Posts Tagged With: Enzo

Scrabble Names

The names of the eldest 4 kids of the Dutch couple

It may have been a few weeks since news broke about the Dutch couple with five kids, who all have four-letter names using the same four letters (Alex, Lexa, Axel, Xela & Xael), but it continues to remain at the forefront of my mind.

That said, it can get a little forced with an increased number of children. Below is just a selection of attempts at the conundrum by myself and those over at Formspring, with some combinations seeming to work better than others:

  • Aidan: Nadia, Diana, Adian, Andia
  • Alice: Celia, Lacie
  • Amy: Mya, May
  • Dolly: Lloyd, Dyoll, Doyll
  • Eden: Dene, Ened, Nede, Need, Ende, Edne
  • Enzo: Zeno, Nezo, Ezon, Onez
  • Inez: Nezi, Enzi
  • Jonah: Onjah, Johan, Johna
  • Leah: Hale, Aleh, Elah, Hael
  • Leia: Alie, Ilea
  • Lena: Nela, Lane
  • Leon: Elon, Noel, Nelo
  • Leona: Elona, Enola, Laneo, Noela, Neola
  • Lia: Ali, Lai, Ila
  • Lucas: Claus, Lacus, Calus, Culas
  • Lyra: Aryl, Lary, Raly, Alry, Ryla
  • Mabel: Belma, Ambel, Embla, Melba
  • Milo: Lomi, Moil, Ilmo, Moli, Imli
  • Myra: Mary, Ramy, Amry
  • Ria: Ira, Rai, Ari, Air
  • Vera: Reva, Raev
  • Zane: Neza, Ezna, Anez, Azne

Anyone have any further contributions?

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Sibset of the Week: The Zidanes

Zinedine Zidane in action, from qoo6.com

Last week we covered the names of a English footballing family, not it’s time to look at a French one from which I’ve mentioned the eldest child’s names a few times. Zinedine Zidane is considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, and was part of France’s 1998 World Cup winning side. He retired from football following the 2006 World Cup effort, when he was sent off during the final against Italy for headbutting an Italian player.

With his wife, Véronique, he has four sons born between 1995 and 2005:

Enzo

Luca

Theo

Elyaz

I think out of all four names, Elyaz is the only one which hasn’t really made much of an impact in terms of popularity. The three elder lads all play in youth teams for Real Madrid, so could in theory become bigger player on the international circuit in the future.

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Lies Non-Name Nerds Tell Me

Lie To Me promo poster, from blogger.com

I find the opinions of people who don’t particularly vest much time researching names fascinating. They always range from one extreme staggering accuracy to the other of misguided inaccuracy. Wandering around from place to place in the world, I very rarely get the opportunity to announce the fact that I author a name blog prior to any name discussion – which has lead to me witnessing some rather bold claims in the past. Here are the five which stood out for me over this past year, feel free to add your own in the comments:

1.  Soffie/Sofie is more popular than Sophie

Location: Wales

Let’s start with the most bizarre statement. It was whilst on a train platform in Wales that I was somehow drawn into a conversation with a lovely Welsh bloke who claimed to me that Sophie spelt with a double f (Soffie) was a more popular name in Wales than Sophie. Perhaps lovely Kay could shed further light on this, because this happened a few months ago, yet I remain perplexed. Consider the statistics: for the separate Top 100 list for Wales the name Sophie ranks at #9 – with Sofie ranking at #910 for the combined England&Wales data.

2. Nature names only work on females

Location: Gt. Yarmouth

A topic quite often alluded to, but my tuppence? The first time I came across the name Briar was on a male, albeit in a book. It is worth acknowledging that this person has reason and it could simply boil down to personal taste. It is, however, worth noting that Rowan is infinitely more popular for boys (#142) than girls (#709) in England&Wales. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rowan Atkinson had a slight role to play in this state of affairs.

I will admit, however, that nature names have caught on more for females than males. Lily is a top 10 name for girls, whilst Rose, Ruby, Amber, Summer and Jasmine are all inside the top 100.

3. The Beckham kids all have weird names no one else uses

Location: CrossCountry Train Service

Said by a friend of a friend, and again, it’s another matter of opinion, but the thing to remember? Out of their four children, only Harper’s name remains outside of the Top 1000 (and only if you’re looking at the female stats – Harper is inside the male Top 1000) in England&Wales. They may have been one of the first to use Brooklyn et al, but you’re no more likely to meet a Romeo in the park than a Laurence; a Cruz than a Brendan or Wyatt; a Brooklyn than a Lloyd. I’m also pretty sure you wouldn’t bat an eyelid to the names Joseph, James and David – which are their son’s middle names.

The bottom line is, all names rising in popularity names may have seemed a little ‘weird’ in their early days of rising, but do they really warrant that title once they’ve broken, say, the Top 250 like Brooklyn has for boys? I would say not. And clearly, people are using the names the Beckhams have used.

