Posts Tagged With: Blue

Blue

 

EDF have rolled out a new advert lately, which involved a cute little thing dancing along to Electric Dreams. Why yes, I do love the advert, but it also has me thinking about a different side to the name Blue.

You see, Blue has been covered before as a colour name, and then there’s the très chic French version of Bleu which really grates me when people pronounce it the same as Blue. I don’t have many pet peeves, but that is certainly one of them. If you’re wondering, Bleu is pronounced kind of like bleurgh.

The colour Blue has associations with both sorrow and calmness, indeed the music genre of blues is said to have been born from sadness.

But enough of the sadness, what I really want to do is talk about the electronics view of the name since the advert was talking about EDF’s Blue+ Price Promise for low-carbon energy. Fun stuff, but it’s something I want to talk about given that there are also several other names one could consider in the category of ‘techo names’ – such as Siri, Apple and maybe even Mac. The former two are both rather current, given that Siri was Baby Name Wizard’s Name of the Year in 2011, and Apple was used by Gwyneth Paltrow – although she wasn’t born exactly yesterday (turns out young Apple is only a year younger than my littlest sister). On the other hand, we have Mac, who recently made an appearance in Upswing’s Failure to Launch series.

The other key use Blue has in the technological world is bluetooth, a rather lovely open wireless piece of technology used to exchange data over a short distance. I know my mobile phone is bluetooth enabled, but it’s not a feature that I used particularly frequently. In terms of why the name bluetooth? apparently the name of the system was inspired by the name of an epithet of Harald I of Denmark.

That I can understand, but since I’m no elite mathematician, I’ll just simply state that Blue is also used as the name of an algorithm for active queue management. There’s also a brand called Blue Microphones who manufacture microphones – stating the bleeting obvious there, I know. Finally, I’ve also found that one of the most popular aviation fuel, 100LL, is dyed blue.

So, Blue. My youngest sister still isn’t convinced by the name, still insisting that since blue is a boys colour then the name Blue is a boys names. It’s quite sweet logic, admittedly. What I think about Blue is that it could certainly pick up after Beyonce used the name for daughter Blue Ivy born in January 2012, but why choose Blue when you could choose Lou ? 😉

Actually, don’t answer that. I remain intrigued, however, but the concept of techie names. It’s still mostly a niche, especially given that Siri was a Scandinavian girls names long before the piece of technology came along, but could an app inspire a name boom? Thought for the day?

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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

Loulou…

from rouskadetiolles.fr

Remember how I mentioned the names of John Torode’s kids a few weeks ago in our weekly Sibset post? Well, at the time I claimed his youngest child was called Lulu – and it seems that I was half right. You see, I read an article by the man himself quite by chance a few days ago and he spelled her name Loulou. Loulou! Like Lou, but twice the fun – I’m almost jealous.

This got me thinking, as most things in my life do, about other names which have the quirky characteristic of containing mine. One of my favourite films growing up was The Jungle Book which featured a character called Baloo. Staying with films we have Leeloo from Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element – whose name went on to dominate the French popularity charts in a different guise: Lilou.

Those two examples only scratch the surface. Delving deeper we get to Blue – now famed after Beyonce and Jay-Z gave it to their daughter born in January, whilst Geri Halliwell has a daughter named Bluebell.

Moving over to names starting with Lou, let’s start with royalty. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recently became owners of a dog named Lupo – whilst actress Hilary Duff welcomed a son named Luca only the other day.

Lupo is an interesting choice and it’s Italian for wolf. A few years ago VW manufactured a car called Lupo, with the last one rolling off the production line in 2005. Interestingly, it was replaced by a car named Fox.

As for Luca, the first critical point to make is that you can legitimately give this name to either your daughter or son – it’s not just a male-only name. Yes, Luca is the Italian and Portuguese version of Luke, but at the same time the name is also the Croatian and Hungarian version of Lucia.

Speaking of Lucia, there’s a new kid on the block with her posse of names and that is the one which started it all off – Lux. From this Latin word for light we get many names, and many offshoots of such names (my favourite, aside from Lucy, is the Welsh Lleulu). Some parents are now opting to return to using simply Lux – and I’ve seen it used on both boys and girls. A comedian by the name of Eddie Perfect recently welcomed a daughter named Lottie Lux, sister for Kitty. Back in June 2011, footballer Andrew Embley welcomed a son named Lux Edward, brother for Autumn Claire.

Both Luke and Lucas are in the Top 100 in England&Wales, but neither Lucian nor Lucius are. It’s worth noting though that the first two names mean man from Lucania, whereas the latter two mean light; aside from them, we also have Lumina which means light.

The opposite of the light is dark, and that’s my strenuous link to Luna – a name which means moon. Sometimes the French will spell this name as Louna, which is a respelling I find myself fond of.

