Friday, 19 September 2014

Hello, My Name is Bunny.

After appearance and sometimes behaviour, names are one of the first things a person is judged on. During interviews, meeting friends, applying university, your name will follow you whatever you are doing: it is you.
Which has always made me wonder… Why do parents give their children silly names?
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I recently found out that Katie Price has named her youngest daughter Bunny. The first thing I thought was “stripper”. I will hold my hand on my heart and say that I apologise if your name is Bunny and that has caused you offense but there are some names that I think most people generally tend to associate with exotic dancers; Candy, Kitty, Star, Chardonnay, Bambi, you know the ones I mean. I just don’t understand why you would want your child to sound like a stripper. Bunny is a cute name, but Bunny is going to be a 35-year-old woman one day. Poor her when she has to introduce herself using that name, especially if it is at a respectful interview for the police or as a doctor or something.
I can understand wanting your daughter to have a pretty and feminine name and I do actually quite like the name Bunny, though I like it for a nickname and wouldn’t dream of using it as my child’s first name. I appreciate that Katie and I are from completely different worlds and her children will no doubt have a completely different life from everything that I have known but I think even if I were catapulted to fame, I doubt I would call my child Bunny or Apple or Kal-El. I don’t think my family would let me.
If I did like the name Bunny or Apple for my child, I would most likely give them a “normal” legal name (e.g. Charlotte or Rose) and then use the more extreme name (e.g. Bunny or Apple) as a nickname.
Related to nicknames, I also don’t understand why parents legally call their children Jamie or Tom or other nicknames. Surely it would be better to call them James or Thomas, giving them the option to shorten their name? If you name your daughter Charlie, she will always be a Charlie. Whereas name her Charlotte and she can be a Charlotte at interviews, a Charlie to family and a Lottie to friends. Surely this makes more sense than just calling your child Beck or Jon.
Which brings me onto my last point: spelling. I will never understand why parents want their children to have “normal” sounding names but then give them dodgy spelling. On most products personalised with names (those pens you get in the card shop or those headbands you get on holiday), there will often be names like Rebecca, Michael and Madison. But I doubt there will be Rebekkah, Mykel and Maddisynne. I was watching my guilty pleasure Dance Moms a few weeks ago with my grandmother and we were introduced to a new dancer.
No, not cup of tea or dinner tea. Tea. As in Tia. I can appreciate parents wanting their child to have a different name but why not just give them a slightly less common name? Instead of Emily, go for Cecelia. It is different and the name itself a little edgier but still easy to spell and probably much easier for a child to live with than if their name was a meal during the day. And, let's face it, calling a child Tea or Maddisynne means throughout their life they will have to explain to people how they spell and pronounce their name.
Personally, I think it is getting to the point where “common” names are dying out. They are being replaced with unusual spellings and even more unusual names, to the point that in a few years I won’t know how to pronounce any name in a reception class in a primary school.
So if you are pregnant or are thinking of a name for your beautiful baby, please think this through carefully; your child is going to have to live with their name for the rest of their life, or at least until they can get it changed by deed poll. So that means no stripper names, no weirdly spelt or pronounced names and please, please leave the puns at home. Tu Morrow, Russell Sprout? Save your child the pain of inevitable bullying and think of potential puns and acronyms before signing the birth registration!

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