Posts Tagged With: Harry

Sibset of the Week: The Baldwins



Holly Willoughby is another TV presenter that first crossed my path in the world of children’s TV. In the case of Holly, she co-presented the popular Saturday morning show Ministry of Mayhem that ran from 2004-2006 that my younger siblings all loved. She’s been a panelist on the show Celebrity Juice since 2008, which several of my friends watch – although I’ve yet to really understand it’s popularity with them.

Either way, I was planning on covering this family earlier on this year, but then Holly went and announced she was expecting her third child, meaning that this post had to be shelved until this week when she welcomed her third bundle of joy.

Holly married Dan Baldwin in 2007, and together they are now parents to three children:

Belle (b. 2009)

Harry William (b. 2011)

Chester James (b. 2014)

Bizarrely, Belle still trails behind Beau in the female England&Wales rankings – #321 to Beau’s #178 (with Beau ranking at #175 for boys). It’s always been an interesting fact to be, given that Bella is at #56, inside the Top 100 alongside many other -bel names (think: Isabella and friends).

It’s interesting to note that both Belle (#525 in 2009) and Chester (#581 in 2013) were in the 500s when Holly chose them, whilst Harry hit the #1 spot in the year her first son was born – 2011.

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

Family Tree Alternatives

Usually when people ask for alternatives of other names, they tend to look at similar-sounding names. However, in this post we’re delving into names related to popular names and picking out some intriguing possibilities for alternative names.

1. Harry and Amelia

Harry was born as a nickname for Henry, and these days is living it large in the #1 spot. Another offshoot of Henry is the Scottish variant Hendry.

Whilst choices were plentiful for Harry, the pool of potential names is smaller for Amelia and basically revolves around the same letter combinations, e.g. Amalia, Amélie etc. Perhaps the best bet is Emelia.

2. Oliver and Olivia

There are plenty of weird and wonderful international variants of Oliver, but I’m rather partial to Noll, which is an old medieval diminutive for the name.

Oliver and Olivia are interrelated, and my favourite other female name in the family tree is almost certainly Olivette.

3. Jack and Lily

There were quite literally a bazillion choices for both names here; in terms of Jack I’m thinking either the Welsh Ianto, or the French Yannick. The name Ianto is a diminutive, like Jack, of Ifan which is the Welsh form of John. As for Yannick, he comes from Yann which is the Breton form of John.

However, a last minute acknowledgement must go to the name Manech: he’s the Basque form of Jean, and Jean is of course the French form of John.

Then we have Lily, and my initial thought was the Scottish form of Lilian: Lillias or Lileas. Or go psuedo-chemistry with Lilium.

4. Alfie and Jessica

The complete opposite of the above pair of names, in that both Alfie and Jessica have few options. Alfie is, of course, a nickname for Alfred, and my best suggestion is Avery: a medieval form of Alfred.

Jessica is a toughie for the simple reason that she has few cousins, however Iscah is an intriguing possibility, being a possible source of the name Jessica.

5. Charlie and Emily

Charlie is a nickname for Charles, and in France they have Charlot. Anyone familiar with the French language will note that the t is silent, thus the name does not sound like Charlotte, more like SHAR-lo.

With Emily we encounter the same problems as with Amelia; there is a tenuous link between Emily and the Welsh name Emlyn, but alas, Emlyn is technically a male name. Best suggestion is likely to be either Emmy, Émilienne or Aemilia.

6. Thomas and Sophie

The Welsh short form for Thomas is Twm (said something like tuwm), or alternatively there is the Scottish variant Tavish.

As for Sophie, in Scandinavia they use Vivi as a nickname for Sofia.

7. Jacob and Ruby

There are, again, a plethora of options to choose from here, but I’m opting for the short’n’sweet option with Jeb.

Being a word name makes Ruby difficult, but the French for Ruby is Rubis and the German is Rubin.

8. James and Grace

For James, I would opt for Jem, which is an old and now rarely used nickname for James.

Ditto Ruby when it comes to Grace; once more turning to French we have both Grâce and Joliesse as translations. The former isn’t so practical, given that the French pronounce it to sound more like grass than grace.

9. Joshua and Ava

We’re venturing into the Arab world for Joshua, with the name Isa; the Arabic form of Jesus.

As for Ava, Chava is undoubtedly a wonderful suggestion – being the Hebrew form of Eve – but she’s mostly reserved to parts of the world not inflicted with the word chav. There is also the option of Hungarian name Évike.

