Posts Tagged With: Barlow

Weekend Post: Take That

Performing Kidz at the 2011 Brit Awards, l-r, Mark, Howard, Gary, Jason and Robbie, from

Ever heard of Take That? They’re pretty big here in my part of the world. I was standing in House of Fraser just the other day in the midst of purchasing a dress, and three of their songs came on in quick succession. Clearly, a Take That fan/member of staff had chosen that days selection of music, but it inspired me to talk about some of the names associated with the band.

Take That were originally a five piece consisting of : Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, Jason Orange, Howard Donald and Robbie Williams; and they have been around since before me, they released their first album, Take That and Party, in 1991. Robbie Williams left the five-piece in 1995, and the band went on to disband the year my sister was born: 1996. That isn’t, however, the end of the story. After Take That reunited (sans Robbie Williams) in 2005 for their greatest hits album, they decided to have another crack at being a four-piece; success was almost immediate – I remember watching them on the Paul O’Grady Show not long after the announcement. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength; Robbie Williams rejoined the band in 2010 to record and release their 6th studio album, Progress, which became the fastest selling album of the century, and second fastest of all-time in the UK.

But now, the names. Here are 4 names from the world of Take That which I rather took a fancy to writing about:


The surname of Gary, one of the members of Take That. Last year Gary Barlow became a judge on The X Factor UK, replacing Simon Cowell and  he also wrote the official Children in Need single, Teardrop. Needless to say, he’s a prominent face in the British music scene – I remember watching a Frank Skinner interview years ago with two of the Busted members and Frank accused one of them, jokingly, of becoming a Gary Barlow, i.e. a prolific songwriter. The name Barlow means barley hill, clearing.


Member Mark Owen welcomed a son named Elwood in 2006, and his sister Willow in 2008. He also happens to be one of the three member of Take That who are welcoming children this year; the other two being Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams. Since that means both of his children have names with the letter w, o and l, I’ve had my thinking-cap on with potential names for the third; Llewellyn? Lowell? Oswald? (If they chose Oswald, my heart will sing) Fleur? (giver that both Elwood and Willow are nature names, and I don’t think they’d go for Flower)  – I think I’m going to have a longer think about this conundrum. Speaking of Mark Owen, I have a friend who seems to find it rather amusing that he tends to stand in the middle, highlighting the fact that he’s at least a head shorter than everyone else in the band – personally I don’t have any particular qualms abou this, since I’m not exactly vertically gifted either. As for the name Elwood, it’s a surname, meaning elder tree forest.


You may think that the name Howard Donald sounds awfully clunky, but  It’s the name of one of the members, and the key voice in their uplifting ballad Never Forget. Personally, I always mix him up with fellow member Jason Orange. I think the name Howard is at least deserving of dapper-lad classification, alongside Claude and Winston, hey, are you listening Billie Piper? For those who don’t know, she recently gave birth to a second son, but I’ve yet to see a name announced for the brother who joins Winston.


When the band came back as a four-piece in 2006, their comeback single was entitled Patience. Some joked that the video for the song was just Gary Barlow singing, with the other three competing to see who could look the most like a 1970s Doctor Who. With the name Grace inside the Top 10, is Patience really that far-out of a suggestion? I actually know a lovely girl named Patience whose just gone off to University to study chemistry. The thing is, some people say, what is she’s really impatient? First off, aren’t all young children impatient anyway? And my littlest sister is friends with a girl named Grace who really isn’t graceful at all, and this is according to my Grandmother who went to pick them up from dance class. You can’t predict the personality of your child, but you might as well hope for the best – that’s always been my golden rule when it comes to virtue names.

Categories: Weekend Post | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Low down on low

Gary Barlow, from

As a word, low is rather negative; I wrote an essay today linking low self-esteem with high conformity rates. However, I am starting to explore names ending with -low, and there are plenty of interesting names to consider.

First off is Willow, probably the most popular name in this class; in 2010, she jointly ranked at #112 with Eve. The name Willow derives from the Old English word welig. Willow is also a nature name, the name of a tree which belongs to the Salix genus. The Wind in the Willows is a classic children’s book, written by Kenneth Grahame and first published in 1908. I’ve also seen an increased interest in the phonetically similar name Willa, which is the female form of the name William.

Another female name which has been on the receiving end of much interest recently is Harlow, following it’s use by Nicole Richie and Joel Madden for their daughter, Harlow Winter Kate in 2008. A famous namesake aside from this is the actress Jean Harlow, who was born Harlean Harlow Carpenter. For her, Harlow was her mother’s maiden name. The name Harlow derives from Old English and means either rocky hill or army hill.

There are several other -arlow names to consider:

  • Barlow. The surname of Gary Barlow, famed singer-songwriter in the UK and member of Take That. Means either barley hill or barley clearing.
  • Darlow. Means secret love, and has been covered by lovely Nook.
  • Farlow. Means fearne mound, and again, covered by lovely Nook.
  • Marlow. Heather Armstrong of Dooce has a daughter named Marlo. The name means remnants of a lake.

Speaking of bloggers, Rubyellen of Cakies welcomed a little girl she named Glow in September 2011. Another word name is Hallow, first spotted in July 2011 by Elisabeth over at You Can’t Call It ‘It’!

I personally love the name Winslow, and my local news bulletin has two regular reporters working for them with the surnames Pentelow and Shardlow. Aside from these, there are several other surname-esque -low names out there:

  • Brownlow. Means brown hill. Mr Brownlow is a character in Charles Dickens’ classic tale, Oliver Twist.
  • Henlow. Means hen hill.
  • Huntlow. Means wolf hunt.
  • Kellow. With Kelly having experienced popularity, this name certainly seems a plausible choice.
  • Parslow. Means cross the water.

Finally, we’re ending with a few more suggestions, courtesy of Marginamia’s fantastic list of O names:

  • Billow
  • Cello
  • Cielo
  • Fallow
  • Flow
  • Gallo
  • Kahlo
  • Laylo
  • Valo/ Vallo
Categories: O Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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