You are posting a comment about...
Mohammed beats George
According to The Telegraph:
Mohammed, and its most common alternative spelling Muhammad, are now more popular babies' names in England and Wales than George, reflecting the diverse ethnic mix of the population.
The Office for National Statistics said there were 2,833 baby boys called Mohammed in 2006.
The name is 22nd in the list of most popular boys' names, moving up a place from last year.
Spelled Muhammad, it is the 44th most popular name and enters the top 50 for the first time along with Noah, Oscar, Lucas and Rhys.
There were 2,833 babies called Mohammed born in 2006 and 1,422 called Muhammad. The total exceeds the number of Georges (3,386) or Josephs (3,755).
The piece does not point out, as perhaps it should, that very many Muslim boys are given the name Mohammed as a first name as a matter of course, together with a middle name by which they are known. Thus you regularly get, for example, two brothers, Mohammed Bilal Rashid and Mohammed Ismail Rashid, known as Bilal and Ismail. Nevertheless, this wave of Mohammeds is worrying, and it is a kind of "ethnic diversity" we could do without.
It is interesting to see some old names coming back. When I was a child the name George was associated with pipe-smoking old codgers, as was Arthur. Jack was very rare; now it tops the list. Grace, Lily and Ruby, all in the top ten girls' names, seem very old fashioned to me - pursed lips, curlers and donkey-stoned doorsteps - but then fashions come and go.
I dislike the name Sophie intensely. I read it as "soppy"; also I have yet to meet a likable Sophie. Olivia, like Flora before it, sounds like a margarine. I cannot understand why it is so popular. It used to be considered rather posh, but middle-class parents of older Olivias, and the older Olivias themselves will be dismayed to see that it has drifted down the social scale, and is now the new Tracy.
Nothing dates a person - I should say a woman, because female names are subject to the whims of fashion - more than bearing the name of a celebrity. How many Veras are under sixty? Or Marilyns under fifty? There will be two waves of Kylies, down-market Kylies from Ms Minogue's "I should be so lucky" days and classier Kylies from her more sophisticated comeback years.
Unsurprisingly, I think it best to have a name that is neither fashionable nor unfashionable, and one which gives nothing away. Examples are Mary, Elizabeth, Ann, Julia, Susan, Katherine/Katy/Kate or Christine/Christina. Any character or profession is compatible with these names, whereas if you are called Peaches or Fifi Trixibelle your chances of becoming Governor of the Bank of England are slim.
One more thing - where have all the Avrils gone?
Update: according to Name Brain, Mohammed has been in the top 100 names since 1924. Fancy that. Check this site out to see if your name is hip and happening or sad and past it.