10. William and Isabella

With William, I’m thinking maybe the German and Dutch dimiutive, Wim. Aside from him, we also have the option of Wiley, or even the Dutch Pim.

As for Isabella, being related to Elizabeth gives us plenty of options. As for the ones vaguely similar to Isabella, we have the German name Ilsa, which is a diminutive of Elisabeth.

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England&Wales 2011 Data: The Big Facts

Oliver and Olivia have officially been overtaken! The new #1s for England&Wales are Harry & Amelia!

Here are the key facts for you all:

  • Harry is up 1 place to  #1, whilst Oliver is now #2
  • Amelia is up 4 places to #1, whilst Olivia is now #2
  • George is out of the Top 10 and replaced by Jacob
  • Evie and Chloe are out of the Top 100 and replaced by Ava and Isabella
  • Lily replaced Ruby as the most popular name in Wales, whilst Oliver remains #1
  • The biggest riser was Jenson, up 27 places to #65
  • Other big climbers were Arthur, Dexter and Riley (boy).
  • Biggest fallers were Ben, Kyle, Cameron, Reece, Lewis & Owen
  • The biggest riser for girls was Eliza, up 31 places to #62
  • Other big climbers were Evelyn, Harriet and Sofia
  • Big fallers for girls were Caitlin, Katie, Keira, Tia and Lauren.


Elsie at #87; Bella at #69; Blake at #79; Elijah at #91; Francesca at #99;Frankie at #84 (boys); Jackson at #99; Kayla at #98; Lydia at #100; Tommy at #65; Willow at #75.


Aidan, now at #101; Aimee, now at #104; Alexandra, now at #107; Bradley, now at #105; Brandon, now at #118; Kieran, now at #129; Laila, now at #124; Libby, now at #106; Maisy, now at #102; Sam, now at #112;Tilly, now at #103.

Not wanting to brag or anything, but I predicted the fall of Aimee, Alexandra and Libby here, and predicted Elsie gatecrashing the Top 100 here. 🙂


  • Harry was the most popular name for boys for 9 months in 2011
  • Oliver was the most popular name for boys in January, April & June
  • Olivia was the most popular name for girls in January, April, July & August
  • Lily was the most popular name for girls in February, March and May
  • 13 boys names were in the top 10 for at least one month during 2011, compared with 15 for girls
  • Holly was the second most popular name for girls during December, and fell to #54 in July
  • Summer peaked at #14 in August, and was as low as #71 in December


  • There are seven common names in the Top 10 for boys when you split the England&Wales data to English data and Welsh data, compared with 6 common names for girls.
  • Oliver is #1 in Wales, not Harry.
  • Riley, Ethan and Dylan are all in the Welsh Top 10
  • Seren, Ella, Mia and Megan are all in the English Top 10
  • Daniel and Isabella were #1 in London, where Harry was #6
  • Poppy was in the Top 10 in the South West at #9
  • Lucy was in the Top 10 in the North East at #10
  • Isla was in the Top 10 in the South East at #10
  • Both Mohammed and Muhammad were in the Top 10 in Yorkshire&the Humber, West Midlands & London
  • Riley was in the Top 10 at #10 in both Yorkshire&the Humber & East Midlands

Finally, a comment by ONS on the data:

There are a number of possible reasons why the popularity of baby names can change over time.
The popularity of names can be influenced by names of famous figures or current celebrities and
what they name their own babies. However, it is an individual choice which can be influenced by a
number of other factors such as the religious, cultural and/or ethnic identities of the parents or the
names of family, friends or fictional characters. As such, there is a great diversity of baby names. In
2011, there were 723,913 live births in England and Wales (ONS, 2012), with over 28,000 different
boys’ names and just over 35,000 different girls’ names registered. The top ten names only account
for 14 per cent of all names in 2011.

Oh, here is the new Top 100, including the change in rank since 2010:

1 HARRY 7,523 +2 AMELIA 5,054 +4
2 OLIVER 7,007 -1 OLIVIA 4,938 -1
3 JACK 6,844 -1 LILY 4,761 +1
4 ALFIE 5,524 JESSICA 3,984 +2
5 CHARLIE 5,516 EMILY 3,974 -2
6 THOMAS 5,353 SOPHIE 3,923 -4
7 JACOB 5,047 +5 RUBY 3,702
8 JAMES 4,945 +2 GRACE 3,691 +1
9 JOSHUA 4,786 -1 AVA 3,621 +2
10 WILLIAM 4,632 -3 ISABELLA 3,464 +2
11 ETHAN 4,581 +2 EVIE 3,385 -1
12 GEORGE 4,347 -3 CHLOE 3,347 -4
13 RILEY 4,226 +12 MIA 3,346
14 DANIEL 3,928 -3 POPPY 2,932 +2
15 SAMUEL 3,803 -1 ISLA 2,849 +7
16 NOAH 3,287 +2 ELLA 2,783 +2
17 OSCAR 3,251 +2 ISABELLE 2,719
18 JOSEPH 3,089 -3 SOPHIA 2,661 +9
19 MOHAMMED 3,054 -2 FREYA 2,619
20 MAX 3,043 +3 DAISY 2,458 -5
21 DYLAN 2,962 -5 CHARLOTTE 2,390 -1
22 MUHAMMAD 2,854 +9 MAISIE 2,230 -8
23 ALEXANDER 2,819 -2 LUCY 2,228 -2
24 ARCHIE 2,805 PHOEBE 2,008 +4
25 BENJAMIN 2,789 -3 SCARLETT 1,987 -1
26 LUCAS 2,716 -7 HOLLY 1,971 -1
27 LEO 2,664 +9 LILLY 1,950 +12
28 HENRY 2,625 +6 ELLIE 1,893 +1
29 JAKE 2,619 MEGAN 1,799 -6
30 LOGAN 2,549 -2 LAYLA 1,780 +14
31 TYLER 2,520 +1 LOLA 1,777 +2
32 JAYDEN 2,353 -6 IMOGEN 1,773 -6
33 ISAAC 2,352 +4 EVA 1,714 +4
34 FINLEY 2,245 +1 SUMMER 1,711 -4
35 MASON 2,171 +11 MILLIE 1,641 -3
36 RYAN 2,151 -6 SIENNA 1,585 +11
37 HARRISON 2,122 +5 ALICE 1,554 +6
38 ADAM 2,062 +1 ABIGAIL 1,493 -4
39 LEWIS 2,035 -12 ERIN 1,491 -4
40 EDWARD 1,935 +3 LACEY 1,475 -4
41 LUKE 1,830 -3 HANNAH 1,462 -10
42 FREDDIE 1,819 +3 JASMINE 1,429 -1
43 MATTHEW 1,743 -2 FLORENCE 1,406 +11
44 LIAM 1,690 -11 ELIZABETH 1,396 +5
45 ZACHARY 1,664 +6 LEXI 1,324 +1
46 CALLUM 1,580 -6 MOLLY 1,322 -4
47 SEBASTIAN 1,493 +11 SOFIA 1,249 +15
48 CONNOR 1,471 -4 MATILDA 1,225 +5
49 JAMIE 1,445 EMMA 1,221 -1
50 THEO 1,407 BROOKE 1,216 -5
51 TOBY 1,389 +3 AMY 1,213 -13
52 HARVEY 1,388 -5 AMBER 1,201
53 MICHAEL 1,364 GRACIE 1,162 -2
54 NATHAN 1,319 -6 AMELIE 1,128 +1
55 HARLEY 1,308 +2 ROSIE 1,124 +4
56 KAI 1,211 LEAH 1,120 -6
57 DAVID 1,163 +7 KATIE 1,105 -17
58 AARON 1,147 -3 MAYA 1,072 -1
59 ALEX 1,129 -7 ELEANOR 1,049 +2
60 CHARLES 1,090 +2 GEORGIA 1,022 -4
61 AIDEN 1,077 +5 EMILIA 1,007 +10
62 LEON 1,069 -2 ELIZA 955 +31
63 MOHAMMAD 1,037 +4 FAITH 914 +2
64 LUCA 982 +6 BETHANY 913 -5
65 TOMMY 980 +91* EVELYN 871 +22
66 FINLAY 967 +2 ISABEL 857 -8
67 JENSON 966 +29 ANNA 827 -4
68 ARTHUR 961 +14 HOLLIE 825 +1
68 LOUIS 961 +1 BELLA 823 +35*
70 RHYS 946 -5 PAIGE 811 -7
71 OWEN 943 -12 HARRIET 809 +15
72 REUBEN 941 -1 ESME 797 +2
73 OLLIE 933 -10 ZARA 790 +3
74 LOUIE 887 LEXIE 788 -6
75 GABRIEL 874 +3 WILLOW 772 +37*
76 BOBBY 869 +7 ROSE 764 +14
77 CAMERON 848 -16 MADISON 760 -10
78 DEXTER 833 +20 JULIA 759 -1
79 BLAKE 831 +26* ANNABELLE 758 +10
80 STANLEY 824 +8 ISOBEL 754 -5
81 KIAN 800 -9 NIAMH 733 -3
82 EVAN 770 -6 MADDISON 731 -1
83 JUDE 764 +3 MARTHA 723 +2
84 FRANKIE 756 +24* SKYE 717 -11
85 ELLIOT 755 LAUREN 710 -15
86 HAYDEN 747 -6 CAITLIN 708 -20
87 ASHTON 727 -10 ELSIE 699 +21*
88 JOEL 712 -7 KEIRA 693 -16
89 CALEB 709 -2 REBECCA 693 -6
90 BAILEY 704 -11 SARAH 663 -7
91 ELIJAH 701 +29* HEIDI 652 +2
92 TAYLOR 696 +5 ZOE 649 -8
93 ROBERT 694 -3 MARIA 628 -2
94 KAYDEN 686 +5 MARYAM 616 +5
95 KYLE 683 -21 AISHA 613 +1
96 FREDERICK 669 -1 TIA 613 -16
97 BEN 667 -24 NICOLE 605 -5
98 REECE 656 -14 KAYLA 604 +21*
99 JACKSON 647 +40* FRANCESCA 602 +3*
100 JOHN 645 -6 LYDIA 589 +7*
Categories: Popularity | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Weekend Post: Good, Fresh, Uncomplicated Names

