Posts Tagged With: Esther

Santa Special

Santa Train, via flickr

I’ve spent all weekend handing out presents to excitable small children, and what has to be the biggest pack of Brownies I’ve ever come across in my life. This all adds up to the need for an extra special post to give me a chance to share with you as many names as my poor mind can remember.

That said, this post does comes with the warning that, whilst I know their rough ages due for present-selecting purposes, I can only hazard a guess at the spellings of their names. This is by no means a complete list, rather, a collection of the ones I remembered, and for the sake of simplicity, yes there were many multiples of many of these names, but I’ve forgone this since I can’t give exact numbers on how frequent each names was used, but, the ones I saw time and time again?

  • Alfie
  • Ben
  • Hayden
  • Henry
  • Lucy
  • Isabella
  • Joshua
  • Ruby

Before unleashing the lists on you, it is worth noting that the children could’ve easily been introducing themselves by their nickname, not their fullname.

Babies

Alfie James Olly
Eloise Nina Polly
Evie Meggie Ruby
Isabella Maggie Susanna

1-2

Ace Cameron George Lucy
Aiden Casper Hannah Maisie
Alfie Charlie Harry Nancy
Amy Che Henry Niamh
Archie Chelsea Holly Phoebe
Baxter Debbie Isabella Sally
Bea Ebony Isla Sally
Bella Eddy Jack Sean
Ben Edward Jenny Stanley
Billy Effie Liam Teddy
Bobby Evan Lila Thisbe
Callum Evie Lola William

3-5

Abby Esther Jason Oliver
Abigail Ethan Joel Olivia
Alfie Eve Jordan Olly
Alice Ewan Joshua Oscar
Amelia Faith Kian Owen
Ben Felix Lenny Penny
Bess Fergus Leon Poppy
Betty Gabby Lily Poppy
Bruno Gabriella Lola Ralphie
Cameron George Lolly Riley (m)
Cleo Hamish Lucy Rosie
Coco Hannah Luke Samuel
Daniel Imogen Maggie Summer
Darcy Isabella Martha Summer
Eleanor Isla Molly Tammy
Elise Jack Niamh Tommy
Emily James Nora William

6-8

Alex Freddie Joshua Reuben
Archie Georgia Kai Sam
Ben Geraldine Kiefer Scarlett
Cameron Greta Leo Sophie
Charlie Hannah Lexie Stacy
Charlotte Harriet Libby Summer
Chloe Hayden Lily Teddy
Connor Isabella Lucy Theo
Delphine Jessica Margaret Thomas
Eliza Jessie Molly Verity
Elliott Jimmy Noah Victoria
Elliott Jimmy Owen Wendy
Emily Joe Perry Willa
Erin Jools Petra William
George Joseph Rebecca Zeke

9-10

Bea Jack Molly
Becky Jake Sarah
Ben Jessica Stanley
Erin Matthew Thomas
Felicia Noah William

10+

Charlotte Joel Charlotte
Emily Joshua Quinn
Emmy Matthew Rowan
Frank Melody Winnie
Hattie Niall Zach
James Noor  
Categories: Real Babies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Weekend Post: The Name the Advert Took

Claud from the Renault Mégane advert, from carpages.co.uk

I’ve spent all day running up an down a Great Central Railway train giving out gifts with Santa Claus. That means I have now seen a small sample of what names the kind people of the East Midlands are giving to their offspring. Something someone mentioned to me was that they named their 10 week old daughter Nina because there are too many Clover adverts on the TV at the moment – something I never noticed myself. Clover is a brand of margarine here in the UK, and the recent We All Love Clover ad campaign was ripped to shreds by my peers for featuring people getting rather emotional about some margarine:

Their current advertising campaign is about the greatness of being in the middle. Despite this mother’s concerns, I still maintain Clover is a fantastic choice nevertheless. It’s also worth noting that the name of another brand of margarine here is called Flora.

So, we may hate them, but there’s always that occasional gem you need to look out for when it comes the adverts. Whilst the Clover advert doesn’t feature a named character, the product bears a name that a child could. It’s a thin line really between over and under exposure names get from companies desperate to flog their goods.

Therefore, it seems apt to look at a few adverts that have which all heavily feature a named character. Clearly, if Cadbury had named it’s characters, it would’ve easily taken a place on the list for its drumming gorilla and eyebrows adverts:

1. Adam and Jane (BT)

From the BT adverts we have Adam and Jane, alongside Jane’s children from a previous relationship, Joe and Lucy, and their new baby, Alfie. The main characters are acted out by a Kris and an Esther. The adverts have been following them now for several years, charting the development of their relationship and their use of BT services at the same time.

