A few weeks ago now there was somewhat of an uproar amongst the population of the UK when a lady by the name of Katie Hopkins graced our screens one morning and declared that she judges children based on their names.
She later says on Twitter:
Compare the Telegraph births column with a list of names coming up before magistrates each week. Tell me I don’t have a point.
I’ve tried to stay away from this whole saga since Ms. Hopkins seems to feed off of the notoriety it has provided to here, but I feel like another perspective needs to be given, since this story ultimately boils down to the class system that still operates today in the UK.
To be fair, people are certainly more open minded and social mobility is certainly more common today than it was a century ago; my own mother was born working class in what was at the time the largest council estate in Europe but today she’s middle class.
But that doesn’t stop the few from narrowing their social interactions to those of a similar class standing, hence the snobbery which certainly does exist.
There is a certain truth to the fact that a Tyler is more likely to be born into a working class family than one , and Ms. Hopkins is right to point to the London Telegraph Announcements. Yes, they a packed full of names that name enthusiasts the whole over coo over, but they certainly don’t represent a true picture of the most popular names for babies born in this fair country.
The above I’ve always known, and accepted as a simple fact of life: some names are more popular in certain parts of society than the other.
This is why Spencer was really never even considered a viable choice as the first name for the royal baby.
However, I stand by my reckoning that this does not mean that the name Araminta is any better than Tyler. Not that Ms. Hopkins sees it that way:
‘For the glorious Christopher, charming Barnaby, delightful Cosmo, beautiful Florence, we say thank you. Smart parents, smart children…to Henry, George, Bertie, Isabella, Rose and Clarissa, I say thank you. Intelligent parents typically give intelligent names to their kids.’
Predictably, she’s now written a book (The Class Book of Names) which is essentially a compilation of her opinions on various names already posted on twitter.
Some notable ones include:
Caitlin: Derivative of Greek Goddess for Witchcraft. Tells you all you need to know.
Charmaine: Any school lost property box. Always filled with uniforms labelled for Charmaine and Chardonnay. But misspelled.
Harrison: The Head would like to know why Harrison has come to World Book Day dressed as a Nintendo 3DS.
Hunter. Seriously? ‘Hi Hunter, meet Gatherer’. Just one step back on the evolutionary ladder.
Mia: The name Mia highlights perfectly the precise problem with naming babies. Mothers see babies so much as pat of themselves they cannot bear to let go. Hence we get Me-a. Big news, it’s not about you anymore. You need to concentrate on getting out of those jim jams and getting off the baby weight.
Nigella: A glorious name that belies the fact the parents were hoping for a boy to inherit the considerable family fortune. A quick addition of ‘la’ and voila, problem solved. However Grandad remains inconsolable.
Rodney: I have a lot of respect for a parent that names its baby Rodney. Firstly Rodney is not that attractive a name so you are being honest with yourself if you look at a baby and think – Rodney. Secondly a mother that calls her baby Rodney recognises life is tough and you have to be tough to make life work as a result. Plus the fact Rodders is a great name to yell across any airport. I have tried it with great aplomb and enjoyed every moment.
Riley: I can hear the collective sigh as another baby is born with only the state to call ‘daddy’. Many of us choose to add the pre-fix ‘Blimey Old” to the news of this joyous birth.
Stanley : Stanley? No, sorry. I can’t help but think knife crime.
Stella: The moral of the story is that celebrating the baby’s birth with a few cans is never the wisest idea. Mother is still off her face on gas and air, and father is worse for wear at the point they search for the inspiration to name the 18th addition to the fold. Running out of ideas, father grabs another and voila – unto us a Stella is born. She may grow up to think she is a star. The courts will rule otherwise.
Admittedly, I have certain opinions about certain names but I normally make a point to not openly dismiss names because I don’t like them since I know my opinion will not be universally shared.
At the end of the day though, the above opinions are just plain rude and I hope this all dies down soon.