Posts Tagged With: Leo

Papal Names

Pope Benedict XVI, from themoderatevoice.com

Pope Benedict XVI, from themoderatevoice.com

Yesterday the current Pope, Benedict XV, announced his resignation in a move that shocked many. Why so? Because he’s the first pope in about 600 years to make such a move: saying that he no longer has the ‘strength of mind and body’ needed to carry on his duties (he was the oldest man to become pope since Clement XII in the 18th century).

It’s fun to note that Benedict XVI is currently 85, being born in April 1927, whilst the Queen happens to be almost a year older than him, being born in the previous April.

But that’s an aside, because what I really want to talk about is papal names. You see, Benedict XVI wasn’t always called Benedict – indeed, he’s only gone by the name Benedict for just under 8 years, being previously known by the name Josef.

The reason? Upon accession to the papacy it has become a custom to take a papal name, with every pope since the 16th century doing so.

It hasn’t always been that way, though. Back in the early days of the Church, the bishops of Rome simply continued to use their birth names after their election. The custom of changing one’s name came circa 500 AD with the election of Pope John II, who was born with the name Mercurius. He deemed that being named after the Roman god Mercury would be a tad bit inappropriate, thus he took the name John as his papal name.

To this day, the last pope to use his birth name as pope was Marcellus II back in the 16th century.

What guides the choice of papal name is purely down to the new pope himself, and in times gone by popes have chosen names inspired by predecessors, mentors or even family members.

A notable example of this is John Paul II, who took the name of his two most immediate predecessors (John XXIII and Paul VI, respectively) as his papal name. His successor, John Paul II, chose his papal name for him, as he wished to continue the work of his predecessor who died only 33 days into his papacy.

John Paul I is also notable for being the first to be known by a double name, and he also has the distinction of being the first pope to use a ‘new’ name not previously used before since Pope Lando back in the 10th century.

So that’s the tale behind the papal names, but which names are most popularly used? It’s an interesting Top 10:

1. John

2. Gregory

3. Benedict

4. Clement

5. Innocent

6. Leo

7. Pius

8. Stephen

9. Boniface

10. Urban

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

Spot of the Week: The Eccentric Local Village

Before I get stuck in with various names I’ve seen out and about of late, there’s some housekeeping which I need mention. As you may be aware the Paralympics kick off this week and my first batch of shifts kicks in earnest off this Friday until the following Tuesday. They all begin at 6am. Soooo, there’s a good chance I may go M.I.A. during that time because I’m not a morning person by any means and the shock of having to alter my sleep-wake cycle to accommodate this change will likely stamp out any and all enthusiasm for writing about names that I possess.

There’s another piece of exciting news from my life that sets up the first name I’ve seen out and about this week. I passed my driving test many months ago now, but have finally got around to buying a car to complement my licence. The name of the guy who sold me my gorgeous is-it-green-is-it-blue Corsa was Shamus, which is of course the English spelling for Seamus.

Now, for something completely eccentric that is happening at a village down the road from me:

Scarecrow festival

Yup, scarecrows have taken over. The local primary school had it’s charges colour in pictures of scarecrows, and then name them. Here’s a quick rundown of the names chosen by the younger generation, plus a picture taken of my favourite name:

Albert; Barney; Bill; Billy; Boby; Fifi; Freddie; Freddy; Hardy; Neddy; Olly; Rainbow; Sammy; Sid; Werzel.

Scarecrow festival

Notice how almost ALL of them were nicknames? Yup, me too. As for the names of the children:

Ashanti; Bradley; Callum; Emily; Freddie; Kara; Katie; Kenny; Leo; Leyton; Lily; Luke; Matthew; Megan; Rose; Ruby; Zak

Finally, here’s a cheery scarecrow duo:

Scarecrow festival

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Sibset of the Week: The Albiols, Alonsos, Arbeloas, Iniestas, Reina & Torreses

Fernando Torres with (l-r) Nora, Alma, Leo, Grecia and Luca during post-match celebrations, from fifa.com

The Spanish National Football made history yesterday with their 4-0 thrashing of Italy in the Euros 2012 final, making it their third consecutive major tournament win, and helping them retain their world ranking of #1. Since I don’t talk Spanish names particularly often, it seems a good time to talk about the name of the children of some of the current members of the squad.

