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Has anyone done any research into "name cycles"?

(23 Posts)
BertrandRussell Tue 26-Sep-17 08:35:11

The mention of "Mabel" got me thinking. And my mother being dissuaded from giving me her favourite name- Emily- because it was too old fashioned and ugly! And reading Sue Perkins' memoir she and her siblings- all in their mid/late 40s are Susan, Michelle and David.

How long before there are Susans, Michelles and Davids again? Another 50 years maybe- so 100 years ish for a cycle?

Sophronia Tue 26-Sep-17 11:53:41

I read somewhere that grandparents’ names sound old-fashioned and dated, but great-grandparents’ names sound fresh.

pipilangstrumpf Tue 26-Sep-17 11:55:25

Because we’ve not heard them for a while and don’t associate them with our parents

LemonBreeland Tue 26-Sep-17 12:00:12

Sophronia I think that may be a good point. I would never have chosen my grandparents names, but my great grandparents had names that I liked.

woodhill Tue 26-Sep-17 12:04:30

Interesting thread. Loads of Emilys now

BertrandRussell Tue 26-Sep-17 12:05:17

That's interesting. We have very long generations in my family, and I am older than most mumsnetters, and my grandparents had names commonly used now - but which seem pretty awful to me!

Manpoo Tue 26-Sep-17 15:33:59

David is actually the 43rd most popular boys names of 2016.

I agree with Sophronia though. I fully expect to have grandchildren called along the lines of Brenda, Julie, Ian and Gary etc

GrockleBocs Tue 26-Sep-17 15:43:35

I know primary aged children with all but one of my great grandparents' names but only one of my grandparents' names.

BertrandRussell Tue 26-Sep-17 15:46:52

43rd most popular still means only 1500 odd Davids out of 350,000 baby boys. And I suspect a lot of them are in Wales.......

AuntieStella Tue 26-Sep-17 15:53:54

I think you're right and whether it is grandparents or great-grandparents depends on the length of generations in your family.

You can also track it via soaps, as the older characters have the names of their generation - like Vera, Ivy, Audrey. Whilst those characters are actually in the shows it tends to suppress the usage a bit because if the strength of the association. But when the character has been written out and the association begins to ebb, you can track the character age to the name re-emerging.

The ones I just mentioned (slightly at random) had characters born in 1937, 1936 and 1940.

Manpoo Tue 26-Sep-17 16:04:14

Yes Bertrand indeed, but for context, Theodore is 42nd and Toby is 46th most popular names. Names of which I regularly come across. I'm surprised that David is still relatively popular, I can't think of any I know who are under 30.

(there were only 51 David's born in Wales, it ranks 73)

BertrandRussell Tue 26-Sep-17 16:04:27

My grandparents were Minnie Evelyn(always known by both names) Walter, Adelaide and Francisco (foreigner so doesn't count). I know small children with all of the first 3 names. My siblings and I (we are the ages of most mumsnetters parents) have names practically never used at the moment.

Manpoo Tue 26-Sep-17 16:09:39

Should add that I fully expect David to increase in popularity when all the 30-50 David's reach old age.

Also, however, is that there is a much wider range of names now compared to the past. At one point nearly half of all boys and girls born were called Mary, Margaret, David and John. The variety of names now may mean that in 70/100 years time that 'granny chic's names may not exist when you have Florence, Mia and Harper hanging out together at bingo (generalising of course)

BertrandRussell Tue 26-Sep-17 16:30:49

"At one point nearly half of all boys and girls born were called Mary, Margaret, David and John."
Is that accurate or a rehetorical exaggeration?

FloraAnnie Tue 26-Sep-17 16:42:56

Depends which part of the country. Where I live, in my gt grandparents generation, 5 boys names (John, James, William, Alexander and George) represented 60% of boys. Of course, in the playground they would have had variations - John, Johnny, Jack, James, Jim, Jimmy, William, Willie, Billy, Will, Bill, etc.

FloraAnnie Tue 26-Sep-17 16:46:59

And amongst girls, the top five names (Margaret, Mary, Elizabeth, Ann and Jane) represented just under 50% of girls.

LadyMonicaBaddingham Tue 26-Sep-17 16:56:33

I'm in Wales, work in a school and the only child I know called David was born in Nigeria grin

EdithWeston Tue 26-Sep-17 16:57:02

interesting chart here showing top baby names of 1944 and their 2009 ranking

www.britishbabynames.com/blog/2011/06/1944-to-2009.html

the swing away from girls names seems much sharper than for boys.

And FloraAnnie is right. Even though birth rate rather lower, the top names were given to more babies than is the case today (by several thousand IIRC)

Ionarocks Tue 26-Sep-17 17:27:12

I was looking at the names in a closed cemetery the other day. Most were Victorian or early 20th century and they all seemed very fashionable now: classics like Edward, James, William but also names such as Annie, Flora, Florence, Arthur and Louis.

On the other hand names from my grandparents generation still sound dated: Sheila, Joan, Margarie, Agnes.

Then again I think that some of those are starting to make a comeback.

bitingcat Tue 26-Sep-17 17:40:28

Reminds me of the line in The Beatles song 'When I'm 64' "Grandchildren on your knee, Vera, Chuck and Dave." I could never imagine a small girl called Vera! Perhaps I will have grandchildren with names like that! grin

Badbilly Tue 26-Sep-17 20:28:34

My grandparents were all born between 1898 and 1900.

Their names were as follows:

Edward ("Ted") and Emily,
James ("Jim") and Sarah.

Of my Great-grandparents, sadly I only know the names of 6 out of 8, as follows, were all born in the 1860's or 1870's.

William & Mary
John & Mary
Joseph & Laura

Joseph and Laura were, in my opinion, quite adventurous with my grand-dads (Edward) siblings names, having a Jessica, Elizabeth ("Aunt Liza"), Arthur and Ann, all born between 1883 and 1898.

StrawbRhi Wed 27-Sep-17 19:34:57

My grandparents are Boguslawa and Augustyn born in the 1920s and Vera and Henry born in the 1930s. Can't see Boguslawa making a comeback!

I did meet a toddler Dennis and his pre schooler brother Albert last week though. Maybe the cycle is already beginning!

Sophronia Fri 29-Sep-17 12:53:31

My grandparents have names like Brian and Linda while my great-grandparents are Arthur, Kitty, Ada etc, names that are used on babies / small children again nowadays.

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