Posts Tagged With: Jules

Names of the Week: Jules and Helen

Christophe Maé and son Jules, from skyrock.net

I started writing this whilst France vs. Ireland is on in the background. I can profess to be a huge follower of rugby, but exceptions can be made for Six Nations. That’s kind of why we’re writing about the name Jules this week, because he is really the darling of the French at the moment. Oh, and as for Helen – she’s Kira’s middle name.

Jules can also be spelled Jools and whilst the name appears more popular for lads in France at the least, examples of males and females bearing the name are there. In England, there are two well-known people named Jools – one male, one female.

Jools Holland is a muscian come presenter, and in his case Jools is short for Julian Miles. Then we have Jools Oliver who is chef Jamie Oliver’s wife and former model, for her Jools is short for Juliette. The latter name may seem overly familiar to you, and that’s because you’ll likely be all-too-familiar with the name of her children:

  • Poppy Honey Rosie
  • Daisy Boo Pamela
  • Petal Blossom Rainbow
  • Buddy Bear Maurice

There is another well-known Jules in England, immortalised in a song by two comedians called Three Lions. The line goes as such:

Three Lions on a shirt, Jules Rimet still gleaming. Thirty years of hurt, never stopped me dreaming

Football fans may be aware that the name of the original World Cup was called Jules Rimet, after FIFA president of the same name; it was during his leadership of FIFA that the World Cup began in 1930 and he remains one of the longest-serving FIFA presidents. After Brazil won the tournament for the third time in 1970, they were granted the reward of keeping the trophy indefinitely. Unfortunately, in 1983 the cup was stolen and hasn’t been seen since.

In terms of well-known French uses, the first one whom comes to mind is Jules Verne, author of Around the World In 80 Days, amongst other fine works. Then we have a rather more modern namesake: well-known and liked French singer Christophe Maé has a son named Jules born in 2008.

So, Jules can be short for Juliette or Julian – or indeed used as he stands as the French do; he is the French form of Julius, after all. Whilst Jules may be popular in France, that’s not exactly the case in England&Wales:

Rank Births
Jules #1082 25
Jools #2941 6
Julian #311 143
Julien #1724 13
Jolyon #4678 3

Sometimes the name’s meaning is given as downy-bearded, but the name Julius is likely to derive from Iovis, from which we also get Jupiter.

Overall, what you get with Jules is a vibrant, modern-sounding name that has been around for much longer than one may intially believe – Jules Verne was born in the early 19th century. Yes, he has a slight unisex edge to him – but it’s worth noting that Bailey, Riley and Ashley continue to perform best on the male side of the fence in England&Wales:

Male Female
Ashley #178 #516
Bailey #79 #505
Jules #1082 n/a
Riley #25 #830

Whilst Jules is very much in vogue in certain parts of the world – well, mostly France – the name Helen hasn’t had much chatter about her of late, although sister’s Helena and Ella are getting a look in.

Mentioning the French, my French teacher for most of my school career was called Helen, and the French pronounced her name as we would Ellen. The h is silent, as it is for Héloïse.

Helen can very much be a modern pick, Robert De Niro welcomed a daughter named Helen Grace as recently as December 2011. He’s just one example. Helen ranked at #623 in 2010 in England&Wales, which isn’t popular by any stretch of the imagination but very much could be baby bear’s bed if you want something familiar but not crowding out the local nursery group.

Helen is related to a whole bunch of other names, of which many outrank her:

  • Elena – #192
  • Ella – #18
  • Ellen – #216
  • Ellie – #29
  • Helena – #333
  • Lena – #192
  • Nell – #390
  • Nelly – #747

Now, the meaning. Her exact meaning is uncertain, but Helen has been associated with the Greek word helenê, which means torch. I take it this is where Kira got the impression that the name Helen has a light-related meaning.

