Posts Tagged With: Florence



This week, another celebrity welcomed a daughter named Florence – this time it was Mr. Jake Humphrey, who gave up his job as BBC’s F1 guy when his wife fell pregnant with their first child. Her full name is Florence Aurelia Alice, and you only need to take a quick glance at Jake’s twitter feed to see how smitten he is with his new bundle of joy.

The name Florence is experiencing somewhat of a boom at the moment here in England, which the tabloids are only too eager to attribute to one Miss. Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine fame. Their first album, Lungs, hit the shelves in 2009, the year that Florence climbed 14 places to #80, however it was the year before that Florence entered the Top 100 in England&Wales, suggesting the name was on the way up before Florence Welch truly arrived on the scene.

That doesn’t mean that she didn’t inspire any parents to use the name, as since 2009 the name Florence has only risen further up the charts. In 2011 – the most recent year we have data for – she rose a further 11 places to #43. It will be interesting to see where her meteoric rise will have her peak in the charts, although at the moment I’m not entirely convinced that she’ll go all the way to #1.

The name Florence originates from the Latin word florens, which means flourishing. The word florens itself comes from the word florere, which means to bloom, giving Florence a strained botanical link.

Variants include Florentia and Florentina, both used circa the Roman times, and there are plenty of saints to prove that point.

A small fact I appear to have neglected to mention is the simple fact that I often answer to a common nickname for Florence in my family household, as opposed to either Lucy or Lou, that nickname being Flossie. It”s never really been explained to me where the nickname came from, my father being just as delightfully random as me.

That said, the books surrounding the Bobbsey Twins are more than likely to be the source.

But whilst I’m particularly fond of the nickname Flossie, I’ve mostly found myself indifferent to Florence. True, she’s the name of what I’m told is a marvellous Italian city, and of course the world famous namesake of Florence Nightingale owes her name to the city.

No doubt many people regard Florence Nightingale as a fantastic lady, although my sister seriously contends that Mary Seacole did finer work. The Nightingale/Seacole debate is a curious one, with arguments including the fact that Seacole is promoted in favour of Nightingale as an attempt to promote multiculturalism, given that Seacole was a Jamaican lady. Personally, I don’t think that it can be ignored that Florence Nightingale was an amazing pioneer when it came to public health and nursing.

Still, that doesn’t seem to bother the 1400 or so parents who welcomed a daughter named Florence in 2011, nor parents of a Florence born in previous years.

Categories: Name Profile | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Sibset of the Week: The Camerons

The above letter came through the letterbox today, and it promptly caused me to realise that I have never covered the names of the children of our PM.


This is especially forgetful since the family is of the London Telegraph Birth Announcement social circle, as both parents can trace their lineage back to Kings of yesteryear, and thus the names they’ve used would surely perk the interest of some of you.

Right now, David Cameron isn’t exactly a popular man and I’m not going to sit here and lecture you all about the finer details of my political stance. Suffice to say, no one likes austerity.

David Cameron married Samantha Sheffield in 1996, and they went on to have a total of four children together:

Ivan Reginald Ian (b. 2002, d. 2009)

Nancy Gwen Beatrice (b. 2004)

Arthur Elwen (b. 2006)

Florence Endellion Rose (b. 2010)

Most of you will by now be aware of the name of their youngest child, but I think the names of their other children are equally lovely. I’ll admit that even I am surprised by how popular the name Nancy is – she was at #135 in 2011 in England&Wales.

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

Weekend Post: Florence&Friends

Snapped by me at the Florence Nightingale Museum

I’ve spent all day wandering the streets of London for no particular reason, although I must say, Olympic Park is looking nice. Have you heard the news? I’m totally working at the frickin’ Olympics Stadium this summer. How rockingly awesome is that? Next time I’m down in London town, I’ll be off to UDAC to collect my uniform and accreditation. Anyone else off to London this summer?

However, this is not a travel blog. This is a name blog, and I really should get onto the subject of names.

Whilst flicking randomly through the internet a day or two ago I found myself faced with a challenge: come up with 100 girlie name combos. I hypothetically jotted down a list of them on the nearest available notepad, and I think I did reply with an answer.

The scariest thing I noticed when re-reading the list today was that I used an awful lot of Flo- names, to a ridiculous excess. It’s not something I did consciously, more something that just seemed to happen and it baffled me somewhat because I’m not Florence’s #1 fan, but it seems like I love an awful lot of names similar to her.

Florence is the only Flo- name in England&Wales’ 2010 Top 100, ranking at #54. The next time you see a Flo- name in the data is at #409, and that name is unsurprisingly Flora. Then we have Florrie at #1180, and Flo herself makes an appearance at #2843.

1. Florizel

Technically, this is a boy’s name. It comes from our good friend Shakespeare, who used the name in A Winter’s Tale, where it was the name of the Duke of Bohemia’s son. Everyone loves a zippy z name, and this is no exception. The question of whether it should be a name for lads or lasses remains mostly a question of personal taste.

2. Floren

This name comes from the Latin word florens, which means blossoming. So, in a way, Floren is a variation of Florence because both derive from the same place per se. Possibly my favourite name out of the four, since she’s sneaking into my top names time and time again.

3. Floriane

You may recall that when I last covered this name, I proclaimed an indifference to the name. I’m still not totally in love with the name, but I definately like it a whole lot more than I did before.  The Floriane I know is French, and the name is certainly pretty.

4. Florimell

This name comes from th epic poem The Faerie Queen by Sir Edmund Spenser. In it, Florimell was a lady who fell in love with a knight named Marinell. One of my first friends growing up is called Melanie ‘Mel’, and she remains the only Mel I know personally. If you don’t like Melanie, or think Amelia is too popular then Florimell remains an option.

