Would You Call Your Baby Nigel? {Discussion}

Hope you have all had a lovely weekend. It’s Monday which means it’s discussion time. We loved reading all your comments on last week’s post regarding images of your children on social media, it gave us so much to think about. Today we are going for a slightly lighter tone, we hope!

The Office of National Statistics recently published it’s annual list of the most popular baby names for England and Wales and there are some favourites on there. Olivia and Oliver were topping the charts closely followed by Amelia, Harry, Emily & George. What was missing though were some of those names that appear to be dying out. It isn’t so much the old traditional names as they are still making a massive comeback. Instead it is more those names from the 50’s and 60’s that is slowly disappearing. Think of the Sharon, Nigel, Beverly or Derek. How about Horace, Sheila, Wayne or Paula. You can see the full list here.

So our question to you is would you call your baby Nigel and what do you think to all the disappearing names? Who knows, maybe they will have a revival in 50 years time.

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31 Comments. Leave new

Haha… I’ve thought this quite recently about my own. All of a sudden I’ve noticed that it’s a very ‘grown up’ name; a name for the over 40s!

Not even Will & Grace could save it 😭😭

Can someone call their baby ‘Karen’ please? Let’s start a revival.

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I get some strange looks when the older generation ask what Lyra and Jenson’s names are. And my stepdad insists on calling them Lila and Jason 😂

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I’ve got a Lyra (excellent name!) and we also get Lara and Lira (like the Italian and Turkish currency). Apparently it’s very hard to remember two syllables…

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Ironically I’ve got a Lara and she’s often called Laura, or I get asked how to spell it….!

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Did you see the survey saying a large proportion of grandparents really dislike their grandchildren’s names? Apparently even the traditional names like Albert and Stanley or Grace and Amelia that have made a comeback are too old fashioned for their taste!

Silvia’s name was certainly not popular in the family but we didn’t care.

And although we have a lovely neighbour called Nigel he is very much the exception that proves the rule in my experience….

Karen I think your name might make a comeback as its Scandi incarnation, no?

All the ones you list have relatively negative connotations: Wayne to Harry Enfield, Sheila to Aussie jokes, Derek to Topsy and Tim (joking 😂). But a quick Google of the name would put most people off I think. They might survive as middle names to honour family members but that’ll be it.

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So true… I’ve just called my baby daughter Ivy (middle name Harper) and all the older generation raise eyebrows or laugh when I say Ivy because they think it’s so old fashioned. Then for the Harper bit they are just confused and think I’ve made it up. Did they not read To Kill A Mockingbird?!
X

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My four month old daughter is called Silvia too! (Same spelling!) We absolutely love it but some have seemed surprised when we told them.

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I went to school with a Nigel and even then it sounded a little…. unusual. Interesting to note though that the then ubiquitous Andys, Matts, Lees, Pauls, Daves, Johns, Richards now seem to have disappeared from usage now too. When it’s our turn to have and name our children, there’s a tendency to avoid the names common among our peers or parents generation much like the lull in the so called granny names that occurred when we were born. As mentioned in the post though, trends will always come full circle, only now, these cycles are speeded up. While historically, it might follow that there’s a resurgence in the Nigel type name era, it’s actually too soon.

My theory is, we’ve been through the recent name trends much quicker than before and the thirst for something new has come YEARS sooner than it might have before social media and it’s effect on quickly popularising trends. Because it’s all speeded up, it’s come round too soon. We’re not ready for the next generation of names that are waiting to become popular again because our peers and are parents friends are all called them. Only the hippest of ahead-of-the-curve hipsters is going to use them and there’s a chance that like a wave crashing in shore out-of-sync with the wave pattern on the coast, it may actually peak then die away with no effect on the oncoming waves. This is happening with fashion so it stands to reason it would happen with names. Now that ANYONE can be an influencer, there’s less of a drip-down effect when it comes to trends.

