Posts Tagged With: Tommy

Barely Legal Drivers

Today I want to talk about a controversial BBC Three show thats recently finished it’s second series called Barely Legal Drivers. For those not familiar – and as the video above explains – the premise of the show is that various youngsters are lent the family car for the wee. Whilst they think they’re part of a show looking at modern life of young people in Britain, but actually they’re driving is scrutinised by their parents and ex-traffic officer Judith Roberts. There has been several cases of pretty shocking (and in more than a few, downright dangerous) driving in the series thus far (you can see some in the video), which has caused some controversy amongst the general British public.

Now, I’ve been watching the show with a bemused look on my face since I’m 20, and thus in the exact demographic for participants, however I hasten to add that unlike those on the show I do have my own little runaround (Gypsy, whom I’ve mentioned in passing before) and almost 3 years no claims bonus.

But we’re not here to snipe about others driving, but instead to look at the names, which also happen to be a look into the names of my own generation. Perhaps the most notable naming I’ve seen thus far on the show is a set of twins named Zahra and Farah. I think that it’s the first time I’ve seen the two names paired together, and I kinda loved it, despite the match-y-ness. The name Zahra (or Zara) almost certainly came into the English speaking world as an offshoot of Sarah, a name that comes from Hebrew and means princess. The name is also similar to Zahrah, an Arabic name that means blooming flower. The name Farah is Arabic in origin and means joy/delight.

Another set of twins that have appeared have less match-y names of James and Brian.

Another interesting fact is that there has been both a Chantal and Chantelle featured. The name Chantelle is a respelling of Chantal, which isn’t as modern as some may think: she comes from Old Provençal word cantal and means stone. The name Chantelle was #83 in 1994, but has fallen all the way to #750 since then. Ouch. It’s not much better for Chantal, who ranked at #571 in 1996 and now doesn’t even rank for 2013 (i.e. less than 3 girls were given the name). Clearly, the names are sadly past their best.

Another girl popped up with the name Dominique (using the nickname Dom). This is an interesting one for me to look at as I used to work with a girl my age with the same name, but at the same time the name appears to be more male-centric across the channel in France. Dominique is the French form of Dominic, which comes from Latin origins and means of the Lord. The name has fallen from #309 in 1996 to #2460 in 2013.

A young lad with the name Renaldo appears. Now, the name could be a respelling of the Portuguese name Ronaldo who ultimately comes from the Ragnvaldr (via Scottish name Ronald). The name is formed of two Old Norse elements:

  • regin, meaning might, counsel
  • valdr, meaning ruler

Many of the names on the show are what you might consider popular picks for my generation of youngsters born in the 90s, but have sadly fallen out of favour since.

Two examples of this are in Bradley and Dean. The former is a surname-turned-first name that means broad meadow. He’s fallen from #34 to #117 since 1994. Another name is Dean, who also comes from Old English and means valley. He’s had less staying power than Bradley, having fallen from #67 to #429 since 1994.

Nicknames – or what appears to be simply nicknames – appear frequently. A girl with the name Caz appears, with Caz being short for Caroline. I have a close friend who is also a Caroline nn Caz. Caroline was a Top 100 name from 1944 to 1984, but she’s fallen a long way since then, ranking at #733 in 2013. The name comes from the Karl family of names and so mean either man or woman, depending on whether you feel feminising the name means feminising the meaning.

There’s also an episode that features a Jamie and a Jessie. Now, Jessie is pretty certain to be actually a Jessica – a name that was #3 in 1994 and hasn’t strayed too far from that ranking since as in 2013 she came in at #6 in England&Wales. I might not be a fan myself, but the British public has for her to be a consistent Top 5 name for almost 20 years. That’s impressive.

The name Jessica was introduced to the British public by Shakespeare in Merchant of Venice, where he got the inspiration from a Biblical character called Iscah, who was also known as Jesca; the name means he beholds.

As for Jamie, he could actually be a James, a name that was #2 in 1994. However, Jamie ranked at #26, so it’s not so certain. The name James is Hebrew in origin and means supplanter.