Whilst you may think that both name are reasonably well used, Jane has fallen down in recent years, now sitting below the 1000 mark:

Adam: #39, 2088 births

Jane: #1040, 32 births

Adam is the Hebrew word for man, whilst Jane ultimately comes from the same sources as John, meaning Yahweh is gracious. I still doubt that the BT adverts really have any effect over whether we use the names Adam and Jane any more or less – but the writers appeared to have picked up on current name trends by using Alfie for the newborn.

2. Alexandr (Compare The Market)

Comparethemeerkat.com has never been more popular. Fronted by the rather batty meerkat, Alexandr Orlov, he urges you to go the comparethemarket for cheap car insurance, not comparethemeerkat. Here in England&Wales, you’re more likely to meet an Alexander than a Alexandr:

Alexandr: #4678, 3 births

Alexander: #21, 3025 births

Really, using Alexandr may mean you get simples shouted at your little one, but there are two facts to consider:

  1. The majority of Alexandr’s (with whatever variation) tend to shorten their name.
  2. Alexandr could easily be mistaken for Alexander – it’s your choice to correct them.

3. Nigel (Government Anti-Piracy)

We’ve all been told, knock off Nigel buys knock off DVDs. This one, out of all of these, is probably well remembered given that it came in the form of a catchy song. We all love a catchy tune to hum, and that may be a  hinderance to the name Nigel. That, and the fact that most see Nigel as a middle-aged name. Currently in England&Wales, the name is at:

Nigel: #1344, 18 births

The name Nigel is commonly associated with the Latin word niger, meaning black. It has also been linked with the name Neil, which either means champion or cloud.

4. Pablo (Frank)

I love David Mitchell, who voiced the rather cynical drug awareness advert for Frank: Pablo the Drug Mule dog. Particularly well-known amongst the younger generation, since David Mitchell’s core fan base is as such.

Pablo: #792, 32 births

Pablo is the Spanish form of Paul – which comes from Latin and can either mean small or humble.

5. Claud (Renault Mégane)

This acts as an additional name. In the shortened adverts which were the core ones shown his name is not given, but if you catch the long version, you do find out his name. It follows the pursuits of a frenchman, Claud, as he goes to Gisburn in Lancashire to discover why there is a correlation between fertility and the presence of Renault Méganes in a town. The really long version is quite amusing because of the stick the people of Gisburn give Claud.

‘Money can’t buy you happiness’…’but lack of money certainly causes misery’

Claude: #2629, 7 births (Claud does not rank)

This advert is certainly the least well known of the five, and I’m sure many of you have no idea what I’m talking about. That’s totally fine, even I’m not sure what I’m saying some of the time. My problem with Claud comes from his meaning: he’s a derivation of the Latin name Claudius which means crippled.

Categories: Names from the Box | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Closet Chemistry: Amines and Esters

I’ve been thinking about organic chemistry quite a bit recently, and the combining of it with the topic of names struck me when we mentioned Amine last week. It’s a name of relative popularity in France, but it’s also the name of a functional group containing a nitrogen with a lone pair of electrons. For those interested, they can look like this:

Primary Amine, from wikipedia.org

You may have no idea why they’re important but it’s from amines that we get amino acids, which collectively make up proteins. That makes them vital for life. So, one could call Amino a slight variation of the name Amine – especially given that the French slightly altered the Arabic name Amin to get to Amine. Amin comes from the Arabic word for truthful and the female form of the name is Amina(h). Aminah was the name of the prophet Muhammad’s mother, who died when he was young. The Arabic word and name Amina means feel safe. For Bosnia and Herzegovina, Amina was the #1 female name in 2010; the most popular male name that year was Amar.

Names that sound like they’re related to the above ones include the Iranian name Minoo, sometimes seen as Minu, which derives from Persian and means heaven or paradise. Like the English name Heaven, or alas the infamous Nevaeh, Minoo is a feminine name. A name of Arabic origins which means heaven, or indeed sky, is the female name Alya. Going back to the French, in 2009, the name Alya ranked at #259 in France.

The reason Arabic names feature in French name popularity is Algeria and Tunisia. Both are former colonies of France, from which many immigrants have moved to France, and brought their naming tendencies with them. For both, Arabic is the official language and both earned their independence from France in the middle of the 20th century.

Other popular names of Arabic origins in France include Mohamed, Rayan, Mehdi, Nassim, Farah, Naim, Sana, Marwa and Salma, to name just a few.

And for those wondering whether we’re using Amine in England&Wales, we are – to a certain extent. In 2010, 11 boys were given the name Amine with a further 37 named Amin, putting the latter name at #792. Amina ranks even higher for girls, at #182, with 285 girls given the name and Aminah ranking at #254 with 128 of them born.

