As today is the anniversary of the birth of Wilhelm Grimm (the younger of the two “Brothers Grimm”) and Sunday (26th February) is “Tell a Fairy Tale Day”, we thought we’d celebrate by taking a closer look at some of the baby names used by our customers that also feature in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
While we don’t have some of the more famous names (such as Rapunzel, Cinderella, or even a Hansel & Gretel), there are few less well known fairy tales that feature some better known names:
In “Faithful John”, a servant is given three warnings about terrible events that are about to happen to a woman who is due to marry his master (the king); John is told how to prevent these events from happening BUT must not tell anyone the truth about his actions or he will turn to stone.
John is the English form of a Latin form of a Greek name that is derived from a Hebrew name, meaning “God is gracious”. John has a number of variations, diminutives, and feminine forms, including Jowan, Evan, Ian, Ivan, Sean, Shane, Shaun, Shawn, Eoin, Ioan, Iwan, Iefan, Ieuan, Jack, Jake, Ianto, Jock, Jane, Janet, Janna, Jayne, Jean, Jeanette, Joan, Joanne, Johanna, and Shauna.
Among our customers, “John” is one of the top 75 names for boys.
In “Lazy Henry” (sometimes “Lazy Harry”), a lazy man marries so that he can share his duties with his wife (so he won’t have to work as hard); unfortunately, his wife is just as lazy as he is and, following an argument, she accidentally destroys their last source of income (a pot of honey).
Henry and Harry are both derived from the Germanic name “Heimirich”, which means “Ruler of the home”. Another hugely popular name, there are a variety of alternative versions including Hal, Hank, Hendry, Henri, Harrie, Ettie, Etta, Hallie, Harriet, Henrietta, and Hettie.
Among our customers, “Harry” is the most popular name for boys, while Henry remains a firm favourite, sitting just outside the top 20 names for boys.
“Sweetheart Roland” features an evil witch, a bad daughter, a good stepdaughter, a shepherd and a wise woman, and the titular Roland who, after a mixture of murder, mistaken identity, magical transformations, spells, and enchantments, is united with his true love for a traditional happy ending.
A popular French name with Germanic origins meaning “Renowned throughout the land”; the name Roland was made famous by a Frankish military leader under Charlemagne who became the subject of a number of (highly embellished) epic poems. Variations include Orlando, Rolando, Rolland, and Roly.
Among our customers, “Roland” only made one appearance in 2016 but we think it’s a brilliant name!
In “Lean Lisa”, Lisa is the exact opposite of Henry and his wife; she works all day long and spends all night thinking about how she can get money to buy a cow, and ends up fighting with her husband about their future prospects (providing the lesson that is possible to work too hard as well as too little).
Lisa is actually a diminutive form of Elizabeth/Elisabeth (the meaning of this name is usually given as “God is my oath”/“pledged to God”/“oath of God”/“God is satisfaction”/“My God is bountiful”) and is one of many different variations of that name. Lisa is a popular name in a number of countries including Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Austria, and Belgium.
Among our customers, Lisa is one of the less commonly used variations of Elizabeth but remains a consistent presence in our list of baby names year after year.
Unfortunately, while the Elsie of the Grimm fairy tale is given the title of “Clever Elsie”, she is actually anything but and acts as a warning that you may not know the true nature of someone until it is too late!
Like Lisa, Elsie is another diminutive form of Elizabeth and has increased rapidly in popularity over the last decade (though it may be its closeness to the name of a certain ice princess rather than its closeness to “Elizabeth” that accounts for this jump!).
Among our customers, Elsie is much more popular than she is in her fairy tale, being one of the top 80 names for girls.
We hope you have a fabulous weekend with a happy ever after ending to your half term break.
If you have the “grimm” nightmare of finding that your children have “misplaced” some of their school uniform or equipment before or over the holidays, remember, you don’t need to wait for a fairy godmother to arrive! Simply order some of our multipurpose Stikins ® name labels to get all their stuff quickly and securely labelled – and watch in amazement as these wonderfully labels simply stick on and stay on as if by magic!