And what do you call him…

As a teacher, I am one of those who quickly becomes familiar with the latest trend in baby names. There was a period of years there when no class was complete without several Chloes, Hannahs, Conors and Rebeccas. The class I passed on to a new teacher last June contained multiple ‘Connells’, all with different spellings no less. And then, of course, there are those who go for the more unique Celtic name. (And, incidentally, teachers will also be able to identify those names whose popularity has had its day- in this regard, Seamus would appear to be a name on the wane, if my experience of teaching in Belfast for the better part of a decade is anything to go by.)
It would appear that the Chinese have similarly become more adventurous when selecting baby names, though this example is somewhat extreme.

  • Dewi

    “My mother was one of 20 children”

    I feel for her mother.

  • hovetwo

    I knew a girl called Justine Mycock. Seriously.

  • Harry Flashman

    **I myself was registered as Patricia and have spent time explaining that i prefer Pádraigín but often have to complete documents in the name on my birth certificate.
    If you check I think you will find that pre 1967 there are many Seáns who are officially John, but post ‘67 this is more rare.
    Pádraigín Drinan
    Posted by Pádraigín Drinan on Aug 21, 2007 @ 04:17 PM**

    Thank you Padraigin, that certainly answers my question, so there was a law against Irish names being registered and it was repealed on the year of my birth (could be why I missed it), looks like I owe my Granny a tenner.

  • Fiona


  • John er David

    “You just get the forms from a solicitor (cost him a tenner), get them filled out with a Garda stamp, and bring them to City Hall. Easy peezy.

    Changing your surname requires a deed poll, though – fair enough.”

    Oh no ti does not.

    Just keep getting people to call you John Smith and John Smith you shall be.

    Why I might even be my own brother!

  • Dewi

    “Edinburgh” – and now is everyone called Kirsty ?

  • The Pict

    Both Britney and Oprah are mis spellings.

    Ill-educated southereners for you!

  • Fiona

    Except for the male half!

  • Dewi

    LOL Fiona – Iains & Gregors – mind you they’ll all be called Alex from now on !

  • merrie

    Then there are the names which don’t translate well.

    “Dole” in Arabic is a slang term for “p*nis” so it is probably a good thing that Republican presidential candidate Dole did not win the nomination. Imagine him attending meetings with Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Some surnames become better known as other things eg leotard (French), broccholi (Italian). I don’t know if there is a French surname “Brassiere”

    Some Balkan surnames eg Apathy and Panic – I think that would be a good name for a stockbroking firm

  • snakebrain

    That’s been the best thread I’ve read in ages.

    So….good-natured; nice to see everyone can have a nice natter about the bairns once in a while.

  • Pounder

    My dad had a friend called Billy Nutt who called his daughter Hazell. She suffered for it quite a bit untill the poor lass got married. And ofcourse there is Mike Hunt down at Belfast’s In-Shops.

    If I ever meet a woman mad enough to let me impregnate her I’d like to call the child Hans Olo if it’s a boy.

  • Dewi

    Pounder…why not just R ? Or P ?

  • Donnacha

    I called my son after my three favourite guitar players. Now that’s selfish, I admit, but he could have been worse, I could have chosen drummers.

  • I wonder…


  • Dewi

    Let’s guess Donnacha – Rory Gallagher for one…Jimmy Hendrix……what was that bloke in Thin Lizzy called ?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    As Siobhán is the Irish ‘version’ of the French ‘Johann/Joanne’ why do we use the southern prononciation Shivaun instead of the northern(correct) version shoo-ann?

  • Donnacha

    Nearly, Dewi, you’ve certainly got the first bit. His other names are Donnacha (a bit of cheating there, but y’know how the ould ego works) and John Fean, after Johnny Fean the Horslips guitar player.

    Pancho’s Horse: We use the southern pronunciation so it can be used in a certain knock-knock joke.

  • Dewi

    Who’s there ?

  • Pancho’s Horse

    It’s not funny if your name is Shove-on, is it?

  • Donnacha

    …”siobhan yer knickers, yer mother’s home.”

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Two urban myths of BA beatings are ascribed to – Who are you?
    Campbell from the Desart(Armagh) and Owney Mee from S Armagh.

  • Dewi

    LOL, LOL, LOl ! – Little things eh !!

  • Derek

    northern((in)correct)version shoo-ann?

    Ian Rankin

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Afraid Ian Rankin doesn’t qualify as an expert in Irish names… or are you taking your cue from Rebus? ‘bh’ flanked by broad vowels is said as ‘w’

  • Derek

    The source he got it from is correct.

  • Sean MacKenna

    It’s not only prods who incorporated maternal surnames into the names of children. A classic example is Eiblhin Dhubh Ni Chonaill who produced one of Irelands finest poems “Caoineadh Art Ui Laoghaire”. Her name is often quoted as ‘Dark Eibhlin’ when the real reason she has that name is because her mother’s maiden name was ‘Dubh’. This was at a time when Irish women didn’t take their husband’s name, Eibhlin was never Mrs.O’Laoghaire.