Another group of organic compounds are called Esters, said pretty much the same as you would the name Esther. She fit’s nicely with our already established post-theme of names inspired by our friends from the East as Esther means star in Persian. An Ester looks like this:

Ester, from tqn.com
Of course, it’s not concrete that Esther derives from Persian and hence means star. The name Esther comes from the Bible, being given to Hadassah upon the moment she entered the royal harem of King Ahaseurus. Esther could also have derived from the name Ishtar, the name of the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess of love, war and fertility; the Phoenicians called her Ashtoreth. What is worth noting is that the Dutch word for star is ster, which has given birth to the Dutch name Sterre (ster-ra).
Esther has given birth to a plentitude of variations: from Hester to Estee; Eszti (Hungarian) to Esteri (Finnish). What’s worth noting is that the spelling Ester is a legitimate international variant of the name Esther, used by Scandinavians, Spaniards, Czechs, Finns and the Portuguese.
When it comes to Esther vs. Hester in the popularity charts for England&Wales in 2010, Esther wins outright. She’s at #156 with 334 girls given the name compared to Hester, who is much further down at #1815 with only 15 born.
The -er ending for male names is starting to be touted as an upcoming trend, but there are some undoubtedly pretty girls names which end the same way, like Esther and Hester:
  • Amber
  • Aster
  • Clover
  • Demeter
  • Ember
  • Ginger
  • Grier
  • Harper
  • Heather
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Miniver
  • Piper
  • Skyler
  • Summer

Notice how most derive directly from English words? What’s more both Jasmine and Jasper are names popular in England&Wales, and of Persian origins, as Esther could be; Jasper means treasurer in Persian. Colour names Azure and Scarlet also have links with Persian words, and that’s where we shall end this post.

Categories: Chemistry Inspirations, French Words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Weekend Post: Advent Calendar Musings

I had to beg for one this year and it all payed off as I am now happily in possession of a Cadbury Advent Calendar. Cadbury make the best advent calendars, not just because I get to taste some Dairy Milk goodness every single day, since what I didn’t realise until today was what was on the back of my prized-possession:

Terrible resolution, I know.

Elfs named Lloyd and Esther. I love you Cadbury and lest we forget the other characters joining them: Hector the Robin; Clyde the Snowman; Rudy the Reindeer.

They’re not your average Christmas-themed names, like the ones Elea has been touting for the past few days. Clyde is certainly an interesting choice, given that only 4 boys born in 2010 were given the name. Especially odd given that the hugely popular show The Sarah Jane Adventures features a teenaged character called Clyde Langer, so you’d think he’d have given the name a slight boost. Bonnie doesn’t particularly suffer because of Bonnie&Clyde, but maybe Clyde does – just like the Romeo&Juliet situation where everyone is using Juliet but the only Romeo I can think of is the Beckham child.

Since Rudy has a red nose, I can only assume they tried to give Rudolph a youthful edge to him. But then they used the slighty fuddy-duddy name Esther…and Hector? I do love the names Esther and Hector, but double standards Cadbury? I suppose the only explanation was them trying to avoid copyright laws, which, fair dues. Lloyd seems to be middle ground with the names. I’d never pair him and Esther together, but it’s cute enough. Bree mentioned Boyd earlier on this week, and we have a film review duo called Floyd and Boyd here in the UK. Out of all three -oyd names, I’m not sure I can call which one could potentially starting trending the most. Floyd could get a boost from any Pink Floyd fans; Boyd from any Waking the Dead fans; Lloyd from any Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber fans. At a push, I’d say Boyd for the same reasoning I touted all those other short B names last week.

Am I the only one with names like these plastered over the back of their advent calendar? In which case, what are the odds?

Categories: Weekend Post | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

When Penelope Gets Popular

Paloma Faith may inspire you, from metro.co.uk

When I originally penned the Clementine post, I never imagined doing a sequel post or even turning it into a series, but the fact of the matter is that the name Penelope is getting popular, and I’ve started to wonder about what alternatives are out there. This post started off as me pondering about what other names I could get Penny from (the final three being Typhena, Peony and Euphemia), but the original draft of such a post seemed like more should be said. An elaboration was in order, and a sequel was born. So, what other names could we use when Penelope gets too popular for our liking? Just to illustrate the fact that she has grown in popularity, here’s how she’s fared in the past few years:

2003 2004 2005 2006
Rank 583 565 562 678
Births 50 55 59 46
2007 2008 2009 2010
Rank 515 427 328 272
Births 72 99 135 181

A ranking of #272 is something to take note of, since she’s shot up from #678 in 2006 to where she is today. To start off with, it seems best to first approach this topic by asking what exactly are the kinds of names people are pairing the name Penelope with, either as sibling or middle names? A trip to the London Telegraph Birth Announcements was in order to find just that out, and it was an eclectic bunch of names to say the least; here is a cut-down version:

