Tuesday, 12 July 2011

A name is for life, but if you give it, it's not you that has to live with it.

This week David and Victoria Beckham announced that they have named their new baby daughter Harper Seven. This has sparked speculation as to what might have inspired the name, especially Seven, which it has been rumoured is David Beckham's lucky number.

The Beckhams are not new to the concept of inspired naming, as their eldest son Brooklyn was reputedly named after the place where he was conceived.

Over the years there has been a trend of celebrities giving their offspring more unconventional names, with Bob Geldof and Paula Yates being possibly the most unconventional, naming their children Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom Michelle Charlotte Angel Vanessa, (not all of those are unconventional but there is certainly a mouthful in there), and Little Pixie. Paula Yates went on to have another daughter whom she named Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily.

However, this trend seems to be moving further than the celebrity world with more and more people wanting to move away from the usual top baby names such as Jack, Chloe, Sophie, Amelia, Daniel etc which for several years now have ranked in the top names given to children in the UK.

People seem to want to give their children names that either have meaning, or are just unusual or quirky.

What people seem to lose sight of is the fact that it's the child that has to live with the name for the rest of its life, and that if you're going to call your child Harper or Heavenly or Princess or something even more unusual, there will come a time when the child may be ridiculed because of his/her name, and will most likely resent you for it.

Generally a name is something we are called by, people don't hear of someone called 'Jack' and attach anything to it. Yet tell someone that you know someone called 'Heavenly' and they will form an opinion before they've even met the person, that opinion ranging from "Sounds like a hippy," if it's an adult, to "Poor kid, what were her parents thinking!" if it's a child.

There may be a million Jacks and Chloes out there, but ultimately it's not the name that makes someone an individual, everyone is an individual in their own right. But while calling a baby Princess might seem cute at the time of naming, it's always worth remembering that the cute baby Princess will have to grow up and be associated with that name for perhaps the next eighty years.


  1. Its even harder for boys,a their mates will always find something to tease them about. A silly name makes them an easy target.

  2. Didn't Zowie Bowie change his name to something totally unexceptional? But on the other hand, I seem to recall reading that Moon Unit Zappa is still known as that. I agree with you that it's not fair to saddle a child with a name with which they might not cope: far better to become Moon Unit later in life if that's what you want.

  3. And I imagine there are some who change their names to something out of the ordinary later in life. In fact my mum has a cousin who changed his name to Luke skywalker.

  4. Oh I agree, you have to think about your children's future when you name them Get down PrimeMinister! MissWorld, come and get your brother off me!