Richard Ord: The importance of being Aston - musings on unpopular baby names

The least popular baby names were revealed this week sparking a desperate search for anecdotes from newspaper columnists (Well, at least in this office).

Fortunately, I had one at hand that I could dust down, repackage and give back to you with love (it’s also called copy and pasting by some cynics, but just ignore them.)

These are the most unpopular baby names of 2018



Richard was nowhere to be seen either in the least-popular list or the 100 most popular. Clearly, new parents feel there are enough Dicks in the world. It’s hard to disagree.

Naming your child is fraught with difficulty. I’d always advise something short. Purely on the grounds of expense. The longer the child’s name, the more you have to pay to have it put on the back of their replica football shirts! Shorter ones also mean less pain when you have your child’s name tattooed on your body, a popular aide-memoire for the more forgetful parents I see parading up and down the promenade these days.

My two boys, Bradley and Isaac, fall into the medium length name category. We were feeling flush when they were born. Given my current financial situation, I should have dispensed with letters and named them with punctuation marks. Hyphen (-) and Ampersand (&) Ord, would have been far cheaper to reproduce on the replica shirts. They have the added bonus of sounding quite posh too. Please feel free to nick my baby punctuation name idea. The Semi-Colon is pretty well-to-do too, it is double barrelled after all.

Richard, as I say, is out of the top 100 most popular names while Isaac remains steady at 25. Our Bradley has slipped out of contention too.

He makes up for his average first name with a distinctive middle name. He’s called Aston. It sounds cool and has the added bonus of having a genuine family connection.

His great grandad on his mother’s side was called Aston, so my wife told me, and so that became his middle name.

It wasn’t until a few months after his birth that my wife’s dad asked me about where the name came from.

Surprised, I told him that he took the family name of Aston. “You know, after his great grandad?!”

“Oh,” he replied. “But that wasn’t his name. That was his nickname. His mates called him Aston because he was the only Aston Villa supporter in the West End of Newcastle!”

In my book that makes his middle name even better.

It’s always nice to have story behind your name. The wackier the better.

My mum saddled me with the middle name Philip. As dull as they come really until you find out I’m named after our slightly racist Duke of Edinburgh. Me mam’s a royalist.

Our Bradley’s names seem to tick all the right boxes and you’d think he’s be happy not to be singled out or mocked. We had all angles covered.

Erm, except we hadn’t counted on the ‘initial’ faux pas. On his football training tops, the team don’t use names, just initials.

Brad trains in a top with B.O. stamped on it. Oops!