BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

John Denney,15 September 1999


Well, Patsy and Liam Gallagher have done it.  Had a baby, that is.  “Who?”, you ask.  Come on. This is Cool Britannia, man.  Liam.  You know, the geezer from Oasis.  What?  Oasis is a celebrated beat combo, me lud.  And Patsy?  She’s his wife – and a MAW.  What?  A MAW – M. A. W. – Model, Actress, Whatever.  Anyway, they’re very famous.  And Patsy has just become a Ma as well as a MAW.  And they’ve called their baby son “Lennon” in tribute to John Lennon.  I bet the poor kid ends up being called Len!


Pop music people have a habit of giving bizarre names to their offspring.  What about these:  Zowie Bowie (poor old Zowie changed his name to Joe Jones when he was older, and can you blame him?); Fifi Trixibelle Geldof and her half-sister Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily; Dweezil and Moon Unit Zappa.  Actually, I think the winner in the “loony names for the kids of famous parents” stakes  must be Bono from U2.  Last week he named his son Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q Hewson.  It’s true, I tell you!


Perhaps we’re all getting more adventurous in naming children.  The recent Oxford Dictionary of names includes these new ones: Ace, Baron, Beige, Bijou, Gobnat, Gypsy, Jazz, Raven, Stone, and Zenith.


Naming a baby is a serious business.  You sort of mark the child for life.  Apologies if there are any real life examples out there, but you can’t imagine a Marmaduke tarmacing your driveway, can you?  And what about His Royal Highness King Gobnat?  It doesn’t ring true, does it? 


Four out of the top five boys’ names today are straight from the Bible: Thomas, James, Daniel and Joshua.  It’s difficult to go wrong with the standard biblical names.  Well, actually it is.  You don’t want to call your child Mahar-shalal-hashbaz or Zerubbabel for instance!  But all biblical names have a meaning.


Thomas means “a twin” (don’t ask me what you’re supposed to call the other one!); James means “the substitute”; Daniel means “God is my judge”; and Joshua… well, that’s the same as “Jesus” and it means “the one who saves and heals and restores”.  Because Jesus came into the world to save sinners like me and you, and heal our hurts, and restore us to God’s favour.  And that’s why Christians say that Jesus is the Name above all other names.


You should speak to him sometime.


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