It’s been awhile since I’ve rummaged through the depths of children’s programming. I briefly watched Tweenies myself when it launched in 1998, but quickly grew out of the target audience – but with a sister still inside it I kept watching it throughout it’s run.
The show focuses on four main characters, all between 2-5 years old at the time of the series who attend nursery. Whilst it may not sound like a particularly exciting concept for a show, but it managed to keep my sister entertained for several years. In theory, that means that the characters would’ve been born circa the mid-1990s. It may therefore interest you first of all to know what the four main characters were called, with their 1998/2010 rank in England&Wales:
Usually used as a short form of Isabella, and indeed it is the Italian word for beautiful. As you can see, this name has shot up since 1998 – which some attribute to the Twilight effect. The novel itself first hit the shelves in 2005, when Bella was at #438 which confirms my suspicions that the name was moving up prior to the books.
Fizz (no rank/no rank)
English word, in context, if a liquid fizzes, it produces a lot of bubbles. The posh word we chemists like to use instead is effervescence. As a child, I was certain that this was a nickname since even to a much younger, gullible and somewhat impressionable me. In terms of ranking, I’m not surprised to see this name has never ranked – although in 2010 both Fizza and Fizzah made an appearance. The fact that Fizz’s brother was called Gary somewhat supports my childhood theory that Fizz was a nickname for her but since we’ve never been provided with further detail it remains a theory.
Either a medieval variant of Jack, or a short form of Jacob. In terms of rankings, the name hasn’t really shifted anywhere far since 1998.
Old Germanic form of the name Miles. Often associated with the Latin word miles, meaning soldier. Quite by chance, the name Milo came up yesterday.
Aside from the four main characters, there were a few other interesting names in the mix from peripheral characters, and a special thanks to my sister whose knowledge of The Tweenies remains startling intact. Then again, I discovered this week during a debate with friends that I can still recall where the bus stopped on each weekday on the show Playdays.
The name of Jake’s older brother. There’s a Chinese gymnast by the name He Kexin, whose exact age was subject to some controversy during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The thing to remember, however, is that Kexin is female – but it is telling that Kexin surfaced on the Tweenies several years before the gymnast made her international début in 2008. I’m pinning my bets on my second cousin Keivan using the name Kexin, following the example of father Kelvin and grandfather Kevin. He is only 3, though, so that day is potentially a long way off. According to Nancy, there were 5 girls born in the US in 2009 named Kexin; I’m rather unsurprised that the name Kexin ranks for neither gender in 2010 in England&Wales.
The name of Bella’s older sister. As you may have seen above, Bella wasn’t exactly popular back in 1998, never mind Mella. You may like to link it to melle, the Latin word for honey – from which the French received their word for honey: miel. The we have the English word mellow, which isn’t really applicable to the origins of Mella, but is certainly a word I always link it to.
The name of Jake’s mother. Mitzi is the German form of Maria, although my sister has commented that to her the name is Maisie gone German. Whilst that isn’t exactly correct since neither name is related, it does have a social application, i.e. if you like Maisie, but not her popularity, why not consider Mitzi?