BBC BLOGS - Mark Easton's UK
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

The changing popularity of baby names

Mark Easton | 12:33 UK time, Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Oliver and Olivia are now the most popular baby names in England and Wales [350.37KB PDF]. So what's that all about? What forced Oliver to the top of the popularity league, ousting Jack as the number one boy's name?

Baby

 

Searching for famous Olivers only deepens the mystery. I cannot imagine the late Oliver Reed is responsible. Oliver Hardy? No. Oliver Postgate? Part of me would love to think there is a quiet national tribute being played to the creator of Bagpuss and Noggin the Nog, but I doubt it. Oliver Cromwell? Surely it is not down to X Factor finalist Ollie Murs. Jamie Oliver?

As for Olivia - even digitally re-mastered pictures of Olivia Newton-John wearing "those trousers" in the movie Grease cannot provide an explanation.

I am beginning to wonder whether we are witnessing one of the subconscious side-effects of a Mediterranean diet. All that olive oil and low-fat spread. Could it be that our eating habits are affecting the way we fill out birth certificates?

Whatever happened to good old John and Margaret?

Boys names table

 

John was the most popular boys' name in Britain from 1914 until the end of World War II. From then it began a rapid decline to an ignominious 83rd today.

Girls names table

 

Margaret was number one for most of the same period but has now fallen out of the top 100 altogether.

That said, today's list does suggest that over the last 10 years there has been a resurgence in some names popular during the inter-war years.

Among girls, Evie is up 157 places to number 10, Ruby up 91 to number two and Lily up 45 to eight. Boys' names such as Alfie up 60 to four and Charlie up 25 to seven also demonstrate this trend - although on the historical records they wouldn't be shortened of course.

I sometimes curse my parents lack of originality in calling me Mark. The end of the 50s and early 60s resounded to so many vicars baptising Marks it must have sounded like a dog with a hare-lip.

PS Having read some of the concerns about my attempted joke in the last paragraph of this story, I do apologise to anyone offended. Hare-lip is a condition which can be made fun of thoughtlessly, but that certainly was not my intention. Perhaps I should also apologise for telling such an old joke.

Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 1:16pm on 27 Oct 2010, ardvaar wrote:

    I think you mean Oliver Reed.

    Although I'm sure Oliver Reid is a nice enough chap.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 1:16pm on 27 Oct 2010, Brian_NE37 wrote:

    A hundred years ago it was the bible + classical books etc. (My father was Arthur, his brother Roland).

    Today, the TV soaps. (My wife, who taught early years for many years, reckoned you could always tell from todays soaps what would be popular in her working-class area school's new intake in 3 years time - Kylie, Wayne, ... )

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 1:35pm on 27 Oct 2010, tyorkshirelass wrote:

    'The end of the fifties and early sixties resounded to so many vicars baptising Marks it must have sounded like a dog with a hair-lip.'

    Based on the amount of people I knew with the name at school, a similar thing seemed to happen in the 80s with Laura.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 1:35pm on 27 Oct 2010, Lucy Jones wrote:

    It takes only a very little effort to revise the official tables to combine different spellings of the same name, which puts Isabelle (Isabel, Isobel, Izabel, etc) clearly at the top of the girls' list, and Mohammed (Muhamad, Mohammad, etc) clearly at the top of the boys' list. Is that any better?

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 1:39pm on 27 Oct 2010, mcfcchris wrote:

    I've never understood the modern trend of giving kids traditional surnames for their first names. People at my work have christened their children "Johnson", "Lawson", "Morgan" etc. recently.

    Still, each to their own....

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 1:41pm on 27 Oct 2010, Ebeneezer Goode wrote:

    You have to laugh at all the "modern/trendy" names these days. Children who are given bizarre or daft names - take one look at the parents and you will see that they are as thick as mince and have no common sense.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 1:53pm on 27 Oct 2010, Lydia61 wrote:

    Who wants to be one of six girls putting their hands up when Miss Jones asks for 'Emma' to take the register.