Oh, and the game? Yeah, my siblings and I totally beat Florence at her own game:

Richard is our nickname for Jack

Categories: &Friends | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spot of the Week: Faux Bayeux

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about names containing the letter x, as opposed to beginning or ending with them. I did a post on many names which contain the letter x last year, but all of a sudden I’m coming up with more. Someone suggested Oxana to me just this week, and then I went on to meet an Oxana later on that day. Quelle chance! That said, she spells her name Oksana, not Oxana.

Another name I wanted to mention is Tristan. I finally came around to watching the 2009 film Stardust this week, and the lead male character is called Tristan Thorn. About half-way through the film I had what could only be described as an epiphany about the name Tristan when I realised just how much I liked the name. It’s a case of a name being constantly in the corner of your eye, but only when you pay any attention to it do you realise just how much the name rocks – especially when Ebba mentioned that if she were to call her hypothetical son Tristan, she’d use the nickname Tate.

Oh, and finally, how many of you have heard of the English copy of the Bayeux Tapestry? Created in the 1880s by a group of female embroiderers, it hangs in the Museum of Reading. Each lady involved embroidered her name under each piece she contributed, and I just had to sneak a picture of this particular section:

Mary Adeline

Current darling of many parents – Adeline! It’s what one could call foolproof evidence of the name’s usage in Victorian England, fo’ sure. Other names of ladies involved include Florence, Beatrice and Ellinor. I also think it would be totally cool to use this line when explaining your daughter’s name:

Oh, Adeline? I got the name from the Bayeux Tapestry.

Categories: Spot of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sibset of the Week: The Morrises and The Lumsdens

Mel Giedroyc, from

I’ve mentioned The Great British Bake Off more times than really healthy on this blog, heck, I mentioned it in last week’s Sibset post. So, we’re going to slightly rectify that by again talking about two families, with one having no relation whatsoever to the aforementioned show.

But, let’s start with it. The show was presented by comedy duo Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc. We’ve previously mention another half of a female comedy duo, Jennifer Saunders, in this feature in November 2011. Her set of three daughters had a rather sweetly vintage feel to them, as does Mel’s own two daughters with husband Ben Morris:



We’re sticking with the slightly vintage feel, but swapping to boys names with our second sibet. Both parents, Richard Lumsden and Sophie Thompson, are in the acting game. To the international audience, Sophie is probably best known for either playing Lydia in Four Weddings and a Funeral or Mafalda in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. To her home audience, her part as Stella Crawford in Eastenders will likely be your first thought – if you watch soaps that is (and I don’t).

Either way, they couple have two sons:

Ernie James

Walter Eric

I couldn’t help but wonder if the nod to comedy duo Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise was intended. I’d certainly like to think so.

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

When Penelope Gets Popular

Paloma Faith may inspire you, from

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

The Crazy Brits

Let’s indulge ourselves with a litte name spotting in the London Birth Announcements, notable names are in bold, siblings in brackets:

Alexandra Charlotte Ozanne, (Isabelle)

Alice Dhanlaxmi

Amelia Jonquil Angharad

Amélie India Lucy, (William)

Beau Vivienne, (Ada Rose)

Celia Jane Vanessa, (Dougal)

Charlotte Carol Jane, (Oscar)

Darcey Carmen Rose, (Theo)

Ellen Andrea Maria

Florence Iona Emily Peel, (Isla and Willa)

Isla Aris

Henrietta Philippa Rose, (Annelies and Martha)

Iona Kathryn, (Imogen May)

Iris Arabella, (Katinka)

Isla Katherine

Isobelle Susannah

Jemima and Willa, twins

Katinka Alice Belsham, (Bella and Freddie)

Katinka Lily

Liberty Valentina Vaughan

Louisa Jane, Alistair

Mair ‘Polly’ Elisabeth Patricia, (Florence)


Martha Maud, (Guy)

Martha Sophie Poppy, (Tilly and Olive)

Mary Beatrice Rose

Mary Constance, (Elsa and George)

Molly Elizabeth Sarah

Molly Juliet

Nancy Rebecca, (Lily)

Nancy Rose

Octavia, (Claudia)

Sadie Francesca

Soma Isis, (Seth and Saul)

Tessa Charlotte Jane, (Isabelle and Eliza)

Tessa Honor Bruce, (Tamsin and Jemima)

Willa Victoria Joanna Rees, (Hamish)

Zinnia Alice Victoria

Alasdair James Dudley

Alexander George Walter Halley, (Serena)

Archie Geoffrey

Arthur John Christopher, (Thady)

Caspar Anthony Wallace

Freddie Samuel, (Jack and Georgia)

George Alfred Beresford

George James Sherlock

George Raffles Tyndale

Griffyd Hunter Heber

Hector David

Henry Arthur Bromhead, (Jenkyn)

Henry Leonidas Tiberius, (Mark and Rupert)

James Luigi Wood, (Johnny)

Jasper Florian

Lawrence Happy John Owen, (Minnie Love and Heidi Sunshine)

Luke Christopher Æneas, (Angus, Orlando and Cosmo)

Oscar Gürsel

Oscar Jack Peter, (Kit and Jemima)

Peter Jack, Angus

Raphael Willam, (Isabella Flora and Lochlann James)

Rudy Felix James, (Olly and Chloe)

Tarka Alexander Arthur

Tobias Tarquin

Thomas Douglas Marinho

Wilbur Clement, (Patti Plum)

My favourite sibset? It has to be Lawrence Happy, Minnie Love and Heidi Sunshine.

Categories: London Telegraph Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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