Posts Tagged With: London

Sibset of the Week: The Weirs

Britain's David Weir (L) competes in the men's 800m T54 final during the athletics competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in east London on September 6, 2012. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRKGLYN KIRK/AFP/GettyImages

Britain’s David Weir (L) competes in the men’s 800m T54 final during the athletics competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in east London on September 6, 2012. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRKGLYN KIRK/AFP/GettyImages

Without a doubt, one of my favourite athletes to watch during London 2012 was David Weir – he was my pick to win Sports Personality of the Year, and he eventually came 5th behind the likes of Andy Murray and Jessica Ennis.

Affectionately known as the Weirwolf during the Paralympics, Weir took part in 7 races over the course of 10 days, totalling a racing length of around 30 miles.

Seriously, this guy is a machine, because he took home four golds (and I was lucky enough to witness the stadium ones, and see him collect some of his medals) in the 800m, 1500m, 5000m and the marathon. His category for all races was T54, which translates to:

T – identifies him as a track athlete

54 – identifies him as a wheelchair athlete

The other number categories works out like this:

  • 11-13, visual impairment, with 11 being completely blind (did anyone see the blind races where each athlete had a guide? amazing)
  • 20, intellectual impairment
  • 31-38, cerebral palsy
  • 42-46, amputees

The athletes are assessed for the severity of their disability and thus assigned a number. For example, with the visual impairment category, those given the 11 classification are entitled to a guide runner, whilst those classified as 13 do not as their disability is assessed to be less severe and thus they do not require a guide.

David Weir has three children, one of which arrived in October 2012. His eldest is a daughter from a previous relationship:

Ronie, circa 2002/2003

Mason, 2011

Tillia Grace London, 2012

I looked up Tillia in the rankings, or at least, attempted to for she does not rank. However, Tilia does at #5785 with 3 girls given the name in England&Wales in 2011. Even more curiously, Ronie does not rank, but Ronnie does for girls at #776 with 48 receiving the name.

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

Tuesday Conundrum: New Data, New Gender

It’s my name!

A few weeks ago now I set out a little weekend conundrum, giving you 14 names and asking you to all correctly identify which 7 ranked higher for girls, and vice versa.

These were the answers:

Ranked Higher For Boys

Ashley, Brook, Harper, Laurie, Mackenzie, Morgan & Tristyn

Ranked Higher For Girls

Beaux, Bobbi, London, Lou, Reese, Skyler & Storm

Since the release of the 2011 data, there are three names which have altered slightly; one name no longer ranks for either, whilst two others have since swapped to the other gender, care to guess which three names you think they are?

I do recommend reading through the linked post for guidance if you feel a little uncertain, as that may help narrow down the options when you take a peek at the rankings.

Categories: Friday Conundrum | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spot of the Week: Black Mirror

I finally caught up on Black Mirror this week, which was a three-episode drama for the iPhone generation (Black Mirror refers to screen of one’s techo-gadgets) and was surprised to see that the second episode featured a main character called Bingham nn Bing.

To connect the dots, that particular episode was written by Charlie Brooker and wife Konnie Huq (albeit, Charlie Brooker wrote all three episodes, but this was the only one they co-wrote). Do their names sound familiar? They were the Brit celeb-parents who welcomed a baby boy named Covey earlier on this year in March 2012.

There were plenty more fascinating names from the series, for example, the first episode featured a high-profile member of the royal family bearing a name I’ve yet to see tipped for use by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – Princess Susannah. 

The M4 motorway was re-opened this week after being closed due to pre-Olympics repair work – but it’s the A4 which I want to talk about. It runs mostly alongside the M4 and has the unique position of linking two cities in England which have both seen increased interest as baby names – London and Bristol. It’s like

Oh, and here’s a cheeky little extra name for this week. Remember how I’m working at the Olympic Stadium this summer? Well, when I went for my Role Specific Training last month one of the training videos involved a comedian by the name of Chris Addison. I wouldn’t have made much of it, until someone mentioned they’d considered the name Addison for a boy because of the comedian.

And for the picture this week, I present to ye this little nugget:

Eat

Eat is one of my many vices – it’s a lunch-esque eatery which seems to occupy most streets in London these days. Since I’ve already been to London on no less than 5 or 6 trips this year (and that number will have easily doubled by mid-September), I’ve more than had my fix of toasted paninis to last the rest of the year. Anyone going to the Olympics? Fun news! There’s an outlet at Stratford City – the massive shopping centre that sits between the Stratford rail and tube station and the Olympic Park (just opposite Starbucks!).

Anyone who follows the nameberry blog (don’t we all?) will have seen Friday’s post declaring Niall as a hot name of 2012. This Niall is almost certainly older than 30, and to be honest, the name isn’t that uncommon in Ireland. It was still nice to see the name, however.

Categories: Spot of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Friday Conundrum Answers

Wrong type of celebratory card, but you get the idea

We’re back, with the much-awaited answers to Friday’s fun little conundrum.

Truth be told, I was a little cheeky when it came to choosing the names to feature in the Friday conundrum, so for me it came as no surprise that the same names were consistently being wrongly identified as the other gender. However, now you shall know the truth.

