As a teacher, I have seen a long chain of kids' names that will often reflect the times we happen to be living in. Okay there are some parents who will always select solid and timeless biblical or historical names like James, Stephen, Michael or John - Mary, Sarah, Jane or Elizabeth - but many others seem to wish to saddle their children with dumb, fashionable names that will cling to them like ugly tattoos for their entire lives - hence for boys - Duane, Shane, Brandon or Brett - for girls - Demi, Chelsea, Tamara or Kayleigh. There are several variations on that last name including - Kaylee, Keeley, Kylie, Kelsey etc.. Throughout their lives such names are destined to hang like millstones round the kids' necks with devotees of stereotyping often pre-judging them because of their parents' thoughtless naming. The names we choose for our children reveal much about how we see the world and the people in it. I love the incongruous names that South African Zulus will often attach to their children - Innocent, Blossom, Precious, Mighty - followed by unpronounable Zulu surnames.
Previously, I have mentioned some street names in Hull that are rather exotic and hark back to earlier times - The Land of Green Ginger, Whitefriargate, Ferensway. Most world cities have quirky names to report. Please feel free to share some of your observations about names in the comments box...
An academic surname profiling website has recently transferred to The National Trust. Using this site you can see maps which show the concentrations of any given British surname both in the 1880's and in 1998. It is quite fascinating and most instructive. See link below:-