Posts Tagged With: Robert

Sibset of the Week: The Burnses

via wikipedia.org

via wikipedia.org

A few weeks ago I spent some time in Ayrshire during the Commonwealth Games, and this week’s family hails from that very part of the world and seemed a fitting way to end the unofficial ‘Scottish Week’ we’ve had going on.

Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns is one of the most noted poets to hail from Scotland, and indeed is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. As well as writing in English, he also wrote works in the Scots language, being one of the best known poets to do so. In 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV. His family therefore seemed an obvious choice to round off this week.

First, let’s take a look at Rabbie’s own family. He was the eldest son of William Burness and Agnes Brown:

Robert (1759-1796)

Gilbert (1760-1827)

Agnes (1762-1834)

Annabella (1764-1832) (I’ve also seen her name listed as Arabella, the Scottish form of Annabella)

William (1767-1790)

John (1769-1785)

Isabella (1771-1858)

All the names are pretty typical 18th century names, although the one that I took note of is Gilbert, since I’ve never covered the name on the blog. He’s a Germanic name that means bright pledge.

Then we have the children of Rabbie Burns who, unless noted, are also the child of Rabbie’s wife, Jean Armour.

Elizabeth ‘Bess’ (1785) by Elizabeth Paton

Robert (1786, twin of Jean)

Jean (1786, twin of Robert)

Unnamed twin daughter (1788)

Unnamed twin daughter (1788)

Robert (1788) by Janet Clow

Francis Wallace (1789)

William Nicol (1791)

Elizabeth ‘Betty’ (1791) by Ann Park

Elizabeth Riddell (1792)

James Glencairn (1794)

Maxwell (1796)

There are some pretty interesting middle names here: Nicol; Glencairn; and Riddell. I seem to recall reading somewhere that Nicol comes from a friend of Rabbie Burns’, so it could be logical to assume the same for the other two.

Maxwell is interesting to me, because he appears in several popular PC games: Scribblenauts as the primary playing character; Don’t Starve as the antagonist; and partially in the Max Payne games as the titular character. Maxwell also happens to be the codename of a Nvidia graphics processing unit (GPU).

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

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

Downton Abbey of Names Pt. I

Snapshot of the charming Dame Maggie Smith in character, from madblackcat.com

I would be a sham of a Brit if I didn’t admit to visiting a few castles/abbeys in my time. I’ve dedicated a whole post to Chatsworth House, and have been thinking about other castles to mention in the near future. But today, it seems time to cover a famed British estate, which may not exactly be real – but it has certainly captured our attentions, and the attentions of those abroad.

Downton Abbey is a period drama, which airs on ITV here in the UK and it set up north in Yorkshire. At the time of the series, George V was the King – and future grandfather of our current monarch – Elizabeth II.

The series was created by Julian Fellowes, so it seems apt to begin our look into names there. In 2010, the name Julian ranked at #311 in England&Wales, whilst Jules is experiencing something of a boom over in France. The name Julian is the English form of the Latin name Julianus, which means belonging to Julius. The name Julius derives from Jupiter, although it is often claimed that he derives from Greek and means downy-bearded.

As an aside, in 2009, Elizabeth Adeney gave birth at the age of 66 to a son she named Jolyon – a medieval variant of Julian – making her then the eldest mother in the UK.

Julian Fellowes is married to Emma Joy, and together they have one son named Peregrine. Emma was born in 1963, and her name means whole, universal, whilst Peregrine means stranger, traveller.

Moving away from real-life, and into the fictional world of Downton Abbey, let’s start with the Crawley family as the focus for Part I. At the top of the pile is The Right Honourable Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham. The name Robert is a classic staple, currently ranking at #90 in England&Wales. He means bright-fame, whilst charming Rupert is a German form of him and ranks at #360.

This character is played by Hugh Bonneville. The name Hugo has been enjoying increased attention of late, not least in thanks to the BAFTA-nomintated 2010 film of the same name. Hugo is the Latin form of the name Hugh, which himself is the English form of the Germanic name Hugi, a name that means heart. It was brought to Britain with the Normans.

Of all three names, Hugi does not rank in England&Wales, but both Hugh and Hugo do. Despite the star-power of comedian-come-actor Hugh Laurie, the name Hugo outranks Hugh at #149 to #364. It’s worth noting at this point that Hugh Laurie isn’t actually a Hugh – his real name is James Hugh Calum Laurie.

