So today is my 36th birthday, and as I am sure is very normal with most adults I have been doing a little pondering. For a start, what made my parents choose the name Emma Jane for me? Many years ago I was talking to my mum about it and she said it was chosen because it was her nan’s favourite name and as she wasn’t very well or expected to live much longer I was named for her. Fair enough. But it was a VERY popular name in the 70s. There were 3 of us in my year alone, and we lived on a small Island of the south coast of Hampshire. I am sure you all know an Emma Jane or an Emma Louise. For many years my best friend was Emma Louise.
So that made me think about the changing trends of naming children. Babies used to be named for members of the Royal family. Lots of Henrys, Elizabeths, Victorias and Edwards. Being a common or popular name didn’t put parents off and they didn’t try to come up with interesting spelling variations because they loved a name but didn’t want their child to be like all the others. One of my friends I went to university with had a boy last year. I have not spoken to her for a long time but she posted pictures on Facebook of little Jorge. Now, am I supposed to call him George or pronounce it like the Spanish ‘Horhay’? Many children are growing up with the names of celebrities or fad names. I have taught so many Baileys, Jordans, Britneys and such. And believe me, they aren’t always the gender you would expect them to be!
My own children have rather normal names, Callum and Caitlin. But even they cause problems. I cannot tell you the number of different ways people have tried to spell Caitlin. And if someone is writing Callum’s name down, for example at the gym to book him into a class, I tell the receptionist “with two L’s”, which always earns me a blank stare! Now, I will admit to being pretty pants in the naming my children department. When Callum was born I was a little fazed by the whole experience to say the least. I had gone into labour on the Friday evening, been sent home from hospital twice and finally he was born at 11.11 on the Sunday. Aptly enough it was Father’s Day. My husband and my sister had been there and Callum was her suggestion. We both liked it and so he was named. Two years later his sister arrived. This time poor hubby was stuck in the middle east so my mum was with me. I didn’t want to name the baby until her Dad came home so for 6 days the poor little mite was called ‘The Baby’ and had FI (Female Infant) Sadler on her hospital tags. When Phil finally made it home we were so guilty at not having given her a name we did the only thing that any parent would have done – we picked the name that was sitting right next to Callum in the Baby Name book! We are such bad parents 😦
So does your name have any bearing on your future life or personality? I think not. My name means universally loved and comes from the old German meaning nurse, if the coaster someone once bought me is anything to go by! Ha, I couldn’t be a worse nurse if I tried. Hate the sight of blood and am shockingly bad at sympathy when it comes to illness. Ask my poor mum who’s spine has been slowly crumbling over the last 10 years. But if you have a problem, then the sympathy seems to come much easier. I am very good at listening to Naughty Husband problems. And my kids? Well Callum means peace. ROFL!! Put him in the United Nations and the world wouldn’t last 5 minutes. Kiss your loved ones goodbye now. Callum does have a very keen sense of what is right, wrong and fair. But it always involves him getting the best deal and sod everyone else. Autistic children don’t do empathy. And apparently Caitlin means pure! Pure what? Is she gonna grow up to be a nun and save the world? She is already a ladies man so I doubt that very much. Gonna have to watch her very carefully when she is a teenager. Maybe pure torture to her parents.
I will leave you with a little thought on naming pets. I have a very wicked sense of humour when it comes to naming my pets. Four years ago we bought a gorgeous pedigree British short hair cat. I wanted to call him Speed Bump, but when the kids found out what it means I was overruled. He is Kitty Wan Kenobi, as in Obi Wan Kenobi, but we just call him Kenobi. We live in a popular dog walking area, and I certainly get a few funny looks from people walking past when I am calling him in at night!!
Last year we bought two rainbow crabs. One is named Edward as in Scissorhands. Quite tame for the kids. But I found it a little more difficult to explain to the children why the other was called Herpes. Lets hope it is a while before they understand that one!