Posts Tagged With: Raymond

Walking in the Air

Screenshot from The Snowman, from therugbyblog.co.uk

Christmas is coming, and I’ve been tossing and turning about whether or not to do a themed post. I’ve buckled, but predictably, I’m approaching this rather differently to how most would.

Ever heard of the phenomenal TV film The Snowman? It airs every Christmas here in the UK since 1982 and is based on the book of the same name by Raymond Briggs. I love The Snowman, and am completely gutted I won’t be able to watch it this year since I’ll be in the States for Christmas (more on that on Thursday). Quite frankly, it rocks. It also spawned a classic Christmas song: Walking in the Air – which was quite brilliantly parodied by Irn Bru a few Christmas’ ago with them flying over Scotland rather than Brighton:

It’s such a pretty little song, much better than most of the dreary stuff churned out each year – I’ve heard that Geraldine McQueen song three times today and am close to the edge.

Christmas names are an interesting topic for me, since I was due on Christmas Eve – but turned up fashionably late and ruined a midwife’s party dress. I could’ve been one of the many December babies named Holly each year (In December 2010, the most popular girls name was Holly, 440 born compared to the 416 born to the name Olivia), but my parents opted against it. This doesn’t bother me one bit, but it’s fun to speculate on the what-ifs.

Since the song is titled Walking in the Air, I thought it apt to talk names relating to the air – especially since we’ve focused heavily on birds names of late. Let me make this clear: if you don’t want to name your child after a bird, there are still plenty of options out there.

We’ll start with the French. Many children dream of flying, and that’s exactly what the Snowman and the boy do in the film whilst the song is playing. You probably know by now that the French word for butterfly is Papillon, but have you ever considered Libellule? It’s the French word for dragonfly, and I’m quickly falling in love with the idea of using is as a name. The French say: LEE-buh-lool. If you don’t like that, a few fellow Continent-dwellers to the French have their take on the word (all meaning dragonfly):

  • German: Libelle
  • Italian: Libellula
  • Spanish: Libélula

If you ever wish to find an alternative to Liberty which could legitimately shorten to Libby, look no further than here m’dears. It’s also befitting of the Bella trend, which may or may not have been catalysed by Twilight. I’d rather not get into that debate right now, because it would take over this post very quickly.

Going off on a tangent I once more dip my toes into the mystical and unknown world to me of music. There’s a class of intruments called Woodwind, or Wind, instruments and there’s two notable names to mention to you.

The first is Reed. In woodwind instruments, specifically clarinets, oboes and duduks, the player blows in order to cause a reed in the intrument to vibrate, which in turn causes vibrations in the air. The second potential name to consider is Bell. The bell of a woodwind instrument is the round, flared opening opposite the mouthpiece.

Of course, the really easy place to find inspiration is in the many Gods et al associated with the wind. The obvious one I’m seeing batted around more and more is Zephyr – inspired by the name of the Greek God of the west wind. You may be wondering that if there was a God of the west wind, then logic follows there must too be Gods of the north, south and east wind? You’d be right.

The collective name for these Gods is the Anemoi, and the Roman equivalent is Venti (note: the French word for wind is le vent). The Greek God of the north wind is Boreas, and he’s also said to be the bringer of winter. He also had a close association with horses. Boreas had two sons and two daughters:

  • Calais
  • Zethes
  • Khione (Goddess of snow)
  • Cleopatra

His Roman equivalent was called Aquilo.

The God of the south wind is Notus, who was feared for being destroyer of crops. You may find Notus a little too much, but his Roman equivalent was named Auster – which seems like a name truly fit for the modern mama: Part Austin; part Alistair and just a wee bit like Oscar.

Finally, the God of the east wind was callewd Eurus, and this was considered the unlucky wind. He was thought to bring both warmth and rain. His Roman equivalent? Vulturnus. Now, Eurus may not be as unusable as you may think since their is a legit welsh name Euros to contend with. If I’m honest, I only really know this due to Doctor Who – which has had episodes directed by one Euros Lyn. There is the niggling issue of the so-called Eurozone crisis, with people increasing shrieking that the currency of Europe – the euros – could collapse. The Welsh name Euros is often associated with aur – meaning gold. Of course, the chemical symbol for gold is Au.

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Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Name Spot of the Week: Myth and Roxx

Pikachu, from officialfusionwar.com

I’ve just taken a look over my Twitter feed, and suffice to say, I watch far more TV than I thought. For example, on Wednesday night, a football/soccer game between Crystal Palace and Man Utd went out on the TV. It was a Carling Cup quarter final, and went into extra time. Exciting stuff, but I didn’t actually start watching until I heard the news on Twitter that a man named Pikachu was playing for them. Pikachu, as in, the famed Pokemon character. Turns out the player was actually called Dikgacoi – and his middle name was Evidence – but the commentator was pronouncing his name the same as Pikachu. Speaking of virtue names in football, Urby Emanuelson is a Dutch player, with a partner named Vanity. If you’re in need of a virtue name fix, I kindly direct you to Names From The Dustbin, which has covered all sorts of barely-used names. If you’re interested in names to do with the wonder that is life, there’s a great post at the newly-named The Name Station to sort through.