    Well done to all those parents using unusual names

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 2:08pm on 27 Oct 2010, LouisW wrote:

    My friend went to Uni back in the 70's with a guy called Russell Sprout, bet his parents enjoyed the swinging sixties, you'd have to be stoned wouldn't you?

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 2:08pm on 27 Oct 2010, Gingerjo7 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 10. At 2:10pm on 27 Oct 2010, Douglas Daniel wrote:

    I don't know why, but I've always thought there is something slightly moronic about giving your child an abbreviation or nickname as their birth name, almost as if the parents in question don't realise it isn't a proper given name. I see Alfie and I just think "no, it's Alfred". And Charlie should be Charles. I would worry about my child feeling like a bit of an idiot signing future legal forms etc with what is essentially a nickname. By all means call your child Charlie when speaking to them, but give them the proper version for official documents. Can you imagine if our last PM had been christened Gordo? Still, maybe if my parents had called me Dougie rather than Douglas, I wouldn't have spent my whole life being referred to as Daniel by teachers, doctors and work acquaintances... Oh, and I think we all know which soap character is behind the resurgence of Alfie in the list. I'm surprised Kat (as opposed to Catherine or Katrina) isn't top of the girls list.

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 2:11pm on 27 Oct 2010, John Ruddy wrote:

    You comments about the name John intrigued me (obviously), so I looked up what happened to it. It wasnt really the 60's which killed it off, as it was still 5th in 1964. IN 1974 and 1984 it was 13th and 14th, still fairly respectible, and it meant that most classes would have one.

    In 1994, however, it was not even in the top 100 boys names.I think we all know the answer - John Major. I mean who wanted to name their kid after someone who was depicted as being very grey, eating all their peas and wearing their underpants outside their trousers.

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 2:16pm on 27 Oct 2010, Kadayi wrote:

    @mcfcchris

    Morgan is a Celtic name.

    @Lydia61

    Agreed. That's not to say I'd advocate anyone naming their Children 'Fridge magnet' or 'Jam Doughnut', but something distinct like say Arabella, constance or Xavier wouldn't necessarily be a terrible route to go down, even if only a second name.

    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 2:18pm on 27 Oct 2010, Riles wrote:

    My surname is now more popular than my Christian name. This to me is a worrying trend whereby parents are influenced by soaps and American television. I seem to recall that in the year I was born, my Christian name was the 2nd most popular, and it is now languishing in the low 30's.

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 2:20pm on 27 Oct 2010, LouisW wrote:

    Maybe Mrs. T. gave the death knell to Margaret...who knows? It became very popular around Princess Margaret Rose's birth.

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 2:27pm on 27 Oct 2010, LouisW wrote:

    No6 .Ebeneezer Goode

    I met a woman who named her daughter Madison "After the president?" I asked...."No, Madison Square Garden in America"

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 2:42pm on 27 Oct 2010, Forthview wrote:

    The irony with Laura (comment 3 above) is that it was the 14th/15th century Italian equivalent of Kylie. The original saintly Laura was a very obscure Spanish martyr whose name suddenly shot up the league tables thanks to Petrarch's sonnets dedicated (probably) to a girl called Laura whom he'd seen in a church in Avignon and idealised in his poetry as the perfect womans; lots of Italian parents then gave the name to their daughters in the hope something would rub off. In other words, media-based fashions in naming aren't as new as one might think

    And on the point made at 4- at the risk of getting moderated, I have a nasty suspicion that the main reason variant spellings aren't grouped together is precisely because of concern at the reaction in certain parts of the media if Mohammed/Muhammed etc was the top boy's name in the UK.

    A final thought- just suppose Oliver's sudden popularity does relate to memories of Oliver Cromwell. What political message would that be sending?

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 2:46pm on 27 Oct 2010, lemonskinny wrote:

    It's hare lip, not hair lip.

