Posts Tagged With: Tate

Spot of the Week: Eating Habits

First off, congratulations are in order to my friend Philippa who just this morning welcomed a little girl into the world, whom she named Annabelle Grace.

My generation of friends are clearly beginning to hit baby-making years, as a really rather close friend finds out tomorrow whether she’s carrying a boy or girl.

Exciting times, indeed.

Now, the even bigger news of the week comes along the lines of when I visited Costa coffee, and discovered they currently sell giant custard creams and Bourbon biscuits. Now, it just so happened that the guy I was with was already in the process of buying our drinks by the time I took note of the display. Since he was paying as a birthday treat for me, I didn’t get one, but I’m determined to try them at some stage.

The link to names is that I’ve been wondering since the Costa coffee trip why the Bourbon biscuits are known as such, and so far I’ve seen a few theories; a popular one referring to a family known as House of Bourbon from Europe.

The thing to note for those unfamiliar which the delightful tea time snack is that bourbon biscuits do not have a drop of bourbon [the drink] in them. Custard creams, incidentally, taste more like vanilla than custard in my opinion; and trust me, I munch through FAR too many custard creams.

This week’s picture is a rather exciting one: it’s a picture of the bag of sugar that fuels my out of control Weetabix habit:


As featuring my latest packet of custard creams in the background, rather befittingly. Anyways, as you can see, the brand name is Tate&Lyle, and I couldn’t help but note how similar the two names were.

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

Spot of the Week: Faux Bayeux

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about names containing the letter x, as opposed to beginning or ending with them. I did a post on many names which contain the letter x last year, but all of a sudden I’m coming up with more. Someone suggested Oxana to me just this week, and then I went on to meet an Oxana later on that day. Quelle chance! That said, she spells her name Oksana, not Oxana.

Another name I wanted to mention is Tristan. I finally came around to watching the 2009 film Stardust this week, and the lead male character is called Tristan Thorn. About half-way through the film I had what could only be described as an epiphany about the name Tristan when I realised just how much I liked the name. It’s a case of a name being constantly in the corner of your eye, but only when you pay any attention to it do you realise just how much the name rocks – especially when Ebba mentioned that if she were to call her hypothetical son Tristan, she’d use the nickname Tate.

Oh, and finally, how many of you have heard of the English copy of the Bayeux Tapestry? Created in the 1880s by a group of female embroiderers, it hangs in the Museum of Reading. Each lady involved embroidered her name under each piece she contributed, and I just had to sneak a picture of this particular section:

Mary Adeline

Current darling of many parents – Adeline! It’s what one could call foolproof evidence of the name’s usage in Victorian England, fo’ sure. Other names of ladies involved include Florence, Beatrice and Ellinor. I also think it would be totally cool to use this line when explaining your daughter’s name:

Oh, Adeline? I got the name from the Bayeux Tapestry.

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Surprise Time

Myleene Klass with daughters Ava and Hero, from

I have recently seen some, albeit rather slight allegations that this year the celeb-world has let us down somewhat when it comes to picking the slightly crazy names we’ve come to expect. However, as far as I’m concerned, if the choice of name surprises you, I think it makes for an interesting, notable celeb choice and that’s the basis of the following list. I may not personally love all of the names below, they win their spot on the list through merit of surprise and show there were some rather, shall we say, unexpected choices over the last year split into months:

January – Romeo Mokonzi Santos/ Coco Reese Lakshmi

Two interesting combinations of names to kick off the year. Whilst I really liked the choice of Nona by Dutch radio host Dave Peters, with a pre-existing son named Eppo, it seemed almost expected for him to choose another seldom heard name. What really surprised me were these two names and the mix of styles they possess.

Romeo is the son of former Belgian sprinter Kim Gevaert and her husband Djeke Mambo; they already have a son named Vince. Coco is the first child for No Doubt’s bassist Tony Kanal and he certainly threw them all in the cooking pot.

February – Rocco&Coco/Lily Cato

Two Coco mentions in one list? Abby’s got to me, but how could the twinset choice of Scottish footballer Paul Dalglish go without mention? I kind of like the idea that comes behind the choices, but it is too much in terms of matchiness? One things for sure, they’re two completely different names which just so happen to contain pretty much exactly the same letters as one another.

As for the second nomination, Lily Cato grabs it for her unexpected middle name. O names are being tooted as particularly stylish choices for lads at the moment, and this name just proves the girls needn’t be left behind with this trend. Lily is first child for Dutch musical star Martin van der Starre and his girlfriend Roos (whose name just so happens to be Dutch for Rose) and was born in London.

March – Kip&Bowie/ Hero Harper

March brought a second twinset for this list, this time from an Australian. Brodie Holland already had a daughter named Stevie when these two came along and the thing that caught me about it is how homely the names feel to me. Kip is British slang for a nap, whilst Bowie makes me think of the legend that is David Bowie.

