Posts Tagged With: Philip

Royal Name Speculation

Normally I try to avoid putting out similar posts to ones already circulating in the blogosphere, but since nameberry so nicely asked me for an opinion over on twitter, I figured I might as well chip in to the discussion.

My gut feeling is that George is the top choice for a boy, and indeed Georgina is a worthy of an outside chance for a girl.

Why?

It’s quite simply really: there are only really three living royals who have any likelihood of ascending to the throne: Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry. Of those three, only Prince Charles wears the name George, and only as his third middle name.

That said, the has been speculation before that Prince Charles may take George as his regnal name upon his ascension the the throne, i.e. he becomes George VII, not Charles III. The big reason for this lies along the lines of the previous two sovereigns to bear the name Charles both have questionable legacies (one was a playboy, the other was beheaded).

It’s certainly not an uncommon practice, as whilst our current monarch reigns by her first name, her predecessor and father reigned as George VI, but he was born Albert Frederick Arthur George. Good ol’ Queen Victoria reigned by her middle name, as her first name was Alexandrina.

Other choices for boys are a little less intuitive, given that many clear favourites such as James, Edward and Charles are currently ‘assigned’ so to speak to another prince-ly member of the family (for those wondering, whilst strictly speaking there exists a Prince James, his parents choose to style him as Viscount Severn).

I don’t particularly believe that the Duke&Duchess of Cambridge will choose a first name already in use by another male styled a Prince, not least because of the potential confusion, so this automatically rules several names out of the running for first name status: Philip; Charles; Edward; Henry; James; Andrew; and Michael.

These names are all, however, still just as likely to be used for middle names. It’s worth noting that Michael is the name of the Duchess’ father, and thus despite Michael seeing rare use by the royals, this fact really rather increases the likelihood of Michael’s inclusion.

The glaringly obvious name left over to pick from is Arthur, and this is one of William’s middle names and indeed Prince Charles’ middle name, too. Of course, Prince William could kick off a new family naming trend and give his eldest son the middle name Arthur, too.

Another option is Frederick, also popularly used by royals in the last century or too. Then there’s also the possibility of Alexander, too.

When it comes to the choices for girls, Elizabeth is a clear middle name contender (and there is the chance of her use as a first name, too), being of course the name of our current monarch and the Duchess’ middle name. The variation of Eliza is unlikely for the simple reason that Prince William has a niece via his step-sister Laura Lopes with the name Eliza. Our current Queen was known as Lilibet when she was younger, so one could even speculate about the name Lily being used as a nod to her (although it makes more sense for them to simply use Elizabeth instead). The names Mary and Alexandra are also undeniably in the running, given that both are the Queen’s middle names.

The name Victoria would be a good call as a first name contender, given that currently Princess Eugenie is the only senior royal to bear the name as one of her middles.

Another name I have a gut feeling is in the running is Alice, the name of Prince Philip’s mother. I’m calling this because the name Andrew wasn’t an oft-used royal name in centuries gone by, but ‘lo and behold it was the name of Prince Philip’s father, and now also that of his second eldest son.

A name I’ve yet to see given mention is Margaret, who stands a good chance of being used in the middle name spot as a nod to the late Princess Margaret, younger sister of our current Queen. Her middle name, Rose, is another middle name possibility, albeit more likely for subsequent daughters.

Then we have both Diana and indeed Frances: the name of Prince William’s mother and her middle name. In the eyes of some, Diana is almost a certainty as a middle name should the child be female. It’s also worth noting that the Duchess’ father has Francis as a middle name, creating a greater possibility of the couple’s eventual use of either Frances or Francis.

Sophia is a currently popular name with historical use as a royal name, but she’s not seen much use of late, however, in order to be eligible for the line of succession, you must be a legitimate descendant of Electress Sophia of Hanover.

There’s an outside chance for both Harriet and Henrietta as potential nods to Prince William’s younger brother, Prince Harry. 

Final acknowledgements to other names with an outside chance of use goes to several names from the Duchess’ family, which include: Philippa, Charlotte and Carole/Caroline. Then there are a few more royal picks: Marie; Maud; Adelaide; Helena; Louisa.

What’s for certain is that this is an extensive list of names, and at the end of the day many of these names mentioned above are more likely to be in the running for subsequent children, rather than for a child that will one day most likely ascend to the throne.

Thus, I suggest the three most likely names to be used for each gender:

BOY: George, Charles and Michael

GIRL: Elizabeth, Diana and Alice

Categories: Royal Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Quirky, yet Popular names in France

Originally this post was dubbed Names like Capucine, a perhaps more zippy title than the one it was eventually bestowed. The name Capucine was in the French top 100 in 2010, but isn’t the most well known of French names, comme Angelique et tout ça.