Eat’s ethos

Since I shared this photo in last week’s Spot post, I’ve been thinking about the Eat ethos, which is good, fresh, uncomplicated food.

What would be the naming equivalent?

Let’s break it down.


Fresh is often used (and I’m particularly guilty of this one) as another way to say unusual, but one could also see it as a name that hasn’t been overexposed.

In the end I settled for 4 set criteria for a name to pass this category and go on to the next category. For a name to be fresh in my eyes, it must not be:

  • A name that has been in the Top 100 for 10 years at some point in time
  • A name that ever been #1
  • A name that has been given to a high profile celeb offspring
  • A name that has risen more than 100+ places in the Top 500 since 2000

Taking this into consideration, names that fail this category include:

  1. Amber
  2. Amelie (up 1420 since 2000)
  3. Chloe
  4. Harry
  5. Jack
  6. Kayden (up 1326 since 2000)
  7. Lexi (up 1949 since 2000)
  8. Oliver
  9. Suri
  10. Thomas


For a name to be good, I believe it has to have little negative connections such as an evil forebearer (whether fictional or not) or less-than-lovely meaning.

8 names that would fall down at this hurdle, but would’ve passed the previous category include:

  1. Adolf – self explanatory
  2. Azrael – aka The Angel of Death
  3. Bellatrix – think Harry Potter
  4. Dolores – means sorrows + think Harry Potter
  5. Gretel – Hansel&Gretel tale
  6. Louhi – name of a death goddess in Finnish mythology
  7. Memphis – the US city known for crime
  8. Mordred – rival of Arthur in Arthurian legend
  9. Nuala – the Nuala in Irish mythology was less-than-nice
  10. Persephone – means murder /to destroy


What makes a name complicated? One could say it is a name which causes little spelling/pronunciation issues, such as James and Ruby.

8 names that fail this test, but passed the previous two include:

  1. Caoimhe – pronounced KEE-va
  2. Ceridwen – pronounced ke-RID-wen
  3. Eluned – pronounced EH-lee-ned
  4. Heliodoro – just generally a mouthful of a name
  5. Joachim/Joaquin – just generally a name that causes me a headache when it comes to pronunciation
  6. Schuyler – pronounced SKY-ler
  7. Solveig – pronounced SOL-vay
  8. Xanthe – pronounced ZAN-the

So, without further ado, here’s the list of  some of the names I think  pass all three tests:


  1. Angus
  2. August
  3. Barnaby
  4. Bruno
  5. Caspian
  6. Cosmo
  7. Ever
  8. Ezra
  9. Fergus
  10. Gray
  11. Indigo
  12. Ivor
  13. Rio


  1. Avalon
  2. Blossom
  3. Coral
  4. Gwen
  5. Hero
  6. Ingrid
  7. Josie
  8. Lux
  9. Nova
  10. Orla
  11. Roma
  12. Rosemary
  13. Vera

Do you dispute any of these choices? Are there any names you think qualify too?

