“2la” – The First Number-Name in Britain?

Back in the early 1990s, the Fotherby family of England welcomed two daughters, Zanya Obea and Zaedea 2la.

The BBC ran an article about the sisters back in 2000. “They both love music and, with names like theirs, they are tailor made to be pop stars,” their father was quoted as saying.

At the time, it was thought that younger sister Zaedea might be “the only child in Britain with a number registered as part of her name.” (In the U.S., number-names are permitted in some states, but not others.)

Her name had caused some confusion in school — teachers thought Zaedea “must have meant to write Tula or Toola” when she wrote 2la — but she said she liked it regardless.

Source: ‘I’m not a name, I’m a number’

4 thoughts on ““2la” – The First Number-Name in Britain?

  1. hi, I did this story as a young (ish) news reporter for the Nottingham Post in 2000. I did the interview with Mr Fotherby and all the quotes came from that.

    The girl’s name wasn’t 21a as you have written but 2la hence the pronunciation Tula.

    Very interesting family. I hope they are all doing well.

  2. Hi Steve, thanks for the comment/correction.

    Weirdly, the BBC has it written both ways — “21a” and “2la.” But you’re right — the Tula quote only makes sense in the second case. I’ll correct the post.

    Thanks again.

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