The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49257   Message #744637
Posted By: Penny S.
08-Jul-02 - 06:00 PM
Thread Name: BS: British vs. American names
Subject: RE: BS: British vs. American names
As a teacher, I run into a lot of variations in names, some of which can entrap the unwary. Currently primary school boys in my class are John, Max, Jordan, Jaymin, Lakhpreet, Ryan, Kieran, Daniel, Danny, Luke, Aaron (a trap, pronounced Arran), George, Jacob, Rajpal, James, Jamie, Lewis, Alexander: girls are Monica, Amritpreet, Alice, Danielle, Charlotte, Tanya, Chantelle, Yasmin, Bethany, Georgia, Annabelle. The four obviously Indian names belong to Sikhs. One Indian child has a Western name. Everyone else is from long standing local families. This is a fairly standard variety, though we also have some West African names. There has been a fashion for a long time of non-traditional names, some of which come from America, and of using abbreviated names as the full name, especially with boys. We have Jacks and Toms, Tims and Bens. Girls' names tend to be fancier, but the boys, after a spell of Seans (every possible spelling), Darrells and Waynes, are now more traditional. even to George (we've more than one or two).

If you look up through the classes, there is a curious group of names used for men in the British upper class, but women in the middle classes, and not at all by the rest. Jocelyn, Evelyn, and Hilary, can lead to confusion.

I think you'll find more difference between the upper and middle class British and Americans, than between other British and Americans.