A friend recently called her baby Peter and it sounded beautifully refreshing and uncommon amid all of the overused boys names currently around. For me, that’s the holy grail of names, uncommon but not weird. There seems to be such a concentration of names used at the moment, particularly for boys, that this aim is becoming even harder. Anything that’s not common is starting to sound weird, is it going to get so concentrated that in two years time, 80% of the baby boys born will be called one of 5 names?!

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So true: the holy grail of names, uncommon but not weird.

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Yes we’ve just had a baby Matty in our office… But not many around now

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Poor Garry is dying out too! Andrew keeps threatening to name a prospective boy Jason as it sounds like we would’ve strayed from the Greek theme but not really! Nigel was the surgeon who did my c section with O and he was brilliant. I’ve not heard a bad word about him from either my midwife or members of SANDs

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I think this era of names might come back in time. Much like how there are lots of Florence, Stanley, Nancy, Beatrice, Albert/Albie lately. I like the traditional myself and would prefer a 50s/60s era name to the newer ones now (not wanting to. Size offence but things like Harley or Jaxon spelled with an x are not to my taste) it always comes full circle. In my generation there are lots of Claires, Stephens etc. And the one after me lots of Joshuas (18-21 type bracket- I work with 4 Joshua’s all that age). Guess there will always be popular names and always people opting to go for more unusual ones. Maybe we’ll see a resurgence of the Angela, Kevin etc in a few years!

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I’m 26 and called Sally. The average age of someone called Sally is 82- I love it, I’ve never met anyone close to my age with my name, and when I was little I felt unique and special to be the only Sally at school. My husband doesn’t like old fashioned names but I love them, i’m hoping I can win him round before little one arrives! (I’m also a teacher.. so I also hold a grudge against certain names..!)

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I think you can totally overthink names (we did). We spent ages deciding on a name for our eldest but after four days of induction ended up naming her after the chic French lady in the hospital bed next to me. Haven’t regretted it for a second.

Boys names are harder for sure. We wanted something traditional but not 2016 old fashioned so were stuck to the Jameses, Henrys, Williams and Sebastians of this world. I’m not a fan of the shortened names like Charlie, Alfie, Freddie either although they seem more popular than the longer version. I prefer a longer name you can shorten once they’re here. I remember saying to my husband you don’t get a Prime Minister (aim high why not?) or an accountant called Freddie…but, given that there were 4000 last year compared to 800 Fredericks maybe you will in thirty years time?

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Sometimes I wish there was a like button on here!!! We had the same rationale when it came to shortened names – except we used to say brain surgeon!!!!

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Totally with you for being able to shorten a name. I think the trends for Archie, Teddy etc is cute for a young child but not a serious name for an adult.

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My son’s middle name is Desmond, he is named after his great grandfather 🙂 His first name is a well known name but not common and I like the combination. People know how to spell and pronounce it but its not so common that everyone has it. I think the current ‘unpoplar’ names probably will come around again but as mentioned above the cycle of things seems to go more quickly now and people aren’t quite ready for it yet…if you know a Nigel or a Sharon you tend to associate that name with a person and perhaps don’t want to name your child ‘after’ them if they have negative connotations for you (a certain Nigel F, I’m looking at you). Interesting that the grandparents don’t like the ‘current’ names and think they are too old fashioned, I imagine when all the Deborah’s and Nigel’s of the world were named their grandparents didn’t like the ‘new, trendy’ names either!

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My son is called Frederick, name after his Great Granddad and Great Great Granddad. We do shorten it to Fred, or Freddie. There are a whole host of reasons why people choose the name that they do and I do believe for many it’s not all about what is on trend or popular. There was never any other name on the list for our little boy as my husband always wanted to honour the memory of his Granddad who he adored. I really do hope that my son goes on to become anything he wants to be, Prime Minister or otherwise. Despite his name apparently dragging him down 😉

And as for Nigel, apparently it means cloud or champion. Will that be enough to get it back on trend?! I’m doubtful at the moment but stranger things have happened! x

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It’s just a generational thing, I’m sure a lot of names being used now were on the out 50 years ago, our daughter is Alma, and there are not many of those under 70 knocking about. I think people like the names of their Grandparents generations and those before but not the names of their parents generation or their own as a rule. This is probably while there are an awful lot of Elsie’s, Arthur’s and Stanley’s at preschool age but not many Roy’s, Lynda’s or Trevor’s. They’ll be back for us to tut and when our Grandchildren are named so.

