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Names fit for a king (or queen)
Matt Pickles | 03 Jun 12
If you’re looking at the image above, don’t worry - you are not at the opticians. This is actually a word cloud showing the names of the kings and queens of England and, later, Britain from the Anglo-Saxons to today.
The word cloud was created by the team at Oxford University Press' Oxford Words blog. The larger the size of the name, the more often this name was taken by a monarch.
It is clear that the pattern of naming has changed over the years, with the Anglo-Saxon Aelfweard and Eadwig and the Danish Cnut and Harthacnut not catching on.
The Norman Conquest brought more names of Latin and French derivation to our shores but some pre-conquest names like Edward have continued to be very successful.
The monarchy would return to its nominally Norman roots if, as some suspect, Britain’s next monarch is called ‘William’.
Top image: Oxford Words blog (Oxford Dictionaries); Bottom image: An Australian stamp commemorating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, who is now celebrating her Jubilee (Wikimedia Commons)