To sum up, every name has potential to shine if one truly believes it can. Some say Helen is outdated, but if Stanley can make the Top 100 in the 21st century, the sky really is the limit. Helen has a more popular sister by the name Helena to contend with, and that could hold her back from any real resurgence for a few more years. But hey, both Lexi and Lexie are in the female Top 100, so it’s proof that sister-names can co-exist in the top flight of popularity.

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

Homestyle Names

Nothing is more homely than a good brew, snapped by me in Covent Garden.

Not content with having a gazillion different blogs to read new posts on a regular basis, I’ve recently taken a delve into vlogs as well.

One video that really caught my eye was by littlelunaful, who is a northern lass a few years younger than me. She talked about what she described as homestyle names, defining them as being comforting, familiar, informal and simple. I must say I found myself really liking some of the names she placed in this category. The names she selected for her list included:

Girls:

Bonnie

Celia

Cora

Effie

Kitty

Lottie

Nina

Tilly

Vera

Willa

Boys:

Cal

Clay

Cy

Cyrus

Eli

Grady/Gradie

Leo

Admittedly, I found the male names a more eclectic list than the female one, but it’s a good collection of names nevertheless. Of course, I couldn’t resist coming up with my own ideas of names which one could consider homestyle:

Alice

Connie

Hattie

Molly

Petal

Poppy

Susie

Freddie

George

James/JamieJimmy?

Jools/Jules

Rupert

Sid

Anyone care to suggest others?

Categories: Name Themes/Styles, Name Trends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Landed

Father filled in the name badge, just so ya know

I landed back at Gatwick this morning, bleary eyed and in desperate need of a sugar boost. I was also brimming with name news, so much that it deserves it’s own post. This is kind of like a Name Spot post, in fact, it really is.

I spent most of my time exploring the various areas Disneyland Orlando and comparing them with their Paris counterpart which I hold so dear in my heart. Ebba and I are agreed that we much prefer the It’s A Small World in Paris. Some interesting tidbits from that part of my holiday were:

  • I met my first Asher at Magic Kingdom.
  • My Christmas dinner waiter was named Kim. Not particularly exciting until you know that Kim was a hulking Norwegian dude.
  • There’s a ride in the Norway section of Epcot called Maelstrom, which continually reminded me of the name Maelle.
  • I noticed in amongst the scenery for Splash Mountain a three-tier letterbox outside one of the ‘houses’ of what I presumed to be sisters, who were named Pansy, Poppy and Petunia.
  • On my birthday I watched the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular show-thingy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where the main female stunt lady was called Devin. Or maybe Devon. One of the ‘extras’ sourced from the crowd was also celebrating a birthday. Her name? Cady. She was probably my age-ish.
  • I also drew Pascal from Tangled at the drawing class. The lady taking the class said he was named after a real-life chameleon some lady owned who had some relations with production. She gave more details, but I was too busy having a crisis with his eyes.

And from other areas of our Florida epic:

  • On the flight back I cracked and watched Come Fly With Me for the first time. Whilst most of the names were picked for their double meanings, there were some interesting names used: Melody, Omar, Moses, Fearghal (in the episode I watched he mentioned brother Finnbar), Judith, Buster, Hetty and Precious.
  • Something I also watched during the flight back was the hugely popular sitcom Outnumbered. The youngest child of the family is called Karen, and is played by a girl named Ramona. Two things: I once had someone tell me that Karen was one of the ultimate baby-boomer names, yet this is a girl born circa mid-noughties; the last Ramona I met was a similar age and was frequently referred to as Manon.
  • Whilst sat at the departures gate, I took a bash at a crossword. I’m more of a suduko girl than crossword one, mostly because I pick the Metro up most days and they only have sudokus in it. Either way, one of the clues was simply Reverie (5).
  • Predictably, Bear Blu has made it onto most of the Worst Celeb Baby Names list going. I never mentioned this at the time, but it seems apt given whats on the plate next to me: Billy Bear is a type of reformed ham for kids which is extremely popular in my household. It’s always my first thought when I hear Bear Blu.
  • Something that always surprises me when I go abroad is the lack of crisp flavours available. Thanks to Walkers, we have such flavours as Worcestershire Sauce, Smokey Bacon and Builder’s Breakfast on offer here in the UK. When you get abroad, Walkers is almost invariably known as Lays and only appears to offer the standard Ready Salted variety. Why am I babbling on about crisps? There’s another brand of crisps here in the UK called Phileas Fogg – a possible alternative to Phineas, should you want one? He’s also a character in Jules Verne’s Around The World In Eighty Days.
  • I opened the majority of my Christmas/Birthday presents a few hours ago, and it prompted a thought in me. What about Meccano? It’s a construction toy invented by Frank Hornby (the train dude) that I’ve always wanted but never given.
  • I showed the Fenton video to an American. It’s easily my most favourite viral name of the year. Currently we’re called my brother Fenton.

