Posts Tagged With: Jem

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.

Categories: Alternative Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Names of the Week: Gem and Sora

So I did finally think up of a name to pair with Sora, and it occured to me whilst listening to the radio one morning. How is this so? Because there’s a radio station in my area called Gem 106.
It’s only recently though that we’ve had a radio station called Gem, as it was launched on the 1st January 2011 – so is a few weeks older than 1. Prior to being called Gem 106, the radio station existed with a previous name: Heart 106. For those wondering about the 106 at the end, that denotes the radio frequency – Gem Radio can be found at 106 FM. We used to have a radio station called 96 Trent FM, whose name followed a similar format; infact, Trent FM was relaunched on the same day Gem was as Capital FM – following a merger between Trent FM, Leicester Sound and Ram FM.
The reasoning behind the naming of Gem FM is worthy of some eye-rolling, as GEM stands for Great East Midlands – and one of the favourite catchphrases on the radio is Great Music for the Great East Midlands.
Aside from badly named radio stations, a variety of moth carries the name Gem – also known as orthonama obstipata. It is commonly found in Continental Europe and bordering lands, but does not range much further beyond the Baltic regions, nor indeed into Russia. Thanks to the moth’s quality of being prone to vagrancy, you can also find them in Britain – although mainly down south.
Gem is also sometimes used to refer to one of the constellations of the zodiac. It was first described by Ptolmey in the first 48 described in the 2nd Century. These days there are now more like 88 constellations to sort through. As mentioned previously, Gemini comes from Latin and means twins. The constellation is associated with the twins from Greek Mythology, Castor and Pollux.
The alternate spelling of Jem is worth a mention too – he’s a nickname for James, Jeremiah, Jeremy or even the female name Jemma/Jemima. You can sometimes see the name as an anglicised version of the Turkish name Cem.
Probably the best known Jem would be the brother of Jean Lousie Finch aka Scout – Jeremy Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. I’ve definately seen an uptake in usage of the name Atticus, and both Scout and Harper are becoming somewhat fashionable.
There is a problem with the name, in that there are two rebel groups from Asia/Africa who bear the name Jem. The first one isn’t so bad since it’s the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) which is concerned with the Darfur conflict in the Sudan. They are fighting against the Sudanese Government, and are a member of the Eastern Front – which is a rebel coalition formerly active in the east of Sudan along the Eritrean border. After the Eastern Front signed a peace deal with the central government, the JEM lost access to its funding from Eritrea.
The second group is called Jaish-e-Mohammed, which literally translates to The Army of Mohammad. It is based in Pakistan, and is a known terrorist Islamic group, established in March 2000. It’s probably not one you’d have heard of, given that their aim involves India. They wish to end Indian rule in the disputed area of Jammu and Kashmir – to expel Indian security forces from the area and then unite Jamu and Kashmir with Pakistan.
As for our female name, not much time has lapsed since I covered Sora a few weekend posts ago, but I’ve been itching to cover her. Aside from being the Japanese word for sky, you can find the name Sora elsewhere.
First off is that Sora is the name of a tribe in Northern Indian. Sometimes their name may be spelled as Saora, Soura, Savara or Sabara. This tribe is the second most prominent tribel community in the Rayagada district of Orissa, and in specific areas in Koraput and Gajapati.
The people of this tribe speak a Munda language, but the written language is not followed by all. They practice was is called shifting cultivation, rather that what we know as settled agriculture. This means that they farm one land, then move onto another piece of land after a few years and thus leave the land to recover from cultivation. My geography teacher used to call it the Slash&Burn method. Some of them are taking up the settled agriculture these days.
There is also a language called Sora which is a Munda language of India, which has roughly 300,000 speakers. It is mainly spoken in the Ganjam District, but can be heard elsewhere such as Koraput and Phulbani regions. Despite the name of Sora generally being pronounced in this area as Savara, it has no relations to a Dravidian language also called Savara. The Sora language is written in the Latin alphabet and the Telug script, and in 1936 the Sorang Sompeng script was devised for the language.
Stepping away from India, you may also like to know about the type of small waterbird called the Sora. They can be mostly found in the Americas, but you can occasionally find them in Western Europe – when they are usually mistaken for the Spotted Crake, which has a different wing pattern.
The fnal thing I want to talk about is the fictional character called Sora, who is male. He appears in the best-selling Kingdom Hearts series, first introduced in the first game of the series in 2002. He’s a cheerful teenager, and is best friends with Riku and Kairi. Sora has also made supporting appearances in a few games from the series, and reprised his role in manga and novel adaptations of the games.
That perhaps a best palce to end, since it shows us that both names have the potential to be used for both genders, but the ones I’ve sort of assigned them in this post seem to be my preference.
Categories: Names of the Week | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Name Spot of the Week: Game Show Blitz

Simmy (l) and James (r), from James May's Man Lab, from

I found myself humming Little April Shower from Bambi earlier on today, and that got me thinking: April or Avril? Or maybe even Aprella? There were four voice actors for Bambi in his film, of which the ones for baby, young and adolescent Bambi were called Bobby, Donnie and Hardie.

I’ve rediscovered the TV channel Challenge this week, and have been busy gobbling up up the classic game show reruns. Earlier on today I caught an episode of Family Fortunes featuring a family of elderly ladies named Joan, Dorothy, Enid, Margaret and Ella. To the modern eye, Ella looks almost out-of-place, but in fairness Ella was at #97 in 1904.

Classic Who Wants To Be A Millionaire threw up an Ingram – who went on to win the top prize. He has a son called Isaac ‘Zac’, whilst the player beforehand used his friend Olaf for Phone A Friend.

Million Pound Drop also restarted up again this week – huzzah! Akbar and Lynne won 25k, whilst Craig and Seve won 100k. Seve was half-spanish and he reminds me of the man called Simmy who turned up in James May’s Man Lab series from a few weeks ago. I can only speculate that Simmy is short for Simon. Back to Million Pound Drop and there was also a pair called Jono and Liam, and another pairing called Kenneth and Whitney who went out on their first question.

I’ve also started to get into this series of Masterchef: The Professionals, whilst includes a male named Perry – and another one named Ash. Speaking of Ash, 3-letter names rock, and I’m not just saying that because Lou fits this category. I’m also saying this because I couldn’t help but notice a buzz developing around these names of late, especially over at Elea’s little corner of the internet. They’re certainly more intriguing than Ann or Rob, and the collection mentioned over the past week by my peers is nothing short of fascinating:

Roa, from Eponymia’s post on Names From Jordan.

Zed and Ovo, from Bewitching Names’ post of Names From Cirque du Soleil

Ada and Azo from Baby Names From Yesteryear’s post on Lord Byron.

Bell, Pax, Paz, Eir, Joy, Gil, Lux, Luz, Ora, Ori, Uri, Nur and Xue from British Baby Names’ Advent Calendar series.

Icy and Ivy from Midwinter Names’ post on Wintery Names.

Ava and Jem from Waltzing More Than Matilda’s post on Names From Stories on Midwives

Asa and Roy from Names 4 Real’s most recent post of Birth Annoucements.

Zeb and Zef from Appellation Mountain’s post on Z- Names for Lads.

Dot from Nook of Names post on Rune Names.

Wim and Kit from Marginamia’s post on Names from The Glow.

Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Blog at