Posts Tagged With: Geraldine

Comedy&Names Pt.II

Edmund Blackadder, from blooger.com

I looked at several names from the world of British comedy many many moons ago, and have been wanting to return to the subject for ages. Now I have, and this time the focus is on the names of characters from some of Britain’s most loved sitcoms – since the focus was mainly on stand ups and comedy acotrs last time

To make things simple, we’re going to look at one notable name from the top eight sitcoms represented in the Top 10 of Britain’s Best Sitcom poll from 2004.

#1 Only Fools And Horses (Rodney)

Originally a surname which itself was a geographical one. In Old English, it meant Hroda’s Island, whereby Hroda was a Germanic given name meaning fame. The name really started to take off thanks to people wishing to name their sons after British admiral Lord Rodney during the 18th century.

#2 Blackadder (Edmund)

Edmund was Blackadder’s first name, who was the only character aside from Baldrick to appear in every series – all set in different time periods. This name also has origins in Old English, where it means rich protector. It was one name which remained in use in England, even after the Norman conquest, but did fall slightly out of favour in the 15th Century.

#3 The Vicar of Dibley (Geraldine)

Geraldine is the name of the female vicar, played brilliantly by Dawn French. Her friend Alice names her first daughter, born in 2000, after her (although had originally planned on naming her baby girl Vicar)

Geraldine is clearly the feminine form of Gerald, a name of Germanic origins, coming from the elements:

  • ger, meaning spear
  • walda, meaning rule
This name was supposedly brought to Britain with the Normans, and revived in the 19th century.

#4 Dad’s Army (Godfrey)

Yet another Germanic name, this time from Godafrid which meant peace of God, coming from the Germanic elements:

  • god, meaning god
  • frid, meaning peace

Like Gerald before him, Godfrey was also kindly brought to Britain by the Normans, enjoying popularity in the Middle Ages.

#5 Fawlty Towers (Polly)

Polly is a medieval variant of the name Molly, whilst Molly is a diminuative of Mary. The meaning of Mary is not so certain, but there are several theories including sea of bitterness, rebelliousness, and wished for child.

#6 Yes Minister (Humphrey)

Starting to see a pattern? The name Humphrey was introduced the England by the Normans, and it comes from Germanic elements:

  • hun, meaning warrior
  • frid, meaning peace

#=7 Porridge (Stanley)

Strictly speaking, this character is called Norman Stanley Fletcher, more often referred to as Fletch but we’re going to look at Stanley, for reasons that will become apparent soon.

This name started off as a surname, meaning stone clearing in Old English. It’s had somewhat of a revival here in Britain – he re-entered the Top 100 in 2009 and climbed in 2010. It should be interesting to see where he ranks in 2011.

#=7 Going Straight (Fletcher)

Fletch was on the receiving end of his own spin-off show. So now let’s talk about the name Fletcher which ranks at #253, and comes from the French word flèche, meaning arrow. The art of fletching is intwined with archery, since it’s to do with making the arrows aero-dynamically stable.

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Walking in the Air

Screenshot from The Snowman, from therugbyblog.co.uk

Christmas is coming, and I’ve been tossing and turning about whether or not to do a themed post. I’ve buckled, but predictably, I’m approaching this rather differently to how most would.

Ever heard of the phenomenal TV film The Snowman? It airs every Christmas here in the UK since 1982 and is based on the book of the same name by Raymond Briggs. I love The Snowman, and am completely gutted I won’t be able to watch it this year since I’ll be in the States for Christmas (more on that on Thursday). Quite frankly, it rocks. It also spawned a classic Christmas song: Walking in the Air – which was quite brilliantly parodied by Irn Bru a few Christmas’ ago with them flying over Scotland rather than Brighton:

It’s such a pretty little song, much better than most of the dreary stuff churned out each year – I’ve heard that Geraldine McQueen song three times today and am close to the edge.

Christmas names are an interesting topic for me, since I was due on Christmas Eve – but turned up fashionably late and ruined a midwife’s party dress. I could’ve been one of the many December babies named Holly each year (In December 2010, the most popular girls name was Holly, 440 born compared to the 416 born to the name Olivia), but my parents opted against it. This doesn’t bother me one bit, but it’s fun to speculate on the what-ifs.

Since the song is titled Walking in the Air, I thought it apt to talk names relating to the air – especially since we’ve focused heavily on birds names of late. Let me make this clear: if you don’t want to name your child after a bird, there are still plenty of options out there.

