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17th July, 2013 5 Comments

What’s in a royal name? The Katie Hopkins debate.

posted by: mothercare

Arguably the greatest author of all time, William, once wrote “What's in a name? that which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet”.

Well not if that rose was called ‘Chardonnay’ according to Katie Hopkins who has ‘gone viral’ after her comments on ‘This Morning’ about how she judges children, and their parents, by their choice of name. She spectacularly slammed names such as ‘Tyler’. Viewers, Holly Willoughby, and I can only assume Tyler’s were, on the whole, ‘outraged’.

While I don’t defend what Katie said and would never want to side with someone so universally loathed.. I am a tad confused at people’s shock - because it is a truth universally acknowledged that we do judge people by their names. Or at least - we do judge names. Now there is something wonderful about us Brits - it is called political correctness and Katie does seem to have misplaced hers down the side of the sofa... but come on.. we all do it! And if names don’t hold that much importance - then why do we agonise over what to call our newborns?

I know my partner and I agonised over what to call our son - and we had plenty of family members and friends weighing in with their opinions of prospective names.

There are hundreds of name critics on Mumsnet on the ‘baby names’ page where expectant mothers can post “What do you think of (insert name of choice)?” to replies of “Good God that is hideous!” as well as positive reactions.

Comedy legend Miranda Hart pokes fun at her fictional boarding school chums such as ‘Bruschetta’ and ‘Focaccia’. On ITV’s Dinner Date a young man exclaimed “You can’t be from Yorkshire with a name like Camilla love!” On one Jeremy Kyle episode he made a mother repeat what her new baby was called “What’s your other daughter called again?” “Chardonnay” she said. “Brilliant!” he exclaimed smugly. So it would seem even Jeremy Kyle judges certain names. You know you’re in trouble when Jeremy Kyle is judging you! (Yes I am getting through a lot of daytime television in my new life as a stay at home mum).

I remember learning about a study in Psychology where participants were told a name, just a name.. then asked to rate their attractiveness - I distinctly remember ‘Jennifer’ was the name deemed ‘Most attractive’ as I cursed the day I was named ‘Stephanie’.

My main concern was picking a name for my son that children wouldn’t be able to bully him for - after many years of children chanting ‘Steph...fanny’ as well as ‘Step-on-me’. I also wanted something that made him sound strong and handsome - ridiculous as it sounds!

If you knew a particularly nasty bully at school - then her name will always be ugly to you. If you have an ex boyfriend who dumped you meanly you will always feel ill at the mention of it. We all have personal likes and dislikes - which we keep to ourselves. Unless you are my Mother; my own personal Katie Hopkins, who will tell anyone what names she ‘hates’ for her grandchildren and also told the entire staff at HobbyCraft what she thought about their grandchildren’s names.

And if you really think you don’t judge children or their parents’ by their names then tell me honestly that you didn’t roll your eyes when you heard about the arrival of little ‘North West’ - come on!

Many of Katie Hopkin’s critics have gone on to criticise her children’s names - ‘India, Poppy and Maximillian. These critics might want to call their next child little ‘Hypocrisy’.

My son is approaching five months and as we start to feel slightly cocky about this whole parenting thing, my partner and I have been thinking about having a second child in the distant future. A little list of prospective names is being compiled on my smart phone. None of which I will share with you - or mumsnet, or my mother.

And as we all await the arrival of William and Kate’s first born, the royal baby, people are already speculating what the name will be.  I hope they call him, if it is a him, Tyler - just to show Katie who’s boss! (I personally think Tyler is a lovely name). Whatever they call him or her - you can guarantee people will have something to say about it - and that name will become very popular over the next few years!

What’s my son’s name you say? I’m too scared to tell you. I don’t want to know Katie’s verdict.

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy; O, be some other name!

So what do you think the royal baby will be called?

17th July, 2013 Posted by:Sophia

You seem to be missing the point. The outrage wasn’t really over the fact that she judged a name, it was that she specifically judged the children (rather than the parents who chose the name), and more importantly, stated that she would never let her children associate with a child who had a name she deemed inappropriate.
Not only that, but her argument was all over the place and nonsensical. She stated that it was trashy to name a child after a place using examples such as ‘Brooklyn’ and ‘London’, but of course her own daughter is called India (a lovely name, but it contradicted her point entirely).
Yes we may all judge names, but it’s what we do with that judgement that matters. She has no tact and no manners, and is a disgusting human being – that’s why everyone was so outraged.

17th July, 2013 Posted by:Elsjac

My daughter is called Elsie, my son is called Jacob, and I live on a council estate while working for minimum wage. I wonder if her children are allowed to play with mine?

17th July, 2013 Posted by:Rachel

Having an opinion on somebodies name is very different to forming an opinion of the person based on their name. Yes, if someone came to me and said ‘my daughter is called Chardonnay’ I may think to myself ‘that’s an awful name’ but I would never EVER think I don’t want my children associating with that child. A name is a name and nothing more, it doesn’t shape who you are as a person. She is presuming and generalising, which to me is as bad as being sexist or racist. She is namist.

17th July, 2013 Posted by:Kirsty

I really don’t think it is that much of a big deal, I’m a young mum (21) to my beautiful baby boy and I think this all comes back down to the divide between younger and older mums. I have constantly noticed the difference between me and some of my friends who are in their 30s with babies and the fact is young mums just get on with it! We don’t flip out about the little things, I returned to university 4 days after giving birth, because I had too! I liked my boys name and so did it, I have friends who named their babies things Katie might not approve of and they are the most well-mannered little angels I have ever met! I also have friends who have children with names more in keeping with Katie’s style and they are monsters!!! Always being split up in class and throwing tantrums! When you’re a child you don’t think about this, you don’t judge, so why should the parents? I was allowed to play with children a lot worse off than me, my mum would happily drop me off at the council estate to see a friend, because she knew that being down on your luck and maybe not having the best job in the world, didn’t mean you were a bad person/parent! Not so long ago this wasn’t a problem, because nobody named their child Apple or North and so a name WAS just a name, not an insight into where you fit in the class system!!

17th July, 2013 Posted by:Lauren

Whole heartedly agree…i’m 24 and I judge the parents based on the childs name…sorry to say it but it’s true! My mother also works in a school and there is a definite correlation between ‘type’ of name and behaviour of the child…needless to say my partner & I agonised over our almost-popped-out sons name!

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