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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Any Other Name

The first thing that struck me after the nomination to the US Supreme Court was announced, is how perfect a name Harriet is for Harriet Miers.

She looks like a Harriet. Also a Mildred. And for sure, an Ethel.

Is it surprising then that the 176th most popular baby name, for little girls, was Harriet in 1945 -- the very year of Miss Miers' birth? And that it's been in a free-fall ever since?

At least, that's what the Social Security Administration site claims.

Now there are some perfectly lovely old-fashioned names out there.

Abigail is making a comeback. Phoebe is no longer just a villainess soap star's name. And you can't turn around without meeting a little kid named Olivia, these days.

And that's just the lasses' names!

But let's face it, some names just reek of hip-replacement.

I think it's very telling that the four leading female candidates to the SCOTUS before the Miers nomination were very old-fashioned names.

The Ediths Jones and Clement. Priscilla Owen. Janice Rogers Brown.

Maybe to American ears what really strikes people are not the given names, but rather the incredibly "Anglo"-sounding Brown, Owen, Jones (and for that matter, Roberts), as a friend once astutely observed.

But personally, I think a female name like Edith, Sandra or Ruth, and yes, Harriet will have a much easier time being taken seriously for a SCOTUS position, than very outré modern names like Paris, Lexus, or Shaquana, will in the near future.

As my great-grandfather once observed, when the name Jubilee (!) was being considered for his daughter, born 1897, that no woman would want to be so dated by her name.

He named her Violet (!).

I just hope that the parents of all those Britneys out there realise they're effectively taking away their daughters' age-old female right of lying about their ages.

Everyone and their boyfriends will know they were born in the 80's and 90's.

Oh and forget that SCOTUS job, too, little Makayla.

As if.

UPDATE: Victoria is holding steady at number 21 most popular US girl's name in the new millenium, being a rock-solid conservative, and yet pert name. Victorias are ageless. We can be 29 forever.

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