Posts Tagged With: Beatrice

The Top 100 Analysis

The Rising Names

 

New Entrants to the Top 10

There was only one new entrant to the Top 10 for the girls  this year, with Poppy racing up 6 places to #7, replacing the once-darling of the flower world: Lily, who falls to #12.

As for the boys, Oscar races into the Top 10 to sit at #7, whilst George sneaks back in at #10. They replace Alfie and Riley.

New Entrants to the Top 100

On the boys side there was the most amount of movement into and out of the Top 100. In all, 6 names are new on the boys side:

  • Teddy (now #86, up from #141, that’s a massive leap of 55 places)
  • Ibrahim (now #89, up from #107)
  • Ronnie (now #90, up from #105)
  • Felix (now #91, up from #114)
  • Austin (now #94, up from 108)
  • Albert (now #99, up from #109, which has made me very happy)

As for the girls, there were only 3 new entrants:

  • Victoria (now #88, up from #106)
  • Darcy (now #93, up from #107)
  • Beatrice (now #95, up from #114)

Big Jumps in the Top 100

With Teddy doing so well this year, it may not surprise you to hear that Theodore also made big leaps within the Top 100 after his first entrance last year at #97, jumping up about 20 places to #78. Other big rises for the boys are: Hugo; Reuben; Elijah; Oscar; and Blake, who all rose at least 10 places.

As for the girls, the highest rising name within the Top 100 was Elsie (for the second year rising) who rose about 20 places, also, to break the 50 mark at #47. Elsie first joined the Top 100 in 2011. Nature names fared well in the Top 100, with Willow (15 places), Violet, and Ivy (both 22 places, respectively) also being high risers.

The Falling Names

 

Exiters of the Top 100

And the names they’ve replaced are:

  • Rhys (#101)
  • Ellis (#103)
  • Kayden (#104)
  • Bailey (#113)
  • Taylor (#118)
  • Kyle (#120)

For the girls, this year Sara and Lydia shared the Top 100 spot, thus only two names fell out:

  • Caitlin (#114)
  • Keira (#110)

Big Falls in the Top 100

It may not surprise the British public to hear Cameron was one of the biggest fallers in 2013, falling 16 places to #93; at this rate, he may drop out altogether for the 2014 list. Other names falling far within the Top 100 are Callum, Liam, Tyler and Riley, all falling at least 10 places each.

For the girls, the big fallers were: Hollie (down 21 places to #75); Paige (down 18 places to #98); Madison (down 17 places to #92); and Amy (down 14 places to #76).

Advertisements
Categories: Popular Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spot of the Week: Faux Bayeux

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about names containing the letter x, as opposed to beginning or ending with them. I did a post on many names which contain the letter x last year, but all of a sudden I’m coming up with more. Someone suggested Oxana to me just this week, and then I went on to meet an Oxana later on that day. Quelle chance! That said, she spells her name Oksana, not Oxana.

Another name I wanted to mention is Tristan. I finally came around to watching the 2009 film Stardust this week, and the lead male character is called Tristan Thorn. About half-way through the film I had what could only be described as an epiphany about the name Tristan when I realised just how much I liked the name. It’s a case of a name being constantly in the corner of your eye, but only when you pay any attention to it do you realise just how much the name rocks – especially when Ebba mentioned that if she were to call her hypothetical son Tristan, she’d use the nickname Tate.

Oh, and finally, how many of you have heard of the English copy of the Bayeux Tapestry? Created in the 1880s by a group of female embroiderers, it hangs in the Museum of Reading. Each lady involved embroidered her name under each piece she contributed, and I just had to sneak a picture of this particular section:

Mary Adeline

Current darling of many parents – Adeline! It’s what one could call foolproof evidence of the name’s usage in Victorian England, fo’ sure. Other names of ladies involved include Florence, Beatrice and Ellinor. I also think it would be totally cool to use this line when explaining your daughter’s name:

Oh, Adeline? I got the name from the Bayeux Tapestry.

Categories: Spot of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

French Music Scene

Coeur de Pirate, from blogger.com

You know when you get this idea in your head and you feel the need to run with it? I’m getting that a lot lately and it’s produced yet another slightly random post. Although, that said, it’s Eurovision tomorrow, so one could see this as a delightful prelude into French music before we get to see the French performance tomorrow night. Last year France sent a guy named Amaury, who performed in Corsican. This year France are fielding a girl named Anggun, yes that really is her name; she’s originally from Indonesia, but is now a naturalised French citizen.