It seems ages ago now that I posted the Lies Non-Name Nerds Tell Me post, but I now have yet another interesting occurence to add to the list:

  • My Fatyher showed an American the infamous Carling Black Label advert whilst at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. You know, that one which heavily references the war, in line with a very British sense of humour. The man in question was not particularly impressed, to say the least – but he later asked why Carling was such a popular name. Perhaps there was something lost in accent translation, but I think he may have meant to say either Charlie, Carly or maybe even Carter. That said, Carling is an interesting option if you don’t mind the alcohol reference. Stella hasn’t done too bad, and plenty of Rebeccas are known as Becks without issue. Let’s not even get onto the subject of ladies named things such as Shandy, Brandy and Meade.
Categories: Disney Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Slightly More French

Julien Quentin, from Au Revoir Mes Enfants, from yggnoise.com

Last week we talked about French names which could work just as well in the English-speaking world. Now it’s time for a look at the flip side of the coin at which popular French names are less likely to work well, whether it be due to cultural settings or pronunciation problems. This list is subject to opinion, however, as what I’m not saying is that you should avoid all names mentioned here. What I am saying is that these names have the potential to cause fret if used outside a French-speaking region. In the last post I highlighted the name Thibault, with the less than obvious pronunciation of tee-bo – but there are plenty of other French names which could trip you up when it comes to trying to say them correctly:

That’s one of the biggest issue when it comes to using names from other cultures: the pronunciation problems. Mireille certainly looks pretty, and sounds pretty when said the way the French do: mee-ray. It’s also worth warning that the French pronounce Camille differently to the English – the ls are silent, plus the name is also considered very much unisex over there. Same goes for Sacha, and Jocelyn is strictly male. As for Quentin, he’s said something like CAWN-ten. The other classic example is Guillaume – the French form of William – which they pronounce as gee-om.

The sole female name I find myself strongly advising against you want to use a legitimately French name, but live in the States, or worse yet England? Fanny. It’s actually quite reasonably well-used in France to this day, and certainly used to enjoy a reasonable amount of popularity back in ye olde days, but given what it’s become slang for in the English-speaking world – especially England – it’s a name that will likely never take off as fellow Frances-derivative named Frankie is. If you want to use Frances, but don’t want you’re daughter to become Frankie, might I suggest Annie or Effie as alternatives.

I also mentioned in the last post how the French use Bastien as a short form of Sebastian – but like Fanny could lead to associations to less-than-wonderful words. It’s a slight shame really, and Bastien could work if you wanted it to. Bastien has popular use in his own right in France. Two other male names which takes on a whole new meaning in France are Come and Loan.

Capucine is a female name in France, and it distinctly similar to our word capuccino. Is it slightly too French? I hesistated when it came to including this name in this post, but feel it’s worth highlighting the name either way.

Whilst not strictly a French name, they do love the name Thais – said tah-eese – which strictly speaking comes from Ancient Greek. It’s popular following it’s use by French composer Jules Massenet. French film Les Enfants du Paradis has been attributed to the popularity of the female name Garance.

