Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Names


It’s all a matter of taste, of course, but personally I don’t go for naming children something hugely original such as Honey or Apple or Moon Unit or Zowie. This may be partly out of sympathy on my part for the teacher who has to pronounce or decipher or simply not laugh at these names in a few years’ time; but I do also feel for the children in question.

In the Style section of last Sunday’s paper was a rather fine example of names that I wouldn’t personally recommend. The topic of one article was a rather expensively presented flat in London – part of a former leather factory. The owners have now produced offspring, and “… although not designed for children, this is a brilliant place for them. What was to have become a cinema became a bedroom for four-year-old Dauphine, and the guest room is now home to Orient, nearly two”.

I once saw, in the birth announcements of “The Scotsman” newspaper, that a Mr and Mrs Ball had produced a daughter. Honestly – I saw it with my own eyes – they were naming her Crystal. Could it have been a joke? This was in 1978 – I remember that we were on our way to the Lake District the summer before Daughter 1 was born – and I have hoped ever since that she might turn up in one of my classes. Alas, not so far.

15 comments:

Molly said...

Some of the names I've come across are truly outlandish.....or I'm truly old-fashioned and stuck deep in the mud. One I know of that comes to mind is "Remember", for a little boy. How confusing. "Do you Remember when you were little, Remember, and nobody could remember your name?" Why would you do that to your own flesh and blood?

Molly said...

Yes indeed, they were American. As for lurkers, don't know why they'd peek in the windows and not make their presence known, unless their silence is to spare us scathing comments, in which case I say "lurk on!"

Dave said...

It seems like a lot of movie stars like to name their kids with "off the wall" names. What a way to have kids despise their parents for the rest of their lives!

Gina E. said...

Oh Isabelle, I agree with you 100% on this topic! Like Molly and Dave, I wonder why people do this to their kids? I was once introduced to a small boy whose name was 'North'. I had to wonder if he had a sister called 'South'. Honestly, nothing would surprise me..

Isabelle said...

Oh. wow. I thought that Remember would win the stupid-name competition, but North is a strong contender too. At least, as you suggest, it would cut down the pondering about the next three children's names.

Dawn said...

I am with you...the worst I've seen
1. Promise Land
and...
2. Chrysta Chanda Lear

RIDICULOUS!

meggie said...

I agree about names. I recently had a rant about it.
I think the worst I have seen lately is a little girl called Hyenah- her mother insists it is pronounced 'Harnah'- why didnt she spell it that way???
Poor kid, poor teachers.

velcro said...

ok I confess. When I was a teenager I wanted to call my future daughter Rainbow. Fortunately for her I
a. haven't got any daughters
and
b. have a husband who after he picks himself up off the floor, and wipes the tears of mirth from his eyes, would point blank refuse.

So it probably would not come as a surprise if I say that actually I quite like the name "Apple" (MrV refuses to even consider it if we ever have a daughter).

Morning Glory said...

I've stopped by a time or two to acquaint myself with your blog. This is a funny post and I, too, do NOT understand what some parents must be thinking when they choose names for their children.

Zanna said...

I agree totally and as well as strange names I think strange spellings are just as bad - even such a simple name as Jade I've seen about 4 or 5 different spellings for. My real name is Anne and people have trouble knowing whether or not to put the E on the end!! so heaven help some of these kids - because I think your name is an integral part of who you are and if it isn't spelt correctly it's like a kind of a personal insult. Have a great week!

Michelle said...

I'm never quite sure whether it is done out of thoughtlessness, twisted sense of humor, or just outright perverseness.

Remember the olympic silver medal winner in downhill skiing: Picabo (pronounced peek-a-boo) Street...?

That's just wrong (funny but wrong).

mjd said...

Hello, I am blog hopping and came across your interesting blog.

I know a woman, named Daphne and is nick-named Daffy. Her maiden name was Duck; she reportedly has a brother named Donald.

I teach science at a culturally diverse school in state of Indiana (USA) with students of family heritage from Africa, the Orient, Mexico, Eastern Europe as well as Great Britain. Many of the students have names that are difficult to pronounce, but most of students are very patient as I try to say their names correctly.

Linds said...

Hi there, I am here from Morning glory... it is great to see another blogger from this side of the sea! I will be back....

Linds said...

Hi Isabelle.... thanks for stopping by, and no, good heavens no, I don't read them all! I just have not got round to contracting the button so it just says family friendly blogroll. Sigh. That requires concentration and skill I think.Both are in short supply at the moment!

fifi said...

Hi Isabelle,
I am supposed to be doing research and marking papers so I am sure you can understand my sudden desire to trawl through old posts.
They are fascinating!
Anyway, tragic as it is to comment on old posts, I thought I'd throw in my favourite three.
Please say ALL with really country-aussie accents:

"Hoi, oim Cindy, Chardonnay's mum!"

" Git orf that fence, Alchemy"

and at swimming lessons, about very plain freckly toddler:
"Oh, I don't think Venus likes swimming.."
ha.
cheers...