What’s in a name?
The survey, of over 1,000 parents, found that more than half (54%) of parents realised that as their child began to develop, they went off the name they had chosen, with more than a quarter (26%) commenting that the name they picked has proven to be too popular and 11 per cent stating that other people’s dislike of the name has put them off their choice.
gurgle.com’s research also looked at the impact of a name on the development of personality, with some 14 per cent of parents who regretted a name choice claiming the reason was the name did not suit their child. However, while just 16 per cent of parents said that name meaning had influenced their naming decision, almost half of parents (49%) believe that their child’s name does reflect personality.
The politics of choosing a baby name were also highlighted, with a fifth (22%) of parents claiming that their partner vetoed the name they wanted. Some of the names that were shunned by partners included: Scheherazade, Esme, Gateley (after Stephen Gateley), Renesse, and Majalla.
While the research suggests that most parents are happy with the names they selected for their little ones, confidence in their naming choices might be unfounded. A fifth (21%) of parents would like to change their own name, which suggests that getting a child’s name right is harder than it seems.
In addition to its consumer research, gurgle.com also analysed ONS name data from 1994-2004 to see the trends in baby names. The results suggest that many classic English girls’ names are now dying out.
While boy’s names demonstrated longevity with six of the 10 most popular boys names in 1904 remaining in the top 100 names over the course of a Century, just one girl’s name, Elizabeth, enjoyed the same popularity. In fact just one other girl’s name from the 1904 top 10 also cropped up in the top 100 for 2004, Alice, although this name fell out of favour for 40 years from 1944 – 1984.
According to gurgle.com’s baby-name generator, some classic English names are enjoying a degree of resurgence with Oscar, Dylan and Alfie creeping in to the top 10 most popular boy’s names for 2012, and Lilly, Grace and Amelia for girl’s. However, classic names such as Millicent, Gertrude, Gwendoline, Ernest and Bertram are nowhere to be seen.
Nifa McLaughlin, editor, gurgle.com commented: “Choosing the right name for your children can be a tough job, with many parents wanting to wait and see before they make their final decision in case one name jumps out as the right one. However, there is never any way of guaranteeing your little one will like what you choose, but if you love it then that will go a long way to ensuring that they grow into it and hopefully it starts to suit them more and more as their personality develops.
“The recent trend for celebrities to pick more traditional names for their children has helped some of the names that are on the edge of extinction to come back into vogue, but it is a shame that within the next 100 years we’re likely to see some classic girl’s names slip completely into memory. Looking back through historically popular names can provide a wealth of inspiration, so we would encourage parents to look into the past and take inspiration from their favourite literature and films if they’re struggling to choose a name that fits.”
Stuck for babyname inspiration? See our Baby Namer for over 10,000 baby names