Wednesday, April 2, 2014

*phi* Names

Image by Mike Litwin via Flickr

The most popular girl name in the U.S.A. right now is Sophia. It has been on top for the last two years and has a great chance of staying in the top spot for 2013. Parents must really like the look and sound of it! While it has the popular "ah" sound at the end of it, its middle syllable seems quite unique... besides Sophia/Sophie, there have only been a few names in the Top 100 with a *phi* throughout the years: Josephine for girls and Philip/Phillip for boys. And when considering the sound, there is only Effie, Phyllis, and the alternate spelling of Sofia found in the history of the Top 100. This seems to be a group of letters that is immensely popular in the current name on top, but not as much elsewhere.

A quick pronunciation guide is in order. There are three ways to pronounce *phi*. There is fee as in Sophie, there is fi (short i) as in Philip, and there is fy as in Sapphire. The fi pronunciation is most popular with boy *phi* names, while girl names are mostly split between fee and fi.

Now let's take a look at other *phi* names parents are currently using! Here are the names from 2012 and the number of babies given each name...

Apphia 8
Delphine 34
Josephina 73
Josephine 1,921
Phia 5
Philippa 51
Philomena 40
Saphia 5
Saphira 129
Sapphire 126
Seraphim 12
Seraphina 149
Seraphine 23
Sophia 22,158
Sophie 4,532
Sophina 14

Memphis 302
Nephi 13
Phi 5
Phil 16
Philbert 6
Philemon 16
Philip 705
Phillip 873
Philippe 21
Philippos 5
Philopateer 15
Phineas 103
Theophilus 35

Note: I only listed the more popular spelling of each name and I listed any name given to both genders on the side where it was given the most. I also didn't include double names, such as Annasophia, Sophiagrace and Sophiamarie.

The main thing that jumps out at me is the huge gap between the number of girls named Sophia and the combined number of the rest of the group. It's obvious that Sophia is "the" name in this category, but if people want an less popular option, there are some fantastic options on this list to consider.

A little off topic but definitely of interest, there are a few instances where parents have replaced *fi* with *phi* in given names. In 2012, six girls were named Phinley and eight girls were named Phiona.

Do you have a favorite *phi* name? I personally love Josephina, with "Fina" as her nickname. Admittedly, that is the thought that inspired this post.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

Hopefully we've all seen A League of their Own, the film based on the founding of girls professional baseball. It's a fabulous movie that captures the spirit and determination of the women involved in playing the sport during a time when the men (including husbands, brothers, and friends) were off to war. The league was started in 1943 due to the lack of boys available to play in the minor leagues. To keep the country interested in the game and the funds coming in, Philip Wrigley, the chewing gum mogul and owner of the Chicago Cubs, came up with the idea for women to play. After try-outs, charm school, and beauty kits (the players needed to be as attractive as possible), the games started. It was pretty successful and used the patriotic feeling of a country at war to boost attendance. Once he lost interest though, Wrigley sold the league in 1944 to Arthur Meyerhoff who in turn took it and ran. He concentrated more on the sport and the charm school was discontinued. The league celebrated the end of the war in 1945 and continued with success afterwards, until the early 1950s when MLB started airing games on television. While attendance dwindled and the teams eventually disappeared, there is still much to say about the fact that the AAGPBL lasted for a total of 12 seasons from 1943-1954.

Who were the girls who started it all??? To inspire those of you who are baseball fans expecting a little girl, here are the names of the ladies that made up the four teams who began playing in 1943:

Kenosha Comets
Helen "Pee Wee" Austin
Catherine Bennett
Helen "Nikie" Fox (maiden name was Nicol)
Marian "Wooly" Fricker (maiden name was Wohlwender)
Ann "Tootsie" Harnett
Elise "Lee" Harney
Mabel Holle
Dorothy "Dottie" Hunter
Shirley Jameson
Phyllis "Sugar" Koehn
Mary Louise Lester
Joyce McCoy
Ethel McCreary
Kay "Heimie" McDaniel (maiden name was Heim)
Darlene "Mickey" Mickelsen
Merna "Toddy" Nearing
Janice "Jerry" O'Hara
Pauline "Pinky" Pirok
Genevieve Audrey "Audie" Wagner

