Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday, March 02, 2009

Traditional names are 'dying out'

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/08/13 09:39:49 GMT

Some traditional names such as Edna and Norman are in danger of dying out in England and Wales, research suggests. studied the most popular names of 1907 with those that have made the grade over the past five years.

In 1907, 1,048 babies were named Gertrude but none were in 2005. Baby Normans declined from 1,991 to two.

Many babies are named after celebrities or given made-up names now, rather than being given relatives' ones, as often happened in the past, said.

The two Normans named in 2005 were in Shropshire and Tyne and Wear.


Richard, which was the most popular name 200 years ago, has also declined.

A total of 4,671 babies were named Richard in 1807, but the number fell to 2,289 in 1907 and 538 in 2005.

However, the researchers for the social networking site did find that names such as Thomas, Jack and William have remained in vogue for 200 years.

The survey also suggests a royal connection has kept names such as Elizabeth, Philip and Charles consistently popular over the past 100 years.

It also found that some names which have lost popularity have been replaced by something similar, with Olivia replacing Olive as a popular name.


Similarly, Lily has become a modern-day Lilian and Alfred has become Alfie.

Sarah Stone, editor of, said: "Not so long ago it seems we all knew a Great Uncle Harold or Aunty Irene, but sadly it seems these names could soon be lost forever.

"It is clear that modern parents are increasingly being influenced by fashions and celebrity. However we also need to remember that there are now more choices available."

The Office for National Statistics says the most popular baby names last year were Jack, Thomas and Oliver for boys and Grace, Ruby and Olivia for girls.


'Most unfortunate names' revealed
Page last updated at 18:04 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Imagine growing up as Annette Curtain or Tim Burr
What do you call some of the most unlucky people in Britain?

Justin Case, Barb Dwyer and Stan Still.

It sounds like a bad joke, but a study has revealed that there really are unfortunate people with those names in the UK.

Joining them on the list are Terry Bull, Paige Turner, Mary Christmas and Anna Sasin.

And just imagine having to introduce yourself to a crowd as Doug Hole or Hazel Nutt.

The names were uncovered by researchers from parenting group after trawling through online telephone records.

Retired airman Stan Still, 76, from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, said his name had been "a blooming millstone around my neck my entire life".

"When I was in the RAF my commanding officer used to shout, 'Stan Still, get a move on' and roll about laughing," he said.

"It got hugely boring after a while."

But 51-year-old Rose Bush, from Coventry, West Midlands, said she loved her name. MORE UNFORTUNATE NAMES
Pearl Button
Jo King
Barry Cade
Carrie Oakey
Priti Manek
Tim Burr

"I always get comments about it but they are always very positive," she said.


Researchers also scoured phone records in the US and found some unlikely names there too.

Spare a thought for Anna Prentice, Annette Curtain and Bill Board the next time you sign your name.

A string of Americans also have very job-specific names, including Dr Leslie Doctor, Dr Thoulton Surgeon and Les Plack - a dentist in San Francisco.

A spokesman for said: "When the parents of some of those people mentioned named their children, many probably didn't even realise the implications at the time.

"Parents really do need to think carefully though when choosing names for their children.

"Their name will be with them for life and what may be quirky and fun for a toddler might be regretted terribly when that person becomes older or even a grandparent perhaps."

Below are a selection of your comments.

I was named Simon Swindells at birth. It caused no end of ridicule throughout my childhood and teens and I changed my first name by deed poll shortly after turning 18 and changed the surname a few years later.

I found it difficult to be taken seriously when meeting people (socially and professionally when applying for jobs etc) as they laughed out loud when hearing the name.
Chrys Hudson Lee, Brighton

My name is the same as the actor who played the third Doctor Who. Growing up wasn't so bad, I used to get called all sorts, but because Doctor Who was seen as "cool" the nicknames were always positive.

But when he moved on and became Worzel Gummidge, the school taunts became crueller. I was constantly asked if I had an Aunt Sally, asked by teachers if I had the stupid head on today etc.

In my 20s, people still recognised the name, and when the actor passed away, I got several phone calls to see if I was still alive.
Jon Pertwee, Sion, Switzerland

This is a common name in Belgium and France but when I was living in UK it was quite weird, because people were always talking about Richard the Third and I had no clue of what they were talking about. I just realised some time later on.

Furthermore in France, one of my colleagues has double nationality (British and French) and his name is Olivier Moron (French origins). Once again in French, no problem at all... but in English
Richard Six, Paris, France (but I'm Belgian)

Mine tops the lot. Think about it.
Jenny Taylor, Kendal

Well, years of ruthless teasing have given way to slightly kinder comments along the lines of "what a great name". I just wish I had a decent answer to the question: "What were your parents thinking?"
Daisy Picking, London

My father, whose name was Albert Hall, had a lot to answer for when he named my brother Jim. Jim took a pounding whenever PE came round at school.

You'd have thought the "Royal" Albert would have been a bit more circumspect in his choice of name for his offspring!
David Hall, Cardross, Scotland

My cousins called their daughter Esther Munday, it has always made me chuckle.
Terry Withington, Hinckley, England

This article has put a big smile on many of my colleagues, friends and client's faces today. You would not believe how many times I have been e-mailed with links to your website.

I personally love my name as it makes people laugh and at least no-one will forget it! I'd never consider it unfortunate, it's just funny.
Jo King, London

My name was Susan Frame. I am a lawyer. I met and married Robert who is a banker. His surname is Mee. Now we are Sue Mee, a lawyer, and Rob Mee, a banker - ironic? I have taken no end of stick for this, believe me.
Susan Mee, Doncaster

My name being Andrew Burke, a lot of letters I get are to A Burke.
Andrew Burke, Aldershot, UK

When I lived near Aberystwyth, 20 years ago, I had a lovely neighbour called Ivy Plant. If she's still alive, or anyone knows of her whereabouts, I'd appreciate an address or any news of her.
John McCullough, Ballymena, Antrim

Unfortunately your name doesn't have to have a double meaning to be found continually amusing to others. However, I have found the benefit in adult life is that it is always noticed and remembered and is therefore a great networking "tool".
Bill Badger, Romford, Essex

A chap who preceded me as student's union president at Imperial in London changed his name to Sidney Harbour-Bridge for a year for charity. After the year he decided to keep it as he found it an asset in business... I'd love to hear if he has the moniker after nearly 20 years!
Chris Davidson, Market Bosworth

Hi, my mum was Hazel Nutt. Her maiden name was Morrison and she married my father, Peter Nutt. I watched her write out a cheque once with the checkout girl grinning, but my mum was definitely hiding a grin too. I think she loved it.
Donald Nutt, Dundee

My name is ok, but I have a 14-year-old niece called Lotte Flack. Luckily for her she lives in Germany so she is blissfully unaware of the implications. So far.
Eliot Flack-Hill, Hove, East Sussex

Doesn't sound bad but when people start chanting merrily, merrily, merrily it becomes tedious. Should have kept my maiden name.
Mary Lee, Pinner, Middlesex

I've always said that if my partner (a Button) and I had a baby girl we'd call her Pearl. With the fringe benefit that I'd get to call myself mother-of-Pearl Button.
Katie, St Albans, Hertfordshire

At the turn of the last century it was common to give girls the names of flowers, hence my Nan and her sisters who were called Ivy, Daisy and Rose. It's a shame their maiden name was Roots. My father, on the other hand, has a sister called June, which goes so well with our family name, don't you think?
Kevin May, Kent

I went to school with a Penny Bunn and my cousin always said she would call her daughter her favourite girl's name, Dawn, until she married a Mr Hobbs.
Delia Wyers, Burton-on-Trent