Fri, 31 Aug, 2018
Mum sparks furore after asking for ‘upper class’ baby name suggestions
While it's unclear if the person who started the 'upper class' baby names thread on the Mumsnet forums was doing so for suggestions for her own little poppet-to-be, what is clear is the contentiousness of such a request.
User lovetpwonder seemed to think it would make a good topic for discussion, and it certainly proved to be, just not necessarily in the way she might have envisaged.
After referencing prior threads as her inspiration, she posted: "Hit me with your upper class/well to do baby girl names that are still used today!"
It became an all-in verbal brawl - reasonably civil of course - about what names upper class people actually use, versus the stereotype.
One poster isn't shy about leaping straight in.
"Why does this matter to you? If you were upper class, you would call your child what you like and not give a hoot."
Another gave some creative suggestions.
"Jocasta le plume puffball."
"Henrietta Dubois phlange a rillo."
"Cosima Urqhuart Upwardly Smytherooni."
"Cordelia Phwar Phwar Rha Oiks erson"
We guess a thread like this in the class-conscious UK was always going to attract more than a few raised brows and barbed humour.
There were some productive comments, however, with responders giving more reasonable replies.
"Something like Victoria but then never call them that, use an hilarious nickname like Tory or Tocky or Bumble."
And this, which seems to support the above comment.
"I have taught Bunny, Clementine, Ophelia, Wren, Rupert, Peregrine, Caleb, Winter, Alexander, Hugo.... when I remember more will add. These were all at a private boarding school so more likely to have money than not."
Of note, was an online tussle between two former private school and Cambridge University students, debating the semantics of names among the upper crust.
User 1wanda1 addressed the assertion of another, that those 'silly' upper class nicknames like Bunny, Tick and Bumble, don't last into adulthood.
"In my 10 years in boarding schools and then four at Cambridge, I got to know a lot of old money wealthy kids. As adults they all use their nicknames. Don't be so dismissive of other people's lived experience."
The comment received a prompt reply from TatianaLarina, in a privilege standoff.
"I am a wealthy old money kid and only about four people I know still use their nn unless they're with old school friends. Was at Cambridge too - so what?"
1wanda1 issued a swift smackdown in reply.
"To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher: if you have to tell people you're "wealthy old money", you're not."
There were other responders who took the challenge seriously, so if you're after a name with a British 'old money' edge, then consult the thread for suggestions.
Do you agree with the responses? Let us know in the comments below.
Written by Suzi Catchpole. Republished with permission of Stuff.co.nz.