Still here? Other word names spotted this week was a duo called, and I’m not kidding, Myth and Roxx on Pointless, but they are easily the best duo I’ve yet to see on Pointless even if they failed to win:

Proof.

Their ‘real’ names are Rob and Phil. Or is that Robert and Philip? Either way, fair play to them.

My big finds on the TV this week was a Ruskin, which appears in the end credits for Come Dine With Me and a hotelier in Four In A Bed called Mardi. Finally, on Deal or No Deal, there was a lovely lady who changed her name to Daphne, and an Ursula on Masterchef. The thing to note, however, is that here in the Midlands, Mardi is synoymous with our word mardy, which takes on a whole new meaning other than French for Tuesday. It’s not widely used outside the Midlands – even though I use it all the time when talking about both my sisters – but it is slightly difficult to explain, this is how it looks used in context:

  • One can be a mardy cow
  • One can be in a mardy
  • And no one would want you to have a mardy on them

The word stroppy is similar, but having a mardy has more of a whine to it that having a strop, which is more sulky. Mardies tend to not cause a scene like tantrums do.

Like most children, I grew up with Disney films and that’s probably one of the reasons no one is using Ursula as much as she could be. A point raised on Nameberry via Twitter this week was nicknames for Ursula. My suggestions were:

Ola, Sue, Lou, Lua, Lulu, Sully, Roo, Suri and Sally.

I daresay you’d be able to come up with more, though, since Twitter limited me with it’s word count.

Now, time to change the theme dramatically. Today officially marks 30 days to my birthday, and I seriously considered incorporating a countdown into my daily posts for it (yes, still young enough to get excited about it!), but in the end I decided against it as it may cause confusion with Christmas. At which point Elea jumped in and kick started her own Christmas countdown on her blog.

Speaking of Christmas, we’ve being doing a lot of carveries at work of late. No one wants three course meals anymore, they all want carveries which is great because I don’t have to carry really hot plates of food to them, they come to us for the food. Not that this helped since this week I burnt the back of my wrist at work every so slightly on a lamp, to the extent that it simply looks like an inch-length cut rather than a burn. But what this hugely traumatic experience for me has me thinking about Brûlé. BROO-lay. It may be a little too French with all the accents kicking off, much like Jérôme, and in fairness it is the French word for burnt. Speaking of French words, another list of them turned up on the newly established Name Soirée blog. French slang of the day is le boum, which means party, much like le soirée does.

New blogs are great, but what’s even better is when abandonned ones gets a rebirth. You may have noticed that I now have a blogroll dedicated to listing ‘dead’ name blogs, of which Chelsea from The Name Agender was on until he reappeared this week (huzzah!), and has already kickstarted two new discussions into names and their genders which I will at some point get a chance to comment on:

Red and Ginger: What makes one colour masculine and the other feminine?

Did Dakota Fanning kill Dakota for boys?

Another discussion point that was lightly touched upon by Anna recently, was the subject of teen baby-naming. I don’t think I got around to commenting (apologies Anna!), but I do have a nugget to say on the matter. Whilst I have no intention of growing aliens in my tummy just yet, I am a teen.

Does it upset me that my peers are naming their offspring things like Miilah and giving us all a bad name?

No. The riots did that just fine. I don’t find myself particularly snobby when it comes to so-called ‘teen baby names’, because I do still have a tendency towards cutesy – I think Sunny Papillon is one of the happiest names going, and yes, I do call dibs on it – I also realised this week that I have a soft spot for Firefly thanks to Nook mentioning it – but I’m willing to bet that not all babies named Miilah have parents younger than 20, and I don’t believe we all suddenly become super-fantastic baby namers the minute we turn 20. I know teen mothers, and I’ve seen the effort some of them have put into choosing the right name for their bundle of joy. Amira is a beautiful name, and it’s great to see people still using Kasey for their sons. At the end of the day, you can always change your name. One Gideon Osborne changed his name as a teen to become the George Osborne we know today.

Today’s final, slightly more lighthearted, note is this (yes, one more! I’m on a roll today). Like all people, there are names I really struggle to like. There is the danger of name bloggers heavily showcasing those names they love in favour of the ones they don’t. I shall take the first brave step: I don’t like Tobias. Liking Toby is a push for me – but the whole family is saved for me by Tobermory. Kristen has recently been talking about the names of the delightful stuffed toys she has recently bought – Raymond and George, which is what got me on to Tobermory. I owned a bear called Tobermory as a child, named after the character from The Wombles. Tobermory also fits in with the place name trend, as it’s the capital of the Isle of Mull in the Scottish Inner Hebrides – which you all already knew of course. For me, Tobermory feels likely a homely reminder of by bygone childhood.

Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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