Racine Belles
Leola Brody
Margaret "Marnie" Brown
Dorothy "Mickey" Chapman
Rita Corrigan
Claire "Clara" Donahoe
Madeline "Maddy" English
Irene "Choo-Choo" Hickson
Edythe "Edie" Keating
Sophie "Flint Flash, Tina Cobb" Kurys
Gloria Marks
Ruby Martz
Anne Jane "Annie, Annabelle" McFarlane
Glenora Moss
Charlotte Smith
Martha Walker
Dorothy Wind
Joanne "Jo" Winter
Mary "Wish" Wisham
Eleanor Wolf

Rockford Peaches
Muriel Coben
Clara Cook
Gladys "Terrie" Davis
Eileen "Burmy" Dean (maiden name was Burmeister)
Mildred "Millie" Deegan
Pauline Dick
Betty Jane Fritz
Thelma Golden
Dorothy "Dottie" Green
Marjorie Hood
Lillian "Bird Dog" Jackson
Dorothy "Kammie" Kamenshek
Gladys Kuehn
Olive "Ollie" Little
Mildred McAuley
Berith "Berry" Melin
Ruth Miller
Betty "Moe" Moczynski
Marjorie Peters
Mary "Prattie" Pratt
Helen Sandiford
Irene "Ruhnke Dunk" Sanvitis (maiden name was Ruhnke)
Josephine Skokan
Rella Swamp
Dorothy White
Lorraine Wuethrich

South Bend Blue Sox
Mary "Bonnie" Baker
Doris "Dodie" Barr
Margaret "Sonny" Berger
Ruth Born
Bea Chester
Josephine "JoJo" D'Angelo
Mary "Bucky" Elrod
Lois "Flash" Florreich
Johanna "Jo" Hargraves
Mabel Holle
Betsy Jochum
Margie Lang
Lucella "Lu" Ross
Betty Jean "Mac" Rusynyk (maiden name was McFadden)
Dorothy "Dottie" Schroeder
Geraldine Shafranis
Margaret "Marge" Stefani
Ellen Tronnier
Jean Wilson

Do you notice all the Dorothys? It makes sense as these girls were in their early 20s and Dorothy was the #2 name in 1923. It's also interesting to note which of the above names were NOT in the Top 100 in 1923:

Bea NR
Berith NR
Betsy #467
Claire #167
Darlene #290
Edythe #312 (although Edith was #36)
Elise #491
Ellen #103
Glenora NR
Janice #234
Joanne #358
Johanna #415
Joyce #104
Kay #396
Leola #248
Lucella NR
Mabel #102
Madeline #143
Margie #101
Merna NR
Muriel #114
Olive #179
Rella NR
Sophie #159

Do you have a favorite name from the first season of the AAGPBL?

The above information is from the official site of the AAGPBL.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Play Ball, Again!: More Baseball-Inspired Names

Image by Jim_Cox via Flickr

My list of baseball-inspired names is a favorite post of mine and still receives a lot of hits from people looking for names from baseball. This makes me so happy. :) In honor of the new baseball season approaching, I decided to post a new list of even more baseball-inspired names. The inspiration is never-ending, so this list could possibly be expanded on every year!


Buster - Gerald Dempsey "Buster" Posey III is currently the catcher for the San Francisco Giants. He was Rookie of the Year in 2010, has already won two World Series, is a two-time All-Star, and was batting champion in 2012. His nickname was his father's childhood nickname.

Christy - Christopher "Christy" Mathewson pitched with the New York Giants in between 1900 and 1916. He twice won the pitcher's Triple Crown, leading the league in wins, strike-outs and ERA.

Clayton - Clayton Edward Kershaw pitches for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2011, he became the youngest pitcher to win the Triple Crown and Cy Young since Dwight Gooden in 1985.

