Posts Tagged With: Sophie

Sibset of the Week: The Dahls

Roald Dahl, via hollowverse.com

Roald Dahl, via hollowverse.com

Some time in my primary school years, we went to watch a play adaptation of George’s Marvellous Medicine after reading it in class. I remember being enraptured by it and like many children before me, became a fan of author Roald Dahl. It makes sense, of course, for Roald Dahl to feature prominently in school libraries across Britain, given that he is considered by some to be one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century. It is, of course, by pure accident and happy fate that this is the third week in a row to feature a prominent wordsmith from Britain.

Dahl married American actress Patricia Neal in 1953, and in their 30 years of marriage welcomed 5 children:

Olivia Twenty

Chantal Sophia ‘Tessa’

Theo Matthew

Ophelia Magdalena

Lucy Neal

It’s a fairly interesting collection of names, part of me wonders the tale of how Tessa evolved as a nickname for Chantal. I also couldn’t help but note that for children born in the 1950s and 60s, the names could easily be transferred to a 2010s set of children. Theo has rocketed to #41 in the past 10 years, with Ophelia also rising to #306 in 2013. The name Olivia spent 3 years at #1 from 2008, and is currently at #2, whilst Lucy has been hanging in the Top 30 since 1996. The only name to buck this trend is Chantal, who experienced popularity in the 1990s, but fails to rank at all anymore.

This ahead of the curve naming was continued by Tessa Dahl, who named a daughter Clover in the mid-1980s, a name which has only consistently been ranking in England&Wales since 2004 (albeit only about 12 girls receive the name each year at the moment). Clover is sister the Sophie, Luke and Ned.

Sophie Dahl is these days a well known cookery writer who married jazz singer Jamie Cullum in 2010 and has two daughters: Lyra and Margot.

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

Family Tree Alternatives

Usually when people ask for alternatives of other names, they tend to look at similar-sounding names. However, in this post we’re delving into names related to popular names and picking out some intriguing possibilities for alternative names.

1. Harry and Amelia

Harry was born as a nickname for Henry, and these days is living it large in the #1 spot. Another offshoot of Henry is the Scottish variant Hendry.

Whilst choices were plentiful for Harry, the pool of potential names is smaller for Amelia and basically revolves around the same letter combinations, e.g. Amalia, Amélie etc. Perhaps the best bet is Emelia.

2. Oliver and Olivia

There are plenty of weird and wonderful international variants of Oliver, but I’m rather partial to Noll, which is an old medieval diminutive for the name.

Oliver and Olivia are interrelated, and my favourite other female name in the family tree is almost certainly Olivette.

3. Jack and Lily

There were quite literally a bazillion choices for both names here; in terms of Jack I’m thinking either the Welsh Ianto, or the French Yannick. The name Ianto is a diminutive, like Jack, of Ifan which is the Welsh form of John. As for Yannick, he comes from Yann which is the Breton form of John.

However, a last minute acknowledgement must go to the name Manech: he’s the Basque form of Jean, and Jean is of course the French form of John.

Then we have Lily, and my initial thought was the Scottish form of Lilian: Lillias or Lileas. Or go psuedo-chemistry with Lilium.

4. Alfie and Jessica

The complete opposite of the above pair of names, in that both Alfie and Jessica have few options. Alfie is, of course, a nickname for Alfred, and my best suggestion is Avery: a medieval form of Alfred.

Jessica is a toughie for the simple reason that she has few cousins, however Iscah is an intriguing possibility, being a possible source of the name Jessica.

5. Charlie and Emily

Charlie is a nickname for Charles, and in France they have Charlot. Anyone familiar with the French language will note that the t is silent, thus the name does not sound like Charlotte, more like SHAR-lo.

With Emily we encounter the same problems as with Amelia; there is a tenuous link between Emily and the Welsh name Emlyn, but alas, Emlyn is technically a male name. Best suggestion is likely to be either Emmy, Émilienne or Aemilia.

6. Thomas and Sophie

The Welsh short form for Thomas is Twm (said something like tuwm), or alternatively there is the Scottish variant Tavish.

As for Sophie, in Scandinavia they use Vivi as a nickname for Sofia.

7. Jacob and Ruby

There are, again, a plethora of options to choose from here, but I’m opting for the short’n’sweet option with Jeb.

Being a word name makes Ruby difficult, but the French for Ruby is Rubis and the German is Rubin.

8. James and Grace

For James, I would opt for Jem, which is an old and now rarely used nickname for James.

Ditto Ruby when it comes to Grace; once more turning to French we have both Grâce and Joliesse as translations. The former isn’t so practical, given that the French pronounce it to sound more like grass than grace.

