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question- what are "posh" names?

(84 Posts)
thecaroline Thu 30-Oct-14 22:22:49

I'm not from the UK, so I was wondering what everyone means when they say a name is "posh." Like, upperclass, but which names in particular? Names like Arabella, Charles, etc.?

Sleepyhoglet Fri 31-Oct-14 00:50:49


Riverland Fri 31-Oct-14 00:54:52

Crispian. Sholto. Tara.

Chottie Fri 31-Oct-14 00:55:21

Tarquin, Octavius, Otto and certain nn too, like Binky.

Riverland Fri 31-Oct-14 01:20:30


Rosie3489 Fri 31-Oct-14 03:50:39

I've always thought Humphrey sounded quite posh

TheNewStatesman Fri 31-Oct-14 03:51:38

Araminta, Giles, Piers. Hugo is a little bit posh.

MrsJonSnow Fri 31-Oct-14 04:34:22


MrsJonSnow Fri 31-Oct-14 04:35:42

And yes, they mean aristocratic sounding or, more to the point, not used by the working class.

Kantha Fri 31-Oct-14 07:20:49

Yes it means upper class/aristocratic/would fit in at boarding school.

In the book 'Freakonomics there is a chapter that argues that a 'posh' name gradually gets democratised as more and more people use it in their quest to be original. Eventually it falls out of fashion because it is too popular. It then gets rehabilitated some years later when people look for something that feels fresh. Obviously this isn't true of all 'posh' names, and some names are perpetually popular and classic but commonly used by people that are perceived as posh.

So I think someone on here said recently that 'Isabella' used to be posh but is very mainstream now. I don't know whether that is true, but it gives you an idea. I would say that Annabel and Georgina also fit into that category. Charles might be in here too but I don't know how popular it has been over the long term.

Something like 'Catherine' is classic and used by everyone, but has a long history of being used by royalty. Similarly David (Cameron) undoubtedly comes from a posh background but has a very mainstream name.

Posh names that tend to stay posh might are likely to be a bit obscure. StJohn and Araminta as a pp said. I would throw in:

TheLastThneed Fri 31-Oct-14 07:27:38


I always think James is posh

I'm only basing my list on the people I know...I don't know for sure as I'm not posh...

AuntieStella Fri 31-Oct-14 07:29:59

Really posh people have very traditional names (often quite dull ones) and don't give a stuff about whether it's in frequent use (names like Isabella continue in posh use because a few years of popularity will never offset hundreds of solid use).

OTOH, outlandish nns abound.

SqueakyChicken Fri 31-Oct-14 07:42:44


EmilyGilmore Fri 31-Oct-14 08:18:18

Thing is, the middle class bust their guts seeking out the poshest names they can find in the baby names book and so nowadays Araminta and Persephone will almost certainly be middle class while the real posh people stick to trad names like John and Sophie.

avocadotoast Fri 31-Oct-14 13:41:31


TheHorseHasBolted Fri 31-Oct-14 13:55:24

Annoyingly posh: Rupert, Tarquin, Miles, Giles, Charles (if known as Charles, not Charlie), Lucian, Jocasta, Augusta, Lucinda, Camilla

A bit posh but normal enough not to attract teasing: Henry, Sebastian, Toby, Marcus, Oliver, Jeremy, Julia, Lucy, Lydia, Caroline

snice Fri 31-Oct-14 13:57:41

Jonty- only posh boys are called this. Most of the rest seem to be called Will.

Sophronia Fri 31-Oct-14 15:15:40

Rupert, Felicity, Quentin, Tarquin, Arabella, Araminta, Pandora, Jonty (as a nn for Jonathan, but Jonathan itself isn't posh), Lucinda, Hugo, Sebastian (kind of), Piers, Camilla, Jemima, Rollo, Julian, Monty

Also Greek/Greek mythology names, Atalanta, Hector, Ptolemy etc.

squoosh Fri 31-Oct-14 15:41:12

You are a crowd of unwashed peasants as not one person has mentioned the Daddy of posh names.


I await the day that Peregrine is taken to the grimy bosom of the masses.

looki Fri 31-Oct-14 15:55:24

I think people have different perceptions of what is posh. In a million years I wouldn't say Lucy, James, Caroline, Catherine, Sophie, Isabel, Elizabeth etc are posh.

Hugo, Sebastion, etc to my ear are people 'trying' to be posh.

Tarquin, Rupert etc are posh IMO.

Trisarahtops Fri 31-Oct-14 15:55:37

Some if the names I think of as being 'posh' are actually relatively normal and not OTT. Examples include: Henrietta, Phillip, Timothy, Charles, Heidi, James, Catherine, Lucinda, Elizabeth, Nicholas, Benjamin (all of whom are names of people I know who went to reasonably well-known boarding schools).

OublietteBravo Fri 31-Oct-14 15:57:03

The only Rupert I've ever known went to a large comprehensive school in Yorkshire, and wasn't remotely posh.

bouncingbelle Fri 31-Oct-14 16:59:47

'Posh' to me now means piers, Persephone, Percy, araminta etc - names that would get you laughed out of your local comprehensive.

Where I live, even just 10 years ago names such as Eva, Emily, Harry, Archie or Olivia would have been seen as posh yet now are ten a penny.

The poshest people I have ever known (think eton etc) were all your average Thomas, Jonny, Guy, James, Tim's.

Bowlersarm Fri 31-Oct-14 17:07:01

Posh names to me are Charles, Rupert, Tarquin, Sebastian (although becoming less so), Hugo, Jonty, Augustus, Piers. Araminta, Lucinda, Henrietta, Jemima, Georgina, Margot.

cheesecakemom Fri 31-Oct-14 20:52:58

Has to mean names like Marmaduke surely?


Hugo to me isn't remotely posh nowadays anyway. I know of a felicity - common as muck!

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