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Sunday, May 20, 2007

It all comes back

There aren't many things as susceptible to fashion and nostalgia as the naming of children. Most of my contemporaries, who were themelves named John, Michael, Peter, Susan and Helen, gave their own children Edwardian, officer-class names like Charles, William and Emily.
The next generation went for NCO names like Stan, Alfie and Maisie.
For years I have been waiting for some notable to give their child the name my dad, who was born in 1919, bore and hated so much. This weekend it happened, in a moderate blaze of publicity, as England bowler Matthew Hoggard announced the name of his firstborn.


  1. He named him 'Ernie' as opposed to Ernest? I suppose the transient, deterrent connotations of recent yore ['Little Ern', the Benny Hill song, etc] no longer apply: ah, caprice, eh? I've always favoured my own Grandpa's name - Walter - I do wonder how risky a possible burden that might be - whether any vestigial echo of ye olde concert hall cry 'Wally!' might yet lie in perfidious wait for that particular moniker....
    I also entertain the fanciful notion that Cameron will insist upon the strains of his favourite Benny Hill song accompanying some future election victory, as he stands on those Downing Street steps... too much to expect Brown to have Steve Miller's 'Take The Money and Run' issuing forth, I suppose...

  2. Actress Sophie Thomson also has a son called Ernie - must be about six now...

  3. When I registered the birth of my youngest son, I asked the registrar if he had recorded any outlandish names. (This was in 1991 when lots of Kylies were appearing for the first time).
    " Not too many" he replied,
    " although last year a chap gave his son the middle name of 'United'..."

    We also had a neighbour whose young daughter also became, er, with child. At the local shops one day, my wife felt obliged to peer into the pram and coo at the baby. What's his name, she enquired?

    " Jovi " was the proud reply.

  4. Glen Medeiros, he of 'Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You' fame, now making a living teaching music (the irony..), has two children: Chord and Lyric. I love this.

  5. Doesn't Jermaine Jackson have a child called Jermajesty?

  6. I'm waiting for the first person brave to grow big enough balls to name their daughter Doris or their son Cyril (he says)...

  7. I had a cat named Ernie in honour of the Phil Silvers character Ernie Bilko.

  8. A freind of my wife definitely had kids called Stanley and Albert four or five years ago.