For me, the top female name of March was easy. Myleene Klass already had a daughter named Ava Bailey when she came to welcome little Hero Harper in March. Whilst her middle name could have been expected what with her previous use of Bailey, it was Hero which took me by surprise given that her first daughter has a name well inside the current Top 20.

April – Gem/ Belle

Gem is the son of Aussie Alan Tongue, brother of Becky and Heidi. According to Anna, using the name Gem was a spur-of-the-moment decision for Alan, when the name just came to him after looking at his son for the first time. Since I grew up with a good few Gemmas, it’s a change of scene to be talking about Gem for lads but I kind of like it.

As for the female name, yes, Belle isn’t exactly the most uncommon name in the book, there were plently of wacky choices to choose from, but her selection took me by surprise since her mama, Holly Willoughby, was already a mother to a Harry. That had me presuming she would go with a Top 50 especially-popular-in-Britian girly name like Maisie, Poppy or even Lucy. Belle, on the otherhand, has been mostly overshadowed by Bella of late.

Those wacky choices I mentioned earlier on? Whilst Romanie-Sky Angel Shelley could’ve taken the crown for the girls, she just didn’t surprise me as a name Shane Richie would choose especially since his other daughter with the same partner is called Lolita Bell. In the same month James Cracknell welcomed Trixie Bea – but his pre-existing kids are called the equally quirky Kiki and Croyde.

May – Tate/ Isabeau

Emma Bunton welcomed Tate in this month, brother for Beau. So, why did this name surprise me? It surprised me for a few reasons. The first being that I’ve seen a pondering about the name Tate’s gender status this year. You know what else I found out this year? That whilst you may think Beau is pretty much all-boy, Beau ranks higher (#315) than Belle for girls (#463). The second reason is that sometimes it’s nice to be surprised by someone using a relatively unused name with a relatively well-used name, and seeing them work really well together. In 2010 for England&Wales, Beau was given to 300 boys and Tate to 53 boys.

Isabeau and I have only been acquainted for a few years, and in that time I’ve seldom heard her actually used by parents. It seems especially odd, then, that this Isabeau would be the daughter of Belgian boxer Sugar Jackson. It does seem in line with the choice of Ebenezer for her brother, but nevertheless I couldn’t have seen Isabeau coming either way. But, when you hardly hear the name, how can you?

June – Diesel Dean/ Jasmine Orienta

It was hard for this month to pick a male name, but Diesel Dean won out for the alliteration. We’ve had a few this year, notably Poet Poppin and most recently Georgia Geraldine but this one has it’s merits too. I doubt I would ever think to pair Diesel with Dean, but sound-wise they make a pretty good pairing. He’s the son of American softball player Jenny Finch and is brother to Ace Shane.

Jasmine Orienta is the daughter of Julian Lloyd Webber, and it’s her middle name that won her the placing on this list. Generally speaking, orient is a rather romantic way to say east, it comes from the Latin word oriens predictably meaning east. Think Oriental, think Leyton Orient.

July – Bingham Hawn/Bardot

Probably one of the most high profile names on this list, Bingham had to win this place for really making me think. I live near a town named Bingham and it never occured to me to think of him as a potential name. It just goes to show that fascinating names can be found in most places – especially right under your nose. Bingham, or Bing as they are calling him, is the son of Matt Bellamy and Kate Hudon. There’s a really nice post of the name Bing over at The Name Station.

This year I learnt David Boreanaz had renamed his little 2009 daughter Bardot Vita as Bella Vita Bardot so I presumed it would be awhile before Bardot surfaced again since it clearly didn’t work out for them. I was wrong. Dutch TV presenter Regina Romeijn picked up the torch when she welcomed her Bardot in London.

August – Zephyr/ Fritzi Francesca

Julia Bradbury broke my father’s heart when she announced her pregnancy last year, and won mine when she chose Zephyr for her son. I’ve never seen people give much love to the name Zephyr, so was beyond thrilled to see the lady who inspired my father to make us trek in Wales during winter use him.

As for the female name, we’re back to alliteration. As a Brit, Fritzi could probably never work as she’s likely a tad too close to Fritz for the liking of the elder generation. Fritzi is the daughter of Dutch actor Koert-Jan de Bruijn and sister to Keetje Sofia. Whilst the pattern of using a name rather more established in the English-speaking world is maintained (should that have been intentional), I think Fritzi is certainly more accessible to we English speakers than Keetje is.

September – Sid/Delphine Malou

Sid is the fourth child of Mary McCartney, thus yet another grandchild for Sir Paul. Last year Mary’s sister, Stella, welcomed her fourth child – a daughter named Reiley. Same parents, but two completely different choices for each respective fourth child (of course, not forgetting the effect their respective spouses may have had in the name selection process).