A Tommy appears, and since Thomas was #1 in 1994, you could make an educated guess that he was born a Thomas – especially since Tommy didn’t enter the Top 100 until some 20 years later in 2011. The name Thomas is like Jessica in that with a 2013 rank of #6, he’s a long time keeper in the eyes of the British public; the name means twin.

Two final mentions go to Jac and Lauri, in which Jac is likely a respelling of Jack, and Lauri is most like a nickname for Laura.

Jack has been in the Top 3 since 1994, making him the ultimate male name of the past two decades in England&Wales, whereas meanwhile Jac has been hoovering around the 300 mark – and he’s currently at #350. Jack is a nickname of John and in 1984, the name John outranked Jack at #14 to #74 before Jack launched into his two decade long dominance; the names means Yahweh has favoured.

Laura was inside the Top 10 in 1994 at #9, and since then has fallen all the way to #146 with little signs of a reverse in fortune. The name comes from the Latin laurus and means bay tree. Whilst Lauri has hovered around the 3-baby-per-year mark, the spelling Laurie fares better at #910 for boys and #1360 for girls (both down from around the 500 mark in 1996).

All in all, the names are a little snapshot of the 20-somethings of today here in England&Wales, and that’s of personal interest to me as someone who grew up amongst them.

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Categories: Names from the Box | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

England&Wales 2011 Data: The Big Facts

Oliver and Olivia have officially been overtaken! The new #1s for England&Wales are Harry & Amelia!

Here are the key facts for you all:

  • Harry is up 1 place to  #1, whilst Oliver is now #2
  • Amelia is up 4 places to #1, whilst Olivia is now #2
  • George is out of the Top 10 and replaced by Jacob
  • Evie and Chloe are out of the Top 100 and replaced by Ava and Isabella
  • Lily replaced Ruby as the most popular name in Wales, whilst Oliver remains #1
  • The biggest riser was Jenson, up 27 places to #65
  • Other big climbers were Arthur, Dexter and Riley (boy).
  • Biggest fallers were Ben, Kyle, Cameron, Reece, Lewis & Owen
  • The biggest riser for girls was Eliza, up 31 places to #62
  • Other big climbers were Evelyn, Harriet and Sofia
  • Big fallers for girls were Caitlin, Katie, Keira, Tia and Lauren.

NEW TOP 100 NAMES

Elsie at #87; Bella at #69; Blake at #79; Elijah at #91; Francesca at #99;Frankie at #84 (boys); Jackson at #99; Kayla at #98; Lydia at #100; Tommy at #65; Willow at #75.

OUT OF THE TOP 100

Aidan, now at #101; Aimee, now at #104; Alexandra, now at #107; Bradley, now at #105; Brandon, now at #118; Kieran, now at #129; Laila, now at #124; Libby, now at #106; Maisy, now at #102; Sam, now at #112;Tilly, now at #103.

Not wanting to brag or anything, but I predicted the fall of Aimee, Alexandra and Libby here, and predicted Elsie gatecrashing the Top 100 here. 🙂

SEASONAL VARIATIONS

  • Harry was the most popular name for boys for 9 months in 2011
  • Oliver was the most popular name for boys in January, April & June
  • Olivia was the most popular name for girls in January, April, July & August
  • Lily was the most popular name for girls in February, March and May
  • 13 boys names were in the top 10 for at least one month during 2011, compared with 15 for girls
  • Holly was the second most popular name for girls during December, and fell to #54 in July
  • Summer peaked at #14 in August, and was as low as #71 in December

REGIONAL VARIATIONS

  • There are seven common names in the Top 10 for boys when you split the England&Wales data to English data and Welsh data, compared with 6 common names for girls.
  • Oliver is #1 in Wales, not Harry.
  • Riley, Ethan and Dylan are all in the Welsh Top 10
  • Seren, Ella, Mia and Megan are all in the English Top 10
  • Daniel and Isabella were #1 in London, where Harry was #6
  • Poppy was in the Top 10 in the South West at #9
  • Lucy was in the Top 10 in the North East at #10
  • Isla was in the Top 10 in the South East at #10
  • Both Mohammed and Muhammad were in the Top 10 in Yorkshire&the Humber, West Midlands & London
  • Riley was in the Top 10 at #10 in both Yorkshire&the Humber & East Midlands

