Posts Tagged With: Axel

Scrabble Names

The names of the eldest 4 kids of the Dutch couple

It may have been a few weeks since news broke about the Dutch couple with five kids, who all have four-letter names using the same four letters (Alex, Lexa, Axel, Xela & Xael), but it continues to remain at the forefront of my mind.

That said, it can get a little forced with an increased number of children. Below is just a selection of attempts at the conundrum by myself and those over at Formspring, with some combinations seeming to work better than others:

  • Aidan: Nadia, Diana, Adian, Andia
  • Alice: Celia, Lacie
  • Amy: Mya, May
  • Dolly: Lloyd, Dyoll, Doyll
  • Eden: Dene, Ened, Nede, Need, Ende, Edne
  • Enzo: Zeno, Nezo, Ezon, Onez
  • Inez: Nezi, Enzi
  • Jonah: Onjah, Johan, Johna
  • Leah: Hale, Aleh, Elah, Hael
  • Leia: Alie, Ilea
  • Lena: Nela, Lane
  • Leon: Elon, Noel, Nelo
  • Leona: Elona, Enola, Laneo, Noela, Neola
  • Lia: Ali, Lai, Ila
  • Lucas: Claus, Lacus, Calus, Culas
  • Lyra: Aryl, Lary, Raly, Alry, Ryla
  • Mabel: Belma, Ambel, Embla, Melba
  • Milo: Lomi, Moil, Ilmo, Moli, Imli
  • Myra: Mary, Ramy, Amry
  • Ria: Ira, Rai, Ari, Air
  • Vera: Reva, Raev
  • Zane: Neza, Ezna, Anez, Azne

Anyone have any further contributions?

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Axel

from maguerra.com

Following on from the Russian name Pasha of yesterday, we have a truly European pick in the form of the name Axel, so ye europhiles would do well to consider the name.

To begin with, we’re specifically looking to the Scandinavia part of Europe to explore the origins of the name Axel. The name started off life as a medieval Danish form of the name Absalom, which is a Hebrew name that means my father is peace. In Biblical Hebrew, the name is spelled ‘Avshalom – so if you’re fond of the possibility of using Shalom, this makes for a roundabout alternative whether you use Absalom or Axel.

Axel ranked at #11 in Sweden in 2011, whilst Aksel ranked at #24 in Norway in the same year. Aksel is a legit variation of the name in both Norwegian and Danish. If you’re wondering about Finland, there they have the variant Akseli. The name Axel also ranked at #27 in France in 2010. Elsewhere in Europe, plenty use Axel as a nickname for Alexander, and I’m particularly refering to Germany when I say that.

Also, the Swedes have the short form of Acke for Axel, which leads us on to another interesting point: there’s an American comic book character called Archie Andrews whose name was changed to Acke Andersson for Swedish publication.

In figure skating, there is a jump known as the Axel jump. It was named after a Norwegian skater by the name Axel Paulsen who first performed the jump in 1882

Fans of rock, or just generally those in touch with music will no doubt be thinking of Axl Rose when they hear the name Axel; for those who don’t know, he’s the front man of Guns ‘n Roses.

However, there are other musical connections, perhaps not as distinguished as the Axl Rose one.

Remember the Crazy frog craze from the mid-noughties? As a tween during that time I caught the craze head on. I mention it because in 2005, he released a remix of the song Axel F which became ridiculously popular – I remember it being #1 here in the UK for at least 4 weeks.

The original song comes from the soundtrack of Beverley Hills Cop, with the title of the track deriving from the main character’s name, Axel Foley.

The feminine form of this name is Axelle, and she’s got some following in Europe too. For example, in 2010, she ranked at #136 in France, and even higher up at #73 in Belgium. The reason for this may be that the x in French is pronounced much more softly than we English speakers would, so one would pronounce the name more like ahk-sel.

There is also a Belgium singer by the name of Axelle Red, who could be helping with the popularity of the name as well.

A true strength of the name Axel is that he manages to keep a hold in many European countries – here in England&Wales he manages a ranking of #706, putting him equal with such names as the Welsh Bryn and the Egyptian city name of Cairo. 

Categories: Name Profile | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Names From Children’s Literature

The Gruffalo from a recent animation of the book, from guim.co.uk

As a kid, I read in most of my free moments. Nowadays, I haven’t properly sat down with a book for nearly a year now. I remember as a child being worried about the local library moving me to the adult’s library when I turned 14 and thus preventing me from taking out books I wanted to read. Of late, our library has added a teen fiction section to their adult section of their library; it’s a tiny cubbyhole, though. Given yesterday’s post, I seem to be getting a kick out of kid’s fiction at the moment so you never know, may go and implusively buy a book tommorow.

Whilst I may not be particularly interested in reading much anymore, there are several names I first came across in the world of make-believe:

Axel (The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson)

The Gruffalo is a modern classic, and whilst Axel Schiffer didn’t author the book, he did illustrate it. I find The Gruffalo an endearing tale, which seems to rub off on the name Axel. Some may accuse him of being in the same clase as Gunner and Cannon, but I find him charming enough. Far from deriving from a vital part of a car, Axel comes from the Biblical name Absalom which means my father is peace. A key wearer of the name who no doubt influenced the tough guy image of the name is Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose, who was born a William. In 2010, 43 little Axels were born in England&Wales giving the name a ranking of #706.

