Posts Tagged With: Natasha

Under 30s British Stars Rich List

Mika, from blogspot.com

This little list has been in the news today, courtesy of Heat Magazine, so it seems a good time to talk about some of the names of the 30 honoured rich British stars who are under-30s. All of them are in the world of showbiz, and given their placing on the list are likely recognisable by name to most Brits. To keep it interesting, I’ve decided to focus on the names outside our current Top 100.

That immediately excludes #1, Daniel Radcliffe – known to the world as Harry Potter. It also excludes Keira Knightley (#2), Robert Pattinson (#3), Emma Watson (#4), Katie Melua (#8), Charlotte Church (#10), Emily Blunt (#11), Alex Turner (#13), Sienna Miller (#17), James Morrison (#20), Lily Allen (#21), Sarah Harding (#26), Florence Welch (#29) and Jamie Bell (#30).

Technically speaking, we should also exclude the man at #14, Michael Holbrook Penniman, but it seems fair to mention the name he mostly goes by – Mika. Some take the name as feminine, some go the opposite way. It depends on how you approach it, because Mika is very much feminine in Japan, where it means beautiful perfume. Anyone into F1 will also be aware of two-time world champion Finnish driver Mika Häkkinen who . In Finland, Mika is a short form of Mikael – their version of Michael, but Häkkinen is quite simply just Mika Pauli. Alternatively you have Micah, a short form of the Biblical Micaiah, or Mica, which is also the name of a silverly mineral.

Shooting back up to the top end of the list, we have the final key Harry Potter actor, Rupert Grint, at #5. Rupert is a German version of the once popular name Robert. Historically, Robert peaked in England&Wales at #5 in 1944. By contrast, in the States, Robert was #1 from 1924 to 1939. Currently, Robert sits at #90 in England&Wales, falling 49 places since 2000. Rupert, on the other hand, sits at #360 in 2010, up 208 places from #568 in 2000.

Leona Lewis (#6) is the most successful X Factor UK winner to date, and Chlokie covered her name superbly over the weekend, whilst Elea covered the slightly similar Leonie at the same time. As you might guess, the name relates to the Greek word for lion, leon and the Latin leo, meaning the same thing. An interesting tidbit is the Leona’s middle name is Louise, completely her trio of L-names. In 2010, the name Leona was at #380, but the key figures to consider are these:

  • 2004: #480
  • 2005: #509
  • 2006: #311
  • 2007: #200

Leona Lewis came to prominence in the second half of 2006, causing her name to boost up following a slight fall between 2004 and 2005. She has fallen since then, but we’ve yet to see whether this is just a slight dip all names tend to go through.

#7 is Cheryl Cole, who also found fame via a talent-come-reality show Popstar: The Rivals when she was placed into the girl group Girls Aloud – which in 2011 Guiness World Records named the most successful reality Tv group. The other four members also make the list, of which only Sarah Harding was excluded for having a Top 100 name. It is, in a sense, a false measure however as Cheryl was #68 in 1984. This pattern continues with the two of the three other members of Girls Aloud. The first of these is third member Kimberley Walsh’s (#24) name was #43 in 1984 and she was born in 1981 (only data for 1954, 1964 etc is available until 1996). The fourth member to mention is Nicola Roberts (#27), whose name was even higher up at #12 in 1984. So, in theory that only leaves  final member Nadine Coyle (#25) with non-Top 100 name. However, I’m in a good mood, so we’ll talk about all four.

If you’re wondering why Cheryl ranks so much higher than her four bandmates, you need only look above to Leona; Cheryl Cole spent 2008-2010 as a judge on The X Factor and was generally well-received by the public. This increased exposure for her led to a reasonably successful solo career. The name Cheryl is likely to have been inspired by the name Cherie combined with Beryl.

Kimberley is a place name, and we’re not just talking about the town in Nottinghamshire. There is a diamond mining town in South Africa called Kimberley as well, which was named after Lord Kimberley – the peerage Earl of Kimberley exists to this day in the UK, currently bestowed upon John Armine Wodehouse, who is the 5th Earl of Kimberley; he took the title in 2002.

Nicola is the Italian form of Nicholas, but also a feminine form in the English-speaking world, and whilst she’s the sole Irish member of the group, Nadine Coyle’s name isn’t. Nadine is the French version of the Russian name Nadya, a name that derives from Nadezhda which means hope.

