back to article Why teachers fear Callum, Chelsea, Connor and Crystal

As teachers eye the register on the first day back at school this September, they'll be nervously keeping a sharp look-out for certain names which "strike fear into the nation's tutors". The list of those likely to make mischief includes young 'uns dubbed Aliesha, Brooke, Brooklyn, Casey, Chelsea, Connor, Crystal, Demi, Jack, …

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ID

We can't risk teachers making assumptions like this. Now you can see why ID cards are such a necessity. They're not just about stopping terrorists any more.

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Bronze badge

Coincidence?

Looking at the roster of names does it strike anybody else as odd that those names should all be popular with what may be termed variously chavs, neds, townies, pikies, scrotes, scutters, etc.?

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Anonymous Coward

BITD

'Twas the Waynes you had to keep an eye out for when I was a kid.

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Chavtastic!

And the goody-goody list looks extremely middle-class too...

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Boffin

Reversing the stats..

"Furthermore, over a third claimed that the naughtiest children are often the brightest "

Okay so does this mean that just under two thirds claim that the naughtiest children aren't the brightest? Because that sounds plausible.

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Anonymous Coward

Probably says something about the parents

Q: Will the name I give my child say something about my child's family in years to come?

if {answer.equals("who gives a F***")) {

I rest my case

}

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Anonymous Coward

Let's be brutally honest here

It's the scummy working class kids with thick parents, right, not those nice, sensitive middle class types.

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WTF?

And the survey was conducted by...

Seriously, Mingo??

No personal interest in schoolyard abuse on account of name then

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Terminator

Adoption agencies

There is also an alarming correlation between children's names and their likelihood of needing foster care / social intervention.

This is all of course down to choices made by the parents, not the children themselves.

Hint: If you've called your daughter Dawn or Eden, social services are watching you like a hawk.

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Class bias?

These names suggest American influence. Is it another form of social prejudice against supposedly TV-brainwashed plebes?

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Paris Hilton

Bring back the cane!

When I was at school we feared the teachers.

What's changed?

That's right the 'sensitive' middle classes decided that the little scrotes needed hugs to make them behave.

Epic fail I think!

Disappointed not to see Paris on there

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Grenade

Today Teachers Announce...

...Your child can be well behaved unloved and successful or a popular tw@t. Apparently this is now the de facto assumed standard and we're not doing anything to rectify the situation,

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FAIL

child abuse

naming your child something stupid should be a form of child abuse

cheers mum and dad while im pummled to oblvion

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Silver badge

Call it an assumption

But I bet you that a higher-than average portion of kids with those names were also conceived at school.

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slow news day?

In my day Adolf was likely to be a badun while Winston was alway a good girl.

The fears may, or may not, be true for the first year in primary or secondary education but after that they have a track record and the teaching staff will be aware of it by report or reputation. The Professional Teacher may have ideas/prejudices but they will also be informed by the childs family name and address. Any inner fear they may have are just that.

Self evidently - Education is not a beauty contest. Badly behaved children are a PIA to the Teacher and other pupils and stand in the way of effective education & learning for the majority. If the parents haven't started them off with appropriate social skills then it is improper to burden the Teacher and other children with them. Or am I being a bit harsh here?

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Happy

Fay Mingo?!!

Something about stones and glass houses comes to mind.

Mingo.....(still chuckling!) I bet she's just sore cos she got the piss ripped out of her at school - probably by the popular gang, consisting of Chelsea, Jack, Crystal etc....

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Welcome

Freakonomics

There's a whole chapter in Freakonomics about the relationship between names and success in life. And it really only produces two results. If you get a shit start in life, you usually don't make it all that far. And peer pressure makes you name your children like the aforementioned list.

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Sliding down the social scale...

Twenty years ago when I was at school (in the top half of the class, natch) my name was pretty much unique. Now it seems I'm at the bottom of the social pile and am nowt more than a chav. Oh well...

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Badgers

Teacher assumes

New kid with chav name is probably a chav.

Teacher meets kids.

Teacher is proven right.

Teaching has got easier since my day.

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Where?

'Cos I'm sure that "Connor" is far more well-behaved in Northern Ireland where it's a pretty common name among a certain segment of the population, similar "Callum" in Scotland and the other half of the NI population.

Regardless, the uselessness of this list is underscored by the fact that we already know that being middle class is the biggest preindicator of classroom success, and these names are all (English) middle class.

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Sounds about right to me...

Liam and Connor are the disruptive troublemakers in my childs class, and the 1.5 sets of related parents are foul mouthed chav scumbags who seem to blame everybody else for their childs discord rather than taking any responsibility themselves.