Other interesting (at least to me) names from the French music scene are:

1. Lola (song w/ English&French lyrics)

Not the name of an artist, moreover the name of a single by French pop-punk band Superbus, fronted by Jennifer Ayache. The song was released in June 2007 and reached #7 in the French charts. It was this song and the single released before it, Butterfly, which essentially established Superbus in the French conscious. The album they both came from, Wow, was Superbus’ third studio album and won Best Pop Album at Victoires de la Musique in 2007. My second favourite Superbus song? Nelly. In both cases the songs are about girls named Lola and Nelly, respectively.

The name Lola was originally a nickname for Dolores, which means sorrows, but has come to be popular in her own right, like so many other names in the England&Wales Top 100 for 2010 (Lola ranks at #33).

2. Béatrice

The real name of artist Coeur de Pirate, who is currently expecting a baby at the end of summer 2012. Fun fact: the French nickname for Béatrice is Béa, said bay-ah, not bee. She released her self-titled album in 2009, which went on to be nominated for a Juno award.

The name Béatrice in whatever form derives from the Latin beatus, meaning blessed or happy.

3. Nolwenn

A lass by the name Nolwenn Leroy was the winner of season two of France’s Star Academy. The winners of the other seasons were: Jenifer (S1); Élodie (S3); Grégory (S4); Magalie (S5); Cyril (S6); Quentin (S7); and Mikels (S8).

This is a Breton name, which means holy one from Noyal. The singer has helped to spur the popularity of this name, and she pronounces her name nol-wen.

4. Florent

In 1998, Florent Pagny won the Victoires de la Musique award for Male Artist of the Year. He’s had several no.1s in France since his début in 1988, the most recent being in 2003 with Ma liberté de penser, which held the top spot for 6 weeks.

The name Florent is the French masculine form of the Latin name Florentius, which means belonging to Florens; the name Florens itself means blossoming.

5. Édith

It would see wrong not to mention the great Édith Piaf in this list at least once; the lady behind the great NonJe ne regrette rien. French names are consider to be über chic, which may just give Édith the edge. To me, I’ve always seen Edith as a classic English name, so the accent took some getting used to, even for me. I guess it works fine for the French, but I question its need if one does not interact either with or in French.

The name itself comes from the Old English name Eadgyth, which means blessed war.

6. Mylène

Ms Farmer is one of the most successful artists in France, perhaps due to the fact that she holds the record for the most no.1 singles in the French charts; I have a friend who calls her France’s answer to Madonna. Many of you may now be familiar with Myleene Klaas, the British celeb who had a baby named Hero Harper last March.

As for the name, it is a shortening of the compound name Marie-Hélène.

7. Maé

Christophe Maé has been around for a few years now, and it’s his surname which caught my eye. Kind of apt really, given that it is still (just) the month of May. Christophe is another pop singer, although he’s more of a acoustic guitar pop-singer than a synthesiser one.

The name of the month comes from Maia, who was the Roman Goddess of fertility.

8. Mika

Now, this is an interesting fact: in the list of the Top 10 best-selling singles in France in 2011, only one was sung in French, and it was released by London-based Mika. You may have heard of him, he’s released several English-speaking singles over the years too, infact, Elle Me Dit was his first single in French and it clearly went down well with the general French public.

We’ve covered Mika a few times, most recently here, but the general gist of the name from the masculine point of view is that it is a variation/diminuative of Michael, which means who is like God?

9. Yannick

Yannick Noah was first a successful tennis player, and now he spends his free time carving out a music career. Yannick mostly sings pop songs; the last time I was in France his single Angela was getting quite a bit of airplay. For the Americans reading, Yannick’s son, Joakim Noah, plays for the NBA Chicago Bulls.

Yannick is a relative popularity in France, deriving from the Breton name Yann, which is their version of John.

10. Kyo

I’ve covered the band Kyo at least once before, notably here, so there’s nothing really new to report, except that Kyo are expected to reform in October this year. Well, that’s the latest rumour. They’re a pop-rock band who were especially popular in the early so-called noughties.

