Sharon / Tracy

(34 Posts)
whyno Mon 19-Aug-13 21:46:28

A couple of times recently I've people on threads mentioning that popular names will end up being the Sharon or Tracy of this generation. (Isobel and Isla have both been suggested that I've seen in past few weeks).

But I thought Sharon and Tracy became unpopular because of the cliches they portrayed onTV's Birds of a Feather? Nothing to do with popularity. So why will popular names become the Sharon/Tracy or have I missed something?

Also, do you think either of those names will ever get a comeback?! grin

meditrina Mon 19-Aug-13 21:52:14

I think they were chosen for Birds of a Feather because they were generational markers (ditto Eastenders), and an easily recognised stereotype.

One characteristic is that they came from more or less nowhere into widespread usage. Isabel, as a name in use for centuries, won't be such a name (just as Sarah or Susan weren't).

SleepyCatOnTheMat Mon 19-Aug-13 22:19:00

Yes, came from nowhere, got massive, then virtually disappeared i.e. a fad.

Lestagal78 Mon 19-Aug-13 23:19:04

I think I'd agree with the pp.

I'm not sure names like Isobel count as they are quite classic. I'm sure names like Keira will be the more Sharon and Tracey types. They are named after someone famous, have a couple of years of popularity and then fade away.

whyno Tue 20-Aug-13 07:11:13

That makes sense. Although I think it might have to be a bit more extreme than Keira as I knew a couple of those growing up. I'm trying to think what the equivalent has been for my age group (late 70s baby) and all I can think of is Chardonnay perhaps?

I expect the Sharon / Tracy thing was quite an extreme thing and hopefully names won't be vilified quite as much again as it hasn't really happened before or since. Well... maybe made up names but hopefully not old (albeit on trend) names like Keira, Isla and Isobel.

Dackyduddles Tue 20-Aug-13 07:18:00

Remember the dozens of kylies born in 80's? Can't say I notice it massively popular now, although still pretty, like S&T are too.

noblegiraffe Tue 20-Aug-13 07:20:56

Sharon's a biblical name, MN should approve!

Admiraltea Tue 20-Aug-13 08:22:41

Tracy= Grace Kelly in High Society..
British family name came from Normandy apparently and roots are Latin ...Thracius.
Can be Tracy,Tracey, Traci or Trasci.
MN should really approve!

Admiraltea Tue 20-Aug-13 08:35:16

Kylie is apparently a curved returning stick..aka boomerang..
I lay bets on Morgan/Morgann/Mawgan being up there for the millenium names along with Millie/Molly/Isabel/Isobel/Isobelle and many many girls called Grace.
And boys called Alex.
(BTW always had secret love of Tracy as a name...and Amanda)

Ella-Mae and Lola-rose will be the Sharon and Tracey of 2025. Sorry to be offensive but the 'Sharon and Tracey' stereotype was because they were popular working class names and there was a lot of class snobbery around which made them names to sneer at.

evalluna Tue 20-Aug-13 08:57:03

Sharon and Tracey seems to be a unique phenomenon regarding these names that were popular in the 60s and 70s - I don't think the same has happened with names which appeared in the 80s and 90s? From looking through the local bonny baby contest in our local paper last year a frightening proportion of names were double barrelled and oddly spelled (even boys!) - Lexii-Jayde, Keiran-Lee etc - I would say these names would be the equivalent for our time.

I think Sharon is a pretty name if divorced from the context! (and a Rose)

Peter Phillips' daughter is called Isla - highly unlikely to be the next sharon or Tracey. Also names are popular for less time now, already Ruby and Grace popular about 5 years ago are moving down the charts and sounding dated. I think Isabelle/bel etc will be more like Claire.

whyno Tue 20-Aug-13 09:04:31

I think Ehric and Evaluna are both right. It's wrong to think its a popularity issue or Louise / Sarah / Chloe would have suffered the same fate.

Luckily the hyphenated girls will have the option to drop the second name I guess.

Viviennemary Tue 20-Aug-13 10:48:32

If anything it will be those cutesy double names which will take over. Not keen on them at all.

printmeanicephoto Wed 21-Aug-13 00:13:31

Im thinking Kai and Casey and those type of names. Although a person transcends their name.

NordicLight Wed 21-Aug-13 08:39:07

I don’t think that Isabel is anything like Sharon or Tracy - what an odd comment, op. Its root is from the name Elizabeth!

