Posts Tagged With: Melanie

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

Tired of Ella?

For the past few years, Ella has ranked highly on the name charts. Here are some alternatives for those of you who wish for something a little different:

If you like the El- beginning:

Eleanor. Once classed as a timeless name, now falling down the name charts. Fast. Means bright, shining one.

Elena. An alternate spelling of Eleanor. Likely to have a better chance of rising, seeing as many people favour the unconventional spellings at the moment. It’s the spanish version of Helen. # 195 in 2009.

Elaine. French variation of Helen. # 767 in 2009. The alternate spelling Elaina is much more ‘in’ right now (#462).

Elora. Variation of Eliora.

Eliora. Means ‘ the Lord is my Light’. Melodic in sound, due to abundance of vowels. Does not rank.

Elise. Means ‘pledged to God’. Also a variation of Elizabeth. #211 in 2009. Alternate spelling Elyse is also climbing the name charts.

Eloisa/Eloise/ Heloise. Means healthy/wide. # 917 in 2009. Popular for French girls.

Eliza. Means ‘pledged to God’. Variation of Elizabeth. #278 in 2009.

Elsie. Popular back at the start of the 20th century. Thus, if we remember names have a 100-year cycle, this name is due to come back into fashion. Currently #679. Another variation of Elizabeth, via it’s scottish form of Elspeth.

Elle. French for ‘she’. In 2009 rose to #442 from #493.

Elizabeth. Considered to be a ‘timeless’ name. Has a rich history of bearers, such at the two Queens of England. Popular throughout the centuries, currently ranks at #11. Popular for middle names, and often seen in sibsets alongside Victoria, another Queen of England. The variant ‘Elisabeth’ is currently sat at #554.

Names with the ‘elle’ ending:

Marielle. Dutch and French diminuative of Mary. Means bitter. Does not rank in the top 1000. Variation of Mariella does not rank either.

Gabrielle. French, feminine form of Gabriel. #96 in 2009, fell out of the Top 70 this year. Variation of Gabriella still ranks highly (#33)

Danielle. Hebrew, feminine variant of Daniel. #170 in 2009. The ‘Daniella’ version ranks lower at #306.

Brielle. Surging in popularity. Jumped 93 places to #245 in 2009. A contestant for the replacement of Ella no doubt. The variation of Briella does not rank, however.

Michelle. Feminine form of Michael. Favourite during the 70s (when it peaked at #4). It’s now in steep decline, perhaps one could say it is the ‘Ella’ of the 70s. It recently dropped out of the top 100, however, it is tipped for a revival thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama. Currently ranks #104. A reason for it’s decline could be due to parents preferring Michael’s other feminine form – Michaela, or one of it’s many alternate spellings, such as Mikayla.

Isabelle. This spelling ranks at #100. Considered this decades ‘Elizabeth’. Surprisingly, Isabel ranks lower at #110. Both names are on the rise though. Isabella ranks at #1, and did not even ranks in the top 1000 in the 1980s. This means it could fall out of favour in the coming decade, much like Jennifer and Michelle.

Isobelle. German variation. This spelling does not rank. Neither doee Isobel. Isobella does not rank either.

Belle . French for beautiful. Does not rank. Bella ranks at #58 in 2009, jumping up by 64 places. This is thought to have been caused by Twilight.

Sabelle. This is a variation of the popular Isabel. It does not rank. Could also be a variation of Sable. The variation of Sabella does not rank.

Estelle. French version of ‘Stella’. Does not rank. Variants are Estella and Estrella. The latter is the only one to rank – #414. It is popular amongst the hispanic community.

NOTE: -ella names are very much the fashion at the moment, so these names are all poised to rise in the coming few years.

Names that end ‘-ella’ and not covered in the above section:

Stella. Latin meaning ‘Star’. #126 at the moment, may rise even higher. It jumped 58 places in 2009.

Luella. Combination of Louise and Ella. Variant spelling is Louella. Neither Luella nor Louella rank, making them unusual compared to Ella.

Names with the ‘el’ sound:

Belinda. Spanish origin, means ‘serpent. In Babylonian mythology she was the goddess of Heaven and earth. Currently #826. The variant of Melinda has dropped out of favour in recent years and so does not rank.

Kelly. Irish name, means ‘war’. Was a male name in the 60s, now it is very much a female one. It ranks at #260. Nowadays overlooked in favour of other irish names such as ‘Kennedy’. Another irish name, Keeley (most often spelt Kiely in Ireland) means ‘slender’ and does not rank. The similar name Kaylee ranks at #26.

Kelsey. Means ‘island’. Was popular at the same time as Chelsea. Now the name of your average teen. Kelsey ranks at #210. Chelsea ranks at #231. The name Chelsea originates from the borough of London, has begun to fall down the name chart.

Stellina. Variation of Stella. Does not rank.

Esteley. Variation of Estella. Does not rank.

Melanie. Of Greek origin. Means ‘black or dark’. Currently ranks at #93. Was popular due to ‘Gone with the wind’, but has begun to fall down the name charts.

