Posts Tagged With: Polly

Sea Urchin Trail: Kid Friendly Names

This will be a post of few words, as it is mostly a collection of pictures I snapped on a recent trip to the National Maritime Museum in Liverpool’s Albert Docks. For you see, in one of the exhibitions there included a sea urchin trail for the young ‘uns, wherein there were cute toys in various display cases that you had to find. Since I have a much younger sister, I got away with doing it myself.

Donald the Sunbather

Gussie the Seagull

Lucy the Lobster

Mickey the Monkey

Des the Diver

Shelly the Seahorse

Sammy the Starfish

Robert the Fisherman

Polly the Parrot

Percy the Parrot

Ollie the Octopus

Molly the Mermaid

Wendy the Whale

Anyone else notice, like me, that the majority of names seemed to be nickname-y? It’s only really Donald & Robert that are outliers in this case (yes, Wendy isn’t strictly a nickname, but has been used as one). This trail is aimed at the under-10s, and I did start to wonder what kind of thought went into the naming of the sea urchins, i.e. using kid-friendly names? What exactly are kid-friendly names? Personally, I see them as whatever a child may use themselves for their toys, and I have personally used plenty of names from this list. Other names from my own toy collection include: Alice, Corky, Snowy, Rosie, Kippy, Dobby, Whizz & Russie. Notice how almost all of them end in the ee sound?

What’s for certain is that there was a clear attempt to make the names alliterative, although this was not always the case. I love me a little bit of alliteration, and it seemed to go down well with Sippy.

Want more information on the names above? Of course you do:

Des (no rank), short for Desmond (#1620), which means South Munster.

Donald (#1407), from Gaelic meaning ruler of the world.

Gussie (no rank), nickname for Augusta (no rank) which means great, venerable

Lucy (#21), from the Latin lux, meaning light.

Mickey (#1724), short for Michael (#53), which means who is like God

Molly (#42), originally a nickname for Mary (#213).

Ollie (#63), short for Oliver (#1), which means elf army

Percy (#1407), short for Percival (#3865), which was created in the 12th century by a French poet

Polly (#300), variant of Molly (#42), which is a short form of Mary (#213)

Robert (#90), means bright fame

Sammy (#744), short for Samuel (#14), which means God has heard.

Shelly (#5707), means clearing on a bank. Common nickname for Michelle (#251), also.

Wendy (#2589), means either friend (in the case of J.M. Barrie’s character) or white, blessed, fair (from the Welsh gwen).

Oh, and since we all love a little gawk at the monogrammed tat, here’s a look at some of the names available in the gift shop. I think it’s mostly spot on for names I see everywhere, but what names are you surprised to see? (Fun fact: At a French bowling alley my sister became Hayley since the name Heather doesn’t really exist in the French concious. Another friend, Bethan, became Bella for the same reasons; the French will say Bethan as if the h were silent)

Tat shelf #1

Tat shelf #2

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

Horrid Henry

One of the first Horrid Henry books, from scholastic.co.uk

I still have a slight penchant for young children’s books, I don’t read them per se, but they’re always great for a quick through when one’s waiting for someone and time is short, or, and I may be in the minority on this one, but I always like to challenge myself to see how many things I can get done in the time it takes for the microwave to ping – and today’s activity in the 3 minutes I had was to flick through a Horrid Henry.

Created by Francesca Simons and illustrated by Tony Ross these beauties first hit the shelves in 1994 – meaning that I was amongst the first small children of Britain to become familiar with the story – especially when a TV series followed. The book I flicked through today happened to be one of my old copies that I gifted to my sister several years ago. If that wasn’t enough, a live-action version hit cinemas in July 2011 – but I’ve yet to go and see it.

The premise of the books is startlingly simple: Henry is a young boy who isn’t particularly nice. I like to think of him as a younger version of Sid from the first Toy Story film, you know, the one who taped Buzz to a firework?

Either way, there’s a wonderful selection of names mostly of a British vein to look through from the books in question, although they are all stylised the same was as Horrid Henry:

(Fiery) Fiona, often taken as the feminine form of the name Fionn, which means fair.

(Goody Goody) Gordon (friend of Peter), commonly believed to mean great fort, although there are other theories.

(Great Aunt) Greta, a diminutive of Margaret. This character believes Henry is actually called Henrietta.

(Magic) Martha, derives from the Aramaic and means lady.

