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How old is your name?

We were discussing at work today, how much your name can date you – specifically a name from the sixties. For instance, a lightening survey of the Teens (I can’t keep calling them children - the word implies something far more smiley and wholesome) has just revealed that there isn’t a single Karen in their whole school. Nor has there been for many a long year. There’s no Barbara, Sandy, Linda, Patricia, Susan, Jane, Wendy, Anne, Pamela, Dawn, Janet, Terry or Darren either. I wonder why they haven’t stood the test of time, in the way that Victorian names have? There’s always going to be your, what my grandmother would have called ‘outlandish’ name creeping in, like Storm, Mercedes or Haribo (ok, I made that up) – but most of those sixties names are dead in the water, baby. Apparently Arthur and Enid are becoming popular again, but Lesley? Or Beverley? Kenneth, anyone? Apparently not. I did consider calling my daughter after my grandmother, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. Even as a middle name. Knowing how cruel children can be, I just couldn’t saddle her with Ethel as a moniker.

While conducting a spot of research about my name - Danish in origin, apparently, and a derivative of Katherine, which sounds a lot more timeless to me - I came across this:-

Your Japanese Name Is...

Akina Inoue

Can’t see it catching on, somehow.


Lane said…
I grew up with three Karens and a Caren. Much prefer the K. Also my school was choc full of Carolines and Sarahs. You don't get many babies now called Caroline:-)

My Japanese name is Rumiko Minase. Lovely.
HelenMH said…
When I was at school I usually found myself in a class with at least three other Helens. I have no idea why parents in the late sixties all decided en masse to call their daughters Helen. Also at school there was one Karen and one Karon!
Maddie Moon said…
They're all good solid names, aren't they? In my son's class there are four Toms! Sigh!

Like you, I wanted to give my Son his grandfather's name, but Reginald doesn't look good from any angle so I opted for giving him the same middle name, Frederick.

My Japanese name is Maeko Suzuki. Hmmm, I think I'll stick with Maddie!
Juliette M said…
I didnt have any Karens or Karons or Carens in my class, but we have a Karen and a Caron at work. My school was full of Sarahs, Helens and Catherines. My sister's class was full of Amys and Emmas. Now everyone is called Lauren. (Which is my sister's name. My mum chose it because it was unusual - now there's hundreds of em.)

I also really like Jack for boys - but again I bet there'll be hundreds of Jacks in school when I have a baby.

As for my name I changed it to Juliette when I was 18 so I can't really comment :)

My ex partner is a Kenneth, and he is only 26.

I do love name discussions though. Great post!
FPDuck said…
or Haribo (ok, I made that up)

Ixnay on the amingnay! It's the 'could be worse' scenario- as soon as you say it, it gets worse. Now some poor child is going to be called Haribo! Could you live with yourself?

I actually quite like the name Haribo - it's sweet (see what I did there?)

Juliette, I'm curious now about your original name! Esmerelda, Chlamydia? Bob? I'll stop now.

It's funny how you associate names with types of people too - for instance I know a couple of Tina's, both blonde and bubbly, while the Kate's I know are dark-haired and clever! Crucial when you're thinking of characters to write about, but that's a whole other subject :)
Leigh said…
There is a girl in small boy's class (Reception) called Jacky. It seems so incongruous!

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