Posts Tagged With: Humphrey

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.

Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Show Your Spots: Bear Names

Revamped 2007 onwards Pudsey Bear, from bbc.co.uk

Pudsey Bear has taken over BBC1 for the night, and that means no Have I Got News For You my weekly highlight. Many people have been going around all day wearing year bear ears and potentially even wearing spotty clothing as my sister’s school did. I don’t think the people of Britain go as crazy in dressing-up as they do for the biannual Red Nose Day appeal.

The name Pudsey is a fascinating one. There is a town named Pudsey in West Yorkshire, and this is where Pudsey Bear got his name. Pudsey is also well-known for its wool manufacture, and, from the 19th century, Cricket. Many England cricketeers, such as Sir Len Hutton, Matthew Hoggard and Herbert Sutcliffe all learned to play cricket in Pudsey. Sadly, Pudsey is also known for being one of the most polluted areas in the UK during the Industrial Revolution. There is the joke that Pigeons flew backwards in Pudsey to avoid getting soot in their eyes as the wind from industrial towns Leeds and Bradford blew thick soot into Pudsey.

As for the origins of Pudsey, it derives from the Old English name Pudoc, perhaps a diminuative of Puda, meaning Puduc’s island or river land. In 2009, a female bear by the name Blush joined Pudsey as a secondary mascot for the appeal, but Pudsey remains as the focal point for the day.

The next bear I immediately think of is Sooty, who first hit British sceens in the 50s on The Sooty Show, although I grew up with it’s successor, Sooty&co. A fellow bear, or panda bear, named Soo accompanies him in his various shows, and of course, Sooty’s cousin Scampi also featured.

Another blast from the past is The Jungle Book. Fun fact: Rudyard Kipling and I share the same birthday (but not the same year of birth, clearly) and The Jungle Book is more or less 100 years older than I (we’re talking the original publication, not the 60s Disney film). Baloo is a sloth bear from the book and the singer of the well-known tune ‘The Bare Necessities’.

I also confess to loving the name Rupert, not just because of the loveable bear who goes by the same name. Some say this is an issue for them, but he is an endearing character in my mind. The name Rupert is a German form of Robert, which means bright fame. Bear wuold also make for an unexpected nickname for Robert. Other famous cartoon bears include Winnie the Pooh, who was reportedly named after a real-life bear named Winnipeg, and our final bear: Paddington. Generally speaking, Winnie would be taking as a short form for the female name Winifred, but may also be considered for the more gender-neutral Winslow and Winter.

Moving slightly away from bears, one can’t ignore the recycling-nuts that are The Wombles. I grew up with them and I did believe them to be a species of bears named Wombles for pretty much the entirety of my childhood. My favourite character was called Orinoco and the one whose name has always catched my imagination was Tobermory.

The last name to consider is Teddy, as in Teddy Bear. Mostly given as a nickname for Theodore, I’ve been considering alternatives of late:

  • Albert
  • Bertram
  • Alfred
  • Dexter
  • Frederick
  • Edward/Edmund/Edgar (pretty much any Ed name)
  • Sebastien
  • Theophilius

I’m also lead to believe that there’s a character called Humphrey Bear in Australia, whilst America has Yogi Bear, who goes out with another bear named Cindy.

To finish, there are a few possible names to consider which either means bear or have a bear-related meaning:

  • Arthur (disputed)
  • Björn
  • Dov
  • Ursula
Categories: Boy Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Name Spot of the Week: Sevens Rugby

Rugby Sevens logo from isidethegames.biz

I love rugby, t’s my favourite sport to watch after Formula 1 (and maybe a decent game of footie), and last weekend was full of Sevens Rugby for me, with Twickenham hosting this time ’round. It’s a fast-paced version of Rugby, with each game just 15 minutes long, and only 7 players per team. It also made for some interesting name spotting:

Aderito (Portugal)

Alafoti (Samoa)

Allister (Scotland)

Biko (Kenya)

Camille (France)

Cecil (South Africa)

Collins (Kenya)

Derek ‘DJ’ (New Zealand)

Diogo (Portugal)

Emosi (Fiji)

Facundo (Spain)

Flavien (France)

Gaston (Argentina)

Gregory (Australia)

Hamish (Australia)

Hernan (Argentina)

Horace (Kenya)

Humphrey (Kenya)

Ifan (Wales)

Ignacio (Spain)

Igor (Russia)

Isoa (England)

Javon (Wales)

Johannes (South Africa)

Lolo (Samoa)

Lote (New Zealand)

Mikhail (Russia)

Mitieli (Fiji)

Ofisa (Samoa)

Peni (Fiji)

Petrus (South Africa)

Ratu (Australia)

Renaud (France)

Renfred (South Africa)

Reupena (Samoa)

Rhodri (Wales)

Roderick ‘Roddy’ (Scotland)

Samuela (Fiji)

Seremaia (Fiji)

Shalom (US)

Sherwin (New Zealand)

Sitiveni (Fiji)

Simaika (Samoa)

Tai (US)

Thyssen (Canada)

Trent (Australia)

Valenese ‘Nese’ (US)

Vasily (Russia)

Victor (Spain&Kenya&Russia)

Walter (Argentina)

Zar (New Zealand)

Elsewhere, sister #1 has a friend over at the moment named Alixx, who claims her name is the Greek version of Alexandra. I’m not exactly sure it is (Alixxandra), but there you go.

Speaking of my sister, I mentioned earlier on this week that my sister had used Clotilde as her confirmation name, what I lacked to mentioned was the confirmation name of another lad being confirmed at the same time: Elmo.

At the weekend, I watched my first episode of Hawaii Five-O, I know I’m a little late coming into it, but the name Kono stood out for me. I love 4 letter -o names for girls, such as Juno and Meno, so it’s a plus.

Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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