Posts Tagged With: Nell

Anelie

Anelie

We continue our week with a name who really seems like she should be popular – but isn’t.

First glance at Anelie and you can’t not draw comparisons to the current (2013) England&Wales top name: Amelia; especially when you consider Amelia’s french form of Amelie is only one letter different. But that one letter is all it takes. Whilst Amelie is riding off the curtails of Amelia, ranking at #52 in 2013, the name Anelie is not only a non-ranker, but a never-ranker, also. In my mind, that more than qualifies her for this series of offbeat names, since she’s so like such popular names – yet barely used in her own right.

The name Amelia first hit the top spot for girls in England&Wales in 2011, and speculation has it that her rise in popularity is due to Doctor Who companion Amelia ‘Amy’ Pond. Despite almost 1500 less girls being given the name in 2013, the name Amelia remains at the top spot.

Whilst both Amelia and Anelie share roots in the Germanic language, they do not share a common root. The name Amelia derives from the Germanic name Amala, which means work. Anelie on the other hand is a German diminutive of Anneliese; the name Anneliese is a combination of two names :

  • Anna. She comes from the Hebrew name Channah, and means gracious.
  • Liese. A Dutch and German diminutive of Elisabeth, who means my God is my oath.

Whilst the name Anelie herself does not rank, two slightly different respellings of her do (albeit not spectacular high up):

  • Annelie. Not only a German diminutive of Anneliese, but also Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. She ranks at #4050.
  • Anneli. A Finnish diminutive of Anna (not Anneliese) who ranks at #4739.

When it comes to nicknames, the obvious choices are Annie and Nell, who both enjoy reasonable mainstream success, ranking at #125 and #345, respectively. That lends a familiarity to the name.

I think the big thing that might hold people back from using Anelie is a worry that people will want to try to correct your babes names to Amelie. I think it’s a moot point, since only the other day I was on the phone to Virgin Media, and the customer services man decided that Louis suited me better than Lucy. Since I was more concerned with sorting out my broadband contract, I didn’t bother correcting him, although it’s bemusing to think that even my former Top 10 name can be misheard. But that could just be my accent, more than anything.

At the end of the day, Anelie remains an intriguing name that is desperately underused. If we can find it in our hearts to love the likes of Amelie and Amelia en masse, then surely there’s a place for Anelie, also.

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Categories: The Offbeat Alphabet Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sibset of the Week: The Baxendales

from wikipedia.org

You know that feeling you get when someone tells you that you can’t have something, and you immediately want it? Well, we officially have no kitchen chez moi en ce moment. That means I’m thinking a lot about food at the moment, moreover planning extravagent three-course meals, which clearly can’t be made in a microwave. It seems apt, therefore, to cover this particular family this week.

We’re talking about the children of one Helen Baxendale, who is likely to be best known for her character Emily Waltham in cult-classic TV series Friends. 

She has three children, born between late 1990s and mid-2000s:

Nell Marmalade

Eric Mustard

Vincent Mash

As it so happens, I don’t actually like either mustard or marmalade, but I have been fantasising about making fish pie recently.

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

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

Weekend Post: Girlish Nicknames on Boys

Tiff Needell, from wikipedia.org

Last week we talked Boyish Nicknames on Girls, and Anna suggested that we make it a two-parter and look into Girlish Nicknames on Boys. It’s certainly a trickier subject to attack, since there are parents who will refuse point-blank to use a name once it goes to the girls on the grounds of bullying. Since I view the future as unpredictable timey-whimey, I don’t particularly view this argument as having solid grounds on which to abandon names you love.

I see nothing wrong with using slightly more feminine names for males, only the other day I was thinking about the plus sides of using Piper as a male name, and still thinks the lads can rock the name Harper. Personally, I know that if I ever were to use the name Cassius, he’d end up being referred to as Cass or Cassie. And Jenson? I’d rather use the cheery Sunny than the slightly less-upbeat spelling of Sonny.

Tiff Needell and Ruby Walsh are two sportsmen who go by less-than-masculine nicknames, but that hasn’t hurt their careers one bit. Tiff is a former racing driver who came into this world as Timothy, whilst Ruby started off life as Rupert and is a jockey.

Some say that not gender-specific names breed confusion, and I can’t argue against that. It does. I was given the book Housewife on Top last Christmas, or was the one before that? It could even have been a cheeky christmas/birthday present, come to think of it. It’s the third book in the series, so how was I to know that Helen lived in the appartement below a gay couple. Especially when they were called Paul and Sally. I spent much of the book wondering why Sally appeared to think she was a guy, and why Helen had the hots for her, and then it dawned on me that Sally was short for Salvador.