Cy - Denton True "Cy" Young pitched for five teams from 1890-1911 and still holds the record for most wins, most innings pitched, and most complete games. The award given to the best pitcher in each league is named after him.

Evan - Evan Michael Longoria is currently the third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays. He was named Rookie of the Year in 2008, has been an All-Star three times, and Gold Glove winner twice.

Felix - Félix Abraham Hernández García "Felix Hernandez" plays for the Seattle Mariners and is currently one the game's best pitchers. He pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012.

Hank - Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron played almost all of his career, from 1954-1976, as right fielder with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves. He passed Babe Ruth's home run record in 1974, won three Gold Gloves, hit at least 30 home runs in 15 seasons, and holds the record for number of All-Star appearances, RBIs, extra-base hits, and total bases.

Jacoby - Jacoby McCabe Ellsbury is currently the center fielder for the New York Yankees, although he spent most of his career with the Boston Red Sox. He is a Gold Glove winner and has stolen a lot of bases.

Larsen - Donald James Larsen is the only pitcher to have pitched a perfect game in the World Series, doing so as a New York Yankee against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.

Maris - Roger Eugene Maris had his most successful seasons with the New York Yankees from 1960-1966. He broke Babe Ruth's record from 1927 for most home runs in a season in 1961.

Mickey - Mickey Charles Mantle played with the New York Yankees from 1951-1968. He won the Triple Crown in 1956, leading the league in RBIs, home runs, and batting average. He won seven World Series and holds the record for the most World Series home runs, RBIs, runs, walks, extra-base hits, and total bases.

Miguel - José Miguel Cabrera Torres "Miguel Cabrera" currently plays for the Detroit Tigers and is arguably one of the best hitters to play the game. He is the last player to win the Triple Crown, doing it in 2012, and the first player to do so since 1967.

Moses - Moses Fleetwood Walker is credited by some as the first African-American to play Major League Baseball. He was a catcher for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association league in 1884. Later that same year, his brother Weldy Wilberforce Walker also joined the league. Moses was injured and in the minors for a few years before he was let go in 1889, the year the color line was drawn, not allowing black players to play baseball until 1949 when Jackie Robinson broke the barrier.

Nomar - Anthony Nomar Garciaparra played for several teams, but most notably as shortstop for the Boston Red Sox for nine seasons. He was Rookie of the Year in 1997, two-time batting champion, and six-time All-Star. Nomar is his father's name, Ramon, spelled backwards.

Roberto - Roberto Clemente Walker "Roberto Clemente" played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955-1972. He won 12 Gold Gloves, was batting champion four times and All-Star 15 times, and had 3,000 hits. He is the first Latino player to win a World Series as a starter, receive an NL MVP and a World Series MVP award, and to be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Sandy - Sanford Koufax pitched for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers his entire career from 1955-1966. He was World Series Champion, league MVP, and Cy Young winner several times, pitched 4 no hitters, including one perfect game, and retired with more strikeouts than innings pitched. Needless to say, he is a Hall of Famer.

Stan - Stanley Frank Musial (or Stanisław Franciszek Musiał) played his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals, from 1941-1944 and then again from 1946-1963 (the break was to serve in the Navy during WWII). Nicknamed "Stan the Man", he won the World Series three times, was an All-Star 24 times, and batting champion seven times.


Bob - Robert George "Bob" Uecker has been the voice of the Milwaukee Brewers since 1971. He is playfully known as "Mr. Baseball" and appeared as a broadcaster in the movie Major League.

Caray - Harry Christopher Carabina "Harry Caray" was a broadcaster for four major league teams from 1945-and most famous for his leading of the crowd in singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch in Chicago. Caray is pronounced like "Carrie".

Ernie - William Earnest "Ernie" Harwell was the broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers from 1960-1991 and again from 1993-2002, and is the only broadcaster to have been traded for a player in 1948.