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 2:47pm on 27 Oct 2010, Lou wrote:

    We named our baby boy Oliver after his grandad. We had no idea it was such a popular name.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 2:58pm on 27 Oct 2010, thebeard2002 wrote:

    @Lucy Jones - 1.35pm

    Based on the 2009 figures, I make it

    Mohammed (or similar) 6535
    Charlie (or similar) 6634
    Jack 7090
    Oliver 7364

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 3:02pm on 27 Oct 2010, pip13 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 21. At 3:06pm on 27 Oct 2010, RGP wrote:

    We named our son Oliver in 1993 because we liked the name and thought it would be distinctive. Oops.

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 3:10pm on 27 Oct 2010, hopheaded wrote:

    I can second your comment about the name Mark. Where I live (a market town in Kent) if you stood in the market on a Saturday morning and shouted 'Mark!' three quarters of the population would turn their heads. Including women. I have a good friend (Mark) who has two next door neighbours called Mark, a neighbour opposite called Mark and all the other Marks we know are prefaced either by their partners (although we know two 'Mark and Helen's in the town who also live a few doors from each other) or their hobbies: guitar Mark and mad Mark.
    And many years ago, in my year at school we had six Pauls (McCartney) and three Julie Smiths.

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 3:12pm on 27 Oct 2010, hopheaded wrote:

    No. 15. Surely Madison is after the mermaid? Must ask my cousin whose daughter is a Madison.

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 3:15pm on 27 Oct 2010, mscracker wrote:

    Brian_NE37 wrote:
    Today, the TV soaps. (My wife, who taught early years for many years, reckoned you could always tell from todays soaps what would be popular in her working-class area school's new intake in 3 years time - Kylie, Wayne, ... )

    It's been exactly the same story here in the States.....And we have the annoying trend of yuppie-surname/first names: Peyton, Tyler,Hunter,Madison,Cole,Kennedy,Harrison,etc, etc. I haven't watched a soap opera in years & years, but my guess is that would be the source of the trend.(Unless you're Southern, in which case you would be observing the tradition of loading up as much family history as possible to your child's name.)

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 3:15pm on 27 Oct 2010, John wrote:

    The Americans completely wrecked my - at one time popular - name. I would have though Thomas Crapper might have caused the Tom's of this world grief. Trouble is, Americans would probably associate the name with gambling.

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 3:19pm on 27 Oct 2010, Gingerjo7 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 27. At 3:22pm on 27 Oct 2010, LouisW wrote:

    No 23. Hopheaded ...she definitely said named after the NY land mark....what's in a name ? :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 3:24pm on 27 Oct 2010, RGP wrote:

    The earlier combined analysis was

    Mohammed (or similar) 6535
    Charlie (or similar) 6634
    Jack 7090
    Oliver 7364

    This leaves out the names similar to Oliver. Skimming the list, I see
    Ollie, Olivier, Olly, Oliwier, Oliwer, Olli, Oli, Olliver, Olivers, Olliver, Ole and Olaf which between them seem to have about 1000 customers.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 3:30pm on 27 Oct 2010, aelfgifu wrote:

    @ Lydia61

    I know you didn't mean it as a slur on my name - but I'm very proud to be an 'Emma', which is a lovely sounding and historical name (although rather over popular at times - especially the early eighties when I was born!)

    @ Lucy Jones et al.

    What about regional versions of the same name? Specifically Ian as the Scottish-Gaelic version of John. That would push John up the list as I know loads of Ians. At my wedding the bestman, the father of the groom, and the chief usher (my brother), were all called Ian. It did get rather confusing...

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 3:31pm on 27 Oct 2010, Bazpatts wrote:

    Potentially an urban legend, but I love it:
    A girl from Canvey Island asked a neighbour how they named their daughter as, being pregnant herself, she was looking for inspiration. The reply was 'Anne with an E'.
    Liking the name so much, the girl named her newborn daughter 'Withanie'.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 3:34pm on 27 Oct 2010, Susan wrote:

    For years my mum swore that she had named me Susan after the actress Susan Hampshire. However, my uncle recently blabbed the truth: I'm actually named after the Queen's favourite corgi when he and my mum were children.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 3:49pm on 27 Oct 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    I have noticed quite a few little boys called Ellis lately funny how forenames become surnames only to return to a forename I have a distant relative called Ellis Ellis in 1793, its funny how the names revolve throughout the years. Still look back far enough and you can find all sorts of naming patterns and traditions. I broke the John forename tradition so my son could have his own identity although i did put it in as a second name, far to many generations with John as the first.

