Posts Tagged With: Muriel

Home

Du pain.

I spent a good deal of my France trip snowed-in, but that didn’t hold me back when it came to spotting some interesting tidbits and names to share. Truth be told, I actually got home last night, but opted to save this post until today.

One of the first names I want to mention is Cocatrix. In between snowstorms I managed to make it to a chateau, in which a mini-artsy area resides. One of the rooms revolves around a creature called the Cocatrix. It’s meant to be an investigation into seeing how much information one needs to throw at someone before they come to believe in an imaginary creature. It was an interesting concept, although I’m still a fan of the whole pretty-paintings style of art. As a name, it’s worthy of thought. Nameberry ran a post this week featuring Cora. In this name she is very much smooshed with another darling-of-the-moment: Beatrix.

Then we have Beyly. Before you all rush to comment on how horrified you all are to see Bailey mutilated in such a way, I ask you to consider the following information: I saw it as someone’s surname, not firstname. Speaking of differing spellings, I also came across a Jheni, a Devid and a Dorine – the latter had a sister named Clémence and both were under 6 years of age.

Moving swiftly to French names, since they’re at their most abundance in France. I managed to meet no less than 4 ladies named Mireille; a Cécile; an Alfre; a Muriel; a Nathalie; a Gilles; an Olivien and a Sandrine. Actually Alfre doesn’t really belong to this set of names since I’m thinking it could be a slight variant of Alfr, which is a name from Norse mythology and means elf. The name Alfie derives from Old English, but too shares the elf meaning. Either way, to me Alfre feels French, but that may be because I’ve spent all week speaking French, where one of the major groups of French verbs are ones ending -re (the other two being -er verbs and -ir verbs): mettre (to put/place), prendre (to take), vivre (to live), suivre (to follow) – to name just a few popular verbs oft heard. There’s an actress called Alfre Ette Woodard.

Not so much a name, but in the time there I came across the French word Pomélo – rather reminds me of Pomona and Pomeline, but it has no relations to apples, rather it’s the French word for a type of grapefruit.

A few more notable names I noticed:

  • Bafétimbi. The name of a French footballer, currently playing for Lyons and the national team.
  • Clovis. Admittedly, the name of the neighbour’s poodle.
  • Edda. The name of a small child’s doll from a supermarket trip.
  • Hannelore. Tween/Teen-aged girl – referred to as Laure.
  • Ludovic. Nicknamed Ludo.
  • Maberly. The name of a lady who served me in a shop.
  • Melhi. Bus driver.
  • Sidse. A half-German female.
  • Thekla. A toddler.
  • Timandra. The name of a lady in the editorial credits for a magazine I read in France. The title of said magazine eludes me.
  • Vicco. 30-something male.
  • Widget. Author of an article I read whilst in France, this was the name given but I could see the argument of it being a nickname.
Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

When Penelope Gets Popular

Paloma Faith may inspire you, from metro.co.uk

When I originally penned the Clementine post, I never imagined doing a sequel post or even turning it into a series, but the fact of the matter is that the name Penelope is getting popular, and I’ve started to wonder about what alternatives are out there. This post started off as me pondering about what other names I could get Penny from (the final three being Typhena, Peony and Euphemia), but the original draft of such a post seemed like more should be said. An elaboration was in order, and a sequel was born. So, what other names could we use when Penelope gets too popular for our liking? Just to illustrate the fact that she has grown in popularity, here’s how she’s fared in the past few years:

2003 2004 2005 2006
Rank 583 565 562 678
Births 50 55 59 46
2007 2008 2009 2010
Rank 515 427 328 272
Births 72 99 135 181

A ranking of #272 is something to take note of, since she’s shot up from #678 in 2006 to where she is today. To start off with, it seems best to first approach this topic by asking what exactly are the kinds of names people are pairing the name Penelope with, either as sibling or middle names? A trip to the London Telegraph Birth Announcements was in order to find just that out, and it was an eclectic bunch of names to say the least; here is a cut-down version:

  • Annabel
  • Aurelia
  • Bróna
  • Clementine
  • Esther
  • Evelyn
  • Dorothea
  • Felicity
  • Florence
  • Georgina
  • Harriet
  • Hettie
  • Horatia
  • Jemima
  • Lucinda
  • Marissa
  • Muriel
  • Nancy
  • Orla
  • Scarlett
  • Serena
  • Willa

The names Clementine and Florence came up severeal times, whilst Lucinda also came up at least twice. There are some conflicting styles in the names, from the seldom heard Horatia, to the very Irish name Bróna. Since Florence is a clear favourite, it seems apt to kick off a list of suggestions with the younger Nightingale sister’s name: Parthenope. Like her sister before her, Parthenope was named after an Italian city, and like Penelope, she’s four-syllables. If long names are your preference, another four-syllable P name is Philomena, which shares Penelope’s Greek roots. Dorothea from the above list also shares this trait. Other four-syllable Greek names include:

  • Angeliki
  • Calliope
  • Cassiopeia (technically five-syllables)
  • Elisavet
  • Eugenia (modern Greek form: Evgenia)
  • Konstantina
  • Louiza
  • Ophelia
  • Paraskeve (Pah-rah-ske-vee)
  • Persephone
  • Theodora
  • Timothea
  • Zenovia/Zenobia

But you may have no Greek heritage, which means the above list may means nothing at all to you. Fear not, for there are other, more English-based, options out there. The current leader of the pack for me is Peony. She’s floral, like Lily, and could also shorten to Penny if your heart so desires. I’m astonisahed that only 9 of them were born in England&Wales in 2010, because she is such a pretty name. I first came upon her, myself, when reading a book which I can’t for the life of me remember. But what I can remember was that Peony wore trousers with different coloured legs. She was an eccentric child, to say the least. Another seldom used name in England&Wales in Tolulope, given to just 4 girls in 2010, whilst Temitope was given to 10 girls.

Another P name that I reckon will be rising fast here in the UK in the next few years is Paloma. We’ve already had pop act Florence&The Machine attributed to the rise of Florence, and there’s another similar artist in the UK right now called Paloma Faith. She was the goth girl, Andrea, in the first of the rebooted St.Trinians films, but has since embraced colour to the max. Her name is Spanish for dove. Another British pop act, Mika, has three sisters named Yasmina, Paloma and Zuleika.

Going back to 2000, Penelope was given to 35 girls that year, as was Henrietta. Other names ranking similarly to her, and also containing four syllables (within 45-25 births) in 2000, with their 2010 ranking/birth number in brackets after are:

  • Angelica (#531, 75 births)
  • Henrietta (#730, 50 births)
  • Ophelia (#559, 71 births)
  • Valentina (#521, 77 births)
  • Veronica (#452, 92 births)

As you can see, non of them have broken the Top 300 as Penelope has done, but they have all risen since 2000 and could rise further but maybe not as quickly as dear Penny. That leads us onto another point, one could simply use a nickname of Penelope instead. Aside from Poppy, which resides firmly in the Top 100, the nicknames are generally not as popular as their long form:

  • Nell – #390
  • Nelly – #747
  • Penny – #396
  • Petal – #3156
  • Piper – #719
  • Polly – #300
  • Posy – #4688

I would also suggest Pippa as a nickname for Penelope, but she’s also on the express train to popularity at the moment. I guess one could argue that Philippa is another great alternative choice, who has actually been going backwards in the past few years. Other vintage-sounding P names include Patience, Prudence and Pearl, and Pomeline is a name with Royal heritage.

To conclude, Penelope is a great name with some great alternatives should her popularity put you off. My line on popularity is the same as always, though: if your heart says go for it, just go for it regardless of how popular the name may be.

Categories: Girl Names, Nicknames | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.