Categories: French Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Climbing Females

We’re following on from yesterday’s post, but this time we’re talking about the five names I think have a chance of hitting the Top 100 by 2014.

1. Bella

Currently at #104, and easily one of the names with the best chances thanks to Twilight. She’s a nickname as many popular names are these days.

2. Elsie

Slightly cutesy like many Top 100 names such as Maisie and Lexie, so I can see why this name is catching on  -and more so than you may think. In 2010, the name Elsie ranked at #108. Consider this: Elsie was at #124 in 2009.

3. Darcy

It breaks my heart to write this, but Darcy is seriously popular for girls. Aside from the spelling of Darcy at #115, there’s also Darcey right behind her at #126. It’s rumoured that the ballerina Darcey Bussell is in line to join the judges on Strictly Come Dancing, which will heighten the profile of this name more – not that it really needs it!

4. Beatrice

She rose from #126 to #116 between 2009-2010 and is the darling of many.

5. Eloise

This name has risen into and fallen out of the Top 100 twice since 2000, so I’ve no idea where this name will go next from her 2010 ranking of #109.

And now onto the #1 spot. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit of late, and have thus picked out 3 names I think have a chance of taking over from Olivia:

1. Lily

It’s reported repeatedly that it alternative spellings counted, then Lily would have taken the top spot years ago. This is why despite ranking at #4, she’s my best bet.

2. Sophie

My sister’s name and also a previous #1 back in the late 90s. She surprised me by rising 5 places to #2 between 2009-2010, but she’s clearly a keeper as parents continue to use her in their droves. Something Sophie has over Lily is a greater lack of popular alternative spellings – although Sophia is currently at #20. In many places around the world, Sophie has already taken the #1 spot, and there are mumblings that Sophia could go top in the States.

3. Maisie

Probably the name I like the most out of the three, but she also currently ranks the lowest at #14. The reason she’s here is because she’s rising fast – up 20 places between 2009-2010.

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

Birdy

Birdy, from amazonaws.com

I very rarely plan posts for the week ahead, usually just making things up as I go along but I am starting to notice that despite this it seems I always have a theme running through what I post each week. Last week it was name trends, and this week it appears to be music. Last night rumours were raging that band of my youth S Club 7 have decided to reform as a result of the other band of my youth Steps successfully having a comeback this year. The good people of Twitter are now demanding Bustedreform to complete the set, but we’ve yet to get that announcement.

What I really want to talk about, however, is an emerging talent: Birdy. I mentioned her very briefly a few weeks ago when I spied her on the news, but I’ve started to hear murmurings about her amongst my peers which has me wondering whether this fledgling muscian will be dominating the charts in the coming years. To put this into context, I was hearing the very same people murmur about the likes of Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj weeks before either of them started their assault on our ears.

It seems the future is bright for young Birdy  – but it was too much to expect Birdy is her real name; it’s actually Jasmine, who is two months older than one of my sisters, making me feel rather old. That said, the age gap is about the same between myself and the aformentioned Bieber.

Kristen recently held a bird week over at her blog, Marginamia, which included a superb guest post over at Namberry, and Elea has also got in on the act to talk about bird names. As for me, I’ve only gone so far as to talk about the potential of using Birdie as a nickname for Beatrice/Beatrix.

The One Show comes right after the news on BBC1 here in the UK and is a rather magazine-news style of show. They recently had a segment on golf, in which a Birdie is one stroke under par. I’m a pro at seaside mini puts/adventure golf/crazy golfs – so if you ever need advice on where to go, feel free to ask. I lost a ball in a waterfall at the pirate one in Great Yarmouth in the Summer, whilst the pirate golf at Blackpool is mostly in the dark.

Going back to the world of babies, no golfer I can think of has yet to name their son or daughter Birdie, but two actresses have: Elizabeth ‘Busy’ Philipps has a daughter named Birdie, as does Maura West.  Only 3 girls were named Birdie in 2010, so the name has yet to really take off here in the UK, which is fine if you’re looking for a name no one is using but everyone will recognise.

What you shouldn’t do is get the name muddled up with Bridie – which I’ll admit to doing frequently. There’s a lady who occasionally writes for the Daily Mail with three daughters: Bronte, Merrily and Bridie. The name Bridie derives from Bridget, and 20 of them were born in 2010, making her slightly more popular than Birdie although really both names remain obscure.

