The old lady/man names(53 Posts)
Genuine question, I don't live in the UK and haven't for a few years. I'm quite surprised to see so many old names are becoming popular. How long do you think the trend/fad for old lady/man names is going to last?
A few years I imagine. Until everyone has stopped saying 'Pearl, that was my Granny's name,' and started saying 'Db had called his dd Pearl, AIBU to think she'll be one of six at nursery?'
I thik it will last until the old lady\man name babies grow up and have their own children.
By then names of the 70s and 80s will be the new old lady/man names.
It will last forever.
Most names are cyclical, going in and out of fashion, and it usually takes a good two - more like three or more - generations for names to come back in. By which time, they're the names of everyone's grandparents or older.
So ... old lady/man names.
It's just that the old lady names our children use for their children won't be as old lady as the names we're currently choosing.
This is also why our parents often totally do not get our choices - because the names we like often still sound dated to them. But fresh to us because they're not as familiar.
The cycles make sense. The 70's/80's was awful for names, do you really think we'll get a whole other generation of -Louises, Michelles, Deans, Lees and Waynes?
Freaking awful names.
So many pretty names, all those old blokes called Albert and Archie and Stanley and now cute babies being lumbered! Martha, Ethel and Maude.
Yeah I wonder if in 5 yrs they'll be Pamela, Mary and carol. Funny that, I quite like the name Carole/Carol but would be weird to meet a baby Carole
It was actually the Ethel and Maude's that made me wonder about it. Personally I think they sound awfully drab and I'm really surprised that they are so popular in the UK now. At first I thought some of the threads on baby names were joke ones but they seem to be serious, I'm obviously out of touch with UK trends. It will be interesting to see what will be popular in 5-10 years time.
I think they're awful names.
I heard some poor toddler being called Maude in the park. It's hardly a pretty name. Can't stand Ethel, Iris, Ivy, Edith etc. I know an elderly Iris and she hates her name.
Everyone seems to be using old lady names. I wonder if people think they're being original, only to find their DD is the 17th Florence in their class.
I don't think the old lady names are as popular as they may seem on here,they get suggested a lot but so far I've only seen a couple of posts where someone is actually considering using one of them and I wouldn't mind betting that they don't when their baby is born.
Old man names is a different story,they are actually becoming really popular,especially Alfie/Alfred,Archie and Stanley.
Personally I don't like the old lady/old man names. The classic/traditional names I do like though,u know,the ones that never really disappear,like Elizabeth and Edward. I really don't think the old name trend has even really made a start by way of a comeback and I don't think it ever will,a lot of those names are really not very nice or pretty,back in the 20s/30s/40s they were but now they just sound awful and a bit laughable in some cases,especially when u think how much the world has changed since then,we're all modernised and high tech now,not living on rations with no tv or phones and washing our clothes in buckets with a bar of soap.
I can see the currently unusual,"out-there" names that sound a bit made up that get mentioned on here becoming a trend and getting popular in the next few years,not the likes of Mildred,Margaret,Alan and Albert.xx
I call them "old bloke down the pub" names - Wilf, Bert, Stan, Alf, Albert - Len will be the next one (my dad's name) or Reg or Ron. Poor kids - these names aren't classic they are old. Like wise it's Maud & Ethel etc soon to be Gladys, Doreen or Doris. Let's hope not.
I think lots of people on here are trying too hard to give their child an unusual name. Nothing wrong with unusual but not at the expense of saddling your child with a bloody awful name for the rest of it's life.
I have a very 70s name 'Karen' and I don't think it's that bad but the ugly old names like Maud,Mildred Ethel?...nope..better off with a classic name like Elizabeth,Sarah,Georgiana,K/Cathrine..
Sorry just wanted to chip in again after Karen's post - totally agree. Classic name = unable to deduce the age of the person from their name v fashionable name = bet he/she was born in whatever decade. Think Kylie.
I also think there is a difference between old and classic names. A lot of the old names in particular the girls ones just seem really ugly, Mildred, Maude etc. I find it very hard to imagine people are actually using these names in RL that's why I asked.
My own first and middle names are and feel very dated and were very popular in the late seventies and eighties, much like Evie/Ava/Amelia are now. I dislike them so much I recently told my parents I was changing them by deed poll officially as I choose my own name when I was about 16. I wish they had had more imagination and not saddled me with rubbish names, or even given me a decent middle name I could use. I often wonder if other people also change their names for similar reasons.
I know a baby Eric and a baby Carol-Ann. Startling at first but shouldn't be surprised.