Categories: Weekend Post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Slightly More Usual Names


I mention not-so-usual names quite a bit – I originally intended on covering a name given to only 20 boys in England&Wales in 2010 today, but put it on hold for another day. Instead, we’re talking about some Top 100 names I’m glad to see popular, and if I’m really honest with myself, I would happily use any of these names in a heartbeat.


Deep down, I know I’d love to use the name Harry. He does get a bit of a bad rap in some areas – usually by those who pronounce the same the same as the word hairy. Here in the UK, they’re completely different and that’s probably why he’s so much more successful here. You’d think the Harry Potter series would’ve promoted the British pronunciation elsewhere, but it seems to have made little impact. Either way, I find myself rathering Harry to Henry. I’m honestly unsure of why, certainly in the UK, you would use Henry and then use the nickname Harry – except for family/personal reasons. I guess I could understand it in the States where Henry is just so much more popular than Harry.

Of course, some of you will predictably want to only use him as a nickname, so here’s a quick list of potential ideas for full names of Harry:

Harper; Harrier (previously mentioned); Harold; Harvey; Horatio; Harding; Hardy; Amishar; Berhard/Bernard; Charbonnet; Charles; Charleston/Charlton; Harlow; Harrison; Harrod; Hartley; Harvard; Lothar; Harrison; Richard; Sacha; Zachariah/Zachary; Christopher.

Harry was at #3 in England&Wales in 2010 and he means home ruler. That is, if you’re deriving him from Henry.


I guess my heart did sink a little when I heard Rebecca Woolf proclaim that she doesn’t like the name Archie, and fights against her son Archer becoming one. These days it does seem more likely that parents wanting a long form of Archie would opt for Archer over Archibald. I like the idea of Archer, in that I happen to call the same part of the world home as Robin Hood once did – one of the most famed archers of legend. Back in Medieval times, you’d have been hard pressed to find an English man who could not wield a bow and arrow, as men were trained from the age of 7 by their father. The name Archibald somewhat reflects the characteristics of an archer with his meanings: Genuine; bold; brave.

One could call Archie the British Emma – like Emma with Emily, he has benefitted hugely from the popularity of the name Alfie. I know of plenty of people opting to use Archie over Alfie due to his position as being the lesser popular of the two – although these days the gap is relatively small. In 2010, Archie ranked at #24, whilst Alfie ranked at #4.


I think I love him because he is just so hopelessly uncool in the eyes of many. That’s probably why I’m currently reconsidering my position on Percy. Surprisingly popular in this fair isle – slightly more so in Wales (#70) than England (#100) on rankings – there could be a variety of reasons why. The main character in popular sitcom Porridge was called Norman Stanley Fletcher ‘Fletch’, and is widely regarded as a great comic creation. We also have the explorer Sir Henry Morten Stanley – and of course there’s also Stan Shunpike and Stanley Yelnats from the fictional world. Of course, Stanley has also hugely benefited from the sudden interest in ‘old people names’. The name Stanley means stone clearing.

As much as I try to be open to the world of unisex names, the fact that Nameberry list Stanley as a female name unsettles me somewhat, more than the fact he’s listed on their Names No Boy May Be Cool Enough For list.


If you’re thinking, huh, I didn’t realise Sonny was in the top 100, you’d be half right. Sonny ranks at #100 in Wales alone (#113 in England, and combined at #111). It’s a slight cheat, yes, but if it seems apt to mention him with Jenson. The latter name is popular because of the F1 driver, and part of me is beyond thrilled because I did wonder whether parents would be put off by the ‘Jen‘ part of the name (especially with Jennifer lingering around). I guess the driver is well-known enough for parents to be prepared to use him.

As for Sonny, I’m slightly surprised by the uptake of the name, but know I shouldn’t really be. Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Richard Jones welcomed their own Sonny way back in 2004. Brother Kit Valentine followed in 2009, and they’ve recently announced that they’re expecting another bundle of joy later on this year.


Most of you will know that I’m a fan of Maisie. She’s a nickname for Mairead, the Scottish form of Margaret. Her Scottish origins go some way to explaining her fierce popularity in this part of the world, despite Anglo-Scottish relations never being particularly close – and potentially to grow further apart if Alex Salmond gets his way. It’s also worth noting that whilst Maisie ranks at #14 in 2010 in England&Wales, the #15 spot is taken my sound sister Daisy.


