Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Names We Choose For Ourselves

Or changing names by deed poll. As reported in the Daily Telegraph today

Record numbers change names by deed poll

A record 46,000 people changed their names by deed poll this year, including one man now called Happy Adjustable Spanners after losing a drunken bet.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Seasonal Names

This is a short post. If I write this at the start, then it will be and I will not get carried away.

Yes, it is the Christmas season, which brings me onto thinking about seasonal names and whether one should use them - I'm thinking of naming a child born on Christmas day or in the Christmas season a name such as Noel, Holly or Emmanuel etc., or Pascale at Easter and so on. Should it be done? It gives a name significance to their special birth date for sure, but is it too expected..tacky almost - that the parents are only giving the name because of the birth date rather than choosing a name that they love. Naming can be a process fraught with emotion, and perhaps using a seasonal name takes away the difficulty of choosing a 'beloved' name by both parents. 

Should one use a 'seasonal' name if one is not born on that day? It's a double problem, you see - a Noel sounds a little tacky and overly expected on Christmas day, but is misplaced on any other day of the year. One can extend it to names such as Summer and Autumn - season names - that hold the same problem - a Summer born in winter can be a little strange. Alternatively, if one loves a name, then should one be bound by propriety?  Yes, that does lead onto the question of how far one should take someone else's views intoa ccount when choosing a name. I'm not going into depth on this subject, lest to say - they should neither be completely ignored, nor followed to the extent that 0ne forgets one's own loves.

So, seasonal names. If this hasn't become clear from this post, my own view is choose the names that you love, and if you love a name because it fits in with the season and because of the meaning/sound/origin/flow etc., then that's fine, but don't choose a name solely because of its seasonal connections.
Merry Christmas!

And the final Victorian Smiths post is coming soon...