Posts Tagged ‘“Storybook” Names’

The Tale Of Names From The World Of Beatrix Potter

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Helen Beatrix Potter was born on the 28th July 1866, so today we’re taking a look at some of the names of her best known creations to see how popular they have proven to be (with our customers at least!).

Beatrix Potter wrote 24 children’s tales beginning with “The Tale Of Peter Rabbit” (1902) – a book which has since been translated into 36 languages and has sold over 45 million copies (making it one of the best-selling books of all time!).

In addition to being an author and illustrator, Beatrix was also a natural scientist, farmer, and conservationist – the Lake District National Park is largely made up of land that she is credited with preserving. She studied a wide variety of subjects including archaeological artefacts, fossils, insects, and plants, and she became a widely respected expert in the field of mycology (the study of fungi).

Mrs Rabbit with Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter – illustration by Beatrix Potter (via Wikimedia Commons)

Beatrix and her brother (Walter Bertram) shared a love of the countryside and both were talented artists; they made endless drawings and paintings of their childhood pets and the country estates that they visited during the summer holidays. In the 1890s, they began printing cards for Christmas and other special occasions as a way to earn money and Beatrix often used mice and rabbits as the subjects of her paintings. Some of her animal drawings (including several of her pet rabbit, Benjamin Bunny) were bought by Hildesheimer and Faulkner as illustrations for books that they were publishing – inspiring Beatrix to publish her own illustrated stories.

She often added small sketches to the letters that she sent to young friends and amongst these was a letter she wrote to the eldest son of her former governess; Noel was often ill and so Beatrix wrote a short story to amuse him – a tale about “four little rabbits whose names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter”. It was this letter that Beatrix chose as the starting point for the first of her tales; “The Tale Of Peter Rabbit”.


While our customers haven’t used some of Beatrix’ more whimsical character names for their children (meaning, sadly, we haven’t printed any labels for a Flopsy, Mopsy, OR a Cottontail – or indeed anyone named Twinkleberry, Duchess, Simpkin, Hunca Munca, Moppet, Mittens, Kep, Pickles, or Diggory Delvet), we’ve seen plenty of orders for names that feature in the world of Beatrix Potter…

  • Peter (Rabbit); the hero of Beatrix’ first tale was named after her childhood pet rabbit, “Peter Piper”.
  • Benjamin (Bunny); Peter’s cousin was named for another of Beatrix’ pet rabbits.
  • Tom (Thumb and Kitten); the name of one of the “Two Bad Mice” (named for one of two mice that Beatrix rescued from a trap in her cousin’s kitchen) and the kitten who featured in his own tale.
  • Tiggy (-Winkle, Miss); the hedgehog washerwoman inspired by Kitty Macdonald (a Scottish washerwoman employed by the Potters during their summer holidays at Dalguise House) and named for Beatrix’ pet hedgehog.
  • Jeremy (Fisher); the frog fisherman inspired by Beatrix’ childhood pet frogs and her father’s love of sport fishing.
  • Tabitha (Twitchit); a character who pops up in five of Beatrix’ tales and was inspired by a cat (called Tabitha Twitchit) that lived on Hill Top Farm (bought by Beatrix in 1905).
  • Jemima (Puddleduck); based on a duck that lived at Hill Top Farm, this character was (most likely) named for Jemima Blackburn (an ornithological painter and illustrator whom Beatrix greatly admired).
  • Samuel (Whiskers); a rat named after a previous pet owned by Beatrix – a fancy rat called Sammy.
  • Anna (Maria); Samuel Whisker’s wife who appears in “The Tale Of Samuel Whiskers”, which was inspired by an invasion of rats at Hill Top Farm.
  • Ginger; a cat who features in “The Tale Of Ginger and Pickles” and was named after Tommy Bunkle – a cat belonging to a schoolmistress in the town of Sawrey (the town near to Hill Top Farm).
  • John (Dormouse); “The Tale Of Ginger and Pickles” was dedicated to John Taylor (the owner of the shop that inspired the tale) and he was included in the tale as the character John Dormouse.
  • Timmy (Tiptoes and Willie); the name of both Timmy Tiptoes (a squirrel who features in his own tale) and Timmy Willie (the country mouse who features in “The Tale Of Johnny Town-Mouse”).
  • Tommy (Brock); the badger who is the arch enemy of the fox “Mr Tod”.
  • Johnny (Town-Mouse); the friend of Timmy Willie (the country mouse) was inspired by Dr Parsons, a friend of Beatrix’ husband.
  • Cecily (Parsley); a rabbit who was featured in the illustrations for Beatrix’ second collection of traditional nursery rhymes.
  • Kitty (-in-Boots); the central character of a tale that was written in 1914 but remained unpublished until the manuscript was discovered in an archive in 2015.

Our name labels are perfect for labelling your children’s belongings safely and securely – even if they’re as adventurous as Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny! Stikins ® use a unique adhesive that is designed to make sure that these name labels simply stick on and stay on – even after repeat trips through the washing machine. Each label simply peels off its backing sheet and can then be applied onto the wash-care label of clothing or directly onto personal items, including shoes and bags, lunch boxes and water bottles, and mobile devices.

Visit our website to find out more about our Stikins ® name labels, to read reviews from families who have used our name labels year after year, or to go ahead and place an order today.

Fairy Tale Names With A Grimm Twist

Friday, February 24th, 2017

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:

JOHN:
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.

HENRY/HARRY:
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.

ROLAND:
“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!

LISA:
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.

ELSIE:
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!