Traditional British names disappearing faster than ever
More parents in Britain are now choosing names of celebrities, picking them up from magazines like Hello!, or front pages of newspapers for their newborns. Vijay Dutt tells more...Updated: Aug 14, 2008 00:33 IST
More parents in Britain are now choosing names of celebrities, picking them up from magazines like Hello!, or front pages of newspapers for their newborns. A new report found babies are rarely named after godparents or relatives, as was the tradition a century ago.
Parents are also naming children after names given by celebrities to their babies. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin who named their daughter Apple and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie who called their twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline, will be surprised to find how many newborns bear the names of their kids.
The traditional names Walter, Harold, Percy, one finds in so many old novels are now almost forgotten, The era of the traditional names in Britain has ended, replaced by names that reflect the demographic changes leading to a multi-cultural society. The conservative lament that a piece of British history is rapidly dying out.
Some evoke the spirit of the Blitz and Dad’s Army, says a Telegraph report. Others recall the confidence of Queen Victoria’s Britain and the age of colonial conquest.
But now according to new research, traditional British names are disappearing at a faster rate than at any time in history.
Mohammad was the 17th most popular boy’s name last year. More boys born in Britain last year were named after the Prophet than were given any other name.
Popular names in 1907 were compiled by Dr Geoff Ellis, a statistician, but none of those names made it to the list of 100 most popular baby names in each of the past five years recorded by the Office of National Statistics in 2005.
Richard, the most popular boys’ name in Britain two centuries ago, is 19th on the overall list compiled by Dr Ellis, having fallen in popularity by 66 per cent since 1907.
Thirteen per cent of all children born in Britain today are given one of the five most popular boys’ or girls’ names, compared with eight per cent a century ago.
The five most popular boys’ names last year were Jack, Thomas, Oliver, Joshua, and Harry, while the five most popular girls’ names were Grace, Ruby, Olivia, Emily, and Jessica.
Dr Ellis believes the decline of traditional names can be largely attributed to immigration and the willingness of parents to be more bold and experimental when naming their children.
Indians have however remained more conservative, sticking to the names given after gods and goddesses and suggesting wealth, fortune and fame.
But, young parents are naming their newly born by digging out names from old scriptures and such like, which are not only pleasant sounding but also have a meaning.