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 3:56pm on 27 Oct 2010, John Ruddy wrote:

    If we're going to include versions and mispellings of names, can I reclaim jack? Its long been a diminutive of John, and for many years I thought my Uncle was indeed called Jack (as everyone called him that, or Jackie). Imagine my surprise when I was researching our family tree and discovered he was really a John!

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 4:04pm on 27 Oct 2010, iainjr wrote:

    @29

    Leaving the "regional" can of worms aside, the Gaelic version of John is Iain or Eion not Ian. The later is a poor English translation of the former.

    Iain

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 4:05pm on 27 Oct 2010, John Ellis wrote:

    yup all the old folks called John turned to Jacks!!!! another family thing ??
    I always though my grandad was Jack but no just an old age thing..

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 4:07pm on 27 Oct 2010, Susan wrote:

    For John Ruddy: When my gran tried to christen her first son Jack in Hampshire in 1927, she was told that it was not a legal name. She had to use John, although my uncle has never been called anything but Jack from day one. The same probably applied back then to all the diminutives that are now accepted in their own right (Peggy and Daisy for Margaret, Toby for Tobias, etc.).

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 4:35pm on 27 Oct 2010, Skeerbs wrote:

    I think it is pretty clear the reason "Margaret" is in terminal decline is due to Thatcher. Pretty much for the same reason Benito and Adolf have fallen out of fashion in Italy and Germany. I'm pretty certain David and Nick will also take a nosedive pretty shortly.

    Who would curse a child with names as tainted as those.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 5:07pm on 27 Oct 2010, Barry wrote:

    Making fun of the way people speak who were born with a cleft lip and palate is unnecessary and objectionable. This kind of prejudice belongs to a bygone age and has no place in the 21st century. A journalist of your experience should know better.

    I expect more from the BBC and its publicly paid journalists.

    If you want to know more about cleft lip and palate see www.clapa.com

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 5:07pm on 27 Oct 2010, Vince Allen wrote:

    I am a little surprised that names such as Ahmed or Mohammed are not there at all. I hope you can confirm that this is true and not that the names you have considered are ones only familiar to a section of the UK population.

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 5:09pm on 27 Oct 2010, JConstance wrote:

    Fashion, TV programmes, Celebrities...or other family members. Names are cyclical...as with so many other things.

    The cute baby name might not be so welcome by the "baby" some 18 years later....
    I am named after my paternal Grandmother....and thankful my parents choice wasnt my much beloved maternal Grandmother...just cant see me as a Lily...

    JConstance.....

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 5:20pm on 27 Oct 2010, Dickie62 wrote:

    I imagine the research for this item came from the figures released today by the ONS >>> http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=184

    As for Alfie rising to number four in the list of names for boys, I suspect Shane Richie's Eastenders character may have had a lot to do with this...

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 5:45pm on 27 Oct 2010, Gazpod wrote:

    Oliver Postgate - now that takes me back - I seem to recall that this his brother taught us Latin at Peter Symonds or is that my memory playing tricks Mark?

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 6:14pm on 27 Oct 2010, Ian Eperson wrote:

    Perhaps the most interesting sign of the times is that if you combine the different spellings then the third most popular boy’s name in England and Wales is Mohammed (or Muhammad or Mohammad).

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 6:20pm on 27 Oct 2010, olb wrote:

    I have been an Oliver for 63 years and throughout my childhood if I heard a shout of Olly I knew it was me being hailed. I did not know another Oliver personally until about 15 years ago when cries of Olly in my sons' schools' playgrounds proved confusing to me because of my instinctive response to them was no longer necessary. I attributed the then increasing popularity in the name to a character called Oliver in, I believe, All creatures great and small which was also responsible for admission to Vet College requiring 3 straight As at a level.

