Posts Tagged With: Belle

Sibset of the Week: The Baldwins

via thewave.com

via thewave.com

Holly Willoughby is another TV presenter that first crossed my path in the world of children’s TV. In the case of Holly, she co-presented the popular Saturday morning show Ministry of Mayhem that ran from 2004-2006 that my younger siblings all loved. She’s been a panelist on the show Celebrity Juice since 2008, which several of my friends watch – although I’ve yet to really understand it’s popularity with them.

Either way, I was planning on covering this family earlier on this year, but then Holly went and announced she was expecting her third child, meaning that this post had to be shelved until this week when she welcomed her third bundle of joy.

Holly married Dan Baldwin in 2007, and together they are now parents to three children:

Belle (b. 2009)

Harry William (b. 2011)

Chester James (b. 2014)

Bizarrely, Belle still trails behind Beau in the female England&Wales rankings – #321 to Beau’s #178 (with Beau ranking at #175 for boys). It’s always been an interesting fact to be, given that Bella is at #56, inside the Top 100 alongside many other -bel names (think: Isabella and friends).

It’s interesting to note that both Belle (#525 in 2009) and Chester (#581 in 2013) were in the 500s when Holly chose them, whilst Harry hit the #1 spot in the year her first son was born – 2011.

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

Banbha

Banbha

We’re approaching the end of Week B, and today we’re looking across the Irish Sea to Nana Lou’s home country of Ireland. In a way, we’re looking at the Emerald Isle as a whole, since today’s name is sometimes used as a poetic name for Ireland.

It makes sense, as according to Irish mythology, Banbha is the patron goddess of Ireland. Some traditions also hold that Banbha was the first person to set foot in Ireland before the flood.

Try to think of some names similar to Banbha who are currently popular, and you might struggle. After mulling over it, I came to the conclusion that she shares a certain similarity to Bella, who is currently (i.e. 2013) #56 in England&Wales. Consider it, and both are two-syllable B names ending with the ‘ah’ sound, of course, what you might call Bella’s ‘middle-section’ is softer sounding, which may be part of why she’s so loved.

Of course, most by now accept that the popularity of Bella can also in part be attributed to the Twilight furore. Especially if you consider my favourite fact that on the girls list, Beau outranks Bella’s sister, Belle, ranking at #178, compared to #321 – a gap that actually grew between 2012 and 2013 as Belle fell 66 places. Belle and Beau both mean beautiful in French, with Beau the masculine form of the word and Belle, the feminine; Bella, on the other hand, is Italian for beautiful. 

Despite the similarities, Banbha fails to rank at all for any year since 1996.

Which is a shame, as whilst the likes of Siobhan (#1484) and Caoimhe (#639) rank, despite their pronunciation issues, Banbha is legitimately Irish and without the difficulty, but next to no usage. Although, as a side note, I have a friend named Siobhan and a mutual friend of ours still struggles with her name, despite me considering it to be a more ‘mainstream’ Irish name, i.e. one people ought be fine with the pronunciation of, like Sean. I went to Catholic school, though, so there were many Siobhans, Roisins, Sineads et al, that means not only did my school provide me with a traditional education, but also a fairly robust grounding in how to pronounced popular Irish names.

When it comes to the meaning of the name, the likeliest source of the name is the Scottish Gaelic word banbh, which means land unplowed for a year. However, there is an Old Irish word – banb – which could also figure in: the word means piglet.

To surmise, the name Banbha seems to be crying out for usage, and she could find fans in those looking for an Irish heritage pick off-the-beaten track, and this one has the added plus of links to Irish mythology.

Categories: The Offbeat Alphabet Series | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Foodie Friday – Potatoes

from blogger.com

I’ve been a little obsessed with mashed potatoes of late, sad as it may sound. I’m not sure exactly why I’ve wanted to include them in every meal I’ve cooked this week, but it gives me a neat little excuse to talk about the names of varieties of potatoes. A true potato enthusiastic (too much?) will know that some varieties of potatoes lend themselves well to roasting, some to boiling and others to mashing.

That is, in effect, my strenuous introduction to my post on names of potato varieties. Quite a few of the names on this list will be familiar to you, whilst others are a bit more out there. Either way, it’s a fun little list of names to kick off the weekend.