That is, essentially, the brief for all the names in this list: names which are popular in France, but ones which you may remain unfamiliar with.

For the purposes of this post, I used Behind the Name’s list of the Top 500 names in France in 2010. I also made a point to only include names of legit French origins, i.e. names like Clelia (Italian), Manel (Spanish), Sakina (Arabic) and Enola, whilst remarkably popular in France, sadly had to go.

Garance (#129)

The French name for a plant, it appears as a character name in the film Les Enfants du Paradis.

Lison (#114)

In a similar style to the more popular Manon, Lison is a French pet form of Elizabeth.

Zélie (#88)

An intriguing name of multiple possible origins. The name could be a diminutive of either Solène or Azélie. Equally, the name could be the French form of the name Zelia, which itself could either derive from Zillah or Celia. The name Zillah is a Hebrew origins and means shade, whilst Celia is of Latin origins and means sky (almost the complete opposite!)

Bertille (#360)

The French form of the slightly outdated Bertha, a name which derives from Old German and means bright.

Cyrielle (#298)

The French feminine form of Cyril, a name that means lord.

Louison (#274)

Another name like Manon, Louison is a French pet form of Louise and is also popular for boys.

Aliénor (#444)

The original Provençal form of Eleanor.

Alizée (#208)

Although this name looks to be a variation of Alice, it is in fact a modern French name. Alizée derives from the word alizé, which means trade winds.

Ludivine (#301)

Possibly derives from Leutwin, which means friend of the people, but that’s not certain by any means. It’s popularity in France is most likely due to the French TV series Les Gens du Mogador, which was on air in the 1970s.

Agathe (#58)

Mostly on the list because who’d have thought the French form of Agatha could be so popular? Remember the French taxi girls I mentioned the other day? One of them was called Agathe, said a-GAHT, and her names means good.

Nesrine (#251)

A rather fascinating French form of the Turkish name Nesrin, a name which derives from Persian and means wild rose.

Tiphaine (#303)

In french folklore, Tifaine was said the be the mother of the fabled Three Kings. The name is closely related to Tiffany, and both are said to derive from Theophania, a Greek name meaning a vision of God.

Philippine (#458)

A rather elaborate French feminine form of Philip, which also just so happens to coincide with the name of the country, The Philippines. The name Philip means friend of horses.

Athénaïs (#496)

This name is the French form of Greek name Athenais, which itself derives from Athena.

Categories: French Names, Name List | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Straining Bookshelfs

The Thief Lord cover, from amazon.com

One of the best places to root around for names inspirations is books. The fictional world is where anything goes really – I once read a book named Storm’s Child where the main characters were called Rail (male) and Moa (female). Whilst I never got into Garth Nix’s main successes, I did love his book Shade’s Children – where the main characters were called Drum (male), Gold-Eye (male), Ninde (female) and Ella. Eoin Colfer once wrote a book called Supernaturalist, with characters Cosmo, Stefan and Mona. I digress, I read too much as a mid-teen and now my bookshelfs strain under the weight of all the books I own.

Since both Abby and Elea have both covered names of fictional characters this week in their own ways, I’m instead going to bring you inspiration from the names of the author’s which I read back when every waking moment of my life curled up with a book, along with the name of one of my favourite titles by them and some names from said title:

Benjamin Zephaniah (Teacher DeadJackson)

Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is his full name, and I’m in awe of the mix of styles he’s been bestowed. I’ve met two young Zeph’s recently – one was a Zephyr and twin of Asher, whilst the other was a Zephaniah.TV’s Julia Bradbury welcomed a son named Zephyr earlier on this year in August.

The name Benjamin is of Hebrew origins and means son of the south/right hand, whilst Zephaniah is also of Hebrew origins and means Yahweh has hidden. For the sake of completion, Zephyr means west wind, whilst Asher means happy or blessed.

And a quick breakdown of each name’s popularity in 2010 in England&Wales:

Benjamin Zephaniah Zephyr Asher
Rank 22 1407 3332 364
Births 3005 17 5 112

Blue Balliett (Chasing VermeerPetra and Calder)

Balliett purposefully chose unusually names, believing that’s exactly what would appeal to her readers. When I initially read Chasing Vermeer about 3 years ago I didn’t like the name Petra all that much, but she’s grown on me. She’s the female form of Peter, which means rock, although the character was named with reference to the ancient city of Petra and as part of family naming tradition.

