Baby names

By Alex Kasriel
January 7, 2009

Lily, Henry and Archie were all having tea. Despite how it sounds, this jolly event didn't take place at Sunnybank Home in Golders Green: it was the recent 2nd birthday party of baby Tilly.

Looking at the most popular baby names of 2008, it is clear that Edwardian names are back. My new nephew was named Arthur, although not after any family member - but simply because the name is trendy right now. His friends are called Molly, Ruby, Grace and Alfie. For my parents' generation, Victorian names like Katherine, Alice, Victoria, William and Thomas were a la mode. Biblical names like Isaac, Jacob and Josh have always been popular. But I can't imagine my parent's generation's names every becoming fashionable.

"Yes, we've decided to call him Brian, after my great grandpa," or "We think 'Carol' really suits our new baby daughter," are remarks which are somehow not quite believable today or any time soon. Names like Roger, Alan, Bernard, Malcolm or Brenda seem very unlikely to come back into fashion. They don't have the timeless quality of Katherine, Arthur or Henry. They are neither biblical characters nor the names of kings and queens. But what made us decide to call them to our children in the first place is difficult to fathom. Can anyone shed any light?

Apologies to anyone called Brian, Geoffrey, Carol, Brenda etc.




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