Naming kids is a real struggle. I mean, you want them to be able to hold their heads high in society. You don’t want a name like Queen Pocahontas Shaniqua-GHD The Third weighing them down on their university application form, do you? But, by the same token, you also want them to stand out from the crowd.
Choosing an interesting and memorable child’s name that they can actually live with is tricky. But what’s really hard about choosing a name is this: whatever you pick is a reflection of who YOU are. Yes, your choice of name says far more about you than it does about your children, as you will see…
Bad boy names (PJ, DJ, Junior, J-Tee)
You had a crush on one of the minor members of the T-Birds in Grease, and you’ve always liked naughty boys. OK, so DJ/J-Tee might not trouble the hallowed courtyards of Oxford, but he might end up on the subs bench of Stockport County and go out with a model. (An Argos catalogue hand model). And that, in your book, is success. Make sure you get him a mohawk when he turns 3.
The Dens (Hayden, Jayden, Cayden, Blayden, Grayden)
You’re one of life’s improvisers. Basically, just pick a sound and put ‘den’ on the end, and Bobden’s your uncle– a new NAME!
Unpronounceable Gaelic names (Aoife, Niamh, Orlaith)
Ah, you’ve always had an affinity with the Emerald Isle to be sure. And everybody will be so busy trying to pronounce your kid’s name that they won’t realise that the closest you’ve been to Ireland is when you got that free U2 album on iTunes.
Old lady names (Elsie, Mabel, Doris)
You’ve read too many Boden catalogues, and entertain thoughts of camper van holidays in Wales, drinking tea from Cath Kidston mugs and snuggling up in a crocheted blanket near a windswept beach. When she grows up, you’d love little Doris to be a homewares designer and have her own range of nice cushions with birds on them.
Scottish Lairds (Drummond, Lomond, Angus)
You think your baby would look good in tweeds, standing on a hillside with a dead stag. OK, so the last time you went to Scotland was on a caravan holiday in 1986, but your great, great grandfather was Scottish. Well, he went to Scotland, anyway. Didn’t he? F*** it, you want a castle.
People who watch far too many boxsets names (Danerys, Walter, Arya)
Yes, while you were jacked up on hormones with your feet on the sofa, devouring Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, it seemed only logical and normal to name your kid after a crystal meth dealer or the Mother of Dragons. You probably go to Forbidden Planet on Saturdays and own a decorative bong.
Totally made up names (Konichiwa-Jaide, Gagina-Millianti, Asti-Frittata)
You certainly don’t lack imagination. Common sense, yes, but imagination, no. If no names sound quite right to you, just make some random noises and shapes with your mouth and call your baby whatever comes out, with a hyphen. Instant glamour. You never know – one day they might be famous, and everyone will remember their name. (But don’t bank on it.)
Babyish names (Bunny, Billy Bear, Binky, Bunty)
You are either Katie Price or Baby Spice or you’ve had a full frontal labotomy. You buy Hello Kitty stuff for yourself, and even though you’re 32, you dream of sleeping in a big pink house with a big pink bed and a pink pony. Either way you should probably speak to a counsellor about that childhood trauma you’re suppressing.
Extremely sensible names (Helen, Anne, Trevor)
Perhaps your name is Candy Crack or Princess Pantaloonia Leaf Tree Noodlewrench. Perhaps you know the pain of a ridiculous name so well that you have vowed to give your child the name of a middle manager in a small provincial building society. Either that, or you’re as dull as a wet Tuesday in Wetwang.
Deliberately misspelled names (Khloe, Konner, Aadyn, Emmalieee)
The Kardashians have this one pegged, but you’re not going to be outdone. You were never very good at spelling anyway, so who cares if there are a few extra vowels and consonants floating about in there? OK, so your kid will go through life feeling like a human Countdown Conundrum, but at least they’ll stand out. By the way, make sure to roll your eyes whenever anyone writes down their names and sigh: ‘It’s spelled ‘KAIYTEYLYN, ACTUALLY.’
Gods and Goddesses (Thor, Hero, Clytemnestra, Zeus)
Forget tedious common names. You’re upping the ante! You want to be the first mother to yell: ‘Aphrodite – get yer finger out of that socket’ across Pizza Express. You’re super ambitious for your child. After all, did you ever hear of anyone called Dionysus working in the bakery at Lidl?