Thursday, August 23, 2007

Name that loon


A couple of socialites have had a baby and called it Minty Mellon. It's not funny, it's cruel. She'll probably turn out to be some 20-stone dimwit rather than the willowy Monte Carlo-based party girl they hope she'll be.

Personally, I don't like my (real) name. It's short and dull and I always hated having to say it. The first name is three syllables, so since the age of about 15 I've picked the first syllable and stuck with it. Only family call me by the proper version. The surname is a squeaky-sounding lump of silliness I've always despised. At least I'm not called Newby Hands. Or Minty Mellon.

There was a journalist called Minty Clinch - whatever happened to her? I didn't actually realise this was a person for ages. I thought it was a stage direction. Like I thought Gay Search, who's actually a gardening writer, was an introduction bureau, like Dateline.

We all know there's a fashion for bizarre names. No wonder kids are out of control. If you were called Sauna, Jutney or Liverpate you'd be hiding under a hoodie self-harming too.

When I was at school, the classes were heaving with Susans, Peters, Davids, Andrews, Pauls and Janes. These names are dying out. When was the last time someone told you they'd called their newborn Stuart or Helen?

These people called their kids Emma, Lucy, Charlotte, James and Emily. Then they called theirs Sid, Alfie, Daisy, Stanley and Rosie. There's a real Upstairs Downstairs thing going on here. But all nice, solid names nonetheless. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Some unusual names can be nice. It's just the plain stupid (Princess Tiiami), or place names (Brooklyn), products (Porsche) or surnames (Taylor - always pronounced Ty-ler), or made up names (D'Shanae) that should be stamped out.

The campaign for real names starts here.

11 comments:

A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

I never met her, but there was a contemporary of mine at university who rejoiced under the name of Trilby Sloame. I also worked with someone who named her son Harrison, which is not that bad, only her surname was Ward.

I have come to terms with my own name over the years, particularly the constantly having to spell my surname and then finding that people have spelled my first name wrong to compensate.

Clair said...

I'm now going to start calling you by the third, under-used syllable of your name now.

I wrote about names a while back, and consequently get a lot of hits for a mention of a fashion writer called Muffie Sproat.

Five-Centres said...

My wife was at school with a girl called Amyrillis Broomhead.

Clair, you may call me Than

Clair said...

I shall. It makes you sound like the caveman you are.....grrrrr!!

TimT said...

If you and Clair will stop flirting for a moment, I'll see your Amaryllis Broomhead and raise you an Eldred Willey – a bloke I shared seminars with at university. He had a profile like one of those Norman soldiers you see on tombs, and I could well imagine that his family had been calling their firstborn son Eldred ever since the Battle of Hastings.

Maybe we could start a campaign to revive Saxon names - Ethelred, Aelfric, Athelstan...

Clair said...

Clive James has a daughter called Claerwen, and Gyles Brandreth's kids have Saxon names, though for the life of me I can't remember what they are.

Gwen said...

There's a girl in my office called Sheree. That's just plain daft although she is a really nice girl. She should change it to Sophie or something a bit more sensible.

Ishouldbeworking said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen said...

We know a certain Lucy whose second name is Chrysanthemum!

Five-Centres said...

It was Hyacinth, actually.

Helen said...

That's what I meant! Knew it was some kind of flower.

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