Jon - Jon Wesley Miller currently calls games for the San Francisco Giants, but is more broadly known for his play-by-play of games broadcasted on ESPN from 1990-2010.

Mel - Melvin Allen Israel "Mel Allen" was the well-known play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees from 1938-1964 and again in 1976-1985.

Red - Walter Lanier "Red" Barber called games from 1934-1966, for the Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees. He is the originator of the now common "back, back, back" call for a ball hit far, describing the outfielder's motion instead of the ball's location.

Rex - Being a Baltimore Orioles fan, I would be remiss not to mention Rex Edward Barney, former PA announcer for the Orioles from 1974-1997. I can still hear his voice, and my brother and I still mimic his famous sayings "Give that fan a contract!" when a fan caught a foul ball and "Thank Youuuuuu" at the end of every game.

Vin - Vincent Edward "Vin" Scully has been the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers' play-by-play announcer for 65 years. He holds his own in the booth, calling games without a color commentator. Among the many special games he called was Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series and Hank Aaron's 715th home run to pass Babe Ruth's record (the Braves were playing the Dodgers).

Baseball Fact and Fiction

Abner - The man mistakenly credited with the invention of baseball in 1839, Abner Doubleday has a field named after him in the "original location" of the invention in Cooperstown, New York.

Alexander - Alexander Cartwright established the fundamental rules of modern baseball in 1845.

Bowie - Bowie Kent Kuhn was the fifth commissioner of baseball, from 1969-1984. He was instrumental in holding the first night game of the World Series in 1971, resulting in much larger ratings than if the game were held during the day.

Bud - Allan Huber "Bud" Selig is the current commissioner of baseball and has been since 1992. He has made several changes to the league, including separating each league into three divisions instead of two, introducing the wild card game into the playoffs, regular season interleague play, combining the two leagues under the Office of the Commissioner and putting all umpires under one hat instead of separating them between the leagues, granting home field advantage for the World Series to the winning league of the All-Star Game, and instituting instant replay.

Casey - The poem Casey at the Bat was written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer. Other names included in the poem are Flynn and Jimmy Blake.

Clark - Stephen Carlton Clark founded the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.

Cooper - Cooperstown, New York is the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The name came from Judge William Cooper, who purchased the land in 1785.

Fay - Francis Thomas "Fay" Vincent was baseball's eighth commissioner, from 1989-1992. Just a month after taking leadership, he was present at Game 3 of the 1989 World Series in San Francisco, when an earthquake hit the city. He also overturned the separation of rule books between the 154-game and 162-game seasons, allowing Roger Maris the title of single-season HR record-holder.

Ford - Ford Christopher Frick was the third commissioner of baseball, from 1951-1965. He is known for expanding the league, adding four teams and moving others to areas outside of the Northeast, which was where baseball was mostly concentrated.

Happy - Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler was baseball's second commissioner, from 1945-1951. He quickly erased the color line in the major leagues by allowing Jackie Robinson to play beginning in 1947.

Kenesaw - Kenesaw Mountain Landis was the first commissioner of baseball, from 1920-1944. He is the one who banned the players involved in the Black Sox scandal for life.

And finally, some goodies found when researching the song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". Written by Jack Norworth and set to music by Albert Von Tilzer, the song is now a classic and usually heard during the 7th inning stretch of baseball games. While we only sing/hear the chorus, there are actually two versions that included verses. In the full version, a beau calls his girl and asks her to a show, but the girl only wants to be taken to a ball game. The girl is named Katie Casey in the original version and Nelly Kelly in a later version. In the second version, the boy is named Joe. The lyrics talk about how the girl is a huge fan and knows about all the players, and sings the song to cheer them on. I especially love the part where she tells the umpire he's wrong. See the awesome things I learn while doing name research!?

Looking for more girl name choices inspired by baseball? Next week, I will post all about the AAGPBL (All-American Girls Professional Baseball League) and its players, so sit tight!

