Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Call me Julie


Did you know it's been illegal to call a child Myra since 1968?

Not really. But it may as well be.

As we all know, it's a criminal offence in Germany to call a child Adolf. Consequently there are no Adolfs in Germany anymore (except for some pre-war births, probably). But how many Myras do you know who were born after 1966 in Britain?

I'll bet it's precisely zero.

My mum has a friend called Julie. I remarked to her daughter that that was a very modern name for a mum, and she confessed that her mother's name was actually Myra, but she changed it in the Sixties for obvious reasons. Who wouldn't rather be Julie Christie than Myra Hindley? No one wanted to be saddled with a name that instantly summoned up a cold-hearted murderess - and that chilling headshot.

But by the same token, why didn't the name Ian die out at the same time? Perhaps because it was more common and there were lots of other Ians to think about, whereas, the late Myra Hess aside, there weren't really any other Myras on the radar. Or was it the collective shock that a woman could be so cruel that the name became evil personified? I've often mulled over this.

After all, Rose is more popular than ever. And as for Jack, well you don't need me to tell you. So what's the future for Jade or Madeleine, or any other names with notoriety attached?

What's certain is we'll never see another Myra, not in this country. We even baulked at naming our cat that.

12 comments:

chris said...

Bizarrely enough, if you go to the brilliant www.findmypast.com website, it seems there have been 3 Myra Jones, 1 Myra Smith and 1 Myra Williams registered since 1984.

Clair said...

Whither Barry, Tony and Colin, too?

Five-Centres said...

And Norman, Keith, Maureen, Irene, Doreen, Mavis, Muriel, Bryn, Carol, Karen, Susan, Peter, Andrew, Paul and Ray?

Planet Mondo said...

Can't imagine many nippers being named - Geoff, Graham, Alan or Brian either. Nothing sinister they just seem too adult for tots.

SuzyPepper said...

There's not been a Gerald born in this country since '66 apparently

Clair said...

My nephew (born 1980) is called Gerald. I know, I know...

SuzyPepper said...

How did he escape my notice?...

Matthew Rudd said...

Jez Quigley in Coronation Street was called Gerald. I take it you weren't including fictionals...?

When I was at Imagine FM in Stockport in the early 00s, I had a regular listener from Hyde called Myra. I reckon she was in her 30s at the time.

Bright Ambassador said...

There was a thing in our local paper last week about popular names in the area in 2007. Apparently the names Rocky, Rio and Samson were all registered. So people are naming their kids after chocolate bars and pipe tobacco.

office pest said...

I thought the punchline of Bright Ambassador's comment was going to be "...and they're all dogs!"
They could be though.

FeedbackReport said...

I once very briefly dated a Myra, who would have been born '73-'75-ish. She seemed thoroughly unconcerned by her name and nobody ever commented on it...

Clair said...

Maybe her mum named her after Myra Hindley. That's nice.

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