Posts Tagged With: Edith

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

Downton Abbey of Names Pt. I

Snapshot of the charming Dame Maggie Smith in character, from madblackcat.com

I would be a sham of a Brit if I didn’t admit to visiting a few castles/abbeys in my time. I’ve dedicated a whole post to Chatsworth House, and have been thinking about other castles to mention in the near future. But today, it seems time to cover a famed British estate, which may not exactly be real – but it has certainly captured our attentions, and the attentions of those abroad.

Downton Abbey is a period drama, which airs on ITV here in the UK and it set up north in Yorkshire. At the time of the series, George V was the King – and future grandfather of our current monarch – Elizabeth II.

The series was created by Julian Fellowes, so it seems apt to begin our look into names there. In 2010, the name Julian ranked at #311 in England&Wales, whilst Jules is experiencing something of a boom over in France. The name Julian is the English form of the Latin name Julianus, which means belonging to Julius. The name Julius derives from Jupiter, although it is often claimed that he derives from Greek and means downy-bearded.

As an aside, in 2009, Elizabeth Adeney gave birth at the age of 66 to a son she named Jolyon – a medieval variant of Julian – making her then the eldest mother in the UK.

Julian Fellowes is married to Emma Joy, and together they have one son named Peregrine. Emma was born in 1963, and her name means whole, universal, whilst Peregrine means stranger, traveller.

Moving away from real-life, and into the fictional world of Downton Abbey, let’s start with the Crawley family as the focus for Part I. At the top of the pile is The Right Honourable Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham. The name Robert is a classic staple, currently ranking at #90 in England&Wales. He means bright-fame, whilst charming Rupert is a German form of him and ranks at #360.

This character is played by Hugh Bonneville. The name Hugo has been enjoying increased attention of late, not least in thanks to the BAFTA-nomintated 2010 film of the same name. Hugo is the Latin form of the name Hugh, which himself is the English form of the Germanic name Hugi, a name that means heart. It was brought to Britain with the Normans.

Of all three names, Hugi does not rank in England&Wales, but both Hugh and Hugo do. Despite the star-power of comedian-come-actor Hugh Laurie, the name Hugo outranks Hugh at #149 to #364. It’s worth noting at this point that Hugh Laurie isn’t actually a Hugh – his real name is James Hugh Calum Laurie.

Going further with the actor’s family, Hugh Bonneville is married to a lady named Lulu Evans, and together they have a son called Felix. The name Lulu is a common short form for plenty of names, such as Louise; Lucy; Louisa; Lucia, and indeed plenty moreLulu ranked at #840 in 2010, England&Wales. Felix, on the other hand, derives from Latin and means lucky, successful. Felix is another slightly-outside Top 100 lurker at #122.

The wife of the Earl of Grantham is The Right Honourable Cora Crawley. The name Cora is likely to have been derived from the Greek Kore, which means maiden, however there may have been influence from similar names such as Coralie. Cora ranks at #438, whilst Coralie ranks at #2589, with only 8 of them born in 2010.

This character is played by Elizabeth McGovern, whose name means God is my oath. She has two children, called Matilda and Gracie. The name Matilda means strength of battle, whilst Gracie is a diminutive of the name Grace. The name Matilda ranks at #53, whilst Gracie is slightly higher at #51. Elizabeth, meanwhile, is at #49 – so all three names are separated by just 2 other names – Leah at #50 and Amber at #52.

The children of the Earl and Countess of Grantham are called Mary Josephine, Edith and Sybil. As an aside, my sister recently declared dibs on the name Edith, along with a handful of other names. But that’s for another time, another post.

Mary has enjoyed ferocious popularity for centuries, mostly thanks to her prominent role in the Bible. Despite this, it’s never been certain what exactly the name Mary means, but what we do know is that she currently ranks at #213. Her origins could be:

  • Egyptian, meaning to love/desire
  • Hebrew, meaning rebellious/disobediant, or even sea and star.
The name Josephine is the feminine form of the name Joseph, which derives from Hebrew and means he will add. The eldest sister is played by Michelle Dockery, whose name is a feminine form of Michael and means who is like God? In 2010, Josephine ranked at #303, whilst Michelle leads her #251.
The name Edith derives from Old English, and it’s elements means rich and war. She is played by Laura Carmichael, and Laura means laurel. Edith is surprisingly high at #259, whilst Laura is at a respectable #125.

The youngest sister’s name, Sybil, derives form the Latin name Sibylla and means sibyl – which is a title given to a female whom utters prophecies. She is played by Jessica Brown-Findlay. The name Jessica made her début in William Shakespeare’s play Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare likely based the name on the minor Biblical character Iscah – who was known as Jesca/Jescha in his time. Either way, the name derives from Hebrew and means he beholds. The name Sybil was only given to 4 girls in 2010, whilst Jessica was given to a pretty impressive tally of 4102 – rewarding her with a ranking of #6.

