What’s in a name?

The other day I read that people are naming their babies after Instagram filters. Seriously. In five years the infant school registers will be crammed with names such as Lark, Juno, Willow, Kelvin, Aden, Hudson and Sierra.

Is this an indicator that we’re sick of the Oliver’s and Chloe’s or is it a sign that some people really shouldn’t procreate? You decide.

Does it actually matter what we’re called? Katie Hopkins thinks so. Two years ago Katie hit the headlines when she said a name was a shortcut of finding out what class a child comes from. She went as far as to say children with certain names would not be permitted to play with her children. A particular pet peeve of hers were children named after geographical locations, such as Brooklyn or London.

One of Katie’s children is named India. Look to camera

Does your name affect your life? Some people dismiss the topic out of hand as nonsense. Well, maybe we should ask the Sharon’s and Tracy’s of the world. If you google “Sharon and Tracy” a list of searches come up. None of them are flattering.

  • Sharon and Tracy slang
  • Sharon and Tracy Viz
  • Sharon and Tracy fat slags
  • Sharon and Tracy jokes
  • Sharon and Tracy chav

tumblr_n69cmcIx7a1qe5oq8o3_r1_250
Tracy (High Society, 1956) has just googled her name.
Actor, writer and host of The Late Late Show, James Corden revealed something about his name in his autobiography May I Have Your Attention Please?

James Kimberley Corden
Some of us think Kimberley is a nice name, James.
At least it was only his middle name eh?

One of my favourite snippets of information that I stumbled across was from a 2005 study from the University of Florida that stated if you were a boy with what was commonly thought of as a girl’s name you were more likely to be suspended from school. I could have told you that! I suspect little Hillary gets into a lot of fights behind the bikesheds.

What about the letter kids? We all had them at school. The children in the year with the same first name so they had to have their surname letter tacked onto the end so you could differentiate. “Holly S. will you please come up to the front, Holly C. you can sit down…”

Then there’s the whole trend of giving children first names that sound like surnames. The Bailey’s, Carson’s, Carter’s and MacKenzie’s. It’s always fun if you have surname siblings (“Cooper & Madison”). They always sound like law firms to me.

It’s nice to feel like an individual but nobody wants a tongue twister. You often hear people say having a tricky name is “character building”. Hmm… I’m not convinced. Same goes for long names. My brother in-law is an Alexander with a ten letter surname. He was especially keen for his two daughters to have short, simple names. Who can blame him?

What if your partner isn’t from the same place you are? And they want a really traditional name you can’t spell, let alone pronounce? If you have been watching the latest series of Catastrophe (Channel 4) you will have seen the hilarious scene where Rob can’t pronounce his new daughter’s name.

catastrophe robcatastrophe name

It was Muireann by the way. It’s Irish and means “sea white, sea fair”. So now you know. 😆

Does having an unusual name set you apart? Perhaps. On the rise is the name Nevaeh. That’s Heaven spelt backwards for those of you that hadn’t noticed. It ranked just outside the top 100 in 2014 in the UK and is set to climb higher when the 2015 figures are released. Apparently it’s a name often favoured by porn actresses. I doubt these parents know that.

A few days ago celebrities Kanye West and Kim Kardashian-West introduced their new baby to world. His name? Saint. They’re obviously huge Roger Moore fans. Saint joins big sister, North. My husband really wants North’s middle name to be “By North”. North By Northwest. Geddit?

Whether you feel lost in the crowd or think you stand out for all the wrong reasons just remember there are worse names out there. You could be the child of that couple in Denmark who wanted to name their baby “Anus”.

If you fancy seeing how popular your name is then click here Go on! You know you want to!

This post was originally written December 2015. 

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