Amora

Anna

Annabelle

Anya

Belle

Blue

Bonnie

Brooke

Cara

Catriona

Celine

Charlotte

Claire

Cosmos

Daisy

Desiree

Edward

Elisabeth

Emma

Fianna

Fontane

Gemson

Gervioline

Gwyn

Harmony

Hermes

Karlena

Kestrel

Kikko

Linton

Lulu

Malin

Marfola

Maris

Maxine

Melody

Merlin

Milton

Mira

Mimi

Nadine

Navan

Newton

Nicola

Nieta

Olympia

Orla

Piper

Pixie

Primura

Romano

Rubesse

Rudolph

Saphire

Savanna

Saxon

Sebastian

Shannon

Shona

Sierra

Sofia

Stroma

Sylvana

Tabitha

Trixie

Una

Vales

Vanessa

Verity

Victoria

Virgo

Wilja

Winston

Categories: Foodie Friday | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Names that Mean the Same Thing

Una Healy and Ben Foden, from mirror.co.uk

Six Nations is officially getting exciting, and even more hectic for one England player by the name of Ben Foden. He and fiancée Una Healy welcomed a daughter today called Aoife Belle. Two pretty enough names, but then you look at what each name means:

Aoifebeauty

Bellebeautiful

Essentially, they mean the same thing. This may or may not have been intentional, since Aoife is quite popular in Ireland. How many people who use the name Thomas know that he means twin? But this got me thinking, and when I get thinking about names a post usually springs into life.

It started with me looking into the meanings of some of the names I’m personally fond of to see whether any have strikingly familiar meanings; a mini group-listy post is what my various strands of thoughts have produced. The placing of some names in certain groups is open to debate, I agree, but hey ho, my blog, my rules 😉

Battle/Warrior/Weaponry

Bellatrix, Blair, Clotilde, Edith, Imelda, Matilda, Romilda

Branson, Edgar, Gunnar, Gunther, Harold, Humphrey, Preben, William

Beautiful/Handsome

Aoife, Bonnie, Callisto, Callista, Jolie, Kanta, Zuleika, Zuri

Beau, Kallias, Zain

Beloved/Loved/Love

Amoret, Amy, Annabel, Cara, Mabel

David, Ren

Blessed/Happy/Joy

Beatrix, Chara, Gioia, Kalea, Letitia, Liron, Yuki

Asher, Benedict, Kouki, Ronen

Brave

Bernard, Conrad, Hardy, Kekoa, Leonard, Richard

Dark/Black

Ciara, Kali, Melanie, Sable

Blake, Dougal, Kieran, Krishna

Light/White/Fair/Bright

Akira, Blanche, Clara, Gwen, Phoebe, Shideh, Tegan, Zahra

Fionn, Konani, Lucian, Robert

Lucky/ Fortunate/ Success

Felicity, Florence, Lykke, Shreya

Boniface, Felix, Fortuné, Prospero

Wisdom

Athena, Minerva, Sophia, Sophie

Cato, Kavi

Categories: Name List | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Surprise Time

Myleene Klass with daughters Ava and Hero, from newsmediaimages.com

I have recently seen some, albeit rather slight allegations that this year the celeb-world has let us down somewhat when it comes to picking the slightly crazy names we’ve come to expect. However, as far as I’m concerned, if the choice of name surprises you, I think it makes for an interesting, notable celeb choice and that’s the basis of the following list. I may not personally love all of the names below, they win their spot on the list through merit of surprise and show there were some rather, shall we say, unexpected choices over the last year split into months:

January – Romeo Mokonzi Santos/ Coco Reese Lakshmi

Two interesting combinations of names to kick off the year. Whilst I really liked the choice of Nona by Dutch radio host Dave Peters, with a pre-existing son named Eppo, it seemed almost expected for him to choose another seldom heard name. What really surprised me were these two names and the mix of styles they possess.

Romeo is the son of former Belgian sprinter Kim Gevaert and her husband Djeke Mambo; they already have a son named Vince. Coco is the first child for No Doubt’s bassist Tony Kanal and he certainly threw them all in the cooking pot.

February – Rocco&Coco/Lily Cato

Two Coco mentions in one list? Abby’s got to me, but how could the twinset choice of Scottish footballer Paul Dalglish go without mention? I kind of like the idea that comes behind the choices, but it is too much in terms of matchiness? One things for sure, they’re two completely different names which just so happen to contain pretty much exactly the same letters as one another.

As for the second nomination, Lily Cato grabs it for her unexpected middle name. O names are being tooted as particularly stylish choices for lads at the moment, and this name just proves the girls needn’t be left behind with this trend. Lily is first child for Dutch musical star Martin van der Starre and his girlfriend Roos (whose name just so happens to be Dutch for Rose) and was born in London.

