What’s in a name?

We’ve all done it. We’ve all heard a baby name that we absolutely hate quietly dislike. We’ve all most definitely cried out ‘why would they call a baby that?’. Guilty. I know I have. But after reading an article about the backlash and criticism on one mother to be’s choice of baby name on an online forum, I actually sat and thought, why?

Why do we care so much about what someone else calls their child? Why must we form opinions on every detail of peoples lives? Who are we to say that name cannot be used to represent that baby?


The mother said she is going to called her baby girl Iris James. James being used as a middle name for the little tot. Sure, the mother put it on an online forum so it’s obvious that not all users are going to agree (I know surprise surprise the internet has trolls) but must the obvious be stated ‘it’s a boys name‘. Do you really believe the mother isn’t well aware that the name James is traditionally seen to be a boys name? Not so long ago celebrity couple Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds called their bundle of pink James and the world made peace with that fairly quickly – so why is this mother being focused on for wanting the use of James within her daughters name, and more to the point what harm is it doing to anyone? You may say ‘the girl will grow up hating the name James, and get told she has a boys name’, but you have people who ‘normal’ boys/girls names who hate them like myself! You have school bullies rhyming off cruel nicknames to perfectly normal names – so the use of James isn’t going to make the world stop because it’s not the ‘correct’ way of using it, however that is meant to be. 

Like words, names change and evolve over time. Here’s a few names that used to be more commonly heard as boys names:

  • Hilary – 100% male name 1882, was a popular boys name until the 1940s
  • Sandy – 1880 this was 100% male name, shifted to 50/50 by 1930s
  • Beverley – in 1880’s this was a 100% male name, by 2012 it was a 100% female name
  • Alexis – this was once a hugely popular boys name, being 100% male in 1882
  • Kim – 100% male name in 1912
  • Paris – 100% male in 1991
  • Shannon – 100% male name in 1881

So as you can see. Like many things. Things change, words evolve, meanings and ‘genders’ change. We live in an age where anyone can be anyone they want to be, anything they want to be, be referred to as anything they could possibly want to be. We are such a free, accepting world – well compared to 10 years ago. We all still have room to grow, but our views and opinions evolve more each day, so why can’t a mother chose to name their child a name that is seen to be a certain gender – without the public, noisy backlash.

If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. 

If you want to read the article, visit this or if you’re interested to see what other names have changed visit here.

4 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Wow, that’s a really interesting piece of historical info. I love a quirky name, and am probably guilty of turning my nose up (inside) to more traditional choices – you are so right though, it’s not nice so we should live and let live.
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s