  • Annabel
  • Aurelia
  • Bróna
  • Clementine
  • Esther
  • Evelyn
  • Dorothea
  • Felicity
  • Florence
  • Georgina
  • Harriet
  • Hettie
  • Horatia
  • Jemima
  • Lucinda
  • Marissa
  • Muriel
  • Nancy
  • Orla
  • Scarlett
  • Serena
  • Willa

The names Clementine and Florence came up severeal times, whilst Lucinda also came up at least twice. There are some conflicting styles in the names, from the seldom heard Horatia, to the very Irish name Bróna. Since Florence is a clear favourite, it seems apt to kick off a list of suggestions with the younger Nightingale sister’s name: Parthenope. Like her sister before her, Parthenope was named after an Italian city, and like Penelope, she’s four-syllables. If long names are your preference, another four-syllable P name is Philomena, which shares Penelope’s Greek roots. Dorothea from the above list also shares this trait. Other four-syllable Greek names include:

  • Angeliki
  • Calliope
  • Cassiopeia (technically five-syllables)
  • Elisavet
  • Eugenia (modern Greek form: Evgenia)
  • Konstantina
  • Louiza
  • Ophelia
  • Paraskeve (Pah-rah-ske-vee)
  • Persephone
  • Theodora
  • Timothea
  • Zenovia/Zenobia

But you may have no Greek heritage, which means the above list may means nothing at all to you. Fear not, for there are other, more English-based, options out there. The current leader of the pack for me is Peony. She’s floral, like Lily, and could also shorten to Penny if your heart so desires. I’m astonisahed that only 9 of them were born in England&Wales in 2010, because she is such a pretty name. I first came upon her, myself, when reading a book which I can’t for the life of me remember. But what I can remember was that Peony wore trousers with different coloured legs. She was an eccentric child, to say the least. Another seldom used name in England&Wales in Tolulope, given to just 4 girls in 2010, whilst Temitope was given to 10 girls.

Another P name that I reckon will be rising fast here in the UK in the next few years is Paloma. We’ve already had pop act Florence&The Machine attributed to the rise of Florence, and there’s another similar artist in the UK right now called Paloma Faith. She was the goth girl, Andrea, in the first of the rebooted St.Trinians films, but has since embraced colour to the max. Her name is Spanish for dove. Another British pop act, Mika, has three sisters named Yasmina, Paloma and Zuleika.

Going back to 2000, Penelope was given to 35 girls that year, as was Henrietta. Other names ranking similarly to her, and also containing four syllables (within 45-25 births) in 2000, with their 2010 ranking/birth number in brackets after are:

  • Angelica (#531, 75 births)
  • Henrietta (#730, 50 births)
  • Ophelia (#559, 71 births)
  • Valentina (#521, 77 births)
  • Veronica (#452, 92 births)

As you can see, non of them have broken the Top 300 as Penelope has done, but they have all risen since 2000 and could rise further but maybe not as quickly as dear Penny. That leads us onto another point, one could simply use a nickname of Penelope instead. Aside from Poppy, which resides firmly in the Top 100, the nicknames are generally not as popular as their long form:

  • Nell – #390
  • Nelly – #747
  • Penny – #396
  • Petal – #3156
  • Piper – #719
  • Polly – #300
  • Posy – #4688

I would also suggest Pippa as a nickname for Penelope, but she’s also on the express train to popularity at the moment. I guess one could argue that Philippa is another great alternative choice, who has actually been going backwards in the past few years. Other vintage-sounding P names include Patience, Prudence and Pearl, and Pomeline is a name with Royal heritage.

To conclude, Penelope is a great name with some great alternatives should her popularity put you off. My line on popularity is the same as always, though: if your heart says go for it, just go for it regardless of how popular the name may be.

Categories: Girl Names, Nicknames | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Straining Bookshelfs

The Thief Lord cover, from amazon.com

One of the best places to root around for names inspirations is books. The fictional world is where anything goes really – I once read a book named Storm’s Child where the main characters were called Rail (male) and Moa (female). Whilst I never got into Garth Nix’s main successes, I did love his book Shade’s Children – where the main characters were called Drum (male), Gold-Eye (male), Ninde (female) and Ella. Eoin Colfer once wrote a book called Supernaturalist, with characters Cosmo, Stefan and Mona. I digress, I read too much as a mid-teen and now my bookshelfs strain under the weight of all the books I own.

Since both Abby and Elea have both covered names of fictional characters this week in their own ways, I’m instead going to bring you inspiration from the names of the author’s which I read back when every waking moment of my life curled up with a book, along with the name of one of my favourite titles by them and some names from said title:

Benjamin Zephaniah (Teacher DeadJackson)

Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is his full name, and I’m in awe of the mix of styles he’s been bestowed. I’ve met two young Zeph’s recently – one was a Zephyr and twin of Asher, whilst the other was a Zephaniah.TV’s Julia Bradbury welcomed a son named Zephyr earlier on this year in August.

