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Baby names

Do names still have a class association?

57 replies

Snowcatrunsthehouse · 30/07/2018 16:31

From just reading a few threads I have noticed some names are described as posh ie the Tabitha thread? Now a lovely name but I just don’t see it as posh as to be honest all names seem very versatile now. How can an old biblical name liked enough to be given regularly to the family cat suddenly be “posh”?
Ie Rupert was perhaps a stereotypical posh name in the sense that a book or Tv show may have used it to highlight a upper class type of character a few years back. Now I can find little Ruparts everywhere and certainly no posh stereotype attached. Old names ie William, James, John, Henry, Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, Margaret Catherine etc seem to have always been just names everyone from royalty to workhouse could use.
So do class definitions by name still exist in modern multi cultural societies where everyone seems to be just middle class?
If they do what sort of names fit the upper , middle and lower class groups?
Odd question I know but humar me as my brain has got confused.

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Cbeebiesrehab · 30/07/2018 16:36

Unfortunately yes, names do still have a class association. It seems if you give your child a posh name though you are ‘try hard’ and a more typically ‘lower class’ name limits their occupation potential. That’s just from opinions I see on here though. I won’t give examples though as that never goes down well x

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OnlyFoolsnMothers · 30/07/2018 16:50

Yes they totally have class associations.
No one "upper class" calls their son Jayden and no one working class calls their son Rupert.
That being said, the old fashioned names: Harry, George, Arthur have been firmly adopted by "new money" Kent and Essex types which can blur the class connotations. (Think crushed velvet sofas and annual holidays to Dubai).

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Nettletheelf · 30/07/2018 16:52

Shout “Kayden! Chantelle! Paige!” in a playground in Hampstead and see how many kids respond.

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LoveInTokyo · 30/07/2018 16:52

Yes they absolutely do. And that's one of the reasons why I like classic names.

There are some names I actually quite like but wouldn't use because they have negative connotations, like Jade or Kylie for example.

Other names start off posh and then become quite lower class if they suddenly catch on in popularity. I think this is happening with Arabella and Ottilie might go the same way. (I hate both these names anyway.)

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joggingon · 30/07/2018 16:56

Am thinking crushed velvet sofas and Dubai. 😂😂😂😂😂

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GetAwayFromHer · 30/07/2018 17:12

I may have said Tabitha was posh

I agree with OnlyFools and Love

Posh names are also a bit wet, IMO

e.g.
Quentin
Jasper
Jemima

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Snowcatrunsthehouse · 30/07/2018 17:25

Ooh is Dubai lower class? I have been there (admittedly only short stop overs on way further east).
So the old stereotypes are still in then. So next question is Rupert trending for some reason? ( not up on celeb culture but keep meeting little ones; honestly I know of 4 under 5’s and none seem that post to me)

Thanks for answering btw

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LadyKyliePonsonbyFarquhar · 30/07/2018 17:45

I have no idea what you are all talking aboutGrin

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sonnyboo · 30/07/2018 18:04

I know loads of kids called Jemima, Quentin and Jasper and they are neither particularly wet or posh, whatever that may mean Confused. Same with Sebastian and Ottilie!

It's a person that makes a name! Not the other way round.

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LoveInTokyo · 30/07/2018 18:05

Grin @ *LadyKylie

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CruCru · 30/07/2018 18:11

I don’t think there are all that many names that are really posh (by that I mean names that I would feel that I would be trying to be someone I’m not if I used them).

I hear names like Persephone, Orlando etc on the bus these days.

There are quite a few names that I wouldn’t choose because I don’t find them aspirational (and because I don’t like them - but perhaps I don’t like them because I think of them as not being very smart).

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GreatDuckCookery6211 · 30/07/2018 18:22

They do generally but I've heard of or met some very working class parents with children called Matilda and Jasper so it's not a given.

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Itsear · 30/07/2018 18:22

Some definitely do, most don’t.

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EdithWeston · 30/07/2018 18:29

Names matter, because they are part of 'first impressions' (which we all know count, even though they shouldn''t). There's a considerable body of psych research to back it up (with a delicious irony in that a good study fund that those who stated most strongly that they thought they were unifluenced (and had not had HR CPD-type training to overcome bias) were those who showed name-based discrimination.

What 'class' names are tends to move fairly slowly, but they tend to start higher-class and move down the social scale. It is more class than income, because education level of the parents is a factor.

And I'm sorry for picking on what are, after all real names, but even though one name is the same in each invented family below, our first impression of 'Bella' is bound to be rather different. If you own this, then deliberately discard it, you are much more likely to act without bias than someone who says they notice no difference.

Evie, Bella, Max, Jacob

Rupert, Aidan, Bella, Alexandra

Tyler, Bella, Jayden, Lexi-Mae

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donquixotedelamancha · 30/07/2018 18:30

According to some statistics blog I read a few years ago, most name trends start with wealthier parents then (as they become more popular) get more common down the income level, eventually ending their popularity only at lower income distributions.

So (for example) while Jasper may have been posh and rare a few years back it is pretty universal these days and will be positively chavvy in a couple of years. This does seem born out by PP's observations.

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wheezing · 30/07/2018 19:06

Absolutely they are.

Hyphenated names - in particular the -Mai or -Rose ones but reallly all hyphenated names for example. Actually yet to meet child with a hyphenated name in real life but we all know the stereotype.

Is Rupert now really found everywhere? I’ve not come across it.

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Imapudding · 30/07/2018 19:12

Bit gutted that Jasper is going to be positively chavvy in a few years!

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wheezing · 30/07/2018 19:12

@donquixotedelamancha whilst I think this is true I think there is a bit of an exception for classic names that have filtered down but are still used commonly with the Uber posh.
If you look at the names of Prince Harry’s friends for example, just because they were named a lot in the press prior to the wedding, most had very classic names and Eton will still be full of those names.

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Sessy19 · 30/07/2018 19:15

The demographics for MN is 90% utter snobbery. You know the type.... It’s not a cross section of the general consensus.

Incidentally, I come here to watch ‘posh twats’ argue that you couldn’t possibly give your daughter the middle name May without being a prostitute. Because I’m bored!

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pennycarbonara · 30/07/2018 19:23

Some names do seem to move though, and it can be surprising if you haven't been in touch with it. I gather that Sebastian is increasingly popular, at least in some areas, and starting to lose the posh associations.

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Greeneyedgeek83 · 30/07/2018 19:24

@sessy19 hitting the nail on the head there. Here here.

Also there's at least two Ruperts in my working class city, area, schools

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GreatDuckCookery6211 · 30/07/2018 19:25

"Posh twats" nice Hmm

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mostdays · 30/07/2018 19:27

Posh twats are rarely nice.

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GreatDuckCookery6211 · 30/07/2018 19:29

Yeah ok then 😴

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