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The old lady/man names

(53 Posts)
Stripedsocksarecool Fri 19-Apr-13 23:47:11

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?

IvoryMadonna Tue 14-Apr-15 12:03:33

This thread is a couple of years old, but the topic is always interesting.

I agree that some of the so-called "classic" names aren't in fact perennial. I'm in my 50s and names like William, Thomas, George, Edward were rare in my generation and were "grandad" names to us. They started to come back into fashion with our children's generation.

In any trend or generation there are names I like and dislike. There are names I think are ugly (Ethel, Mildred) but other names of the same vintage that I do like. Likewise there are names from my own generation that I have always thought ugly, but others that are nice. It's best to study a name dispassionately, disregarding any personal associations and generational bias. From my mother's generation for instance: I still don't like Joyce, but I always liked Pamela: I never used to like Dorothy, but now I think it's a pretty name.

Ravenjade Tue 14-Apr-15 04:33:25

I'm not so much of a fan of the old fashioned lady names as I am of the male ones; I think surname-like male names are cool sounding. The names like 'Fletcher', 'Seth', 'Russell', 'Alphonse', 'Reuben', 'Finnian', and 'Everett' all catch my eye, but If I try to go for a girl's name from the same day and age I get 'Ethel' and 'Maude' which don't have any appeal to me.

Every time I hear 'Ethel' I think of
'I Love Lucy', and I wouldn't want to be named something as timelessly common as 'George' or 'Thomas'

I think the naming process is continuously repeating, and in a hundred years or so, 'Isabele' will come back into the fashion of the new day and age.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Mon 22-Apr-13 23:23:01

There's nothing hard sounding about Agatha....?

And again, it's only fashion that dictates how names sound to the current generation.

At the moment girls' names are are very frilly and feminine with 'y/ie', 'elle/ella' and 'a' endings - Millie, Lilie, Evie, Ruby, Daisy, Sophie, Annabel/lle, Isabelle/a, Amelia, Freya, Olivia, Sophia, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

But a generation or two ago, the taste was definitely for less frilly names with consonant endings, e.g. Helen, Joanne, Karen, Nicole, Janet, Jane, Ann/e, Catherine, Susan, Margaret, etc, etc.

People are already beginning to get sick of the overtly feminine names. The switch back to less frilly names will happen, just as the cycle of fashion always continues to turn.

And then the names won't sound 'hard', they'll sound <positive adjective> because that'll be the fashion of the time.

Clary Mon 22-Apr-13 22:35:23

Oddly enough I have them mostly off pat.

I think remembering names and saying them correctly may be my special talent (shame it's not getting them to be quiet hmm)

rainbow2000 Mon 22-Apr-13 10:10:40

I think some older names are lovely but most are very hard sounding like Agatha,Mildred,Maude especially Ethel its just horrible.I would rather have a made up name than them.

Stripedsocksarecool Sun 21-Apr-13 18:20:46

It was me that said inflicting and it was in reference to my own name, and I did say after that that was possibly a poor choice of word.

The post started because I was genuinely surprised at the popularity of the old man/lady names, not to bash them. Although I do dislike them and some of them do sound horrible to me, but that is my personal opinion of the names, not what the thread started out as. As all discussions do the topic moves on, I don't think it's been judgy but it has been interesting.

rowtunda Sun 21-Apr-13 18:10:50

It is judgy pants as people are talking about 'inflicting' names on children and thinking Ffs when they read a child's name!

Stripedsocksarecool Sun 21-Apr-13 18:04:50

I thought Kai was an 70's/80's name as there were loads in my school.

Stripedsocksarecool Sun 21-Apr-13 18:04:02

It's not judgy pants it's just talking about name trend cycles and peoples experience of them. It's interesting.

Does anyone know if there are lists anywhere about name statistics from years ago? There are census records so somebody must have listed the names.

Clary, how do you remember them all?

rowtunda Sun 21-Apr-13 17:42:19

Such a judgy pants thread - I much prefer old man names to made up or americany sounding ones - Harrison, tai, ethan, Kai etc

Also prefer them to the standard - Thomas, Harry George etc

But each to their own - that's what makes the world go round!

bigkidsdidit Sun 21-Apr-13 16:12:19

these are just cycles of names. Every generation doesn't entirely invent a new batch of names, they use old ones! Usually from 70-100 years before.

In 20 years tiem these old lady names will be totally normal and all the baby girls will be called Janice and Linda.

