Posts Tagged With: Liberty

Names of the Week: Jack and Liberty

Outside of Liberty Stadium, from

I began to write this post whilst watching the Swansea v Arsenal match. It’s certainly been thrilling, and my team won! Since we’ve already covered Swansea, instead we’re turning to their club nickname and the name of their stadium. What’s great about both names is that neither screams Swansea supporter – even if you use both (unless you live in Swansea, of course).

It’s also apt to cover Jack since today is my brother’s birthday. Well, the day this should’ve been posted. One of the nicknames for Swansea City, aside from the swans, is the jacks, hence why we’re covering him.

The name Jack evolved as a nickname for John, and these days is much more popular than John in England&Wales. Consider this, since the year 2000 Jack has only fallen 1 place in the popularity list: from #1 to #2. John, on the other hand, has fallen 36 places, falling 11 places between 2009 and 2010, putting him at #94 and making me class him as one of the most likely current Top 100 names to have said goodbye to the Top 100 when the 2011 data is released. He may have a resurgence, but I can’t see it happening.

That said, I did then check the US data since they have a track record of the full names tending to outrank their nickname counterpart, and John does indeed outrank Jack in their 2010 data: John ranks at #26 and Jack at #44. However, a similar pattern of falling has taken it’s toll on John – he’s fallen 12 places since 2000, whilst Jack has risen 2 places from his 2000 ranking.

The name Jack is particularly popular in folklore. First off, we have Jack Frost – the personification of frost; there is also Jack O’ Lantern and Jack-in-the-Green. You could also class Jack from Jack in the Beanstalk into this category, too.

Outside of folklore, the name Jack also makes an appearance in several nursery rhymes, which you may or may not recognise:

  • Jack and Jill
  • Jack Sprat
  • Little Jack Horner
  • Jack Be Nimble

What I loved about the name Jack was that he wasn’t just a name, he’s used for so many different things. You could accuse him of being one of the most popular word names for boys. A few notable uses of the name Jack, but not for a person includes:

  • A device used to lift heavy objects
  • An electrical connector
  • An archaic unit of volume
  • Lowest value face card in a pack of cards
  • The target ball in several games such as bowls.
  • Six-tipped gmaes pieces used in the game of the same name
  • A Navy Jack is flown from warships
  • A Union Jack is another name for the Union Flag of United Kingdom

As for Liberty’s association with the side, it’s the name of their stadium; The Liberty Stadium has been the home to Swansea City since 2005, and whilst you may think the name Liberty is without company branding, such as with the recent controversy surrounding the potential renaming of St.James’ Park as Sports Direct Stadium. Swansea-based developers called Liberty Properties Plc won the naming rights a few months after the stadium opened.

During construction it was affectionately known as White Rock, and remained known as New Stadium Swansea until the aforementioned name sponsors came forward. The White Rock name was in reference to the local copper works which had previously occupied the site; Steve the Swansea fan, however, thought it referenced crack more than anything. Despite being brand new, following Swansea recent promotion into the Premier League (in a game I attended!) they now have the second smallest stadium in the Premier League, beaten only by Loftus Road, home of fellow 2011 promoted side Queens Park Rangers.

Most countries have little mottos, and France’s is one of the simplest to remember: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. I’ve seen this on political posters, and even seen some French grafitti mocking the phrase: Le gaz, l’électricité, l’eau – la prix! Liberty is, of course, a word name meaning freedom. The French quite famously donated The Statue of Liberty to the States, which is one of the best-known symbols of liberty. Here in Britain, we have Britannia instead, who can be found on most 50p coins. She especially came to represent British liberties and democracy during the World Wars.

As a name, Liberty is currently less popular than her potential short form of Libby. In 2010, Liberty ranked at #401, compared to Libby, who was at #98. However, since 2009 the name Libby fell 20 places to her current ranking, so she may be poised to join the same club as John. The same can be said for Liberty, who was at #390 – thus has fallen 11 places, herself.

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

Walking in the Air

Screenshot from The Snowman, from

Christmas is coming, and I’ve been tossing and turning about whether or not to do a themed post. I’ve buckled, but predictably, I’m approaching this rather differently to how most would.

Ever heard of the phenomenal TV film The Snowman? It airs every Christmas here in the UK since 1982 and is based on the book of the same name by Raymond Briggs. I love The Snowman, and am completely gutted I won’t be able to watch it this year since I’ll be in the States for Christmas (more on that on Thursday). Quite frankly, it rocks. It also spawned a classic Christmas song: Walking in the Air – which was quite brilliantly parodied by Irn Bru a few Christmas’ ago with them flying over Scotland rather than Brighton:

It’s such a pretty little song, much better than most of the dreary stuff churned out each year – I’ve heard that Geraldine McQueen song three times today and am close to the edge.

Christmas names are an interesting topic for me, since I was due on Christmas Eve – but turned up fashionably late and ruined a midwife’s party dress. I could’ve been one of the many December babies named Holly each year (In December 2010, the most popular girls name was Holly, 440 born compared to the 416 born to the name Olivia), but my parents opted against it. This doesn’t bother me one bit, but it’s fun to speculate on the what-ifs.

Since the song is titled Walking in the Air, I thought it apt to talk names relating to the air – especially since we’ve focused heavily on birds names of late. Let me make this clear: if you don’t want to name your child after a bird, there are still plenty of options out there.