Briar&Lark (Circle of Magic, Tamora Pierce)

There’s a very interesting point to make with these names, and that is that Briar is a male character who chose the name for himself. He wanted a nature name, but nothing too feminine. Since this was the first time I really met the name Briar, I mostly think of him as a male name. Yes, there is Sleeping Beauty, who was known as Briar Rose but I never really watched that particular Disney Classic as a child. Incidently, Briar’s chosen surname was Moss. I’m probably one of the few to see Briar as male, since he does not rank as a male name in England&Wales; however, on the female list, Briar ranked at #5707 with only 3 girls given the name – with a further 5 named Briar-Rose.

Lark was female, and I’m still not wholly won over by the name since I use lark in a verb sense on a fairly regular basis as slang for joke. In terms of popularity, she was also given to 3 girls born in England&Wales in 2010.

Clarice (Clarice Bean, Lauren Child)

Clarice is the third child in a rather interestingly named sibset: Marcie, Kurt, Clarice and Minal Cricket. If you recognise the name of the author, Lauren Child is also the lady behind Charlie&Lola. Both books are aimed at the under 9s market. The name Clarice is part of the Claire family of names, which come from Latin and mean light. In 2010, there were 9 girls named Clarice in England&Wales in 2010.

Keturah ‘Ketty’ (Medusa Project, Sophie McKenzie)

Ketty is only ever called Ketty during the novel – after reading the book I took to the internet to find out what exactly Ketty was short for, if it were short for anything at all. Whilst reading the book, I had my bets penned on Katherine, which seemed the most likely given one can derive Kitty from Katherine – so why not Ketty? On the website for the books it is revealed that Ketty is, infact, a Keturah. She has a brother named Lex, which is short for Alexander.

The name Keturah is of Biblical origins and means incense, with only 3 girls given the name in 2010 in England&Wales.

Persephone ‘Sephy’ (Noughts&Crosses, Malorie Blackman)

Perhaps the most controversial book on this list, I actually won a signed copy of this a few years ago. It deals with the topic of racism, but the situation is flipped, thus those with dark skin (Crosses) have higher social status than those with white skin (Noughts). Sephy was of the former group and the daughter of a wealthy politician. I’ll be honest, I accidently read the third book first, then went back to the third and that’s about as far as I got with this particular series of books.

Persephone was given to 7 girls born in England&Wales in 2010. Most people first come across this name in Greek mythology, where she was the daughter of Demeter and Zeus. She was abducted by Hades, and eventually allowed to return to the surface from the underworld for a period of time each year.

Rosen (We’re going on a bear hunt, Michael Rosen)

I was read this book constantly as a child, and after the first time prompty renamed ones of my toys with the name Rosen. There are plenty of Rose-themed names out there, and aptly Bree has recently covered a selection of them, whilst only today has Abby gone in depth with Rosamund. In terms of Rosen, I see the name as somewhat unisex – kind of like Rowan is. Rosen also happens to be the German words for roses – kind of reminds me also of the German word for ruby: Rubin; looks an awful lot like Reuben, doesn’t he?

Wren&Hester (Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve)

Hester is the mother of Wren. I actually hated the character of Wren – so initially cared not for the name; I did really like Hester, though, and thus like her name. Nowadays I do like Wren to an extent, but probably more for a lad since the character did somewhat tarnish the name as a female one for me. The name Hester is a variation of the name Esther.

The names totted up as such in the popularity stakes in England&Wales in 2010:

  Rank Births
Wren (b) #2941 6
Wren (g) #2589 9
Hester #1815 15
Categories: Book Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Not too French

Christophe Maé, from christophe-mae.fr

We kicked the week off looking at a very modern sounding French sibset, so it seems fitting to return to the topic of French names to end the week. Not French words, just French names. Specifically French names that are not too French, like Thibault is. I love the name Thibault, but chances are that you haven’t a clue how to say him, and neither will the majority of the English-speaking population. He’s likely too French for those who don’t have a grasp of the language. If you’re still musing about how to say Thibault, it’s tee-bo.

At the other end of the spectrum is the second most popular girls name in England&Wales: Sophie – the French form of Sophia. And I recently met a Manon/Matisse sibset at a very British cricket club. Other French forms of popular English names include:

Alexandre

Ambre

Bastien (short form of Sébastien)

Christophe

Émilie

Guillaume

Mathieu

Mathilde

But it’s the middle ground of popularity we’re looking at. Something distinctly French. Like Clement. Meilleur Prénoms put him at #19 in 2009 for France. You may have heard Clementine mentioned more and more often, but it’s the masculine name which has really taken off in France of late. On the same list, Clemence ranked at #34 for girls.

