Posts Tagged With: Rowan

Sibset of the Week: The Hicks

David Nightingale Hicks, from npgprints.com

We’re looking at two generations of a family this week, because they all bear such facinating names. David Nightingale Hicks was a reknowned interior designer, who married Lady Pamela Mountbatten in 1960, and together they had three children:

Edwina Victoria Louise

Ashley Louis David

India Amanda Caroline

Then we come to the second generation, and let’s start with the eldest daughter, Edwina, who married her husband Jeremy in 1984 and together they have three offspring:

Maddison May (1994)

Jordan Anne (1995)

Rowan Michael (2001)

One can perhaps note the classics-in-the-middle, more modern choices in the front style they seem to have adopted for their names. Also, the relative gender-neutral-ness of the names – especially with the younger two children. I actual think this sibset may even be a few years before it’s time, as those kids could easily have been born in the last few years, rather than 10 to 20 years ago.

Edwina’s brother, Ashley, has worked as an author, designer and architect in his time. In 1990 he married an Italian designer named Allegra, with whom he welcomed two daughters:

Angelica Margherita Edwina

Ambrosia Maria Elizabeth

Note the matching initials, and that Ashley only named one of his daughters after one of his sisters.

Speaking of one of his sisters, we then come to India, who was a bridesmaid at the marriage of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer. India has four children with her partner, the interior designer David Flint Wood:

Felix Austen

Amory John

Conrad Lorenzo

Domino Carmen

Whilst I’ve seen both Felix and Conrad on people before, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone call their child either Amory or Carmen before – they’re certainly bold choices.

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

Lies Non-Name Nerds Tell Me

Lie To Me promo poster, from blogger.com

I find the opinions of people who don’t particularly vest much time researching names fascinating. They always range from one extreme staggering accuracy to the other of misguided inaccuracy. Wandering around from place to place in the world, I very rarely get the opportunity to announce the fact that I author a name blog prior to any name discussion – which has lead to me witnessing some rather bold claims in the past. Here are the five which stood out for me over this past year, feel free to add your own in the comments:

1.  Soffie/Sofie is more popular than Sophie

Location: Wales

Let’s start with the most bizarre statement. It was whilst on a train platform in Wales that I was somehow drawn into a conversation with a lovely Welsh bloke who claimed to me that Sophie spelt with a double f (Soffie) was a more popular name in Wales than Sophie. Perhaps lovely Kay could shed further light on this, because this happened a few months ago, yet I remain perplexed. Consider the statistics: for the separate Top 100 list for Wales the name Sophie ranks at #9 – with Sofie ranking at #910 for the combined England&Wales data.

2. Nature names only work on females

Location: Gt. Yarmouth

A topic quite often alluded to, but my tuppence? The first time I came across the name Briar was on a male, albeit in a book. It is worth acknowledging that this person has reason and it could simply boil down to personal taste. It is, however, worth noting that Rowan is infinitely more popular for boys (#142) than girls (#709) in England&Wales. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rowan Atkinson had a slight role to play in this state of affairs.

I will admit, however, that nature names have caught on more for females than males. Lily is a top 10 name for girls, whilst Rose, Ruby, Amber, Summer and Jasmine are all inside the top 100.

3. The Beckham kids all have weird names no one else uses

Location: CrossCountry Train Service

Said by a friend of a friend, and again, it’s another matter of opinion, but the thing to remember? Out of their four children, only Harper’s name remains outside of the Top 1000 (and only if you’re looking at the female stats – Harper is inside the male Top 1000) in England&Wales. They may have been one of the first to use Brooklyn et al, but you’re no more likely to meet a Romeo in the park than a Laurence; a Cruz than a Brendan or Wyatt; a Brooklyn than a Lloyd. I’m also pretty sure you wouldn’t bat an eyelid to the names Joseph, James and David – which are their son’s middle names.

The bottom line is, all names rising in popularity names may have seemed a little ‘weird’ in their early days of rising, but do they really warrant that title once they’ve broken, say, the Top 250 like Brooklyn has for boys? I would say not. And clearly, people are using the names the Beckhams have used.

4. Some who names their child [insert top 10 name here] hasn’t put much thought/effort into their decision

Location: London Underground

My take? If you knowingly use a Top 10 name, kudos to you. My Auntie rather thoughtfully said the other day that we all strive so hard for status as individuals that we forget the value of a group. My surname is Sycamore, so of course I managed to end up in the same class as a Lucy Moore. Two-syllables difference, and it never particularly bothered me because that Lucy was, and likely still is, an absolutely lovely lass.

There likely are  people who chose the name Lily/James at random when they saw their child for the first time, and that’s perfectly fine. S/he’s their child, thus they have every right to do this. Equally, I see plenty of parents on nameboards agonising over whether they’d be doing their child a disservice by giving them a popular name. These people are clearly thinking about it, and thus immediate disprove the above statement. As a matter of fact, I think some names are simply popular because they are fantastic names. I really like both James and Emily, despite their status as a Top 10 name here in England&Wales.

