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Chronologically incongruous names in books

(216 Posts)
CormoranStrike Thu 10-Jan-19 17:56:45

Anyone ever bemused by this?

I’m reading a crime novel, set in Edinburgh in 2018.

There are three 11-year-olds in it, called Alan, Jimmy and Rick. Are any kids of that age Calle debate these days?

I expect 11-year-old boys to be Jack, Lewis and Jayden.

Any other examples?

TootTootPeanutbutter Thu 10-Jan-19 17:59:57

Stephen King's Mr Mercedes has several child characters with names like this. One I could accept but multiple characters?

Threehoursfromhome Thu 10-Jan-19 18:26:39

The converse of this is "the Tiffany problem" or as QI tweeted:

The Tiffany Problem’ is a term coined by the author Jo Walton to describe the tension between historical fact and the popular perception of history. No one would believe that a woman in the Middle Ages could be named Tiffany, yet it was a real medieval name.

CormoranStrike Thu 10-Jan-19 19:21:32

It’s just so jarring, isn’t it?

Veterinari Thu 10-Jan-19 19:26:26

Not to derail but which book and is it any good please? I like Scottish crime! grin

longwayoff Thu 10-Jan-19 19:26:42

Threehours that's fascinating, sounds really unlikely, not that I doubt you. I was reading a novel a few weeks ago, set in 16c, and a character was described as looking at a tree which wasn't grown in England at that time. Little irritants.

Veterinari Thu 10-Jan-19 19:28:12

Also Jimmy is the ubiquitous Scottish shortening of Janes which is still popular, and Alan is much more common in Scotland than England. Not sure about Rick though

TootTootPeanutbutter Thu 10-Jan-19 19:28:42

Actually I think that Stephen King is bad for this generally. I'm thinking of his more recent works and short stories, not his older stuff.

Danglingmod Thu 10-Jan-19 19:31:18

I can't get on with books where the Mum or Dad character has a name that seems "younger" than their daughter/son, eg Jess and Susan or Oli and Clive. There are a surprisingly large number of books where this occurs.

Doobigetta Thu 10-Jan-19 19:49:40

It’s not unusual for American books, films etc to feature upper class English women with names like Brooke, Sheridan, Paige etc. Which may well be upper class names in the States but they are definitely not over here, and the incongruity really irritates me.

MartaHallard Thu 10-Jan-19 20:01:48

Historical romance is particularly bad for this. I once came across a heroine in a historical romance called Jade. Jade was an insulting term for a woman in the past. It's equivalent to having a modern heroine called Slag or Tart.

IHaveBrilloHair Thu 10-Jan-19 20:05:12

I live in Scotland, never heard of a Jimmy or Alan under the age of 40.
I know a 20yr old Brian, and I assumed I'd misheard and his name was Ryan at first.

Whatabloodymessthisis Thu 10-Jan-19 20:07:46

I’m Scottish and don’t think I’ve ever met or heard of a Rick ... it would be Richie here

DaveCoachesgavemetheclap Thu 10-Jan-19 20:10:26

I recently read a crime novel set in the present day, where a teenager was called Brenda.

MartaHallard Thu 10-Jan-19 20:17:21

Some books are now being republished as ebooks that were originally published in the '80s or '90s. The names will be dated in that case. But you can usually recognise those books because the technology is dated too.

(The youngest Brenda I've known was born in the 1960s, and it was a bit dated then.)

rightreckoner Thu 10-Jan-19 20:17:59

I always think it was a bit odd that Rachel’s baby in Friends is called Emma. Emma is a name from the 70s and 80s. A cool NYer’s baby in 2002 should not be called Emma.

That’s my version of historical grin

FayFortune Thu 10-Jan-19 20:19:15

Should be Aidan, Jamie and Jack.

TootTootPeanutbutter Thu 10-Jan-19 20:20:40

I can't comment on NYC but I know more than one Emma who was born in the mid to late 90s so it doesn't seem that odd to me.

FayFortune Thu 10-Jan-19 20:21:49

Or make one of them Lewis.

KeepSmiling80 Thu 10-Jan-19 20:22:00

Alan and Jimmy, aye. No idea if Rick is popular. I think there's a lot more "Dad names" in Scotland, I know of baby Johns, Alans and Gavins.

KeepSmiling80 Thu 10-Jan-19 20:22:30

Oh, baby Paul too.

FayFortune Thu 10-Jan-19 20:25:02

I don't know any 11-18 year old Alans in Scotland. Maybe it's revived more recently, or it's just luck / local naming.

Repertory Thu 10-Jan-19 20:37:43

But Tiffany isn’t a medieval name. Yes, Theophania was used for girls, especially those born on Jan 6th, and had variants, but there weren’t actual Tiffanys mingling with the Agneses and Elizabeths. It only caught on again via the surname in the US.

ourweeschool Thu 10-Jan-19 20:38:17

I'm a Scottish teacher- quite a lot of young Alans but they're all Polish. A few Jamies and they're all pests. Never taught a Rick, Rich or any sort of Richard.

I agree, Aidan, Jack and Lewis.

Azelma Thu 10-Jan-19 20:41:45

I think with Emma, Rachel's baby in Friends, is that it wasn't a particular common name in the States, so it was 'cool' to name the baby with a British name, regardless of the fact it was dated in the UK.

Reminds me of when i was a teenager and had an English friend with a European name (no relatives as far as I know from the country where this name is most associated with). We all thought I was a really cool name. Then I met someone at uni from the country where the name is popular and she told me it was an old ladies name there.

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