Posts Tagged With: Jack

Barely Legal Drivers

Today I want to talk about a controversial BBC Three show thats recently finished it’s second series called Barely Legal Drivers. For those not familiar – and as the video above explains – the premise of the show is that various youngsters are lent the family car for the wee. Whilst they think they’re part of a show looking at modern life of young people in Britain, but actually they’re driving is scrutinised by their parents and ex-traffic officer Judith Roberts. There has been several cases of pretty shocking (and in more than a few, downright dangerous) driving in the series thus far (you can see some in the video), which has caused some controversy amongst the general British public.

Now, I’ve been watching the show with a bemused look on my face since I’m 20, and thus in the exact demographic for participants, however I hasten to add that unlike those on the show I do have my own little runaround (Gypsy, whom I’ve mentioned in passing before) and almost 3 years no claims bonus.

But we’re not here to snipe about others driving, but instead to look at the names, which also happen to be a look into the names of my own generation. Perhaps the most notable naming I’ve seen thus far on the show is a set of twins named Zahra and Farah. I think that it’s the first time I’ve seen the two names paired together, and I kinda loved it, despite the match-y-ness. The name Zahra (or Zara) almost certainly came into the English speaking world as an offshoot of Sarah, a name that comes from Hebrew and means princess. The name is also similar to Zahrah, an Arabic name that means blooming flower. The name Farah is Arabic in origin and means joy/delight.

Another set of twins that have appeared have less match-y names of James and Brian.

Another interesting fact is that there has been both a Chantal and Chantelle featured. The name Chantelle is a respelling of Chantal, which isn’t as modern as some may think: she comes from Old Provençal word cantal and means stone. The name Chantelle was #83 in 1994, but has fallen all the way to #750 since then. Ouch. It’s not much better for Chantal, who ranked at #571 in 1996 and now doesn’t even rank for 2013 (i.e. less than 3 girls were given the name). Clearly, the names are sadly past their best.

Another girl popped up with the name Dominique (using the nickname Dom). This is an interesting one for me to look at as I used to work with a girl my age with the same name, but at the same time the name appears to be more male-centric across the channel in France. Dominique is the French form of Dominic, which comes from Latin origins and means of the Lord. The name has fallen from #309 in 1996 to #2460 in 2013.

A young lad with the name Renaldo appears. Now, the name could be a respelling of the Portuguese name Ronaldo who ultimately comes from the Ragnvaldr (via Scottish name Ronald). The name is formed of two Old Norse elements:

  • regin, meaning might, counsel
  • valdr, meaning ruler

Many of the names on the show are what you might consider popular picks for my generation of youngsters born in the 90s, but have sadly fallen out of favour since.

Two examples of this are in Bradley and Dean. The former is a surname-turned-first name that means broad meadow. He’s fallen from #34 to #117 since 1994. Another name is Dean, who also comes from Old English and means valley. He’s had less staying power than Bradley, having fallen from #67 to #429 since 1994.

Nicknames – or what appears to be simply nicknames – appear frequently. A girl with the name Caz appears, with Caz being short for Caroline. I have a close friend who is also a Caroline nn Caz. Caroline was a Top 100 name from 1944 to 1984, but she’s fallen a long way since then, ranking at #733 in 2013. The name comes from the Karl family of names and so mean either man or woman, depending on whether you feel feminising the name means feminising the meaning.

There’s also an episode that features a Jamie and a Jessie. Now, Jessie is pretty certain to be actually a Jessica – a name that was #3 in 1994 and hasn’t strayed too far from that ranking since as in 2013 she came in at #6 in England&Wales. I might not be a fan myself, but the British public has for her to be a consistent Top 5 name for almost 20 years. That’s impressive.

The name Jessica was introduced to the British public by Shakespeare in Merchant of Venice, where he got the inspiration from a Biblical character called Iscah, who was also known as Jesca; the name means he beholds.

As for Jamie, he could actually be a James, a name that was #2 in 1994. However, Jamie ranked at #26, so it’s not so certain. The name James is Hebrew in origin and means supplanter.