(Perfect) Peter (Henry’s younger brother), derives from Greek and means rock/stone.

(Prissy) Polly, derived as a nickname for Mary.

(Rude) Ralph (friend of Henry), from Old Norse meaning wolf counsel.

(Singing) Soraya (class-mate of Henry), an Arabic name meaning the Pleiades.

(Vomiting) Vera (baby cousin of Henry), means faith in Russian, also associated with the Latin verus, meaning true.

(Vain) Violet, the name of a colour and a flower.

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

Comedy&Names Pt.II

Edmund Blackadder, from blooger.com

I looked at several names from the world of British comedy many many moons ago, and have been wanting to return to the subject for ages. Now I have, and this time the focus is on the names of characters from some of Britain’s most loved sitcoms – since the focus was mainly on stand ups and comedy acotrs last time

To make things simple, we’re going to look at one notable name from the top eight sitcoms represented in the Top 10 of Britain’s Best Sitcom poll from 2004.

#1 Only Fools And Horses (Rodney)

Originally a surname which itself was a geographical one. In Old English, it meant Hroda’s Island, whereby Hroda was a Germanic given name meaning fame. The name really started to take off thanks to people wishing to name their sons after British admiral Lord Rodney during the 18th century.

#2 Blackadder (Edmund)

Edmund was Blackadder’s first name, who was the only character aside from Baldrick to appear in every series – all set in different time periods. This name also has origins in Old English, where it means rich protector. It was one name which remained in use in England, even after the Norman conquest, but did fall slightly out of favour in the 15th Century.

#3 The Vicar of Dibley (Geraldine)

Geraldine is the name of the female vicar, played brilliantly by Dawn French. Her friend Alice names her first daughter, born in 2000, after her (although had originally planned on naming her baby girl Vicar)

Geraldine is clearly the feminine form of Gerald, a name of Germanic origins, coming from the elements:

  • ger, meaning spear
  • walda, meaning rule
This name was supposedly brought to Britain with the Normans, and revived in the 19th century.

#4 Dad’s Army (Godfrey)

Yet another Germanic name, this time from Godafrid which meant peace of God, coming from the Germanic elements:

  • god, meaning god
  • frid, meaning peace

Like Gerald before him, Godfrey was also kindly brought to Britain by the Normans, enjoying popularity in the Middle Ages.

#5 Fawlty Towers (Polly)

Polly is a medieval variant of the name Molly, whilst Molly is a diminuative of Mary. The meaning of Mary is not so certain, but there are several theories including sea of bitterness, rebelliousness, and wished for child.

#6 Yes Minister (Humphrey)

Starting to see a pattern? The name Humphrey was introduced the England by the Normans, and it comes from Germanic elements:

  • hun, meaning warrior
  • frid, meaning peace

#=7 Porridge (Stanley)

Strictly speaking, this character is called Norman Stanley Fletcher, more often referred to as Fletch but we’re going to look at Stanley, for reasons that will become apparent soon.

This name started off as a surname, meaning stone clearing in Old English. It’s had somewhat of a revival here in Britain – he re-entered the Top 100 in 2009 and climbed in 2010. It should be interesting to see where he ranks in 2011.

#=7 Going Straight (Fletcher)

Fletch was on the receiving end of his own spin-off show. So now let’s talk about the name Fletcher which ranks at #253, and comes from the French word flèche, meaning arrow. The art of fletching is intwined with archery, since it’s to do with making the arrows aero-dynamically stable.

Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Santa Special

Santa Train, via flickr

I’ve spent all weekend handing out presents to excitable small children, and what has to be the biggest pack of Brownies I’ve ever come across in my life. This all adds up to the need for an extra special post to give me a chance to share with you as many names as my poor mind can remember.

That said, this post does comes with the warning that, whilst I know their rough ages due for present-selecting purposes, I can only hazard a guess at the spellings of their names. This is by no means a complete list, rather, a collection of the ones I remembered, and for the sake of simplicity, yes there were many multiples of many of these names, but I’ve forgone this since I can’t give exact numbers on how frequent each names was used, but, the ones I saw time and time again?

  • Alfie
  • Ben
  • Hayden
  • Henry
  • Lucy
  • Isabella
  • Joshua
  • Ruby

Before unleashing the lists on you, it is worth noting that the children could’ve easily been introducing themselves by their nickname, not their fullname.