Going back to Eastern Europe, we have Lubomír from the Czech Republic which has the wonderful meaning of peace and light. A name Lubomír always reminds me of the French Ludovic – often shortened to Ludo as Ben Fogle does with his young Ludo – which means famed warrior. From Germany we get Leuthar, or Luther, which means people’s army and this is a name which has passed into English-speaking usage. I’m sure I’m also seen a similar name along the lines of Luthos before.

Now, we’ve mentioned plenty of names beginning with Lou, but there are a few more names which contained a lou sound.

The first I want to mention is Tallulah, a rather fun in sound name and certainly less controversial than the similar name Delilah. Whilst the meaning is uncertain, there are some waterfalls in Georgia named Tallulah. There’s a similar looking Irish name – Talulla – which means princess.

Then we have Mélusine, a name from European folklore. The tale goes that Melusine was a water fairy who transformed into a serpent from the waist below every Saturday.

A male name that merits a mention is Pluto which was until recently the name of a planet; he means wealth. Then we have another popular French name to finish off the list: Elouan. He comes as the name of an obscure saint, recorded in Cornwall as being Elven or Elvan. In Cornish, elven means spark.

All that said, I still believe that the name Lou rocks more than any of these names, personal preference and all.

Categories: Name Themes/Styles | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 Broads & The Fruchtmanns

Annie Lennox with her two daughters

It’s time for another double dose of sibsets, inspired once again by my father’s record collection. Since I rather upset Abby last time I made mention of said collection, let’s start with a disclaimer. My father is a self-professed big kid. He’s a bigger fan of Lady Gaga than I, and despite having at least two, if not three, daughters in the target demographic of One Direction, it was him who went out and bought their début single and it was a competition between him and I as to who could purchase Ed Sheeran’s album the quickest. He’s currently singing Year 3000 in the kitchen, I kid ye not.

Now that we’ve said that, let’s kick off this bumper post with the Broads. You may be racking your brains wondering who on Earth I’m talking about. Personally, if I saw this post I’d be wondering whether Stuart Broad really is old enough to have kids, or even whether he’s lived a previous life as a musician before turning to cricket. But we’re not talking about one of my Nottingham brethren, we’re talking about Billy Idol, of course, who was born William Broad and born in Middlesex. As a child, and indeed to this day, I get him mixed up with Billy Joel. Personally, Strictly Come Dancing is the root of my love of his music, after the professionals performed a jive to his single Rebel Yell a few years ago.

If you don’t like alliterative names, avert your gaze now, because that’s the route he’s taken when it came to naming his two children:

Willem Wolf 

Bonnie Blue

Personally, I’ve nothing against alliterative names unless the push the realms of sensibility. Does Bonnie Blue do this? I guess she does to a certain extent, depending on your personal taste, and for me she certainly plays with my line of sensability. I do love how Willem Wolf sounds, though.

Our other musician may not be immediately obvious from the surname I’ve used above, since she goes by her maiden name professionally, and the surname Fruchtmann is that of the Israeli-born father, Uri.

Annie Lennox comes from lovely Scotland, and achieved major success as part of the Eurythmics. She’s also found success as a solo artist, when not engaging in political or social activism. She’s been married twice, but it was during her second marriage to the aformentioned Israeli producer that she became a mother three times between 88′ and 93′:

Daniel (stillborn)

Lola

Tali

Controversial name Lola rearing her head again, whilst Tali is a Hebrew name meaning dew. Both perfectly lovely names, as indeed is Daniel. When it comes to couples who come from two different cultures, finding names which work in both is always a major factor and for many it does become the topic of debate. I’m mentioned my friend Alice time and time again, whose name has suffered at the hands of the French and Germans during her visits to their country and likewise the England&Wales favourite Harry doesn’t fare well with an American accent.

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Straining Bookshelfs

The Thief Lord cover, from amazon.com

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

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

Benjamin Zephaniah (Teacher DeadJackson)

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

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

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

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

Blue Balliett (Chasing VermeerPetra and Calder)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Becker (DarksideCarnegie, Vendetta and Marianne)

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

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

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Sibset of the Week: The Richies

The Moon’s reunited with their son, from thesun.co.uk

I don’t watch any soaps, and never have, but even I couldn’t escape the outrage earlier on this year about the controversial plot surrounding Ronnie of Eastenders, who lost her newborn son to cot death. She responded by swapping her dead baby with that of the Moon’s new son and thus the baby-swapping storyline hit headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Shane Richie plays Alfie Moon in Eastenders, and is often cited as being one of the reasons his name, Alfie, has risen suddenly to the top of the boys chart. Alfie Moon was born Alfred William and first appeared on Eastenders in 2002. He left in 2005, and then returned again in 2010. His son, Tommy, was born on the same day as Ronnie’s son James.

But back to Shane Richie, who married Christie Anne Goddard in 2007. Together they have one son, followed by two daughters:

Mackenzie Blue

Lolita Bell

Romani-Skye Angel Shelley

When I first saw the names, I mistakenly believed him to have three daughters, but alas, Mackenzie is a lad and was born in 2006, a year after J.K.Rowling welcomed her daughter, Mackenzie.

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