9. Joshua and Ava

We’re venturing into the Arab world for Joshua, with the name Isa; the Arabic form of Jesus.

As for Ava, Chava is undoubtedly a wonderful suggestion – being the Hebrew form of Eve – but she’s mostly reserved to parts of the world not inflicted with the word chav. There is also the option of Hungarian name Évike.

10. William and Isabella

With William, I’m thinking maybe the German and Dutch dimiutive, Wim. Aside from him, we also have the option of Wiley, or even the Dutch Pim.

As for Isabella, being related to Elizabeth gives us plenty of options. As for the ones vaguely similar to Isabella, we have the German name Ilsa, which is a diminutive of Elisabeth.

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

Sibset of the Week: The Fiennes

I could only cover one family this week – I almost posted this on Friday after finding out about some of the names but held back a few days, I even resisted the temptation to post some of the names on Twitter.

Mark Fiennes was an English photographer and illustrator. He is a cousin of the noted explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. He met and married a lady named Jennifer Lash in the 1960s. As an aside, his wife was more often known as Jini, and was a noted artist and novelist. Sadly, these days neither are still with us, but together they welcomed no less than seven children:

Martha Maria

Ralph Nathaniel

Joseph Alberic (twin of Jacob)

Jacob Mark (twin of Joseph)

Sophie Victoria

Magnus Hubert

We could stop here, but if you dig a little deeper, there are plenty more wonderful names to discover. Let’s start with Jacob, who is married to a lady named Melanie. Together they have two children, born in the early 2000s:

Teale Isabella

Nathaniel

Whilst both Isabella and Nathaniel are relatively heard of, the choice of Teale as the name for their eldest child is certainly unexpected. Nathaniel could simply be a family name, given that young Nathaniel shares his name with Uncle Ralph, for whom the name is a middle name and with one of his cousins whom I shall mention shortly.

I also wanted to mention the children of Magnus, with his wife Maya, born in the late 1990s:

Cheyenne Allegra

Shanti Atalanta

The name Shanti was recently championed over at Name Fancy, and I certainly was surprised to see it used on a child so soon after reading the post. But alas, it is the last sibset which really inspired this post. It was inspired by a rather humourous email from a friend asking whether I was aware the the actor who played a young Lord Voldemort was called Hero. How ironic, I remember thinking.

Martha is married to George Tiffin, and together they have three children:

Titan Nathaniel

Hero Beauregard (m)

Mercy Jini Willow

Some scoff at using Hero as a girls name, despite the historical usage, so I kindly present them with a male Hero, born in the late 1990s. It’s worth noting that Hero’s uncle, Ralph Fiennes, plays Voldemort in the films.

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

Climbing Females

We’re following on from yesterday’s post, but this time we’re talking about the five names I think have a chance of hitting the Top 100 by 2014.

1. Bella

Currently at #104, and easily one of the names with the best chances thanks to Twilight. She’s a nickname as many popular names are these days.

2. Elsie

Slightly cutesy like many Top 100 names such as Maisie and Lexie, so I can see why this name is catching on  -and more so than you may think. In 2010, the name Elsie ranked at #108. Consider this: Elsie was at #124 in 2009.

3. Darcy

It breaks my heart to write this, but Darcy is seriously popular for girls. Aside from the spelling of Darcy at #115, there’s also Darcey right behind her at #126. It’s rumoured that the ballerina Darcey Bussell is in line to join the judges on Strictly Come Dancing, which will heighten the profile of this name more – not that it really needs it!

4. Beatrice

She rose from #126 to #116 between 2009-2010 and is the darling of many.

5. Eloise

This name has risen into and fallen out of the Top 100 twice since 2000, so I’ve no idea where this name will go next from her 2010 ranking of #109.

And now onto the #1 spot. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit of late, and have thus picked out 3 names I think have a chance of taking over from Olivia:

1. Lily

It’s reported repeatedly that it alternative spellings counted, then Lily would have taken the top spot years ago. This is why despite ranking at #4, she’s my best bet.

2. Sophie

My sister’s name and also a previous #1 back in the late 90s. She surprised me by rising 5 places to #2 between 2009-2010, but she’s clearly a keeper as parents continue to use her in their droves. Something Sophie has over Lily is a greater lack of popular alternative spellings – although Sophia is currently at #20. In many places around the world, Sophie has already taken the #1 spot, and there are mumblings that Sophia could go top in the States.

3. Maisie

Probably the name I like the most out of the three, but she also currently ranks the lowest at #14. The reason she’s here is because she’s rising fast – up 20 places between 2009-2010.

