Thursday, December 21, 2006

baby shower

The latest list of the most popular baby names (i.e. for 2006) has just been published. I don't have any earth-shattering observations to make, other than the following:

- firstly, and fairly trivially, the girls' names list seems significantly more chavvy than the boys, particularly when you get down into the 20's and 30's. Madison?

- Secondly, and more importantly, there's a fundamental problem with some of these. This one seems to affect the boys more than the girls: 3 of the top 10, numbers 1, 5 and 10, as well as 15 and 16 of the next 10. Of the girls, 10 and 13 definitely, as well as arguably a few others (a lot more girls' names end in -y or -ie which makes it more difficult). And the problem is: these are DIMINUTIVE forms of names. Jack is a diminutive form of John, Harry of Henry, Charlie of Charles, etc. etc. You don't christen someone Charlie, you christen them Charles (an actual name) and let nature, their family and friends take their course - which might very well end up with them being called Charlie. There's much made here, among other places, about the new names being charming throwbacks to bygone days with people being christened Alfie, Freddie and Archie, etc. Well, let me tell you how many kids were christened Alfie, Freddie and Archie a century ago - none. Alfred, Frederick and Archibald, yes, undoubtedly. Why does this bother me? I don't really know, to be honest; I suppose it wouldn't bother me if I thought a conscious decision was being made to go for the diminutive form rather than the "proper" name - I'd like to think that, I really would, but it's not true, it's just ignorance. I'm pretty sure I'd rather kids were christened Fifi Trixibelle or Moon Unit than Katie or Charlie.

1 comment:

everlands said...

I am totally with you on this one. OK, so we call our daughter Lottie, but on her birth certificate it says Charlotte.

I also can't get my head round people knowing the sex and name of their baby 6 months before it's born.

I wouldn't name a pet goldfish until I'd actually seen the bloody thing.