Wednesday, 25 February 2009

What's in a Name?

My children's names are very straightforward, traditional and impossible to shorten. Those were the parameters that my wife and I set when searching for names. Names of ex girlfriends were definitely out as was anything obscure and high-profile biblical. I wonder what Sir Bob Geldof was thinking when he named his first born Fifi Trixiebelle Geldof. As if to snub his nose at his detractors he named his second born Peaches Honeyblossom Michelle Charlotte Angel Vanessa Geldof; at least Peaches has the option of calling herself by the relatively normal names such as Michelle or Charlotte etc.

But then what's 'normal?' Indeed why should we rail at the choice of a parent for their child's name.

I suppose in the back of my mind was that I didn't want my kids to go through school life hell being bullied just because of a crazy name. Having said that my son went to school with a boy called Christopher Peter Bacon: Chris P Bacon?

I thought the BBC triumphed again with a bit of nonsense today in their news reporting with a list of names given to them from the researchers of parenting group after trawling through online telephone records. There are some real classics, but this time is is not the outrageous but the wordplay between given name and surname, for example Justin Case, Barb Dwyer and Stan Still.

Parents must have been either drunk, insensible to the possibilities or had a cruel sense of humour with which they have burdened their kids (although some apparently, like Rose Bush don't see it as a burden.)

Some real life UK examples were Pearl Button, Jo King, Barry Cade, Carrie Oakey, Priti Manek, Tim Burr, Hazel Nutt and Rose Bush. In America, they found Anna Prentice, Annette Curtain and Bill Board.

Trust the inimitable Samuel Goldwyn to come up with a classic Goldwynism: "Now why did you call your baby 'John'? Every Tom, Dick and Harry is called 'John'"

Chat soon


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