Posts Tagged With: Helen

Names of the Week: Jules and Helen

Christophe Maé and son Jules, from skyrock.net

I started writing this whilst France vs. Ireland is on in the background. I can profess to be a huge follower of rugby, but exceptions can be made for Six Nations. That’s kind of why we’re writing about the name Jules this week, because he is really the darling of the French at the moment. Oh, and as for Helen – she’s Kira’s middle name.

Jules can also be spelled Jools and whilst the name appears more popular for lads in France at the least, examples of males and females bearing the name are there. In England, there are two well-known people named Jools – one male, one female.

Jools Holland is a muscian come presenter, and in his case Jools is short for Julian Miles. Then we have Jools Oliver who is chef Jamie Oliver’s wife and former model, for her Jools is short for Juliette. The latter name may seem overly familiar to you, and that’s because you’ll likely be all-too-familiar with the name of her children:

  • Poppy Honey Rosie
  • Daisy Boo Pamela
  • Petal Blossom Rainbow
  • Buddy Bear Maurice

There is another well-known Jules in England, immortalised in a song by two comedians called Three Lions. The line goes as such:

Three Lions on a shirt, Jules Rimet still gleaming. Thirty years of hurt, never stopped me dreaming

Football fans may be aware that the name of the original World Cup was called Jules Rimet, after FIFA president of the same name; it was during his leadership of FIFA that the World Cup began in 1930 and he remains one of the longest-serving FIFA presidents. After Brazil won the tournament for the third time in 1970, they were granted the reward of keeping the trophy indefinitely. Unfortunately, in 1983 the cup was stolen and hasn’t been seen since.

In terms of well-known French uses, the first one whom comes to mind is Jules Verne, author of Around the World In 80 Days, amongst other fine works. Then we have a rather more modern namesake: well-known and liked French singer Christophe Maé has a son named Jules born in 2008.

So, Jules can be short for Juliette or Julian – or indeed used as he stands as the French do; he is the French form of Julius, after all. Whilst Jules may be popular in France, that’s not exactly the case in England&Wales:

Rank Births
Jules #1082 25
Jools #2941 6
Julian #311 143
Julien #1724 13
Jolyon #4678 3

Sometimes the name’s meaning is given as downy-bearded, but the name Julius is likely to derive from Iovis, from which we also get Jupiter.

Overall, what you get with Jules is a vibrant, modern-sounding name that has been around for much longer than one may intially believe – Jules Verne was born in the early 19th century. Yes, he has a slight unisex edge to him – but it’s worth noting that Bailey, Riley and Ashley continue to perform best on the male side of the fence in England&Wales:

Male Female
Ashley #178 #516
Bailey #79 #505
Jules #1082 n/a
Riley #25 #830

Whilst Jules is very much in vogue in certain parts of the world – well, mostly France – the name Helen hasn’t had much chatter about her of late, although sister’s Helena and Ella are getting a look in.

Mentioning the French, my French teacher for most of my school career was called Helen, and the French pronounced her name as we would Ellen. The h is silent, as it is for Héloïse.

Helen can very much be a modern pick, Robert De Niro welcomed a daughter named Helen Grace as recently as December 2011. He’s just one example. Helen ranked at #623 in 2010 in England&Wales, which isn’t popular by any stretch of the imagination but very much could be baby bear’s bed if you want something familiar but not crowding out the local nursery group.

Helen is related to a whole bunch of other names, of which many outrank her:

  • Elena – #192
  • Ella – #18
  • Ellen – #216
  • Ellie – #29
  • Helena – #333
  • Lena – #192
  • Nell – #390
  • Nelly – #747

Now, the meaning. Her exact meaning is uncertain, but Helen has been associated with the Greek word helenê, which means torch. I take it this is where Kira got the impression that the name Helen has a light-related meaning.

To sum up, every name has potential to shine if one truly believes it can. Some say Helen is outdated, but if Stanley can make the Top 100 in the 21st century, the sky really is the limit. Helen has a more popular sister by the name Helena to contend with, and that could hold her back from any real resurgence for a few more years. But hey, both Lexi and Lexie are in the female Top 100, so it’s proof that sister-names can co-exist in the top flight of popularity.

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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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Decade Snapshot 1930s/A-Z

Fry's Dainties, from pzrservices.typepad.com

Following on from our 1920s name list, here are the top names for each letter in the US Top 1000 of 1930.

A – Arthur and Alice

B – Billy and Betty

C – Charles and Catherine

D – Donald and Dorothy

E – Edward and Elizabeth

F – Frank and Frances

G – George and Gloria

H – Harold and Helen

I – Ira and Irene

J – James and Joan

K – Kenneth and Kathleen

L – Louis and Lois

M – Marvin and Mary

N – Norman and Nancy

O – Oscar and Opal

P – Paul and Patricia

Q – Quentin and Queen

R – Robert and Ruth

S – Stanley and Shirley

T – Thomas and Thelma

U – Ulysses. No female.

V – Vernon and Virginia

W – William and Wanda

X – none.

Y – Yvonne. No male.

Z – Zane and Zelma

 

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Decade Snapshot 1920s/A-Z

Occasionally, I find a need to peruse some data. Here is the product of just that. I looked at the Top 1000 for the USA from 1920 and created this list. Out of the Top 1000 names on the 1920 name list, this is a list of the name that appears first with each beginning letter.

A – Arthur and Anna

B – Bernard and Betty

C – Charles and Catherine

D – Donald and Dorothy

E – Edward and Elizabeth

F – Frank and Frances

G – George and Gladys

H – Harold and Helen

I – Irving and Irene

J – John and Josephine

K – Kenneth and Katherine

L – Louis and Lillian

M – Michael and Mary

N – Norman and Norma

O – Oscar and Opal

P – Paul and Pauline

Q – Quentin and Queen

R – Robert and Ruth

S – Stanley and Sarah

T – Thomas and Thelma

U – Ulysses and Una

V – Vernon and Virginia

W – William and Willie

X – N/A

Y – Yoshio and Yvonne

Z – Zach and Zelma

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