The parents' guide to giving your kid horribly pretentious middle names

ONE of benefits of having children is boosting your own status with pretentious, aspirational middle names. Try cursing them with these before they’re old enough to get a deed poll.

Historical names

If you’re not posh you won’t have any recorded medieval family names. But don’t let that stop you – just consult a historical film, such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Pete Locksley de Gisbourne-Scarlett is pretty impressive. Don’t get carried away, though. Ralph Fiennes is actually Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham Fiennes, which sounds as if he’s named after a Sunday Times article about scenic villages for weekend breaks. Maybe he is.

Outdated grandparents’ names

What youngster in a class full of Jacks, Jaydens and Sophies wouldn’t like the middle names Herbert, Walter or Agatha? The smug parent can thus immortalise ancestors who were farm labourers and scullery maids who they’d consider a bit common now. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but nor do middle names in general. There’s probably some poor sod out there called Ian Lord Vader Blenkinsop.

Mythological characters

To show off your Radio 4 intellect why not burden your offspring with middle-names of characters from Greek and Roman mythology? Little Jasper Apollo and Clementine Demeter will love being laughed at by kids with more contemporary ridiculous middle names. Or fail to understand what the names actually mean, so your daughter is Rose Alice Medusa Smith.

National pride

Middle-naming a child after national achievements is an act of supreme self-importance, or unhinged patriotism. Saddle your little one with part or all of: William Wallace, Archie Gemmill, the Battle of Trafalgar, the 2005 Ashes winning England cricket team. Try cramming a whole range of national achievements in there, eg. Jack Dunkirk Dyson Shakespeare Daley Thompson Thompson.

Your superior education

There’s nothing more self-centred than a middle name which is the elitist educational establishment you attended and continue to drone on about decades later. If you give all your children middle names like Magdalen or Corpus Christi then surely one of them will get in, right? Note: this strategy will not work with ‘Hogwarts’.

Conception location

Just nauseating. Naming your children after the places where they were conceived is just a bit tasteless and show-offy if it’s Andalucia or Aruba, and downright cruel if it’s Montepulciano. Worse still, with no foreign travel during Covid, your kid may find themselves with the middle name Skegness, or simply where you live, eg. exotic Crewe.

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'I wasted the best years of my life on Twitter': The future regrets of Generation Z

PEOPLE currently regret things like spending all their time at work, but in the future the young, online Generation Z will have its own problems. Such as these.

I wasted my life on Twitter

Gen Z loves Twitter. But most of the content leaves a lot to be desired: supporting causes only a bastard would disagree with, eg. racism is bad; obscure spats, eg. ‘Is Owen Jones a misogynist mansplainer?’; and endless mediocre jokes and memes. By 2052, scrolling through Twitter’s endless retweets will have frittered several years alone.

I was suckered into watching TV shows designed to never end

TV has always milked an idea, but with the current crop of streaming shows it’s incredibly blatant. No much-loved character will ever leave or die. After each series, everything will be back in equilibrium. If the 80s hit Edge of Darkness was a streaming show, Bob Peck would have ‘got better’ from his fatal plutonium dose and be investigating his fourth nuclear cover-up.

I took up a load of stupid Gen Z hobbies 

Such as: knitting. A great way to discover the meaning of ‘labour intensive’ and Gen Z males can make a tiresome point about gender roles. The same survey into Gen Z hobbies lists meditation, which most people wrongly think is sitting quietly for 15 minutes, something highly disciplined Thai monks would dispute. It also mentions origami, so clearly not much has changed in the dull world of hobbies.

I spent a lot of time on Tiktok 

Maybe you were the one miming to Adele, when viewers could just listen to Adele without your annoying presence? Or were you the dumbass who casually reveals they think bears are very big dogs? In terms of erudition, Tiktok is up there with flicking bogies at the bathroom door while you’re having a shit. 

I didn’t make a difference due to doing everything online

It’s hard to change the world, but more so if your efforts are largely ‘clicktivism’. Online petitions are notoriously useless, and there’s a genuine suspicion that most ministers don’t know how to use a computer anyway. It’s worryingly easy to imagine Liz Truss saying: ‘Good morning computer. Did you have a good weekend?’ only to be met with silence yet again.

I spent years discussing Gen Z

The worst zoomers think they really are a unique generation, not realising ‘Generation [insert letter here]’ is pure, unadulterated bullshit that gives journalists something to write about. Back in the 90s everyone was supposed to be a Gen X ‘slacker’. Fortunately no one’s life is as boring as Bodies, Rest & Motion.