Posts Tagged With: Serena

Sibset of the Week: The Williams & Federers

Federer’s twin daughters at Wimbledon, from

Wimbledon is finally over, with Federer and Williams taking home the trophies in the senior level singles tournaments. Even though we had a sports themed sibset post last week, it seems that we’re on course to have another one this week. This also happens to be the second time in a row that we haven’t covered a British family, but it’s nice to diversify.

Let’s start in the US with the Williams sisters who are both two of the greatest tennis player in the womens game at the moment; Serena’s serve is notably famed and after her win at Wimbledon this year she’s been hailed by many as one of the greatest female players that the game has ever seen, however she currently ranks at #4.

Her sister Venus was the first African-American woman to achieve the ranking of #1 in the Open Era back in February 2002. However, due to inconsistent form she currently ranks all the way down at #68, and was notably knocked out of the first round of Wimbledon this year.

The sisters are the children of Oracene and Richard Williams, and their full names are thusly:

Venus Ebony Starr

Serena Jameka

Prior to marrying Richard and having the two tennis greats, Oracene had three others daughters with her first husband:




Then we have the Federer family who hail from Switzerland. Roger Federer is currently the world #1 and his win at Wimbledon yesterday ruining the dreams of thousands of Brits as his opponent was Andy Murray, who was aiming to be the first British winner of Wimbledon in simply decades. His win was also his 7th one at Wimbledon.

In 2009, his wife gave birth to twin girls:

Myla Rose

Charlene Riva

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spot of the Week: Of Sisters and Silverstone

Today is Ebba’s birthday! It seems apt that earlier on this week I posed the following question to the good people of Formspring:

If I told you that my nickname for my sister is Ebba, could you hazard a guess at what her actual name is?

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that literally no one got the right answer, indeed the majority went for either Ebony, Evelyn or Elizabeth. I actually thought that Elizabeth was quite a clever guess, and I suppose that even though it seems logical to go from Heather to Ebba for me, it’s not exactly logical for others.

Wimbledon ends later on today with Federer and Murray facing it off in the mens singles final. The press here in the UK have been going nuts since Murray won his semi-final, but did you see the name of his opponent? It was Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Yesterday, Serena Williams beat the equally intriguingly named Agnieszka Radwanska in the womens singles final. I could go on about the lovely Wimbledon names, but Zeffy has already done it so wonderfully here.

Oh, and today is the British Grand Prix – woo! – so I thought I’d share with you a picture I snapped whilst I was at the circuit myself two weeks ago when it was also muddy, but clearly not to the extent as it was yesterday.

Snapped at Hangar Straight Bridge

Many fans of racing will know of Silverstone having a corner named Beckett, but how many fans of the name Beckett know of the corner? Personally, I see it as a plus. And what about the possibility of Stowe? Equally intriguing in my eyes.

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

When Penelope Gets Popular

Paloma Faith may inspire you, from

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.

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