Some of the above information was gathered from Wikipedia.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Popularity of "S" vs. "Sh" Names - Boys

Image by chrisinplymouth via Flickr

Last week, I compared the popularity of girl names that began with the "S" and "Sh" sounds. As promised, here are the boys!

As I explained last week, to do this research, I used the S and Sh names with percentage of use above 0.01% since 1938*. This cutoff was chosen because the Top 1000 in 2012 include names with a percentage higher than 0.0131% for girls and 0.0098% for boys. Because the S and Sh sounds are not exclusive to the letters S and Sh, I also added the names that begin with the letter C that have the S sounds (there were no Ch boy names that had the Sh sound). This can be subjective as some of the names can be pronounced with either the S/Sh sound, but I went with what I thought would be the mostly likely sound heard.

As with the girl names, there are less boy Sh names (20) than S/C names (67), but considerably less in total compared to the girls! There is no divergence as there was with the girl names; instead it is fascinating to see the popularity of Sh sound names rise and get close to the falling popularity of S names in the 1970s. This jump is no doubt due to the popularity of Sean/Shaun/Shawn and Shane, which were the only Sh names with percentages of 0.3% and higher at some point since 1938. To give perspective on that percentage, the boy names ranked #70 and higher in 2012 had percentages of use higher than 0.3%.

The S/C names reached their peak in the 1950s and 1960s with the popularity of Steven, Scott and Stephen. Since those names started to decrease in use, S names, as well as Sh names, have maintained a gradual slope downward over the years. Other highly popular S/C names since 1938 are Samuel, Steve, Sebastian, Stanley, and Seth (again, all with percentages of 0.3% and higher at some point).

While it looks like most boy S names are on the way out, there are several currently making waves: Cyrus, Samson, Santiago, Santino, Sawyer, Sebastian, Silas, Soren, Sterling, Sullivan, and Sylas have all had increasing percentages of use over the past few years. It doesn't look like any Sh names are on the rise.

If you are curious as to the names included in this study, here is a list. These names could have appeared in just one year or remained fairly popular throughout the years.

S & C
Cecil Sammy Scot Simeon Stacy Stone
Cedric Samson Scott Simon Stan Stoney
Cedrick Samuel Scottie Sincere Stanley Stuart
Cesar Sandy Scotty Skylar Stefan Sullivan
Cyril Sanford Sebastian Skyler Stephan Syed
Cyrus Santana Semaj Slade Stephen Sylas
Sage Santiago Seneca Solomon Stephon Sylvester
Salvador Santino Sergio Sonny Sterling
Salvatore Santos Seth Soren Steve
Sam Saul Seymour Spencer Steven
Samir Savion Sidney Spenser Stevie
Sammie Sawyer Silas Stacey Stewart

Seamus Shayne
Sean Shea
Shad Shelby
Shamar Sheldon
Shane Shelton
Shannon Shemar
Shaquan Sherman
Shaquille Sherwood
Shaun Shirley
Shawn Shon

Another great list of names, and definitely some surprises! What is your favorite S name? Do you prefer the beginning sound of "S" or "Sh"?

*I calculated the percentage of use for each name using the raw number of births for the year and dividing it by the total number of corresponding (boy or girl) births for the year. The Social Security Administration has only provided the total number of births for each year since 1938.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Popularity of "S" vs. "Sh" Names - Girls

Image by chrisinplymouth via Flickr

When people ask me what letter I would use if I had to name 10 children with the same letter, my answer is S. But I also clarify that it is S and not Sh! To me, since they are different sounds they are different "letters" with which to begin a name. As my mind ran with this thought, I wondered how have the two sounds differed in terms of popularity?

To do this research, I used the S and Sh names with percentage of use above 0.01% since 1938*. This cutoff was chosen because the Top 1000 in 2012 include names with a percentage higher than 0.0131% for girls and 0.0098% for boys. Because the S and Sh sounds are not exclusive to the letters S and Sh, I also added the names that begin with the letters C and Ch that have the S and Sh sounds. This can be subjective as some of the names can be pronounced with either the S/Sh sound or the hard C/Ch sound, but I went with what I thought would be the mostly likely sound heard. As usual, this research is time intensive, so I will do the girls this week and the boys next week.