So, Birdy. Birdie. We know from yesterday that names such as Adele and Leona have benefited from a famous bearer, but will Birdy go the same way? The sticking point is that Adele and Leona were already enjoying relative usage before each respective singer stepped into the spotlight – but Jenson was nowhere to be seen before the driver made his F1 début, and he’s now inside the Top 100. So you could be seeing little Birdy’s in the future, but you easily may not be in that position.

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

Under 30s British Stars Rich List

Mika, from blogspot.com

This little list has been in the news today, courtesy of Heat Magazine, so it seems a good time to talk about some of the names of the 30 honoured rich British stars who are under-30s. All of them are in the world of showbiz, and given their placing on the list are likely recognisable by name to most Brits. To keep it interesting, I’ve decided to focus on the names outside our current Top 100.

That immediately excludes #1, Daniel Radcliffe – known to the world as Harry Potter. It also excludes Keira Knightley (#2), Robert Pattinson (#3), Emma Watson (#4), Katie Melua (#8), Charlotte Church (#10), Emily Blunt (#11), Alex Turner (#13), Sienna Miller (#17), James Morrison (#20), Lily Allen (#21), Sarah Harding (#26), Florence Welch (#29) and Jamie Bell (#30).

Technically speaking, we should also exclude the man at #14, Michael Holbrook Penniman, but it seems fair to mention the name he mostly goes by – Mika. Some take the name as feminine, some go the opposite way. It depends on how you approach it, because Mika is very much feminine in Japan, where it means beautiful perfume. Anyone into F1 will also be aware of two-time world champion Finnish driver Mika Häkkinen who . In Finland, Mika is a short form of Mikael – their version of Michael, but Häkkinen is quite simply just Mika Pauli. Alternatively you have Micah, a short form of the Biblical Micaiah, or Mica, which is also the name of a silverly mineral.

Shooting back up to the top end of the list, we have the final key Harry Potter actor, Rupert Grint, at #5. Rupert is a German version of the once popular name Robert. Historically, Robert peaked in England&Wales at #5 in 1944. By contrast, in the States, Robert was #1 from 1924 to 1939. Currently, Robert sits at #90 in England&Wales, falling 49 places since 2000. Rupert, on the other hand, sits at #360 in 2010, up 208 places from #568 in 2000.

Leona Lewis (#6) is the most successful X Factor UK winner to date, and Chlokie covered her name superbly over the weekend, whilst Elea covered the slightly similar Leonie at the same time. As you might guess, the name relates to the Greek word for lion, leon and the Latin leo, meaning the same thing. An interesting tidbit is the Leona’s middle name is Louise, completely her trio of L-names. In 2010, the name Leona was at #380, but the key figures to consider are these:

  • 2004: #480
  • 2005: #509
  • 2006: #311
  • 2007: #200

Leona Lewis came to prominence in the second half of 2006, causing her name to boost up following a slight fall between 2004 and 2005. She has fallen since then, but we’ve yet to see whether this is just a slight dip all names tend to go through.

#7 is Cheryl Cole, who also found fame via a talent-come-reality show Popstar: The Rivals when she was placed into the girl group Girls Aloud – which in 2011 Guiness World Records named the most successful reality Tv group. The other four members also make the list, of which only Sarah Harding was excluded for having a Top 100 name. It is, in a sense, a false measure however as Cheryl was #68 in 1984. This pattern continues with the two of the three other members of Girls Aloud. The first of these is third member Kimberley Walsh’s (#24) name was #43 in 1984 and she was born in 1981 (only data for 1954, 1964 etc is available until 1996). The fourth member to mention is Nicola Roberts (#27), whose name was even higher up at #12 in 1984. So, in theory that only leaves  final member Nadine Coyle (#25) with non-Top 100 name. However, I’m in a good mood, so we’ll talk about all four.

If you’re wondering why Cheryl ranks so much higher than her four bandmates, you need only look above to Leona; Cheryl Cole spent 2008-2010 as a judge on The X Factor and was generally well-received by the public. This increased exposure for her led to a reasonably successful solo career. The name Cheryl is likely to have been inspired by the name Cherie combined with Beryl.

