Wednesday, 20 May 2015

What's in a name?

I know a bit of time has elapsed since our latest Princess was born and named, but I like the names given to her.

Charlotte Elizabeth Diana pays tribute to both paternal grandparents and great-grandmother, so seems very fitting.

I'm a big fan of family names.  My daughter and nephew both have monikers which have been in our families for generations, and I think it's nice to carry on these traditions.

Names are so important, aren't they?  I know they can be changed by deed poll if you really hate them, but other than that you really are stuck with them for life.

That's why I feel naming a child is a huge responsibility, not to be taken lightly.

I'm guessing that there's not many babies being named 'Helen' at the moment.  Names come in and out of fashion, and mine was big in the 1970s (as well as Ancient Greece).

When I think of the people I was at school with, in my class we had three Helens, three Lisas, a couple of Katies, and in my year there were a number of Karens, Sarahs and Claires.

According to the top names for girls in the UK in 2014 were Sophia, Emily and Lily, while for boys they were Muhammad, Oliver and Jack.

Interestingly, this website also lists the names on the verge of extinction - for girls these are Bertha, Corrine, Dinah, Edwina, Philomena and Gretchen. 

For boys, it appears that we're no longer naming them Bertram, Clifford, Frasier, Godfrey, Mortimer or Virgil.

It also speculated on why these names were unpopular, and it turns out it can be negative associations which put people off.  I can relate to this - I remember a bully at school, and that put me off that name for life.

But I think with the above list it is probably associations with MPs and TV programmes which are the cause - nobody wants to name their child after a Thunderbird, a radio-psychiatrist, an egg-obsessed former Health Minister or a cartoon Big Red Dog, do they?!

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