The name Benjamin is of Hebrew origins and means son of the south/right hand, whilst Zephaniah is also of Hebrew origins and means Yahweh has hidden. For the sake of completion, Zephyr means west wind, whilst Asher means happy or blessed.

And a quick breakdown of each name’s popularity in 2010 in England&Wales:

Benjamin Zephaniah Zephyr Asher
Rank 22 1407 3332 364
Births 3005 17 5 112

Blue Balliett (Chasing VermeerPetra and Calder)

Balliett purposefully chose unusually names, believing that’s exactly what would appeal to her readers. When I initially read Chasing Vermeer about 3 years ago I didn’t like the name Petra all that much, but she’s grown on me. She’s the female form of Peter, which means rock, although the character was named with reference to the ancient city of Petra and as part of family naming tradition.

Now, for some hard data from the 2010 data for England&Wales. Blue doesn’t rank for girls (the author is female), but does for the boys:

Blue Calder Petra
Rank 1801 n/a 1472
Births 12 n/a 20

Cornelia Funke (The Thief LordProsper, Boniface ‘Bo’, Scipio, Esther and Ida)

I adore the name Prosper, and it’s from this book that my love for him was first sparked. I acknowledge that Funke’s other work, the Inkheart trilogy, is better known, but this one has a special place in my heart.

As for the name of the author, first we must note that the author is German, and then note the name is the female form of the Latin name Cornelius. The name comes from the Latin element cornu, which means horn. 4 girls were named Cornelia in 2010 in England&Wales, putting it at #4688. On the flip side, 6 lads were named Cornelius last year, and thus at a ranking of #2941. And for the names of her characters I mentioned above? (The ranking for Bo is the male ranking)

Prosper Boniface Scipio
Rank n/a n/a n/a
Birth n/a n/a n/a
Esther Ida Bo
Rank 156 878 1483
Birth 334 40 16

Cressida Cowell (How To Speak DragoneseHiccup, Fishlegs and Camicazi)

I know that I’m probably too old for Cowell’s books these days, but I am still eagerly awaiting the next installment of the Hiccup franchise next month (the film adaption of the first book dissolved me into tears-the only film to ever do so). I love the name Cressida, and she’s the medieval form of another name I love: Chryseis and also means gold. In Greek legend, Chryseis was the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo. Since Hiccup and friends don’t rank, but Cressida does at #4688, with 4 births – same as Cornelia.

Enid Blyton (The Mystery of the Burnt CottageFrederick ‘Fatty’, Margaret ‘Daisy’, Lawrence ‘Larry’, Philip ‘Pip’ and Elizabeth ‘Bets’)

Enid is almost synonymous nowadays with the author, and the name comes from Welsh and means either soul or life. As an author, she chose rather classic names, all of which are not as popular nowadays as they were back when the books were first published, the one mentioned above came out in 1943:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
Rank 2104 95 355
Births 12 688 117
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
Rank 296 505 49
Births 152 80 1356

Compare the rankings of 2010 with that of 1934 when  all six names were in the Top 100:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
1934 68 24 72
2010 2104 95 355
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
1934 56 1 14
2010 296 505 49

Malorie Blackman (Noughts & CrossesPersephone ‘Sephy, Jasmine and Meggie)

The Noughts&Crosses trilogy was the one which first introduced me to the name Persephone, although I wasn’t sure of the pronunciation until I watched the television show Firefly. My copy of the first book is also signed by the author, Malorie Blackman, which I won, rather than stood in a line for.

The name Malorie is a variant spelling of Mallory, a name that comes from Norman French and means unfortunate. Rather makes me think of the CBBC show Trapped, where the contestants are known as unfortunates. Persephone’s meaning is not established, although she has been linked to Greek words which means murder or to destroy, whilst Meggie is a short form of Margaret and Jasmine is a lovely botanical name. They rank, as such:

Malorie Mallory Persephone
Rank n/a 4688 3156
Births n/a 4 7
Jasmine Meggie
Rank 41 5707
Births 1466 3

Tamora Pierce (The Magic In The WeavingSandrilene ‘Sandry’, Trisana ‘Tris’, Daja, Briar (male) and Lark)

I actually took this book out of my local library by mistake more than anything, but found myself reading it anyway. Whilst a little difficult to follow to begin with, I loved it enough to read all it’s sequels. This is the first real occasion I came across the name Briar, since I was never really shown Sleeping Beauty as a child, and I actually like it. The character himself chose the name, wanting something botanical, yet masculine. I think he achieved that, since I’ve often misread the name as Bear.

