Posts Tagged With: Erika

John Smith

He’s the nom de plume of Doctor Who, and he’s also the man opening the London Olympics tonight:

Well, maybe not ūüėČ

As it so happens, the guy whose hands wave around at the beginning, and voice exclaims John Smith nearer the end is Osama from yesterday. This video was¬†filmed by me at the technical rehearsal on Wednesday, and look out for the exploding balloons in the bottom right hand corner. I’m still impressed with my luck of getting a practically front row ticket too ūüôā

The name John Smith is in theory one of the most popular names out there, given that Smith is one of the most popular surnames in the English speaking world and the name John having centuries of popularity under his belt.

Perhaps in these more modern days, here in the UK he would actually be Jack Smith instead – especially for the under 20s given that Jack reigned as the most popular name in England&Wales from 1996-2008.

The name is often used as a generic name to represent the everyday man, given the commonplace of both names.

An interesting exchange in Doctor Who sums the attitude to this name up nicely for me, when the Doctor gives his name as John Smith to a character, who retorts along the lines that nobody’s called that anymore.

One could see this as hinting towards a drive many parents have these days for a more unique name.

It’s also worth talking about the¬†phenomena¬†of the slightly different Alan Smithee. This was the official name used in films by directors who had disowned the film, and thus didn’t want their name in the credits. It was coined in 1968 and discontinued in 2000.

The downfall of the name has often been attributed to a film released in 1997 called An Alan Smithee: Burn Hollywood Burn. It is regarded as one of the worst films of all time, and thus brought harsh negative publicity towards the name Alan Smithee.

Other names like this include the name Joe Bloggs/Fred Bloggs, often used the the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and John Doe, the USA and Canadian equivalent. In both cases, the surnames are more distinctive, whilst the first names remain popular picks.

Other cultural versions of these names include:

  • Israel Israeli, israel
  • Jan Kowalski,¬†poland
  • Jean Dupont, france
  • Jonas&Petras, lithuania
  • Luther Blissett, artists and activists in Europe and America
  • Matti & Maija Meik√§l√§inen, finland
  • Max & Erika Mustermann, germany
  • Medel-Svensson,¬†sweden
  • Ola & Kari Nordmann, norway
  • Se√°n √ď Ruda√≠¬†(Sean O’Something), ireland
  • Tadhg an mhargaidh (Tadhg of the markplace), irish version of Average Joe
  • Tauno Tavallinen,¬†finland
  • Tommy Atkins, the British army (dates from the World Wars)

I don’t suppose anyone actually knows a John Smith?

Categories: Olympics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Disney

Princess Merida, from inquisitr.com

Ariel and Jasmine are the classic examples of names which can both attribute some of their popularity to a Disney film. Logically speaking, therefore, upcoming Disney films could feature future starlets of the name world.

And the most recent release of Tangled has shown just that Рthe male lead character was called Flynn. Well, nicknamed Flynn for Eugene. At the same time, the Disney Channel Original Series Good Luck Charlie is about to welcome child no.5. The names of the currently four of them are:

  • ‘PJ’
  • ‘Teddie’
  • Gabriel ‘Gabe’
  • Charlotte ‘Charlie’

Teddie is female, and I’m fairly certain it’s short for something; I haven’t the foggiest what, though. As for the name of no.5, if I’m honest, none of the names on the poll really stood out for me when I went to cast my vote, but here are the ones in contention:

  • Sydney
  • Erika
  • Mallory
  • Talia
  • Jenny
  • Noah
  • Jonah
  • Bobby Jr.
  • Bo

Wreck-it Ralph is due to be released in November 2012, featuring the eponymous character and there’s a fellow character called Fix-It Felix. Ralph and Felix? Both names I’m hearing more and more often, so Disney could be bang on here. For England&Wales in 2010, the names ranked at:

  • Ralph – #258 (2009 ranking: #294)
  • Felix – #122 (2009 ranking: #122)

Ralph comes from Old Norse roots, and means wolf counsel, whilst Felix is well-known for meaning lucky in Latin.

Moving closer to now we get to The Secret World of Arrietty is yet another take on the classic tale of The Borrowers. It was actually released in Japan in 2010, but is due to be released by Disney in the US at the start of 2012. Other members of the Clock family include Pod, Homily and Peagreen. According to the Disney page, it’s AIR-ee-ett-ee, and one could presume that neatly side-steps the issue Harriet and Harry seem to suffer in the States – that being people pronouncing it as they do hairy. One set of parents from 16 and Pregnant have recently welcomed child no. 2, a daughter: Arri.

As much as I loved The Borrowers when I was a kid, the film I’m really looking forward to? Brave. The lead character is to be a redhead, so it can only do wonders for my kind. I did initially believe that the lead female was called Brave, but alas, she’s actually called Merida. Sounds rather mythical, but the film really gets down to choosing whimsical Scottish-esque names when it comes to most of the other already-announced characters:

  • Fergus
  • Elinor
  • Angus
  • Harris
  • Hubert
  • Hamish

I tip my hat to ye Disney. All perfectly wonderful names. But something we should not forget is that Disney don’t just make films for theatrical release, they make plenty for their TV channels, which remain full of inspiration. Frenemies is due to be aired in January 2012,¬†¬†names from which includes:

  • Avalon
  • Halley
  • Kendall
  • Cherie

Both Geek Charming and Lemonade Mouth have already been released this year, so aren’t upcoming releases per se, but there are some¬†names featured in them which are worth a mention; from the film Geek Charming:

  • Dylan (female)
  • Asher
  • Lola
  • Ari (male)

Ari, Arri¬†and Arrietty in¬†one post from three different sources? It’s certainly not a trend I’d have intended to mention. I guess it makes sense, for me, given the immense popularity of similar sounding Harry and Harriet here in England&Wales – both are Top 100. I guess this is yet another potential trend for me to keep an eye on.

And some names from Lemonade Mouth (which has an upcoming sequel):

  • Wendell ‘Wen’ (male)
  • Mohini ‘Mo’ (female)

To be honest, if I’d seen only the nicknames and had been told one was male and the other female, I’d have guessed the opposite to what they actually are. Does that qualify Wen and Mo for our Girlish Nicknames on Boys post? It probably does.

As a final thought, the Disney Channel Original Series, Shake It Up, has an upcoming film in the works, thus the names of it’s characters qualify for this post:

  • Cecelia ‘Cece’
  • Raquel ‘Rocky’
  • Flynn (brother of Cece)
  • Ty (brother of Rocky)
  • Tinka

All very¬†modern-mama sounding names, and it’s¬†yet another mention of Flynn. Something that has to be said, though, is that Flynn fell between 2009 and 2010: from #216 to #289. It will be interesting to see next year’s list to see where he’s heading next.

Categories: Disney Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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