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 6:33pm on 27 Oct 2010, watriler wrote:

    Compelling stuff. How about something on the inside story of housing benefit cuts and equity cleansing?

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 6:52pm on 27 Oct 2010, Sarah wrote:

    I was also surprised to see the 'hare lip' jibe in this article, seemed quite inappropriate and unnecessary. Back when I was at school (and yes half the boys seemed to be called Mark and most of the girls were Jennifer or Rebecca!) it was a common sport to make fun of the girl with a cleft lip. I would have hoped that bullying people for their disabilities had gone out of fashion along with John and Margaret...

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 7:07pm on 27 Oct 2010, swanseagooner wrote:

    I must admit I am pleasantly surprised to see William quite high up the list, and indeed a main stay for many years. We have a 10 week old son and called him William Richard, not necessarily to 'buck the trend' but just because we liked the names and they have family links with us both.

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 7:09pm on 27 Oct 2010, rosie_hip wrote:

    Hare lip? Seriously, who uses that term any more? What a bizarre attempt at a joke.

    I agree with the previous poster and suggest the journalist visit www.clapa.com to find out a bit more about cleft lip and palate.

    There are plenty of other out-moded terms which are considered a bit offensive, but I won't list them as it would probably get this post deleted.

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 7:19pm on 27 Oct 2010, ChrisBFC wrote:

    I wonder if MrEaston actually knows what a hare lip is & the suffering that causes to children. The numerous operations & the ridicule & bullying it attracts at school & beyond. May be he should have alook at the Smile Train & see what suffering really is. Shame on him to turn this condition into a joke. I hope he or non of his family suffer from any condition & if they do it may bring it home what an awful joke he has made. A public apology may not go a miss. I'm disgusted & saddened that some one in a responsible postion as this can think his article is good reading.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 7:22pm on 27 Oct 2010, anti wrote:

    I have published an infographic today, related to the 'Most popular baby names in England and Wales' data. Perhaps you could find it interesting:
    http://themissinggraph.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/it-starts-with-an-oliv-oliver-and-olivia-the-most-popular-baby-names/

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 7:28pm on 27 Oct 2010, mscracker wrote:

    " I sometimes curse my parents lack of originality in calling me Mark. The end of the 50s and early 60s resounded to so many vicars baptising Marks it must have sounded like a dog with a hare-lip."

    When are the League of Hare-Lipped Dog Owners going to complain about the insensitivity of this remark? :)

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 7:32pm on 27 Oct 2010, tarquin wrote:

    11 John Ruddy - I'm not seeing any Tony/Anthonys either

    ...or Gordons, but that's hardly unexpected

    From what I can tell, names go round in cycles - Margaret is a bit of an old lady name right now, for example (and it's actually very apt that we had a PM from that period with it), and might come back soon - I suspect Oliver has been through the cycle and is now a 'young' name

    Maybe we'll have a resurgence of George, Agnes and Miriam soon

    As for the 1000 babies named Kai (for two years)...seriously people

    Although fashion has always dictated name choice - royals used to be the in thing, now it's footballers and singers

    Neither of my names even come in - ok Tarquin is somewhat niche, but I thought the other one was common, beaten by Kian and Logan...

    We should have a Jack as PM soon, that'll kill it

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 8:22pm on 27 Oct 2010, donny wrote:

    To mention hare lip in a flippant comment should be avoided. I would like to officially complain about this. Has this been logged by the BBC?

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 8:27pm on 27 Oct 2010, Asdral wrote:

    I am constantly amused by some of the combination of names chosen for off spring....and positively choke with laughter sometimes when reading the Telegraph Birth announcements.
    However one place to look for totally original names is any NFL team rosta. I often cant beieve any are acctually called by their full name.

    Boringly David Lawrence, Rachel Alison Leonie and Andrew George were my choices and constantly am berated for my unoriginality by them all.

    I personally am quite pleased my mother chose Suzanne Mary rather than the other way round as she would have preferred.

