Friday, 5 July 2013

Behind the name

This is not the post I had planned for today. I shall save that. I woke up this morning feeling so disgusted about the clip I had watched on YouTube shortly before bed last night that I felt I needed to talk it through this morning.I'm sure my UK readers who are Social Networkers will have seen the clip in question: Ex-Apprentice contestant Katie Hopkins discussing kids names on This Morning. Katie Hopkins, who I recall not liking all that much when she was on The Apprentice, leaving presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield furious, exasperated and speechless, because, in her opinion, names such as Tyler and Chardonnay are enough to be an "efficient way of working out what class a child comes from, and do I want my child to play with them." Giving your children names such as these, it would seem, ensure that they have no prospects and wont do their homework.


There is no doubt that as a teacher sometimes we chortle at some of the interesting names that pass through our doors. And, when choosing our daughter's name, as we both teach, we decided that she would have to be given a name that we had never taught as we found ourselves regularly saying this like "oh I used to teach a really naughty so and so" or "Don't you remember all the issues I had with blah blah?" My love for the name Joshua, for example was blighted in my first year of teaching by a lad I grew to have a soft spot for, but never the less used to fall asleep under desks, tell me that coursework was pointless and made me the subject of much humiliation over the year I taught him. Another to scrub off the list. But that's not to say that every Joshua is a bad lad. I teach a beautiful Joshua at the moment. But that one experience has meant that no son of mine will be called Joshua. So we've ended ended up a name that people have described as "unusual, without being too "out there"." Suits me just fine, although I suspect it's a name that's about to get popular. I had it first. There seems to be a trend of ususual naming these days. Each to their own, when it comes to their choice. I find usual names and think we could never pull it off. I have a friend who suggests usual names for her unborn baby and they screech cool. But sometimes, when I hear these names I do wonder if the kids will thank their parents later on...

However, unusual names aside, I think Katie Hopkins has got it wrong. And in her attempts to justify her "intelligent" names, she made herself look like a fool. She doesn't like geographical names like "Brooklyn" and "London" but her daughter is called India. Magic.

I am quite sure that out there there are children with 'names like these' who do come from poor, working class backgrounds, who don't do their homework, who might not get far in life. But there will be just as many who make a real success for themselves. As teachers, we can't write children off like that, and I'd be horrified if my daughter chose her friends by their name, or for that matter, children in her class (or their parents!) wrote her off because her names was 'too pretentious', 'that name is very common these days' etc. There will also but hundreds of Ophelias, Ilyanas, Tarquins, whatever "intelligent" names you fancy who don't succeed. The number of middle class kids I have taught who don't do their homework, think that life just gets handed to them on a plate... Enough said. I will judge the friends my children make by meeting them and making a fair assessment of them that way. Hopkins has openly admitted to being Mrs Judgey Pants on this one, and I suspect she wont be a popular mummy in the playground... Opinions like that are probably best kept to oneself. No one likes a snob.

I look forward to her intelligent, floral, geographically named children being really successes of the future. In the meanwhile I suspect that her children's classmates' parents will be thinking twice about whether they want their children to play with "those kinds of children". 


  1. I found your blog through the Super Sunday Sync with Dawns Disasters. It was one of the most enjoyable reads I have had in quite some time and the photography is beautiful. I am now a follower and am looking forward to reading more in the future.

  2. What a lovely comment to come home to, thanks so much! Thanks so much for stopping by. Happy Sunday!

  3. This is the first I am hearing about this name thing? She sounds like such a fool!
    Anyway, Just found your bog through the Super Sunday Sync hop!
    So excited.
    I am now following you :)
    looking forward to keeping up


  4. Wow ... Brooklyn and London are a no go, but India is ok?
    She sounds like a winner.

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  5. Lanaya I URGE you to go and see the video on YouTube. Just so you can be sure! Happy Sunday. x

  6. Wow. That is just ridiculous. She sounds like a real gem.

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.

  7. I agree wholeheartedly with this line, "Opinions like that are probably best kept to oneself." Wow! Thanks for linking up to Raising Imperfection this week while I'm a co-hostess! Please come back to Mommynificent on Friday to see if you were featured.
    Have a magnificent day!


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