Snort Worthy

by You Can't Call It "It"! on July 9, 2013

The internet has been aflutter with this video from a talk show based out of England.  Katie Hopkins gets nearly ten minutes of air time postulating on why she judges children based on their names.  The views expressed in this video are not those of this site or its author.

It makes you wonder how she sleeps at night.

This Katie Hopkins character is to be both pitied and reviled.  She uses the names as a “shortcut”, pre-judging CHILDREN and won’t let her own precious progeny associate those who have less desirable names.  She will even cut a friendship off at the pass, and assumes that working class children don’t do their homework and are behaviorally disruptive.  Equally ridiculous, she makes opposite assumptions about upper class parents and their child-rearing skills by the names they choose.  Would she be shocked to find that little Araminta’s mother drinks too much at birthday parties?  Or what about young George, who bullies her precious Maximilian with a cruelty and snobbery that rivals her own?

The similarities between some of Hopkins’ hit list and my Seven Deadly Trends are not lost on me.  I am a self-professed name snob.  Yet there is a world of difference between preferring some names to others and allowing this snobbery to spill over into judgement.  I will not claim this woman as one of my own, and would counter that if she is raising her children with this kind of antiquated elitism she is doing them a great disservice.  Yes, I have been unnaturally excited to meet the mother of “Adelaide and Barnaby”, but I’ve also found that an affinity in names does not a friendship make.  As would be the case should I meet said offender.

What I try to do at You Can’t Call It “It”! is help families come up with the names that best suit them and their children.  Liken it to a difference in taste: some people prefer mid-century modern furnishings, others may opt for Hollywood Regency, others still have no defined “style” at all.  But does that determine whether or not I would want to befriend them, or promote play dates with their children?  Does it mean that I think less of my children’s friends who have monikers that I wouldn’t have chosen myself?  Shudder at the very thought.

English readers, is class still a nightmare of an issue there as Katie Hopkins would have us believe?  Do any of you think that she has a point?

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gabrielle Carolina July 9, 2013 at 5:40 pm

You know, I won’t lie and say I don’t pre-judge names when it comes to “extremes” such as Chardonnay, however I would never presume to say my judgement is sacrosanct, infallible, or the last word on the matter. I’d rather my children enjoy the company of a well-meaning, trustworthy, dedicated Chardonnay than an elitist, gossipy bully named Fill-in-the-Blank.

I care more about character than status for sure!

And finally, at my school the girl with the most questionable family was called Victoria, and I discovered this after being friends with her and eventually she came to bully me and we ended our friendship. The nicest girl I knew was named Kaitlyn. So there! I feel a bit like Holly, “stop it, stop it right there!”

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2 Jocelyn July 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm

I am stuck on the fact that she says geography names are horrible, but her daughter’s name is India!

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3 Blue Juniper July 9, 2013 at 11:43 pm

I’m pretty sure the discussion started in response to this article:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2353613/Stanley-Mabel-2013-baby-charts-revealed-1-4-parents-christen-offspring-according-trends.html

I think perhaps the scariest thing is that I’m sure she is not the only one who thinks this, she’s just the only one on camera expressing these views.

I feel so sorry for her children. They’ll miss out on some extremely enriching relationships with great people because they have such a snobby and controlling mother. Imagine being told you can’t be friends with someone you know is a good and decent person because your mother doesn’t like their name!

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4 Sam July 9, 2013 at 11:45 pm

Oh but India is a country, not a city, it’s DIFFERENT! :D

I was so pleased when she was called on that one and her reaction just pointed out loud and clear how ignorant and snobby she is. I hope her children see that video some day and tell her how mortifying she is (but, alas, I fear they will turn out like her… Perhaps they will rebel at university).

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5 Mattie July 19, 2013 at 5:31 am

Ok. That lady is a wrinkly, snobby old witch and is clearly just doing this for the attention/fame/publicity…but she is kind of right about India. It has a long tradition in British literature as an actual name. Granted it is the name of a country, but given how snotty and pretentious her other kids’ names were, I’m guessing she was going for the literary India, not the geographic India. Like the Shakespearean Ariel vs the Hebrew name Ariel. Same name, totally different context and following.

But, I still hope her daughter India has a daughter and names her Brooklyn. ;)

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6 Kit July 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Class can be a bit of nightmare with some cliques still, but I find most people are less judgmental and more open minded. Of course, I’m lower middle class to start with, so someone who is working class might feel that they face problems in their life because of where they live etc. It’s kind of embarrassing British people act like this sometimes.

The flip side is that there is probably another, posher, judgier group of people who laugh at her for being Katie Hopkins instead of Catharina Hoppsley-Althorpe-Crumpetface. So that’s something.

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7 liss July 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm

“Catharina Hoppsley-Althorpe-Crumpetface.”

That’s hilarious!

