A Creative Approach to Sibling Names
Creative sibling names are a British specialty, familiar and exotic at the same time. Once every handful of months, I allow myself a visit to the Birth Announcements in the London Telegraph, the way one might ration such indulgences as a banana split or a day in bed with a good book. And each time I report back to the devoted berries, I try to take a different view of the Telegraph’s baby name offerings.
This time, the focus is creative sibling names: Groups of distinctly British and delightfully quirky names. While I hate to leave such delicious choices as Constanza Una Honoria or Reuben Clarence William behind — and look there!, I didn’t have to! — there’s something new to be gained by seeing these choices with their brother and sister names.
British names and sibsets from the most recent Telegraph viewing:
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on May 17th, 2010 at 2:15 am
As a name obsessed Britain, the birth announcements in the Telegraph have always been a firm favourite of mine and I take a peek whenever I can. The appeal for me is that they often provide something more exotic than those average naming sensibilities.
And though my own choices are not completely out there exotic I like to think they are special in their own way…and not too popular either, as far as this country goes anyway!
My most recent birth announcement (for my 2nd daughter, born 15th April 2010) would read
Francesca Sophia Grace, a sister for Alyssa Jenna Rose
Emily Willis Said
on May 17th, 2010 at 3:48 am
I also live in Britain and LOVE these names. However I feel it needs to be pointed out that these are clearly the names of children whose parents are well off (hence the birth in the telegraph!) Expecting our 4th baby and LOVING Otto to follow our double letter sets!Rafferty and Sienna!
on May 17th, 2010 at 6:50 am
They like their multiple middles, don’t they
on May 17th, 2010 at 8:19 am
Lots of lovelies! Some amazing finds on this list include:
AGATHA ROSE, a sister for Scarlett and Tilly
ARAMINTA (MINTY) ISOBEL ROSE, sister for Mungo-my favorite
BRIDIE ANNE, sister for Joseph
COCO HEATHER KATE, sister for Willem and Xen
FRIEDA HERMINE AURELIA, sister for Clara
HEBE ELIZABETH BRIDGET, sister for Eva
INDIA LOUISE STAR, sister for Wolf
LOTTIE GEORGIA FLORENCE, sister for Henry
MYRTLE ELIZABETH, sister for Alfred
OTTILIE SKYE LORNA, sister for Willa
JAGO ARTHUR, brother for Lydia
ORLANDO JOHN FREDERICK, brother for Angelica
OTTO CHARLES YURI, brother for Poppy
REX WILLIAM TOWNLEY, brother for Freddy, Hugo, and Oscar
on May 17th, 2010 at 8:56 am
I get a kick out of those announcements too. I think they’re the very upper crust of the upper crust, though, and probably look as exotic and eccentric to the Lisas and Craigs in England as they do to Americans. Judging from the family trees at the Online Gotha for England, a lot of those names have been in fashion for a few hundred years for aristocrats and officers and gentlemen in England.
on May 17th, 2010 at 8:59 am
I’d also add that we could probably put some of our Boston Brahmin and Southern society names up against some of the Telegraph names and they’d look equally exotic. One of Teddy Roosevelt’s great-grandsons is named Tweed. I thought that was fairly exotic when he visited the newspaper office but I imagine it’s a family surname somewhere in one of his families.
on May 17th, 2010 at 10:05 am
I LOVE these posts!! Thanks!
on May 17th, 2010 at 11:00 am
my DH and i were recently perusing the telegraph birth announcements and that’s where we found our newest name love, rafferty! he is twin brother to jemima rose. oh how i love it!!
on May 17th, 2010 at 12:40 pm
Funny to see the announcement of Sophie Kinsella’s (Confessions of a Shopaholic) baby Rex!
Names I have yet to hear on this side of the pond: Mungo, Hebe, Llywela, Ottilie, Sancia, Ludlow, Fenston, Jago, Obie, Woody.
on May 17th, 2010 at 12:47 pm
Oh my goodness.
It’s…..it’s….it’s baby name pr0n.
ps I am adamantly pro-multiple middles. How else am I going to use up all my favorite baby names?
on May 17th, 2010 at 1:45 pm
I think Brits know what they are doing!
on May 17th, 2010 at 2:08 pm
Meh, not a fan of these names. It seems you cherry-picked all the snobbish names out of the list. I hate Arthur too
on May 17th, 2010 at 4:23 pm
I love the multiple middles and the combination of classic and quirky names. My favorite, albeit guilty pleasure, sibsets on this list — Bertram & Violet, Honor & Darcey & Kian, Jago & Lydia, Otto & Poppy, Birdie & Joseph.
Charlotte Vera Said
on May 17th, 2010 at 11:12 pm
Oooh, delicious! I wonder where Llywela comes from? It’s fascinating!
on May 17th, 2010 at 11:22 pm
Charlotte Vera, Llywela is Welsh.
on May 18th, 2010 at 9:47 am
If I’m not wrong, the proper pronunciation of that double L in Llywela is not really like the standard English L, but sort of an airy, aspirated L sound. It;s my understanding Floyd and Lloyd represent the same name and the two spellings were originally variants trying to represent the double L sound for English-speakers… any Welsh-speakers, please correct me if that’s inaccurate.
on May 19th, 2010 at 10:53 am
That’s what I’ve heard/read too, JNE. I should add though that the sumtotal of my knowledge about Welsh pronounciations comes from reading Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising series. *eyeroll at self*
on May 20th, 2010 at 12:45 am
Not a Welsh speaker but love my Welsh holidays. As far as Welsh place names goes (and assuming the same for people names) the double Ll is generally pronounced something similar to the Cl sound, thus Llandudno is pronounced something like Clan/clun-did-no, Llangollen something like Clan-goth-len. So Llywela might be Cle-wella?
on May 25th, 2010 at 1:55 pm
Cle-wella DeVille? ;D
Mrs G Said
on October 18th, 2010 at 10:34 am
Llywela, is a female form of Llywellen. Americans might recognise it as Luella. Also recently posted in the Telegraph. A trend perhaps?
Llywela Ann Said
on January 20th, 2011 at 3:51 pm
My first name is Llywela and it’s a femenine version of the name Llywelyn, our last before Wales lost it’s indipendednce, I think. Llywelyn Ein Llyw Olaf, I also want to say that is NOT how you pronounce the double L, It annoys me so much when people think that, although I can’t explain it through text, I’m sure there are guides on youtube. It’s nice to see people interested in my name considering I hate it.
on January 20th, 2011 at 4:22 pm
Hi Llywela: We will be running a blog on Welsh names very soon, and it makes an attempt to explain how to pronounce the double L sound.
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