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 8:47pm on 27 Oct 2010, Ariel wrote:

    I have to say that I find the comment regarding hare-lips offensive. I have a hare-lip and I wouldn't usually complain, however, in this case and to put the record straight not everyone with a hare-lip or cleft palate has a speech impediment or sound nasally. This comment was irrelevant to the story and therefore not appropriate.

    As an aside I teach a Theresa Green and a John Thomas, some parents just don't seem to think about the kind of teasing their child may get whilst at school or in later life.

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 9:14pm on 27 Oct 2010, Evacal wrote:

    I am a receptionist at a dentists and quite often am amazed at the choice of names. The spellings are often weird and wonderful with Amy having at 4 different spellings. There are a lot of the older names coming through Stanley and Bessie, for example. I can almost guess the age of a woman called Patricia usually 55 to 65 !!

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 9:47pm on 27 Oct 2010, Leonie wrote:

    54. "...Rachel Alison Leonie..."

    HEY!! I'm quite proud of being Leonie - it's far from unoriginal if you're my age (35) as there's very few of us about. Admittedly there seems to have been a resurgence in the current generation of teenage girls as I've met two or three in the last year. It's good to be different because people remember you but I have had to deal with misspellings and mispronounciations for my entire life.

    Ironically, I was very nearly named Rachel but my Dad vetoed it for Leonie. I'm glad he did - I don't think I'm a Rachel.

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 9:58pm on 27 Oct 2010, Gingerjo7 wrote:

    I am Gingerjo7 and have had two comments removed because they broke the house rules. I can only assume this is because I referred to Mark Eason as a word beginning with i (not a rude word it means uneducated). The reason I used this word is because he surely would not refer to a hare-lip in such an insensitive way if he actually knew what one really was. I have a hare-lip (and a cleft palate). I have had years of ridiculing at school and cannot believe now at 42 I am reading an article on a BBC News website where the Home Editor is mocking the condition. I agree with donny and would like to officially complain and request that Mark Easton formally apologise.

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 10:39pm on 27 Oct 2010, Rosemaryag wrote:

    The hare lip comment is offensive, inappropriate and not funny. Did you not read your blog through before you posted it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 10:49pm on 27 Oct 2010, BeckyW wrote:

    When we had Oliver as the boy option for pregnancy no 1 in 2003 we didn't know many boys called that! My then husband had just refused to have my dad's name Charles as a first name for a son as he was a Repubilcan. Therefore our son born in 2006 was named for Oliver Cromwell ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 10:57pm on 27 Oct 2010, cybermyth wrote:

    Would Oliver Twist be an influence ? The musical Oliver has neen revived several times and the music is well-known.

    There is also Jamie Oliver.

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 11:09pm on 27 Oct 2010, jr4412 wrote:

    cybermyth #61.

    "Would Oliver Twist be an influence ?"

    it would be apt, given that in a year or two from now goverment policies will have begun to take this country back to the 'good old' Victorian times. workhouses and doffing your cap, anyone?

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 10:00am on 28 Oct 2010, pip13 wrote:

    I totally agree with your comment Barry (comment No. 38), Mark Easton should know better. His needless comment about a cleft lip should be removed, please.

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 10:03am on 28 Oct 2010, Gingerjo7 wrote:

    I have a hare-lip and find Mr Easton's comment extremely offensive. I request that he publicly apologise and in future he thinks what he is writing.

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 10:12am on 28 Oct 2010, JohnH wrote:

    I'm a John and hate it (even spelt it backwards at school and was called Nhoj - pronounced nodge for 15 years till I grew out of it). I was my Mother's Father's first grandson so that was it. Would have loved to be a Jack and my late Mother always said she would have prefered Jonathon.

    Started going out with girls in the mid 1960's. I went out with six successive girlfriends all called Susan. Guess what they call my wife of thirty years, yes Susan.

    We have three daughters, Zaaziah (known as Ziah), Ayshea (pronounced I-she) and Natalia (who goes off it if she is called Natalie). All named by by wife.

    My eldest has a daughter (Emma) and twin sons (Joel and Louis). She said she suffered purgatory at school, often being called Ziah - Zebra, so she took the easy option with her daughter. All of our girls have 'common' middle names (Justine, Louise, Kate) just in case they wanted a change. Didn't work for me (Desmond) is worse than John.