The names which ranked higher for boys:

Ashley, #178 compared to #516 for girls

It’s understandable if you got this wrong, a recent Nameberry blog post did say:

at this point, do leave Ashley to the girls

Well, not us Brits, clearly. I don’t suppose anyone is watching the Euros? We have two Ashleys in our current England squad, Ashley Young and Ashley Cole. The former was born in 1985, the year Ashley ranked at #2 in the States and in 1984 the name ranked at #49 for boys in England&Wales.

Brook, #1109 compared to #1389 for girls

This is despite the fact that Brooke ranks inside the Top 100, at #45, so this one was a surprise for me. But obviously, not for some of you since a couple of you called right on this one.

Harper, #897 compared to #930 for girls

This name was a case of testing to see whether you’ve all been listening, and clearly you haven’t since everyone got this wrong. This name is also the reason I carefully worded my definition of ‘most popular’ to highest ranking, because truth be told more baby girls were named Harper in 2010, but the name ranked higher for boys. Crafty wording on my behalf? Perhaps.

Laurie, #1109 compared to #1815 for girls

Spelled Lori, this name only ranks for girls (at #2392), but this spelling is more popular for boys. I do know lads named just Laurie, my age and indeed younger.

Mackenzie, #239 compared to #1332 for girls

The interesting thing to not here is that the name is climbing for boys, and falling for girls. The alternate spelling of McKenzie ranks even higher for boys at #153.

Morgan, #106 compared to #229 for girls

My goddaughter, whom we’ve previously mentioned, was going to be named Morgan should she have been a boy. I will hand it to anyone who thought this ranked higher for girls, Morgan ranked inside the Top 100 for girls back in the early noughties – peaking at #59 in 2000, however the male ranking still eclipsed the female one at #52 in 2000. Both have clearly dropped since then, but more so on the female popularity list.

Tristyn, #3332 compared to not ranking at all for girls

I wondered whether the spelling-with-a-y would trip some up, and it looks like it did. I know, this was another mean-spirited selection and perhaps you all would’ve opted for the blue side if it had been spelled Tristan.

What it does demonstrate is that -yn isn’t necessarily a feminine ending, and indeed in Wales many male names are spelled with a y, i.e. Gwyn is a male name, Gwen is a female name.

As it so happens, another variant Trystan only ranks for lads too, and the highest ranking version of the name is Tristan at #121. Possible Top 100 aspirations? With all the variants to consider, it’s very much a possibility.

The names which ranked higher for girls:

Beaux, #2843 compared to not ranking at all for boys

Clearly, if you have a working knowledge of French grammar, your inclination would be that this name ranked higher for boys, as beaux is the masculine plural form of beau, a French word meaning beautiful. This was a slightly mean pick on my behalf, especially as late last year there was a Brit celeb-baby boy born named Beaux.

Bobbi, #1093 compared to #1801 for boys

I wondered whether those whom know that Bobby ranks at #83 for the boys would be inclined to believe this ranks more highly for a boy, but that sadly isn’t the case. I do wonder, however, whether people were swayed by Ms. Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of Whitney Houston, as I presume more know about her than the fact that Bobby is in the England&Wales Top 100.

London, #2392 compared to #2941 for boys

There have been two examples of celeb-babies of both genders being given the name London in recent times: in September 2011, Jay McGraw welcomed a son named London Phillip; at the end of May 2012 Brooke White welcomed daughter London Ray.

Lou, #4012 compared to not ranking at all for boys

Woo! How could I resist not including my name? This is in line with European trends for Lou as a female name.

Reese, #1180 compared to #1241 for boys

The names Rhys (#65) and Reece (#84) both rank not only higher for boys, but both are inside the Top 100. Then we have the Reese Witherspoon spelling which is slightly ahead for girls.

Skyler, #1731 compared to #2400 for boys

This is the flipside to the States, where Skyler ranks higher for boys at #287 compared to #456 for girls.

Storm, #1093 compared to #1801 for boys

No one got this right either, and I can see why, the name Storm could be seen as akin to the name Bear – which is seen almost exclusively as a boy name, amongst the emerging crop of boys names with an almost wild & rugged edge to them. But alas, this is not the case.

Categories: Friday Conundrum, Popularity | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Friday Conundrum: Unisex Names

I despair

Unisex names are on the rise, and I’ve been on the receiving end of the issue myself.

Picture the scene:

There I was, innocently helping Santa give out presents to young children, and lo and behold a child with long blonde hair stepped forward, and told Santa that their name was Sam. It was by pure chance that Sam got the right gender present because I was at a loss. Yes, Sam is technically boys name, but it’s also a popular short form of Samantha, a girls name. Then along came another girl with shoulder length brown hair and the name Jimmy. I almost threw my hands up in despair.

Thus, I challenge you to my Friday conundrum, listed below are 14 names: 7 ranked higher for the girls in 2010 in England&Wales; and vice versa for the other 7. Can you guess correctly?

1. Ashley

2. Beaux

3. Bobbi

4. Brook

5. Harper

6. Laurie

7. London

8. Lou

9. Mackenzie

10. Morgan

11. Reese

12. Skyler

13. Storm

14. Tristyn

I’ll be honest, some surprised me when researching this post, and ye who cheat make bunnies cry.

Categories: Popular Names, Popularity, Unisex Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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

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