Our next character to mention is The Right Honourable Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess, who is played by the rather wonderful Dame Maggie Smith – born Margaret Natalie Smith. She was married to Robert Stephens before divorce and married to Beverley Cross until his death. She has two sons: Toby and Christopher.

Let’s start with Violet, which derives from the plant. The name is currently lurking just outside the Top 100 at #123. Out of Maggie and her long form of Margaret, it is Maggie who ranks higher – at #276 to Margaret’s #505. The name Margaret means pearl.

The name of her second husband highlights the once masculine edge Beverley possessed – a name which means beaver stream. As for the names of her two sons: Christopher derives from Late Greek and means bearing Christ; Toby is a short form of Tobias, the Greek form of Tobiah, which means Yahweh is good. Christopher dropped out of the Top 100 in 2010 to #104, whilst Toby has recently entered the Top 100 at #54.

The name Beverley no longer ranks for males, whilst 6 female Beverleys were born in 2010.

The last two Crawleys are called Matthew and Isobel. The name Matthew means gift of Yahweh, and is a Top 100 favourite at #41. Then we have Isobel, which is the Scottish form of Isabel. The name Isabel herself is a medieval variant of the already mentioned Elizabeth. There are currently a few versions of Isobel in the England&Wales Top 100:

  • Isabella at #12
  • Isabelle at #17
  • Isabel at #58
  • Isobel at #75

Matthew Crawley is played by actor Daniel Jonathan Stevens. Daniel derives from Hebrew and means God is my judge, whilst Jonathan is also from Hebrew and means Yahweh has given. Daniel lurks just outside the Top 10 at #11, whilst Jonathan is a little lower down at #141.

Last, but by no means least, we have Isobel Crawley who is played by Penelope Alice Wilton, and both names are rather in vogue in Britain at the moment. Alice is currently at #43, whilst Penelope is at #272; her common short form of Penny is at #396.

Categories: Names from the Box | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Name Spot of the Week: BBC Pundits

The Royal Wedding coverage was interesting for many reasons, but more so when watching the BBC coverage, as they seemed to have chosen pundits based on their names:

Huw Edwards: Main Anchor

Fiona Phillips: Main Pundit

Fearne Cotton: Outside Buck Palace

Sophie Raworth: Inside Westminster

Jake Humphrey: On Board the legendary Lancaster

Paula Reed&Phillipa Lepley: Dress Discussing

Edith Bowman: St. Andrews

Alex Jones: Buckleberry

Anita Rani: Parliament Square

Chris Hollins: The Mall

I have several observations on these names:

  • Huw is welsh, and thus, bears the welsh version of Hugh.
  • Edith is in her mid-30s. Sophie is mid-40s.
  • Alex Jones was born Charlotte Alexandra, but bears a professional name which is gender neutral
  • Fearne’s spelling of her name has always intrigued me, but it suits her, since she is outspokening vegetarian and all things world-friendly.

Then we have the park incident. No, I’ve stopped talking about the Royal Wedding, the local park near me was the location of another ‘name spot’ last week. A lady shouted ‘ Ashbeck’, and there I was, comtemplating the name when I saw a young boy and a young girl running towards her, clearly, she meant to shout ‘Ash, Beck’, but the two got smooshed together in the shout. I have two other observations about this:

  • I late discovered the boy to be named Ashley, due to his father calling him so.
  • Yesterday, whilst shopping, I happened upon a bottle of water branded Ashbeck.

And onto name spot #3: Yesterday on the train, I do get about, I happened upon a gossip magazine, and inside it talked about a Z-Lister (Gary Lucy) who’d just welcomed a son, Elvis, to join big sister India.

Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Coming Soon, to an all-girl preschool near you

Think about it. Twenty years ago, commonplace names we know now such as Alfie and Jasmine were much less popular. Here are just a few names I can imagine becoming much more popular in the coming twenty years:

Old Lady Chic

Edith

Dorothy

Olive

Maude

Weird, but wonderful

Shoshana.

Araminta. Popular amongst the London Telegraph namers, she’s sure to trickle down to use by us mere mortals.

Belphoebe. She has a lovely sound, and you can use the popular Belle nickname.

The Thorns of Rose

Rosemary

Rosalie

Rosamund

The Goddesses

Artemis. Eoin Colfer claimed this name as the name of his male character, so this name could easily be the next Ashley/ Madison.

Cynthia. From Greek Mythology.

Diana. From Greek Mythology. The late Princess of Wales

Hera. From Greek Mythology.

Nuala. From Irish Mythology, pronounced NOO-la,

The New Emily/Emma

Emmeline

Emmanuelle

Emer. The name of an Irish Goddess, who possessed the six virtues of womanhood.

Emery. Emory

Emerson

Others to look out for:

Adele

Lila

Leonie

Categories: Girl Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.