Thinking about it, I hardly ever see this name discussed along the likes of Rose, Clementine and Lily and that could be because she’s nowhere to be seen in the States. I checked, too, and she hasn’t been in the Top 1000 at all in the past 100 years, although she was given to 118 girls in 2010. I’m also quite surprised I’ve never really looked in depth at Poppy, because she is a personal favourite of mine – alongside plenty of other P- names including, but not exclusive to fellow floral names Primrose and Peony.

As a possibly source of her success, I’ve had plenty of friends and acquaintances tell me that should they have a daughter in November, they’d name her Poppy, as a reference to the annual Poppy Appeal which runs from October-time to Remembrance day; It’s run by The Royal British Legion. My local bus service has started adorning their fleet with poppies in the last year or two. I know last year that there was a stand-off between Fifa and the England squad when their plan to wear a new-design shirt featuring the poppy in their match against Spain was met with a ban from Fifa. In the end a compromise of an armband featuring a poppy was reached. It did, however, cause widespread outrage which just shows how highly the imagery of the poppy is held.


I first came across this name about 6 years ago on a six year old, and it was said aloud before I heard it said. My first thought was wow, her parents named her imagine, that’s really sweet. It’s a simple mistake, and her creation came from one: Shakespeare intended on calling his character in Cymbeline, Innogen, not Imogen until a mistake in the printing occured – altering her name to Imogen and as thus she remained unchanged back to her intended form. It’s likely that the name means maiden and she ranked at #26 in England&Wales in 2010.


I do like how this name sounds, although some are troubled by her usual spelling – wanting to sound the s when she should remain silent. One can only hope that the high profile of actress Isla Fisher will lead to increased awareness of how to saw her name, not that this worked with Harry Potter. The name Isla derives from the name of a Scottish island – Islay, which is pronounced the same as Isla. An interesting tidbit is that Behind the Name considers Islay a male name. That makes Isla, in theory, part of a growing band of place names you never realised you were using. She therefore joins the ranks of Sofia and Stanley. Isla also happens to be the Spanish word for island and she ranked at #22 in England&Wales in 2010.


I’m not a particular fan of Beth – despite having two lovely workmates with the name; both are just Beth. It therefore figures that I should have a slight preference for Eliza over Elizabeth, but I find myself non-the-bothered. Going back to the previous name, I recently over heard a lady considering the idea of naming her soon-to-be-born daughter Elizabeth – but then using the nickname Isla. Looking at the letters of Elizabeth, it definitely works and thus the pool of Elizabeth diminutives grows. Speaking of them, there’s a great little Name Challenge over at Upswing Baby Names this week concerning offshoots of Elizabeth. The name Elizabeth means my God is an oath and Eliza ranked at #93 in England&Wales in 2010 (Elizabeth at #49).

Categories: Popular Names, Popularity | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Every Tom, Dick and Harry

I had a friend tell me the other day that his father planned on registering his brother as Thomas Richard Harold so that he’d be every Tom, Dick and Harry. Apparently the lady in the registry office didn’t find this amusing and put a stop to it. Whether that’s true or not remains to be proved, but it gives me a chance to talk about alternative names.

Aside from Thomas, an alternative way to get to Tom could be Bartholomew.

Bartholomew is the full name of Bart Simpson, but don’t let that put you off the name. Bartholomew is a Hebrew name meaning son of Talmai. The name Talmai means abounding in furrows. Another famed bearer aside form the cartoon character is St. Bartolomew who was one of Jesus’ apostles – but he wasn’t strictly called Bartholomew, he was infact a Nathaniel.

As for Dick, I’m thinking about the slightly more familiar name of Frederick. He’s the English form of the Old German name Frithuric, which means peace and is another name brought to England by the Normans. Nowadays though, the French tend to spell this name sans the final k as Frederic (accent optional). There have been nine King of Denmark called Frederick, which is a pretty impressive tally. However, I would voice concern over using Dick as a nickname in this day and age.

I had plenty of ideas for Harry, but we’re going less-oft heard with Harrier. I was considering talking about Harper, but since we’ve previously mentioned the name of the blog, the name we’re looking at instead is Harrier. It’s the name of a bird of prey, and the name itself derives from Middle English. There are two distincts types of Harriers: the marsh harrier and the hen harrier. Perhaps a better known link for people is the British military aircraft called a Harrier Jump Jet which was named after the bird. Whilst I think Spitfire is a push, I find myself thinking about why I’ve never considered the name Harrier before. Granted, the name is pretty similar in sound to Harriet – the feminine form of Henry.