Melina. Of Greek origin meaning ‘quince yellow’. Some see it as a fresh alternative to Melissa. Melina has moved up from #510 to #456 in the past year. Melissa means ‘bee’ and ranks at #137. Another variant, Melita, is greek meaning ‘honey’. But is also the name of a coffee filter. It does not rank.

Helen/ Helena. Helen is greek, and it means ‘bright, shining one’. It ranks at #389. This name has been unfashionable for decades, so is due for a comeback. The alternative of Helena ranks at #575, and was a name favoured by Shakespeare. Another alternative is Ellen, which is falling down as Ella and co. rise. It currently ranks at #700. Eleni is a common name in Greece, that could also be considered.

Mella. This name is a variant of Melanie. The variant of Mela is Hindi and means ‘religious service’.

Pamela. Invented in the 16th Century by poet, Sir Philip Sidney. Ranks at #845. Poised for a revival?

Amelia. Variation of Emily, means ‘energetic’. Currently stands at #55. The french version, Amelie, is at #675.

Names that end ‘-la’

Carla. The version Karla is rising due to the trend towards ‘k’ names (currently #295), this spelling is falling though. It is the feminine variant of Carl, and currently stands at #665. The variant of Charla is does not rank and the variant of Clara is at #199 and means ‘bright’. Other variants are Sharla and Starla. Neither rank.

Nuala. Irish name, pronounced NOO-la, it means ‘white shoulders’, officially a shortened version of Fionnuala. It does not rank.

Kayla. Arabic and Hebrew origins. Means ‘laurel, crown’. Recently fallen out of the top 30 to #35

Delilah. Hebrew and Arabic in origin. Rising quickly and currently stands at #191. Appeared in the Bible story of Samson and Delilah.

Talulla/ Tallulah. Talulla is the Irish version of this name. The names mean ‘lady of abundance’. Starting to become popular, currently does not rank for either listed spelling.

Michaela. Feminine version of Michael, more popular than Michelle. Means ‘who is like God’. Ranks at #370. Variant spellings are popular. Very popular in the 90s.

Beulah. Popular at the beginning of the 20th century, and has yet to make a comeback. Or Hebrew origin and means ‘married’. Does not rank.

Kala. Has origins in both Hindi and Hawaiian. In Hindi it means ‘art form or virtue’, in Hawaiian it is their version of Sarah. It does not rank.

Lila. German word for ‘purple’. Arabic for ‘lilac’. Ranks at #168. Starting to become popular once more. Variants are Lilah (#366), Leila (Persian meaning ‘dark beauty, night’, #238), Layla (Popular alternate spelling of Leila, #45), Lyla (Shot up 72 spots to #152), Lilac (Colour, does not rank), Lola (Spanish diminuative of Dolores,’lady of sorrows’, #221), Lilia (Latin origin, means ‘Lily’, #916), Lolita (Story by Nakobov has kept this name from becoming popular, likely to start ranking soon though.)and Kalila (Arabic, means ‘beloved’, does not rank.)

Wildcards:

Elspeth. Scottish form of Elizabeth.

Elpis . Means “hope” in Greek. In Greek mythology Elpis was the personification of hope. She was the last spirit to remain in the jar after Pandora unleashed the evils that were in it.

Twyla. Variant of Twila. Could become popular when parents search for a name connected to ‘Twilight’. Twila means ‘woman with a double thread’.

Dalella. Variation of Daniella.

Belladonna. Italian name that means ‘beautiful woman’. Also the name of the poisonous plant that appears in Romeo and Juliet.

Belia. Spanish variation of Bella.

Elisheba. Original Hebrew form of Elizabeth. Alternative is Elisheva. Another is Elisha, which is Hebrew and means ‘God is my Salvation’, ranks at #709. Other spelling variants at Alysha (does not rank), Alisha (#765) and Eilisha (does not rank and derives from Eilish, the irish version of Elizabeth).

Elyssa. Variation of Alyssa (Means ‘noble’, ranks at #19), Elysia (Mythical home of the blessed, Does not rank)and Alice (Also means ‘noble’, ranks at #258). There is also the variation of Alicia, which ranks at #207.

Bellona. Derives from Latin and means ‘to fight’.

Laurel. Latin name, meaning ‘Laurel tree’. Alternative of Laura.

Teyla. Created for a Sci-Fi show, alternate spelling of Taylor.

Other similar names:

Lisa. Popular in the late sixties, early seventies, also recorded as used on males. Derived from Elizabeth. Ranks at #686. It was #4 in 1970.

Esther. Persian meaning ‘star’. Ranks at #267, was in the top 50 100 years ago, but is rarely used today. It is tipped for a comeback though.

Louisa. Hardly heard of variant of Louis. Means ‘renowned warrior’. It’s hispanic version is Luisa, which is common in the Hispanic community.

Kiely. Common Irish spelling of Keeley. Regularly used as a surname.

Swansea. Has a similar sound to Chelsea. Name of a Welsh city.

EDIT: Here is what the lovely people of Yahoo! answers had to say: Y!A

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