    Just as an asside, I'm a trainer and was running a one-day course for some young people, they had to take an exam at the end. Whilst telling them to put down their names and addresses one asked if they had to include their middle name, I said only if it was interesting, he said his was John! Then up pops another youth who had been chatty all day. He said his middle names were 'Peter; Michael, James, Steven, Jeff, Robert, Paul, David etc.' I asked if he had been named after a football team. His reply was priceless 'I don't have a Dad, and that is all the blokes my Mum slept with!'.

    Complain about this comment

  • 66. At 10:17am on 28 Oct 2010, Reaper wrote:

    45. At 6:33pm on 27 Oct 2010, watriler wrote:
    Compelling stuff. How about something on the inside story of housing benefit cuts and equity cleansing?

    How about lightening up?

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 11:06am on 28 Oct 2010, Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake) wrote:

    @66. At 10:17am on 28 Oct 2010, SlaveofBaal wrote:
    How about lightening up?
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Lightening that goes up is called a Sprite.
    Happy to help ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 11:53am on 28 Oct 2010, Reaper wrote:

    Are you sure, Isn't that lightning up? :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 12:18pm on 28 Oct 2010, Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake) wrote:

    68. At 11:53am on 28 Oct 2010, SlaveofBaal wrote:
    Are you sure,
    --------------------------------------------------
    Yep! Watched an hour long programme on it on the BBC!
    And yes, I don't have a life.

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 12:48pm on 28 Oct 2010, Laurie Wilson wrote:

    Imagine how I've felt all my life, I was the first "Laurie" in the village and sometimes it feels than even though the village is now a city, I'm still the only "Laurie" in it. I remember always being asked what make of lorry I was and got fed up with all the answers so eventually one day when I was in my early teens when I was asked if I was a Ford or a Bedford by a friend of my fathers and my cheeky response was "I'm a Mercedes and alot more expensive than a Ford" I think I even threw in a hair toss at him! That soon shut people up!

    Being honest, am glad the more traditional names are coming through, lets face it, I tire of being in Tesco and hearing "Kylie Chantelle Beyonce get back here before I throttle you" being shouted across the aisle.

    However, I do remember my older sister nursing her eldest son when he was a few weeks old in our local shopping mall, an elderly woman sat down beside her and admired his gorgeous blonde hair and blue eyes, my sister was beaming with pride, the old dear then asked her what his name was and was told Adam. "Adam?" the lady queried, yes replied my sister and what did the lady reply? "I'll never get to grips with these new fangled names" needless to say my sister wasn't weeping tears of sorrow when I saw her, she was buckled with laughter!

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 3:17pm on 28 Oct 2010, Gingerjo7 wrote:

    Is this really an apology? When was this EVER a joke please Mr Easton? I really would be interested to hear when oh when this was funny?

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 3:44pm on 28 Oct 2010, JohnH wrote:

    I heard my favorite joke on Northern Ireland TV during the first IRA cease-fire. Trying to promote religious harmony they had kids Protetent & Catholic telling jokes together. One girl said, in a very broad NI accent and speaking the english lines in best BBC:-

    There was a man from Donegal, who met his friend from England, "and how is use doing?" said the man from Donegal.

    "Very well" said the man from England, "My wife and I have just had a baby boy".

    "Thats wonderful" says the man from Donegal "and what are use going to call him?"

    "Actually we are thinking of calling him Nathan" said the man from England.

    "Oh no!" says the man from Donegal, "You canna call him Nathan, you gotta call him sumthen!".

    Priceless.

    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 4:34pm on 28 Oct 2010, Caffeinejunkie wrote:

    If you want to see the true horror of the names people give their offspring, then go no further than http://bigbadbabynames.net/forum/index.php, part of the Baby's named a bad bad thing website. http://www.notwithoutmyhandbag.com/babynames/

    Hours of fun (and horror) guaranteed when you see the absolutely hideous names, or Hyd'uss Naymes, that are out there!

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.