Spot of the Week: Pet Peeves

This is being posted late, I know, but I come prepared with a fabulous excuse:

Birthday Cake

So my Nana recently turned 80 and we had a cute little birthday bash at a hotel that swallowed all of my time over the weekend.

Now, I’m going to finally admit this right here, right now: I loathe the name Margaret and always have done. Part of me is glad that my family don’t do family names because whilst I’m no so bothered about using Carole (the name of my other grandmother), I just don’t want to use the name Margaret.

That doesn’t mean that Margaret is not a fabulous for your child, full of wonder and meaning. I try my very hardest to stay neutral and not make my list of names I loathe known because I know some people do love those names, and they don’t deserve to hear their favourite names be belittled by some stranger.

Since I’m on a role with this venting thing, one of my pet peeves is when people belittle names from other cultures. This week, I saw Fatima in the firing line and it broke my heart. I know a Fatima and she is a wonderful person, and yes, her parents speak fluent English and are aware that her name starts with the word fat. You know what? The majority of people who use Madison are also fluent in English, and she starts with the word mad.

Indeed, I was mad to see such a beautiful Arabic name ripped apart like that. Yes, it could cause problems, but it might not.

You could say that this is likely to be a unfamiliarity thing, so many girls have the name Madison that you’ve got a lot of girls to answer to. However, Fatima isn’t that rare either; she ranked at #136 in England&Wales in 2010.

On a lighter note, my sister made me sit through the film Sky High last night. A standard kiddie film by all means, but featuring a sorta main character called Magenta.

That’s a name that rocks.

But not as much as Fatima.

Or Margaret.


Categories: Spot of the Week | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Spot of the Week: Pet Peeves

  1. Margaret is one of those names I appreciate, but I don’t like the “grit” sound in the name. With that said, I know a lovely lady named Margaret who runs the playgroup where I take my son. I was really thrilled when we were about to enter the playgroup, and he said excitedly, “Margaret!”

    Fatima is lovely, and I never even notice it started with “fat.”

    Magenta reminds me of Blues Clues, (show for 2-5 year olds) which my kids love. Even my daughter loves it and she will be starting kindergarten soon, making her almost too old for the show. Blue is the main character a dog, and her best friend, another dog, is named Magenta.


  2. I feel the exact same way about Margaret. I have a friend who’s my age called Margaret. It is such a heavy name to carry, even though she has a really big personality, and it just doesn’t suit her youthfulness. But I would pick Margaret over a lot of names, though. At least she has some character.

    Fatima is a family name for me. I’ve never really liked it, but it has so much history. It is the name of Portugal’s holiest city (a bit like Lourdes), where it is said the Virgin Mary appeared. For most of the Portuguese, the name Fatima conjures up images and feelings of holiness and purity. It’s a name of national importance in some ways, so it does seem a bit silly to mock it simply because it has the word ‘fat’ in it. Although I think it has more to do with the fact that it is a foreign name. You don’t see many people putting Oliver down because it has the word ‘liver’ in it. I guess I have the same pet peeve as you…and now I’m going to stop ranting as well.


  3. It’s good not to put names down, as I know how disheartening it is when I see one of my dear favourites being derided. But it is hard sometimes. Especially when a name is all the rage and you think “I just don’t get why”.

    Love Magenta too – a more vibrant name than the flowery Magnolia 🙂


  4. I do agree with you about the dangers of sharing your pet peeves – I would hate to give a list of “bad names” just intended to offend and shame people. The funny thing is, most names on my blog I thought were “awful”, once I started to really examine them, I could see a lot of value in them. Sadly, a few names, the closer I looked, the worse they seemed!

    Although Fatima isn’t my favourite name, it’s pretty, has a long history, and is sacred in two different religions. And the “fat” thing is ridiculous – you don’t even pronounce the first syllable like the word “fat”.

    Margaret is a name in my family too, and although I do think it’s a nice name, I do worry that it seems a bit formal or mature for nowadays, when the fashion is to give girls cutesy-child names. That’s why if we ever used it, we intended to go with the nickname form Maisie instead. I also think people would say Margaret mar-grit, which is an unattractive pronunciation.


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