March – Kip&Bowie/ Hero Harper

March brought a second twinset for this list, this time from an Australian. Brodie Holland already had a daughter named Stevie when these two came along and the thing that caught me about it is how homely the names feel to me. Kip is British slang for a nap, whilst Bowie makes me think of the legend that is David Bowie.

For me, the top female name of March was easy. Myleene Klass already had a daughter named Ava Bailey when she came to welcome little Hero Harper in March. Whilst her middle name could have been expected what with her previous use of Bailey, it was Hero which took me by surprise given that her first daughter has a name well inside the current Top 20.

April – Gem/ Belle

Gem is the son of Aussie Alan Tongue, brother of Becky and Heidi. According to Anna, using the name Gem was a spur-of-the-moment decision for Alan, when the name just came to him after looking at his son for the first time. Since I grew up with a good few Gemmas, it’s a change of scene to be talking about Gem for lads but I kind of like it.

As for the female name, yes, Belle isn’t exactly the most uncommon name in the book, there were plently of wacky choices to choose from, but her selection took me by surprise since her mama, Holly Willoughby, was already a mother to a Harry. That had me presuming she would go with a Top 50 especially-popular-in-Britian girly name like Maisie, Poppy or even Lucy. Belle, on the otherhand, has been mostly overshadowed by Bella of late.

Those wacky choices I mentioned earlier on? Whilst Romanie-Sky Angel Shelley could’ve taken the crown for the girls, she just didn’t surprise me as a name Shane Richie would choose especially since his other daughter with the same partner is called Lolita Bell. In the same month James Cracknell welcomed Trixie Bea – but his pre-existing kids are called the equally quirky Kiki and Croyde.

May – Tate/ Isabeau

Emma Bunton welcomed Tate in this month, brother for Beau. So, why did this name surprise me? It surprised me for a few reasons. The first being that I’ve seen a pondering about the name Tate’s gender status this year. You know what else I found out this year? That whilst you may think Beau is pretty much all-boy, Beau ranks higher (#315) than Belle for girls (#463). The second reason is that sometimes it’s nice to be surprised by someone using a relatively unused name with a relatively well-used name, and seeing them work really well together. In 2010 for England&Wales, Beau was given to 300 boys and Tate to 53 boys.

Isabeau and I have only been acquainted for a few years, and in that time I’ve seldom heard her actually used by parents. It seems especially odd, then, that this Isabeau would be the daughter of Belgian boxer Sugar Jackson. It does seem in line with the choice of Ebenezer for her brother, but nevertheless I couldn’t have seen Isabeau coming either way. But, when you hardly hear the name, how can you?

June – Diesel Dean/ Jasmine Orienta

It was hard for this month to pick a male name, but Diesel Dean won out for the alliteration. We’ve had a few this year, notably Poet Poppin and most recently Georgia Geraldine but this one has it’s merits too. I doubt I would ever think to pair Diesel with Dean, but sound-wise they make a pretty good pairing. He’s the son of American softball player Jenny Finch and is brother to Ace Shane.

Jasmine Orienta is the daughter of Julian Lloyd Webber, and it’s her middle name that won her the placing on this list. Generally speaking, orient is a rather romantic way to say east, it comes from the Latin word oriens predictably meaning east. Think Oriental, think Leyton Orient.

July – Bingham Hawn/Bardot

Probably one of the most high profile names on this list, Bingham had to win this place for really making me think. I live near a town named Bingham and it never occured to me to think of him as a potential name. It just goes to show that fascinating names can be found in most places – especially right under your nose. Bingham, or Bing as they are calling him, is the son of Matt Bellamy and Kate Hudon. There’s a really nice post of the name Bing over at The Name Station.

This year I learnt David Boreanaz had renamed his little 2009 daughter Bardot Vita as Bella Vita Bardot so I presumed it would be awhile before Bardot surfaced again since it clearly didn’t work out for them. I was wrong. Dutch TV presenter Regina Romeijn picked up the torch when she welcomed her Bardot in London.

August – Zephyr/ Fritzi Francesca

Julia Bradbury broke my father’s heart when she announced her pregnancy last year, and won mine when she chose Zephyr for her son. I’ve never seen people give much love to the name Zephyr, so was beyond thrilled to see the lady who inspired my father to make us trek in Wales during winter use him.

