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Is my brother's name that bad? Opinions please!

(29 Posts)
angel1976 Thu 09-Jul-09 09:03:16


I'm currently pregnant with number 2 (another boy) and I think DS1 has a very sweet name. Obviously we are now thinking of names again and it's so difficult to get a name that is a proper name but not too common.

I was born in Southeast Asia and my parents' generation has the knack of naming their kids really old-fashioned British names (where I grew up used to be a British colony) such as Evelyn, Adrian, Wendy, Vivien, Cinda, Edmund, Edwin (a selection of my cousins' names!) with their 'ethnic' names. I got lucky and I think I have a pretty name (fairly uncommon here but definitely more common where I grew up!), my brother, however, ended up with a proper old-fashioned name that I have to say though not uncommon isn't used as a name that much. In fact, I have not met another person with his name.

His name is: Clarence.

In all honesty, I think it is a sweet name but have asked several people here why it's not common here. Some say 'lion' the moment I bring it up (never seen the movie but is the association that bad?). Of course there is 'Clarence House' as well. What do you all MNetters think? Anyway, I've always wanted to suggest it whenever people ask for proper but unusual boys' names! grin


allaboutme Thu 09-Jul-09 09:11:14

I dont like it, but cant explain why really.
How about Laurence? Similar sound but much nicer imo

crokky Thu 09-Jul-09 09:13:45

I don't mind the name Clarence, I think it's OK, but it does make me think that it is a name used by royalty/vv posh people.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Thu 09-Jul-09 09:14:04

I can't say I like the name, but that isn't important.

If you like the name but you're a bit unsure, how about naming him Clarence but call him Larry?

Maveta Thu 09-Jul-09 09:18:41

It's unusual but I am not sure I don't like it. It just sounds old fashioned, a bit posh and maybe a bit 'wet'? Like he'd have to be a right little toughey to carry it off iyswim.

bellissima Thu 09-Jul-09 09:18:59

Don't really like it, I must admit. Although I do really like Edmund.

angel1976 Thu 09-Jul-09 09:22:04

It's funny isn't it? How many people don't like it. It certainly grew on me! LOL. Don't think I will be naming DS2 that as it wouldn't go with our surname anyway but I've always wondered why it ain't more popular. Guess I must be the only one who kinda likes it now! grin Should I list all my cousins' names? Bet they might be useful for others thinking of old-fashioned names!

savoycabbage Thu 09-Jul-09 09:24:27

I like it. My (white) sister has mixed race Chinese children. Three of them all with names like you describe. Unusual, old fashioned and slightly geeky. But she chose them because she liked them and would have chosen them anyway whether her husband had been Chinese or not.

But she says that NOBODY has ever said anything about the names, everyone seems to assume that the names are connected to the children's ethnicity, which they are definitely not.

I like it too.

LittleWhiteWolf Thu 09-Jul-09 12:37:53

I love it. Its the name of Christian Slaters character in True Romance and he is neither posh nor wet! I think its fab. I've thought of Lawrence for a boy named for the character in Little Women but in the end DH and I plumped for Leonard (much to the chargrin of my sister who hates it and has been praying this LO is a girl so we wont use it hmm)

Clarence is lovely!

angel1976 Thu 09-Jul-09 12:41:44

Cool, two in support! Amazing... So I wasn't going mad in thinking it's a pretty good name.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 09-Jul-09 12:42:41

I have a Clarence - the stuffed, slightly cross-eyed lion which was DHs first ever gift to me. grin

midnightexpress Thu 09-Jul-09 12:46:19

I too immediatly think of Clarence the cross-eyed lion (what wa it in - Daktari, I think?). It seems a bit posh, not very macho, and I think that's one reason it's not very popular.

What does it get shortened to, out of interest?

harrwet Thu 09-Jul-09 12:54:16

I had a pony called Clarence. I think it's poncey and very frilly for a boy.

tummytickler Thu 09-Jul-09 14:07:13

I love Clarence and have toyed with it ever since my frst pg 9 years ago. Dh adores it.
2 things put us off now though

- my other ds have hebrew names so might not 'go'

- it is similar to my name - so would it look weird!

The second reason hads been ummmed and aaahed in our house for ages.

I adore the name (also Cedric and Basil), it is one of my faves (and any opinions on the above would be welcome as i was going to start a thread on it!)

BikeRunSki Thu 09-Jul-09 14:12:44

It's not that unusual round here. I rather like it.

angel1976 Thu 09-Jul-09 14:21:16

Thanks, the responses are quite positive then! LOL... I don't think you can shorten it to ANYTHING I guess.

tummytickler - My opinions on your names... I think Basil is a no goer. Will forver be associated with Fawlty Towers and Basil Brush I think! Cedric I have to say is growing on me...

Jackstini Thu 09-Jul-09 14:22:37

Was DH's Grandads name, although everyone called him Cal for short.
We liked Cal and used it for ds's middle name

ninedragons Thu 09-Jul-09 14:27:37

I don't bat an eyelid at Clarence but that's because I lived in Hong Kong for years and know dozens. You're so right! I know hundreds of Dorises, Winnies, Laurences and Wilsons.

Clarence is a perfectly respectable name. In truth probably not one I'd use myself, but I don't think it's silly.

lljkk Thu 09-Jul-09 14:33:13

Don't do it, don't do it. Middle name if you must, but not as first name, please don't .
I'm sure your brother is a lovely guy, but "Clarence" would be a burden for a child born today.

gagamama Thu 09-Jul-09 15:43:31

I actually quite like it. It's not a million miles away from Laurence, is it?

So long as his surname isn't 'House' I really don't think it's that bad. It could be shortened to Clarry or Aren or something.

angel1976 Thu 09-Jul-09 19:35:51

LOL at Clarence House... grin

I don't have any intention of naming DS2 after DB but find it interesting that all the old-fashioned names are making a comeback but not his! I'm always tempted to suggest it when people ask for a traditional name but not common.

ninedragons - Glad someone understands! Funny you should mention some of the names on your list. I went to high school with Wilsons, Benjamins, Benedicts, Kevins, Mandys, Lindas, Eugenes and the likes... My mum's Lilian BTW, another really old-fashioned name that seems to be making a bit of a comeback?

mrswoolf Thu 09-Jul-09 22:25:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaggieBeeBeau Thu 09-Jul-09 22:27:50

Angel, I like those kind of names. Vivien and Edmund are beautiful, eccentric classics.

I Like Clarence! It would never have popped into my head but I do like it.

MaggieBeeBeau Thu 09-Jul-09 22:32:49

ps, you say it's not coming back, but I think it already sounds less shocking to me than it would have done five years ago.

I instantly see its similarity to Clara and Florence, both popular names. For girls I know, but Elliot for boys is quite popular now, I think on the back of Ellie/Ella.

I like names like Bruce, Victor, Donald and Howard though. I don't know if they'd ever come back, but I think they'll all rise in popularity. They sound less odd to my ear than Barry, Steve or Darren you know?

You hear a name like Bruce or Clarence and you just think, right. Yupp, good one, there isn't one of those on the block yet. WEll done grin

Pyrocanthus Thu 09-Jul-09 22:42:20

I think it carrie class connotations here that it might not have overseas, which is interesting. Nothing to do with whether it sounds nice or not.

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