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well known names

(14 Posts)
VictoriaOKeefe Mon 23-Jan-17 13:53:49

Would you have qualms about naming your child if the name was well known when combined with your surname.

As far as I'm concerned, there were plenty of anonymous "William Clinton"'s before the president and it shouldn't matter that there'll be others after him.

What about people that were popular in their day, but are now largely forgotten by the offline world (*finding an old figure with that name through a google search is not a reliable indicator of how famous they still are offline*) (forex Vaughn De Leath and Peggy-Jean Montgomery who are largely remembered only by 1920s/silent era buffs)

NuffSaidSam Mon 23-Jan-17 19:26:22

It would depend on how common the name is in general usage and who the 'famous' person is.

I would probably avoid it if the person was still alive. Or if they were dead, but there were negative connotations to the name.

James is a very common name, but I wouldn't use it if my surname was Saville.

There is plenty of time for secrets to be revealed about Bill Clinton/scandals to arise. I think right now William Clinton would be fine, but who knows....10 years down the line Bill Clinton could be up on rape charges, name in the papers all the time with such negative connotations. I wouldn't want my 10 year old son to share a name with him.

If at all possible I would avoid naming my child after someone very famous. If it's someone long dead and mostly forgotten/who didn't do anything terrible, then probably fine.

Joeybee Tue 24-Jan-17 01:35:33

Depends on how famous the person is that they'd share the name with I think. As a nurse I shout out names in a waiting room, and people called things like 'Michael Jackson' or 'Victoria Beckham' always have to endure slight giggles and looks when their name is called out. That kind of thing would really put me off picking a name that another well known person has.

Pluto30 Tue 24-Jan-17 01:37:52

I wouldn't name my child Harper, Annabel or Bruce. My surname is Lee.

But something less obvious like Robert Lee or Henry Lee? Wouldn't concern me.

Pluto30 Tue 24-Jan-17 01:42:02

My DH and I considered Lila. Lila Lee was an actress from the 20s. Doubtful anyone would make that connection.

So I think it depends on how strong the association is. James Potter is fine, Harry Potter is not.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Tue 24-Jan-17 01:52:01

There's got to be a Harry Potter out there somewhere, surely.
I went out with a Robbie Williams in my teens, and my dd had a friend in school named Michael Jackson

Pluto30 Tue 24-Jan-17 02:13:10

Sure, but I don't think anyone would name their son Harry Potter now unless they had lived under a rock for the last 15+ years.

BikeRunSki Tue 24-Jan-17 02:19:21

I have a famous name, and my famous namesake is a man, with a girl's name as his stage name. It raises a few hmm and I have a cupboard full of cds I'd never normally buy. It's fine. Makes me very difficult to Google too.

VictoriaOKeefe Tue 24-Jan-17 02:19:38

But as i said there are plenty of people who were famous in their time and largely forgotten now. Google is not reliable as an indication of whether most people in the offline world remember these people so checking Google can give a false impression.

AmeliaJack Tue 24-Jan-17 02:33:39

It might depend on whether it was a positive association or not.

So a talented musician, beloved author, pioneering scientist or reforming politician is probably fine but someone who is rather more infamous is probably out.

It also depends on how common the names are so James Brown is probably fine because they are both common names but James Hendrix might raise more eyebrows.

Catherine Parr might be ok but Anne Boleyn maybe not.

It's hard to advise without the specifics really. I'd go with gut feeling. Or ask a close friend and see if they laugh. smile

passingthrough1 Tue 24-Jan-17 15:56:28

Depends HOW famous. If most people know the famous name, then no. (If it would score over 60/70 on Pointless for example!) We had a similar dilemma and discounted our favourite name for that reason sadly, it just wouldn't have been fair because everyone would have laughed every time the name was read out in school / at the doctors etc.
Maybe ok if the name has a different nickname. Harry Potter you can't do as someone said, but I would actually consider William Clinton because everyone knows him as Bill and yours would more likely be a Will. Probably still wouldn't though.

user1472334322 Tue 24-Jan-17 17:11:37

I know a Phil Collins!

clevername Wed 25-Jan-17 21:32:15

In my last few years as a teacher in a secondary school I have taught or come across a Harry Potter, James Brown, Johnny Vaughan and a Lily Allen...

harderandharder2breathe Wed 25-Jan-17 22:06:30

I worked with a James Dean once

And met someone who was one letter away from having the same name as a female singer

I agree that if both names are very common it's not as bad but that caution should still be used, as you never know when something will come out that taints the bane forever, like jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris,

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