As for the female name, we’re back to alliteration. As a Brit, Fritzi could probably never work as she’s likely a tad too close to Fritz for the liking of the elder generation. Fritzi is the daughter of Dutch actor Koert-Jan de Bruijn and sister to Keetje Sofia. Whilst the pattern of using a name rather more established in the English-speaking world is maintained (should that have been intentional), I think Fritzi is certainly more accessible to we English speakers than Keetje is.

September – Sid/Delphine Malou

Sid is the fourth child of Mary McCartney, thus yet another grandchild for Sir Paul. Last year Mary’s sister, Stella, welcomed her fourth child – a daughter named Reiley. Same parents, but two completely different choices for each respective fourth child (of course, not forgetting the effect their respective spouses may have had in the name selection process).

I was surprised by the choice of Delphine Malou because, looking at the name, you’d presume her parents to be French. You’d presume wrong, too. Her famous mother, Sarah Connor, is German, whilst her half-siblings are called Tyler and Summer – so this really was completely out of the blue choice of name for me. It was, however, a lovely surprise at the same time.

October – Lex/Teddy Mouna

We’re in the continent once again to talk about little Lex, son of Belgian singer Raf van Brussel. He has two sisters named Sam and Lucca. Alex is certainly very popular, but I don’t think I’ve ever really seen the name Lex used. He’s certainly a quirky alternative nickname for Alexander if nothing else.

Dutch radio host Ruud de Wild is responsable for once more flying the flag of The Netherlands. He chose the name Teddy for his newborn daughter, which was a surprise to me given that she is welcomed by a sister (albeit a half-sister) named Toy. Yes, it the land of the Netherlands the main language is Dutch but most do speak English to a relatively good standard. However, just think how odd a sibset of Reverie and Papillon may seem to the French and I’m willing to accept the cuteness of this. Teddy also has a brother named Johnny.

November – Ace Billy/ Lourdes (Ethel Mary)

With Ace Billy, it’s another case of hold-the-phone – didn’t you give your pre-existing child a name of an entirely different style? He’s the son of Matt and Emma Willis, both reasonably well-known, each in their own right, here in Britain. When Ace came along, they were already parents to the rather more, say, classically named Isabelle Catherine.

The case is the same with Lourdes, chosen by football star Steven Gerrard. His two pre-existing daughters are called Lilly and Lexie, so I was well-prepared for them to use either Lacey or maybe Lucy as the name for the newest member of the clan given that they, too, are in the England&Wales Top 100. That makes Lourdes a rather more unusual choice, especially given their track record.

Ethel gets an honourable mention since her mother Lily Allen has yet to formerly confirm her name, even if her mother has rather let the cat out of the bag. I think if you step back and look at her, Ethel does have her merits. The -el ending can be found on many popular names of today, such as Isabel and Annabel, so really we should be asking ourselves: why was Lily Allen the first to think of resurrecting Ethel?

December – Beaux/ Emilia Lovely

Our final month lets us make one last mention of Beau. We’ve already mentioned both him and sister Belle already in this post but Beau-with-an-x is new. Many parents are embracing the letter x of late, and so this should only feel like a natural progression. Beaux was chosen by one half of 2 Shoes, Charley Bird; the duo competed in 2011’s series of The X Factor.

Our last baby to mention is little Emilia Lovely, who earns her place here for her middle name. Lovely? Why not? We’ve already embraced Grace, Faith and Hope in the masses for middle name fodder, it was only time before other virtue words were given a chance.

Categories: Celeb Baby Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 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

Tired of Ella?

For the past few years, Ella has ranked highly on the name charts. Here are some alternatives for those of you who wish for something a little different:

If you like the El- beginning:

Eleanor. Once classed as a timeless name, now falling down the name charts. Fast. Means bright, shining one.

Elena. An alternate spelling of Eleanor. Likely to have a better chance of rising, seeing as many people favour the unconventional spellings at the moment. It’s the spanish version of Helen. # 195 in 2009.

Elaine. French variation of Helen. # 767 in 2009. The alternate spelling Elaina is much more ‘in’ right now (#462).

Elora. Variation of Eliora.

Eliora. Means ‘ the Lord is my Light’. Melodic in sound, due to abundance of vowels. Does not rank.

Elise. Means ‘pledged to God’. Also a variation of Elizabeth. #211 in 2009. Alternate spelling Elyse is also climbing the name charts.

Eloisa/Eloise/ Heloise. Means healthy/wide. # 917 in 2009. Popular for French girls.

Eliza. Means ‘pledged to God’. Variation of Elizabeth. #278 in 2009.