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My MIL scours the list every year – she is a Margery! I agree I think there are some funny connotations with the names that are dying out, but like everything they will come around again I’m sure. We were determined not to give our first a popular name, but in the end the only thing she suited when she arrived was one of the popular names so that’s what she is! And it still suits her, no regrets. Names are such funny things, and so personal to each family.

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Don’t cry too much for Derek, Sheila and Sharon. They’ll have their revival one day.

When I was a young girl in a world filled with Laura’s, Jessica’s and Katie’s I got “Alice? That’s such an old fashioned name!!” Or “that’s my grandmother’s name”

We couldn’t have imagined a world in the year 2000 with the comebacks or Ava, Edith, Archie etc. But here we are.

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As a 33yr old Diane, I don’t have many peers my age with my name. Most I come across are usually in their 50’s so I think my name was dying out even when I was born. But I like it now (not so much when I was a kid), and I like that there are not many about. So imagine my horror when one of the new Strictly dancers shared my name!!! 🙂

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Am 21 weeks with my second (a girl) and my three year old son was very helpful with his name suggestions … Nigel for a boy (😂) or Celebrine for a girl. I honestly don’t even think a Celebrine is a name. It sounds like a bathroom cleaner. We had to break it to him that we weren’t going to call her Celebrine and he sobbed and sobbed. We feel really bad. But not bad enough to call our child Celebrine …

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I’m not keen on names of my parents generation. I think it’s a connection thing when you hear names like Nigel e.g. an uncle or your friend’s dad – mental images of them doing embarrassing dad dancing isn’t exactly filling me with name inspiration. But saying that I’m sure there will be a lot of children with these kind of middle names having been named after family members.

I like quite traditional names and some old fashioned names. I would rather play it a bit safe then purposely go too unusual. I hated my name growing up, as I couldn’t shorten it, and I’m still not keen on it now. There were so many Claire’s at my school and first couple of work places.

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Im on the list! Kind of, my middle name is Elaine. I’ve always really liked it and thought about it for my daughter but my husband said ‘You can’t call her Elaine!’ I also really like the names Eric and Frank! I got a few funny looks when I said I was considering them if I had a boy 😅

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I’ve got a Frank! It’s made a comeback already 😉

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I’ve got a baby Frank too!

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Excellent comment thread! I 100% believe that those names will come around again and when our grandkids are born and named after our parents generation we won’t get it! My parents seemed unsure at our name choice of Wilf (Wilfred). Maybe when he is older he will have wished that we called him Derek?? I hate, hate, hate my name. The older I get (30) the more I hate it. I feel all Tracey’s are in their sixties… Would have rather had a common name than this one.

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My husband seems to be a 50s/60s fan and doesn’t even know it. Genuinely he really wants to name #2 Dennis (followed by Dave and Steve, god help me) but I’m just not convinced.
Incidentally I actually really admired Sam Faires for calling her boy Paul. I know it was after the Dad but she didn’t give a toss what anyone thought about what is not a very ‘cool’ name and I find that very refreshing!

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Totally agree! I kinda like the whole baby Paul thing and family names through Granddads, Dads and Sons can be very important to some families.

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We named our baby boy, Matthew, middle name is after his great grandad -Peter. It also worked out that with our surname his initials are MPH-my husband is a total petrol head so fits us as a family very well!

When we were picking names we also wanted something that was normal, everyone could spell, and slightly uncommon.

In my office there is a Matthew/Matt around our age but the Peter is in his 50’s!!

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