I was surprised by the choice of Delphine Malou because, looking at the name, you’d presume her parents to be French. You’d presume wrong, too. Her famous mother, Sarah Connor, is German, whilst her half-siblings are called Tyler and Summer – so this really was completely out of the blue choice of name for me. It was, however, a lovely surprise at the same time.

October – Lex/Teddy Mouna

We’re in the continent once again to talk about little Lex, son of Belgian singer Raf van Brussel. He has two sisters named Sam and Lucca. Alex is certainly very popular, but I don’t think I’ve ever really seen the name Lex used. He’s certainly a quirky alternative nickname for Alexander if nothing else.

Dutch radio host Ruud de Wild is responsable for once more flying the flag of The Netherlands. He chose the name Teddy for his newborn daughter, which was a surprise to me given that she is welcomed by a sister (albeit a half-sister) named Toy. Yes, it the land of the Netherlands the main language is Dutch but most do speak English to a relatively good standard. However, just think how odd a sibset of Reverie and Papillon may seem to the French and I’m willing to accept the cuteness of this. Teddy also has a brother named Johnny.

November – Ace Billy/ Lourdes (Ethel Mary)

With Ace Billy, it’s another case of hold-the-phone – didn’t you give your pre-existing child a name of an entirely different style? He’s the son of Matt and Emma Willis, both reasonably well-known, each in their own right, here in Britain. When Ace came along, they were already parents to the rather more, say, classically named Isabelle Catherine.

The case is the same with Lourdes, chosen by football star Steven Gerrard. His two pre-existing daughters are called Lilly and Lexie, so I was well-prepared for them to use either Lacey or maybe Lucy as the name for the newest member of the clan given that they, too, are in the England&Wales Top 100. That makes Lourdes a rather more unusual choice, especially given their track record.

Ethel gets an honourable mention since her mother Lily Allen has yet to formerly confirm her name, even if her mother has rather let the cat out of the bag. I think if you step back and look at her, Ethel does have her merits. The -el ending can be found on many popular names of today, such as Isabel and Annabel, so really we should be asking ourselves: why was Lily Allen the first to think of resurrecting Ethel?

December – Beaux/ Emilia Lovely

Our final month lets us make one last mention of Beau. We’ve already mentioned both him and sister Belle already in this post but Beau-with-an-x is new. Many parents are embracing the letter x of late, and so this should only feel like a natural progression. Beaux was chosen by one half of 2 Shoes, Charley Bird; the duo competed in 2011’s series of The X Factor.

Our last baby to mention is little Emilia Lovely, who earns her place here for her middle name. Lovely? Why not? We’ve already embraced Grace, Faith and Hope in the masses for middle name fodder, it was only time before other virtue words were given a chance.

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3 Alternative Nicknames for Jonathan

Jonathan Creek, played by Alan Davis, from

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts, well, according to my frankly brilliant (ha!) memory. The target this time around is Jonathan, in honour of one of my favourite TV supersleuths: Jonathan Creek. It’s also good timing because my ‘Uncle’ Nathan recently celebrated his 21st birthday, again, so I suppose this post goes out to him as well, especially since his offspring got her very own post back in September. The next target will likely be my Grandfather, who has some strong opinions about names – especially his own. But let’s save that nugget for another post.

Growing up I knew one Jonathan my age, who usually went by the nickname Jonno. I didn’t know a John, but knew plenty of Jacks and even a Gianni, which is the Italian form of Johnny. John is one of those classics of yesteryear which have suffered of late, as between 2009/2010 John fell 11 places to #94, making him one of the furthest fallers inside the Top 100, whilst Jonathan ranked at #141 in 2010 in England&Wales. Another notable example of this kind of fall from grace being Margaret, which now ranks just outside the Top 500. One of the main factors may have been the embracing of Jack, and to a certain extent Jackson in recent years. Plenty, if not most, parents will likely know Jack started off as a nickname for John, whilst perhaps not knowing that Ian or even Sean are international variants. One thing is for sure: John is a solid classic that has been loved for centuries.

But he’s no relation of Jonathan. It’s close, but they originate from two different Hebrew names. For Jonathan it’s Yehonatan, whilst for John it’s Yochanan. Both meanings relate to Yahweh, but for Jonathan this relates to Yahweh has given, not Yahweh is gracious as is the case for John.

