Posts Tagged With: Patience

Weekend Post: Mumsnet

Just a pretty French fountain

Ever heard of Mumsnet? Some call it one of the most influential sites here in the UK – the politicians were all clambering over each other in a race to interact with the mums there.

Well, the other day I stumbled across a topic with one mum asking what’s the most unusual name you love? Here are their answers, most of which are given with meaning, unless they’re a word name or I simply don’t know:

Airibeloved jasmine (Japanese)

Andromedato think of a man (Greek)

Ariasong, melody, air (Italian)


Bellatrixfemale warrior (Latin)

Blythehappy (Old English)

Boyciewood (Old French)

Calypsoshe that conceals (Greek)

Ciarblack (Irish)

Clemencymercy (English)

Clothildafamed battle (Germanic)


Cyrusfar-sighted, young (Greek)

Darwin dear friend (Old English)

Deccaten (Latin)

Desdemonaill-fated (Greek)


Eppie – diminuative of either Hepzhibah or Euphemia



Hebeyouth (Greek)

Hepzhibahmy delight is in her (Hebrew)

Hermia – feminine form of Hermes


Icabodno glory (Hebrew)

Iolantheviolet (Greek)

Isisthrone (Egyptian, possibly)

Kit – short for Katherine or Christopher

Lena nn Lenny

Lolita – nickname for Delores

Lysanderrelease of a man (Greek)



Misha – Russian diminuative of Mikhail

Mnemememory (Greek)




Perditalost (Latin)


Pier – Dutch form of Peter

Posy – nickname for Josephine

Ptolemywarlike (Greek)


Ramseywild garlic island (Old English)

Saulasked for (Hebrew)



Struanstream (Gaelic)

Tikvahhope (Hebrew)

Torrenchief (Irish Gaelic)

Vitalife (Latin)

Wolfgangwolf path (Germanic)

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Weekend Post: Take That

Performing Kidz at the 2011 Brit Awards, l-r, Mark, Howard, Gary, Jason and Robbie, from

Ever heard of Take That? They’re pretty big here in my part of the world. I was standing in House of Fraser just the other day in the midst of purchasing a dress, and three of their songs came on in quick succession. Clearly, a Take That fan/member of staff had chosen that days selection of music, but it inspired me to talk about some of the names associated with the band.

Take That were originally a five piece consisting of : Mark Owen, Gary Barlow, Jason Orange, Howard Donald and Robbie Williams; and they have been around since before me, they released their first album, Take That and Party, in 1991. Robbie Williams left the five-piece in 1995, and the band went on to disband the year my sister was born: 1996. That isn’t, however, the end of the story. After Take That reunited (sans Robbie Williams) in 2005 for their greatest hits album, they decided to have another crack at being a four-piece; success was almost immediate – I remember watching them on the Paul O’Grady Show not long after the announcement. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength; Robbie Williams rejoined the band in 2010 to record and release their 6th studio album, Progress, which became the fastest selling album of the century, and second fastest of all-time in the UK.

But now, the names. Here are 4 names from the world of Take That which I rather took a fancy to writing about:


The surname of Gary, one of the members of Take That. Last year Gary Barlow became a judge on The X Factor UK, replacing Simon Cowell and  he also wrote the official Children in Need single, Teardrop. Needless to say, he’s a prominent face in the British music scene – I remember watching a Frank Skinner interview years ago with two of the Busted members and Frank accused one of them, jokingly, of becoming a Gary Barlow, i.e. a prolific songwriter. The name Barlow means barley hill, clearing.


Member Mark Owen welcomed a son named Elwood in 2006, and his sister Willow in 2008. He also happens to be one of the three member of Take That who are welcoming children this year; the other two being Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams. Since that means both of his children have names with the letter w, o and l, I’ve had my thinking-cap on with potential names for the third; Llewellyn? Lowell? Oswald? (If they chose Oswald, my heart will sing) Fleur? (giver that both Elwood and Willow are nature names, and I don’t think they’d go for Flower)  – I think I’m going to have a longer think about this conundrum. Speaking of Mark Owen, I have a friend who seems to find it rather amusing that he tends to stand in the middle, highlighting the fact that he’s at least a head shorter than everyone else in the band – personally I don’t have any particular qualms abou this, since I’m not exactly vertically gifted either. As for the name Elwood, it’s a surname, meaning elder tree forest.


You may think that the name Howard Donald sounds awfully clunky, but  It’s the name of one of the members, and the key voice in their uplifting ballad Never Forget. Personally, I always mix him up with fellow member Jason Orange. I think the name Howard is at least deserving of dapper-lad classification, alongside Claude and Winston, hey, are you listening Billie Piper? For those who don’t know, she recently gave birth to a second son, but I’ve yet to see a name announced for the brother who joins Winston.


When the band came back as a four-piece in 2006, their comeback single was entitled Patience. Some joked that the video for the song was just Gary Barlow singing, with the other three competing to see who could look the most like a 1970s Doctor Who. With the name Grace inside the Top 10, is Patience really that far-out of a suggestion? I actually know a lovely girl named Patience whose just gone off to University to study chemistry. The thing is, some people say, what is she’s really impatient? First off, aren’t all young children impatient anyway? And my littlest sister is friends with a girl named Grace who really isn’t graceful at all, and this is according to my Grandmother who went to pick them up from dance class. You can’t predict the personality of your child, but you might as well hope for the best – that’s always been my golden rule when it comes to virtue names.

Categories: Weekend Post | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

When Penelope Gets Popular

Paloma Faith may inspire you, from

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

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