A Tommy appears, and since Thomas was #1 in 1994, you could make an educated guess that he was born a Thomas – especially since Tommy didn’t enter the Top 100 until some 20 years later in 2011. The name Thomas is like Jessica in that with a 2013 rank of #6, he’s a long time keeper in the eyes of the British public; the name means twin.

Two final mentions go to Jac and Lauri, in which Jac is likely a respelling of Jack, and Lauri is most like a nickname for Laura.

Jack has been in the Top 3 since 1994, making him the ultimate male name of the past two decades in England&Wales, whereas meanwhile Jac has been hoovering around the 300 mark – and he’s currently at #350. Jack is a nickname of John and in 1984, the name John outranked Jack at #14 to #74 before Jack launched into his two decade long dominance; the names means Yahweh has favoured.

Laura was inside the Top 10 in 1994 at #9, and since then has fallen all the way to #146 with little signs of a reverse in fortune. The name comes from the Latin laurus and means bay tree. Whilst Lauri has hovered around the 3-baby-per-year mark, the spelling Laurie fares better at #910 for boys and #1360 for girls (both down from around the 500 mark in 1996).

All in all, the names are a little snapshot of the 20-somethings of today here in England&Wales, and that’s of personal interest to me as someone who grew up amongst them.

Categories: Names from the Box | 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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John Smith

He’s the nom de plume of Doctor Who, and he’s also the man opening the London Olympics tonight:

Well, maybe not 😉

As it so happens, the guy whose hands wave around at the beginning, and voice exclaims John Smith nearer the end is Osama from yesterday. This video was filmed by me at the technical rehearsal on Wednesday, and look out for the exploding balloons in the bottom right hand corner. I’m still impressed with my luck of getting a practically front row ticket too 🙂

The name John Smith is in theory one of the most popular names out there, given that Smith is one of the most popular surnames in the English speaking world and the name John having centuries of popularity under his belt.

Perhaps in these more modern days, here in the UK he would actually be Jack Smith instead – especially for the under 20s given that Jack reigned as the most popular name in England&Wales from 1996-2008.

The name is often used as a generic name to represent the everyday man, given the commonplace of both names.

An interesting exchange in Doctor Who sums the attitude to this name up nicely for me, when the Doctor gives his name as John Smith to a character, who retorts along the lines that nobody’s called that anymore.

One could see this as hinting towards a drive many parents have these days for a more unique name.

It’s also worth talking about the phenomena of the slightly different Alan Smithee. This was the official name used in films by directors who had disowned the film, and thus didn’t want their name in the credits. It was coined in 1968 and discontinued in 2000.

The downfall of the name has often been attributed to a film released in 1997 called An Alan Smithee: Burn Hollywood Burn. It is regarded as one of the worst films of all time, and thus brought harsh negative publicity towards the name Alan Smithee.

Other names like this include the name Joe Bloggs/Fred Bloggs, often used the the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and John Doe, the USA and Canadian equivalent. In both cases, the surnames are more distinctive, whilst the first names remain popular picks.

Other cultural versions of these names include:

  • Israel Israeli, israel
  • Jan Kowalski, poland
  • Jean Dupont, france
  • Jonas&Petras, lithuania
  • Luther Blissett, artists and activists in Europe and America
  • Matti & Maija Meikäläinen, finland
  • Max & Erika Mustermann, germany
  • Medel-Svensson, sweden
  • Ola & Kari Nordmann, norway
  • Seán Ó Rudaí (Sean O’Something), ireland
  • Tadhg an mhargaidh (Tadhg of the markplace), irish version of Average Joe
  • Tauno Tavallinen, finland
  • Tommy Atkins, the British army (dates from the World Wars)

I don’t suppose anyone actually knows a John Smith?

Categories: Olympics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

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

GOOD

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

UNCOMPLICATED

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:

BOYS

  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

GIRLS

  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

Jubilee Fun

John Lewis Jubilee Sign

It’s a wonderful day to embrace a feeling of patriotism, so it feels apt to mark the Diamond Jubilee celebrations by looking at some patriotic choices. This is, in a sense, a re-run-come-update of a list I posted last year to mark the Royal Wedding.