So, aside from the obvious nicknames such as John, Johnny et al, what other nicknames could you bestow upon your little Jonathan? Here’s my three favourite ideas to get the ball rolling for you:

1. Xan

Inspired by the final four letters – than – this name is technically a nickname for another popular choice: Alexander. The letter X is in vogue at the moment, even if X factor isn’t; Zeffy recently covered Xerxes, another quirky X name. I remember only knowing Benet Brandreth’s middle initial was X whilst initially drawing up the Brandreth post, and having to do some serious research to find out what the X stood for, it of course being for Xan. Only 3 Xans were born in England&Wales last year, but there were also 3025 Alexanders and a further 135 Xanders, both numbers of which may include a handful more Xans.

2. Tate

A nickname for Nathan, which makes up 3/4 of the name Jonathan is Nate, so why not take things a step further to Tate. We’ve mentioned this name a few times on this blog, going so far as to give him his own post back in the summer after my trip to Liverpool. I see Tate as a rising name, and I’m not just saying that because I love him. There are plenty of factors on his side, such as his compact nature which proved a successful formula for Jack and James – both Top 10 names in 2010. There is evidence to suggest that the name Tate is related to the old surname Tait, and thus have relations with the Old Norse word for cheerful.

3. Otto

A slightly off-the-beaten track suggestion, but don’t cast him aside just yet. O and T are both prominent letters in Jonathan, and the -o ending is one continually bleeted about being ‘the next big thing’. The name is related to the Germanic element od, which connotates wealth and fortune. He’s enjoyed relative popularity over in Germany, I believe, given that I know three Ottos, all of whom call Germany their home, plus when I did German at GCSE the textbook was constantly throwing Ottos, Sebastians and Helgas at us. As for his state of affairs on the other side of the English Channel, Otto currently sits at a fairly respectable #397, sharing it with Aden and Khalid.

Categories: Boy Names, Nicknames | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Name Spot of the Week: Exam Names

Exan season is upon me, and now that I’m A-Level, my science exams lack the names that made the Science SAT paper so much more interesting. Nowadays, I have to live with ‘student’, but luckily I take French&Psychology, who do use names, albeit French more than Psychology.

My year was the last to take the Year 9 Sats tests, which contained names such as Tracy, Brian and Ranjit. Yes, Ranjit. Either him or brother Sanjit always made an appearence, in an effort to stay PC, more than anything. It certainly added some humour to the proceedings.

Some other notable names from past papers:

Abdel. Past French Paper.

Adama. Past French Paper.

Angus. Past Psychology Paper.

Bénédicte. Past French Paper.

Bérengere. Past French Paper. There should be a grave accent on the 3rd e, but alas, my keyboard is not French. Bit of trivia for you: English keyboards have qwerty, for the French, it’s azerty.

Bernard. Past French Paper.

Cécile. Past French Paper.

Maika. Past French Paper.

Nina. Past French Paper.

Thibault. It’s a scandal I forgot to include this delightful French names on my recent -o names that aren’t really -o names list, and for those not in the know, it’s tee-bo.

Vandita&Sandra. These two appeared in the same question in a past psychology paper, the mind boggles.

Xavier. I’ve seen him crop up at least twice on past French Edexcel AS-Level exams. (Quick note about English schooling: Edexcel is the name of the exam board, AS is the first year of A-Level, A2 is the second year)

Emma Bunton welcomed a second son this week, fashionably named Tate joins brother Beau. But the best part of the story is the name of the father: Jade.

Speaking of celebrity births, Bryan Adams is now a father to a little girl: Mirabella Bunny. A town near me is named Bunny.

I’m eagerly awaiting the next series of Outnumbered, and the names of two of the child actors are notable: Tyger and Ramona. I thought 15-year-old Tyger had it harsh until I  discovered Tyger is his second middle name, his first name is actually Lindzi. Things must be complicated at the Drew-Honey household, as his mother is called Linzi, and his father is called Simon Lindsay.

I read an interesting article the other day about a gay couple in Arizona who’ve adopted 12 children, my heart leaped when I saw one of their sons is named Ambrose.

I recently discovered the first name of a teacher of mine: Archana, it’s a Sanskrit name, meaning honouring, praising. This is the name of a Hindu ritual.

My father has a friend at t’ Masons called Teg, and it was during the setting up of Ladies Night that I discovered Teg to be a nickname for Tegfan, given his surname, Davies, I’m assuming it’s of Welsh origins.

And the final name spots this week come courtesy of a book by Chris d’Lacey, The Fire Within, he has a talent for naming dragons:

  • Gawain
  • Guinevere
  • Gwendolen
  • Gadzooks
  • Grace
  • Gruffen

I want to give a child the middle name Gadzooks, infact, I now have dibs on Gadzooks and Gawain (or rather, Gwaine); my sister and I have been name dibbing for the past few days, and I’m rather satisfied with my haul, which includes Rupert and Rosalinde, but unfortunately, I’ve had to let go of Josephine. Tis’ all in good spirits though, so I may still get her.

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