Posts Tagged With: Zephyr

Surprise Time

Myleene Klass with daughters Ava and Hero, from newsmediaimages.com

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.

Categories: Celeb Baby Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Walking in the Air

Screenshot from The Snowman, from therugbyblog.co.uk

Christmas is coming, and I’ve been tossing and turning about whether or not to do a themed post. I’ve buckled, but predictably, I’m approaching this rather differently to how most would.

Ever heard of the phenomenal TV film The Snowman? It airs every Christmas here in the UK since 1982 and is based on the book of the same name by Raymond Briggs. I love The Snowman, and am completely gutted I won’t be able to watch it this year since I’ll be in the States for Christmas (more on that on Thursday). Quite frankly, it rocks. It also spawned a classic Christmas song: Walking in the Air – which was quite brilliantly parodied by Irn Bru a few Christmas’ ago with them flying over Scotland rather than Brighton:

It’s such a pretty little song, much better than most of the dreary stuff churned out each year – I’ve heard that Geraldine McQueen song three times today and am close to the edge.

Christmas names are an interesting topic for me, since I was due on Christmas Eve – but turned up fashionably late and ruined a midwife’s party dress. I could’ve been one of the many December babies named Holly each year (In December 2010, the most popular girls name was Holly, 440 born compared to the 416 born to the name Olivia), but my parents opted against it. This doesn’t bother me one bit, but it’s fun to speculate on the what-ifs.

Since the song is titled Walking in the Air, I thought it apt to talk names relating to the air – especially since we’ve focused heavily on birds names of late. Let me make this clear: if you don’t want to name your child after a bird, there are still plenty of options out there.

We’ll start with the French. Many children dream of flying, and that’s exactly what the Snowman and the boy do in the film whilst the song is playing. You probably know by now that the French word for butterfly is Papillon, but have you ever considered Libellule? It’s the French word for dragonfly, and I’m quickly falling in love with the idea of using is as a name. The French say: LEE-buh-lool. If you don’t like that, a few fellow Continent-dwellers to the French have their take on the word (all meaning dragonfly):

  • German: Libelle
  • Italian: Libellula
  • Spanish: Libélula

If you ever wish to find an alternative to Liberty which could legitimately shorten to Libby, look no further than here m’dears. It’s also befitting of the Bella trend, which may or may not have been catalysed by Twilight. I’d rather not get into that debate right now, because it would take over this post very quickly.

Going off on a tangent I once more dip my toes into the mystical and unknown world to me of music. There’s a class of intruments called Woodwind, or Wind, instruments and there’s two notable names to mention to you.

The first is Reed. In woodwind instruments, specifically clarinets, oboes and duduks, the player blows in order to cause a reed in the intrument to vibrate, which in turn causes vibrations in the air. The second potential name to consider is Bell. The bell of a woodwind instrument is the round, flared opening opposite the mouthpiece.

Of course, the really easy place to find inspiration is in the many Gods et al associated with the wind. The obvious one I’m seeing batted around more and more is Zephyr – inspired by the name of the Greek God of the west wind. You may be wondering that if there was a God of the west wind, then logic follows there must too be Gods of the north, south and east wind? You’d be right.

The collective name for these Gods is the Anemoi, and the Roman equivalent is Venti (note: the French word for wind is le vent). The Greek God of the north wind is Boreas, and he’s also said to be the bringer of winter. He also had a close association with horses. Boreas had two sons and two daughters:

  • Calais
  • Zethes
  • Khione (Goddess of snow)
  • Cleopatra

His Roman equivalent was called Aquilo.

The God of the south wind is Notus, who was feared for being destroyer of crops. You may find Notus a little too much, but his Roman equivalent was named Auster – which seems like a name truly fit for the modern mama: Part Austin; part Alistair and just a wee bit like Oscar.

Finally, the God of the east wind was callewd Eurus, and this was considered the unlucky wind. He was thought to bring both warmth and rain. His Roman equivalent? Vulturnus. Now, Eurus may not be as unusable as you may think since their is a legit welsh name Euros to contend with. If I’m honest, I only really know this due to Doctor Who – which has had episodes directed by one Euros Lyn. There is the niggling issue of the so-called Eurozone crisis, with people increasing shrieking that the currency of Europe – the euros – could collapse. The Welsh name Euros is often associated with aur – meaning gold. Of course, the chemical symbol for gold is Au.