Elsie. Popular back at the start of the 20th century. Thus, if we remember names have a 100-year cycle, this name is due to come back into fashion. Currently #679. Another variation of Elizabeth, via it’s scottish form of Elspeth.

Elle. French for ‘she’. In 2009 rose to #442 from #493.

Elizabeth. Considered to be a ‘timeless’ name. Has a rich history of bearers, such at the two Queens of England. Popular throughout the centuries, currently ranks at #11. Popular for middle names, and often seen in sibsets alongside Victoria, another Queen of England. The variant ‘Elisabeth’ is currently sat at #554.

Names with the ‘elle’ ending:

Marielle. Dutch and French diminuative of Mary. Means bitter. Does not rank in the top 1000. Variation of Mariella does not rank either.

Gabrielle. French, feminine form of Gabriel. #96 in 2009, fell out of the Top 70 this year. Variation of Gabriella still ranks highly (#33)

Danielle. Hebrew, feminine variant of Daniel. #170 in 2009. The ‘Daniella’ version ranks lower at #306.

Brielle. Surging in popularity. Jumped 93 places to #245 in 2009. A contestant for the replacement of Ella no doubt. The variation of Briella does not rank, however.

Michelle. Feminine form of Michael. Favourite during the 70s (when it peaked at #4). It’s now in steep decline, perhaps one could say it is the ‘Ella’ of the 70s. It recently dropped out of the top 100, however, it is tipped for a revival thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama. Currently ranks #104. A reason for it’s decline could be due to parents preferring Michael’s other feminine form – Michaela, or one of it’s many alternate spellings, such as Mikayla.

Isabelle. This spelling ranks at #100. Considered this decades ‘Elizabeth’. Surprisingly, Isabel ranks lower at #110. Both names are on the rise though. Isabella ranks at #1, and did not even ranks in the top 1000 in the 1980s. This means it could fall out of favour in the coming decade, much like Jennifer and Michelle.

Isobelle. German variation. This spelling does not rank. Neither doee Isobel. Isobella does not rank either.

Belle . French for beautiful. Does not rank. Bella ranks at #58 in 2009, jumping up by 64 places. This is thought to have been caused by Twilight.

Sabelle. This is a variation of the popular Isabel. It does not rank. Could also be a variation of Sable. The variation of Sabella does not rank.

Estelle. French version of ‘Stella’. Does not rank. Variants are Estella and Estrella. The latter is the only one to rank – #414. It is popular amongst the hispanic community.

NOTE: -ella names are very much the fashion at the moment, so these names are all poised to rise in the coming few years.

Names that end ‘-ella’ and not covered in the above section:

Stella. Latin meaning ‘Star’. #126 at the moment, may rise even higher. It jumped 58 places in 2009.

Luella. Combination of Louise and Ella. Variant spelling is Louella. Neither Luella nor Louella rank, making them unusual compared to Ella.

Names with the ‘el’ sound:

Belinda. Spanish origin, means ‘serpent. In Babylonian mythology she was the goddess of Heaven and earth. Currently #826. The variant of Melinda has dropped out of favour in recent years and so does not rank.

Kelly. Irish name, means ‘war’. Was a male name in the 60s, now it is very much a female one. It ranks at #260. Nowadays overlooked in favour of other irish names such as ‘Kennedy’. Another irish name, Keeley (most often spelt Kiely in Ireland) means ‘slender’ and does not rank. The similar name Kaylee ranks at #26.

Kelsey. Means ‘island’. Was popular at the same time as Chelsea. Now the name of your average teen. Kelsey ranks at #210. Chelsea ranks at #231. The name Chelsea originates from the borough of London, has begun to fall down the name chart.

Stellina. Variation of Stella. Does not rank.

Esteley. Variation of Estella. Does not rank.

Melanie. Of Greek origin. Means ‘black or dark’. Currently ranks at #93. Was popular due to ‘Gone with the wind’, but has begun to fall down the name charts.

Melina. Of Greek origin meaning ‘quince yellow’. Some see it as a fresh alternative to Melissa. Melina has moved up from #510 to #456 in the past year. Melissa means ‘bee’ and ranks at #137. Another variant, Melita, is greek meaning ‘honey’. But is also the name of a coffee filter. It does not rank.

Helen/ Helena. Helen is greek, and it means ‘bright, shining one’. It ranks at #389. This name has been unfashionable for decades, so is due for a comeback. The alternative of Helena ranks at #575, and was a name favoured by Shakespeare. Another alternative is Ellen, which is falling down as Ella and co. rise. It currently ranks at #700. Eleni is a common name in Greece, that could also be considered.

