Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ranting Stan's Irrational Hatred Of The Week: Double-barrelled names

Actually, it's not double-barrelled names I hate so much as the way they've proliferated over the last 20 years or so with the rise of single mothers and unmarried couples.

Thirty years ago or so, a double-barrelled name was an indication that the person came from the upper crust of society. If you came across someone with a double-barrelled name it was likely to be something like Lord Arbuthnot Tuffington-Smyth or Lady Lucinda Rumpole-Bailey. A generation later and you're more likely to find children with double-barrelled on the playgrounds of the local sink estate than you are on the playing fields of Eton.

When I was a kid there wasn't a single child in my school year with a double-barrelled name. In my youngest son's primary school class there are at least three - possibly more - with many more sprinkled across the rest of the year. Where it was once a sign of a privileged upbringing it is now more likely to be an indicator of an underprivileged child.

I hate it.


Jim said...

I have often wondered what will happen in a few years time, when all the current double-barrels start shacking up together, and producing their own spawn. When will we see the first quadruple-barrelled name?

Maybe its already happened?

Jim said...

I've answered my own question - here:

Scroll down to Magdelen College School, Oxford, and you will find the magnificently named Charles Sain-Ley-Berry-Gray.

Though I suspect he's more likely to have grown up on rolling acres than a high-rise council estate.