Way back in what now almost seems another life, I used to travel round Somerset and Wiltshire watching PGCE students teach. I got into the habit of looking at class lists to note the fore-names of those being taught, and developed what I termed the Tristram, Tamara, Tamsin index. This was a rough and ready way of coming to a view of how middle class the school's catchment was. It worked after a fashion and was a bit of a diversion.
I was reminded of this the other week reading the Sunday Times which reported trends in UK fore-names. The article opened with this:
Hugo and Olivia von Halle announced the birth of their third child last week, choosing the pages of The Times to do so. Rarely has a simple 22-word classified notice caused such a rumpus. “A daughter, Triptych Alabama Bliss, sister to Hieronymus and Dionysus,” it said.
It clearly shows that my index is both woefully out of time, and impossible to replicate now. As the article explained, names are much more diverse. In 1999, there were 3,824 different girls’ names registered. In 2019, there were 5,591. There were 1,213 girls called Luna born in 2019, 1,156 called Aria, 777 called Aurora but only 3 called Carol. There were 1,678 boys called Arlo, 1,433 called Mason, 1,400 called Albie and 1,356 called Jaxon, but only 9 Nigels.
There's nothing more to be said.