We’ll start with the French. Many children dream of flying, and that’s exactly what the Snowman and the boy do in the film whilst the song is playing. You probably know by now that the French word for butterfly is Papillon, but have you ever considered Libellule? It’s the French word for dragonfly, and I’m quickly falling in love with the idea of using is as a name. The French say: LEE-buh-lool. If you don’t like that, a few fellow Continent-dwellers to the French have their take on the word (all meaning dragonfly):

  • German: Libelle
  • Italian: Libellula
  • Spanish: Libélula

If you ever wish to find an alternative to Liberty which could legitimately shorten to Libby, look no further than here m’dears. It’s also befitting of the Bella trend, which may or may not have been catalysed by Twilight. I’d rather not get into that debate right now, because it would take over this post very quickly.

Going off on a tangent I once more dip my toes into the mystical and unknown world to me of music. There’s a class of intruments called Woodwind, or Wind, instruments and there’s two notable names to mention to you.

The first is Reed. In woodwind instruments, specifically clarinets, oboes and duduks, the player blows in order to cause a reed in the intrument to vibrate, which in turn causes vibrations in the air. The second potential name to consider is Bell. The bell of a woodwind instrument is the round, flared opening opposite the mouthpiece.

Of course, the really easy place to find inspiration is in the many Gods et al associated with the wind. The obvious one I’m seeing batted around more and more is Zephyr – inspired by the name of the Greek God of the west wind. You may be wondering that if there was a God of the west wind, then logic follows there must too be Gods of the north, south and east wind? You’d be right.

The collective name for these Gods is the Anemoi, and the Roman equivalent is Venti (note: the French word for wind is le vent). The Greek God of the north wind is Boreas, and he’s also said to be the bringer of winter. He also had a close association with horses. Boreas had two sons and two daughters:

  • Calais
  • Zethes
  • Khione (Goddess of snow)
  • Cleopatra

His Roman equivalent was called Aquilo.

The God of the south wind is Notus, who was feared for being destroyer of crops. You may find Notus a little too much, but his Roman equivalent was named Auster – which seems like a name truly fit for the modern mama: Part Austin; part Alistair and just a wee bit like Oscar.

Finally, the God of the east wind was callewd Eurus, and this was considered the unlucky wind. He was thought to bring both warmth and rain. His Roman equivalent? Vulturnus. Now, Eurus may not be as unusable as you may think since their is a legit welsh name Euros to contend with. If I’m honest, I only really know this due to Doctor Who – which has had episodes directed by one Euros Lyn. There is the niggling issue of the so-called Eurozone crisis, with people increasing shrieking that the currency of Europe – the euros – could collapse. The Welsh name Euros is often associated with aur – meaning gold. Of course, the chemical symbol for gold is Au.

Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Crazy Brits

Let’s indulge ourselves with a litte name spotting in the London Birth Announcements, notable names are in bold, siblings in brackets:

Alexandra Charlotte Ozanne, (Isabelle)

Alice Dhanlaxmi

Amelia Jonquil Angharad

Amélie India Lucy, (William)

Beau Vivienne, (Ada Rose)

Celia Jane Vanessa, (Dougal)

Charlotte Carol Jane, (Oscar)

Darcey Carmen Rose, (Theo)

Ellen Andrea Maria

Florence Iona Emily Peel, (Isla and Willa)

Isla Aris

Henrietta Philippa Rose, (Annelies and Martha)

Iona Kathryn, (Imogen May)

Iris Arabella, (Katinka)

Isla Katherine

Isobelle Susannah

Jemima and Willa, twins

Katinka Alice Belsham, (Bella and Freddie)

Katinka Lily

Liberty Valentina Vaughan

Louisa Jane, Alistair

Mair ‘Polly’ Elisabeth Patricia, (Florence)


Martha Maud, (Guy)

Martha Sophie Poppy, (Tilly and Olive)

Mary Beatrice Rose

Mary Constance, (Elsa and George)

Molly Elizabeth Sarah

Molly Juliet

Nancy Rebecca, (Lily)

Nancy Rose

Octavia, (Claudia)

Sadie Francesca

Soma Isis, (Seth and Saul)

Tessa Charlotte Jane, (Isabelle and Eliza)

Tessa Honor Bruce, (Tamsin and Jemima)

Willa Victoria Joanna Rees, (Hamish)

Zinnia Alice Victoria

Alasdair James Dudley

Alexander George Walter Halley, (Serena)

Archie Geoffrey

Arthur John Christopher, (Thady)

Caspar Anthony Wallace

Freddie Samuel, (Jack and Georgia)

George Alfred Beresford

George James Sherlock

George Raffles Tyndale

Griffyd Hunter Heber

Hector David

Henry Arthur Bromhead, (Jenkyn)

Henry Leonidas Tiberius, (Mark and Rupert)

James Luigi Wood, (Johnny)

Jasper Florian

Lawrence Happy John Owen, (Minnie Love and Heidi Sunshine)

Luke Christopher Æneas, (Angus, Orlando and Cosmo)

Oscar Gürsel

Oscar Jack Peter, (Kit and Jemima)

Peter Jack, Angus

Raphael Willam, (Isabella Flora and Lochlann James)

Rudy Felix James, (Olly and Chloe)

Tarka Alexander Arthur

Tobias Tarquin

Thomas Douglas Marinho

Wilbur Clement, (Patti Plum)

My favourite sibset? It has to be Lawrence Happy, Minnie Love and Heidi Sunshine.

Categories: London Telegraph Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Create a free website or blog at