Posts Tagged With: William

Sibset of the Week: The Burnses

via wikipedia.org

via wikipedia.org

A few weeks ago I spent some time in Ayrshire during the Commonwealth Games, and this week’s family hails from that very part of the world and seemed a fitting way to end the unofficial ‘Scottish Week’ we’ve had going on.

Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns is one of the most noted poets to hail from Scotland, and indeed is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. As well as writing in English, he also wrote works in the Scots language, being one of the best known poets to do so. In 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV. His family therefore seemed an obvious choice to round off this week.

First, let’s take a look at Rabbie’s own family. He was the eldest son of William Burness and Agnes Brown:

Robert (1759-1796)

Gilbert (1760-1827)

Agnes (1762-1834)

Annabella (1764-1832) (I’ve also seen her name listed as Arabella, the Scottish form of Annabella)

William (1767-1790)

John (1769-1785)

Isabella (1771-1858)

All the names are pretty typical 18th century names, although the one that I took note of is Gilbert, since I’ve never covered the name on the blog. He’s a Germanic name that means bright pledge.

Then we have the children of Rabbie Burns who, unless noted, are also the child of Rabbie’s wife, Jean Armour.

Elizabeth ‘Bess’ (1785) by Elizabeth Paton

Robert (1786, twin of Jean)

Jean (1786, twin of Robert)

Unnamed twin daughter (1788)

Unnamed twin daughter (1788)

Robert (1788) by Janet Clow

Francis Wallace (1789)

William Nicol (1791)

Elizabeth ‘Betty’ (1791) by Ann Park

Elizabeth Riddell (1792)

James Glencairn (1794)

Maxwell (1796)

There are some pretty interesting middle names here: Nicol; Glencairn; and Riddell. I seem to recall reading somewhere that Nicol comes from a friend of Rabbie Burns’, so it could be logical to assume the same for the other two.

Maxwell is interesting to me, because he appears in several popular PC games: Scribblenauts as the primary playing character; Don’t Starve as the antagonist; and partially in the Max Payne games as the titular character. Maxwell also happens to be the codename of a Nvidia graphics processing unit (GPU).

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

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.

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Downton Abbey of Names Pt. II

Sceneshot from Downton Abbey, from guim.co.uk

Yesterday we talked about the family of the Earl of Grantham from the surprise hit show Downton Abbey. We’re continuing in a similar thread by today looking at the staff of the household. For those wondering, there will be a part III, which I’ll put off until next week to allow you time to recover; that post in question will be looking at the recurring cast of the show.

However, first, we introduced Pt.I with a mention of the creator of the show, Julian Fellowes. It seems fair, therefore to start this post by talking about Shelagh Stevenson who is one of the main writers for the show. Shelagh is likely to be a variant spelling of the name Sheila. The name Sheila herself derives from the Irish name Síle, which is the Irish form of the name Celia; follow that further and you get to Cecilia, which derives from Latin and means blind.

But now, let’s begin with the gentlemen, and the first one to mention is Charles Carson, who is played by Jim Carter. What’s interesting about both men is that their surnames have seen use as first names.

Charles is usually taken as being the English and French form of the German name Karl, which means man. On the other hand, the name Carson is likely of Irish origins, but his exact meaning remains unclear. In 2010, Charles ranked at #62 for boys in England&Wales, whilst Carson ranked at #503.

The name Jim is usually a short form of James – a name which means supplanter. The surname Carter alludes to one who uses a cart. Whilst James ranked at #10 in 2010, Jim ranked at #1620 with just 14 born; he was outranked by both Jimmy (#307) and Jimi (#942).

The actor Jim Carter is married to the rather delightful Imelda Staunton who played Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films. Imelda’s middle names are Mary, Philomena and Bernadette.

Starting at the start of her name and working through in order, we first have Imelda which is both the Spanish and Italian form of the German name Irmhilde, which is derived from the Germanic elements:

  • ermen, meaning whole
  • hilta, meaning battle
We spoke in depth about Mary yesterday, and Philomena is derived from Greek and means friend of strength or loved. As an aside, the word filomena was once used in Italian and Spanish medieval poetry whereon it took the meaning of nightingale. Finally, the name Bernadette is the French feminine form of Bernard, which can be taken to mean brave bear.
In terms of ranking, both Imelda and Philomena failed to achieve a place in the England&Wales data, thus less than 3 were born in 2010. The name Mary ranked at #213, whilst Bernadette was way down at #2235 – with just 11 of ’em born.