As for the rankings of the four names, it’s clear some have fared better than others since the 1980s, it’s worth noting that Cheryl is the least popular name, despite Cheryl outranking her bandmates on the rich list:

  • Cheryl: #965
  • Kimberley: #383
  • Nicola: #263
  • Nadine: #801

Towards the end of the top 10 is Craig David at #9, whose middle name is Ashley. The name Craig has roots in Scottish Gaelic, specifically with creag, which means either rocks or crag. I’ve had the pleasure of watching a French person try to say this name before, and she didn’t get a gold star for her attempt. Literally, it’s KRAYG, and the name is #89 in Scotland but, crucially, only at #503 in England&Wales in 2010.

Moving further down the list we get to yet another singer, this time Joss Stone at #12. Speaking of the French, the singer’s full name is Jocelyn Eve and Jocelyn is an exclusively male name in France, with the female spelling being Jocelyne. There’s a place called Josselin in Brittany, but the name could have come from a Germanic tribe, the Gauts. Another famed Joss is Mr. Whedon, for whom Joss is a short form of Joseph. Jocelyn is at #840 in England&Wales for 2010.

At #15 is Coleen Rooney: wife of Wayne; mother of Kai. Her name comes from Irish caílin and means girl, but it’s also worth noting that the French word for hill is colline. Coleen doesn’t rank, but Colleen was given to 7 girls in 2010, which gives it a ranking of #3156.

Miss.16 is the now world-reknowned singer Adele, whose full name is Adele Laurie Blue Adkins. Like Adelaide, the name Adele comes from the Germanic element adal, meaning noble. I wouldn’t hesitate to attribute any rise in Adele to this lady, given her popularity. Adele released Hometown Glory, her breakthrough song, in October 2007, so let’s quickly look at some data from the years around that:

  • 2006: #594
  • 2007: #623
  • 2008: #467

I’m willing to bet she had some doing with the jump between 2007 and 2008. The crunch-point? By 2010, the name Adele had again fallen outside the Top 500 to #683.

At #18 is Natasha Bedingfield and at #19 is Duffy. Natasha was recently mentioned in the post on Natalie over at the newly named The Name Station. Duffy was born Aimée Ann, and we’ve previously mentioned the name Duffy. Quickly sidelining to the French again, there’s a delightful French singer, Coeur de Pirate, who reminds me a lot of Duffy and she herself is called Béatrice. Natasha is at #171, with 310 births, whilst Duffy does not rank.

The 22nd spot is taken up by Paolo Nutini, a Scot. His father is from Tuscany by descent, but the family have lived in Scotland for a handful of generations. Paolo’s music career took off in 2006, when he released his début album These Streets, which was certified 4x Platinum, and was in the charts for a record-breaking 196 weeks. The name Paolo is the Italian version of Paul, which means humble. 23 boys were given the name Paolo in 2010, putting the name at #1144.

Whilst Emma Watson was excluded, Gemma Arterton does make the list with her slightly different name. Arterton played Strawberry Fields in the most recent Bond film, Quantum of Solace. The name Gemma related to the Italian word for gem. In 2010, Gemma ranked at #354, with 128 born.

The final entrant to mention is Taio Cruz. Cruz is the name of the third Beckham boy, which is the Spanish word for cross. As for Taio, I’m at a slight loss. My best guess is that it is related to Tao, which is Chinese and means peach or long life. What’s more likely is that Mr.Cruz is the reason Taio is inside the Top 1000 in England&Wales at #832, with 35 of them born; Cruz ranks higher at #433 with 87 born.

Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names, Names in the News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cardcaptor Sakura

Sakura Avalon/Kinomoto from her wikipedia page

I have two wonderful friends who are into the world of ‘cosplay’, which for those not in the know basically boils down to dressing up as characters from Japanese anime. I’ve never particularly become involved in the practice myself, or ever attended expos, but there were two highly popular anime shows I did get into as a child: Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura. To be honest, this was mostly because they were the only things my sister and I could agree on watching. One of these afforementioned friends, Tiff, is celebrating her birthday at the beginning of the new year, so I see this as an early birthday present for her. It also gives us an oppotunity to look into Japanese names and how well they do at translating into the English speaking world – for the English version of the show many names were altered to more English ones; and also stress me out as I try to find reliable sources on name meanings for the following Japanese names.

