowly nul points, which had never been achieved beforehand in Eurovision.

For those of you confused, Eurovision is an annual song competition amongst ‘European’ countries (the marks there since Azerbaijan, a country in Asia, now partakes, amongst other non-European countries). It is mostly perceived as a joke, since block voting by the Eastern European countries began, and turned the competition into a popularity contest.

As for her success in the US, she has never appeared in the Top 1000 in the US. But I think Katinka certainly has potential in the US, since she has the footsteps of Caitlín to follow, another international variant of Katherine that has enjoyed much success in the US of late.

Categories: Names of the Week | Tags: , | 8 Comments

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