Posts Tagged With: Fawkes

Jubilee Fun

John Lewis Jubilee Sign

It’s a wonderful day to embrace a feeling of patriotism, so it feels apt to mark the Diamond Jubilee celebrations by looking at some patriotic choices. This is, in a sense, a re-run-come-update of a list I posted last year to mark the Royal Wedding.

This list includes inspirations from all realms of British culture, be it film, food or famed landmarks. Yes, I’m sure you can come up with names not on this list, and it would be wonderful if you flag them up in the comments for all to see.

Alba – The Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland

Albion – An alternate name for England, mostly used by the poetic.

Alfred – Sir Alfred Hitchcock pioneered many techniques in the realm of horror and suspense theatre.

Arthur – The name of one of England’s most famous folklore characters.

Audrey – Audrey Hepburn consistently ranks as one of the greatest actresses of all-time.

Aviva – One of the FTSE 100 companies listed in the London Stock Exchange, which is a well-known insurance company.

Azure – Perhaps an odd choice at first, but let us consider the second line of the patriotic song Rule Britannia, which states: arose from out the azure main [Britain].

Bell – Alexander Graham Bell was the inventor of the telephone.

Blake – The writer of the patriotic song Jerusalem (and did those feet in ancient time), was one William Blake.

Blighty – This one screams patrioticism, it is a slang name for England, often heard in Old War films.

Bournville – The village built by confectionary company Cadbury for its workers. Cadbury championed many things, such as pension schemes, joint works committees and a full staff medical service.

Brunel – Isambard Kingdom Brunel often tops the Greatest Britons lists. He was a Victorian engineer.

Calico – As in, the legendary pirate, Calico Jack.

Camber – Legendary first King of Cambria

Cambria – A classical name for Wales

Chaplin – Charlie Chaplin remains to this day one of the greatest silent film actors.

Clarence – Clarence House serves as the home of the Prince of Wales, and is another official royal residence.

Columba – St. Columba is one of the patron saints of Scotland.

Beeton – Mrs Beeton is one of the best known cookery writers.

Buckingham – Buckingham palace is the primary London residence of the Queen. Often referred to colloquially as Buck House, perhaps making the name Buck an option too.

Cambridge – The name of one of the top Universities in the world, located in England.

Cecil – Cecil Spring-Rice wrote the words to the patriotic song I Vow To Thee My Country.

Cole  – As in King Cole, he has been prominent in English legend and literature since the Middle Ages, there is also the popular children’s song, Old King Cole.

Daffodil – The national flower of Wales.

Darwin – After Charles Darwin, who put forward the idea of evolution. He appears on the £10 banknotes.

Douglas – Capital of the Isle of Man, which is located in the Irish Sea.

Eden – The lyrics of patriotic song There’ll Always Be An England calls this fair isle, Eden.

Elgar – A British composer who composed, amongst other things, Pomp and Circumstance, until recently, he appeared on £20 banknotes, these were withdrawn in 2010.

Elizabeth – A name borne by both the present Queen, and one of England’s other notable rulers. There is also Elizabeth Fry, who championed the rights of the inmates of British prisons.

Eton – Famed boy’s school, and where the traditional dessert of Eton Mess originated (it’s a mix of strawberries, meringue and cream).

Fawkes – For Guy Fawkes, the man who tried to blow up Parliament. He is respected by many, despite his intentions. A Yeoman Warder once said to me on a tour that he is the only person to enter Parliament with noble intentions, and the tools to carry it out. Bonfire Night is celebrated every 5th November in remembrance of the Gunpowder Plot.

George – St. George is the patron saint of England, and also the name of a handful of past Kings.

Glory/ Gloria – There is the patriotic song, Land of Hope and Glory. The lyrics of God Save the Queen also call her to be glorious.

Godiva – Lady Godiva, a noblelady who rode naked through the town in order for the people of it to be released from her husband’s heavy taxations.

