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What’s in a name…

Dummy

The most eagerly awaited celebrity birth since, oh well, the last one, has finally happened and congratulations go to David and Victoria Beckham on the birth of Harper Seven. Ever since the pregnancy was announced, speculation has been rife as to what name would be bestowed upon their fourth child. And now we know (and it’s not Felicity, Atlanta, or Beverly, as early reports would have had us believe).

All four names given to the Beckham children find a place in the most recent edition of A Dictionary of First Names, with special mention given to both Brooklyn and Romeo as having had an influence on the rise in popularity of these names in the UK since the Beckhams used them as names for their first and second sons.

Romeo is a medieval religious name meaning ‘pilgrim to Rome’, and of course one of the protagonists of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Cruz is another religious name meaning ‘cross’, referring to the agony of Mary at the foot of the Cross. Harper, as well as being someone who plays upon a harp, is particularly synonymous with American author Harper Lee.

Naming a child must be quite a responsible task since, deed polls aside, it has to stick with them for life. What might seem like such a good idea at the time, may not always prove to be so ten years later. Celebrities have long been accused of burdening their children with unusual names – although for every Fifi Trixibelle and Pilot Inspektor who wished they were called something else, there is perhaps a sixteen-year-old Rebecca or Thomas (the most popular baby names in the UK in 1994) who dreams of having a more exotic name…