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

Straining Bookshelfs

The Thief Lord cover, from amazon.com

One of the best places to root around for names inspirations is books. The fictional world is where anything goes really – I once read a book named Storm’s Child where the main characters were called Rail (male) and Moa (female). Whilst I never got into Garth Nix’s main successes, I did love his book Shade’s Children – where the main characters were called Drum (male), Gold-Eye (male), Ninde (female) and Ella. Eoin Colfer once wrote a book called Supernaturalist, with characters Cosmo, Stefan and Mona. I digress, I read too much as a mid-teen and now my bookshelfs strain under the weight of all the books I own.

Since both Abby and Elea have both covered names of fictional characters this week in their own ways, I’m instead going to bring you inspiration from the names of the author’s which I read back when every waking moment of my life curled up with a book, along with the name of one of my favourite titles by them and some names from said title:

Benjamin Zephaniah (Teacher DeadJackson)

Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is his full name, and I’m in awe of the mix of styles he’s been bestowed. I’ve met two young Zeph’s recently – one was a Zephyr and twin of Asher, whilst the other was a Zephaniah.TV’s Julia Bradbury welcomed a son named Zephyr earlier on this year in August.

The name Benjamin is of Hebrew origins and means son of the south/right hand, whilst Zephaniah is also of Hebrew origins and means Yahweh has hidden. For the sake of completion, Zephyr means west wind, whilst Asher means happy or blessed.

And a quick breakdown of each name’s popularity in 2010 in England&Wales:

Benjamin Zephaniah Zephyr Asher
Rank 22 1407 3332 364
Births 3005 17 5 112

Blue Balliett (Chasing VermeerPetra and Calder)

Balliett purposefully chose unusually names, believing that’s exactly what would appeal to her readers. When I initially read Chasing Vermeer about 3 years ago I didn’t like the name Petra all that much, but she’s grown on me. She’s the female form of Peter, which means rock, although the character was named with reference to the ancient city of Petra and as part of family naming tradition.

Now, for some hard data from the 2010 data for England&Wales. Blue doesn’t rank for girls (the author is female), but does for the boys:

Blue Calder Petra
Rank 1801 n/a 1472
Births 12 n/a 20

Cornelia Funke (The Thief LordProsper, Boniface ‘Bo’, Scipio, Esther and Ida)

I adore the name Prosper, and it’s from this book that my love for him was first sparked. I acknowledge that Funke’s other work, the Inkheart trilogy, is better known, but this one has a special place in my heart.

As for the name of the author, first we must note that the author is German, and then note the name is the female form of the Latin name Cornelius. The name comes from the Latin element cornu, which means horn. 4 girls were named Cornelia in 2010 in England&Wales, putting it at #4688. On the flip side, 6 lads were named Cornelius last year, and thus at a ranking of #2941. And for the names of her characters I mentioned above? (The ranking for Bo is the male ranking)

Prosper Boniface Scipio
Rank n/a n/a n/a
Birth n/a n/a n/a
Esther Ida Bo
Rank 156 878 1483
Birth 334 40 16

Cressida Cowell (How To Speak DragoneseHiccup, Fishlegs and Camicazi)

I know that I’m probably too old for Cowell’s books these days, but I am still eagerly awaiting the next installment of the Hiccup franchise next month (the film adaption of the first book dissolved me into tears-the only film to ever do so). I love the name Cressida, and she’s the medieval form of another name I love: Chryseis and also means gold. In Greek legend, Chryseis was the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo. Since Hiccup and friends don’t rank, but Cressida does at #4688, with 4 births – same as Cornelia.

Enid Blyton (The Mystery of the Burnt CottageFrederick ‘Fatty’, Margaret ‘Daisy’, Lawrence ‘Larry’, Philip ‘Pip’ and Elizabeth ‘Bets’)

Enid is almost synonymous nowadays with the author, and the name comes from Welsh and means either soul or life. As an author, she chose rather classic names, all of which are not as popular nowadays as they were back when the books were first published, the one mentioned above came out in 1943:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
Rank 2104 95 355
Births 12 688 117
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
Rank 296 505 49
Births 152 80 1356

Compare the rankings of 2010 with that of 1934 when  all six names were in the Top 100:

Enid Frederick Lawrence
1934 68 24 72
2010 2104 95 355
Philip Margaret Elizabeth
1934 56 1 14
2010 296 505 49

Malorie Blackman (Noughts & CrossesPersephone ‘Sephy, Jasmine and Meggie)

The Noughts&Crosses trilogy was the one which first introduced me to the name Persephone, although I wasn’t sure of the pronunciation until I watched the television show Firefly. My copy of the first book is also signed by the author, Malorie Blackman, which I won, rather than stood in a line for.