Grenadier – There is the patriotic song, The British Grenadiers, which is also a marching song for the grenadier units of the British Military.

Harper – The Royal Coat of Arms features a harp, which symbolises N.Ireland.

Jack – The Union Jack is the flag of Great Britain, so perhaps not a completely patriotic choice for England, but it also does not scream patriosism.

Jenner – After Edward Jenner, the man who created the vaccine, and thus saved more lives than many others.

Joule – After James Joule, who helped to develop the first rule of thermodynamics.

Kedgeree – A Victorian breakfast item, created from flaked fish, rice, parsley, hard-boiled eggs, curry powder and cream.

Kiel – The Angles who settled in England back when were originally from the Bay of Kiel.

Kipper – A breakfast item in British cuisine. Also, British slang for a short sleep is kip.

Leo – Especially for the football loving of you, we have Leo, the Latin word for Lion, of which three appear on the Royal Banner, and Three Lions is also a popular football song.

Lilibet – The childhood nickname of the Queen

Lloyd – The name of a well-known high street bank, also a member of the FTSE 100.

Loegria – Another alternate name for England, not in wide usage.

London – If you want to make a statement about your love of the English, this is always a good, obvious choice. There has been a flurry of celeb-babies named London of late.

Madeira – A madeira cake is a popular sweet item in the UK.

Mercia – One of the ancient kingdoms from days gone by which was located in the midlands.

Mona – Early records record the name of the Isle of Man as Mona.

Morris – After the great traditional dance from up North – Morris Dancing.

Narcissa/Narcissus – The national flower of Wales is a daffodil, for which the Latin name is Narcissus.

Ness – As in, the legendary beast of Loch Ness

Nevis – Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Great Britain.

Newton – The surname of Mr. Gravity, Sir Isaac Newton. He is frequently referred to as Newton in the Isles, making Newton the obvious choice if you want to honour a prominent figure in British history. He appeared on Pound Sterling banknotes of £1.

Oak – The oak tree is a symbol of England, and also appears in the song Rule Britannia.

Oxford – The name of one of the top Universities in the world, located in England.

Penda – One of the famed Kings of Mercia.

Penny – Another name for 1p, there is the popular saying I haven’t got a penny. Pre-decimalisation, 12 pennies made a shilling.

Piccalilli – The British cuisine take on Indian pickle.

Pixie – A common mythical creature from folklore.

Richard – For Dick Turpin, a famous English highwayman. I don’t advise Dick, but Richard also honours King Richard the Lionheart.

Robin – For Robin Hood, a notable figure in English legend.

Rose – The Queen’s personal flag features the letter E encircled by a ring of roses.

Runnymede – A hard name to pull off, but it is the location where the Magna Carta was first sealed, an important charter which pioneered the idea of limiting the powers of the King by law, thus protecting the priveleges of his people.

Russell – The British Museum, one of the world’s greatest museums, is located on Great Russell Street.

Saltire – The name of Scotlands national flag, which date from the 9th century, making it one of the oldest flags in current usage.

Sandringham – Sandringham Palace is a country home of the Royals, which they privately own.

Scotia – Originally a Roman name for Ireland, nowadays an old name for Scotland.

Severn – The River Severn is the longest river in Great Britain.

Smith – The most popular surname in England.

Sterling – The name of the British currency is Pound Sterling.

Syllabub – A traditional dessert in English cuisine. It’s basically cream mixed with wine.

Tate – One of the best known art galleries in the UK.

Tea – One of our best-loved beverages.

Thames – The name of the river which flows through London.

Trent – The name of a river which flows through the midlands.

Tudor – The tudor rose is the national floral emblem of England, and whilst Rose is frequently used by many, Tudor is not, and was the surname of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and some other notable monarchs of England.

Victoire – From the lyrics of God Save the Queen, when it is sung for God to send her victorious.