What’s more, together the couple have a daughter named Bessie, which is one of the many offshoots of Elizabeth, another name we discussed yesterday.

Moving on we have the character John Bates, who is played by actor Brendan Coyle. The name John means Yahweh is gracious, whilst Brendan could derive from the Welsh brenin, which means king.

We then have the character of Thomas Barrow, who is played by actor Robert James-Collier. The name Thomas is another popular choice – he currently ranks at #6 –  but no doubt many will be unaware that he means twin. Once more, we mentioned Robert yesterday – but in a nutshell the name Robert means bright fame.

The last male staff member we should mention in this post is William Mason. He is played by Thomas Howes. The name William derives from two Germanic elements:

  • vilja, meaning will
  • helm, meaning helmet
The name Mason is simply a word name, in terms of a builder, although many refer to the Freemasons as simply Masons as well.

Moving on to the female members of the staff, we start with Elsie Hughes, played by actress Phyllis Margaret Logan. The name Elsie is the second name we’ve come across in this post alone which derives as a short form of Elizabeth. The name Phyllis we very recently mentioned in a post on old people names, and if you missed it, the name means leaf/leaves/foliage. I’m pretty sure we mentioned Margaret as well in Pt.II, although I will tell you that she means pearl.

Moving slightly away from the Yorkshire home of Downton Abbey, the actress Phyllis Logan was born in Paisley which I’ve recently seen considered for/given to girls. As well as being a place name, it is also the name for a pattern which derived from the town of the same name; Paisley is closely associated with Scotland. The origins of the name Paisley likely lie in the Irish word baslec, which means church. And as for Logan, it heralds from Ireland and means hollow.

Our second female member of staff is Sarah O’Brien, who is played by Siobhan Finneran. The name Sarah is well known to mean princess in Hebrew, whilst Siobhan is the Irish Gaelic form of the name Jane/Joan, both of which derive from the name John we we’ve already mentioned above.

The actress Siobhan is married to one Mark Jordan and together they have two children: Joseph and Poppy – two more names we’ve mentioned recently, but in two different posts. Joseph came up yesterday, whilst Poppy came up last week. The meaning of Poppy is clear, and she ranks at #16. The name Joseph means he will add, and the name ranks at a pretty similar #15.

Next we have Anna Smith who is played by Joanne Froggatt. The name Anna is usually taken as being derived from Ann, whilst Ann herself is usually taken to come from Hannah – which would therefore mean that the name means grace. Joanne is a variant of Joan, mentioned above.

Still with me? Gwen Dawson is one of the household’s housemaids along with Ethel Parks. Gwen is a delightful Welsh name and female form of Gwyn – but she is often seen as a nickname for Gwendolen or even Guinevere. The name Gwyn means white, pure, blessed. Then we have Ethel, which appeared in the same post as the aforementioned Phyllis. The name Ethel derives from Old English and means noble.

As for the actresses, Gwen is played by Rose Eleanor Leslie and Ethel is played by Amy Nuttall. When it comes to the former, both her first and middle names are in the England&Wales Top 100: Rose at #90 and Eleanor at #61. The name Leslie started off life as a Scottish surname, and thus probably derives from Scottish gaelic and means garden holly. Once upon a time, the name Leslie was all-boy. It’s worth noting however that in 2010, there were only 8 girls called Lesley born – and not enough girls named Leslie for that particular spelling to rank. However, on the other side of the fence, 10 male Leslies were born in England&Wales.

One of our last characters to mention is Beryl Patmore, who is played by Lesley Nicol. The name Beryl coincides with the name of a precious gem and just 6 girls were given the name in 2010.

And last, but by no means least, we have Daisy Robinson, played by actress Sophie McShera. Both names are quite popular these days in England&Wales: Daisy ranks at #15 and Sophie ranks at #2. The name Sophie comes from Greek and means wisdom.

 

Categories: Names from the Box | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Chatsworth House of Names

Chatsworth House, from toffsmen.com

You’d think, given that I’ve spent the last fortnight in the USA that I’d want to talk more about American names. It seems not because Chatsworth House is on my mind, which is one of the closest stately homes to me. It also happens to be home to the 12th Duke of Devonshire and some of the fascinating names you’d expect from the aristocracy.

First, a moment to mention that no, I haven’t quietly moved south. Chatsworth House is in North Derbyshire, but like many rich families, the Cavendishs bought the title Duke of Devonshire in 1616 from James I. The first, William, reportedly paid in the region of £10,000 for it.