The name Malorie is a variant spelling of Mallory, a name that comes from Norman French and means unfortunate. Rather makes me think of the CBBC show Trapped, where the contestants are known as unfortunates. Persephone’s meaning is not established, although she has been linked to Greek words which means murder or to destroy, whilst Meggie is a short form of Margaret and Jasmine is a lovely botanical name. They rank, as such:

Malorie Mallory Persephone
Rank n/a 4688 3156
Births n/a 4 7
Jasmine Meggie
Rank 41 5707
Births 1466 3

Tamora Pierce (The Magic In The WeavingSandrilene ‘Sandry’, Trisana ‘Tris’, Daja, Briar (male) and Lark)

I actually took this book out of my local library by mistake more than anything, but found myself reading it anyway. Whilst a little difficult to follow to begin with, I loved it enough to read all it’s sequels. This is the first real occasion I came across the name Briar, since I was never really shown Sleeping Beauty as a child, and I actually like it. The character himself chose the name, wanting something botanical, yet masculine. I think he achieved that, since I’ve often misread the name as Bear.

As for the name of the author, Tamora, she’s a variant spelling of the name Tamara, which is a variant of the name Tamar, which means palm tree in Hebrew. Predictably, none of the names have really made an impact in the popularity data for England&Wales (the data for Briar is the female one, since there is no male ranking):

Tamora Tamara Sandry Lark
Rank n/a 458 n/a 5707
Births n/a 90 n/a 3
Trisana Daja Briar
Rank n/a n/a 5707
Births n/a n/a 3

Tom Becker (DarksideCarnegie, Vendetta and Marianne)

I listed him because of his surname, rather than his first name. Becket is a nouveau name getting some attention right now, and I think I like Becker a tad more. He’s a German surname and variant of another surname, Becke, which means baker. The Carnegie Award is given out annually to a single children’s book which has impressed, and named after Andrew Carnegie.

Out of all the names, only Marianne ranks in the England&Wales data – at #946 with 36 uses.

Categories: Book Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spyro the Dragon

Spyro the Dragon, from wikia.com

I first started to get into gaming at the age of 11, when I would spend many hours after school playing on my childminders Playstation 1 with the rest of Julie’s Crew. We numbered many, from 12 years to 5 years, which meant the games we played on the mighty PS1 had to be ones we could all have a go at. That meant games such as Rugrats, Crash Bandicoot, Lara Croft and Spyro the Dragon.

My sister, Ebba, and I have a particular fondness for Spyro. Infact, I’ve just come from playing Spyro 2 on our PS1 upstairs, yes, we still have one. Generally speaking, when we get bored during any school holiday, Spyro is the go-to game for us; it can keep us occupied for many happy hours.

So it seems apt to now cover the names of the characters involved in Spyro 2, along with some other inspiring choices. But first, a quick overview of the game in general. Spyro 2 is official called either Gateway to Glimmer or Ripto’s Rage depending on whether you have the International or American version of the game. It was released at the end of 1999, and follows on from the first Spyro game released a year earlier.

This time around, Spyro is helping the people of Avalar, which is under siege by the evil sorcerer Ripto. Spyro must travel through the various portals found in the three homeworlds to collect talismins and orbs from the world he enters. The worlds get increasingly difficult the further along the game you get.

But now, the names. There are 14 worlds in which to collect talismins, with another 4 just solely for orbs. That makes for quite a few NPC characters running around in the background:

Amper

And Electroll from Hurricos who asks for your help. He wants you to take out the Gear Grinders who keep stealing his lightning stones, and will reward you with an orb.

The Electrolls are all male from what I can tell, which makes Amper a male name. But we already have the name Amber as an established female name, which means this name may not catch on. Since there’s an electricity-theme going on in Hurricos, I can only assume Amper is a play on the word Ampere, which is the unit of electrical current.

The ‘and’ symbol you can find on your keyboard (&) is called an ampersand, which derives from the phrase and per se and, which means and [the symbol which] by itself [is] and.

