Posts Tagged With: Jean

Sibset of the Week: The Burnses

via wikipedia.org

via wikipedia.org

A few weeks ago I spent some time in Ayrshire during the Commonwealth Games, and this week’s family hails from that very part of the world and seemed a fitting way to end the unofficial ‘Scottish Week’ we’ve had going on.

Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns is one of the most noted poets to hail from Scotland, and indeed is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. As well as writing in English, he also wrote works in the Scots language, being one of the best known poets to do so. In 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV. His family therefore seemed an obvious choice to round off this week.

First, let’s take a look at Rabbie’s own family. He was the eldest son of William Burness and Agnes Brown:

Robert (1759-1796)

Gilbert (1760-1827)

Agnes (1762-1834)

Annabella (1764-1832) (I’ve also seen her name listed as Arabella, the Scottish form of Annabella)

William (1767-1790)

John (1769-1785)

Isabella (1771-1858)

All the names are pretty typical 18th century names, although the one that I took note of is Gilbert, since I’ve never covered the name on the blog. He’s a Germanic name that means bright pledge.

Then we have the children of Rabbie Burns who, unless noted, are also the child of Rabbie’s wife, Jean Armour.

Elizabeth ‘Bess’ (1785) by Elizabeth Paton

Robert (1786, twin of Jean)

Jean (1786, twin of Robert)

Unnamed twin daughter (1788)

Unnamed twin daughter (1788)

Robert (1788) by Janet Clow

Francis Wallace (1789)

William Nicol (1791)

Elizabeth ‘Betty’ (1791) by Ann Park

Elizabeth Riddell (1792)

James Glencairn (1794)

Maxwell (1796)

There are some pretty interesting middle names here: Nicol; Glencairn; and Riddell. I seem to recall reading somewhere that Nicol comes from a friend of Rabbie Burns’, so it could be logical to assume the same for the other two.

Maxwell is interesting to me, because he appears in several popular PC games: Scribblenauts as the primary playing character; Don’t Starve as the antagonist; and partially in the Max Payne games as the titular character. Maxwell also happens to be the codename of a Nvidia graphics processing unit (GPU).

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Name Spot of the Week: New to F1

New McLaren for 2012, from theweek.co.uk

This week has whooshed by for me, so it seems apt to focus on a sport know for it’s quick pace. It’s about a month now until Formula 1 kicks off the 2012 season, and I’m itching to see whether broadcaster Sky will live up to expectations as it takes over the UK coverage. If you’re outside of the UK, you may not be aware that Bernie Ecclestone sold the TV rights to Sky starting this season – which is a subscription service. This made it quite the controversial deal, given that F1 is on the list of sports which must be available to watch for free, thus on one of the channels available through Freeview. Technically, they’re sharing the coverage with the BBC, but there’s been a mini storm amongst fans here.

But, in the off season there have been a few changes to the driver line-up. Notably, three French drivers have race-seats, after literally no French drivers in the 2011 season.

Charles Pic (Marussia) (FRA)

Jean-Éric Verge (Toro Rosso) (FRA)

Kimi Räikkönen (Lotus) (FIN)

Narain Karthikeyan (HRT) (IND)

Nico Hülkenberg (Force India) (GER)

Pedro de la Rose (HRT) (ESP)

Romain Grosjean (Lotus) (FRA)

I’ve been watching quite a bit of news this week, and one name that really caught my attention was Nikel. Half Nico, half Michael and rather appealing to the chemist in me. The reporter didn’t pronounce the name like nickel, though, more like Michael with an N. Another interesting thing to note from watching the news is that of mother and daughters having matchy names. We mentioned an Amelia with daughters Ame and Lia a few weeks ago, and I’ve recently seen a mother called Mollie with a daughter named Millie.

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

30th December

Mowgli, from The Jungle Book, from comicvine.com

Today’s my birthday, so to celebrate I’ve been through a list of all the famed people also born on the 30th December in search of some interesting names to provide inspiration on one of the best days of the year 🙂

Asa Griggs Candler

Ato Boldon

Bennett Miller

Chandler Burr

Concetta Tomei

Del Shannon (Charles Westover)

Dorothea Lieven

Douglas Alder ‘Doug

Eldrick Woods ‘Tiger

Émile Loubet

Janko Prunk

Jay Kay (Jason Cheetham)

Josée Verner

June Anderson

Kenyon Martin

Leon Jackson

LouisJeanFrançois Lagrenée

Meredith Vieira

Rachid Karami

Rosalind Hurley

Joseph Rudyard Kipling

Skeeter Davis (Mary Frances Penick)

Sylvester Jordan

Sylvie Moreau

I would happily use many of these names – especially Asa and Sylvie. This is also the first time I’ve come across a triple-barreled first name, aside from the ones which occasionally turn up over at Eponymia.

Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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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