Then we have my brother, Jack – who is more often than not referred to as Jackie/Jacqui or even Jacqueline. This is because, like me, he has curly hair which grows faster than is really natural. There have been times in our childhood where his hair has been roughly the same length as mine – I kid ye not, so there must be people out there who think I have three sisters. Or a sister and two dwarfs for siblings, since the two ‘legit’ sisters are frequently referred to as Happy and Dopey.

There is some overlap between male and female nicknames. Allie can be short for both Alexander and Alison, and I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if you call little Charlotte or Charles by the name Charlie. There are times, though, when a little less vagueness in gender of the name occurs. Like Olly is more likely to be short for Oliver than Olivia, Ruby is more likely to be a female name than short for Reuben. I won’t lie, the idea of using Ruby in this capacity intrigues me. It especially works when you think that the German word for Ruby is rubin, which sounds like a cross between the names Robin and Reuben.

Speaking of our favourite O- names: Oliver and Olivia are top of the pecking order in England&Wales. Both could shorten to Olly, both could also shorten to Liv. Steve Tyler of Aerosmith has a daughter named simply Liv. In a similar vein, William could easily shorten to Lil; Daniel to Nell; Samuel to Mel. I also know of a Lenny whose name has morphed over time to Lainey.

One name that has been growing on me as of late is Beck. Normally given as a short form of Rebecca, he could easily transfer over to be associated with Becket(t), or maybe even Benedict. My sister informs me that there is a male character named Beck in the tween show Victorious.

Speaking of the box, there was a man named Jody on the news this morning. The name Jody is a legitimate short form of Joseph – although most men named Joseph seem to prefer to go through life as Joe instead.

The name Scout is emerging as a female choice, thanks to my sister’s favourite book, To Kill A Mockingbird, but he still has potential for the lads. I have a friend who suggested him as a short form of Sebastian. It’s certainly an eclectic option, but worth a look into.

Let’s end the post on a bold suggestion: Cleo, which I’ve genuinely been thinking about of late. It starts off with a French play, L’Avare, which has a male lead character called Cléante. The name is roughly said as CLAY-ohnt, so maybe say it CLAY-oh, not CLEE-oh? The name itself could possibly come from Cleanthes, which itself could come from the Greek kleos, which means glory and is also exactly where we get Clio from.

Not such a crazy idea after all.

Categories: Weekend Post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Sibset of the Week: The Sidebottoms

Ryan Sidebottom, from bbc.co.uk

I should be a huge cricket fan, since one of the world’s best cricket grounds is on my doorstep, but I’m not a huge follower. Well, I do follow the international version to a certain degree i.e. when I hear we’re thrashing India et al. I’ve only ever been to see the cricket once in the well-known Trent Bridge Cricket Ground, and today’s father was playing that day. He’s also been called up for England on a number of occasions.

Ryan Jay Sidebottom was born in 1978, and is valued for being a left-handed player in both batting and bowling disciplines. My brother also happens to be a left-handed player, whilst I’m what I like to call a half-hearted leftie, i.e. I only write with my left-hand, I play tennis and so forth with my right hand. He began playing for Nottinghamshire in 2003, staying until 2010 when he absconded up north to play for Yorkshire. In terms of his international career, he made his test and ODI début in 2001, with his last appearance coming in 2010.

Together with his wife Kate, they have two children with lovely names. Since there are only two, I considered shuffling in another family to lengthen the post, but it is such a delightful pairing:

Indiana Nell

Darley Jack

I quite like the pairing of a rather modern choice for a first name with a slightly more old-timey nickname-y-esque name placed in the middle. It works, and that’s all it really needs to do. Well done lad.

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Name Spot of the Week: London

The Olympic Rings at St. Pancras station, London. I found out last week that I managed to get two tickets in the 2012 draw 🙂

As you probably know by now, I spent all weekend in London, and it’s quite easily my most favourite place on Earth. But maybe that’s because I always meet the nice people in London. Either way, it made for some interesting name spotting:

Abdullahmani

Avril

Baxter

Bertram

Guinevere

Huw

Jenson

Lynden (Male)

Nell

Opal

Pancras (I travelled through St. Pancras station, one day I will look him up)

Vera

A few days ago I saw Ben Fogle’s announcement that he’d welcomed his second child, a little girl named Iona. Such a lovely name, and she joins elder brother Ludo. Personally, I always think of Ludo Decker, Til Schweiger’s character in the german film: Keinohrhasen, when I hear Ludo.

The aim of my London trip was to go and see All’s Well that Ends Well at Shakespeare’s Globe, and I came away with a love of the name Parolles, a character in the play.

Whilst in London, I made time to finally go through the Cabinet War Rooms, which in itself was a treasure trove of names:

Clarita ‘Clara’

Clement

Clementine (known as Clemmie)

Hastings

Kingsley

Leonie

Magnolia

Olive

Randolph

Winston

And whilst I remember, the picture in a recent  post is not Embankment, it’s Bank. Specifically the central line station at Bank. It’s nice to have that issue cleared up.

Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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