Another male name example is Jules. The only Jules I know who aren’t Julians are French. French singer Christophe Maé and his partner Nadège welcomed a son named Jules in 2008. We seem to spell it differently here in Britain as British chef Jamie Oliver is married to a Juliette ‘Jools’ and we also have the widely popular Jools Holland here in Britain, who was born Julian Miles. Jools Miles sounds quintessentially jazz, doesn’t it?

The name Enzo is hugely popular in France, too. I’ve seen people call him the male equivalent of called your child Porsche. The name reportedly became popular in France following Zinedine Zidane using it for his son. Yes, the Zinedine Zidane who famously headbutted an Italian player in the 2006 World Cup final. Enzo is a somewhat controversial name in France, given that it’s Italian, not French. Moreover, the Italian short form of Vincenzo and Lorenzo. Enzo is a zippy little name, especially good if you think Ezra is going to the girls – a name Abby recently featured as a re-run.

Another zippy short name popular in Frenchy-land is Axel. To English ears, this may sound like a somewhat rugged name – and that may add to his charm for you. My other favourite French male name beginning with an A is Aurelian, and we can’t forget to mention Rémi. Yes, he has an accent but I’ve seen plenty parents forgoe this. Infact whilst on the subject of accents, I have a friend named Chloé because her Dad became mixed up when he went to register her – she should be a Chloë.

One of the more popular female names in France right now is Clara – currently at #201 in England&Wales, and not strictly a French name per se. A very French invention cooking up a storm in France is Lilou. Yes, I love Lilou, she’s like a Lily/Lucy smoosh that just seems to work. In a similar vein, the French also love Luna, or their slight variant spelling of Louna. They also recognise the rocking-awesomenous of Lou.

Romain and Romane are popular for boys and girls, respectively; Same goes for Leo and Leonie; Valentin and Valentine. Whilst we may consider Agatha still slightly aged for our babes, the French are embracing their version: Agathe. Another A name they love is Amandine: their version of the once popular name Amanda. There’s also Amine for the lads which has origins in Arabic, and means truthful. For me, I think of the organic compounds known as Amines, but that’s by-the-by. The French and Dutch variation of Anna is also popular: Anouk.

Finally, there’s the Mae– group of names to consider: Maëlys;Maëlle;Maeva;Maeline; Maelie. They all sound distinctly French, but the pronunciation may not come naturally to you. For Maëlys, it’s mah-el-EES; for Maëlle, it’s mah-el.

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

Name Spot of the Week: Eurovision

Alexander Rybak, 2009 winner, from aardling.com

The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the entertainment highlights of the year for me, although I abstain from getting too tied up with the block voting that’s more or less taken away the competition part of it. What Eurovision is still great for is the names.

A mad fiddler by the name Alexander Rybak from Norway won it in 2009, and ever since I’ve had a name crush on Rybak, and let’s not forget the genius, and mostly gibberish lyrics that was Ukraine’s entry two years before, from Verka Seduchka – and for those who do click and watch his entry, he came 2nd. It’s that kind of competition.

But onto Eurovision 2011, which came with some interesting names, both in the semis and final:

Alexey (Russia) – Known as Alex Sparrow in the International Market.

Amaury (France)

Aske ‘A Friend in London’ (Denmark)

Aurela (Albania)

Axel ‘Paradise Oskar’ (Finland)

Christos (Cyprus)

Dino (Bosnia&Herzegovina)

Verka Seduchka, 2nd Place in 2007, from culch.ie

Duncan ‘Blue’ (United Kingdom)

Edward ‘Jedward’ (Ireland)

Eldar ‘Ell and Nikki’ (Azerbaijan)

Eric Khaled (Sweden)

Esben ‘A Friend in London’ (Denmark)

Getter (Estonia)

Glen (Malta)

Katalin ‘Kati’ (Hungary)

John ‘Jedward’ (Ireland)

Lena (Germany)

Loukas (Greece)

Nina, representing Serbia, from zimbio.com

Magdalena (Poland)

Maja (Slovenia)

Mihai ‘Zdob shi Zdub’ (Moldova)

Mika (Ukraine)

Nigar ‘Ell and Nikki’ (Azerbaijan)

Danica ‘Nina’ (Serbia)

Raffaele ‘Raphael’ (Italy)

Roman ‘Zdob shi Zdub’ (Moldova)

Sebastian ‘A Friend in London’ (Denmark)

Simon ‘Blue’ (United Kingdom)

Jedward, representing Ireland, from eurovisionmania.net

Sophio ‘Eldrine’ (Georgia)

Stella (Norway)

Valeriu ‘Zdob shi Zdub’ (Moldova)

Yuksek (Turkey)

As for elsewhere, I discovered this week that an aquantaince of mine, called Mollie, has two sisters: Maisie and Maude.

My sister Sophie, known to most as Dopey, announced this week that she wants to be called Jaguar, I take comfort from the fact she didn’t say Audi or Renault. She’s also recently aquired the new Jacqueline Wilson book, Lily Alone, which features siblings Lily, Bliss, Baxter and Pixie.

The last note-worthy name spot of the week comes in the form of a champion Irish surfer: Easkey Britton. Her younger sister is called Becky-Finn.

Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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