Columnist: Why some parents fail the name game

Fiona is quite glad of her straightforward name...
Fiona is quite glad of her straightforward name...

What’s in a name? That by which we call a rose by any other name would smell so sweet – the words of William Shakespeare.

Perhaps a flower may smell as sweet whatever you call it, but when it comes to a person’s name I think it’s important to get it right.

The National Records of Scotland this week published the annual list of names givento newborns across the country. Among them are some weird and wonderful choices.

There are a few youngsters out there who may not be too happy with their name as they grow up and may be making a bid to change it by deed poll.

Then again though, perhaps some of those with the more unusual names will actually grow up to be quite happy with the individuality of their name – I guess it ultimately depends on the individual person in the end.

The records enable a comparison to previous years with lists of names in its database dating back to the 1970s and it’s interesting to see how trends have changed.

And they definitely have changed over the years in several ways.

It seems that at one time the tradition was to follow family names, passing them down through the generations. Often a newborn would be named after a grandparent or other relative.

This resulted in the traditional names, including biblical names, being among the most popular, such as David, William, George, Robert, Elizabeth and Margaret.

However, in more recent times this tradition has disappeared for many and new parents are choosing those which are slightly different or completely individual.

Some are only variations of others in terms of spelling, however others are much more unusual.

Some of the more unusual names to be included in the 2015 list of Scottish baby names are Awesome, Corryvreckan, Breeze and Calypso – only time will tell if the little ones grow up to be happy with these.

Current trends also suggest that popular culture is playing its part in shaping the names that people choose for their children.

The most recent list cites names such as Arya and Khaleesi inspired by television series Game of Thrones, as well as youngsters called Bowie, Hendrix, Cash and Cobain.

There are no doubt many out there who have over the years been named after their mother or father’s favourite musician, footballer, actor or other celebrity.

I have to say that I’m very pleased that my parents chose a straight forward and simple name for me when I was born.

I’m not sure I’d be very thankful of some of those chosen by parents today.

Often, particularly when abroad, people make reference to my name and associate it to Shrek’s wife Princess Fiona in the DreamWorks films.

However given that the films were only released years after I was born I can safely say that the princess/ogre is not where my parents’ inspiration came from.

And for that I’m truly grateful.