I can't say this graph is surprising. We do not hear as many Sh-sound names currently save Charlotte.

It's fascinating that even though there are less Sh/Ch names (120) than S/C names (153) included in these numbers, the Sh/Ch names are pretty equal to the S/C names in the late 1930s and remain relatively high through the 1960s, undoubtedly due to the popularity of Shirley, Sharon, and Cheryl. Other highly popular Sh/Ch names since 1938 are Shannon, Shelby, Sheila, Sherry and Charlotte, all with percentages of 0.3% and higher at some point. To give perspective on that percentage, the girl names ranked #32 and higher in 2012 had percentages of use higher than 0.3%.

The S/C names reached their peak in the 1950s with the popularity of Susan, Sandra and Cynthia. Other highly popular S/C names since 1938 are Sarah, Stephanie, Samantha, Sophia, Cindy, Sara, Sydney, Stacy, Sofia, Stacey, Sally, Suzanne, Sylvia, Savannah, Sabrina and Sierra (again, all with percentages of 0.3% and higher at some point).

If you are curious as to the names included in this study, here is a list. These names could have appeared in just one year or remained fairly popular throughout the years.

S & C
Cecelia Cyndi Sandi Selene Sonya Sunny
Cecile Cynthia Sandra Selina Sophia Sunshine
Cecilia Saanvi Sandy Serena Sophie Suri
Cecily Sabrina Saniya Serenity Soraya Susan
Celena Sade Saniyah Serina Spring Susana
Celeste Sadie Santana Sidney Stacey Susanna
Celestine Sage Sara Siena Staci Susanne
Celia Sahara Sarah Sienna Stacia Susie
Celina Saige Sarahi Sierra Stacie Sutton
Celine Salena Sarai Silvia Stacy Suzan
Ciara Salina Sariah Simone Star Suzanna
Ciarra Sallie Sarina Sky Starla Suzanne
Cicely Sally Sariyah Skye Starr Suzette
Cielo Salma Sasha Skyla Stefani Suzy
Ciera Samantha Saundra Skylar Stefanie Sybil
Cierra Samara Savana Skyler Stella Syble
Ciji Samaria Savanah Sloan Stephaine Sydnee
Cinda Samatha Savanna Sloane Stephani Sydney
Cindi Samaya Savannah Sofia Stephanie Sydni
Cindy Samira Sawyer Sofie Stephany Sydnie
Cinnamon Samiya Saylor Somaya Stephenie Sylvia
Cinthia Samiyah Scarlet Sommer Stevie Symone
Citlali Sammie Scarlett Sondra Stormy Syreeta
Citlalli Samya Scarlette Sonia Sue
Citlaly Sanaa Selah Sonja Suellen
Cydney Sanai Selena Sonji Summer

Sh & Ch

Chanel Cheyenne Shanika Sharla Sheena Sherrie
Chanelle Shae Shaniqua Sharlene Sheila Sherrill
Chantal Shaila Shanita Sharon Shelba Sherry
Chante Shaina Shaniya Sharonda Shelbi Sherryl
Chantel Shakira Shaniyah Sharron Shelbie Sheryl
Chantelle Shalon Shanna Sharyn Shelby Sheyla
Charisse Shalonda Shannan Shasta Shelia Shianne
Charla Shameka Shannen Shauna Shelley Shiela
Charleen Shamika Shannon Shaunna Shelli Shiloh
Charlene Shana Shanon Shavon Shellie Shirl
Charlize Shanae Shanta Shavonne Shelly Shirlee
Charlotte Shanda Shante Shawanda Shelva Shirlene
Charmaine Shane Shantel Shawn Shena Shirley
Cher Shanell Shantell Shawna Sheree Shonda
Cheri Shanelle Shaquana Shawnee Sheri Shonna
Cherie Shanequa Shara Shawnte Sheridan Shreya
Cherrelle Shani Shardae Shayla Sherie Shyann
Cheryl Shania Sharde Shaylee Sherita Shyanne
Cheryle Shanice Sharen Shayna Sherlyn Shyla
Cheyanne Shaniece Shari Shea Sherri Siobhan

What a great list of names! It's also interesting to see the various spellings of popular names.