Arnie

Talking to Brother Arnie in the Colossus level results in him opening a door for you by the method of chanting. The name Arnie is usually given as the short form of Arnold. In the 90s BBC comedy Red Dwarf, the character Rimmer’s first name is Arnold, and he occasionally is called Arnie, or indeed calls himself Arnie.

In 2010 there were 14 Arnies and 17 Arnolds born in England&Wales. The itself means eagle power, being of Germanic origins.

Bruno

A hippo found in Shady Oasis who will set you the challenge of retrieving three lamps that have been stolen. The name Bruno comes from the Germanic word for brown: brun. 48 Brunos were born into this world in 2010 in England&Wales which equates to a ranking of #660.

Bud

Foreman Bud will set you a series of mental challenges in Idol Springs that you need to solve; completion of them results in a nice, shiny orb.

Aside from being a short form of Budweiser, the name of a lager, the name Bud also has colloquial use as another word for friend. It’s also used as a slang word for cannabis.

If we were to step into the realms of botany, we’d know that a bud is an undeveloped shoot which normally occurs in the axil of a leaf or at the tip of the stem. This is likely what inspired Jamie and Jools Oliver to use the name Buddy for their youngest child, in keeping with the floral theme of elder sisters Poppy, Daisy and Petal.

Clive

Talking to Brother Clive in the Colossus level results in him opening a door for you by the method of chanting. One of the best known Clives is Clive Anderson, who used to present Whose Line Is It Anyway? back in the 90s and now turns up on occasion on the many comedy panel shows, such as QI and Have I Got News For You. But, be wary, Mr. Anderson himself has frequently mentioned his distaste at people called him cleev, not clyv.

The name itself means cliff, and 10 males were born to the name in England&Wales in 2010.

Curtis

Talking to Brother Curtis in the Colossus level results in him raising a platform for you by the method of chanting. The name comes from Old French and means courteous.

This name is more popular than you think in England&Wales. 159 were born in 2010, which puts Curtis at a respectable #287, 2 places ahead of goldenboy Flynn.

Elora

A fawn who acts as a guide to players on their journey through Avalar. She often appears in homeworlds to give tips or point you to a world you’ve yet to enter. I used to always missay her name as Flora.

This name could potentially be an elaboration of the Hebrew name Elior, which means God is my light. It could also be a contracted from of Eleanora. Or an elaboration of Laura, which means laurel.

Greta

A little girl who indroduces the world of Scorch. I love this name, mostly because I can’t help but tap it out as great on a regular basis. It comes from the name Margaret, which means pearl. 67 were born in 2010 in England&Wales, which means the name ranked at #586.

Harry

Brother Harry introduces to you the level Colossus. I adore this name, despite him being Mr.Popularity here in England&Wales, since he currently sits at #3. He’s a consistant one though, staying put in the Top 10 now for more than a decade. I’ve had friend tout him as a potential #1 in the current years, which breaks my heart, given how much I love the name.

The name itself is a short form of Henry, as demonstrated by Prince Harry himself, who was born a Henry. There’s also Harry Potter who no doubt helped the name up, and also Harry Styles, 1/5 of the emerging boyband One Direction. The latter Harry was actually trending worldwide on twitter last night, which says a lot about the band’s popularity after coming 3rd on last year’s X Factor.

Hunter

A cheetah who also acts as a gameguide to the player. He also sets a handful challenges which end with an orb reward. 52 Hunters were born in England&Wales in 2010, which puts him at #625.

E.G.Daily, the voice of Tommy Pickles, has two daughters who she named Hunter and Tyson.

Kanga

The name of one of the NPCs you have to talk to in Glimmer. There’s also a Winnie the Pooh character, and a real-life Lady Kanga here in the UK, born Dale Elizabeth Harper, but nicknamed Kanga.

Personally, I find myself drawn to this name. It’s fun

Kipp

Brother Kipp of Colossus tells you about their love of the game hockey, and then challenges you to play for orbs. Here in England, the word kip means nap, or short sleep. I remember reading a book once that listed it as one of the words which defined our nation. 6 male Kips were born in 2010.

Kosmo

An Electroll from Hurricos who asks you to go and find out what is wrong with the factory. Cosmo is another fun name which I love, but prefer with the C spelling.

The name Cosmo comes from Cosmas, which means order or decency. It also has links with the word Cosmos which either refers to a harmonious system or outer space.

Krista

A fawn who is trapped in a building in Fracture Hills. This name originally derives from the name Christian, which simply means a Christian.

