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“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as SONY DSCsweet.”

Awww. Yes I’m a geeky English teacher, so I had to throw in a Shakespeare reference somewhere…a prize to the person who can name the play WITHOUT using Google…!!

When I was little, and imagining being a ‘growed-up’ with my friends, we would talk about what we would name our children. If you had a daughter, what would you name her? If you had a son, what name jumped out? We would share these dreams and imaginings with each other and play that game where you hold a pendant over your hand and see if it went in a circle or a line. God, we really had no toys back then. My parents could have at least got me a pack of cards or some bubbles…

But what eventually happens is, you have a daughter (or a son) and you have to name them. This is of course, quite important. This name has to follow them through life, it has to be a pleasant name, it has to sound good with the surname, but it also can’t be silly or frivolous; (‘Annette Curtain’ springs to mind, can you imagine?), as the bullies in the playground will take any excuse. I remember friends of mine who had thier third child last year, a little boy; and they were telling me how they came up with the name – the Mum would shout out a random name and the Dad would do his best to see how he could corrupt it, mock it, or generally turn it into a joke. The first name they came to that he couldn’t manage to subvert would be the name they picked. It may sound silly, but I thought it made a lot of sense. I myself would hate to think my child would be bullied or made fun of because of the name I gave her. I was lucky enough to have a decent first name and an unusual and pretty kick-ass surname, so I never had this worry.

I remember the moment in the delivery room when Amelia was born…I heard myself announce with flamboyance through the misty twilight of the anasthetic and general confusion; “Everyone meet Amelia Catherine…” (yes, I have a flair for the dramatic, even when I’m drugged up to the eyeballs, actually maybe especially then…) We had discussed the name Amelia of course, I didn’t just pull a fast one on the G Man, and it was one of the few girls names we agreed on, but I had been so convinced that she was going to be a boy that I hadn’t given it too much thought. The moment she was born I just knew what we should call her.

This last week or so, the Top 100 baby names for 2012 were published, with Amelia being in the top 5 and in some cases, the number 1 most popular baby name for a girl in the UK last year. I am raging about this. (For those who don’t personally know me, I am of a generally huffy disposition.) I had NO idea. I thought I was being original and kind of geeky (we are massive Dr Who fans), and I am as FAR from an X-Factor fan as you get so I didn’t even think about Amelia-Lily. *sigh*

The meaning of the name Amelia is defined as ‘industrious’ and ‘striving’. So, to be fair, I don’t think the ‘X-Factor-yuckiness’ would have stopped me giving her that name; as since we’ve come to know her, and as her personality develops into such a sunny, happy and strong little person, it becomes clearer all the time, she quite simply could never have been called anything else.