Categories: Popularity | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Not too French

Christophe Maé, from christophe-mae.fr

We kicked the week off looking at a very modern sounding French sibset, so it seems fitting to return to the topic of French names to end the week. Not French words, just French names. Specifically French names that are not too French, like Thibault is. I love the name Thibault, but chances are that you haven’t a clue how to say him, and neither will the majority of the English-speaking population. He’s likely too French for those who don’t have a grasp of the language. If you’re still musing about how to say Thibault, it’s tee-bo.

At the other end of the spectrum is the second most popular girls name in England&Wales: Sophie – the French form of Sophia. And I recently met a Manon/Matisse sibset at a very British cricket club. Other French forms of popular English names include:

Alexandre

Ambre

Bastien (short form of Sébastien)

Christophe

Émilie

Guillaume

Mathieu

Mathilde

But it’s the middle ground of popularity we’re looking at. Something distinctly French. Like Clement. Meilleur Prénoms put him at #19 in 2009 for France. You may have heard Clementine mentioned more and more often, but it’s the masculine name which has really taken off in France of late. On the same list, Clemence ranked at #34 for girls.

Another male name example is Jules. The only Jules I know who aren’t Julians are French. French singer Christophe Maé and his partner Nadège welcomed a son named Jules in 2008. We seem to spell it differently here in Britain as British chef Jamie Oliver is married to a Juliette ‘Jools’ and we also have the widely popular Jools Holland here in Britain, who was born Julian Miles. Jools Miles sounds quintessentially jazz, doesn’t it?

The name Enzo is hugely popular in France, too. I’ve seen people call him the male equivalent of called your child Porsche. The name reportedly became popular in France following Zinedine Zidane using it for his son. Yes, the Zinedine Zidane who famously headbutted an Italian player in the 2006 World Cup final. Enzo is a somewhat controversial name in France, given that it’s Italian, not French. Moreover, the Italian short form of Vincenzo and Lorenzo. Enzo is a zippy little name, especially good if you think Ezra is going to the girls – a name Abby recently featured as a re-run.

Another zippy short name popular in Frenchy-land is Axel. To English ears, this may sound like a somewhat rugged name – and that may add to his charm for you. My other favourite French male name beginning with an A is Aurelian, and we can’t forget to mention Rémi. Yes, he has an accent but I’ve seen plenty parents forgoe this. Infact whilst on the subject of accents, I have a friend named Chloé because her Dad became mixed up when he went to register her – she should be a Chloë.

One of the more popular female names in France right now is Clara – currently at #201 in England&Wales, and not strictly a French name per se. A very French invention cooking up a storm in France is Lilou. Yes, I love Lilou, she’s like a Lily/Lucy smoosh that just seems to work. In a similar vein, the French also love Luna, or their slight variant spelling of Louna. They also recognise the rocking-awesomenous of Lou.

Romain and Romane are popular for boys and girls, respectively; Same goes for Leo and Leonie; Valentin and Valentine. Whilst we may consider Agatha still slightly aged for our babes, the French are embracing their version: Agathe. Another A name they love is Amandine: their version of the once popular name Amanda. There’s also Amine for the lads which has origins in Arabic, and means truthful. For me, I think of the organic compounds known as Amines, but that’s by-the-by. The French and Dutch variation of Anna is also popular: Anouk.

Finally, there’s the Mae– group of names to consider: Maëlys;Maëlle;Maeva;Maeline; Maelie. They all sound distinctly French, but the pronunciation may not come naturally to you. For Maëlys, it’s mah-el-EES; for Maëlle, it’s mah-el.

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

Name Spot of the Week: BBC Pundits

The Royal Wedding coverage was interesting for many reasons, but more so when watching the BBC coverage, as they seemed to have chosen pundits based on their names:

Huw Edwards: Main Anchor

Fiona Phillips: Main Pundit

Fearne Cotton: Outside Buck Palace

Sophie Raworth: Inside Westminster

Jake Humphrey: On Board the legendary Lancaster

Paula Reed&Phillipa Lepley: Dress Discussing

Edith Bowman: St. Andrews

Alex Jones: Buckleberry

Anita Rani: Parliament Square

Chris Hollins: The Mall

I have several observations on these names:

  • Huw is welsh, and thus, bears the welsh version of Hugh.
  • Edith is in her mid-30s. Sophie is mid-40s.
  • Alex Jones was born Charlotte Alexandra, but bears a professional name which is gender neutral
  • Fearne’s spelling of her name has always intrigued me, but it suits her, since she is outspokening vegetarian and all things world-friendly.