FreedomOfTheTess Sun 21-Apr-13 16:06:51

I'd much rather see a baby girl called Agatha then yet another Olivia/Isabella/Amelia/Ava/Mia. yawn

fussychica Sun 21-Apr-13 13:17:10

Glad it's not just me thinking "flat cap & stout" grin

MummyBurrows Sun 21-Apr-13 13:03:54

One name that I think now has too many spelling variations is Lily...I've seen it spelt Lily,Lilly,Lilie,Lillie,Lilee,Lilleigh and Lealee!?!

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 21-Apr-13 04:50:20

My mum is a Margaret. She hates it.

I just don't think names like Agatha, Agnes, Maude, Mildred etc are pretty. They're hard sounding. Isobel is lovely, pretty. There is totally a difference between classic and an old name. I would feel sorry for any child lumbered with Mildred. Almost sounds like being fashionable for fashions sake. A bit like Lilly Allen using Ethel. Too try hard.

CheerfulYank Sun 21-Apr-13 03:19:49

ThanksDonDraper smile We like it. I know we'll get some comments (every girl here is Ava/Avery or Olivia or Madison) but that's okay.

HagsFlungOut Sun 21-Apr-13 01:06:26

I don't see either Reg or Len as being too far removed from current fashion. Reg is for Reginald which has the alternative short form Rex, which would be seen as cooler. Same goes for Len - the full name is Leonard which also shortens to Leo and Leon.

I must say I'm a bit bemused by the branding of Isobel as an old lady name. I was born about 10 years earlier, and knew several Isobels of around my own age. None of my contemporaries ever thought it old-fashioned. Perhaps it's a regional thing.

fionathepink Sun 21-Apr-13 00:48:04

@Clary How do you keep a straight face in the day trying to figure them all out? In fact, do you have superglue on your eyes to stop them rolling. God knows I do.

Stripedsocksarecool Sun 21-Apr-13 00:32:16

Maybe inflicted was a poor choice of word, it's just how I feel about my names, that they were inflicted on me. They choose them because they liked them but I wish my names had a bit of meaning behind them.

Clary Sun 21-Apr-13 00:23:53

LOL yes. As well as all the Joes I also teach Mia (said mee-a), Mia (said My-a), Maya (said My-a), Maia (said May-a), and Mhea (said mee-a).


<outs self>

fionathepink Sun 21-Apr-13 00:21:52

Worse are old people names used with 'new' spellings where people are trying to assert their originality on the names. My job means I come across many inventive spellings of traditional names. My favourite to date has been 'Deshaun'.

Clary Sun 21-Apr-13 00:14:39

These sort of threads always make me laugh! My DC have grandad/grandma names (I call them WW1 names as they are always on the war memorials, the boys anyway!).

But they are hardly massively popular - DD is just about the only child with her name we have ever met. DS1 is the only one in his secondary (1200 students).

The names there are "17 of in the class" are names like Emily, Josh, James, Joe (I teach 9 Joes), Charlotte, Jessica, (all nice names I hasten to add) which raise nary an MN eyebrow hmm

I honestly think the genuinely "classic" names are very few and far between. Yes, Elizabeth is one - I was at school with one and I teach 2 aged 11-13; but Edward? Noooooo. It's a lovely name but you won't find many 40 year olds called it. A friend of mine was nicknamed "George" at school as a term of abuse hmm (we are late 40s).

Another friend was called Sophie which we all raised eyebrows at but excused on account of her dad being an artist and therefore a bit creative grin You wouldn't think twice about a 13-yo Sophie today!

MissFredi Sun 21-Apr-13 00:11:31

On the topic of being inflicted with a name - Frederiquehmm

Really mum? Really?

I'm dead set on Elisabeth (with an s after great grandmother), and I was so set on Oliver but not if there's going to be another 10 in the class haha! grin

Casmama Sun 21-Apr-13 00:07:37

There was a picture of a Betsy Pearl on Facebook the other day and I must admit to thinking FFS- bad enough to saddle a wee girl with one of those names far less both but to say it as if it was double barrelled -eugh!

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sun 21-Apr-13 00:06:27

Margaret is a lovely name - and in another decade or so when everyone else's tastes catch up, you can absolutely bet that it will be popular again.

By the time a baby called Margaret now reaches her teens, her name will sound fresh and current, as opposed to all the popular name from now which will sound tired and dull by then, from over-use. smile

Good choice!

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