Parents have always named their children after popular personalities of the day; just ask anyone in their mid-thirties called Kylie or Jason. It turns out that 2019 is no different, with the news filtering through last week that names such as Maisie and Emilia were on the rise in the UK, inspired by Game of Thrones actors Williams and Clarke respectively. In addition, David Attenborough’s environmental crusade has boosted his first name in the rankings, with Greta shooting up the charts thanks to 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg.
And then there is Love Island. Yes, you may know it as the show that drones on in the background featuring a bunch of overinflated egotists strutting around in Speedos, screeching about how one of the other villa residents either did or did not “have my back”. The ITV2 show has been a phenomenon in recent years, and that is reflected in some of the more popular baby names over the last year. Kady, Scott, Nathan and Cara have all seen noticeable upward shifts in popularity since contestants bearing those names appeared in series two.
Mumsnet Baby Name Pile-On
Flash forward to this week and one Mumsnet user has gone viral after she admitted she was considering naming her child after one of the current batch of muscular imbeciles. The name in question was Ovie and the reaction was in equal parts vociferous and baffling.
Many users on the site berated her for even considering using a name from a tacky TV show for her son. In reality, she only actually questioned whether it was a nice name or not, but it’s been picked up on by media all over the country and debated endlessly.
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It’s an interesting question though. Is there anything wrong with naming your children after TV characters? The answer to which is, in my opinion, ‘not necessarily’.
Pros and Cons of Naming Your Child After Someone From Love Island
One of the main issues people had with the mother using a name from Love Island was the association with a show which even its fans admit is total dross. One commenter said “naming your kid because of a show which is on now but presumably not forever seems shortsighted to be honest.” But the point is that, in a couple of months, it’s highly likely no one will remember Ovie from Love Island 2019 anyway.
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Certainly by the time your child hits adulthood, not even Ovie’s mum will remember he was on the show. They won’t be saddled with an association to a throwaway TV show because it is just that – throwaway, forgettable, consigned to history. If you really like the name Ovie, your child will not be living in the shadow of a fella who pranced around in his pants back in the late 2010s. They will have the chance to stake their claim on being the definitive Ovie, if that is what they choose to do. Anyone named Elvis will forever be jealous of that opportunity.
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Naming your baby is a tricky process, but we all have different approaches. Yes, some people would be horrified by any association with Love Island, no matter how fleeting, but that doesn’t apply to everyone. You might not give a stuff. If you love a name and want to pass it on to your kid, then it really is no one else’s business at all. Within reason, of course.
Yes, parents will judge. We all judge other parents in pretty much every single facet of the child rearing process, so this is no different. But if you can rise above that, then go for your life.
However, we all have our own personal criteria on which we base our baby name decision. For me, when we were expecting my eldest, we wanted something that was unusual without being Moon Unit Zappa-weird. We didn’t want our daughter to have the same name as numerous children in her school year. At first we considered Elsie, but we had heard of a few local Elsies being born as we awaited the due date.
So we went slightly more obscure. We went with something similar, but less well known.
We chose Elsa.
One month later, Frozen was released and became the most popular animated film of all time. If you don’t know (where have you BEEN?), the main character is called Elsa.
Baby Name Consequences
As it happens, although we feared a cavalcade of Elsas in the vicinity, that didn’t materialise. She’s the only one we know in the area and she LOVES being called that. I still think it’s a beautiful name and I finally made my peace with the film a couple of years ago, when I realised that it enchanted my daughter so much that I could nip out of the room, make a cup of tea and drink it all while it was hot.
However, we genuinely did check and re-check the forthcoming Disney releases before naming our son. That was why we finally decided to scrub Dumbo off the potential name list once and for all.