As for the name of the author, Tamora, she’s a variant spelling of the name Tamara, which is a variant of the name Tamar, which means palm tree in Hebrew. Predictably, none of the names have really made an impact in the popularity data for England&Wales (the data for Briar is the female one, since there is no male ranking):

Tamora Tamara Sandry Lark
Rank n/a 458 n/a 5707
Births n/a 90 n/a 3
Trisana Daja Briar
Rank n/a n/a 5707
Births n/a n/a 3

Tom Becker (DarksideCarnegie, Vendetta and Marianne)

I listed him because of his surname, rather than his first name. Becket is a nouveau name getting some attention right now, and I think I like Becker a tad more. He’s a German surname and variant of another surname, Becke, which means baker. The Carnegie Award is given out annually to a single children’s book which has impressed, and named after Andrew Carnegie.

Out of all the names, only Marianne ranks in the England&Wales data – at #946 with 36 uses.

Categories: Book Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Babies in the early ’90s

Let’s number-crunch. Courtesy of my sister, I got my hands on the class lists for her year (grade) at school. The names totalled around 150, and when we factor in the sixth form class list, who are two years older, we have a reasonably sized data covering popular baby names for catholics (catholic school) in England in the early 1990s:

British Babies Born Circa 1990-1994

BOYS – ALPHABETICALLY

Aidan +Aiden

Alexander x3 +Alistair +Alisdair

Andrew x2

Ashley x2

Benjamin x2 +Ben

Bryn +Finn

Christopher x2

Connor +Conor

David x4

Hugo +Hugh +Huw

Jack x5

Jacob +Jakub

James x7

John +Jonathan

Joseph x7 +Joe

Joshua x2

Frederick + Freddie

Matthew x2 +Matteaus

Michael x4

Ryan x2

Theodore +Theo

Thomas x7

William x2 +Liam x2

BOYS – NUMERICALLY (3 or more)

Joseph et al = 8

James = 7

Thomas = 7

Daniel = 6

Alexander et al = 5

Jack = 5

Michael = 4

William et al = 4

Benjamin et al = 3

Hugo et al = 3

Matthew et al = 3

GIRLS – ALPHABETICALLY

Alexandra x2 +Alexa

Alice x2 +Alicia

Amy x2

Ana + Anne +Joanne +Leanne +Rhian +Roxanne

Beatrice +Beatrix x2

Cara +Clare +Clara

Caroline +Karolina

Chloe x3

Eleanor x3 +Ellen x2 +Helen x2 +Helena

Elizabeth +Eliza

Emma x2 +Emily

Esther +Esme

Eugenie x2

Frances x2

Hannah x2

Hayley x2

Jennifer x3

Jessica x3

Kathryn +Catherine +Katie x2

Laura x5 +Lauren

Lucy x4

Lily x2 +Lila +Lillian +Lilia

Maria x2 +Marie

Molly +Mollie

Natasha +Sasha x2

Olivia x3

Sarah +Sara

Sophie x3

Vanessa x2

GIRLS – NUMERICALLY (3 or more)

Eleanor et al = 8

Ana et al = 6

Lily et al =5

Kathryn et al = 4

Lucy = 4

Alexandra et al = 3

Beatrice et al = 3

Cara et al = 3

Chloe = 3

Emma et al = 3

Jennifer = 3

Jessica = 3

Natasha et al = 3

Olivia = 3

Philippa = 3

Sophie = 3

MALE/FEMALE

Daniel x6 +Danielle

George x2 +Georgina

Harry +Hattie +Harriet

Phillip +Philippa x3

Valentino +Valentina

THE IRISH GANG

Sean x2 +Shaun +Sian

Sinead +Seamus +Roisin +Bronagh +Lorcan +Ciara x2 +Niall

Patrick x2

THE NOTABLES

The prevalence of Irish names is not taken as uncommon in a catholic school.

Jack was outnumbered by several names: Joseph, James and Thomas. He began his stay at the top of the UK Top 100 list at the end of the decade. Two of the Jacks had the same surname.

Both of the Ashley’s, born when America embraced the name as a female one, were male.

The Eugenie’s were born just after Princess Eugenie, and the Beatrice/trixes born after Princess Eugenie’s sister: Princess Beatrice.

Non of the Lucy’s were a Lucille, Lucienne etc. They were all just Lucy.

The Emma’s outnumbered the Emily.

From personal knowledge:

-None of the Philippa’s in the list shortens their name to Pippa.

-All of the Eleanor’s were nicknamed Ellie.

* In the interests of not boring you all to death with an endless list of data, any name on the class lists which appeared once, without a similar name has been omitted from the data. This accounts for around 30 names out of the roughly estimated 240 names.

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Tired of Ella?

For the past few years, Ella has ranked highly on the name charts. Here are some alternatives for those of you who wish for something a little different:

If you like the El- beginning:

Eleanor. Once classed as a timeless name, now falling down the name charts. Fast. Means bright, shining one.

Elena. An alternate spelling of Eleanor. Likely to have a better chance of rising, seeing as many people favour the unconventional spellings at the moment. It’s the spanish version of Helen. # 195 in 2009.

