Posts Tagged With: Martha

Horrid Henry

One of the first Horrid Henry books, from scholastic.co.uk

I still have a slight penchant for young children’s books, I don’t read them per se, but they’re always great for a quick through when one’s waiting for someone and time is short, or, and I may be in the minority on this one, but I always like to challenge myself to see how many things I can get done in the time it takes for the microwave to ping – and today’s activity in the 3 minutes I had was to flick through a Horrid Henry.

Created by Francesca Simons and illustrated by Tony Ross these beauties first hit the shelves in 1994 – meaning that I was amongst the first small children of Britain to become familiar with the story – especially when a TV series followed. The book I flicked through today happened to be one of my old copies that I gifted to my sister several years ago. If that wasn’t enough, a live-action version hit cinemas in July 2011 – but I’ve yet to go and see it.

The premise of the books is startlingly simple: Henry is a young boy who isn’t particularly nice. I like to think of him as a younger version of Sid from the first Toy Story film, you know, the one who taped Buzz to a firework?

Either way, there’s a wonderful selection of names mostly of a British vein to look through from the books in question, although they are all stylised the same was as Horrid Henry:

(Fiery) Fiona, often taken as the feminine form of the name Fionn, which means fair.

(Goody Goody) Gordon (friend of Peter), commonly believed to mean great fort, although there are other theories.

(Great Aunt) Greta, a diminutive of Margaret. This character believes Henry is actually called Henrietta.

(Magic) Martha, derives from the Aramaic and means lady.

(Perfect) Peter (Henry’s younger brother), derives from Greek and means rock/stone.

(Prissy) Polly, derived as a nickname for Mary.

(Rude) Ralph (friend of Henry), from Old Norse meaning wolf counsel.

(Singing) Soraya (class-mate of Henry), an Arabic name meaning the Pleiades.

(Vomiting) Vera (baby cousin of Henry), means faith in Russian, also associated with the Latin verus, meaning true.

(Vain) Violet, the name of a colour and a flower.

Categories: Book Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sibset of the Week: The Fiennes

I could only cover one family this week – I almost posted this on Friday after finding out about some of the names but held back a few days, I even resisted the temptation to post some of the names on Twitter.

Mark Fiennes was an English photographer and illustrator. He is a cousin of the noted explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. He met and married a lady named Jennifer Lash in the 1960s. As an aside, his wife was more often known as Jini, and was a noted artist and novelist. Sadly, these days neither are still with us, but together they welcomed no less than seven children:

Martha Maria

Ralph Nathaniel

Joseph Alberic (twin of Jacob)

Jacob Mark (twin of Joseph)

Sophie Victoria

Magnus Hubert

We could stop here, but if you dig a little deeper, there are plenty more wonderful names to discover. Let’s start with Jacob, who is married to a lady named Melanie. Together they have two children, born in the early 2000s:

Teale Isabella

Nathaniel

Whilst both Isabella and Nathaniel are relatively heard of, the choice of Teale as the name for their eldest child is certainly unexpected. Nathaniel could simply be a family name, given that young Nathaniel shares his name with Uncle Ralph, for whom the name is a middle name and with one of his cousins whom I shall mention shortly.

I also wanted to mention the children of Magnus, with his wife Maya, born in the late 1990s:

Cheyenne Allegra

Shanti Atalanta

The name Shanti was recently championed over at Name Fancy, and I certainly was surprised to see it used on a child so soon after reading the post. But alas, it is the last sibset which really inspired this post. It was inspired by a rather humourous email from a friend asking whether I was aware the the actor who played a young Lord Voldemort was called Hero. How ironic, I remember thinking.

Martha is married to George Tiffin, and together they have three children:

Titan Nathaniel

Hero Beauregard (m)

Mercy Jini Willow

Some scoff at using Hero as a girls name, despite the historical usage, so I kindly present them with a male Hero, born in the late 1990s. It’s worth noting that Hero’s uncle, Ralph Fiennes, plays Voldemort in the films.

