Posts Tagged With: Pearl

Finding Nemo

Marlin & Dory, from blogger.com

I caught wind of news today that Finding Nemo is set to have a sequel, and I almost jumped for joy. The original was released in 2003 when I was maybe 9 or 10 and it was a staple viewing experience at my primary school for a ‘fun’ lesson at the end of term time. That said, with lessons only 60 minutes long, this meant that we never got to see Marlin actually find Nemo. It was sort of like an anti-climax really.

I loved the film, and it’s great to hear that when it was released it was one of the highest grossing G-rated films of all time until Toy Story 3 was released. It’s also currently the 5th highest grossing animated film of all time.

The names in the films are a delightful mix of sea-inspired names and old fashioned retro names. What’s not to love?

NEMO. The title character who is captured by a scuba diver early on in the film. His name sounds cool and retro, but the meaning of the name? Not so cool – Nemo comes from Latin and means nobody. Also, if you were to spell this name backwards, you’d get omen. However, he does possess that oh-so-cool o- ending.

MARLIN. The name of the initially overprotective father of Nemo. This name most likely comes from Merlin, which is the English form of the name Myrddin and means sea fort. It first came into use circa the Middle Ages as a surname, and as a first name in the 16th century. As well as the clownfish bearing the name, it has also been used for a large fish, also known as a spearfish. Aside from the fishy associations, it’s also the name of a type of bird sometimes also referred to as a godwit.

DORY. The companion of Marlin who helps him search for Nemo. Her name is a short form of names beginning with Dor- which include Dora, Dorcas, Doreen, Doris and Dorothy. This is a name I’ve seen a few babies born to in the last few months. A notable one is the second daughter of comedian Robert Webb, younger sister of Esme who was born in 2011.

DEB&FLO. The name of one of the fish in the dentist’s fish tank and that of her reflection. The name Deb is usually taken as a short form of the name Deborah, which means bee in Hebrew. Deborah also happens to be one of my many nicknames for my sister Heather. Flo on the other hand can be a short form for any Flo- name, of which you can find a selection in a previous post, here.

JACQUES. Another fish tank alumni, this time a pacific cleaner shrimp. An initial look at the name may have you thinking that he’s the French form of Jack – but he’s not, rather, he’s the French form of Jacob/James; the meaning of all three names is supplanter.

NIGEL. This fuddy-duddy Brit pick  was bestowed on an Australia-based pelican. The name comes from the Latin Nigellus, which links up to Neil – a name that means champion or cloud.

RAY. The name of Nemo’s class teacher, the name Ray started off life as a nickname for either Rachel or Raymond, this name has evolved into a name in it’s own right. There have been a slew of celeb babies recently bestowed the name Ray either in the first or middle name slot, from Brit-boy Ray Holiday, son of Sophie Ellis-Bextor to little Mabel Ray, daughter of Bruce Willis.

BRUCE. Speaking of Bruce, here’s the name of a shark from the film. The name is originally a Scottish surname, which is traditionally said to come from Brix, Normandy. However, there’s little evidence to back this up. This name has in the last century or so has picked up a reputation as being an archetypal name for an Australian man.

PEARL. A new darling in the world of baby names, the character Pearl was an octopus in Nemo’s school class. In ancient times, it was believed that pearls were formed by raindrops falling into open shells floating on the sea’s surface. Sweet, huh?

SHELDON. Another classmate of Nemo’s, this time a seahorse. He’s another surname-turned-first name that means valley with the steep sides.

DARLA. The name of the evil neice of the dentist. Darla is normally taken as a variation of Darlene, a name that was first coined in North America near the end of the 19th century and inspired by the word darling.

CORAL. The name of Nemo’s mother and Marlin’s wife, she died in a particularly harrowing scene for it’s classification* at the beginning of the film, which the delightful BBFC decided to call mild peril. The first time I watched that scene, I was in tears and even back then, I rarely cried at and/or about anything. The name Coral is a personal favourite of mine, and it is a type of sensitive marine environment currently at risk.

*Note on Classifications: here in the UK, classifications for films are awarded by the British Board of Film Classification, or the BBFC. The lowest classification that a film can receive (which Finding Nemo was awarded) is U, which stands for universal. The BBFC definition of the U certificate is:

A ‘U’ film should be suitable for audiences aged 4+. The films should be set within a positive moral framework and should offer reassuring counterbalances to any violence, threat or horror.

Categories: Film Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Weekend Post: The World Beyond Ella Pt.II

 

Kala and Tarzan, from dvdizzy.com

As previously mentioned, I’m not a big fan of the name Ella, but I do find myself fond of several similar names to her. A few weeks ago, I wrote Pt.I of this series which discussed names similar to Ella, in that they too began with the letters El. It therefore seems apt to devote Pt.II of this series to names which end -la, as Ella does.