Elaine. French variation of Helen. # 767 in 2009. The alternate spelling Elaina is much more ‘in’ right now (#462).

Elora. Variation of Eliora.

Eliora. Means ‘ the Lord is my Light’. Melodic in sound, due to abundance of vowels. Does not rank.

Elise. Means ‘pledged to God’. Also a variation of Elizabeth. #211 in 2009. Alternate spelling Elyse is also climbing the name charts.

Eloisa/Eloise/ Heloise. Means healthy/wide. # 917 in 2009. Popular for French girls.

Eliza. Means ‘pledged to God’. Variation of Elizabeth. #278 in 2009.

Elsie. Popular back at the start of the 20th century. Thus, if we remember names have a 100-year cycle, this name is due to come back into fashion. Currently #679. Another variation of Elizabeth, via it’s scottish form of Elspeth.

Elle. French for ‘she’. In 2009 rose to #442 from #493.

Elizabeth. Considered to be a ‘timeless’ name. Has a rich history of bearers, such at the two Queens of England. Popular throughout the centuries, currently ranks at #11. Popular for middle names, and often seen in sibsets alongside Victoria, another Queen of England. The variant ‘Elisabeth’ is currently sat at #554.

Names with the ‘elle’ ending:

Marielle. Dutch and French diminuative of Mary. Means bitter. Does not rank in the top 1000. Variation of Mariella does not rank either.

Gabrielle. French, feminine form of Gabriel. #96 in 2009, fell out of the Top 70 this year. Variation of Gabriella still ranks highly (#33)

Danielle. Hebrew, feminine variant of Daniel. #170 in 2009. The ‘Daniella’ version ranks lower at #306.

Brielle. Surging in popularity. Jumped 93 places to #245 in 2009. A contestant for the replacement of Ella no doubt. The variation of Briella does not rank, however.

Michelle. Feminine form of Michael. Favourite during the 70s (when it peaked at #4). It’s now in steep decline, perhaps one could say it is the ‘Ella’ of the 70s. It recently dropped out of the top 100, however, it is tipped for a revival thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama. Currently ranks #104. A reason for it’s decline could be due to parents preferring Michael’s other feminine form – Michaela, or one of it’s many alternate spellings, such as Mikayla.

Isabelle. This spelling ranks at #100. Considered this decades ‘Elizabeth’. Surprisingly, Isabel ranks lower at #110. Both names are on the rise though. Isabella ranks at #1, and did not even ranks in the top 1000 in the 1980s. This means it could fall out of favour in the coming decade, much like Jennifer and Michelle.

Isobelle. German variation. This spelling does not rank. Neither doee Isobel. Isobella does not rank either.

Belle . French for beautiful. Does not rank. Bella ranks at #58 in 2009, jumping up by 64 places. This is thought to have been caused by Twilight.

Sabelle. This is a variation of the popular Isabel. It does not rank. Could also be a variation of Sable. The variation of Sabella does not rank.

Estelle. French version of ‘Stella’. Does not rank. Variants are Estella and Estrella. The latter is the only one to rank – #414. It is popular amongst the hispanic community.

NOTE: -ella names are very much the fashion at the moment, so these names are all poised to rise in the coming few years.

Names that end ‘-ella’ and not covered in the above section:

Stella. Latin meaning ‘Star’. #126 at the moment, may rise even higher. It jumped 58 places in 2009.

Luella. Combination of Louise and Ella. Variant spelling is Louella. Neither Luella nor Louella rank, making them unusual compared to Ella.

Names with the ‘el’ sound:

Belinda. Spanish origin, means ‘serpent. In Babylonian mythology she was the goddess of Heaven and earth. Currently #826. The variant of Melinda has dropped out of favour in recent years and so does not rank.

Kelly. Irish name, means ‘war’. Was a male name in the 60s, now it is very much a female one. It ranks at #260. Nowadays overlooked in favour of other irish names such as ‘Kennedy’. Another irish name, Keeley (most often spelt Kiely in Ireland) means ‘slender’ and does not rank. The similar name Kaylee ranks at #26.

Kelsey. Means ‘island’. Was popular at the same time as Chelsea. Now the name of your average teen. Kelsey ranks at #210. Chelsea ranks at #231. The name Chelsea originates from the borough of London, has begun to fall down the name chart.

Stellina. Variation of Stella. Does not rank.

Esteley. Variation of Estella. Does not rank.

Melanie. Of Greek origin. Means ‘black or dark’. Currently ranks at #93. Was popular due to ‘Gone with the wind’, but has begun to fall down the name charts.

Melina. Of Greek origin meaning ‘quince yellow’. Some see it as a fresh alternative to Melissa. Melina has moved up from #510 to #456 in the past year. Melissa means ‘bee’ and ranks at #137. Another variant, Melita, is greek meaning ‘honey’. But is also the name of a coffee filter. It does not rank.

