Posts Tagged With: Mitzi

10 Wonderful International Variations of Mary

The only two cookbooks you’ll ever need. The Hamlyn one is placed that way to prove Mary did indeed contribute to it’s writing.

Like many Brits, I am currently obsessed with The Great British Bake Off. It’s so wonderfully simply in premise, and it features the wonderful Mary Berry as a judge.

We have many cookbooks in the house, but really, only the above two are ever used (especially since someone accidentally glued the BeRo book to the counter with golden syrup and ruined it). Infact, some of the more used pages in the newer book (the pink one) are smudged with all manner of cooking ingredients. And the older book? Tatty beyond belief, but never purposefully mistreated.

It’s hard to believe that the Hamlyn book came out in the 1970s, and I actually had an argument with my mother just the other day about whether or not Mary Berry was the author.

She is.

I have for a long time admired the name Mary. It’s a good, solid name that has served ladies well for centuries. I mean, what’s not to like? However, some level accusation at her that she is essentially a boring name (perhaps due to the gazillion ladies who answer to it), so I’ve put together this little list of some fabulous international versions of Mary that may just perk your interest. Quite by chance, the majority are from completely different parts of the world, rather than just throwing at you name from the usual suspects (holla France, Ireland & Wales).

1. Mitzi

At the top of the list is this intriguing German name; she’s the German diminutive of Maria. For me, she rocks as an alternative to the popular Maisie since she does not rank at all (I know, crazy right?).

2. Manon

One of the top names for girls in France, Manon is the French diminutive of Marie. Last Halloween, I met a sibset of Manon & Matisse at my local cricket club. The name Manon ranked at #1729 in England&Wales in 2011.

3. Moirrey/Voirrey

A pick from my own shores – or thereabouts – Moirrey is the Manx form of Mary, whilst Voirrey is simply a variation.

4. Marzena (mah-zhe-nah)

The Polish diminutive of Maria, which contains that wonderful zippy z letter.

5. Mareike (mah-rie-ka)

A name shared between two languages – Frisian and German – where in both she is a diminutive of Maria.

6. Máirín

An Irish diminutive of Mary that is said mostly the same as we would Maureen; there is also the variant Mairenn.

7. My

They say it’s the simple things in life, and this Swedish name encompasses that. She’s their diminutive of Maria, and in their most recent  data release she ranked at #73. The thing to note is that this name isn’t pronounced the same as the English word, and it’s more said like the word me (see here).

8. Mhairi (VA-ree)

Scottish form of Mary, by way of Màiri. We had an athlete in Team GB with the name, Mhairi Spence, who competed in the modern pentathlon. The name ranked at #3549 in England&Wales in 2011.

9. Maricruz

A darling smoosh name, courtesy of our Spanish friends. Hopefully you’ve spotted that the names in question that have been smooshed together are Maria and Cruz.

10. Masha

To end, a visit to our Russian friends. You’ve heard of Sasha; I’ve previously mentioned Pasha and now we’re on to Masha. Unlike the other two, Masha is solidly female, by way of being their diminutive of Mariya. Masha ranked at #5785 in England&Wales in 2011.



All that said, I still think Mary rocks and is not in the slightest bit boring.

Categories: Name List | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


The Tweenies from

It’s been awhile since I’ve rummaged through the depths of children’s programming. I briefly watched Tweenies myself when it launched in 1998, but quickly grew out of the target audience – but with a sister still inside it I kept watching it throughout it’s run.

The show focuses on four main characters, all between 2-5 years old at the time of the series who attend nursery. Whilst it may not sound like a particularly exciting concept for a show, but it managed to keep my sister entertained for several years. In theory, that means that the characters would’ve been born circa the mid-1990s. It may therefore interest you first of all to know what the four main characters were called, with their 1998/2010 rank in England&Wales:

Bella (#925/#104)

Usually used as a short form of Isabella, and indeed it is the Italian word for beautiful. As you can see, this name has shot up since 1998 – which some attribute to the Twilight effect. The novel itself first hit the shelves in 2005, when Bella was at #438 which confirms my suspicions that the name was moving up prior to the books.

Fizz (no rank/no rank)

English word, in context, if a liquid fizzes, it produces a lot of bubbles. The posh word we chemists like to use instead is effervescence. As a child, I was certain that this was a nickname since even to a much younger, gullible and somewhat impressionable me. In terms of ranking, I’m not surprised to see this name has never ranked – although in 2010 both Fizza and Fizzah made an appearance. The fact that Fizz’s brother was called Gary somewhat supports my childhood theory that Fizz was a nickname for her but since we’ve never been provided with further detail it remains a theory.

Jake (#22/#29)

Either a medieval variant of Jack, or a short form of Jacob. In terms of rankings, the name hasn’t really shifted anywhere far since 1998.

Milo (#244/#164)

Old Germanic form of the name Miles. Often associated with the Latin word miles, meaning soldier. Quite by chance, the name Milo came up yesterday.

Aside from the four main characters, there were a few other interesting names in the mix from peripheral characters, and a special thanks to my sister whose knowledge of The Tweenies remains startling intact. Then again, I discovered this week during a debate with friends that I can still recall where the bus stopped on each weekday on the show Playdays.


The name of Jake’s older brother. There’s a Chinese gymnast by the name He Kexin, whose exact age was subject to some controversy during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The thing to remember, however, is that Kexin is female – but it is telling that Kexin surfaced on the Tweenies several years before the gymnast made her international début in 2008. I’m pinning my bets on my second cousin Keivan using the name Kexin, following the example of father Kelvin and grandfather Kevin. He is only 3, though, so that day is potentially a long way off. According to Nancy, there were 5 girls born in the US in 2009 named Kexin; I’m rather unsurprised that the name Kexin ranks for neither gender in 2010 in England&Wales.


The name of Bella’s older sister. As you may have seen above, Bella wasn’t exactly popular back in 1998, never mind Mella. You may like to link it to melle, the Latin word for honey – from which the French received their word for honey: miel. The we have the English word mellow, which isn’t really applicable to the origins of Mella, but is certainly a word I always link it to.


The name of Jake’s mother. Mitzi is the German form of Maria, although my sister has commented that to her the name is Maisie gone German. Whilst that isn’t exactly correct since neither name is related, it does have a social application, i.e. if you like Maisie, but not her popularity, why not consider Mitzi?

Categories: Names from the Box | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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