Victoria – The name of the famed Queen Victoria and thusly popular cake Victoria Sponge.

Wren – One of the most acclaimed architects in history was Christopher Wren, who was English.

Wyvern – A legendary winged reptilian with a dragon’s head, two legs and a barbed tail. Frequents British coats of arms, and was notably the standard of the ancient Kingdom of Mercia.

Yeoman – An odd choice, but the Yeoman of the Guard are one of the oldest British military corps in existence today. The Yeoman Warders are the ones at the Tower of London, completely different group of retired military men and ladies.

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Names of the Week: Fawkes and Avie

V for Vendetta poster, from

This week we’re covering two names picked mostly off the top of my head, which predictably turned out to have a strenuous link to one another. My spidey senses work overtime on these posts, clearly.

First off, our male name. It’s no where near the 5th November, but I’m itching to cover Fawkes nevertheless. Here in the UK he’s synonymous with Guy Fawkes, whilst elsewhere many may firstly think of a certain phoenix.

Guy Fawkes was also known as Guido Fawkes and was involved in the famed, yet failed Gunpowder Plot. I visited the Tower of London a year or two ago, and was told a rather humorous joke relating to Guy Fawkes by a Yeoman Warder there, which ran along these lines:

Guy Fawkes is famous in English history for being the only man to have entered Parliament with honest, noble intentions, a clear agenda, and the resources to see it through (6.40).

The main aim of the Gunpowder Plot was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England’s Parliament on the 5th November 1605, thus resulting in the death of the reigning monarch, James I. Things, however, didn’t go exactly to plan and Guy Fawkes was later sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered for treason.

The Gunpowder Plot also happened to be the basis of the cult film V for Vendetta. There has recently been a feature on the BBC news channel regarding the masks seen in V for Vendetta, and their usage by groups opposing Government in some way; the most recent example being the Occupy protests. It also so happens that the main female character in the movie is called Evey, which happens to be startlingly simple to our female name this week.

Goin back to the name, Fawkes likely derived from the Latin falco, which means falcon, a type of bird. You may therefore be able to see the aptness of assigning the name Fawkes to Dumbledore’s phoenix in the Harry Potter series of books.

There are actually plenty of other names related to falcon which merit a mention here, too:

Eleonora, a species of Falcon.

Fox, a type of Kestrel found in Africa.

Kestrel, a type of bird also categorised as a falcon.

Merlin, a species of Falcon also called a Pigeon Hawk.

Peregrine, a species of Falcon also called a Duck Hawk.

Taita, a species of Falcon found in Africa.

Speaking of birds, the Latin word for them is avis, which has been linked to our second name: Avie. I’ve had her continually on my mind since I mentioned her several weeks ago. Aside from a possible connection with the Latin avis, the name may also be an offshoot of another Av- name, a category which includes (numbers which come after indicate number of girls given the name in 2010, England&Wales):

Avalon, means apple orchard and is the name of an island in Arthurian legend. (7)

Aveline, a diminuative of Avila. (3)

Aven, the name of a river in Brittany, France.

Averil, a variation of Everild, which means boar-battle.

Avila, a name of Old German roots, possibly meaning desired. Could also be related to Avis.

Aviva, a Hebrew name meaning spring.

Avocet, a species of wading bird.

Avril, the French for april. (8)

All delightful choices, and mostly obscure ones at that. It’s worth noting that Avie makes it onto Nameberry’s list of Lost Names From the 1880s, alongside Hettie, Delphia and Vesta.

There is another name which Avie may be linked to and that is Avi; he’s a Hebrew male name and means my father. He also happens to be related to Abe, a name we made mention of earlier on this week.

Either way, Avie is right up the alleyway of nicknames so much in vogue right now here in Britain. She startlingly similar to Evie, who lives at #10 in the 2010 England&Wales rankings, so could make for a viable alternative if Evie’s popularity isn’t your cup of tea.

Categories: Names of the Week | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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