Do you prefer S or Sh names for girls? Do you consider them different as I do?

*I calculated the percentage of use for each name using the raw number of births for the year and dividing it by the total number of corresponding (boy or girl) births for the year. The Social Security Administration has only provided the total number of births for each year since 1938.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

My Interview with Baby Names from the Bible

I can't believe I haven't written about my interview over at Baby Names from the Bible yet! Alexia is a fellow name blogger with a specific love for Biblical baby names. She contacted me to talk about my children's names and I was happy to oblige because who doesn't love to talk about their children's names?! It was a lot of fun to go back and think about how I chose Rachel and Simon's names. Please check out my interview and make sure to hang out a bit to read all of the name goodies she has for us! She has recently celebrated her 100th post so there is plenty to enjoy.


Monday, February 24, 2014

The Musketeers

Image via Wikipedia

My husband and I have started watching BBC's show The Musketeers, yet another screen adaption of the popular novel by Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers. Besides the wonderful character names in the story, the opening credits of this show also provided some fun entertainment for the name-lover in me.

Alexandre Dumas was French, his 19th century novel took place in 17th century France, and the names of his four heroes were inspired by real musketeers. The famous musketeers are the secretive and noble Athos, the lover and faithful friend Aramis, and the funny and loyal Porthos. d'Artagnan is the young swordsman seeking justice and joins the three musketeers. On their adventures, they encounter the King of France, Louis XIII, his wife the Queen Anne, and the Cardinal Armand Richelieu, one who does what he thinks is best for France and becomes an enemy to the musketeers. The mysterious and calculating Milady de Winter is connected to the Cardinal and the musketeers both. Constance is married to Monsieur Bonacieux but obviously attracted to d'Artagnan, showing her allegiance to the musketeers on numerous occasions. And Captian Treville is the musketeers' leader and a great man of integrity.

While the names in the novel are authentically French, the actors portraying them in BBC's version of the story are British, or have a significant connection to Britain and names showing otherwise. Athos is played by Tom Liam Benedict Burke, born in Kent, England. Aramis is played by Santiago Cabrera, a Chilean actor who was born in Venezuela but raised mainly in England. Porthos is portrayed by Howard Charles, from the UK. And d'Artagnan is played by Luca Giuseppe "Luke" Pasqualino, born in Peterborough, England but of Italian heritage.

The villain Richelieu is portrayed by Peter Dougan Capaldi from Glasgow, Scotland to an Irish mother and an Italian father. English actor Ryan Gage plays King Louis, and Hugo Speer, who plays Captain Treville, hails from Harrogate, England. And Monsieur Bonacieux is played by Bo Poraj, born in England to Polish parents. His full name is Bohdan Poraj-Pstrokonski.

What about the ladies? These are the ones that caught my eye in the first place. Maimie McCoy, born Mary, plays Milady and is from Yorkshire, England. English actress Alexandra Dowling plays Queen Anne. And Tamla Kari, from Coventry, England, plays Constance.

I wish I knew where Tamla came from. I am a huge fan of both Tamsin and Tamar, so the name stuck out to me. Maimie is also a refreshing sight. While Mamie is the more common spelling, it is currently a less common nickname for Mary but was in the Top 100 in the United States prior to 1913.

It is interesting to note that Bohdan is the Czech and Ukranian form of Bogdan, a Polish or Slavic name. I love the nickname Bo for it. I also love seeing Benedict, Dougan and Hugo among the male actors.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite musketeer name, either from the book or the new show?

Thanks to Wikipedia and Behind the Name for help with this post.