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8 jessica July 11, 2013 at 5:12 am

That was HILARIOUS! What a mad woman! Based on their names, she’d probably be OK with my children in the playground but I’d keep MY kids away from HER family! Urgh.

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9 Kate July 19, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Who knew Tyler was so disliked in the UK? It seems pretty middle of the road in the US. I wouldn’t say I love the name, but I never thought of it in the same class as, say, Navaeh. I even knew a Tyler (girl!) from my high school who went on to graduate top of her class from Harvard Law. Maybe Ms. Hopkins would find Tyler more posh on a girl? ;)

The only thing I might agree on is that names based on alcohol—Chardonnay, Brandy, Kahlua, etc.—are never a good idea. I wouldn’t assume the children with these names are anything but lovely, but I definitely cringe a bit inside when I meet a darling little girl saddled with a name like Kahlua.

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10 Jane July 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

You’re so right Elisabeth – there IS a big difference between being a name snob and being someone who judges children by their names. I must admit to cringing at the name Chardonnay , but I have never judged a child or their family based on their name. Kate Hopkins is so narrow-minded. And hypocritical! Despises people who use botanical names and place names, but has children named Poppy and India. Um, hello??!!

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11 Jane July 20, 2013 at 7:52 am

P.s. Some very unusual names in William and Kate’s family trees!! http://Www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/royal-baby-watch-kate-middleton-2063315

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12 Kristin July 22, 2013 at 1:59 am

This woman is incredible! And what’s with her comment on ‘geographical names’?? Her daughter is named India!?!?
Does this website have a page where I can get opinions/suggestions about baby names? We are really stumped for a boy name this time around. We have Louis Sebastian who is 2 and don’t know what we are expecting this time. Our girl choice is Olive May or Olive Marie. Possible boys names Felix, Sasha…Is there maybe a forum that could be helpful to get other peoples input and suggestions?

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13 Jo July 23, 2013 at 3:21 am

Olive May was my grandmother! She was beautiful, opinionated and hilarious. So, That’s got my vote.

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14 Olivia July 22, 2013 at 10:50 pm

She takes it to the extreme, but it is a known fact that name can greatly impact one’s perception of someone. I am undoubtedly guilty of it at times, but I certainly do know plenty of people who I suppose exceed the expectations of their names. Please do note that the “exceeding expectations” part should be taken with a fair amount of sarcasm.

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15 waltzingmorethanmatilda July 27, 2013 at 9:06 am

Some of her other hates in life are redheads and breastfeeding mothers … I’m not sure she’s quite right in the head actually.

You definitely can’t judge parents by their children’s names, let alone judge the poor children by their names. Two of the celebrities on my blog picked a lovely name for their son – it would get thumbs up and gold stars on Nameberry. The parents are virulent racists, spew nothing but hate speech, and have really foul mouths along with it. They literally can’t say a single sentence without using vulgar language.

Being able to pick a “nice” baby name just means you’re good at picking baby names. It doesn’t mean you are intelligent, educated, classy, well-read, well-spoken, decent, hardworking, kind or anything else.

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16 You Can't Call It "It"! July 27, 2013 at 11:20 pm

After writing this I googled the woman and found that many of her views are outlandish and highly controversial. Sorry to have given her air time, really. But we can all take this baby naming thing too far. There is a line.

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17 Caroline August 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Lets be honest….. She’s merely expressing what most people do subconsciously. She comes across incredibly hypocritical and snobbish, but, she’s RIGHT. Here in Texas, I cannot help but gag at the following boy names: Cason, Mason, Paxton, Jaxon/Jackson, Hamilton, basically anything with a -ton or -son as a first name. Unless its a family name, it sounds like a thinly-velied attempt to make your child sound more intelligent or more well-bred.

And of course, there’s the age-old rule of thumb for girls’ names: If you want your girl to wind up “on the pole”, name her after an expensive item or a wine. Crystal, Chardonnay, Mercedes, etc.

Also, there’s a theory about how a person’s first name can set them up for success/disaster. It’s really not the kid’s fault, obviously, but it is a very good indicator of the type of parents the kid has…. And subsequently what values/morals will or won’t be taught at home.

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18 Angie August 7, 2013 at 9:59 am

I’m a bit late, but this post reminds me of something my six year old daughter said recently about a friend in her class:

“Mom, Nevaeh is so kind.”

I’ll admit I’m one of those who loved to hate Nevaeh for years, but I had never actually met one in the flesh. Now that I sort of know one, I feel bad about my name-judging.

My daughter’s comment made me more open-minded about names, and reminded me how children are often the ones with the right priorities.

Oh, I didn’t actually watch this video, but we had some not so classy neighbors with kids named Victoria and Gabrielle, and I would much rather my daughter hang out with Nevaeh.

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19 Grace February 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm

I’m at a loss with this woman. I personally think she is very hypocritical.. She say’s geography names are horrible but names her daughter India. Does she not realize India is an actual place?

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