This list includes inspirations from all realms of British culture, be it film, food or famed landmarks. Yes, I’m sure you can come up with names not on this list, and it would be wonderful if you flag them up in the comments for all to see.

Alba – The Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland

Albion – An alternate name for England, mostly used by the poetic.

Alfred – Sir Alfred Hitchcock pioneered many techniques in the realm of horror and suspense theatre.

Arthur – The name of one of England’s most famous folklore characters.

Audrey – Audrey Hepburn consistently ranks as one of the greatest actresses of all-time.

Aviva – One of the FTSE 100 companies listed in the London Stock Exchange, which is a well-known insurance company.

Azure – Perhaps an odd choice at first, but let us consider the second line of the patriotic song Rule Britannia, which states: arose from out the azure main [Britain].

Bell – Alexander Graham Bell was the inventor of the telephone.

Blake – The writer of the patriotic song Jerusalem (and did those feet in ancient time), was one William Blake.

Blighty – This one screams patrioticism, it is a slang name for England, often heard in Old War films.

Bournville – The village built by confectionary company Cadbury for its workers. Cadbury championed many things, such as pension schemes, joint works committees and a full staff medical service.

Brunel – Isambard Kingdom Brunel often tops the Greatest Britons lists. He was a Victorian engineer.

Calico – As in, the legendary pirate, Calico Jack.

Camber – Legendary first King of Cambria

Cambria – A classical name for Wales

Chaplin – Charlie Chaplin remains to this day one of the greatest silent film actors.

Clarence – Clarence House serves as the home of the Prince of Wales, and is another official royal residence.

Columba – St. Columba is one of the patron saints of Scotland.

Beeton – Mrs Beeton is one of the best known cookery writers.

Buckingham – Buckingham palace is the primary London residence of the Queen. Often referred to colloquially as Buck House, perhaps making the name Buck an option too.

Cambridge – The name of one of the top Universities in the world, located in England.

Cecil – Cecil Spring-Rice wrote the words to the patriotic song I Vow To Thee My Country.

Cole  – As in King Cole, he has been prominent in English legend and literature since the Middle Ages, there is also the popular children’s song, Old King Cole.

Daffodil – The national flower of Wales.

Darwin – After Charles Darwin, who put forward the idea of evolution. He appears on the £10 banknotes.

Douglas – Capital of the Isle of Man, which is located in the Irish Sea.

Eden – The lyrics of patriotic song There’ll Always Be An England calls this fair isle, Eden.

Elgar – A British composer who composed, amongst other things, Pomp and Circumstance, until recently, he appeared on £20 banknotes, these were withdrawn in 2010.

Elizabeth – A name borne by both the present Queen, and one of England’s other notable rulers. There is also Elizabeth Fry, who championed the rights of the inmates of British prisons.

Eton – Famed boy’s school, and where the traditional dessert of Eton Mess originated (it’s a mix of strawberries, meringue and cream).

Fawkes – For Guy Fawkes, the man who tried to blow up Parliament. He is respected by many, despite his intentions. A Yeoman Warder once said to me on a tour that he is the only person to enter Parliament with noble intentions, and the tools to carry it out. Bonfire Night is celebrated every 5th November in remembrance of the Gunpowder Plot.

George – St. George is the patron saint of England, and also the name of a handful of past Kings.

Glory/ Gloria – There is the patriotic song, Land of Hope and Glory. The lyrics of God Save the Queen also call her to be glorious.

Godiva – Lady Godiva, a noblelady who rode naked through the town in order for the people of it to be released from her husband’s heavy taxations.

Grenadier – There is the patriotic song, The British Grenadiers, which is also a marching song for the grenadier units of the British Military.

Harper – The Royal Coat of Arms features a harp, which symbolises N.Ireland.

