What’s in a name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”  Shakespeare

This weekend I met a new baby with a very unusual name. Probably one of the most unusual names I’ve ever heard in fact. It got me thinking, what’s in a name? Why do unusual names get so much stick and why do people pick unusual names? Does it matter what we call our children?

I have an unusual name, it’s Welsh, so in Wales it’s probably pretty common but in Yorkshire it’s very unusual. Over the years I’ve had every pronunciation going, everyone asks me what it shortens to and if I had a pound for every time someone has misspelled it I would be a rich woman. However, I like that my name is different, it was nice to be the only one at school, but yes it does get frustrating always having to spell your name out for people. I wonder if people consider that when choosing a child’s name or inventing a new spelling for a name?

Are normal names ‘out’? Are names more often now a sign of social standing? In five years time will schools be full of Apple’s, Zepher’s, Harper’s and Haven’s?…….

I understand that people don’t want a name that is too popular but do they really have to pick names that are that out there? Is there a secret silent wish that these children will be famous?

Do you think that names are a sign of social standing or is it just the way that society is changing?


2 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Children’s names is a bit of a sticky subject, lots of people seem to have an opinion of your choice of name. I’m married to an Italian and so we called our children Luca and Marco, we wanted names that carried on the families Italian heritage but would still work here so that the children wouldn’t be teased. My husband really wanted Luciano and Mauro but we felt they were just too unusual and ‘foreign’.
    As for English names and social standing, well I think everyone will have certain names that they associate with a certain type of person/social standing. Where we live there a few names that pretty much tell you the estate the children live on (council estate of poor reputation!), we don’t have a ‘posher’ range of names really but I would say that names like Rupert, Tarquin, Edgar, Kitty, Bunty etc and similar say Grammer School to me!!!

    • I know a lady who is married to an Italian and he is called Mauro! I love your boys names and I agree they are similar enough to English names but clearly Italian origins! Its funny how different names evoke different feelings about the person isn’t it. I have quite a few friends who are teachers and they have long lists of names that they couldn’t use as they have known children with a certain name and not liked them!
      A lot of my pre-conceptions around names are probably way off mark but I immediately cringe inside with some of the names around at the moment

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