Then we have the park incident. No, I’ve stopped talking about the Royal Wedding, the local park near me was the location of another ‘name spot’ last week. A lady shouted ‘ Ashbeck’, and there I was, comtemplating the name when I saw a young boy and a young girl running towards her, clearly, she meant to shout ‘Ash, Beck’, but the two got smooshed together in the shout. I have two other observations about this:

  • I late discovered the boy to be named Ashley, due to his father calling him so.
  • Yesterday, whilst shopping, I happened upon a bottle of water branded Ashbeck.

And onto name spot #3: Yesterday on the train, I do get about, I happened upon a gossip magazine, and inside it talked about a Z-Lister (Gary Lucy) who’d just welcomed a son, Elvis, to join big sister India.

Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Babies in the early ’90s

Let’s number-crunch. Courtesy of my sister, I got my hands on the class lists for her year (grade) at school. The names totalled around 150, and when we factor in the sixth form class list, who are two years older, we have a reasonably sized data covering popular baby names for catholics (catholic school) in England in the early 1990s:

British Babies Born Circa 1990-1994

BOYS – ALPHABETICALLY

Aidan +Aiden

Alexander x3 +Alistair +Alisdair

Andrew x2

Ashley x2

Benjamin x2 +Ben

Bryn +Finn

Christopher x2

Connor +Conor

David x4

Hugo +Hugh +Huw

Jack x5

Jacob +Jakub

James x7

John +Jonathan

Joseph x7 +Joe

Joshua x2

Frederick + Freddie

Matthew x2 +Matteaus

Michael x4

Ryan x2

Theodore +Theo

Thomas x7

William x2 +Liam x2

BOYS – NUMERICALLY (3 or more)

Joseph et al = 8

James = 7

Thomas = 7

Daniel = 6

Alexander et al = 5

Jack = 5

Michael = 4

William et al = 4

Benjamin et al = 3

Hugo et al = 3

Matthew et al = 3

GIRLS – ALPHABETICALLY

Alexandra x2 +Alexa

Alice x2 +Alicia

Amy x2

Ana + Anne +Joanne +Leanne +Rhian +Roxanne

Beatrice +Beatrix x2

Cara +Clare +Clara

Caroline +Karolina

Chloe x3

Eleanor x3 +Ellen x2 +Helen x2 +Helena

Elizabeth +Eliza

Emma x2 +Emily

Esther +Esme

Eugenie x2

Frances x2

Hannah x2

Hayley x2

Jennifer x3

Jessica x3

Kathryn +Catherine +Katie x2

Laura x5 +Lauren

Lucy x4

Lily x2 +Lila +Lillian +Lilia

Maria x2 +Marie

Molly +Mollie

Natasha +Sasha x2

Olivia x3

Sarah +Sara

Sophie x3

Vanessa x2

GIRLS – NUMERICALLY (3 or more)

Eleanor et al = 8

Ana et al = 6

Lily et al =5

Kathryn et al = 4

Lucy = 4

Alexandra et al = 3

Beatrice et al = 3

Cara et al = 3

Chloe = 3

Emma et al = 3

Jennifer = 3

Jessica = 3

Natasha et al = 3

Olivia = 3

Philippa = 3

Sophie = 3

MALE/FEMALE

Daniel x6 +Danielle

George x2 +Georgina

Harry +Hattie +Harriet

Phillip +Philippa x3

Valentino +Valentina

THE IRISH GANG

Sean x2 +Shaun +Sian

Sinead +Seamus +Roisin +Bronagh +Lorcan +Ciara x2 +Niall

Patrick x2

THE NOTABLES

The prevalence of Irish names is not taken as uncommon in a catholic school.

Jack was outnumbered by several names: Joseph, James and Thomas. He began his stay at the top of the UK Top 100 list at the end of the decade. Two of the Jacks had the same surname.

Both of the Ashley’s, born when America embraced the name as a female one, were male.

The Eugenie’s were born just after Princess Eugenie, and the Beatrice/trixes born after Princess Eugenie’s sister: Princess Beatrice.

Non of the Lucy’s were a Lucille, Lucienne etc. They were all just Lucy.

The Emma’s outnumbered the Emily.

From personal knowledge:

-None of the Philippa’s in the list shortens their name to Pippa.

-All of the Eleanor’s were nicknamed Ellie.

* In the interests of not boring you all to death with an endless list of data, any name on the class lists which appeared once, without a similar name has been omitted from the data. This accounts for around 30 names out of the roughly estimated 240 names.

Categories: Real Babies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.