Kimberley is a place name, and we’re not just talking about the town in Nottinghamshire. There is a diamond mining town in South Africa called Kimberley as well, which was named after Lord Kimberley – the peerage Earl of Kimberley exists to this day in the UK, currently bestowed upon John Armine Wodehouse, who is the 5th Earl of Kimberley; he took the title in 2002.

Nicola is the Italian form of Nicholas, but also a feminine form in the English-speaking world, and whilst she’s the sole Irish member of the group, Nadine Coyle’s name isn’t. Nadine is the French version of the Russian name Nadya, a name that derives from Nadezhda which means hope.

As for the rankings of the four names, it’s clear some have fared better than others since the 1980s, it’s worth noting that Cheryl is the least popular name, despite Cheryl outranking her bandmates on the rich list:

  • Cheryl: #965
  • Kimberley: #383
  • Nicola: #263
  • Nadine: #801

Towards the end of the top 10 is Craig David at #9, whose middle name is Ashley. The name Craig has roots in Scottish Gaelic, specifically with creag, which means either rocks or crag. I’ve had the pleasure of watching a French person try to say this name before, and she didn’t get a gold star for her attempt. Literally, it’s KRAYG, and the name is #89 in Scotland but, crucially, only at #503 in England&Wales in 2010.

Moving further down the list we get to yet another singer, this time Joss Stone at #12. Speaking of the French, the singer’s full name is Jocelyn Eve and Jocelyn is an exclusively male name in France, with the female spelling being Jocelyne. There’s a place called Josselin in Brittany, but the name could have come from a Germanic tribe, the Gauts. Another famed Joss is Mr. Whedon, for whom Joss is a short form of Joseph. Jocelyn is at #840 in England&Wales for 2010.

At #15 is Coleen Rooney: wife of Wayne; mother of Kai. Her name comes from Irish caílin and means girl, but it’s also worth noting that the French word for hill is colline. Coleen doesn’t rank, but Colleen was given to 7 girls in 2010, which gives it a ranking of #3156.

Miss.16 is the now world-reknowned singer Adele, whose full name is Adele Laurie Blue Adkins. Like Adelaide, the name Adele comes from the Germanic element adal, meaning noble. I wouldn’t hesitate to attribute any rise in Adele to this lady, given her popularity. Adele released Hometown Glory, her breakthrough song, in October 2007, so let’s quickly look at some data from the years around that:

  • 2006: #594
  • 2007: #623
  • 2008: #467

I’m willing to bet she had some doing with the jump between 2007 and 2008. The crunch-point? By 2010, the name Adele had again fallen outside the Top 500 to #683.

At #18 is Natasha Bedingfield and at #19 is Duffy. Natasha was recently mentioned in the post on Natalie over at the newly named The Name Station. Duffy was born Aimée Ann, and we’ve previously mentioned the name Duffy. Quickly sidelining to the French again, there’s a delightful French singer, Coeur de Pirate, who reminds me a lot of Duffy and she herself is called Béatrice. Natasha is at #171, with 310 births, whilst Duffy does not rank.

The 22nd spot is taken up by Paolo Nutini, a Scot. His father is from Tuscany by descent, but the family have lived in Scotland for a handful of generations. Paolo’s music career took off in 2006, when he released his début album These Streets, which was certified 4x Platinum, and was in the charts for a record-breaking 196 weeks. The name Paolo is the Italian version of Paul, which means humble. 23 boys were given the name Paolo in 2010, putting the name at #1144.

Whilst Emma Watson was excluded, Gemma Arterton does make the list with her slightly different name. Arterton played Strawberry Fields in the most recent Bond film, Quantum of Solace. The name Gemma related to the Italian word for gem. In 2010, Gemma ranked at #354, with 128 born.

The final entrant to mention is Taio Cruz. Cruz is the name of the third Beckham boy, which is the Spanish word for cross. As for Taio, I’m at a slight loss. My best guess is that it is related to Tao, which is Chinese and means peach or long life. What’s more likely is that Mr.Cruz is the reason Taio is inside the Top 1000 in England&Wales at #832, with 35 of them born; Cruz ranks higher at #433 with 87 born.

Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names, Names in the News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Buzzing Bs

Bonnie of Toy Story 3 fame, from wikipedia.org

Short names should in theory be coming back into style, given that nicknames have here in the UK, and there’s one brand in particular thats caught my eye over the past few weeks. Before I say what, consider this: Nameberry recently penned Betty as an unlikely comeback name, and we known that her siblings are called Belle and Beau. What’s more, I devoted an entire post to nicknames for Beatrix/ce earlier on this month, for which many names were also in this category. I try not to let name spotting take over my life, but something that has really struck me of late is the amount of four-letter, one-syllable B- names I’ve met recently. Everywhere I turn, I’ve been seing them. As far as I’m concerned nowadays, there’s literally tons (well, maybe a slight exageration there) of them. Here are a few of my favourites I’ve seen recently.

Buzz Aldrin, born Edwin Eugene, was one of the first men on the moon, but for him Buzz was simply a nickname derived from one of his sisters – however I do recall from reading somewhere that he has legally changed his name to Buzz. Buzz Lightyear was a character in the hugely successful Toy Story films. The word buzz has excelled in terms of colloquial English of late, since if I were to say that I’m buzzing about my upcoming birthday (which I am), I’m saying that I’m excited for it. It has also been abused in the sense that a drug high can also be referred to as a buzz.

What goes Buzz? Bees of course, and I had one doodled onto the back of my hand last week. Bee is one of those nicknames you can get from a huge variety of names: from Phoebe to Annabel; Beryl to Elizabeth. Sticking to the Elizabeth theme, she of many short forms, as Biff, Chip and Kipper were the three [fictional] siblings who taught me how to read, since my Infant school was stocked to bursting point with books about them starting at basic picture books up to more ‘advanced’ learner books, one of which my sister recently brought home. I’m not into one-up-manship, but when I was in Year 4, I distinctly remember reading Harry Potter 5, but we all develop at our own pace and Dips is much better at her times tables than I ever was at her age. Going back to the books, Biff was the girl and the eldest, whilst Chip and Kipper were her younger brothers. I used to believe they were actually their names, but thinking about it now, they were probably more like Elizabeth, Charles and Christopher – not that I’ve ever seen confirmation of that fact. They had friends named Wilf and Wilma, so it really was a child’s introduction to old-timey names. Other nicknames for Elizabeth such as Biff include Beth, Bets and Bess.

You could even derive Bass from the name Elizabeth at a stretch, and I recently met someone nickname Bass – predictably he played bass guitar, and his ‘real’ name was Sebastian, which still could shorten to Bass anyway. I also doodled my first Christmas tree of the year today, and a well-know singer with a bass-baritone voice, and King of Christmas tunes is Bing Crosby, born Harry Lillis. I really like the upbeat sound of the name Bing, and maybe that was one of the swaying factors in why Microsoft have named their internet search engine Bing. A similar name to this which I spotted on the news last Saturday was Buck. As well as being American slang for a dollar, the name also has another usage in the English language: the name for a male deer (where doe is the female deer equivalent).

Bolt is another English word, used for the eponymous name of the dog in the film Bolt. I remember my sister trying to convince me that it would be a good idea to take her to see it. There’s also the champion sprinter Usain Bolt. A well known film critic duo here in the UK are called Floyd and Boyd, who occasionally sub in for Mark Kermode when he’s not available to do the film reviews for 5Live on Fridays afternoons; their full names are Nigel Floyd and Boyd Hilton. Boyd was also the surname of Peter Boyd in the BBC crime drama Waking the Dead which recently closed up shop after a near 10 year run. I loved Waking the Dead, even if it [briefly] convinced me that a murderer lived at the end of my bed, despite being a mostly rational person. Keeping with the Christmas theme, I’m thinking of gifting a boxset to someone over the holiday season; not sure who exactly I want to target with it yet though.

And with the partying season drawing near, it seems an apt time to mention Beck, as in the lager Becks. I know that I’ve mentioned Beck a few times recently, but that means he really does qualify for this list since I’m hearing Beck everywhere. To be fair, I discovered recently that Rebecca was the most popular female name for England&Wales in 1994, which is the closest year to my birth year that has data published about it. No wonder every Beck I’m currently running into is my age or thereabouts.

