21 November 2019

Hello, My Name Is... (2019 Edition)

Abby (Abigail)
father is rejoicing

I needed a names beginning with A for Millie's twin girls and Abby is a name I really like. I chose this spelling, rather than Abbie, so it wasn't so similar to her sister's name, Annie.

gracious, full of grace

Again, I needed a female name beginning with A! It's one of those things, sometimes names just work - I didn't have to think much about which lamb got which name. I couldn't imagine them swapped now.

Bea (Beatrice)
she who brings happiness

For my second crop of lambs it was only natural to choose the letter B. Bea is named after Beatrice Kingdom, a character played by Hermione Norris in the delightful ITV series Kingdom. No one has ever heard of Kingdom but I love it and wanted to pay tribute. (Penny's mum, Gloria, was also named after a character from Kingdom.)

a small square of dense, pale-coloured cake, typically of a butterscotch or vanilla flavour

By the time Cilla's babies were born, I was, frankly, starting to run out of ideas for B names. However it was around this time that I was discovering The Great British Bake Off. I love brownies, and what goes with Brownie? Why, Blondie of course!

Bob (Robert)
fame, bright

Bob is in fact named after Bob Odinkirk as I had been binging Better Call Saul and Mr. Show around the time I got him. It's also a perfect example of how I name male sheep versus how I name female sheep. Girls get names that are traditional, elegant... and boys get names that are a bit silly, because boy sheep in general are a bit sillier than girl sheep. A man called Bob is normal, but a sheep called Bob is just automatically funny to me.

beautiful, good-natured and cheerful

I had the name picked out for Morag's lamb (if it was a girl) for a long time. Bonnie is a Scotch way to call something "good" and I thought it would be the perfect name for a little Scottish Blackface baby. Looking at this picture, I must get an updated picture of wee Bonnie.

power, strength, vigour, virtue

A strong Irish name for Penny's strongest baby. This is a name I have wanted to use for a while - I just liked the sound of it. It suits Bridget perfectly.

a small square of rich chocolate cake

Blondie's sister is also named after a delicious treat.

Cilla (Cecilia)
blind, dim-sighted

Cilla is far from blind or dim-sighted - she's actually named after legendary English entertainer, and fixture of childhood Saturday nights at my granny's house, Cilla Black. Because Cilla the sheep is a black sheep. I make myself laugh, at least.

disputed; myrtle or star

I'm always on the lookout for names that would suit lambs and when I came across someone called Esther, who was really very lovely, I decided to steal her name. Last year I was giving Mule pet lambs names based on plants, but I liked the name Esther enough to break the pattern. I'm glad I did.


Not technically a specific flower, so I'd already slightly broken my rule of Mules having names based on plants. Flora is named after all of the flowers! Where I'd actually gotten the idea for using the name on a lamb was from watching an episode of Doctor Who where a very minor character had the name. There's the Flora butter of course, so maybe she's named after that...

Gertie (Gertrude)
strong spear

The youngest of this year's pet lambs is named after Gertie the Dinosaur, the lovable cartoon character from 1914.

heather, plants of the heath family

Heather is exactly the sort of name I was aiming for when I was trying to name Mules after plants. She's named after the aunt of my friend whose funeral I had attended the previous January. She was a beautiful person whose name was also beautiful, so I called my prettiest pet lamb Heather in her honour.

Jim (James)
supplanting, seizing by the heel

Jim is the only sheep here that was named so he would match with another. I knew I was getting Sunny who was also a Zwartbles, so to make them a pair in more than appearance, I called this tip lamb Jim. Together they are SunnyJim.


For a long time (a few days, which is a long time for me not to name something) I couldn't think of a name for this little Suffolk-cross lamb. I have a long list of names I'd like to use someday but none of them seemed to fit. My granny and I used to watch The Great British Sewing Bee together (she was an excellent seamstress) and this year my favourite contestant, right from the start, was a lady called Juliet. She was amazing! So I named the little lamb in the kitchen after her.

lily flower

Lily is one of my favourite names and I have nearly used it several times but I wanted to save it for something really special. Then Lily came along, and like with Juliet I was struggling to find a name that really "fit" her. Lily was just the perfect name for this special little survivor.

Liz (Elizabeth)
God is my oath

Liz is named after a pet lamb I had back in 2009 - a beautiful Suffolk/Texel cross. Liz sadly died when she was around six months old and I swore I would name my next Suffolk pet lamb after her. I had to wait nine years but here she is! She also shares her name with me, as Elizabeth is my middle name.


Lois, like Esther, is named after a dear Internet friend of mine. Because the human Lois is so nice and kind, I associate that name with those qualities - and now I also associate that name with a slightly moody Hampshire Down.

Maggie (Margaret)
a pearl

Speaking of moody Hampshire Downs, there's the even moodier Maggie. Her name is just one I have liked for many years, and I thought she would suit it - and she does.

Millie (Mildred)
gentle strength

Millie was originally named Missy by my friend Emma, but I don't live in the Wild West so I modified it to the much more palatable Millie.

shortening of Araminta, meaning prayer and protection

Minty and Monty by Jenny Dale was one of my favourite books growing up. Naming this white lamb Minty was a no-brainer.

disputed; moor, great, sun or star of the sea

Morag is my one remaining little Scottish Blackface ewe and I am very fond of her. Look how short and chubby! Of course, being a Scottish breed, I wanted a good Scottish name. One of the carers that came to help care for my granny in her final 18 months was a very nice woman called Morag. And yes, you guessed it, I stole her name too.

a tree of the olive family

Every year, usually in the summer or autumn, a name will pop into my head for the first of the pet lambs in the spring. Penny was the first of these, Olive the second, and last summer the name Leslie sprang to mind. There could be a Leslie yet...

Penny (Penelope)
thread on a bobbin

In the autumn of 2016, the name Penny for a pet lamb popped into my head. I don't quite know where it came from - maybe I'd caught a repeat of The Big Bang Theory, a programme I don't even watch. Wherever it came from, Penny was the perfect name for Gloria's little, abandoned child come January.

pear or pearl

Rita is named after my mum's Auntie Rita. When I was young I loved it when Auntie Rita came to visit. I haven't seen her for over a decade now but I hope she doesn't mind that I borrowed her name. It's always been one of my favourites.

Rosie (Rosalie)

Rosie was named by Emma's mum, Ann, on the same day as Millie was. I liked the name very much, and it's of special significance because my granny's name middle name was Rosalie. It's a sweet name for a sweet sheep.

sunny day

Sunny was already named when I got him. While his sisters got elegant, feminine names, Sunny was named after the beautiful sunny day he was born on.

Tilly (Matilda)
mighty in battle

Tilly is named after an old Suffolk ewe we used to have who wasn't a pet but was very quiet and sweet-natured. Tilly, to me, is just one of those names that suits a Suffolk, so when Tilly came along, the choice of name was obvious.

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