Categories: Boy Names | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Average Family: The Newby Family

The Newby Family, from

It’s not so much the names of the Newby family which raise an eyebrow, moreover what lives with them. An emu named Beaky. I wasn’t sure what to make of this story when I came across it, it’s the definition of British eccentricity if one would ever need it. Beake lives alongside Iain, Lisa and their six children, which were all under the age of 10 when I first saw this story published:







The thing to note? They have one daughter in amongst all those names. She’s Bryce. It is rather a depart from the whole standard, classic boys name theme they have going, and if I’m honest, I would’ve picked Bryce as being the one most likley to be a female, so I guess she does work well inside this sibset.

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

Spyro the Dragon

Spyro the Dragon, from

I first started to get into gaming at the age of 11, when I would spend many hours after school playing on my childminders Playstation 1 with the rest of Julie’s Crew. We numbered many, from 12 years to 5 years, which meant the games we played on the mighty PS1 had to be ones we could all have a go at. That meant games such as Rugrats, Crash Bandicoot, Lara Croft and Spyro the Dragon.

My sister, Ebba, and I have a particular fondness for Spyro. Infact, I’ve just come from playing Spyro 2 on our PS1 upstairs, yes, we still have one. Generally speaking, when we get bored during any school holiday, Spyro is the go-to game for us; it can keep us occupied for many happy hours.

So it seems apt to now cover the names of the characters involved in Spyro 2, along with some other inspiring choices. But first, a quick overview of the game in general. Spyro 2 is official called either Gateway to Glimmer or Ripto’s Rage depending on whether you have the International or American version of the game. It was released at the end of 1999, and follows on from the first Spyro game released a year earlier.

This time around, Spyro is helping the people of Avalar, which is under siege by the evil sorcerer Ripto. Spyro must travel through the various portals found in the three homeworlds to collect talismins and orbs from the world he enters. The worlds get increasingly difficult the further along the game you get.

But now, the names. There are 14 worlds in which to collect talismins, with another 4 just solely for orbs. That makes for quite a few NPC characters running around in the background:


And Electroll from Hurricos who asks for your help. He wants you to take out the Gear Grinders who keep stealing his lightning stones, and will reward you with an orb.

The Electrolls are all male from what I can tell, which makes Amper a male name. But we already have the name Amber as an established female name, which means this name may not catch on. Since there’s an electricity-theme going on in Hurricos, I can only assume Amper is a play on the word Ampere, which is the unit of electrical current.

The ‘and’ symbol you can find on your keyboard (&) is called an ampersand, which derives from the phrase and per se and, which means and [the symbol which] by itself [is] and.


Talking to Brother Arnie in the Colossus level results in him opening a door for you by the method of chanting. The name Arnie is usually given as the short form of Arnold. In the 90s BBC comedy Red Dwarf, the character Rimmer’s first name is Arnold, and he occasionally is called Arnie, or indeed calls himself Arnie.

In 2010 there were 14 Arnies and 17 Arnolds born in England&Wales. The itself means eagle power, being of Germanic origins.


A hippo found in Shady Oasis who will set you the challenge of retrieving three lamps that have been stolen. The name Bruno comes from the Germanic word for brown: brun. 48 Brunos were born into this world in 2010 in England&Wales which equates to a ranking of #660.


Foreman Bud will set you a series of mental challenges in Idol Springs that you need to solve; completion of them results in a nice, shiny orb.

Aside from being a short form of Budweiser, the name of a lager, the name Bud also has colloquial use as another word for friend. It’s also used as a slang word for cannabis.

If we were to step into the realms of botany, we’d know that a bud is an undeveloped shoot which normally occurs in the axil of a leaf or at the tip of the stem. This is likely what inspired Jamie and Jools Oliver to use the name Buddy for their youngest child, in keeping with the floral theme of elder sisters Poppy, Daisy and Petal.


Talking to Brother Clive in the Colossus level results in him opening a door for you by the method of chanting. One of the best known Clives is Clive Anderson, who used to present Whose Line Is It Anyway? back in the 90s and now turns up on occasion on the many comedy panel shows, such as QI and Have I Got News For You. But, be wary, Mr. Anderson himself has frequently mentioned his distaste at people called him cleev, not clyv.

The name itself means cliff, and 10 males were born to the name in England&Wales in 2010.


Talking to Brother Curtis in the Colossus level results in him raising a platform for you by the method of chanting. The name comes from Old French and means courteous.

This name is more popular than you think in England&Wales. 159 were born in 2010, which puts Curtis at a respectable #287, 2 places ahead of goldenboy Flynn.