Mella. This name is a variant of Melanie. The variant of Mela is Hindi and means ‘religious service’.

Pamela. Invented in the 16th Century by poet, Sir Philip Sidney. Ranks at #845. Poised for a revival?

Amelia. Variation of Emily, means ‘energetic’. Currently stands at #55. The french version, Amelie, is at #675.

Names that end ‘-la’

Carla. The version Karla is rising due to the trend towards ‘k’ names (currently #295), this spelling is falling though. It is the feminine variant of Carl, and currently stands at #665. The variant of Charla is does not rank and the variant of Clara is at #199 and means ‘bright’. Other variants are Sharla and Starla. Neither rank.

Nuala. Irish name, pronounced NOO-la, it means ‘white shoulders’, officially a shortened version of Fionnuala. It does not rank.

Kayla. Arabic and Hebrew origins. Means ‘laurel, crown’. Recently fallen out of the top 30 to #35

Delilah. Hebrew and Arabic in origin. Rising quickly and currently stands at #191. Appeared in the Bible story of Samson and Delilah.

Talulla/ Tallulah. Talulla is the Irish version of this name. The names mean ‘lady of abundance’. Starting to become popular, currently does not rank for either listed spelling.

Michaela. Feminine version of Michael, more popular than Michelle. Means ‘who is like God’. Ranks at #370. Variant spellings are popular. Very popular in the 90s.

Beulah. Popular at the beginning of the 20th century, and has yet to make a comeback. Or Hebrew origin and means ‘married’. Does not rank.

Kala. Has origins in both Hindi and Hawaiian. In Hindi it means ‘art form or virtue’, in Hawaiian it is their version of Sarah. It does not rank.

Lila. German word for ‘purple’. Arabic for ‘lilac’. Ranks at #168. Starting to become popular once more. Variants are Lilah (#366), Leila (Persian meaning ‘dark beauty, night’, #238), Layla (Popular alternate spelling of Leila, #45), Lyla (Shot up 72 spots to #152), Lilac (Colour, does not rank), Lola (Spanish diminuative of Dolores,’lady of sorrows’, #221), Lilia (Latin origin, means ‘Lily’, #916), Lolita (Story by Nakobov has kept this name from becoming popular, likely to start ranking soon though.)and Kalila (Arabic, means ‘beloved’, does not rank.)

Wildcards:

Elspeth. Scottish form of Elizabeth.

Elpis . Means “hope” in Greek. In Greek mythology Elpis was the personification of hope. She was the last spirit to remain in the jar after Pandora unleashed the evils that were in it.

Twyla. Variant of Twila. Could become popular when parents search for a name connected to ‘Twilight’. Twila means ‘woman with a double thread’.

Dalella. Variation of Daniella.

Belladonna. Italian name that means ‘beautiful woman’. Also the name of the poisonous plant that appears in Romeo and Juliet.

Belia. Spanish variation of Bella.

Elisheba. Original Hebrew form of Elizabeth. Alternative is Elisheva. Another is Elisha, which is Hebrew and means ‘God is my Salvation’, ranks at #709. Other spelling variants at Alysha (does not rank), Alisha (#765) and Eilisha (does not rank and derives from Eilish, the irish version of Elizabeth).

Elyssa. Variation of Alyssa (Means ‘noble’, ranks at #19), Elysia (Mythical home of the blessed, Does not rank)and Alice (Also means ‘noble’, ranks at #258). There is also the variation of Alicia, which ranks at #207.

Bellona. Derives from Latin and means ‘to fight’.

Laurel. Latin name, meaning ‘Laurel tree’. Alternative of Laura.

Teyla. Created for a Sci-Fi show, alternate spelling of Taylor.

Other similar names:

Lisa. Popular in the late sixties, early seventies, also recorded as used on males. Derived from Elizabeth. Ranks at #686. It was #4 in 1970.

Esther. Persian meaning ‘star’. Ranks at #267, was in the top 50 100 years ago, but is rarely used today. It is tipped for a comeback though.

Louisa. Hardly heard of variant of Louis. Means ‘renowned warrior’. It’s hispanic version is Luisa, which is common in the Hispanic community.

Kiely. Common Irish spelling of Keeley. Regularly used as a surname.

Swansea. Has a similar sound to Chelsea. Name of a Welsh city.

EDIT: Here is what the lovely people of Yahoo! answers had to say: Y!A

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