But, back to the modern day crop of the family and we’ll start with the eldest living tier. Or, we would do, except Nook has already spoken about the Mitford sisters of which the youngest, Deborah ‘Debo’, is the mother of the current Duke. With Andrew Cavendish, 11th Duke of Devonshire, she actually had several offspring, including:

  • Mark
  • Emma
  • Peregrine
  • Victor
  • Mary
  • Sophia

Since Mark died shortly after birth it is her second son who is the current (12th) Duke of Devonshire: Peregrine Andrew Morny. He took the title in 2004 following the death of his father. Deborah, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire is still around, though.

The name Peregrine comes from Latin and means traveller – rather setting me on the thought train of ‘Wow! Wouldn’t Beatrix and Peregrine work well together?’. Those feeling in the dark, Beatrix could come from the Late Latin name Viatrix which means means voyager, albeit with influence from the Latin word beatus, meaning blessed.

Morny is an interesting choice, with aristocratic links. French ones, though, as there was once a Duc de Morny. It’s after him that the horse race, Prix Morny, is named since he was a great lover of the sport.

As for Peregrine, Duke of Devonshire, he married a lady named Amanda on 28 June 1967 and together they have three children:

William ‘Bill’

Celina

Jasmine

The youngest, Jasmine, was born in 1975, a whole 17 years prior to Aladdin being released in 1992 – a film often associated with the popularity of the name. Then we have Celina, which isn’t all that dissimilar to a rather more modern-day Disney-associated name: Selena, as in, Selena Gomez whom appears in Wizard of Waverley Place – she herself was named after the Mexican singer.
As for their third child, should William become the 13th Duke of Devonshire, he’ll be the 8th Duke to bear the name William. Infact, it was an unbroken chain of Williams from the 1st to the 7th, a pattern broken by Spencer, 8th Duke of Devonshire. This is because his elder brother, William, died young. The 10th Duke’s eldest son was also called William, but he was killed in WWI before the death of his father, hence stopping him from becoming the 11th Duke of Devonshire, which then passed onto the aformentioned Andrew.
Moving onto the youngest generation, William currently has two children with his wife, Laura:
  • Maud
  • James
Maud is certainly one of those names I can see more and more people using – the popular name Madison means son of Maud (Maud as a nickname for Madison? Probably too different in style – no?).  Maud herself is a medieval form of Matilda. Personally, I feel myself leaning towards Maud with an e: Maude and I love the idea of using her with something overly girly: Maude Eulalie; Maude Felicity; Maude Cecily, to name just a few.
Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 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.

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Decade Snapshot 1930s/A-Z

Fry's Dainties, from pzrservices.typepad.com

Following on from our 1920s name list, here are the top names for each letter in the US Top 1000 of 1930.

A – Arthur and Alice

B – Billy and Betty

C – Charles and Catherine

D – Donald and Dorothy

E – Edward and Elizabeth

F – Frank and Frances

G – George and Gloria

H – Harold and Helen

I – Ira and Irene

J – James and Joan

K – Kenneth and Kathleen

L – Louis and Lois

M – Marvin and Mary

N – Norman and Nancy

O – Oscar and Opal

P – Paul and Patricia

Q – Quentin and Queen

R – Robert and Ruth

S – Stanley and Shirley

T – Thomas and Thelma

U – Ulysses. No female.

V – Vernon and Virginia

W – William and Wanda

X – none.

Y – Yvonne. No male.

Z – Zane and Zelma

 

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Decade Snapshot 1920s/A-Z

Occasionally, I find a need to peruse some data. Here is the product of just that. I looked at the Top 1000 for the USA from 1920 and created this list. Out of the Top 1000 names on the 1920 name list, this is a list of the name that appears first with each beginning letter.

A – Arthur and Anna

B – Bernard and Betty

C – Charles and Catherine

D – Donald and Dorothy

E – Edward and Elizabeth

F – Frank and Frances

G – George and Gladys

H – Harold and Helen

I – Irving and Irene

J – John and Josephine

K – Kenneth and Katherine

L – Louis and Lillian

M – Michael and Mary

N – Norman and Norma

O – Oscar and Opal

P – Paul and Pauline

Q – Quentin and Queen

R – Robert and Ruth

S – Stanley and Sarah

T – Thomas and Thelma

U – Ulysses and Una

V – Vernon and Virginia

W – William and Willie

X – N/A

Y – Yoshio and Yvonne

Z – Zach and Zelma

Categories: 1920s Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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