Lila

The name of the fawn who introduces the Fracture Hills level, which is my favourite of the Autumn Plains worlds. Lila is the German word for purple.

185 Lilas were born in 2010 in England&Wales putting the name at #267, perhaps spurred on by Kate Moss using the name for her daughter in 2002. The alternate spelling of Lyla is even higher at #159 with 330 births.

Ned

Another brother from Colossus who tells you that they’ve trapped the yeti terrorising them into a room. He also rewards you with the end-of-world talismin. I love the name, and think he’d make for a great alternative to Jack.

Generally speaking, he’s a short form of Edward, which means rich guard. 68 Neds were born in 2010 in England&Wales, which places him at #518.

Satyr/Faun

The bagpipe players who need help in Fracture Hills are called Satyrs. There are 6 who need to be released. The world also features female fauns with yoyos.

Satyrs exist in myths, and originally had the tail and ears of either horses or donkeys, but later aquired goat legs, making them pretty much identical to fauns. In the earliest Greek art which they appear in, they are portrayed as ugly creatures, but transitioned over time to become more youthful.

As in the world, Satyrs are associated with pipe playing. A faun was a forest God manisfestation of forest and animal spirits, meaning that it was associated with nature.

Sunny

The name of one of the worlds based in Summer Forest is Sunny Beach and involves you sheparding some sea turtles. Sunny is one of my favourite names, she’s such a cheerful name.

Sadly, only 11 of them were born in England&Wales in 2010.

Talismin

A new kind of gem-inspired name. There’s a Welsh name similar to this, Taliesin, for the less brave. Traditionally speaking, Taliesin is a male name; 16 were born in England&Wales in 2010. One features in the BBC’s Child of our Time, a documentary following children born in 2000 to further look into the nature/nurture argument.

Zephyr

The name of a world based in Autumn Plains. It involved a lot of birds flying around dropping bombs on the indigenous population of slug-like creatures.

Personally, I was very happy to see Julia Bradbury had named her newborn son Zephyr about a fortnight ago. It’s the name of the Greek God of the west wind

And of course, finally, we should look at the name Spyro. It’s a Greek name, coming from the name Spyridon, coming from the Greek spyridion, meaning basket, or from the Latin spiritus, meaning spirit.

Categories: Boy Names, Girl Names, Video Game Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Weekend Post: Names of Questionable Gender

Dara Ó Briain, from telegraph.co.uk

When an aquaintance recently announced her new daughter’s name as Freya, she was showered with compliments. Little did they know, baby Freya was very nearly a Zephyr nn Zephy: It’s the 21st Century Stephanie, she said. I love the name Zephyr, for me, he’s a 21st Century Geoffrey, but the idea of it on a pink bundle of joy has been growing on me all week, so it makes sense to talk about it now, since the recent report on the genderless baby named Storm got me thinking about a name I’ve always classified as male having potential as a female name.

Then there’s the flipside of the coin. Until I was introduced to AFI back in ’03, Jade was a girls name for me, but AFI’s guitarist is very much male, despite being called Jade. The French still use Camille for males, there’s a strapping young french swimmer named Camille LeCourt. Rowan Atkinson is one of my comedy heros, mostly for Blackadder, and his name is still used equally for lads and ladettes. I also can’t get enough of Dara Ó Briain’s stand up DVD, his name may be considered female by one side of the pond, but in the Emerald Isle, he’s still male. Despite this, I have a female irish friend named Daragh.

Here’s a couple of other names I’ve been thinking about this week, in terms of this subject:

Asa.

Doctor Who used to have a female companion named Ace, well, it was her nickname, but if the first Ace that comes to mind is female, does that mean the name has potential on the other gender? Well, I’m sure most of you out there first thought Ace Ventura, or another Ace. I’m just your average child of a Doctor Who nut, I don’t know any better.

But, getting to Asa, I’ve yet to see one, but I’ve seen people ask about whether Asa is a he or a she. An argument I keep seeing is, any name ending in a is a girl name. It’s logically, in Italy, most female names end in a: Adriana, Nadia, Isabella, Elisabetta etc. etc. To change Theodore to it’s female version, the e is swapped for an a.

Ash.

Think of the most famous Ashley you know, is it a she or a he? The first one I can think of is Ashley Cole, a premiership footballer, who also plays for England. Embarassingly, the next Ashley on the list is Ashley Tisdale, the disney star. My 8 year-old sister is going through the High School Musical stage, I’m excused.