Jack – The Union Jack is the flag of Great Britain, so perhaps not a completely patriotic choice for England, but it also does not scream patriosism.

Jenner – After Edward Jenner, the man who created the vaccine, and thus saved more lives than many others.

Joule – After James Joule, who helped to develop the first rule of thermodynamics.

Kedgeree – A Victorian breakfast item, created from flaked fish, rice, parsley, hard-boiled eggs, curry powder and cream.

Kiel – The Angles who settled in England back when were originally from the Bay of Kiel.

Kipper – A breakfast item in British cuisine. Also, British slang for a short sleep is kip.

Leo – Especially for the football loving of you, we have Leo, the Latin word for Lion, of which three appear on the Royal Banner, and Three Lions is also a popular football song.

Lilibet – The childhood nickname of the Queen

Lloyd – The name of a well-known high street bank, also a member of the FTSE 100.

Loegria – Another alternate name for England, not in wide usage.

London – If you want to make a statement about your love of the English, this is always a good, obvious choice. There has been a flurry of celeb-babies named London of late.

Madeira – A madeira cake is a popular sweet item in the UK.

Mercia – One of the ancient kingdoms from days gone by which was located in the midlands.

Mona – Early records record the name of the Isle of Man as Mona.

Morris – After the great traditional dance from up North – Morris Dancing.

Narcissa/Narcissus – The national flower of Wales is a daffodil, for which the Latin name is Narcissus.

Ness – As in, the legendary beast of Loch Ness

Nevis – Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Great Britain.

Newton – The surname of Mr. Gravity, Sir Isaac Newton. He is frequently referred to as Newton in the Isles, making Newton the obvious choice if you want to honour a prominent figure in British history. He appeared on Pound Sterling banknotes of £1.

Oak – The oak tree is a symbol of England, and also appears in the song Rule Britannia.

Oxford – The name of one of the top Universities in the world, located in England.

Penda – One of the famed Kings of Mercia.

Penny – Another name for 1p, there is the popular saying I haven’t got a penny. Pre-decimalisation, 12 pennies made a shilling.

Piccalilli – The British cuisine take on Indian pickle.

Pixie – A common mythical creature from folklore.

Richard – For Dick Turpin, a famous English highwayman. I don’t advise Dick, but Richard also honours King Richard the Lionheart.

Robin – For Robin Hood, a notable figure in English legend.

Rose – The Queen’s personal flag features the letter E encircled by a ring of roses.

Runnymede – A hard name to pull off, but it is the location where the Magna Carta was first sealed, an important charter which pioneered the idea of limiting the powers of the King by law, thus protecting the priveleges of his people.

Russell – The British Museum, one of the world’s greatest museums, is located on Great Russell Street.

Saltire – The name of Scotlands national flag, which date from the 9th century, making it one of the oldest flags in current usage.

Sandringham – Sandringham Palace is a country home of the Royals, which they privately own.

Scotia – Originally a Roman name for Ireland, nowadays an old name for Scotland.

Severn – The River Severn is the longest river in Great Britain.

Smith – The most popular surname in England.

Sterling – The name of the British currency is Pound Sterling.

Syllabub – A traditional dessert in English cuisine. It’s basically cream mixed with wine.

Tate – One of the best known art galleries in the UK.

Tea – One of our best-loved beverages.

Thames – The name of the river which flows through London.

Trent – The name of a river which flows through the midlands.

Tudor – The tudor rose is the national floral emblem of England, and whilst Rose is frequently used by many, Tudor is not, and was the surname of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and some other notable monarchs of England.

Victoire – From the lyrics of God Save the Queen, when it is sung for God to send her victorious.

Victoria – The name of the famed Queen Victoria and thusly popular cake Victoria Sponge.

Wren – One of the most acclaimed architects in history was Christopher Wren, who was English.

Wyvern – A legendary winged reptilian with a dragon’s head, two legs and a barbed tail. Frequents British coats of arms, and was notably the standard of the ancient Kingdom of Mercia.