Finally, a comment by ONS on the data:

There are a number of possible reasons why the popularity of baby names can change over time.
The popularity of names can be influenced by names of famous figures or current celebrities and
what they name their own babies. However, it is an individual choice which can be influenced by a
number of other factors such as the religious, cultural and/or ethnic identities of the parents or the
names of family, friends or fictional characters. As such, there is a great diversity of baby names. In
2011, there were 723,913 live births in England and Wales (ONS, 2012), with over 28,000 different
boys’ names and just over 35,000 different girls’ names registered. The top ten names only account
for 14 per cent of all names in 2011.

Oh, here is the new Top 100, including the change in rank since 2010:

1 HARRY 7,523 +2 AMELIA 5,054 +4
2 OLIVER 7,007 -1 OLIVIA 4,938 -1
3 JACK 6,844 -1 LILY 4,761 +1
4 ALFIE 5,524 JESSICA 3,984 +2
5 CHARLIE 5,516 EMILY 3,974 -2
6 THOMAS 5,353 SOPHIE 3,923 -4
7 JACOB 5,047 +5 RUBY 3,702
8 JAMES 4,945 +2 GRACE 3,691 +1
9 JOSHUA 4,786 -1 AVA 3,621 +2
10 WILLIAM 4,632 -3 ISABELLA 3,464 +2
11 ETHAN 4,581 +2 EVIE 3,385 -1
12 GEORGE 4,347 -3 CHLOE 3,347 -4
13 RILEY 4,226 +12 MIA 3,346
14 DANIEL 3,928 -3 POPPY 2,932 +2
15 SAMUEL 3,803 -1 ISLA 2,849 +7
16 NOAH 3,287 +2 ELLA 2,783 +2
17 OSCAR 3,251 +2 ISABELLE 2,719
18 JOSEPH 3,089 -3 SOPHIA 2,661 +9
19 MOHAMMED 3,054 -2 FREYA 2,619
20 MAX 3,043 +3 DAISY 2,458 -5
21 DYLAN 2,962 -5 CHARLOTTE 2,390 -1
22 MUHAMMAD 2,854 +9 MAISIE 2,230 -8
23 ALEXANDER 2,819 -2 LUCY 2,228 -2
24 ARCHIE 2,805 PHOEBE 2,008 +4
25 BENJAMIN 2,789 -3 SCARLETT 1,987 -1
26 LUCAS 2,716 -7 HOLLY 1,971 -1
27 LEO 2,664 +9 LILLY 1,950 +12
28 HENRY 2,625 +6 ELLIE 1,893 +1
29 JAKE 2,619 MEGAN 1,799 -6
30 LOGAN 2,549 -2 LAYLA 1,780 +14
31 TYLER 2,520 +1 LOLA 1,777 +2
32 JAYDEN 2,353 -6 IMOGEN 1,773 -6
33 ISAAC 2,352 +4 EVA 1,714 +4
34 FINLEY 2,245 +1 SUMMER 1,711 -4
35 MASON 2,171 +11 MILLIE 1,641 -3
36 RYAN 2,151 -6 SIENNA 1,585 +11
37 HARRISON 2,122 +5 ALICE 1,554 +6
38 ADAM 2,062 +1 ABIGAIL 1,493 -4
39 LEWIS 2,035 -12 ERIN 1,491 -4
40 EDWARD 1,935 +3 LACEY 1,475 -4
41 LUKE 1,830 -3 HANNAH 1,462 -10
42 FREDDIE 1,819 +3 JASMINE 1,429 -1
43 MATTHEW 1,743 -2 FLORENCE 1,406 +11
44 LIAM 1,690 -11 ELIZABETH 1,396 +5
45 ZACHARY 1,664 +6 LEXI 1,324 +1
46 CALLUM 1,580 -6 MOLLY 1,322 -4
47 SEBASTIAN 1,493 +11 SOFIA 1,249 +15
48 CONNOR 1,471 -4 MATILDA 1,225 +5
49 JAMIE 1,445 EMMA 1,221 -1
50 THEO 1,407 BROOKE 1,216 -5
