As regards unusual names…

I came across this on the BBC website:

Here’s an edited extract:

  • When people told me my son would suffer playground trauma, after we named him Jedediah John Sherlock Horatio Saabye-Cutler, I pointed out that originality didn’t seem to have bothered Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes. In the end, young Jed grew up unscathed, and now loves his unusual name.
  • My partner and I welcomed our first child Meadow in January. We have yet to come across any other children by that name, however there is a fictional character by the name of Meadow Soprano from the TV series The Sopranos. And no, Meadow was not conceived in a meadow.
  • We live in Findhorn in Moray, a community known for its international and new-age lifestyles so the names of the children in the local schools can be at the more unusual end. In our school we have had Red, Kale, Pan, Tarragon,Emerald, Dorian, Sola, Kenji, Asha, Esther… too many to mention. We even had a lovely Maud. Our own children – Gabriel, Alice and Cosmo were named before they moved to the area but at the time of enrolment, Gabriel joined the school with five other Gabriels.
  • My daughter’s called Panda, not sure why but that seems to be a bit unfashionable at the moment.
  • Our daughter’s name skipped more than a few generations. She’s named after the Babylonian goddess of war and sex, Ishtar. My son’s name is even more unusual, he’s called Till, a German boy’s name. German names seem much more unfashionable here than mere ancient gods and goddesses.
  • My daughter, now 19, has a traditionally male name, Ryan. I chose a male name because I’d read somewhere 20 years ago that men were more likely to get credit than women. I thought it would also help for education and job applications. She didn’t like her name when she was little but likes it now. I see male names for girls also as a trend – Jessica Simpson’s daughter, Maxwell for example.
  • I bet my name has not featured in the lists at all for a good number of years. It is perhaps softer sounding than Jasper or Rupert but eminently searchable. It sometimes produces a titter in meetings where someone unknowingly uses the word bland rather something more anodyne. I have grown used to the name and it is rather distinctive so I do tend to be remembered.


  1. poetmcgonagall

    I think it would depend a lot on where the child went to school. An inner city comprehensive (or whatever they have now) would not be kind to Jebediah John etc. On the other a young Marion went on to become an iconic American cowboy hero.


    1. Lois

      I have a thing about names too, I guess because mine is fairly unusual. I am fascinated by names though, and choose them carefully for my characters, although I do get some criticism about the choices I make!


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