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Phantom Manor of Names

Jilted bride Melanie from the start of the Phantom Manor ride, via flickr (peterpanfan)

I mentioned Chatsworth House earlier on this week, and now it’s time  for a completely different direction even if I am somewhat sticking to big house theme – but this time incorporating my recent Disney trip into it. Those who can see where I’m going with this, bear with me because you may be wondering why a certain ride has changed it’s name.

I’ll get back to that later, but first, a statement from me about me. I hate ghost rides, as a general rule. The one at Blackpool Pleasure Beach is noted as being one of the first Ghost Trains (and indeed first to call itself as such) in the world, and I’ve been on it. Several times. Why? Because it isn’t actually that scary, it’s just skeletons painted in luminescent paint. There’s an Alice in Wonderland ride opposite it which has exactly the same concept of luminous-ly painted animatronics in dark rooms, I kid ye not.

Aside from the relatively unscary Blackpool Ghost Train, the only ghost ride I’m happy to go on frequently is Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris. The different name indicates a different storyline, even if several key moments in the ride remain similar. It does seem odd that I’m so content with going on the Phantom Manor ride, thinking about it, since it was intentionally designed to be darker than the Haunted Mansion versions in other parks. I did go on Haunted Mansion whilst at the Florida park, but I found myself not enjoying it as much as the Phantom Manor, but maybe that’s because I spent most of it confused as the bride went from a weeping mess of the Paris version to a axe-wielding maniac. My sister was particularly not impressed.

In the Phantom Manor version of the ride, the plotline revolves around a young Melanie, rather than a Constance. The plot goes that she fell in love with a train engineer from the town, Thunder Mesa, below the manor (aka Frontierland), and her father, Henry, disapproved of this. Henry tried to stop the wedding, but tragically died in an earthquake along with his wife, Martha. On Melanie’s wedding day, a phantom lured her groom to the attic and hanged him from the rafters. Melanie spends the rest of her days roaming the manor waiting for her groom to return.

All rather sad, really. Infact, it all seems rather apt that Melanie means dark. She comes from the Greek melaina, which means either black or dark. Before you start wondering why the bride doesn’t have a French name, you’d best hold your horses. The name Melanie was popular in the Middle Ages in France, and was later brought to Britain by them. Of course, the French like to spell her Mélanie.

I will grant that the bride names in Magic Kingdom, Florida are far more fascinating. At the Florida version, the emphasis is on what they liked to call happy haunts, with references to dear Constance who killed all five of her husbands. It is from her fifth – George – that she came to presumeably own the Haunted Mansion. When we went on the ride for the first time, my sister and I were confused as to why there was no bride crying in the ballroom scene or in her boudoir, and indeed why she turned up in the attic with an axe and a manic grin since we did not realise the extent to the plot change between Paris and Florida until Google informed us that night.

Not just Constance was mentioned, however. When you leave the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World, you see the tomb of a man named Bluebeard, which lists his seven wives:

  • Penelope
  • Abigail
  • Anastasia
  • Prudence
  • Phoebe
  • Eugenia
  • Lucretia

Certainly an interesting selection of names, but wait, it gets even more interesting from there (more interesting than Lucretia? No!), since there is a man from French folklare called Bluebeard who took several wives himself; however, they weren’t given the above names. The French writer Maurice Maeterlinck certainly wrote extensively on Bluebeard, giving the name of at least six former wives with suitable fascinating French names:

  • Sélysette
  • Alladine
  • Ygraine
  • Bellangère 
  • Mélisande
  • Ariane

But he’s not the only one to name a wife of Bluebeard, two more men have notably named two other wives:

  • Anatole France gave us Jeanne (naming her as Bleubeard’s last wife)
  • Bela Bartók gave us Judith (he numbers her as Bluebeard’s 4th wife)

I certainly struggle to fault Disney when it comes to the names they choose, that’s for sure. There’s plenty of names there to sift through, and plenty I could see myself happily using – even with the association of the ride because it’s a pretty decent, well-though out ghostie. Both sides of the atlantic.

Categories: Disney Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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)

Marnie

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

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