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.