5. Enzo is popular in France because of Ferrari

Location: Tours

This came from an Englishman who’d migrated to France after retiring. I met him in a French café, which is where he ‘let me in on this little secret’. I’ll admit whilst possibly a turning factor, it’s more likely to be due to former French international football star Zinedine Zidane who helped boost this name in France when he gave it to his son way back in 1995. He was named after a Uruguayan football player: Enzo Francescoli.

The only French person my age who is also into F1 in a big way is a huge Ferrari fan, though. She went nuts when we took her to the Ferrari shop in London. That said, there are no French teams, nor drivers currently [2011 season] competing, so she has free choice on who to support. For the 2012 season, there have already been at least three French drivers confirmed to have a race seat, so it would be interesting to see if she changes allegiances or not.

Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

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

As Popular As…

You know that joyful feeling when you find one of your favourite names right down near the bottom of the popularity list, which is popped hen you realise that it’s as popular as, well, a name you may not like as much? I’ve had that a lot recently:

Two of my favourite names, Clementine and Luna, share the ranking of #565, with Mylee, Billie, Jaya, Selina and Laaibah.

Cosmo is below the 1000, with only 24 births, alongside Issa and Ryder.

Wren and Sunny are also under the 1000 mark, with 17 births apiece, alongside Leni, Roxi, Beca, Chelsy, Ellymay and Lacey-Mai.

Rupert had 106 uses, as did Yuvraj and Deacon.

Phineas and Prosper had 5 apiece, as did Muizz, Nixon, Promise, Ramsay and Reily.

Juniper had 8 uses, as did Guste, Kodi and Romie.

Flora had 104 uses, as did Trinity.

Indie had 43 uses, as did Kaydee, Mercy and Mikayla.

Rosalind had 30 uses, as did Mazie, Cindy, Gurleen and Cienna.

Saskia had 94 uses, as did Bailey and Safiya.

On the male side, Rowan shares the #155 spot with Kenzie, and a female Rowan has 81 uses, alongside Alannah and Martyna.

Alistair is as popular as Rayhan, both with 100 uses each, respectively.

Cassius is as popular as Ilyas, each with 72 uses, respectively.

Gideon had 39 uses, as did Kajus, Nojus and Ronny.

Alec had 66 uses, as did Abbas and Shayan.


Categories: Popularity | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Weekend Post: Names of Questionable Gender

Dara Ó Briain, from telegraph.co.uk

When an aquaintance recently announced her new daughter’s name as Freya, she was showered with compliments. Little did they know, baby Freya was very nearly a Zephyr nn Zephy: It’s the 21st Century Stephanie, she said. I love the name Zephyr, for me, he’s a 21st Century Geoffrey, but the idea of it on a pink bundle of joy has been growing on me all week, so it makes sense to talk about it now, since the recent report on the genderless baby named Storm got me thinking about a name I’ve always classified as male having potential as a female name.

Then there’s the flipside of the coin. Until I was introduced to AFI back in ’03, Jade was a girls name for me, but AFI’s guitarist is very much male, despite being called Jade. The French still use Camille for males, there’s a strapping young french swimmer named Camille LeCourt. Rowan Atkinson is one of my comedy heros, mostly for Blackadder, and his name is still used equally for lads and ladettes. I also can’t get enough of Dara Ó Briain’s stand up DVD, his name may be considered female by one side of the pond, but in the Emerald Isle, he’s still male. Despite this, I have a female irish friend named Daragh.

Here’s a couple of other names I’ve been thinking about this week, in terms of this subject:

Asa.

Doctor Who used to have a female companion named Ace, well, it was her nickname, but if the first Ace that comes to mind is female, does that mean the name has potential on the other gender? Well, I’m sure most of you out there first thought Ace Ventura, or another Ace. I’m just your average child of a Doctor Who nut, I don’t know any better.

But, getting to Asa, I’ve yet to see one, but I’ve seen people ask about whether Asa is a he or a she. An argument I keep seeing is, any name ending in a is a girl name. It’s logically, in Italy, most female names end in a: Adriana, Nadia, Isabella, Elisabetta etc. etc. To change Theodore to it’s female version, the e is swapped for an a.

Ash.

Think of the most famous Ashley you know, is it a she or a he? The first one I can think of is Ashley Cole, a premiership footballer, who also plays for England. Embarassingly, the next Ashley on the list is Ashley Tisdale, the disney star. My 8 year-old sister is going through the High School Musical stage, I’m excused.

Growing up, I was best friends for a while in primary school with a male Ashley. He was the goalie, I was the striker. It was a love/hate kind of friendship 😉 Either way, in the USA, the overwhelming number of Ashley’s born in the 90s were female. Ashley cracked the top 10 as a she name, and she currently sits at #27 in the USA . In the UK, on the 2009 list, Ashley was #421 for girls, 15 places below Flora, 2 above Ophelia. In the boys list of the same year, Ashley is #154, 2 above Rowan, 8 below Alfred. Ashton sits at #69, Asher at #427.