Babies

Alfie James Olly
Eloise Nina Polly
Evie Meggie Ruby
Isabella Maggie Susanna

1-2

Ace Cameron George Lucy
Aiden Casper Hannah Maisie
Alfie Charlie Harry Nancy
Amy Che Henry Niamh
Archie Chelsea Holly Phoebe
Baxter Debbie Isabella Sally
Bea Ebony Isla Sally
Bella Eddy Jack Sean
Ben Edward Jenny Stanley
Billy Effie Liam Teddy
Bobby Evan Lila Thisbe
Callum Evie Lola William

3-5

Abby Esther Jason Oliver
Abigail Ethan Joel Olivia
Alfie Eve Jordan Olly
Alice Ewan Joshua Oscar
Amelia Faith Kian Owen
Ben Felix Lenny Penny
Bess Fergus Leon Poppy
Betty Gabby Lily Poppy
Bruno Gabriella Lola Ralphie
Cameron George Lolly Riley (m)
Cleo Hamish Lucy Rosie
Coco Hannah Luke Samuel
Daniel Imogen Maggie Summer
Darcy Isabella Martha Summer
Eleanor Isla Molly Tammy
Elise Jack Niamh Tommy
Emily James Nora William

6-8

Alex Freddie Joshua Reuben
Archie Georgia Kai Sam
Ben Geraldine Kiefer Scarlett
Cameron Greta Leo Sophie
Charlie Hannah Lexie Stacy
Charlotte Harriet Libby Summer
Chloe Hayden Lily Teddy
Connor Isabella Lucy Theo
Delphine Jessica Margaret Thomas
Eliza Jessie Molly Verity
Elliott Jimmy Noah Victoria
Elliott Jimmy Owen Wendy
Emily Joe Perry Willa
Erin Jools Petra William
George Joseph Rebecca Zeke

9-10

Bea Jack Molly
Becky Jake Sarah
Ben Jessica Stanley
Erin Matthew Thomas
Felicia Noah William

10+

Charlotte Joel Charlotte
Emily Joshua Quinn
Emmy Matthew Rowan
Frank Melody Winnie
Hattie Niall Zach
James Noor  
Categories: Real Babies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Name Spot of the Week: Marks&Sparks

Father Ted logo, from fatherted.org.uk

Marks&Spencers have re-opened an outlet in France this week, which makes my standard M&S chocolate box gift to any French friend feel somewhat threatened. The store is also colloquially named Marks and Sparks, and was predictably founded by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer. Marks originally came from the area now known as Belarus and Spencer married a lady named Agnes. The last time I was in M&S was over the summer, when I was served as the till by a lovely lady named Hettie.

There are several models which M&S use on a regular basis for promotion; the one with my favourite name is also French. Her name? Noémie Lenoir, who has a son named Kelyan Makélélé.

I’m sure you’re all probably aware by now that the mascots for London 2012 are called Wenlock and Mandeville, but another recent sporting find of mine is that one of the leaders of the failed Qatar bid for the 2017 World Athletics Championships was called Aphrodite. Speaking of sporting events, how is this for patriotic? A guy in my littlest sister’s maths class is called Churchill.

In what a former teacher of mine called ‘webby-land’, I somehow ended up looking at Yahoo’s article on Where do the best baby names come from?. Whilst most of the comments weren’t perhaps the best examples of how to wield the English language, there were several fascinating names brought up by a few of the commenters:

  • Britannia
  • Brook-James
  • Bryn
  • Cashel
  • Christy
  • Elyon
  • Hebe
  • Kailua
  • Lilac
  • Maeve
  • Rosalind
  • Rudi
  • Sorrel
  • Talia
  • Ted

Speaking of Ted, I watched an episode of Father Ted quite by chance the other day, in which Dougal spelt his name sans g. The character of Dougal is played by a man named Ardal, who has also appeared in the comedy series My Hero, in which he was the father of Apollo ‘Ollie’ and Cassandra ‘Cassie’. The name of some of the backing characters from the Father Ted series are notable, however:

  • Assumpta
  • Concepta
  • Cyril
  • Danita
  • Fintan
  • Imelda
  • Ned
  • Noel
  • Polly
  • Romeo

Another religion-based sitcom in the UK is called Vicar of Dibley, for which script contributions were made by a man named Kit Hesketh-Harvey – but Kit is short for Christopher. The lead character in Vicar of Dibley is a female vicar called Geraldine.

Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | 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

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