Growing up, I was best friends for a while in primary school with a male Ashley. He was the goalie, I was the striker. It was a love/hate kind of friendship 😉 Either way, in the USA, the overwhelming number of Ashley’s born in the 90s were female. Ashley cracked the top 10 as a she name, and she currently sits at #27 in the USA . In the UK, on the 2009 list, Ashley was #421 for girls, 15 places below Flora, 2 above Ophelia. In the boys list of the same year, Ashley is #154, 2 above Rowan, 8 below Alfred. Ashton sits at #69, Asher at #427.

Beau.

Beau is our next name, she was 6 places above Ashley at #414 on the UK female list in 2009, and #178 for the boys. Ulrika Johnsson has a daughter named Bo (at #771 in the UK list, ’09), and a Beau Vivienne has made an appearance in the London Telegraph Birth Announcements.

I too have considered Bo for a girl, creating the combination Lili Bo Rika back when I was 10. As for using Beau, it’s a possibility, but I love the name Belle too much. I’ll admit, I’d love to meet a Beau/Belle girl/boy twin set.

Bobbie/Billie.

I recently clocked Bobbie on a list of names for Rockabilly girls, I’ll admit, it has a certain pazazz to it. Whitney Houston has a daughter named Bobbi, and Lenny Henry has a daughter named Billie. There’s also little Billie Beatrice to consider, and Miss Billie Piper, notable for her Doctor Who work and another, slightly saucier role. Billie’s full name is Billie Paul Piper. Double dudeness! Her father is named Paul, and in fairness, she was originally named Liane, until her parents experienced namers remorse, and changed her name to Billie.

Brave.

I’ll admit it, I’ve played with the idea of Brave as a middle before for a boy. However, I’ve seen two mummy bloggers post about Brave: One considered it for a baby boy, one actually has a girl named Brave.

Claude.

Whilst in France last year, I remember watching a daytime quiz show, a female contestant was named Marie-Claude. Now, this name is doubly gender-neutral in France, since Marie has historically been used for males there. As for Claude, that was a bit of a shocker for me.

Cricket.

Only for a short period did I think about this name. I live in England, Cricket is a sport. Heck, I go past one of the most famous Cricket grounds in the world each day: Trent Bridge. My brother plays cricket every Wednesday and Sunday, in his best, if slightly grass-stained at the knees, cricket whites.

It still makes for a cute nickname. I may rename my brother Cricket, although Nameberry lists it as a female name only.

Darcey.

The most famous Darcey is Mr. Darcy, but Nameberry did a post, albeit a little while ago, that placed Darcy, in it’s various spellings, in the most searched names list (for babynames.co.uk users) for both males and females. On the female list: Darcie was at #18, Darcey at #36 (4 below Betty!). On the boy list, Darcy was at #15, 2 above Rowan.

Personally, I’ve always been drawn to the Darcey spelling. and it’s the most popular spelling for girls, in 2009, Darcey charted at #107 for girls (and #3744 for lads), with Darcy just behind at #116, and Darcie at #178. For the boys, Darcy was at #972 (just above Darragh).

Jenson.

I’m a huge Formula 1 fan, and Jenson Button is my favourite driver. Jenson was #143 in 2009 in the UK for the boys, and if Madison and Addison can both become female, could Jenson too? It certainly seems as a natural progression from Jennifer (which was at it’s peak around the time Jenson was born), and it allows me to use one of my favourite nickname: Sunny (currently at #1546 for girls, #923 for boys).

Mika.

I know of two famous Mika’s that are male: the lebanese/american singer and the finnish ex-Formula 1 champion. Still, in Eurovision this year, Ukraine was represented by a female Mika.

In terms of the UK 2009 list, Mika charted at #1105 for girls, and #2318 for boys.

Shiloh.

Mostly used for males until little Miss Pitt-Jolie arrived on the scene in 2006. My line on this is Shiloh was likely to never pick up for girls until someone influencial came along to get things rolling. In this sense, I liken this name to Milo. Same sort of sounds, but one is considered male, the other, not so much. Remarkable, non?

Again, we can find Shiloh on both the girls and boys list: #1008 for lads, #916 for girls. The fact that there isn’t much difference could give hope to those who want Shiloh back as a male name.

Categories: Weekend Post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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