“I don’t like Geographic location names” “…Your child’s called India?”
Katie Hopkins has caused backlash this week with her outrageous views on letting her unfortunate offspring only play with children with specific names. She protests that a child’s name is a shortcut to knowing where that child and their family lie in the class system, therefore determining if they’re good enough.
The question of ‘is there even a class system anymore’ is debateable; however it would be unfair to say that as a society we don’t initially judge people on their names. Although definitely not as extremist as Katie, it’s hard to not be judgemental when coming across people such as Jasper and Cheska who are off skiing in the Alps for the 3rd time this year.
The truth is that there are names that carry significant stereotypes in relation to class. For example, it seems to be the fact that Charmaine is out late drinking on a school night whilst Ophelia has attended gymnastics, French and cello club and is in bed by 9.30pm. But does this mean that giving your child a ‘posh’ name will give them a head start in life?
As Katie states in the This Morning interview, she doubts the professions of people with such names as ‘Chardonnay’ and ‘Tyler’, however was received with backlash stating that there are many high achievers such as Olympic gold medal winners and high end Journalists with such names.
Such as trends and fashions, names come and go and often make a reappearance, for example my parents generation of names such as Joanne, Karen and Tracey are yet to be recycled, however their parents generation of names has definitely made a comeback, with names such as Ruby, Alfie and Vivienne. Celebrities have taken this trend upon themselves, often choosing names from a much older background, such as Lily Allens daughter Ethel and Billie Pipers sons Eugene and Winston.
Apple, North West and Blue Ivy are just a selection of names given to the offspring of today’s rich and famous in the competition of who can give their child the most unique name. You may be thinking, won’t their children get enough attention at school because of who they are? Yeah that’s a great idea celebrities, just give your child even more of a reason to be in the spotlight at one of the most important stages of their lives, never mind having Beyonce and Jay-Z as parents, no biggie.
It’s possible, however highly unlikely that Wills and Kate’s royal baby and the future ruler of England will be a Princess Chanice Alishia Windsor or Prince Tyrone Jordan Windsor.
Don’t worry Harper Seven Beckham and Shiloh Pitt, I’ve been there and you’ll pull through. No my mum isn’t Madonna and my father isn’t Michael Jackson, but I do have one of the more unusual names on the list. Let’s just say I haven’t yet found a Coca Cola bottle with my name on. Jonika Kate Kinchin is my full name, and I can only say I’m grateful for the normality of ‘Kate’, in fact it’s almost a disappointment to people when they ask for my middle name, seeing as my other two names are just plain weird.
Jonika (pronounced like Monica) is quite honestly a product of my mother’s insanity. I genuinely think she might have had a bit too much gas and air, but hey I could be called Blanket so I won’t complain. Kinchin is my family name and as far as my research goes all I’ve discovered is that it apparently means ‘golden penis’ in Japanese.
It was my misfortune to spend most of my school life with ‘Jonny’ as a nickname. This was through no choice of my own, I can’t even remember who started it, but whoever it was I hate you. Thankfully when I reached college I met new people and gained the use of my actual name back, until they got comfortable with me and I was christened ‘Jon Bon Jovi’, ‘Kinchy’ or just plain ‘Jon’. Better than Jonny I suppose.
It’s got to the point where if a guy asks for my name on a club dance floor where it’s impossible to hear what each other are saying anyway, I just pretend my name is Jennifer or whatever I can think of at the time. My personal favourite was when a particularly unpleasant smelling man refused to stop dancing suggestively in my face so I told him my name was Paul. Safe to say he left me alone after that.
Sometimes it does come in handy, it’s always a talking point when I meet new people. I’ve been told it makes me more interesting (not sure how) but I always find it something to talk about if there’s an awkward silence to fill.
Working at a place where I have to wear a name badge, it’s not unusual for people to question my ethnicity. French, German and even Icelandic are among the varieties of countries it’s presumed I’m from, however the majority of people presume I’m from Poland. I often get asked in Polish if I am Polish and the person always looks baffled when I reply ‘excuse me?’ in English.
I’ve never been held back by my crazy name, and I can’t believe that in this day and age people still make large judgements and important decisions about people simply because of their name.