Beau.

Beau is our next name, she was 6 places above Ashley at #414 on the UK female list in 2009, and #178 for the boys. Ulrika Johnsson has a daughter named Bo (at #771 in the UK list, ’09), and a Beau Vivienne has made an appearance in the London Telegraph Birth Announcements.

I too have considered Bo for a girl, creating the combination Lili Bo Rika back when I was 10. As for using Beau, it’s a possibility, but I love the name Belle too much. I’ll admit, I’d love to meet a Beau/Belle girl/boy twin set.

Bobbie/Billie.

I recently clocked Bobbie on a list of names for Rockabilly girls, I’ll admit, it has a certain pazazz to it. Whitney Houston has a daughter named Bobbi, and Lenny Henry has a daughter named Billie. There’s also little Billie Beatrice to consider, and Miss Billie Piper, notable for her Doctor Who work and another, slightly saucier role. Billie’s full name is Billie Paul Piper. Double dudeness! Her father is named Paul, and in fairness, she was originally named Liane, until her parents experienced namers remorse, and changed her name to Billie.

Brave.

I’ll admit it, I’ve played with the idea of Brave as a middle before for a boy. However, I’ve seen two mummy bloggers post about Brave: One considered it for a baby boy, one actually has a girl named Brave.

Claude.

Whilst in France last year, I remember watching a daytime quiz show, a female contestant was named Marie-Claude. Now, this name is doubly gender-neutral in France, since Marie has historically been used for males there. As for Claude, that was a bit of a shocker for me.

Cricket.

Only for a short period did I think about this name. I live in England, Cricket is a sport. Heck, I go past one of the most famous Cricket grounds in the world each day: Trent Bridge. My brother plays cricket every Wednesday and Sunday, in his best, if slightly grass-stained at the knees, cricket whites.

It still makes for a cute nickname. I may rename my brother Cricket, although Nameberry lists it as a female name only.

Darcey.

The most famous Darcey is Mr. Darcy, but Nameberry did a post, albeit a little while ago, that placed Darcy, in it’s various spellings, in the most searched names list (for babynames.co.uk users) for both males and females. On the female list: Darcie was at #18, Darcey at #36 (4 below Betty!). On the boy list, Darcy was at #15, 2 above Rowan.

Personally, I’ve always been drawn to the Darcey spelling. and it’s the most popular spelling for girls, in 2009, Darcey charted at #107 for girls (and #3744 for lads), with Darcy just behind at #116, and Darcie at #178. For the boys, Darcy was at #972 (just above Darragh).

Jenson.

I’m a huge Formula 1 fan, and Jenson Button is my favourite driver. Jenson was #143 in 2009 in the UK for the boys, and if Madison and Addison can both become female, could Jenson too? It certainly seems as a natural progression from Jennifer (which was at it’s peak around the time Jenson was born), and it allows me to use one of my favourite nickname: Sunny (currently at #1546 for girls, #923 for boys).

Mika.

I know of two famous Mika’s that are male: the lebanese/american singer and the finnish ex-Formula 1 champion. Still, in Eurovision this year, Ukraine was represented by a female Mika.

In terms of the UK 2009 list, Mika charted at #1105 for girls, and #2318 for boys.

Shiloh.

Mostly used for males until little Miss Pitt-Jolie arrived on the scene in 2006. My line on this is Shiloh was likely to never pick up for girls until someone influencial came along to get things rolling. In this sense, I liken this name to Milo. Same sort of sounds, but one is considered male, the other, not so much. Remarkable, non?

Again, we can find Shiloh on both the girls and boys list: #1008 for lads, #916 for girls. The fact that there isn’t much difference could give hope to those who want Shiloh back as a male name.

Categories: Weekend Post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Alternative Botanical Choices to Lily, Violet and Rose

We all love Lily, Violet et al, and so to honour my rediscovered love of Rose, we’re going to delve into the depths of the world of all things botanical. Not a Lily nor Rose will be present on this list, because that would just be obvious.

A- Adair, Amaryllis, Aster

B- Briar, Bryony

C- Calendula, Camellia, Cassia, Clover, Cosmos

D- Dara (A male name in Ireland, Dara Ó Briain is an example), Dahlia

F-, Fern/Ferne/Fearne, Flora

H- Hadassah, Hana

I- Ianthe, Iris

J- Jonquil, Juniper

K- Kiri

L- Laurel, Leilani, Linnea

M- Magnolia, Mimosa

N- Neriette

P- Peony, Pomeline

R- Rowan, Rush

S- Senna, Shoshannah, Sorrel

T- Tamarind, Tamaris, Tansy

V- Verbena, Veronica

Z- Zizanie

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

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