But this could get a little complicated since many -la names are also -ella names. Think Gabriella, Arabella and so forth, so I’ve resolved this by excluding all such from this list for fear of clutter. It’s not exactly the perfect solution, but frees me up to devote more time to other -la names worthy of attention. This is by no means a complete list, rather a selection of familiar and less-familiar names which end in -la, you may also query as to whether some could truly be alternatives to Ella, but that isn’t really the aim of this post. The aim is to explore names with similar characteristics to Ella, which are of the following do have:

Alaula – Hawaiian name meaning either sunset glow or light of the dawn.

Beulah – Biblical name meaning married. There’s a similar looking name, Betula, which comes from Latin and means birch.

Calendula – A botanical name for the English marigold.

Casmilla – A variant of the name Camilla. There’s also the name Milla, which is a short form of the latter name.

Carla/Carola – Both originally derive from the name Charles, which means man.

Delilah – Biblical name means delicate, weak and thin.

Embla – A name from Norse Mythology, where Embla was the name of the first human female, formed from an elm tree.

Fionnuala – Irish name meaning white shoulder. Variations include Fionnghuala, Finnguala, Finuall and, sigh, Fenella. She also shortens to Nuala, noo-la.

Iola – Likely to be a variation of the name Iole, which is a Greek name meaning violet. The name Viola is worth a mention here, too, alongside the Romanian name Viorel which also means violet.

Kala – Hawaiian version of Sarah, and a Sanskrit name meaning art form, virtue. Also the name of Tarzan’s mother in the Disney film.

Kamala – Sanskrit name meaning lotus.

Lila – She means play in Sanskrit, but may also be taken as a variation of either Leila or Lily. Lila is also the German word for purple. Slightly similar, but not entirely ending -la is the name Lillai, which is a Romani name meaning spring and summer.

Lola – Spanish pet-form of the name Dolores, which means sorrows.

Nahla – Arabic name meaning either drink or bee.

Orla – Also spelt Órlaith. She’s an Irish name meaning golden ruler – I sometimes see the meaning is altered to golden princess.

Perla – Italian form of the name Pearl

Petula – An elaboration of the name Petal, notably seen on British singer Petula Clark.

Thekla – Contracted form of the name Theoclea, which means God’s glory.

Theophila – Feminine form of the name Theophilus, which means friend of God.

Tuathla – Old Irish name meaning ruler of the people. Sometimes seen anglicised to Tuala.

Tula – Sanskrit name meaning balance, scales and likeness.

Twyla – Of uncertain origins, but she has been linked to the name Étoile and Twilight as possibly being an offshoot of either of them. Also spelt Twila.

Ursula – Latin name meaning bear.

Vela – The name of a constellation, originally part of Argo Navis which was later divided into three pieces, creating Vela, Carina and Puppis.

Willa – Feminine form of the name William.

Categories: Alternative Names | 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

Sibset of the Week: The Ryders

Shaun Ryder, from mirror.co.uk

I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here started up again last night, so it seems right to post this edition of Sibset of the Week now, given that the father took part in last year series and came second. His name brings me onto a discussion about Irish name, since I have a floating opinion when it comes to Irish names and what spelling to use. Now may a good time to shout about my Irish credentials: My Nana is from Roscommon, which I’ve visited once. I very rarely mention the fact about me being Irish because it doesn’t really play a part in my life, and that most people take it as a given when they see my hair colour. That said, my other grandmother has exactly the same hair colour as me (she’s basically a slightly older version of me in everyway), but hasn’t a drop of Irish blood, only a tad of Welsh.

Why am I harping on about the Irish? Well, it sets up my next statement: I’ve always had my doubts on using Shaun instead of Sean. It seems odd for me to say this, when I was bleeting on about using traditionally male nicknames for girls on Saturday, but I grew up with Wallace&Gromit, hence Shaun the Sheep. It’s one of those forever associations you just can’t quite shake.

Now that I’ve got that over with, let’s talk about Shaun Ryder, who is a British musician, playing in Happy Mondays and Black Grape before becoming a journalist/television personality. In 1991 he welcomed his first daughter with Trish:

Jael Otis

Followed by a second daughter with Oriole in 1994:

Coco Sian

And then a son in 2002 with Felicia:

Joseph

Finally, he welcomed two more daughters with Joanne in 2008 and 2009, respectively:

Pearl

Lulu

He has also adopted Joanne’s son Oliver, who came along in 1993. Taken together, they’re an eclectic list to say the least, but there are some intriguing picks, such as Otis for a lass, which could easily have been chosen for family reasons. Pearl and Lulu are adorable together, too, even with big sister Coco.

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

Sibset of the Week: The Bowers

Natasha Kaplinsky, from guim.co.uk

Natasha Kaplinsky became one of the highest paying newsreaders in Britain following her move from BBC to Channel 5 at the end of 2007. In April the following year she made headlines for announcing her first pregnancy, going on maternity leave by August. Things got worse for Channel 5 when in October 2009 she announced her second pregnancy, giving birth to a daughter in April 2010. In October 2010, Kaplinksy announced that she would be leaving Channel 5 after 3 years with the broadcaster of which she spent the majority of maternity leave.

So, what did she name her two children with husband Justin Bower?

Arlo

Angelica Pearl

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

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