Sakura is easily one of my favourite Japanese names, and is likely to be one of the first such names to cross my path. In a way, she reminds me of the name Saskia, or even the slightly more cutesy Suki. For the English version of the show her surname was changed to Avalon, as opposed to her Japanese surname in Kinomoto – and doesn’t Sakura Avalon sound strikingly whimsical? Her design was originally based on illustrator Mokona Apapa’s two-year-old neice Kawaji. She was almost renamed as simply Nikki for the English version, but this was cast aside for varying reasons, including the cost it would’ve incured to implement the name change, but I have heard from people that the English version does say her name slightly different to how the Japanese do. In terms of meaning, Sakura is Japanese for cherry blossom, which for the Japanese symbolises the fleeting moment of life. In 2010, 13 girls were given the name Sakura in England&Wales, compared to the 112 given the name Saskia and the further 18 given the name Suki. I’ve also read that Sakura is a name of relative popularity in Japan.

As for the relations of young Sakura, she has an older brother named Toya in the Japanese version, which is altered to Tori in the dub. Toya is a short form for Victoria, as indeed can Tori be (maybe someone did their research?) but also comes to mean door into the valley in Japanese. As an aside, there’s a male Tory in Mythbusters, whose full name is Salvatore Paul.

Her father is Fujitaka/Aiden and her deceased mother is Nadeshiko/Natasha. Yamamoto nadeshiko is a Japanese term relating to the personification of an idealised Japanese female. Nadeshiko refers to a frilled pink carnation, whilst Yamamoto is an ancient name for Japan. I must say, whilst writing this post I have been won over by the name Nadashiko in a way Natasha has never suceeded with me. Excessive research on the internet suggests that Fujitaka means tall wisteria. How on Earth they got to Aiden from Fujitaka remains a mystery to me – part of me wishes they’d gone with Fergus instead.

Another main character is called Syaoran Li, whose name is altered to Li Showron. Syaoran means little wolf, whilst Li means plum. Then there’s also Eriol Hiiragizawa, who arrives in the English version as Eli Moon. The name Eriol reminds me of another English name: Errol, as in Errol Flynn. Whilst Errol has roots as a Scottish place name, Eriol appears to mean broken chain.

Two characters get the complete works when it comes to transforming their names into English-language ones: Sakura’s best friend Tomoyo Daidouji becomes Madison Taylor (whilst mother Sonomi becomes Samantha) and substitute teacher Kaho Mizuki becomes Layla Mackenzie. Closer translations include classmate Rika Sasaki who simply becomes Rita. Personally, I would’ve preferred her to remain as the delightful Rika. I’ve found sites saying Sonomi means beautiful garden, whilst Tomoyo means wise age or intellgient making her rather like the Japanese equivalent of the name Sage.

Now as a final thought, I’ve been racking my brains trying to remember where I’d seen Kaho before recently, and of course the slightly different Kahlo was covered over at Bewitching Names at the end of September. Thanks to the joy that is differing kanji, this name has more meanings than letters, depending on how you interpret it. Some of my favourites include sail, summer and perfume.

Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names, Japanese Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sibset of the Week: The Buttons

Jenson Button, from wikipedia

I won’t lie, he’s probably my favourite driver on the F1 grid right now, and he is also the likely dource behind the sudden popularity of the name Jenson, with it now touching the 100 mark. So how did Jenson get his rather interesting name? Well, like many lads before him, he was named after a friend of his father, Erling Jensen, with a slight letter alteration. So what are the names of his three sisters?

Samantha Chantal

Tanya Katrina

Natasha Michelle

Jenson Alexander Lyons

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Babies in the early ’90s

Let’s number-crunch. Courtesy of my sister, I got my hands on the class lists for her year (grade) at school. The names totalled around 150, and when we factor in the sixth form class list, who are two years older, we have a reasonably sized data covering popular baby names for catholics (catholic school) in England in the early 1990s:

British Babies Born Circa 1990-1994

BOYS – ALPHABETICALLY

Aidan +Aiden

Alexander x3 +Alistair +Alisdair

Andrew x2

Ashley x2

Benjamin x2 +Ben

Bryn +Finn

Christopher x2

Connor +Conor

David x4

Hugo +Hugh +Huw

Jack x5

Jacob +Jakub

James x7

John +Jonathan

Joseph x7 +Joe

Joshua x2

Frederick + Freddie

Matthew x2 +Matteaus

Michael x4

Ryan x2

Theodore +Theo

Thomas x7

William x2 +Liam x2

BOYS – NUMERICALLY (3 or more)