A fawn who acts as a guide to players on their journey through Avalar. She often appears in homeworlds to give tips or point you to a world you’ve yet to enter. I used to always missay her name as Flora.

This name could potentially be an elaboration of the Hebrew name Elior, which means God is my light. It could also be a contracted from of Eleanora. Or an elaboration of Laura, which means laurel.


A little girl who indroduces the world of Scorch. I love this name, mostly because I can’t help but tap it out as great on a regular basis. It comes from the name Margaret, which means pearl. 67 were born in 2010 in England&Wales, which means the name ranked at #586.


Brother Harry introduces to you the level Colossus. I adore this name, despite him being Mr.Popularity here in England&Wales, since he currently sits at #3. He’s a consistant one though, staying put in the Top 10 now for more than a decade. I’ve had friend tout him as a potential #1 in the current years, which breaks my heart, given how much I love the name.

The name itself is a short form of Henry, as demonstrated by Prince Harry himself, who was born a Henry. There’s also Harry Potter who no doubt helped the name up, and also Harry Styles, 1/5 of the emerging boyband One Direction. The latter Harry was actually trending worldwide on twitter last night, which says a lot about the band’s popularity after coming 3rd on last year’s X Factor.


A cheetah who also acts as a gameguide to the player. He also sets a handful challenges which end with an orb reward. 52 Hunters were born in England&Wales in 2010, which puts him at #625.

E.G.Daily, the voice of Tommy Pickles, has two daughters who she named Hunter and Tyson.


The name of one of the NPCs you have to talk to in Glimmer. There’s also a Winnie the Pooh character, and a real-life Lady Kanga here in the UK, born Dale Elizabeth Harper, but nicknamed Kanga.

Personally, I find myself drawn to this name. It’s fun


Brother Kipp of Colossus tells you about their love of the game hockey, and then challenges you to play for orbs. Here in England, the word kip means nap, or short sleep. I remember reading a book once that listed it as one of the words which defined our nation. 6 male Kips were born in 2010.


An Electroll from Hurricos who asks you to go and find out what is wrong with the factory. Cosmo is another fun name which I love, but prefer with the C spelling.

The name Cosmo comes from Cosmas, which means order or decency. It also has links with the word Cosmos which either refers to a harmonious system or outer space.


A fawn who is trapped in a building in Fracture Hills. This name originally derives from the name Christian, which simply means a Christian.


The name of the fawn who introduces the Fracture Hills level, which is my favourite of the Autumn Plains worlds. Lila is the German word for purple.

185 Lilas were born in 2010 in England&Wales putting the name at #267, perhaps spurred on by Kate Moss using the name for her daughter in 2002. The alternate spelling of Lyla is even higher at #159 with 330 births.


Another brother from Colossus who tells you that they’ve trapped the yeti terrorising them into a room. He also rewards you with the end-of-world talismin. I love the name, and think he’d make for a great alternative to Jack.

Generally speaking, he’s a short form of Edward, which means rich guard. 68 Neds were born in 2010 in England&Wales, which places him at #518.


The bagpipe players who need help in Fracture Hills are called Satyrs. There are 6 who need to be released. The world also features female fauns with yoyos.

Satyrs exist in myths, and originally had the tail and ears of either horses or donkeys, but later aquired goat legs, making them pretty much identical to fauns. In the earliest Greek art which they appear in, they are portrayed as ugly creatures, but transitioned over time to become more youthful.

As in the world, Satyrs are associated with pipe playing. A faun was a forest God manisfestation of forest and animal spirits, meaning that it was associated with nature.


The name of one of the worlds based in Summer Forest is Sunny Beach and involves you sheparding some sea turtles. Sunny is one of my favourite names, she’s such a cheerful name.

Sadly, only 11 of them were born in England&Wales in 2010.


A new kind of gem-inspired name. There’s a Welsh name similar to this, Taliesin, for the less brave. Traditionally speaking, Taliesin is a male name; 16 were born in England&Wales in 2010. One features in the BBC’s Child of our Time, a documentary following children born in 2000 to further look into the nature/nurture argument.


The name of a world based in Autumn Plains. It involved a lot of birds flying around dropping bombs on the indigenous population of slug-like creatures.

Personally, I was very happy to see Julia Bradbury had named her newborn son Zephyr about a fortnight ago. It’s the name of the Greek God of the west wind

And of course, finally, we should look at the name Spyro. It’s a Greek name, coming from the name Spyridon, coming from the Greek spyridion, meaning basket, or from the Latin spiritus, meaning spirit.

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