Helen/ Helena. Helen is greek, and it means ‘bright, shining one’. It ranks at #389. This name has been unfashionable for decades, so is due for a comeback. The alternative of Helena ranks at #575, and was a name favoured by Shakespeare. Another alternative is Ellen, which is falling down as Ella and co. rise. It currently ranks at #700. Eleni is a common name in Greece, that could also be considered.

Mella. This name is a variant of Melanie. The variant of Mela is Hindi and means ‘religious service’.

Pamela. Invented in the 16th Century by poet, Sir Philip Sidney. Ranks at #845. Poised for a revival?

Amelia. Variation of Emily, means ‘energetic’. Currently stands at #55. The french version, Amelie, is at #675.

Names that end ‘-la’

Carla. The version Karla is rising due to the trend towards ‘k’ names (currently #295), this spelling is falling though. It is the feminine variant of Carl, and currently stands at #665. The variant of Charla is does not rank and the variant of Clara is at #199 and means ‘bright’. Other variants are Sharla and Starla. Neither rank.

Nuala. Irish name, pronounced NOO-la, it means ‘white shoulders’, officially a shortened version of Fionnuala. It does not rank.

Kayla. Arabic and Hebrew origins. Means ‘laurel, crown’. Recently fallen out of the top 30 to #35

Delilah. Hebrew and Arabic in origin. Rising quickly and currently stands at #191. Appeared in the Bible story of Samson and Delilah.

Talulla/ Tallulah. Talulla is the Irish version of this name. The names mean ‘lady of abundance’. Starting to become popular, currently does not rank for either listed spelling.

Michaela. Feminine version of Michael, more popular than Michelle. Means ‘who is like God’. Ranks at #370. Variant spellings are popular. Very popular in the 90s.

Beulah. Popular at the beginning of the 20th century, and has yet to make a comeback. Or Hebrew origin and means ‘married’. Does not rank.

Kala. Has origins in both Hindi and Hawaiian. In Hindi it means ‘art form or virtue’, in Hawaiian it is their version of Sarah. It does not rank.

Lila. German word for ‘purple’. Arabic for ‘lilac’. Ranks at #168. Starting to become popular once more. Variants are Lilah (#366), Leila (Persian meaning ‘dark beauty, night’, #238), Layla (Popular alternate spelling of Leila, #45), Lyla (Shot up 72 spots to #152), Lilac (Colour, does not rank), Lola (Spanish diminuative of Dolores,’lady of sorrows’, #221), Lilia (Latin origin, means ‘Lily’, #916), Lolita (Story by Nakobov has kept this name from becoming popular, likely to start ranking soon though.)and Kalila (Arabic, means ‘beloved’, does not rank.)

Wildcards:

Elspeth. Scottish form of Elizabeth.

Elpis . Means “hope” in Greek. In Greek mythology Elpis was the personification of hope. She was the last spirit to remain in the jar after Pandora unleashed the evils that were in it.

Twyla. Variant of Twila. Could become popular when parents search for a name connected to ‘Twilight’. Twila means ‘woman with a double thread’.

Dalella. Variation of Daniella.

Belladonna. Italian name that means ‘beautiful woman’. Also the name of the poisonous plant that appears in Romeo and Juliet.

Belia. Spanish variation of Bella.

Elisheba. Original Hebrew form of Elizabeth. Alternative is Elisheva. Another is Elisha, which is Hebrew and means ‘God is my Salvation’, ranks at #709. Other spelling variants at Alysha (does not rank), Alisha (#765) and Eilisha (does not rank and derives from Eilish, the irish version of Elizabeth).

Elyssa. Variation of Alyssa (Means ‘noble’, ranks at #19), Elysia (Mythical home of the blessed, Does not rank)and Alice (Also means ‘noble’, ranks at #258). There is also the variation of Alicia, which ranks at #207.

Bellona. Derives from Latin and means ‘to fight’.

Laurel. Latin name, meaning ‘Laurel tree’. Alternative of Laura.

Teyla. Created for a Sci-Fi show, alternate spelling of Taylor.

Other similar names:

Lisa. Popular in the late sixties, early seventies, also recorded as used on males. Derived from Elizabeth. Ranks at #686. It was #4 in 1970.

Esther. Persian meaning ‘star’. Ranks at #267, was in the top 50 100 years ago, but is rarely used today. It is tipped for a comeback though.

Louisa. Hardly heard of variant of Louis. Means ‘renowned warrior’. It’s hispanic version is Luisa, which is common in the Hispanic community.

Kiely. Common Irish spelling of Keeley. Regularly used as a surname.

Swansea. Has a similar sound to Chelsea. Name of a Welsh city.

EDIT: Here is what the lovely people of Yahoo! answers had to say: Y!A

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