Gordon, and other baby names that are about to come back into fashion

ONCE you couldn’t throw a brick in a playground without hitting a Jane, Gary or Dave. Later it was Kyle, Connor or Lianne. But how will the fickle wheel of nomenclature turn next? Probably with these names…


Once it was just your great, great Aunt who was called Maude, all whalebone corsets and horror at new-fangled skirts four inches above the ankle. All it takes is a moment of whimsy on the part of an influencer and we’ll once again be knee-deep in Maudes.


The last recorded Obidiah was one Obidiah Clutterbuck, a drayman from Blackburn who died in 1910. But time has cleansed the name of its dour, Lancastrian connotations and soon it will sound as futuristic as Obi-Wan Kenobi.


Just a few years ago, you’d no sooner name your daughter ‘Gertrude’ than you’d call her ‘Gherkin’ or ‘Germany’. But once again, do not underestimate the middle class desire to recycle the 19th century in the search for attention-seeking Christian names.


Has a slight image problem due to Kevin the Teenager, Kevin Keegan perms and We Need to Talk About Kevin. But Kevin will be back. Okay, not until about the year 2300. But that’ll roll round soon enough.


Like Cinzano Bianco, Angel Delight and orange juice as a starter on a restaurant menu, ‘Shirley’ has fallen, but only temporarily, out of fashion. Within months, you’ll be able to baptise your little girl Shirley without the vicar rolling around the font screaming, ‘Shirley? F**king hell!’


Today’s parents desperate for a ‘different’ name won’t realise that Vera is so indelibly Northern and working class they may as well have added ‘Duckworth’ too, eg. Vera-Duckworth Smith.


Yes, the last Gordon of note plunged Britain into a perma-misery of Tory rule owing to his utter lack of personal charm. His Gordon-ness, if you will. But young parents, plagued by a succession of Daves, Theresas, Borises, Lizzes and Rishis will come to look on the name ‘Gordon’ with a wistful fondness.

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When will you cave in and put the heating on? Take our quiz

THIS winter is a battle between the cold and the cost of living crisis. But how long will you last before putting the heating on? Find out.

How are you preparing for the cold?

A) I’m making little changes. Wearing jumpers in the evenings, sleeping under an extra blanket, drinking hot chocolate. Pretty reasonable measures, really.

B) I’m trying to recalibrate my body by wild swimming in a nearby river every morning. Compared to those frosty waters, the chilly embrace of winter feels like a holiday in the tropics.

How tight are you with money?

A) I’m sensible but not miserly. If I have to spend a few quid to stop the pipes from freezing up then I will. I’d rather that than them flooding everywhere.

B) I unwind in the evenings by sitting in the dark and staying glued to the smart meter. If anyone so much as flicks on a light for two seconds, I’ll know.

When do you usually put the heating on?

A) Late October/early November. Maybe that’s a bit too soon but it wasn’t always prohibitively expensive. I miss those days.

B) If I can see my breath indoors and there are icicles growing on the ceiling then I might consider filling a hot water bottle. Even then it’s only a 50-50 chance.

Are you prepared to lose fingers to frostbite?

A) God no. Energy bills are one thing, but it’s important to look after my health too. Only an insane person would be ready to do that.

B) Bring it on. Missing digits would be a badge of honour.

Are you a dad who exerts tyrannical control over the heating?

A) No.

B) Get the f**k away from the thermostat.


Mostly As: You could crumble any day now, if you haven’t already. You might be able to buy some time by investing in an electric blanket, but there’s no way you’ll hold out until December.

Mostly Bs: Temperatures would have to drop to Antarctic lows for you to even consider putting the heating on, and even then you would see how long you could last wearing a fifth jumper.