I recently mixed some chemicals together to make a wonderfully inky blue colour – and by chemicals I mean sodium carbonate and bromothymal blue. That may mean something to you, but it probably doesn’t. Suffice to say that bromothymal blue is an indicator which goes blue in alkaline solutions and yellow in acidic solutions, thus sodium carbonate is the former. In terms of using Blue as a name, I’m all for it since Blue is a fantastic colour, but I still take issue with anyone using Bleu and saying it exactly the same as Blue. But I’m a French student, so you can understand my nit-picking. My littlest sister has just started to learn French, quite sweetly anglicising the pronunciations of all the words she’s being taught.

Earlier on in the year we mentioned the sisterly trio of Bliss, Blythe and Elfie, or which the first two names kind of fit into this category if we ignor that fact that they’re both a letter too long. In the almost category with them is Bonnie, which nicely rounds off this post since it takes up back to our first name, Buzz, as Bonnie was featured in the third, and currently most recent, Toy Story film.

Categories: Name Trends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sibset of the Week: The Edmondsons

Jennifer Saunders, from frenchandsaunders.com

I’m a huge fan of comedy. Can’t get enough of it. The world of comedy is mostly dominated by males, especially in the stand-up arena. with females few and far between. There are some great female comics out there, though: Victoria Wood; Shappi Khorsandi; Sue Perkins; Dawn French; Lucy Porter; Sandi Toksvig. If you’ve time to spare, we have covered Shappi’s name before in our previous bumper post on names from comedy (a follow-up is on my to-do list). This week’s mother is another comedy queen, she’s Jennifer Saunders, best known as one half of the French&Saunders comedy duo, and for our international readers she voiced the Fairy Godmother in the Shrek films. Specifically the second one. Both she and Dawn French also had voice roles in Coraline.

In 2005, there was a poll to find the funniest women in Britain, for which Saunders was awarded fourth place. The Top Ten reads as such:

  1. Victoria Wood
  2. Dawn French
  3. Jo Brand
  4. Jennifer Saunders
  5. Julie Walters
  6. Joyce Grenfell
  7. Hattie Jacques
  8. Joanna Lumley
  9. Maureen Lipman
  10. Kathy Burke

Personally, I feel the list would have rather changed by now, especially given the success of Miranda Hart in recent years. Hattie Jacques was a stage name for Josephine Edwina Jaques, whilst Kathy is indeed short for Katherine Lucy Bridget, and Jo short for Josephine. It seems almost chance that two of the top ten would be named Josephine, which perhaps makes her a good option if you want a name related to British comedy. Miranda being another good example as there’s also Miranda Richardson, who famously played Queenie in Blackadder. Half of the list is also taken up by five different J- names, too (not including Hattie). If I ever were to use a name inspired by my love of comedy, I’d likely use Polly or Connie, as in Connie Booth who starred as the maid Polly in Fawlty Towers.

But back to Jennifer Saunders, who with husband Adrian Edmondson, welcomed three daughters towards the end of the 80s decade:

Eleanor Rose ‘Ella’

Beatrice Louise ‘Beattie’

Freya Domenica

Tellingly, both Freya and Eleanor are in the 2010 Top 100, with Beatrice well poised at #116 to join them in the coming years. They also seemed to use pretty standard middle names until they came to their last child, when they used Domenica. I keep wanting to say the name, as in, the Dominican Republic, being the worldly person that I am. I’m fascinating by their choice of the name.

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

‘Beatrix/Beatrice Has No Decent Nicknames’

A rather artsy picture of mine taken on a beach. The same beach as the background photo, I believe.

I’ve been planning a post along these lines for a few weeks given how much love both versions of this name get on the ‘boards, but recent conversations have suddenly made it a very topical post for me to write about since I had a friend say the above statement to me today. I found myself initially agreeing with her, in that the obvious two have never really ‘rocked my boat’ – and when I say obvious two, I’m talking Bea and Trixie. This post therefore goes out to my friend who is at a sticking point with her relationship with Beatrix, and thus this post is likely to be a bit of a shambling walk through my mind as ideas pop into it.