4. Some who names their child [insert top 10 name here] hasn’t put much thought/effort into their decision

Location: London Underground

My take? If you knowingly use a Top 10 name, kudos to you. My Auntie rather thoughtfully said the other day that we all strive so hard for status as individuals that we forget the value of a group. My surname is Sycamore, so of course I managed to end up in the same class as a Lucy Moore. Two-syllables difference, and it never particularly bothered me because that Lucy was, and likely still is, an absolutely lovely lass.

There likely are  people who chose the name Lily/James at random when they saw their child for the first time, and that’s perfectly fine. S/he’s their child, thus they have every right to do this. Equally, I see plenty of parents on nameboards agonising over whether they’d be doing their child a disservice by giving them a popular name. These people are clearly thinking about it, and thus immediate disprove the above statement. As a matter of fact, I think some names are simply popular because they are fantastic names. I really like both James and Emily, despite their status as a Top 10 name here in England&Wales.

5. Enzo is popular in France because of Ferrari

Location: Tours

This came from an Englishman who’d migrated to France after retiring. I met him in a French café, which is where he ‘let me in on this little secret’. I’ll admit whilst possibly a turning factor, it’s more likely to be due to former French international football star Zinedine Zidane who helped boost this name in France when he gave it to his son way back in 1995. He was named after a Uruguayan football player: Enzo Francescoli.

The only French person my age who is also into F1 in a big way is a huge Ferrari fan, though. She went nuts when we took her to the Ferrari shop in London. That said, there are no French teams, nor drivers currently [2011 season] competing, so she has free choice on who to support. For the 2012 season, there have already been at least three French drivers confirmed to have a race seat, so it would be interesting to see if she changes allegiances or not.

Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Not too French

Christophe Maé, from christophe-mae.fr

We kicked the week off looking at a very modern sounding French sibset, so it seems fitting to return to the topic of French names to end the week. Not French words, just French names. Specifically French names that are not too French, like Thibault is. I love the name Thibault, but chances are that you haven’t a clue how to say him, and neither will the majority of the English-speaking population. He’s likely too French for those who don’t have a grasp of the language. If you’re still musing about how to say Thibault, it’s tee-bo.

At the other end of the spectrum is the second most popular girls name in England&Wales: Sophie – the French form of Sophia. And I recently met a Manon/Matisse sibset at a very British cricket club. Other French forms of popular English names include:

Alexandre

Ambre

Bastien (short form of Sébastien)

Christophe

Émilie

Guillaume

Mathieu

Mathilde

But it’s the middle ground of popularity we’re looking at. Something distinctly French. Like Clement. Meilleur Prénoms put him at #19 in 2009 for France. You may have heard Clementine mentioned more and more often, but it’s the masculine name which has really taken off in France of late. On the same list, Clemence ranked at #34 for girls.

Another male name example is Jules. The only Jules I know who aren’t Julians are French. French singer Christophe Maé and his partner Nadège welcomed a son named Jules in 2008. We seem to spell it differently here in Britain as British chef Jamie Oliver is married to a Juliette ‘Jools’ and we also have the widely popular Jools Holland here in Britain, who was born Julian Miles. Jools Miles sounds quintessentially jazz, doesn’t it?

The name Enzo is hugely popular in France, too. I’ve seen people call him the male equivalent of called your child Porsche. The name reportedly became popular in France following Zinedine Zidane using it for his son. Yes, the Zinedine Zidane who famously headbutted an Italian player in the 2006 World Cup final. Enzo is a somewhat controversial name in France, given that it’s Italian, not French. Moreover, the Italian short form of Vincenzo and Lorenzo. Enzo is a zippy little name, especially good if you think Ezra is going to the girls – a name Abby recently featured as a re-run.

Another zippy short name popular in Frenchy-land is Axel. To English ears, this may sound like a somewhat rugged name – and that may add to his charm for you. My other favourite French male name beginning with an A is Aurelian, and we can’t forget to mention Rémi. Yes, he has an accent but I’ve seen plenty parents forgoe this. Infact whilst on the subject of accents, I have a friend named Chloé because her Dad became mixed up when he went to register her – she should be a Chloë.

One of the more popular female names in France right now is Clara – currently at #201 in England&Wales, and not strictly a French name per se. A very French invention cooking up a storm in France is Lilou. Yes, I love Lilou, she’s like a Lily/Lucy smoosh that just seems to work. In a similar vein, the French also love Luna, or their slight variant spelling of Louna. They also recognise the rocking-awesomenous of Lou.

Romain and Romane are popular for boys and girls, respectively; Same goes for Leo and Leonie; Valentin and Valentine. Whilst we may consider Agatha still slightly aged for our babes, the French are embracing their version: Agathe. Another A name they love is Amandine: their version of the once popular name Amanda. There’s also Amine for the lads which has origins in Arabic, and means truthful. For me, I think of the organic compounds known as Amines, but that’s by-the-by. The French and Dutch variation of Anna is also popular: Anouk.

Finally, there’s the Mae– group of names to consider: Maëlys;Maëlle;Maeva;Maeline; Maelie. They all sound distinctly French, but the pronunciation may not come naturally to you. For Maëlys, it’s mah-el-EES; for Maëlle, it’s mah-el.

Categories: French Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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