Now, for some hard data from the 2010 data for England&Wales. Blue doesn’t rank for girls (the author is female), but does for the boys:

Blue Calder Petra
Rank 1801 n/a 1472
Births 12 n/a 20

Cornelia Funke (The Thief LordProsper, Boniface ‘Bo’, Scipio, Esther and Ida)

I adore the name Prosper, and it’s from this book that my love for him was first sparked. I acknowledge that Funke’s other work, the Inkheart trilogy, is better known, but this one has a special place in my heart.

As for the name of the author, first we must note that the author is German, and then note the name is the female form of the Latin name Cornelius. The name comes from the Latin element cornu, which means horn. 4 girls were named Cornelia in 2010 in England&Wales, putting it at #4688. On the flip side, 6 lads were named Cornelius last year, and thus at a ranking of #2941. And for the names of her characters I mentioned above? (The ranking for Bo is the male ranking)

Prosper Boniface Scipio
Rank n/a n/a n/a
Birth n/a n/a n/a
Esther Ida Bo
Rank 156 878 1483
Birth 334 40 16

Cressida Cowell (How To Speak DragoneseHiccup, Fishlegs and Camicazi)

I know that I’m probably too old for Cowell’s books these days, but I am still eagerly awaiting the next installment of the Hiccup franchise next month (the film adaption of the first book dissolved me into tears-the only film to ever do so). I love the name Cressida, and she’s the medieval form of another name I love: Chryseis and also means gold. In Greek legend, Chryseis was the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo. Since Hiccup and friends don’t rank, but Cressida does at #4688, with 4 births – same as Cornelia.

Enid Blyton (The Mystery of the Burnt CottageFrederick ‘Fatty’, Margaret ‘Daisy’, Lawrence ‘Larry’, Philip ‘Pip’ and Elizabeth ‘Bets’)

Enid is almost synonymous nowadays with the author, and the name comes from Welsh and means either soul or life. As an author, she chose rather classic names, all of which are not as popular nowadays as they were back when the books were first published, the one mentioned above came out in 1943:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
Rank 2104 95 355
Births 12 688 117
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
Rank 296 505 49
Births 152 80 1356

Compare the rankings of 2010 with that of 1934 when  all six names were in the Top 100:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
1934 68 24 72
2010 2104 95 355
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
1934 56 1 14
2010 296 505 49

Malorie Blackman (Noughts & CrossesPersephone ‘Sephy, Jasmine and Meggie)

The Noughts&Crosses trilogy was the one which first introduced me to the name Persephone, although I wasn’t sure of the pronunciation until I watched the television show Firefly. My copy of the first book is also signed by the author, Malorie Blackman, which I won, rather than stood in a line for.

The name Malorie is a variant spelling of Mallory, a name that comes from Norman French and means unfortunate. Rather makes me think of the CBBC show Trapped, where the contestants are known as unfortunates. Persephone’s meaning is not established, although she has been linked to Greek words which means murder or to destroy, whilst Meggie is a short form of Margaret and Jasmine is a lovely botanical name. They rank, as such:

Malorie Mallory Persephone
Rank n/a 4688 3156
Births n/a 4 7
Jasmine Meggie
Rank 41 5707
Births 1466 3

Tamora Pierce (The Magic In The WeavingSandrilene ‘Sandry’, Trisana ‘Tris’, Daja, Briar (male) and Lark)

I actually took this book out of my local library by mistake more than anything, but found myself reading it anyway. Whilst a little difficult to follow to begin with, I loved it enough to read all it’s sequels. This is the first real occasion I came across the name Briar, since I was never really shown Sleeping Beauty as a child, and I actually like it. The character himself chose the name, wanting something botanical, yet masculine. I think he achieved that, since I’ve often misread the name as Bear.

As for the name of the author, Tamora, she’s a variant spelling of the name Tamara, which is a variant of the name Tamar, which means palm tree in Hebrew. Predictably, none of the names have really made an impact in the popularity data for England&Wales (the data for Briar is the female one, since there is no male ranking):

Tamora Tamara Sandry Lark
Rank n/a 458 n/a 5707
Births n/a 90 n/a 3
Trisana Daja Briar
Rank n/a n/a 5707
Births n/a n/a 3

Tom Becker (DarksideCarnegie, Vendetta and Marianne)

I listed him because of his surname, rather than his first name. Becket is a nouveau name getting some attention right now, and I think I like Becker a tad more. He’s a German surname and variant of another surname, Becke, which means baker. The Carnegie Award is given out annually to a single children’s book which has impressed, and named after Andrew Carnegie.

Out of all the names, only Marianne ranks in the England&Wales data – at #946 with 36 uses.

Categories: Book Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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