Posts Tagged With: Bryony




Here’s the thing, I had a hard time choosing the final name to cover this week. There were plenty of fantastic names, but none that really felt like ‘the one’. In the end, I’ve gone with what could be considered a compromise choice, but one with plenty of fascinating things to say about her.

The first four names we’ve covered this week are ones you’d probably be somewhat surprised to meet someone with such a name, but Bryony is a name that enjoyed a reasonable amount of popularity in the 90s in England&Wales – enough that you wouldn’t bat an eyelid at meeting one.

But maybe you might be unlikely to meet a younger Bryony as in 2013 the name ranked at a lowly #1075 (with Briony faring not much better at #1707). The name Briony peaked at #334 in 2000, whilst Bryony peaked at #129 in 1996. Technically, this doesn’t make the name all that ‘offbeat’, however, whilst the name enjoyed Top 200 popularity in her Bryony form in the 90s – she still remains pretty unused elsewhere.

Now, a note on the spelling – as both are valid. Bryony is the usual spelling for the plant, with Briony a common enough variant. Another spelling, Bryonie, last ranked in 2011, and peaked at #1107 in 1999.

The Bryony plant – usually called Bryonia – is a type of vine native to Europe, which may explain her absence of use elsewhere in the English-speaking world. The name for the plant ultimately comes from the Greek bryo, meaning to swell. Growing up, I remember seeing Bryony in hedgerows whilst driving through the countryside.

Bryony’s heyday was certainly the 80s/90s, although she’s been in the British naming lexicon since at least the Victorian times. One of the most notable uses of the name is for the lead character in Atonement by Ian McEwan – a girl born in the early 1920s Britain. What’s notable is the the book was released in 2001, right near the end of Bryony’s heyday – although Mr McEwan used the less popular spelling of Briony for his character. Then there’s Bryony Shaw, born in the early 80s, who won a bronze at the 2008 Olympics in windsurfing.

These days, you could consider fellow nature name Brooke to have filled the gap left by Bryony, as she was climbing whilst Bryony was falling. Brooke currently ranks at #67, falling from her peak of #39 in 2009.

In the end, what you have with Bryony is a lovely floral name, sadly past her heyday, but since she never cracked the Top 100,she never fell foul of being ‘overused’.

Categories: The Offbeat Alphabet Series | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Name Spot of the Week: Sailing Across the Sea

The Team GB Sailing Team for 2012, from

The Team GB Sailing Team for 2012, from

A few days ago the Team GB sailing team was announced for the 2012 London Olympics. I’ll admit that I’m a rower, not a sailor – I was one of the many Brits who had never heard of the Yngling class of sailing until we won a gold medal in it at Beijing. For the 2010 Olympics, it’s being replaced by the Elliott 6m. Other names of sailing classes?

We have the Finn class which has been dominated by Ben Ainslie in the past few years. By coincidence, he’s been covered in much detail over at My Advice this week. A quick selection of the names of other classes in the world of sailing gives us: Tempest, Soling, Dragon, Firefly, Corsair and Buzz. If any sailors read this post, and are offended that I’ve missed out their class, I’ll repeat that I’m no expert in sailing, so feel free to add your own list in the comments section and put me to shame.

Sticking firmly to the sailing theme, the names of the sailers which have been selected are quite interesting – the stand out one for me being Saskia Clark. The other selected few were, in alphabetical order:

Andrew Simpson

Annie Lush

Ben Ainslie

Bryony Shaw

Hannah Mills

Iain Percy

Kate MacGregor

Lucy MacGregor

Nick Dempsey

I’ve been hoarding Metro newspapers for the past fortnight of so, not just because I’ve yet to have time to the sudokus, but because I keep forgetting I’m holding them until it’s too late and I’m off the bus. Something I’ve been wanting to mention for awhile, though, is the name of one of the characters on it’s cartoon page: Nemi.

I have been reading the articles in the Metro though, and there was a new story in the Metro this week about a family who built their own ‘hobbit house’ in four months for a couple of grand. The creative parents behind the project, Simon and Jasmine Dale, have two young children: Cosmo and Elsie.

I casually mentioned Warby Parker as an inspiration behind a Names of the Week post from the start of the month, and this week Kristen over at Marginamia went one step further, bringing you the names of the entire collection.

Dancing with the Stars kicked off in the States this week, whilst we’re still waiting for Strictly Come Dancing to begin here in the UK. Not that I watch it, since dancing is for girls 😉 Either way, a quick rundown of some of the notable names of professionals who’ve taken part in the series at some stage or another:

Aliona Vilani

Anton du Beke

Artem Chigvintsev

Erin Boag

Flavia Cacace

Izabela Hannah

Jared Murillo

Katya Virshilas

Lilia Kopylova

Ola Jordan

Pasha Kovalev

Ice Hockey is more of my thing, even though I don’t own a season ticket as my Uncle does. I tagged along with him to the Panthers game last night, so now seems an apt time to mention that we have a player named Guillaume. I love the name Guillaume, sometimes more than William, sometimes less (Guillaume is the French form of William). For the confused, it’s gee-OM.

Let’s end on a cheery note by mentioning Nook’s list of names meaning wealth, good fortune, success of happiness – inspired by a look into the rune name Feoh. Tomiko? Aston? Love.

Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Alternative Botanical Choices to Lily, Violet and Rose

We all love Lily, Violet et al, and so to honour my rediscovered love of Rose, we’re going to delve into the depths of the world of all things botanical. Not a Lily nor Rose will be present on this list, because that would just be obvious.

A- Adair, Amaryllis, Aster

B- Briar, Bryony

C- Calendula, Camellia, Cassia, Clover, Cosmos

D- Dara (A male name in Ireland, Dara Ó Briain is an example), Dahlia

F-, Fern/Ferne/Fearne, Flora

H- Hadassah, Hana

I- Ianthe, Iris

J- Jonquil, Juniper

K- Kiri

L- Laurel, Leilani, Linnea

M- Magnolia, Mimosa

N- Neriette

P- Peony, Pomeline

R- Rowan, Rush

S- Senna, Shoshannah, Sorrel

T- Tamarind, Tamaris, Tansy

V- Verbena, Veronica

Z- Zizanie

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

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