Yeoman – An odd choice, but the Yeoman of the Guard are one of the oldest British military corps in existence today. The Yeoman Warders are the ones at the Tower of London, completely different group of retired military men and ladies.

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Names of the Week: Jack and Liberty

Outside of Liberty Stadium, from eliteaerial-satellite.co.uk

I began to write this post whilst watching the Swansea v Arsenal match. It’s certainly been thrilling, and my team won! Since we’ve already covered Swansea, instead we’re turning to their club nickname and the name of their stadium. What’s great about both names is that neither screams Swansea supporter – even if you use both (unless you live in Swansea, of course).

It’s also apt to cover Jack since today is my brother’s birthday. Well, the day this should’ve been posted. One of the nicknames for Swansea City, aside from the swans, is the jacks, hence why we’re covering him.

The name Jack evolved as a nickname for John, and these days is much more popular than John in England&Wales. Consider this, since the year 2000 Jack has only fallen 1 place in the popularity list: from #1 to #2. John, on the other hand, has fallen 36 places, falling 11 places between 2009 and 2010, putting him at #94 and making me class him as one of the most likely current Top 100 names to have said goodbye to the Top 100 when the 2011 data is released. He may have a resurgence, but I can’t see it happening.

That said, I did then check the US data since they have a track record of the full names tending to outrank their nickname counterpart, and John does indeed outrank Jack in their 2010 data: John ranks at #26 and Jack at #44. However, a similar pattern of falling has taken it’s toll on John – he’s fallen 12 places since 2000, whilst Jack has risen 2 places from his 2000 ranking.

The name Jack is particularly popular in folklore. First off, we have Jack Frost – the personification of frost; there is also Jack O’ Lantern and Jack-in-the-Green. You could also class Jack from Jack in the Beanstalk into this category, too.

Outside of folklore, the name Jack also makes an appearance in several nursery rhymes, which you may or may not recognise:

  • Jack and Jill
  • Jack Sprat
  • Little Jack Horner
  • Jack Be Nimble

What I loved about the name Jack was that he wasn’t just a name, he’s used for so many different things. You could accuse him of being one of the most popular word names for boys. A few notable uses of the name Jack, but not for a person includes:

  • A device used to lift heavy objects
  • An electrical connector
  • An archaic unit of volume
  • Lowest value face card in a pack of cards
  • The target ball in several games such as bowls.
  • Six-tipped gmaes pieces used in the game of the same name
  • A Navy Jack is flown from warships
  • A Union Jack is another name for the Union Flag of United Kingdom

As for Liberty’s association with the side, it’s the name of their stadium; The Liberty Stadium has been the home to Swansea City since 2005, and whilst you may think the name Liberty is without company branding, such as with the recent controversy surrounding the potential renaming of St.James’ Park as Sports Direct Stadium. Swansea-based developers called Liberty Properties Plc won the naming rights a few months after the stadium opened.

During construction it was affectionately known as White Rock, and remained known as New Stadium Swansea until the aforementioned name sponsors came forward. The White Rock name was in reference to the local copper works which had previously occupied the site; Steve the Swansea fan, however, thought it referenced crack more than anything. Despite being brand new, following Swansea recent promotion into the Premier League (in a game I attended!) they now have the second smallest stadium in the Premier League, beaten only by Loftus Road, home of fellow 2011 promoted side Queens Park Rangers.

Most countries have little mottos, and France’s is one of the simplest to remember: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. I’ve seen this on political posters, and even seen some French grafitti mocking the phrase: Le gaz, l’électricité, l’eau – la prix! Liberty is, of course, a word name meaning freedom. The French quite famously donated The Statue of Liberty to the States, which is one of the best-known symbols of liberty. Here in Britain, we have Britannia instead, who can be found on most 50p coins. She especially came to represent British liberties and democracy during the World Wars.

As a name, Liberty is currently less popular than her potential short form of Libby. In 2010, Liberty ranked at #401, compared to Libby, who was at #98. However, since 2009 the name Libby fell 20 places to her current ranking, so she may be poised to join the same club as John. The same can be said for Liberty, who was at #390 – thus has fallen 11 places, herself.