51 TOBY 1,389 +3 AMY 1,213 -13
52 HARVEY 1,388 -5 AMBER 1,201
53 MICHAEL 1,364 GRACIE 1,162 -2
54 NATHAN 1,319 -6 AMELIE 1,128 +1
55 HARLEY 1,308 +2 ROSIE 1,124 +4
56 KAI 1,211 LEAH 1,120 -6
57 DAVID 1,163 +7 KATIE 1,105 -17
58 AARON 1,147 -3 MAYA 1,072 -1
59 ALEX 1,129 -7 ELEANOR 1,049 +2
60 CHARLES 1,090 +2 GEORGIA 1,022 -4
61 AIDEN 1,077 +5 EMILIA 1,007 +10
62 LEON 1,069 -2 ELIZA 955 +31
63 MOHAMMAD 1,037 +4 FAITH 914 +2
64 LUCA 982 +6 BETHANY 913 -5
65 TOMMY 980 +91* EVELYN 871 +22
66 FINLAY 967 +2 ISABEL 857 -8
67 JENSON 966 +29 ANNA 827 -4
68 ARTHUR 961 +14 HOLLIE 825 +1
68 LOUIS 961 +1 BELLA 823 +35*
70 RHYS 946 -5 PAIGE 811 -7
71 OWEN 943 -12 HARRIET 809 +15
72 REUBEN 941 -1 ESME 797 +2
73 OLLIE 933 -10 ZARA 790 +3
74 LOUIE 887 LEXIE 788 -6
75 GABRIEL 874 +3 WILLOW 772 +37*
76 BOBBY 869 +7 ROSE 764 +14
77 CAMERON 848 -16 MADISON 760 -10
78 DEXTER 833 +20 JULIA 759 -1
79 BLAKE 831 +26* ANNABELLE 758 +10
80 STANLEY 824 +8 ISOBEL 754 -5
81 KIAN 800 -9 NIAMH 733 -3
82 EVAN 770 -6 MADDISON 731 -1
83 JUDE 764 +3 MARTHA 723 +2
84 FRANKIE 756 +24* SKYE 717 -11
85 ELLIOT 755 LAUREN 710 -15
86 HAYDEN 747 -6 CAITLIN 708 -20
87 ASHTON 727 -10 ELSIE 699 +21*
88 JOEL 712 -7 KEIRA 693 -16
89 CALEB 709 -2 REBECCA 693 -6
90 BAILEY 704 -11 SARAH 663 -7
91 ELIJAH 701 +29* HEIDI 652 +2
92 TAYLOR 696 +5 ZOE 649 -8
93 ROBERT 694 -3 MARIA 628 -2
94 KAYDEN 686 +5 MARYAM 616 +5
95 KYLE 683 -21 AISHA 613 +1
96 FREDERICK 669 -1 TIA 613 -16
97 BEN 667 -24 NICOLE 605 -5
98 REECE 656 -14 KAYLA 604 +21*
99 JACKSON 647 +40* FRANCESCA 602 +3*
100 JOHN 645 -6 LYDIA 589 +7*
Categories: Popularity | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spot of the Week: Rugrats

My younger sister has recently taken up watching Rugrats like there’s no tomorrow, and this has caused me to rethink the name Angelica after a rude-reminder of just how mean the character is.

Sad days.

That said, are you aware of the names of Tommy’s maternal grandparents? They’re Boris and Minka, and I’m developing a serious love of the name Minka in all her Eastern-European charm. The same charm new-favourite Mila has.

The name of Tommy’s paternal grandparents are even more wonderful: Beatrix and Louis, known as Trixie and Lou and the latter is the Grandpa character seen in most episodes. He remarried a lady named Louise ‘Lulu’ at the beginning of the Rugrats in Paris film. Then there is Susie’s mother, Luciell ‘Lucy’.

Clearly, there’s a lot of love for the name Lou in the Rugrats, and that rocks.