Going further with the actor’s family, Hugh Bonneville is married to a lady named Lulu Evans, and together they have a son called Felix. The name Lulu is a common short form for plenty of names, such as Louise; Lucy; Louisa; Lucia, and indeed plenty moreLulu ranked at #840 in 2010, England&Wales. Felix, on the other hand, derives from Latin and means lucky, successful. Felix is another slightly-outside Top 100 lurker at #122.

The wife of the Earl of Grantham is The Right Honourable Cora Crawley. The name Cora is likely to have been derived from the Greek Kore, which means maiden, however there may have been influence from similar names such as Coralie. Cora ranks at #438, whilst Coralie ranks at #2589, with only 8 of them born in 2010.

This character is played by Elizabeth McGovern, whose name means God is my oath. She has two children, called Matilda and Gracie. The name Matilda means strength of battle, whilst Gracie is a diminutive of the name Grace. The name Matilda ranks at #53, whilst Gracie is slightly higher at #51. Elizabeth, meanwhile, is at #49 – so all three names are separated by just 2 other names – Leah at #50 and Amber at #52.

The children of the Earl and Countess of Grantham are called Mary Josephine, Edith and Sybil. As an aside, my sister recently declared dibs on the name Edith, along with a handful of other names. But that’s for another time, another post.

Mary has enjoyed ferocious popularity for centuries, mostly thanks to her prominent role in the Bible. Despite this, it’s never been certain what exactly the name Mary means, but what we do know is that she currently ranks at #213. Her origins could be:

  • Egyptian, meaning to love/desire
  • Hebrew, meaning rebellious/disobediant, or even sea and star.
The name Josephine is the feminine form of the name Joseph, which derives from Hebrew and means he will add. The eldest sister is played by Michelle Dockery, whose name is a feminine form of Michael and means who is like God? In 2010, Josephine ranked at #303, whilst Michelle leads her #251.
The name Edith derives from Old English, and it’s elements means rich and war. She is played by Laura Carmichael, and Laura means laurel. Edith is surprisingly high at #259, whilst Laura is at a respectable #125.

The youngest sister’s name, Sybil, derives form the Latin name Sibylla and means sibyl – which is a title given to a female whom utters prophecies. She is played by Jessica Brown-Findlay. The name Jessica made her début in William Shakespeare’s play Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare likely based the name on the minor Biblical character Iscah – who was known as Jesca/Jescha in his time. Either way, the name derives from Hebrew and means he beholds. The name Sybil was only given to 4 girls in 2010, whilst Jessica was given to a pretty impressive tally of 4102 – rewarding her with a ranking of #6.

Our next character to mention is The Right Honourable Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess, who is played by the rather wonderful Dame Maggie Smith – born Margaret Natalie Smith. She was married to Robert Stephens before divorce and married to Beverley Cross until his death. She has two sons: Toby and Christopher.

Let’s start with Violet, which derives from the plant. The name is currently lurking just outside the Top 100 at #123. Out of Maggie and her long form of Margaret, it is Maggie who ranks higher – at #276 to Margaret’s #505. The name Margaret means pearl.

The name of her second husband highlights the once masculine edge Beverley possessed – a name which means beaver stream. As for the names of her two sons: Christopher derives from Late Greek and means bearing Christ; Toby is a short form of Tobias, the Greek form of Tobiah, which means Yahweh is good. Christopher dropped out of the Top 100 in 2010 to #104, whilst Toby has recently entered the Top 100 at #54.

The name Beverley no longer ranks for males, whilst 6 female Beverleys were born in 2010.

The last two Crawleys are called Matthew and Isobel. The name Matthew means gift of Yahweh, and is a Top 100 favourite at #41. Then we have Isobel, which is the Scottish form of Isabel. The name Isabel herself is a medieval variant of the already mentioned Elizabeth. There are currently a few versions of Isobel in the England&Wales Top 100:

  • Isabella at #12
  • Isabelle at #17
  • Isabel at #58
  • Isobel at #75

Matthew Crawley is played by actor Daniel Jonathan Stevens. Daniel derives from Hebrew and means God is my judge, whilst Jonathan is also from Hebrew and means Yahweh has given. Daniel lurks just outside the Top 10 at #11, whilst Jonathan is a little lower down at #141.