Isabel, Isobel and Isabella have been used in many countries for centuries. The names Isabel and Isabella regularly appear in aristocratic family trees, both in the past and present – evidence that it is not a flash in the pan fad.

Isabella I of Castille and Ferdinand ruled Spain in the 15th century.
Isabella also features as a character in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and a poem by Keats. I'm sure that there are a few MNetters with a g/g grandmother with the name on here too!

I don’t recall a Sharon or Tracy as characters in pre mid-20th century literature, it is news to me that Sharon is a character in the Bible, doesn’t it just refer to a plain? Before the 1960s, Sharon and Tracy were extremely rare.

It’s Ruby-Mae, Lilly-Mae, Paige, Keira, Teagan, and many other names ending in –ee which have become suddenly popular and been in rare use before that are the new Sharon and Tracy/F*t Sl*gs/Birds of a Feather genre.

Anne/Anna and Mary are also widely used names in the world, there must be millions of them to be found in many countries at various ages, yet they have never suffered the same fate of the S&T label, proving that popularity of a name is not the reason why Sharon and Tracy became vilified. The reason why caricatures were given the S&T label was simply that there were enough young women with that name who behaved raucously in the ‘80s, for it to be credible that a character could be called it. From then on, it became a lazy, shorthand way for the media to give people, who chose to act that way, a name that everyone would understand quickly and accept as fitting. Not ideal for those who defied the stereotype.

With regard to popularity, out of interest, were Sharon and Tracy ever the no.1 names in the UK? Possibly a little further down the chart? Other names of that era like Jacqui, Lorraine, Denise, Beverley, Kelly, Karen, Michelle, Charlene, Stacey and Kimberley are perceived as naff today but didn’t suffer quite the same notoriety.

A great character can transcend a name, as others have said.

whyno Wed 21-Aug-13 09:50:27

You misunderstood me Nordic,I started the thread because I thought it was weird that people were saying that too. smile

Fwiw, I agree with all you've said. Was getting tired of people mistakenly (imo) equating popularity with negative connotations and was trying to work out why people thought that.

I have one of the naff names you mention and planning on giving my daughter a very popular name. grin

NordicLight Wed 21-Aug-13 15:17:57

Isla and Keira don't have the long history that Isabel/Isabella has, I think that they are in a completely different category. Even so, although they may not fare quite so well I don't think even they would ever get to S&T levels of farce in the '80s. No, if anything, it will be the name of the offspring of a 'celebrity' with questionable morals: sexually, financially, ethically...

I found some statistics on name popularity that reflect that some names have stood the test of time while others have faded.

For anyone interested, here are the top ten names for one year in each decade (I can't find the whole decade average with the most popular first.

1954 : Susan, Linda, Christine, Margaret, Janet, Patricia, Carol, Elizabeth, Mary, Anne

1964 : Susan, Julie, Karen, Jacqueline, Deborah, Tracey, Jane, Helen, Diane, Sharon

1974 : Sarah, Claire, Nicola, Emma, Lisa, Joanne, Michelle, Helen, Samantha, Karen

1984: Sarah, Laura, Gemma, Emma, Rebecca, Claire, Victoria, Samantha, Rachel, Amy

1994: Rebecca, Lauren, Jessica, Charlotte, Hannah, Sophie, Amy, Emily, Laura, Emma

2003: Emily, Ellie, Chloe, Jessica, Sophie, Megan, Lucy, Olivia, Charlotte, Hannha

Source: Oxford Dictionary of First Names (not my favourite book but it will suffice)

Sorry if your name is one of the ones I mentioned, whyno

NordicLight Wed 21-Aug-13 15:20:06

Fifth line down should read: (I can't find the whole decade average) Here they are with the most popular listed first.

NordicLight Wed 21-Aug-13 15:22:29

Oh, I give up, I can't type today- Hannha should obviously be Hannah.

Margetts Wed 21-Aug-13 15:26:23

I am a Sarah born in 1970, which was the most popular name then. I was the only Sarah throughout my whole primary and secondary education. Today amongst my group of friends I am still the only one.
Although it was a popular name for decades, the last 2 decades it has fallen out of fashion and do not know anybody under the age of 25 with this name. does anybody?

mrslyman Wed 21-Aug-13 15:32:32

I know at least 3 Sarah's under the age of 5.

mrslyman Wed 21-Aug-13 15:34:39

I think a lot of these things are cyclical. I am convinced that the grandchildren my generation (in my 30s) will all be called things like Nigel, Carole, Janet and Barry grin

mrslyman Wed 21-Aug-13 15:36:24

I also think it's a media image of Sharon & Tracey rather anything to do with popularity. I'm pretty sure Viz's Fat Slags were called Sharon and Tracey.