I picked out 6 players to focus on, and the first (we’re going in alphabetical order) is Raúl Albiol. He’s a versatile player, as he can play in central defence, defensive midfield and right back. He was first called up to play for Spain’s senior team in 2007, and has so far made 34 appearances. Domestically, he plays for Real Madrid – fun fact, the stadium for Real Madrid is called Santiago Bernabéu. With partner Alicia, the footballer has two daughters, named Azahara and Alma.

The next Dad is Xabi Alonso, who also plays for Real Madrid but as a predominantly midfield player. He has a son named Jontxu and a daughter named Ane.

Then we have Álvaro Arbeloa, another Real Madrid player (beginning to see a pattern?). He plays in defence and with childhod sweetheart Carlota welcomed a daughter called Alba back in 2010.

The man of the match for the final was Andrés Iniesta, this posts’s first non-Real Madrid player as he plays for Spain’s other major footballing team – Barcelona. Together with partner Anna he welcomed little Valeria in 2011.

One of Spain’s reserve goalkeepers is Pepe Reina, and since 2005 has played for English team Liverpool. With wife Yolanda he has three lovely little ‘uns named Grecia, Alma and Luca. All three joined him on pitch on Sunday following the game for post-match celebrations.

Finally we have Fernando Torres, the famed striker who currently wears a Chelsea shirt. The Spanish nickname him El Niño, or the kid. He’s married to Olalla and they have two children, Nora and Leo.

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

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.

Categories: British Names | 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

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

20 ‘O’ Names

Currently, a trendy suffix is ‘o’, so in this post I present to you some lovely ‘o’ boys names, some of which you may have heard of, others you won’t.

Amadeo

– Italian meaning lover of God.

Aurelio

– Italian variation of Aurelius, meaning Golden One.

Bruno

– German name meaning brown. Popular throughout Europe, currently #861 in the US.

Claudio

– Italian from Latin meaning lame. Featured in two Shakespeare plays, Much Ado About Nothing and Measure For Measure.

Cosmo

– Greek name meaning universe. The youth of today will likely associate the name with the ditzy, yet lovable character from Fairly Odd Parents.

Diego

– Spanish variaton of James, currently enjoying some popularity, placing it at #75. Dora the Explorer’s cousin is a bearer.

Hugo

– English parents will likely associate this name with bumbling Hugo from cult comedy show Vicar of Dibley. It’s a German name meaning mind, intellect, and currently sits at #409.

Indio

– Not only benefitting form the ‘o’ trend, but also the name trend of place names. Indio is the name of a Californian desert town.

Ivo

– German name meaning yew wood, archer. This is a more energetic name than Ivor.

Jethro

– Hebrew name meaning preeminence. It was also the name of Moses’ father-in-law.

Leo

– This name has Latin origins and means lion. Currently #209.

Mateo

– Spanish variation of Matthew that means gift of God. #229.

Milo

– German name meaning mind, peaceful, calm. #451.

Navarro

– Spanish name meaning from Navarre. It’s also a  surname in the Basque Kingdom, helping it appeal the surname trend as well as the place name one.

Nico

– Greek name, can either stand alone or be a nickname for a Nico- name, such as Nicolo, Nicodemus or maybe even Nicholas. Thus, this name’s popularity could be helped along be appealing the the nickname trend. #585.

Orlando

– Italian version of Roland, and means famous throughout the land. British actor Orlando Bloom shows this name isn’t necessarily for Italians only. Used by Shakespeare, and is currently # 410.

Pablo

Spanish variation of Paul. Artist Picasso was a famous bearer. #344.

Pedro

– Spanish variation of Peter, and currently not far behind in popularity at #268 (Peter is at #191)

Reno

– Not only a cute moniker, but also the name of a town associated with gambling. That never stopped place names such as Rio, though.

Taddeo

– Charming Italian version of Thaddeus. Personally, this version looks to have more youth than the first.

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