Posts Tagged With: Willa

Homestyle Names

Nothing is more homely than a good brew, snapped by me in Covent Garden.

Not content with having a gazillion different blogs to read new posts on a regular basis, I’ve recently taken a delve into vlogs as well.

One video that really caught my eye was by littlelunaful, who is a northern lass a few years younger than me. She talked about what she described as homestyle names, defining them as being comforting, familiar, informal and simple. I must say I found myself really liking some of the names she placed in this category. The names she selected for her list included:




















Admittedly, I found the male names a more eclectic list than the female one, but it’s a good collection of names nevertheless. Of course, I couldn’t resist coming up with my own ideas of names which one could consider homestyle:














Anyone care to suggest others?

Categories: Name Themes/Styles, Name Trends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Weekend Post: The World Beyond Ella Pt.II


Kala and Tarzan, from

As previously mentioned, I’m not a big fan of the name Ella, but I do find myself fond of several similar names to her. A few weeks ago, I wrote Pt.I of this series which discussed names similar to Ella, in that they too began with the letters El. It therefore seems apt to devote Pt.II of this series to names which end -la, as Ella does.

But this could get a little complicated since many -la names are also -ella names. Think Gabriella, Arabella and so forth, so I’ve resolved this by excluding all such from this list for fear of clutter. It’s not exactly the perfect solution, but frees me up to devote more time to other -la names worthy of attention. This is by no means a complete list, rather a selection of familiar and less-familiar names which end in -la, you may also query as to whether some could truly be alternatives to Ella, but that isn’t really the aim of this post. The aim is to explore names with similar characteristics to Ella, which are of the following do have:

Alaula – Hawaiian name meaning either sunset glow or light of the dawn.

Beulah – Biblical name meaning married. There’s a similar looking name, Betula, which comes from Latin and means birch.

Calendula – A botanical name for the English marigold.

Casmilla – A variant of the name Camilla. There’s also the name Milla, which is a short form of the latter name.

Carla/Carola – Both originally derive from the name Charles, which means man.

Delilah – Biblical name means delicate, weak and thin.

Embla – A name from Norse Mythology, where Embla was the name of the first human female, formed from an elm tree.

Fionnuala – Irish name meaning white shoulder. Variations include Fionnghuala, Finnguala, Finuall and, sigh, Fenella. She also shortens to Nuala, noo-la.

Iola – Likely to be a variation of the name Iole, which is a Greek name meaning violet. The name Viola is worth a mention here, too, alongside the Romanian name Viorel which also means violet.

Kala – Hawaiian version of Sarah, and a Sanskrit name meaning art form, virtue. Also the name of Tarzan’s mother in the Disney film.

Kamala – Sanskrit name meaning lotus.

Lila – She means play in Sanskrit, but may also be taken as a variation of either Leila or Lily. Lila is also the German word for purple. Slightly similar, but not entirely ending -la is the name Lillai, which is a Romani name meaning spring and summer.

Lola – Spanish pet-form of the name Dolores, which means sorrows.

Nahla – Arabic name meaning either drink or bee.

Orla – Also spelt Órlaith. She’s an Irish name meaning golden ruler – I sometimes see the meaning is altered to golden princess.

Perla – Italian form of the name Pearl

Petula – An elaboration of the name Petal, notably seen on British singer Petula Clark.

Thekla – Contracted form of the name Theoclea, which means God’s glory.

Theophila – Feminine form of the name Theophilus, which means friend of God.

Tuathla – Old Irish name meaning ruler of the people. Sometimes seen anglicised to Tuala.

Tula – Sanskrit name meaning balance, scales and likeness.

Twyla – Of uncertain origins, but she has been linked to the name Étoile and Twilight as possibly being an offshoot of either of them. Also spelt Twila.

Ursula – Latin name meaning bear.

Vela – The name of a constellation, originally part of Argo Navis which was later divided into three pieces, creating Vela, Carina and Puppis.

Willa – Feminine form of the name William.

Categories: Alternative Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 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.


Alfie James Olly
Eloise Nina Polly
Evie Meggie Ruby
Isabella Maggie Susanna


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


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


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


Bea Jack Molly
Becky Jake Sarah
Ben Jessica Stanley
Erin Matthew Thomas
Felicia Noah William


Charlotte Joel Charlotte
Emily Joshua Quinn
Emmy Matthew Rowan
Frank Melody Winnie
Hattie Niall Zach
James Noor  
Categories: Real Babies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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.

Categories: Girl Names, Nicknames | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Crazy Brits

Let’s indulge ourselves with a litte name spotting in the London Birth Announcements, notable names are in bold, siblings in brackets:

Alexandra Charlotte Ozanne, (Isabelle)

Alice Dhanlaxmi

Amelia Jonquil Angharad

Amélie India Lucy, (William)

Beau Vivienne, (Ada Rose)

Celia Jane Vanessa, (Dougal)

Charlotte Carol Jane, (Oscar)

Darcey Carmen Rose, (Theo)

Ellen Andrea Maria

Florence Iona Emily Peel, (Isla and Willa)

Isla Aris

Henrietta Philippa Rose, (Annelies and Martha)

Iona Kathryn, (Imogen May)

Iris Arabella, (Katinka)

Isla Katherine

Isobelle Susannah

Jemima and Willa, twins

Katinka Alice Belsham, (Bella and Freddie)

Katinka Lily

Liberty Valentina Vaughan

Louisa Jane, Alistair

Mair ‘Polly’ Elisabeth Patricia, (Florence)


Martha Maud, (Guy)

Martha Sophie Poppy, (Tilly and Olive)

Mary Beatrice Rose

Mary Constance, (Elsa and George)

Molly Elizabeth Sarah

Molly Juliet

Nancy Rebecca, (Lily)

Nancy Rose

Octavia, (Claudia)

Sadie Francesca

Soma Isis, (Seth and Saul)

Tessa Charlotte Jane, (Isabelle and Eliza)

Tessa Honor Bruce, (Tamsin and Jemima)

Willa Victoria Joanna Rees, (Hamish)

Zinnia Alice Victoria

Alasdair James Dudley

Alexander George Walter Halley, (Serena)

Archie Geoffrey

Arthur John Christopher, (Thady)

Caspar Anthony Wallace

Freddie Samuel, (Jack and Georgia)

George Alfred Beresford

George James Sherlock

George Raffles Tyndale

Griffyd Hunter Heber

Hector David

Henry Arthur Bromhead, (Jenkyn)

Henry Leonidas Tiberius, (Mark and Rupert)

James Luigi Wood, (Johnny)

Jasper Florian

Lawrence Happy John Owen, (Minnie Love and Heidi Sunshine)

Luke Christopher Æneas, (Angus, Orlando and Cosmo)

Oscar Gürsel

Oscar Jack Peter, (Kit and Jemima)

Peter Jack, Angus

Raphael Willam, (Isabella Flora and Lochlann James)

Rudy Felix James, (Olly and Chloe)

Tarka Alexander Arthur

Tobias Tarquin

Thomas Douglas Marinho

Wilbur Clement, (Patti Plum)

My favourite sibset? It has to be Lawrence Happy, Minnie Love and Heidi Sunshine.

Categories: London Telegraph Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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