In France, Etienne is clearly masculine as he’s their form of Stephen, but I’ve had plenty friends mistake him as a female name. You can understand why, given that many French female names end -enne, think: Adrienne;Vivienne et al. Elouan also falls slightly foul of this, as does Rayane. In France, Valentin is more popular for lads than Valentine is for females, although both are relatively well-used in their own rights. My sister’s favourite name in this category which we shall end with is Sofiane, which is a popular name for males, not females.

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

Not too French

Christophe Maé, from christophe-mae.fr

We kicked the week off looking at a very modern sounding French sibset, so it seems fitting to return to the topic of French names to end the week. Not French words, just French names. Specifically French names that are not too French, like Thibault is. I love the name Thibault, but chances are that you haven’t a clue how to say him, and neither will the majority of the English-speaking population. He’s likely too French for those who don’t have a grasp of the language. If you’re still musing about how to say Thibault, it’s tee-bo.

At the other end of the spectrum is the second most popular girls name in England&Wales: Sophie – the French form of Sophia. And I recently met a Manon/Matisse sibset at a very British cricket club. Other French forms of popular English names include:

Alexandre

Ambre

Bastien (short form of Sébastien)

Christophe

Émilie

Guillaume

Mathieu

Mathilde

But it’s the middle ground of popularity we’re looking at. Something distinctly French. Like Clement. Meilleur Prénoms put him at #19 in 2009 for France. You may have heard Clementine mentioned more and more often, but it’s the masculine name which has really taken off in France of late. On the same list, Clemence ranked at #34 for girls.

Another male name example is Jules. The only Jules I know who aren’t Julians are French. French singer Christophe Maé and his partner Nadège welcomed a son named Jules in 2008. We seem to spell it differently here in Britain as British chef Jamie Oliver is married to a Juliette ‘Jools’ and we also have the widely popular Jools Holland here in Britain, who was born Julian Miles. Jools Miles sounds quintessentially jazz, doesn’t it?

The name Enzo is hugely popular in France, too. I’ve seen people call him the male equivalent of called your child Porsche. The name reportedly became popular in France following Zinedine Zidane using it for his son. Yes, the Zinedine Zidane who famously headbutted an Italian player in the 2006 World Cup final. Enzo is a somewhat controversial name in France, given that it’s Italian, not French. Moreover, the Italian short form of Vincenzo and Lorenzo. Enzo is a zippy little name, especially good if you think Ezra is going to the girls – a name Abby recently featured as a re-run.

Another zippy short name popular in Frenchy-land is Axel. To English ears, this may sound like a somewhat rugged name – and that may add to his charm for you. My other favourite French male name beginning with an A is Aurelian, and we can’t forget to mention Rémi. Yes, he has an accent but I’ve seen plenty parents forgoe this. Infact whilst on the subject of accents, I have a friend named Chloé because her Dad became mixed up when he went to register her – she should be a Chloë.

One of the more popular female names in France right now is Clara – currently at #201 in England&Wales, and not strictly a French name per se. A very French invention cooking up a storm in France is Lilou. Yes, I love Lilou, she’s like a Lily/Lucy smoosh that just seems to work. In a similar vein, the French also love Luna, or their slight variant spelling of Louna. They also recognise the rocking-awesomenous of Lou.

Romain and Romane are popular for boys and girls, respectively; Same goes for Leo and Leonie; Valentin and Valentine. Whilst we may consider Agatha still slightly aged for our babes, the French are embracing their version: Agathe. Another A name they love is Amandine: their version of the once popular name Amanda. There’s also Amine for the lads which has origins in Arabic, and means truthful. For me, I think of the organic compounds known as Amines, but that’s by-the-by. The French and Dutch variation of Anna is also popular: Anouk.

Finally, there’s the Mae– group of names to consider: Maëlys;Maëlle;Maeva;Maeline; Maelie. They all sound distinctly French, but the pronunciation may not come naturally to you. For Maëlys, it’s mah-el-EES; for Maëlle, it’s mah-el.

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

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.