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

Average Family: The Newby Family

The Newby Family, from metro.co.uk

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:

Harry

Peter

Jack

Joe

Bryce

George

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

Sibset of the Week: The Sidebottoms

Ryan Sidebottom, from bbc.co.uk

I should be a huge cricket fan, since one of the world’s best cricket grounds is on my doorstep, but I’m not a huge follower. Well, I do follow the international version to a certain degree i.e. when I hear we’re thrashing India et al. I’ve only ever been to see the cricket once in the well-known Trent Bridge Cricket Ground, and today’s father was playing that day. He’s also been called up for England on a number of occasions.

Ryan Jay Sidebottom was born in 1978, and is valued for being a left-handed player in both batting and bowling disciplines. My brother also happens to be a left-handed player, whilst I’m what I like to call a half-hearted leftie, i.e. I only write with my left-hand, I play tennis and so forth with my right hand. He began playing for Nottinghamshire in 2003, staying until 2010 when he absconded up north to play for Yorkshire. In terms of his international career, he made his test and ODI début in 2001, with his last appearance coming in 2010.

Together with his wife Kate, they have two children with lovely names. Since there are only two, I considered shuffling in another family to lengthen the post, but it is such a delightful pairing:

Indiana Nell

Darley Jack

I quite like the pairing of a rather modern choice for a first name with a slightly more old-timey nickname-y-esque name placed in the middle. It works, and that’s all it really needs to do. Well done lad.

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Sibset of the Week: The Whitehalls

Comedian Jack Whitehall, from static.guim.co.uk

A few weeks ago, I posted all about names from the british comedy scene, and this was one name I felt saddened to let go. He was on the first draft and I had to cut him out at the last minute for various reasons. Either way, Jack Whitehall now gets his very own post as compensation.

Born in London to a Hilary and a Michael, you might expect him and his two siblings to bear rather ordinary name, and to a certain extent, yes they do, but the combination of names they each bear is what makes this a worthy sibset of the week:

Jack Peter Benedict

Molly Louisa

Barnaby William

Categories: Spot of the Week | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Canadian Grand Prix

2010 Podium l-r Maclaren Mercedes Team Principal, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, from f1-gp.info

We’ve got a little longer to wait for the Canadian Grand Prix, since it isn’t until next weekend: 13th June. There’s been a Canadian Grand Prix on the Formula 1 race calender since 1961, bar ’75, ’87 and ’09. That’s a lot of winners, albeit, there have been 8 drivers who have won it multiple times. Some names you may recognise, some you may not, and they range from the distinctive Ayrton, to the not so unusual Peter:

1961 – Peter Ryan

1962 – Masten Gregory

1963/1964 – Pedro Roderígez

1965 – Jim Hall

1966 – Mark Donohue

1967 – John ‘Jack’ Brabham

1968 – Denis ‘Denny’ Hulme

1969/1970 – Jacques ‘Jacky’ Ickx

1971/1972 – John ‘Jackie’ Stewart

1973 – Peter Revson

1974 – Emerson Fittipaldi

1976 – James Hunt

1977 – Jody Scheckter

1978 – Gilles Villeneuve

1979/1980 – Alan Jones

1981 – Jacques Laffite

1982/1984/1991 – Nelson Piquet

1983 – René Arnoux

1985 – Michele Alboreto

1986 – Nigel Mansell

1988/1990 – Ayrton Senna

1989 – Thierry Boutsen

1992 – Gerhard Berger

1993 – Alain Prost

1994/1997/1998/2000/2002/2003/2004 – Michael Schumacher

1995 – Jean Alesi

1996 – Damon Hill

1999 – Mika Hakkinen*

2001 – Ralf Schumacher

2005 – Kimi Raikkonnen*

2006 – Fernando Alonso

2007/2010 – Lewis Hamilton

2008 – Robert Kubica

* There should be umlauts on some of the letters in their names. I can’t do them, apologies.

2011 – Jenson Button

Categories: Sport Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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