Last, but by no means least, we have Isobel Crawley who is played by Penelope Alice Wilton, and both names are rather in vogue in Britain at the moment. Alice is currently at #43, whilst Penelope is at #272; her common short form of Penny is at #396.

Categories: Names from the Box | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Canadian Grand Prix

2010 Podium l-r Maclaren Mercedes Team Principal, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, from f1-gp.info

We’ve got a little longer to wait for the Canadian Grand Prix, since it isn’t until next weekend: 13th June. There’s been a Canadian Grand Prix on the Formula 1 race calender since 1961, bar ’75, ’87 and ’09. That’s a lot of winners, albeit, there have been 8 drivers who have won it multiple times. Some names you may recognise, some you may not, and they range from the distinctive Ayrton, to the not so unusual Peter:

1961 – Peter Ryan

1962 – Masten Gregory

1963/1964 – Pedro Roderígez

1965 – Jim Hall

1966 – Mark Donohue

1967 – John ‘Jack’ Brabham

1968 – Denis ‘Denny’ Hulme

1969/1970 – Jacques ‘Jacky’ Ickx

1971/1972 – John ‘Jackie’ Stewart

1973 – Peter Revson

1974 – Emerson Fittipaldi

1976 – James Hunt

1977 – Jody Scheckter

1978 – Gilles Villeneuve

1979/1980 – Alan Jones

1981 – Jacques Laffite

1982/1984/1991 – Nelson Piquet

1983 – René Arnoux

1985 – Michele Alboreto

1986 – Nigel Mansell

1988/1990 – Ayrton Senna

1989 – Thierry Boutsen

1992 – Gerhard Berger

1993 – Alain Prost

1994/1997/1998/2000/2002/2003/2004 – Michael Schumacher

1995 – Jean Alesi

1996 – Damon Hill

1999 – Mika Hakkinen*

2001 – Ralf Schumacher

2005 – Kimi Raikkonnen*

2006 – Fernando Alonso

2007/2010 – Lewis Hamilton

2008 – Robert Kubica

* There should be umlauts on some of the letters in their names. I can’t do them, apologies.

2011 – Jenson Button

Categories: Sport Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Decade Snapshot 1930s/A-Z

Fry's Dainties, from pzrservices.typepad.com

Following on from our 1920s name list, here are the top names for each letter in the US Top 1000 of 1930.

A – Arthur and Alice

B – Billy and Betty

C – Charles and Catherine

D – Donald and Dorothy

E – Edward and Elizabeth

F – Frank and Frances

G – George and Gloria

H – Harold and Helen

I – Ira and Irene

J – James and Joan

K – Kenneth and Kathleen

L – Louis and Lois

M – Marvin and Mary

N – Norman and Nancy

O – Oscar and Opal

P – Paul and Patricia

Q – Quentin and Queen

R – Robert and Ruth

S – Stanley and Shirley

T – Thomas and Thelma

U – Ulysses. No female.

V – Vernon and Virginia

W – William and Wanda

X – none.

Y – Yvonne. No male.

Z – Zane and Zelma

 

Categories: 1930s Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Decade Snapshot 1920s/A-Z

Occasionally, I find a need to peruse some data. Here is the product of just that. I looked at the Top 1000 for the USA from 1920 and created this list. Out of the Top 1000 names on the 1920 name list, this is a list of the name that appears first with each beginning letter.

A – Arthur and Anna

B – Bernard and Betty

C – Charles and Catherine

D – Donald and Dorothy

E – Edward and Elizabeth

F – Frank and Frances

G – George and Gladys

H – Harold and Helen

I – Irving and Irene

J – John and Josephine

K – Kenneth and Katherine

L – Louis and Lillian

M – Michael and Mary

N – Norman and Norma

O – Oscar and Opal

P – Paul and Pauline

Q – Quentin and Queen

R – Robert and Ruth

S – Stanley and Sarah

T – Thomas and Thelma

U – Ulysses and Una

V – Vernon and Virginia

W – William and Willie

X – N/A

Y – Yoshio and Yvonne

Z – Zach and Zelma

Categories: 1920s Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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