Joseph et al = 8

James = 7

Thomas = 7

Daniel = 6

Alexander et al = 5

Jack = 5

Michael = 4

William et al = 4

Benjamin et al = 3

Hugo et al = 3

Matthew et al = 3

GIRLS – ALPHABETICALLY

Alexandra x2 +Alexa

Alice x2 +Alicia

Amy x2

Ana + Anne +Joanne +Leanne +Rhian +Roxanne

Beatrice +Beatrix x2

Cara +Clare +Clara

Caroline +Karolina

Chloe x3

Eleanor x3 +Ellen x2 +Helen x2 +Helena

Elizabeth +Eliza

Emma x2 +Emily

Esther +Esme

Eugenie x2

Frances x2

Hannah x2

Hayley x2

Jennifer x3

Jessica x3

Kathryn +Catherine +Katie x2

Laura x5 +Lauren

Lucy x4

Lily x2 +Lila +Lillian +Lilia

Maria x2 +Marie

Molly +Mollie

Natasha +Sasha x2

Olivia x3

Sarah +Sara

Sophie x3

Vanessa x2

GIRLS – NUMERICALLY (3 or more)

Eleanor et al = 8

Ana et al = 6

Lily et al =5

Kathryn et al = 4

Lucy = 4

Alexandra et al = 3

Beatrice et al = 3

Cara et al = 3

Chloe = 3

Emma et al = 3

Jennifer = 3

Jessica = 3

Natasha et al = 3

Olivia = 3

Philippa = 3

Sophie = 3

MALE/FEMALE

Daniel x6 +Danielle

George x2 +Georgina

Harry +Hattie +Harriet

Phillip +Philippa x3

Valentino +Valentina

THE IRISH GANG

Sean x2 +Shaun +Sian

Sinead +Seamus +Roisin +Bronagh +Lorcan +Ciara x2 +Niall

Patrick x2

THE NOTABLES

The prevalence of Irish names is not taken as uncommon in a catholic school.

Jack was outnumbered by several names: Joseph, James and Thomas. He began his stay at the top of the UK Top 100 list at the end of the decade. Two of the Jacks had the same surname.

Both of the Ashley’s, born when America embraced the name as a female one, were male.

The Eugenie’s were born just after Princess Eugenie, and the Beatrice/trixes born after Princess Eugenie’s sister: Princess Beatrice.

Non of the Lucy’s were a Lucille, Lucienne etc. They were all just Lucy.

The Emma’s outnumbered the Emily.

From personal knowledge:

-None of the Philippa’s in the list shortens their name to Pippa.

-All of the Eleanor’s were nicknamed Ellie.

* In the interests of not boring you all to death with an endless list of data, any name on the class lists which appeared once, without a similar name has been omitted from the data. This accounts for around 30 names out of the roughly estimated 240 names.

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From Russia, With Love

Here’s a quick look at some popular Russian names, some which could easily pass through the culture barrier, others which may falter slightly.

Vladimir

– This name means to rule with greatness. There are two well-known namesakes: Vladimir Putin who was president of Russia until recently and Vladimir Nabokov was the author who penned the infamous ‘Lolita’

Igor

– Russian form of Ingvarr. Pronounced EE-gahr or EE-gawr.

Nikolai

– Russian version of Nicholas. Stems from the the Greek wrods nike and polis, meaning people’s victory. Borne by the last two Russian Tsars.

Sasha

– Russian diminuative of either Aleksandr or Aleksandra. Common Russian boys name.

Katya

– Diminuative of Yekaterina, the Russian version of Catherine. Cute alternative to Katie.

Anastasia

– Feminine form of Anastasius. The Russian pronunciation sounds all the letters: An-nah-stah-SEE-yah. This name can also be broken down into a multitude of different nicknames, such as Anna, Stacy, and Nastia (Lukin).

Svetlana

– Derived from the slavic element svet meaning light, world.

Tatiana

– Feminine form of the Roman name Tatianus, which itself derived from the Roman name Tatius. Pronounced by the Russians as tat-TYAH-nah.

Natalya/ Natasha

Natalya is the Russian form of Natalie. The name Natalie is from the latin word Natalia, meaning Christmas day. Natasha is a Russian pet name of Natalya.

*As Russians don’t use the Latin Alphabet, the spellings of Russian names when altered to the latin alphabet varies. Thus, Anastasia and Anastaysia are both legitimate spellings.

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