(And apologies for putting all of this in three posts instead of one)

NordicLight Wed 21-Aug-13 15:39:19

That would be funny to our generation!

NordicLight Wed 21-Aug-13 18:00:51

Yes, mrsslyman, that's the point I was proposing further up in a previous post.

It’s Ruby-Mae, Lilly-Mae, Paige, Keira, Teagan, and many other names ending in –ee which have become suddenly popular and been in rare use before that are the new Sharon and Tracy/F*t Sl*gs/Birds of a Feather genre.

I didn't know if I should type 'Fat Slags' so put it in asterisks! Seems to have slipped under the radar!

The media neatly pigeon-holed Sharon & Tracey as a term of derision and it snowballed. Easier to continue discriminating against a couple of names than risk insulting other names that might belong to friends, family, potential bosses' loved ones. Or something along those lines!

badtime Wed 21-Aug-13 21:43:26

The Fat Slags are San(dra) and Tracey.

Biscuitsneeded Wed 21-Aug-13 22:53:19

I think the point is that Sharon and Tracy were kind of 'made up' names as opposed to traditional names (albeit they might have been surnames, or of another heritage as opposed to totally invented). So no, I don't think the Isobels and Emilys will suffer the same fate, even though they are two a penny, because those are still classic names that have been around for ever. The names I think WILL date and seem hugely popular among the teenage girls I teach are Shannon and Lauren, which are very 'of their time' and wouldn't have been popular before now. I also can't stand Bethany, possibly because the only ones I have ever taught have been utterly odious, but that's a different issue...

1944girl Mon 26-Aug-13 22:38:32

Re, Isabella. That was my grandmother's name,she was born in 1897 and she had about four female relatives with the same name all born around the same time.All of them were known as Bella.When I was tracing my family tree I discovered that it was a family name going back generations also very popular in my other grandmother's family as well.
I am going back a long way now about Tracey.i can remember reading something about the 50s actress Jean Simmons. She named her daughter Tracey after her friend the actor Spencer Tracey and it seemed the name then surged into popularity.
Sharon is after a place mentioned in the Bible, the Rose of Sharon

Sparrowfarts Mon 26-Aug-13 23:01:17

I once went riding in the Arizona desert with a handsome, blonde, black denim-clad cowboy. He shook my hand and said 'Hi, Tracy'. I almost said 'No, sorry, it's Sparrowfart actually', but the penny dropped just in time.

Fraxinus Tue 27-Aug-13 00:36:50

In the 60's and previous generations, the top ten names counted for a larger proportion of the people than they do now.

This means there were more people called Darren and Kevin than there are called ruby and Olivia now.

The hyphenated names will account for such a large group of girls that it will be identifiable as of this generation. I wonder if it will have class connotations?

EnjoyEverySandwich Tue 27-Aug-13 11:19:38

Fraxinus Maybe so, but nowadays there are more variations and "cre8tiv" spellings. Also more common for short forms to be registered rather than used as nns (eg Charles, Charlie). The name figures are actually quite misleading

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 27-Aug-13 11:40:32

Names (usually made up but not always) that become overly popular very quickly, usually within the working classes in the past but nowadays the working class and Jeremy Kyle types ie Jayden Kayden and sadly Ellie, Lily etc all tacked onto Mai or May will become the future Sharon's and Traceys. Ebony, Chantelle, etc.

Turniptwirl Tue 27-Aug-13 21:09:44

Charlene and Hayley are very 80s names to me! The kind that date badly as opposed to the more common ones like Sarah and Louise.

Isabel and variations of is in the Sarah camp in that its extremely popular (in one brownie pack we have 4 with various spellings), but I don't think it will date in the same way as Sharon and Tracey. I think the kre8ive spellings of any name will be the badly dated names of this generation ( not the alternative spellings for different countries/cultures/preferences like Isabelle, Isobel etc but the bizarre like Elliezahbeff (really good there isn't a child called that!)

Turniptwirl Tue 27-Aug-13 21:10:32

I'm really glad this wasnt a naming thread for twin girls btw!!!

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