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To think this class-obsessed country uses DC's names to change theirs?

(538 Posts)
GinDaddy Sun 26-Jan-20 14:32:48

I live in the South of England, I'm heading towards middle age, so this gives you some context before my OP, which is..

AIBU to think people are giving their DCs "posh" or "aspirational" names as status signifiers? (Which ironically immediately marks them out to me as such?)

I realise there's always been fashionable and unfashionable names since time immemorial. But what I'm talking about is the slew of names which I would previously only expect to hear on Made In Chelsea or Guy Pelly's guest list at Boujis.

Arabella. Annabelle. Isabelle. Amelia. Jasper. Oscar. Oliver (to be inevitably commuted immediately to Ollie in faux-braying tones). Hugo. Theo. Leo. Harry (not even bothering to use the proper Harold, just going straight to the diminutive because well, it sounds right).

It's just a bit odd really. People can and will call their child what they like, but why are so many folk (and it's always the same folk, the ones who are project managers, who love myWaitrose and head tilting, whose teeth chatter when grandparents offer DC a Kinder Surprise) enamoured with these names?

Can someone actually explain this to me? No one has ownership of names, but I cannot believe that some people aren't using this as some sort of social signifier. 15 years ago not everyone was called Ollie or Theo. I didn't know a load of Arabellas or Amelias, I knew a few but that was commensurate with the environment.

AIBU to think the popularity of these names comes from their associate social status?

ohwerehalfwaythere Sun 26-Jan-20 14:34:07


JoJoSM2 Sun 26-Jan-20 14:35:58

I’m not English and some of those would appeal as they work nicely in English and my language.

Also, I don’t know any Arabellas but do know adults with the other names so wouldn’t find them aspirational. Just what I’m used to anyway.

OhWellThatsJustGreat Sun 26-Jan-20 14:36:01

Serious? A name is a name. I don't think there's anything aspirational about any of those names, they're popular and fashionable. In 10/15 years it's highly likely that those names will be as popular as Gary is right now...

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 26-Jan-20 14:36:02


Bluntness100 Sun 26-Jan-20 14:36:12

Yeah, the country isn't obsessed with class, just you and some folks on here.

They are just popular names.

araiwa Sun 26-Jan-20 14:36:35

Just because youre class obsessed doesnt mean the majority gives a toss

None of those names you gave have any class connotations to me at all

cormorantyes Sun 26-Jan-20 14:36:48

What class would you describe yourself as OP?

OakleyStreetisnotinChelsea Sun 26-Jan-20 14:37:49

It shouldn't be allowed. If a person is scum on benefits then they shouldn't be permitted to call their child Oscar or Theo and should stick to Kyle. Otherwise the poor kid will think they have a shot at an education and a future when we all know they are destined for a life of fags and the dole.

OP you are talking shit.

Bluntness100 Sun 26-Jan-20 14:37:56

Oh and my grand mother was born working class, she'd be about a hundred now. And she was called Amelia.

gamerchick Sun 26-Jan-20 14:38:20

Eh, I hear a name and it's just a name. I don't associate it with anything.

Surely the only people to notice are the ones who are bothered about 'status' themselves?

GinDaddy Sun 26-Jan-20 14:38:37


We know they are popular names, hence the OP. hmm

Care to venture any further as to WHY they are popular?

Newmetoday Sun 26-Jan-20 14:39:03

I agree OP

NotYourHun Sun 26-Jan-20 14:39:17

You’ve got the measure of this really wrong.

Amelia and Isabelle are just the modern equivalents of Katherine and Georgina which I had about 5 of each of in my year group at school. Names tend to run in popularity cycles.

RuffleCrow Sun 26-Jan-20 14:39:26

Whats the alternative? low aspiration names? The same names you already have? Weird thread.

BitOfFun Sun 26-Jan-20 14:40:12

This has been covered at length in Freakonomics.

Lailaha Sun 26-Jan-20 14:40:16

You do know that "Harry" is short for Henry as well as Harold, right?

GinDaddy Sun 26-Jan-20 14:40:37


I went to a top university but came from working class background. I don't have a bloody clue.

I do think however there is still a large sector of British society who think about class.

I think it's fair to address that in a post. It doesn't make me class obsessed to notice something that's obvious. It wouldn't make me obsessed with violence if I pointed out a signifier for London stabbings, so why do I have to have a connection to this topic for me to talk about it?!

OhWellThatsJustGreat Sun 26-Jan-20 14:40:55

Care to venture any further as to WHY they are popular?

Because names like most things (clothes) go through cycles of being popular haha

redexpat Sun 26-Jan-20 14:41:06

Names go in and out of style. People pick one that feels right for them, so that choice will probably reflect their class, at least in some cases.

OhWellThatsJustGreat Sun 26-Jan-20 14:41:21

Sorry not sure where the haha came from 🤔

justgivemewine Sun 26-Jan-20 14:42:12

Nah, you’re overthinking it. They’re just names that are popular at the moment.

ForInstance Sun 26-Jan-20 14:42:13

Yes it just goes to show how obsessed we all are with class... biscuit

GinDaddy Sun 26-Jan-20 14:42:19


How do I have the measure of this all wrong, if you're saying I'm essentially correct in nothing a trend, it's just that the names were different 15 years ago?

There's no question for me that Katherine/Georgina were also considered solidly middle class names back then.

Comeonbabyyay Sun 26-Jan-20 14:42:35

Isabelle? Any version of it is very common everywhere
Isabelle, Isabel, Isobel, Isabella...

A name is a name. I don’t get why this seems to bother you.
Better than calling a child Jackdaniels which has happened

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