This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Give a dog a bad name: a rant.

I once read two books in a row which had as characters old ladies called Baby.

You'd have thought that their parents would have given them some more suitable a name. Like, well, Teenager or Oldie.

(And before you start telling me that's just as bad, may I point out that you're a teenager and an oldie for a lot longer than you're a baby, so it's not as bad. Though equally cruel.)

There was once a child called Depressed Cupboard Cheesecake.

Copii sub prosop

No, really, there was. I think it was one of those open-a-dictionary-at-random disasters.

More common, at least in days gone by, were the open-a-bible-at-random disasters.

The dictionary principle would give me a child called....hang on, I'll just give it a go...Footman San Juan Mountains Twaddle (rather nice, actually) and the bible method would name it Hilkiah David Husbandman.

Now, you may not think very much of parents who saddle their children with such ghastly collections of names, but what should a child be called?

The market research company Acorn has records of the names and incomes of 51 million people. It turns out that if you are called Crispian, Greville, Lysbeth or Penelope you are about 200 times more likely to be wealthy than if you are called Seaneen, Terriann, Sammy-Jo, Jamielee or Kayleigh.

So why aren't all children called either Crispian or Penelope?

You know, that's an extremely interesting question.

Isn't it.

Word To Use Today: baby. This word came into English in the 1300s and is probably an imitation of the first sounds of, yes, a baby.

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