We’ll start with the French. Many children dream of flying, and that’s exactly what the Snowman and the boy do in the film whilst the song is playing. You probably know by now that the French word for butterfly is Papillon, but have you ever considered Libellule? It’s the French word for dragonfly, and I’m quickly falling in love with the idea of using is as a name. The French say: LEE-buh-lool. If you don’t like that, a few fellow Continent-dwellers to the French have their take on the word (all meaning dragonfly):

  • German: Libelle
  • Italian: Libellula
  • Spanish: Libélula

If you ever wish to find an alternative to Liberty which could legitimately shorten to Libby, look no further than here m’dears. It’s also befitting of the Bella trend, which may or may not have been catalysed by Twilight. I’d rather not get into that debate right now, because it would take over this post very quickly.

Going off on a tangent I once more dip my toes into the mystical and unknown world to me of music. There’s a class of intruments called Woodwind, or Wind, instruments and there’s two notable names to mention to you.

The first is Reed. In woodwind instruments, specifically clarinets, oboes and duduks, the player blows in order to cause a reed in the intrument to vibrate, which in turn causes vibrations in the air. The second potential name to consider is Bell. The bell of a woodwind instrument is the round, flared opening opposite the mouthpiece.

Of course, the really easy place to find inspiration is in the many Gods et al associated with the wind. The obvious one I’m seeing batted around more and more is Zephyr – inspired by the name of the Greek God of the west wind. You may be wondering that if there was a God of the west wind, then logic follows there must too be Gods of the north, south and east wind? You’d be right.

The collective name for these Gods is the Anemoi, and the Roman equivalent is Venti (note: the French word for wind is le vent). The Greek God of the north wind is Boreas, and he’s also said to be the bringer of winter. He also had a close association with horses. Boreas had two sons and two daughters:

  • Calais
  • Zethes
  • Khione (Goddess of snow)
  • Cleopatra

His Roman equivalent was called Aquilo.

The God of the south wind is Notus, who was feared for being destroyer of crops. You may find Notus a little too much, but his Roman equivalent was named Auster – which seems like a name truly fit for the modern mama: Part Austin; part Alistair and just a wee bit like Oscar.

Finally, the God of the east wind was callewd Eurus, and this was considered the unlucky wind. He was thought to bring both warmth and rain. His Roman equivalent? Vulturnus. Now, Eurus may not be as unusable as you may think since their is a legit welsh name Euros to contend with. If I’m honest, I only really know this due to Doctor Who – which has had episodes directed by one Euros Lyn. There is the niggling issue of the so-called Eurozone crisis, with people increasing shrieking that the currency of Europe – the euros – could collapse. The Welsh name Euros is often associated with aur – meaning gold. Of course, the chemical symbol for gold is Au.

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

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

Name Spot of the Week: Marks&Sparks

Father Ted logo, from fatherted.org.uk

Marks&Spencers have re-opened an outlet in France this week, which makes my standard M&S chocolate box gift to any French friend feel somewhat threatened. The store is also colloquially named Marks and Sparks, and was predictably founded by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer. Marks originally came from the area now known as Belarus and Spencer married a lady named Agnes. The last time I was in M&S was over the summer, when I was served as the till by a lovely lady named Hettie.

There are several models which M&S use on a regular basis for promotion; the one with my favourite name is also French. Her name? Noémie Lenoir, who has a son named Kelyan Makélélé.

I’m sure you’re all probably aware by now that the mascots for London 2012 are called Wenlock and Mandeville, but another recent sporting find of mine is that one of the leaders of the failed Qatar bid for the 2017 World Athletics Championships was called Aphrodite. Speaking of sporting events, how is this for patriotic? A guy in my littlest sister’s maths class is called Churchill.

In what a former teacher of mine called ‘webby-land’, I somehow ended up looking at Yahoo’s article on Where do the best baby names come from?. Whilst most of the comments weren’t perhaps the best examples of how to wield the English language, there were several fascinating names brought up by a few of the commenters:

  • Britannia
  • Brook-James
  • Bryn
  • Cashel
  • Christy
  • Elyon
  • Hebe
  • Kailua
  • Lilac
  • Maeve
  • Rosalind
  • Rudi
  • Sorrel
  • Talia
  • Ted

Speaking of Ted, I watched an episode of Father Ted quite by chance the other day, in which Dougal spelt his name sans g. The character of Dougal is played by a man named Ardal, who has also appeared in the comedy series My Hero, in which he was the father of Apollo ‘Ollie’ and Cassandra ‘Cassie’. The name of some of the backing characters from the Father Ted series are notable, however:

  • Assumpta
  • Concepta
  • Cyril
  • Danita
  • Fintan
  • Imelda
  • Ned
  • Noel
  • Polly
  • Romeo

Another religion-based sitcom in the UK is called Vicar of Dibley, for which script contributions were made by a man named Kit Hesketh-Harvey – but Kit is short for Christopher. The lead character in Vicar of Dibley is a female vicar called Geraldine.

Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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