I can’t avoid the O word for long, and someone I want to talk about is a Judo gold medallist. Remember how I mentioned the name Pasha a week or two ago? The man who picked up the medal was called Lasha Shavdatuashvili and he hails from Georgia. That’s the country, not the state. Lasha is the name of a place east of the Dead Sea in the Bible.

To end, a new virtue name?

Pride the Lion

Or just a tad bit too much?

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

John Smith

He’s the nom de plume of Doctor Who, and he’s also the man opening the London Olympics tonight:

Well, maybe not 😉

As it so happens, the guy whose hands wave around at the beginning, and voice exclaims John Smith nearer the end is Osama from yesterday. This video was filmed by me at the technical rehearsal on Wednesday, and look out for the exploding balloons in the bottom right hand corner. I’m still impressed with my luck of getting a practically front row ticket too 🙂

The name John Smith is in theory one of the most popular names out there, given that Smith is one of the most popular surnames in the English speaking world and the name John having centuries of popularity under his belt.

Perhaps in these more modern days, here in the UK he would actually be Jack Smith instead – especially for the under 20s given that Jack reigned as the most popular name in England&Wales from 1996-2008.

The name is often used as a generic name to represent the everyday man, given the commonplace of both names.

An interesting exchange in Doctor Who sums the attitude to this name up nicely for me, when the Doctor gives his name as John Smith to a character, who retorts along the lines that nobody’s called that anymore.

One could see this as hinting towards a drive many parents have these days for a more unique name.

It’s also worth talking about the phenomena of the slightly different Alan Smithee. This was the official name used in films by directors who had disowned the film, and thus didn’t want their name in the credits. It was coined in 1968 and discontinued in 2000.

The downfall of the name has often been attributed to a film released in 1997 called An Alan Smithee: Burn Hollywood Burn. It is regarded as one of the worst films of all time, and thus brought harsh negative publicity towards the name Alan Smithee.

Other names like this include the name Joe Bloggs/Fred Bloggs, often used the the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and John Doe, the USA and Canadian equivalent. In both cases, the surnames are more distinctive, whilst the first names remain popular picks.

Other cultural versions of these names include:

  • Israel Israeli, israel
  • Jan Kowalski, poland
  • Jean Dupont, france
  • Jonas&Petras, lithuania
  • Luther Blissett, artists and activists in Europe and America
  • Matti & Maija Meikäläinen, finland
  • Max & Erika Mustermann, germany
  • Medel-Svensson, sweden
  • Ola & Kari Nordmann, norway
  • Seán Ó Rudaí (Sean O’Something), ireland
  • Tadhg an mhargaidh (Tadhg of the markplace), irish version of Average Joe
  • Tauno Tavallinen, finland
  • Tommy Atkins, the British army (dates from the World Wars)

I don’t suppose anyone actually knows a John Smith?

Categories: Olympics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Spot of the Week: Eurovision

Did you see who won Eurovision? It was Sweden’s entry, a young lass named Loreen. Now, here’s what I found fascinating: Loreen is her stage name, whilst her real name is Lorine. I’m guessing she altered the spelling to avoid potential pronunciation issues, much like Mika was originally Mica. You know the other thing that had me humming? Euphoria, the title of her winning song. What with Euphemia and co. getting interest, I can’t help but think that Euphoria would make for a quirky middle name.

Aside from Eurovision, I went to see Men in Black 3 on Saturday night. The thing to note? There’s a character in the new film called Griffin, often referred to in the film as Griff. I really liked the character, and my sister, naturally, hated him.

Going back to Eurovision ever so briefly (I’m currently mapping out other Eurovision-related posts as we speak so expect even more on this subject), I just couldn’t NOT mention this guy, of whom those who either couldn’t bear to watch the frankly corrupt voting, or had simply gone to bed may have missed in the festivities:

He was the spokesperson for Finland’s results, and he won Eurovision himself in 2006. Known mostly by his stage name Mr. Lordi, his actual name is Tomi Petteri. All of a sudden, the name Tommy no longer seems infantile…

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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

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