Posts Tagged With: Mona

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

Straining Bookshelfs

The Thief Lord cover, from amazon.com

One of the best places to root around for names inspirations is books. The fictional world is where anything goes really – I once read a book named Storm’s Child where the main characters were called Rail (male) and Moa (female). Whilst I never got into Garth Nix’s main successes, I did love his book Shade’s Children – where the main characters were called Drum (male), Gold-Eye (male), Ninde (female) and Ella. Eoin Colfer once wrote a book called Supernaturalist, with characters Cosmo, Stefan and Mona. I digress, I read too much as a mid-teen and now my bookshelfs strain under the weight of all the books I own.

Since both Abby and Elea have both covered names of fictional characters this week in their own ways, I’m instead going to bring you inspiration from the names of the author’s which I read back when every waking moment of my life curled up with a book, along with the name of one of my favourite titles by them and some names from said title:

Benjamin Zephaniah (Teacher DeadJackson)

Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is his full name, and I’m in awe of the mix of styles he’s been bestowed. I’ve met two young Zeph’s recently – one was a Zephyr and twin of Asher, whilst the other was a Zephaniah.TV’s Julia Bradbury welcomed a son named Zephyr earlier on this year in August.

The name Benjamin is of Hebrew origins and means son of the south/right hand, whilst Zephaniah is also of Hebrew origins and means Yahweh has hidden. For the sake of completion, Zephyr means west wind, whilst Asher means happy or blessed.

And a quick breakdown of each name’s popularity in 2010 in England&Wales:

Benjamin Zephaniah Zephyr Asher
Rank 22 1407 3332 364
Births 3005 17 5 112

Blue Balliett (Chasing VermeerPetra and Calder)

Balliett purposefully chose unusually names, believing that’s exactly what would appeal to her readers. When I initially read Chasing Vermeer about 3 years ago I didn’t like the name Petra all that much, but she’s grown on me. She’s the female form of Peter, which means rock, although the character was named with reference to the ancient city of Petra and as part of family naming tradition.

Now, for some hard data from the 2010 data for England&Wales. Blue doesn’t rank for girls (the author is female), but does for the boys:

Blue Calder Petra
Rank 1801 n/a 1472
Births 12 n/a 20

Cornelia Funke (The Thief LordProsper, Boniface ‘Bo’, Scipio, Esther and Ida)

I adore the name Prosper, and it’s from this book that my love for him was first sparked. I acknowledge that Funke’s other work, the Inkheart trilogy, is better known, but this one has a special place in my heart.

As for the name of the author, first we must note that the author is German, and then note the name is the female form of the Latin name Cornelius. The name comes from the Latin element cornu, which means horn. 4 girls were named Cornelia in 2010 in England&Wales, putting it at #4688. On the flip side, 6 lads were named Cornelius last year, and thus at a ranking of #2941. And for the names of her characters I mentioned above? (The ranking for Bo is the male ranking)

Prosper Boniface Scipio
Rank n/a n/a n/a
Birth n/a n/a n/a
Esther Ida Bo
Rank 156 878 1483
Birth 334 40 16

Cressida Cowell (How To Speak DragoneseHiccup, Fishlegs and Camicazi)

I know that I’m probably too old for Cowell’s books these days, but I am still eagerly awaiting the next installment of the Hiccup franchise next month (the film adaption of the first book dissolved me into tears-the only film to ever do so). I love the name Cressida, and she’s the medieval form of another name I love: Chryseis and also means gold. In Greek legend, Chryseis was the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo. Since Hiccup and friends don’t rank, but Cressida does at #4688, with 4 births – same as Cornelia.

Enid Blyton (The Mystery of the Burnt CottageFrederick ‘Fatty’, Margaret ‘Daisy’, Lawrence ‘Larry’, Philip ‘Pip’ and Elizabeth ‘Bets’)

Enid is almost synonymous nowadays with the author, and the name comes from Welsh and means either soul or life. As an author, she chose rather classic names, all of which are not as popular nowadays as they were back when the books were first published, the one mentioned above came out in 1943:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
Rank 2104 95 355
Births 12 688 117
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
Rank 296 505 49
Births 152 80 1356

Compare the rankings of 2010 with that of 1934 when  all six names were in the Top 100:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
1934 68 24 72
2010 2104 95 355
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
1934 56 1 14
2010 296 505 49

Malorie Blackman (Noughts & CrossesPersephone ‘Sephy, Jasmine and Meggie)

The Noughts&Crosses trilogy was the one which first introduced me to the name Persephone, although I wasn’t sure of the pronunciation until I watched the television show Firefly. My copy of the first book is also signed by the author, Malorie Blackman, which I won, rather than stood in a line for.

The name Malorie is a variant spelling of Mallory, a name that comes from Norman French and means unfortunate. Rather makes me think of the CBBC show Trapped, where the contestants are known as unfortunates. Persephone’s meaning is not established, although she has been linked to Greek words which means murder or to destroy, whilst Meggie is a short form of Margaret and Jasmine is a lovely botanical name. They rank, as such:

Malorie Mallory Persephone
Rank n/a 4688 3156
Births n/a 4 7
Jasmine Meggie
Rank 41 5707
Births 1466 3

Tamora Pierce (The Magic In The WeavingSandrilene ‘Sandry’, Trisana ‘Tris’, Daja, Briar (male) and Lark)

I actually took this book out of my local library by mistake more than anything, but found myself reading it anyway. Whilst a little difficult to follow to begin with, I loved it enough to read all it’s sequels. This is the first real occasion I came across the name Briar, since I was never really shown Sleeping Beauty as a child, and I actually like it. The character himself chose the name, wanting something botanical, yet masculine. I think he achieved that, since I’ve often misread the name as Bear.

As for the name of the author, Tamora, she’s a variant spelling of the name Tamara, which is a variant of the name Tamar, which means palm tree in Hebrew. Predictably, none of the names have really made an impact in the popularity data for England&Wales (the data for Briar is the female one, since there is no male ranking):

Tamora Tamara Sandry Lark
Rank n/a 458 n/a 5707
Births n/a 90 n/a 3
Trisana Daja Briar
Rank n/a n/a 5707
Births n/a n/a 3

Tom Becker (DarksideCarnegie, Vendetta and Marianne)

I listed him because of his surname, rather than his first name. Becket is a nouveau name getting some attention right now, and I think I like Becker a tad more. He’s a German surname and variant of another surname, Becke, which means baker. The Carnegie Award is given out annually to a single children’s book which has impressed, and named after Andrew Carnegie.

Out of all the names, only Marianne ranks in the England&Wales data – at #946 with 36 uses.

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

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