Kate Livingstone: What's in a name? Lots it would seem

Hands up, I totally blame myself for setting my mother off on one of her legendary rants.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 23rd March 2018, 11:34 am
Updated Friday, 23rd March 2018, 2:58 pm

And you wonder where I honed my skills for pontificating on every subject under the sun!

I just made the mistake of laughing out loud when I read the latest list of popular baby names.

While good old Olivia and Jack remain the most popular in Scotland, there are some really strange ones now in the top 100.

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“Luna? Who calls a baby Luna?” was all I said.

“What are you going on about?” questioned mum.

“Baby names. It’s the latest list of popular baby names and apparently more than one person must have called their daughter Luna if it has made the top ...”

Well I never even got my sentence finished before she started!

“Well that’s a stupid name. Imagine some poor wee soul having to go through life with that hanging over her. Heavens what must their surname be if they’ve given her the Christian name Luna.”

Then she wrestled the newspaper out of my hand to read the rest of the story.

And off she went again ...

“Jax. It sound like something you would clean the floor with not land a baby with. And who would want to call their baby Sonny?”

I think my reply of “Mr and Mrs Bono” was wasted on her.

“Aurora and Callie, they are just as bad. Whatever happened to good traditional names such as Jean or John?

“I always said that you had to imagine standing at the back door and shouting it. Can you imagine standing there and calling ‘Luna your tea is ready’? No, neither can I.

“Parents don’t seem to realise that it is a responsibility when they give that little mite a name.”

When I responded that nowadays if people don’t like their name, they can always change it, that only served to set her off again.

“That’s right, we’ve become a throwaway society. If you don’t want or like something you just get rid of it and replace it with something else – even if it is the name that your mother and father gave you.”

“But there were names in your day mum that people in 2018 would probably think quite odd,” I said.

“How many Euphemia’s do you hear about now or Enid’s? It’s all to do with fashion. There is a move to traditional names but there are also parents who want to name their children after characters in today’s books and films.”

I knew by the deep sigh that, for once, she couldn’t think of a reply – but give it time.