I’m fascinated by names and trends in naming children. In my novels I take real care over the names I give my characters, and sometimes I am criticised for what some people think of as strange names, but as I have an unusual first and surname and married name too, I feel justified in having some ‘odd’ namings. But what is odd. When my children were born it was unusual to call a boy Wilfred, even rather comical, it’s very popular now, ditto Phyllis and Audrey… although obviously they are girls’ names – it would be very unusual to have a boy called Phyllis or Audrey. Sometimes, names ‘change gender – Shirley for example was originally a man’s name but now is almost always a female name; in fact, the only man I can think of is the late wrestler, Shirley Crabtree.
In the paper today there was a report which listed some of the names which are finding favour at the moment, and many of them come from the Middle Ages. Old English names, such as Alfred, Millicent and Elvina are being given to more children now, as well as Cole, Ned, Audley, Peyton, Wyatt and Kendra, Kim and Winnie. I read the birth announcements regularly, and I have to say that I haven’t noticed these names, and I did think Kim was always quite popular. The article goes on to give examples of some really unusual names, ‘Lansera (Arsenal spelt backwards), Galaxy Star, Egypt, Kaseza, Cash, Mysti-Rae and Woodrow’.
I’ll have to bear this in mind if i have any babies born in any of my stories!