Friday, 30 August 2013

What's in a name?

You might have seen in the papers or on 'This Morning' a while back, that horsey-looking posh woman who used to be on 'The Apprentice', spouting her nonsense about such subjects as fat people and kids with chavvy names. Katie Hopkins, that's the badger; with a posh name like that obviously she's more than qualified to pour scorn on the Kylie's and Charmaine's of this world (did the sarcasm come across ok?). What she basically said, in a judgmental nutshell, was that she wouldn't allow her own precious offspring play with school friends who had names which suggested a lower class (Tyler and Chardonnay were the examples she gave), and hated when parents called their children after celebrities, or place names... momentarily forgetting she'd named one of her own darlings 'India'.

Anyway. I won't be getting involved in the big name debate because - let's face it - I'm bound to offend someone. In the privacy of my own home I may cast a cursory snigger at the poor little buggers who have been cursed with being such names as 'Apple' (Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris thingy from 'Coldplay'), or 'Jermajesty' (son of Jermaine Jackson. Seriously. I know - it sounds like one of those words Nicole Scherzinger makes up..Schamazing!) Being the product of a celebrities loins makes it slightly more acceptable to have a daft name, because it doesn't make a difference to the opportunities that life opens up when your dad is a multi-millionaire rocker. But let's face it, you've got fluff-all chance of an interview if you're sending in CV's headed with the name MoonUnit Smith.

The reason behind all of my chattering is that (thanks to my stupid sprained ankle), I've been watching an awful lot of rubbish telly. And I realised that, in all of the soaps or 'reality' shows etc, does anybody share their name with another character. Obviously in Hollyoaks this is a given; it's unlikely you'd catch two people with the name 'Mitzeeee' living in the same street. But in Eastenders, Emmerdale, Corrie, I've struggled to find two characters with the same name. And I know that's probably because it would get a bit confusing for the script writers, but still - it's not very realistic.
I think about the kids at my daughters school and there's a good few groups of 3 or 4 that share names, because that is realistic. Two of my friends have husbands who share the same name and spelling of my other half - and he hasn't got a particularly common name.

But when it comes to names, while I think that nasty Hopkins woman is nowt but a snob (I mean, why would you punish a child for something their parent had done?), there is a point somewhere in her diatribe. Because who can deny that, when they were plumbing the depths of their minds and baby books for prospective names, they didn't skip past the ones that had memories of someone they'd known before? "Noooooo! I'm not calling him Simon*! There was a kid in Juniors called Simon who used to eat his ear wax!" (*names for illustrative purposes only). So names do have connotations for us, even if we don't take things as far as Horsey Hopkins. I've stuck with fairly sensible names for my two - The Daughter is named after my sister who died when we were young, and The BoyChild is named after my granddad. I might just throw all sense out of the window if we have a third though...any thoughts on Cheesecake Hague anyone??

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