Posts Tagged With: Margot

Sibset of the Week: The Dahls

Roald Dahl, via

Roald Dahl, via

Some time in my primary school years, we went to watch a play adaptation of George’s Marvellous Medicine after reading it in class. I remember being enraptured by it and like many children before me, became a fan of author Roald Dahl. It makes sense, of course, for Roald Dahl to feature prominently in school libraries across Britain, given that he is considered by some to be one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century. It is, of course, by pure accident and happy fate that this is the third week in a row to feature a prominent wordsmith from Britain.

Dahl married American actress Patricia Neal in 1953, and in their 30 years of marriage welcomed 5 children:

Olivia Twenty

Chantal Sophia ‘Tessa’

Theo Matthew

Ophelia Magdalena

Lucy Neal

It’s a fairly interesting collection of names, part of me wonders the tale of how Tessa evolved as a nickname for Chantal. I also couldn’t help but note that for children born in the 1950s and 60s, the names could easily be transferred to a 2010s set of children. Theo has rocketed to #41 in the past 10 years, with Ophelia also rising to #306 in 2013. The name Olivia spent 3 years at #1 from 2008, and is currently at #2, whilst Lucy has been hanging in the Top 30 since 1996. The only name to buck this trend is Chantal, who experienced popularity in the 1990s, but fails to rank at all anymore.

This ahead of the curve naming was continued by Tessa Dahl, who named a daughter Clover in the mid-1980s, a name which has only consistently been ranking in England&Wales since 2004 (albeit only about 12 girls receive the name each year at the moment). Clover is sister the Sophie, Luke and Ned.

Sophie Dahl is these days a well known cookery writer who married jazz singer Jamie Cullum in 2010 and has two daughters: Lyra and Margot.

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

Weekend Post: 10 Best -O Names that aren’t really -O Names


I love writing lists, and namers nowdays love the -o names, such as Ivo and Cosmo etc. etc. But do we love the letter or the sound? It’s time for a list, ten -o names, that aren’t really -o names:

1. Isabeau.

Isabella’s unknown sister, who has historical use as the name of a Queen consort of French King Charles VI (Isabeau de Bavière), amongst other things. Beau is the masculine form of beautiful in the French language, and I remember meeting the sister of a male Isabeau in my travels.

2. Margot/Margaux.

The name of the fussy busybody in The Good Life, the sitcom is now old enough to not pose teasing issues in the payground. The french spelling gives a certain sophisticated edge, if that’s what you’re looking for, and I’m sure there are still some people who would sound the t of Margot, either way, I’ve always prefered Margot to Margaret, the latter of which means pearl, the former a shorter version of the latter.

3. Roscoe.

I love this name, but he’s yet to make it as a big-shot first name like Jackson et al. Of Old Norse and Old Germanic origins, he means deer wood. There’s a place called Roscoe up in Northern England. The best known Roscoe that comes to mind is the tennis player, Roscoe Tanner.

4. Winslow.

Apparently, it”s mostly used for girls, but I can’t shake this name of my mind as a male one. Of Old English origins, the name means friend’s hill, and there’s also the painter, Winslow Homer.

5. Monroe/Munroe.

Personally, I prefer the Munro spelling, but then it wouldn’t qualify for this list. The surname of Miss Marilyn Monroe, it derives from Gaelic, and means the mouth of the Roe (a river).

6. Crow.

I hesitated over putting this name on the list, eventually it made it here because hey, it’s a free world. This has been on my guilty pleasures list for a couple of years, and it’s unlikely to ever actually make it onto a birth certificate, but it is a nice nature name option, if you’re bored of Lily et al.

7. Rue.

The French word for road, although if you don’t live in a francophone country, it may not be a problem. I like that this name acts as an alternative to the popular middle names such as Rain and Rae. Pronounced much like Roo, as in the character from Winnie the Pooh.

8. Finlow.

I know a Finlow, and can’t help but view it as a nice alternative to other Fin- names, such as Finley or Finnegan, which my friend tells me was exactly what his parents intended. The nearest names I can find is Philo, of Greek origin, meaning love.

9. Eleanoe.

A name in my own family tree, I can’t help but be thrilled by it more than Eleanor.  I’ve never found much on the name, so have always put it down as a variant spelling of Eleanor – the Alyvia of its time. Nowadays, much like them days, it’s likely to be constantly mistaken as Eleanor, although I will say that every Eleanor I know is an Ellie, so she always has that nickname option once the mistakes become tiring.

10. Shiloh.

Male or Female? Gender diputes aside, this name has a relaxed feel to it, and that appeals to the Type B in me. Of Hebrew origins, meaning his gift, or tranquil/peace. In the Old Testament, the name was used to refer to a person, understood to be the Messiah, according to certain translations.

Categories: Top 10 List | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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