Many names go in fifty- to seventy-year cycles. Oliver for example was largely unused from 1940-2000, and now it is top three. But that's a "classic" name that is very "now".
It was great today - I went to buy some tiles and got talking to the two old chaps in the shop, as it took a while to sort out what we were getting and my eldest appeared in the shop with the baby, who had started crying in the car outside.
In the muddle of trying to breastfeed in the back room and get everything into the car, we realised that one of the men shared his name with the baby, and the other one with ds1
It was lovely, they started off as grumpy old gits who ds1 was worried 'don't like children' and by the end of it they were friends with us and chucking in some free tiles.
We don't know any other children with my kids' names. I think they're nicer than some 'old' names - Peter and Fred.
I've always loved the names Maude,Mildred,Beatrice,Mabel,Myrtle,Ethel,Adeline,Agnes,agatha....I could go on...
I've loved them since I was a child.
I don't think it's fair to say a name is "hardly pretty" I think it is.
Its a matter of opinion.
Yes there is a trend for them,which is a pity as I do think when naming trends start people start to pick at them,and then the names seem to 'try hard' or whatever.
But the thing is, a lot of the names some of you think of as just awful, are just names you personally have old people associations with, and are not ready for. Whereas other people are either a bit more ahead of the curve, or are able to look at the name a bit more objectively and decide that actually, it is a nice name.
My own name is a really good example of a cyclical name that people either love or hate, depending on when it's in or out of fashion.
Right now it's so in fashion that it's over-used, too popular and people are actually rejecting it because of its popularity. Which means that in another 10 or 20 years it will absolutely, definitely be out of favour and sound awfully dated to the next generation.
I know this, because when I was given it in the early 70s it was desperately old lady, no-one was using it, and my parents got a lot of raised eyebrows and questioning looks when they told people my name. People though, quite honestly, that it was awful and I grew up really not liking my old-fashioned, dusty, old lady name.
It's Isobel. Hard to believe it had all those awful connotations, right? Because now it sounds so current and 'in'. Well, it didn't then, believe me!
People who resent their parents for choosing quintessential-for-that-era's-names - all they were doing was choosing the names which sounded fresh and lovely and pretty and current at that time. All the Rubys and Lilys and Avas and Evies and Islas will be in that boat eventually, too - wondering why their parents were so unoriginal and chose such staid, boring names for them. The answer being that they weren't staid and boring when they were chosen, they just became so over time through over-use and familiarity.
In another 10-20 years, the likes of Maud, Agnes, Edith, Audrey, etc, will have shed their negative associations to our generation and have become the 'go to' names for the next generation who think they sound nice. It's just that some people are more ahead of the curve and are using them already.
'Twas ever thus.
UpTheFrigg, can I ask would you actually name a child Maude, Mildred, or Ethel though?
Depends what you mean by old man names - George/Henry/William/Edward are just perennial really. Albert/Stanley/Norman type names are a bit so so. I cannot even contemplate someone calling a baby Reg or Len.
I wonder if the 1940s-50s names will come back - Colin/roger/graham type names.
Lily Allen's first child is Ethel so that may have increased the popularity.
George, William, Edward to me are timeless. Norman is a bit of a shocker and I would think of that as an old man faddy name, same with Reg, Herbert or Len.
A friend of mine has a Stanley and I thought she was being quite out there choosing it. The instant image was of an old man wearing a flat cap, drinking a pint of stout in a working mens club up north, but it turns out it's really popular now, and there are 2 others in his nursery.
Colin, Roger and Graham are horrible but I wonder if they will do full circle.
So what do you think a 3 or 4 generation cycle?
Why wouldn't I choose my favorite names?
If it was completely up to me,my children's names would be Mildred Beatrice and Arlo Reginald,and the one in the oven would be Myrtle,Maude or Agatha I expect,perhaps one of the others...
However DP has very different taste and so we've had to compromise.
I was sitting the other day at a baby group and the little lads next to me were called Will, Sid and Frank. I wanted to get them all flat caps and a pint of stout.
I wouldn't choose Sidney or Frank but I don't dislike them as names (and they're all sweet babies).
UpTheFrigg, I love the name Tallulah but I wouldn't inflict it on a RL child (so that's what I called my cat). I think it is totally possible to have a favourite name(s) but you wouldn't actually use in RL.
I don't feel like those names are 'inflicting' anything.
I like them.
I like the sound,they aren't prissy or girly,overused or made up.
I can see them on a baby,a girl,a moody teen,and an adult.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.