My problem with Bea is quite simple: I want to give it two syllables and rhyme it with Leah. Proof even we ‘pros’ still have issues with pronunciations. If I were to use Bea, I would insist on it being spelt with two ‘e’s, hence, Bee. I remember once doing a monologue about a cat called Bumblebee, and I actually prefer Bee as a short form for Phoebe, Thisbe or even Belphoebe. This is what I spend my days thinking about. That and wondering why UCAS hates me.

It seems rich of me to not particularly like Trixie, since I’m actually a closet Pixie fan. I’m not sure if I’ve ever made this clear, but I plan on changing my middle name sometime in the future because I just can’t agree with it, and Pixie is actually one of the names in consideration. Alas Lucy Pixie is borderline cutesy. I guess you could use Pixie as a nickname for Beatrix should you so choose. Jacqueline Wilson gave one of her characters, in her novel Diamond Girls, the name Dixie. It could work, but the slang of today makes it nigh on impossible. Dixie’s sisters were called Martine, Jude, Rochelle and Sundance. Their mother? Sue.

We mentioned a Beatrix who goes by the name Betty last week, and I maintain that it’s a fantastic interpretation of Beatrix, as indeed are her the names of her siblings. As an extension of Betty, there’s also several other Elizabeth nicknames which could work, specifically Betsy, Bets and maybe Elsie at a stretch. Could Beth work as well? Maybe, I think nicknames really are an open arena.

Kristen mentioned on her guest post over at Nameberry today the possibility of using Birdie as a nickname for Beatrice, and one could take things further by suggesting the slightly re-arranged Bridie. It also reminds me that I think the name Beatrix looks a lot like the word biscuit – that may say more about my inner psyche than I really want people to analyse (did I mention I had a psychology teacher pin me down as an affectionless psychopath a few weeks ago for smirking during a video on violence?). There’s a French film, titled in English A Very Long Engagement, which featured a WWI soldier named Biscotte, which translates to the English word rusk. I think it mentioned in the film why he was named so, but I fail to remember exactly what the backstory behind it was.

Simply using the end three letters of Beatrix could work, and there are several other ways to exploit Rix, first off by pulling off some letterphilic substitution to create Ria, or indeed the very jazzy, yet slightly gender neutral depending on your interests name Rio. When I say depending on your interests, I’m talking about the song Rio (her name is Rio and she dances….) and the footballer Rio (Ferdinand). There’s a Japanese name, Riko, which is also worth considering. It can either mean child of truth or child of jasmine. The Spanish name Rico is a shortening of Ricardo. Rix also could go to Ricky/Rikki/Ricki, or if you’re feeling very brave, the word Risk.

Specifically targeting Beatrice, and going back to my favourite sport, we could put forward the case for Becks, or simply Bec(k). That therefore opens the door to most of the imaginable Rebecca nicknames – I know a Rebecca who is most often referred to simply as Rebs. Simple, yet effective. Another simple option is Rae, or even Bay. I promised myself as a child that I would always live in a country with a coastline, and always be at least 2 hours away from it. I love the beach, specifically what one finds at a beach; we’re talking good ol’ fashioned British seasides here, not palm trees etc. rather donkey rides, piers and rock. Just to give you a scale of my seaside addiction, over the summer period I visited no less than 6 seaside locations in England and won a game of mini golf at each one, so Bay’s a nice way for me to acknowledge that I have this addiction, and plan to pass it on to up-and-coming generations. You can splice Bay and Rebs together to get Babs, which was the name of one of the chickens in Chicken Run, set up north in Yorkshire and made by those who gave us one of the best comedy duos: Wallace and Gromit. As a rather unexpected finale, if you love cats but dislike the name Tabitha, there’s also Tabby as an option.

There ya go friend of mine. Proof there are some great possibilities for nicknames of Beatrix/Beatrice if you put some hard thought into it. Or just read this post and nick one of my ideas, in which case fair enough. That’s what the internet is for.

Categories: Girl Names, Nicknames | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 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

BOYS – ALPHABETICALLY

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

GIRLS – ALPHABETICALLY

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

GIRLS – NUMERICALLY (3 or more)

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

MALE/FEMALE

Daniel x6 +Danielle

George x2 +Georgina

Harry +Hattie +Harriet

Phillip +Philippa x3

Valentino +Valentina

THE IRISH GANG

Sean x2 +Shaun +Sian

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

Patrick x2

THE NOTABLES

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.

Categories: Real Babies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.