Last Word on Popular First Names

There are one or two more bits of information that I would like to share from the statistics of ‘The First Names of Brighton & Hove 1909-1999′ by Carol O’Neal.

The first of these is the boys’ trends of 1959.  I have previously mentioned my name ‘Jacqueline’ as being the sixth most popular girls’ name, as this was the year after my birth.  I was also delighted to notice a special mention for the name ‘Gregory’ in the boys’ trending names!  This was the name I gave to my teddy bear, a couple of years later.

Here I am with Gregory, enjoying a little train ride.

Here I am with Gregory, enjoying a little train ride.

The book mentions the new influence of American Film Stars on the first names of babies born in Brighton and Hove during the 1950s, especially Gary (Cooper), John (Wayne) and Gregory (Peck).  I can now exclusively reveal that Gregory was not named after the actor, but a little cartoon character in my favourite comic, ‘Jack and Jill’.  This character was Gregory Grasshopper.

Gregory Grasshopper

Gregory Grasshopper

I found a little more information on him!  Gregory Grasshopper originally starred in a comic strip entitled ‘Tiny Tales’, later renamed ‘Tiny Tales of Gregory Grasshopper’ and, later still, ‘Gregory Grasshopper’s Magic Lamp’. Gregory is a happy-go-lucky grasshopper who moves to the country after his life in a garden in town is disrupted by a noisy lawn-mower.  I must say, he does look very happy-go-lucky!

And here is Gregory now!

Gregory enjoying his retirement years in his rocking chair.

Gregory enjoying his retirement years in his rocking chair.

Gregory enjoying the sunshine.

Gregory enjoying the sunshine.

I also wanted to briefly mention the names given to my own children: the lists are only written every ten years and my daughter was born in between two of these.  Emma is second in 1979 and first in 1989 – well done Emma 🙂  Her middle name ‘Clare’ is third.  There were 47 Emma’s born in Brighton in 1979, and 45 in 1989.  Apologies to Jonathan who doesn’t make the Top 25, according to the lists there were only 17 ‘Jonathan’s’ born in 1989 in Brighton & Hove.  And for my cousin Sue: there were 107 Susan’s born in Brighton in 1949 and 101 in 1959!  And 37 Jacqueline’s in 1959.

About Jackie Dinnis

Welcome to my blog where I am enjoying meeting my family - past and present - one at a time. Join me as I learn who my ancestors were, where they lived, what their occupations were and what everyday life was like for them.
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4 Responses to Last Word on Popular First Names

  1. Jackie, it’s been fun reviewing your lists of names, even if the towns were so far removed from mine. However, I think, entirely opposite of you, I like it much better when the name I’ve been given isn’t the same as that used for virtually everyone else. Growing up, I was the only Jacqueline I knew, despite growing up during the “reign” of Jackie Kennedy! And years later, when I chose to name my daughter Claire, I was pleased to find that her name was unique in our region as well…although I have to admit that, almost the same as you, we had considered calling her Emily Claire…

    • Hi Jacqi 🙂 I know exactly what you mean about it being nice to have a name that is different from all the others! But I always decide to make the best of what I’ve got – so as I am a Jackie, I’m happy with that! It would be great if you could choose your own first name wouldn’t it!

  2. Sue Woodland says:

    Yep, there’s a lot of us around ‘of a certain age’. I have quite a few conversations which start ‘Hello Sue’ to which I reply ‘Hello Sue’!! I’m sure there must have been a lot of Susan’s born all around the country about that time. I have three cousins on my Dad’s side, and of the two females one of them is also a Susan.

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