Friday, 31 March 2017

On The Verge Of Extinction?

What's your name? How many other people do you know who share your name? A recent survey by BabyCentre shows three dozen formerly 'popular' names which have yet to be registered in the UK this year. They believe that within a few years, these Monikers will be extinct. Seeing my name headed the list [Ok, it is alphabetical] I thought I'd look and see if I know anyone who has one of these names. I could find a link to all but 3 of them. I've tried to work out the decades when my friends were born. 
Are you on the list below?
Here are the names yet to be registered in 2017:
Angela – well there’s me, and I can think of at least 6 others I know personally, plus famous ones like Frau Merkel and Ms Rippon. 1940-1970
Bertram – I don’t recall ever meeting a Bertram.
Beverley – the Rector’s wife in Kirby Muxloe - 1960s
Cecil –I had 2 friends from Norfolk – 1920s
Carol[e] – loads,1940 – 1970  At least 2 reading this blog
Clarence – I can only think of the cross-eyed lion
Clive – quite a few 1950-1970
Cyril – another – deceased - Leicester friend, 1920s
Debra – my NZ friend called her daughter this in 1982
Diane – loads of these, mostly pre 1960
Donna – some, mostly pre 1960
Dean – I taught some of these, born in the 1970s
Doris – all the ones I know were born before WW2
Dennis – some, all born before 1960
Derek - some, all born before 1960 [one married to a Dianne]
Duncan - some,  born before 1960
Elaine - some,  born before 1960
Ernest - some, born before 1960
Geoffrey - some, born before 1970
Horace – The ones I knew were born in the 1920s
Joanne – lots, born between 1940 and 1980
Leonard - some, born before 1960
Maureen - some, born before 1960
Malcolm - some, born before 1960
Nigel - some, born before 1960
Neville - some, born before 1960
Paula - I can’t think of any I know personally
Roy - some, born before 1980
Sally – lots of these, I have taught some born since 2000
Sandra -some, born before 1970
Sharon - some, born before 1970
Sheila - some, born before 1970
Tracey -some, born before 1970
Wendy - some, born before 1970
Yvonne - some, born before 1980
Wayne - I taught some of these, born in the 1970s

Do you recognise these famous people?

So yes, most of these names do belong to people who are now aged 50 or older.
But I am not convinced BabyCentre is right about the extinction thing. Names come back into fashion again.
Look at all those 'parlourmaid' names, Annie, Daisy, May, Mollie, etc and the 'Trad English' boys names like Stanley, Henry, Tristram, Julian, Arthur. I have encountered all of these in the classroom in the last few years - but can remember when people told me those would soon be gone and forgotten.
Here's another list of the most popular UK names last year [this list varies depending on its source]

As a supply teacher, I find it especially hard when there are names on the register which can be boy or girl...
Robin, Drew, Ali,  Rowan, Alex, Jules, Andy, Brook, Harley, Jordan, Charlie, Jamie, Sydney and Stevie. I have taught all of these!

Most unusual - I once knew a lady in Kent called Euphemia [it means 'well spoken']
You can always name your offspring after the place they were born, it might start a trend. Mr and Mrs Nightingale were travelling in Italy - so child number 2 was called Florence. 
 She made her name in nursing, the name became a lasting favourite, and even today you may know a Florence, Flo or Floss. Her sister was born in Naples, so received the old name for that fine city. 

Somehow Parthenope has never caught on in the same way!
I checked out the old names for our birth locations. Bob and I would have been Addelam and Romfort. I am sure my girls were glad not to be saddled with Cetham and Becceham.

One of my most embarrassing moments - I once met someone and asked her name. The reply -  "I'm ---. My real name is Angela but that is so ugly I changed it."  Fortunately she never actually asked what my name was!
Susan Weaver decided to become Sigourney when she was about 14
Do you have an unusual name?  Have you changed your name? 

UPDATE - today I taught Charlie, Alex and Gabriel!


  1. It's funny how reading through the popular name list I winced at a couple, remembering "challenging" pupils of the same name!

    1. I have yet to teach a challenging 'Olivia' , but there are some names...

  2. My name (Mary) was very popular until about forty years ago. It still appears as a middle name but I know of no little girls who use the name.

  3. I thought my name might be there as it is quite old fashioned now. My children would have been called Abingdon1, Abingdon2 and Oxford, if they were named after their birth town!

    1. Elizabeth is beautiful [my daughter is an E.] and I think it will continue in some form as a first or middle name for years yet. I know your 'real' first name, and agree it is not as common as it once was.

  4. One of my earliest memories is of the first day at infants school when I met a girl with what I thought was the most wonderful name....Angela, obviously!

  5. I new someone who was named by her parents in the place she was conceived whilst they were on holiday in Italy in 1962. She was christened Cortina. Later that year Ford Motor Co......Luckily it was a name easily shortened.

    1. That's a great story! Mercedes and Clio are popular girl/car names, but Cortina is more unusual. Wasn't there a journalist once called Cortina Kemp?

  6. Ha, obvs my name is unusual-Kerenza! But...I have met 11 Kerenzas or Kerensa or Carenzas over the years-one plays violin in my orchestra!
    There are certain names like Derek which have associations like, "You Plonker!" From Only fools and horses.

    I like the name Aquilla!! I also have a real thing about French names- Jean-Luc, Pierre, Estelle, Marianne, Virginie, Eloise (not sure if this one us French or not)
    Angela is a lovely name, how rude that she thought it wasn't!!x

  7. Some names are timeless, I think, and others go in and out of style. By the way, I think Angela is a lovely name.

  8. As you know Angela, my three littles have unusual names. In my 4 years reception class she is 1 of 2 children that doesn't have a name double in the class. I'm quite proud of that x x

  9. My class on Friday afternoon had 4 pairs of doubles, and another two who rhymed


Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!