Coincidentally (or not) both of these kids are on the remedial tables for key subjects.

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Paris Hilton

Pygmalion (Rosenthal) effect

I wonder if any of those teachers heard of this well-established psychological phenomenon....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmalion_effect

Paris, because even she knows about self-fulfilling prophecies.

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@BITD /AC

I went to school with a Wayne who got 4 yrs for armed robbery while still at school (held up a newsagents with a penknife LOL)

They should watch out for the "Steves" as well - they tend to throw chairs

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why not give them custard creams?

based on your other story, the mighty creams might keep the brats quiet.....

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Paris Hilton

I think I spot a pattern here...

All the chaviest names (sorry Liam) belong to the tinkers, while all the nice middle-class names belong to the angels.

My wife (who is a teacher) asserts that Joshuas are always naughty. And indeed, the only person I know with a child called Joshua has indeed given birth to the spawn of Satan.

Thank christ my son is called Harry.

Paris, 'cos it'd be interesting to know where she is on the list (she certainly seems very popular).

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Flame

Utter crap!

The only thing you can draw is that stupid, trendy, "modern" names will be picked by the, be polite here, more financially challenged parents, in an attempt to give their kids some class. By stupid, I mean names of wine, cars, that sort of thing! Kids growing up in urban environments may be more likely to get be bored more quickly than kids coming from other backgrounds, so they play up. A big mash of consequences forcing researchers to try to justify next year's budget!

Wayne was always thought of a "dodgy" name, but when I was growing up. I knew 4 Wayne's and they were what our Yank friends call "straight A students", all four in the top classes, strangely the two biggest troublemakers in my school were both called Jason.

At school I hated my name, my name being George. Yes, before you ask I do know practically every variation of that wonderful nursery rhyme! It's still quite a unique name and people tend to remember it, I really appreciate it now.

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Let's save some time and money...

I have heard many teachers talk about the time that could be saved allocating children into Sets (or Streams) directly based on name and then correcting after 6 weeks. As well as many comments like "That's definitely a Set 4 name."

Anecdotal* studies indicated that such an approach would be at least as accurate as the usual method for new joiners. Adding in family history and staffroom gossip, the whole process becomes an uncannily good predictor. Not defensible, maybe, but accurate nonetheless...

*An anecdotal study is one with a disproportionately high alcohol-to-facts ratio.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm

"claimed that the naughtiest children are often the brightest - and the most sensitive"

There is a good reason for that, says me (AC for reasons that will quickly become obvious).

For many, many, many years, bright kids^H^H^H^Hchildren have been ignored and neglected. Children who fall into the bottom few percent of intelligence/ability automatically get special treatment - and any hint of them not getting enough special treatment brings up claims that they have been failed by the educational system. At the other end of the scale, highly intelligent children are more or less ignored - stuck in large classes being dragged down to the level/speed of the lowest in the class, because it's assumed that they are bright enough to cope.

The result is terrible boredom, and the biggest lessons learned are not what is being taught, but that to get anywhere you need to hide your intelligence and 'act up' (ie be naughty). As a result, highly intelligent children leave school having missed out on learning how to learn, and often suffer from this later when they reach a level where the work ceases to be boring and trivial. It's not uncommon for the brightest children to fail at university - or even to leave school without good qualifications.

Thankfully the issue is now starting to be recognised by some, but not all, in the education industry. Where it is recognised, intelligent children stand a much better chance of succeeding later in life.

I think people can guess why the AC now !

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Jason

When I was in primary school, I was made to sit next to a guy called Jason. The theory was that if he sat next to "sensible" kids, he would stop misbehaving.

We never got to find out if the theory worked because 2-3 days later, he called his mum "a boat hoor" and tried to shoot her with a shotgun. Jason was never seen at our school again, he was sent to a special school for bad, bad children...

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Ah, good

It's quite refreshing to see how few Reg readers are slating the principle of assuming chavness from crap names. Good Lord, we might even be sitting on a potential epidemic of 'common' sense.

If you're older than about 12 then your parents might have had a very good reason for calling you Britney. But if you were born around 1999 with that moniker then there's a very good chance you were born into a family of pikeys. I pity the young Britney I saw on a bus in Birmingham being shouted at by her mother earlier this decade.

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Yes well...

I was called "something of a mad professor, like a lightbulb without a shade. Bright but bloody annoying". That was pre-Oasis, mind, now any old soul is called Liam, it just won't do...

(And no British child should be called Brooklyn in any case.)

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Unhappy

Conor

I would like to remind everyone that the correct spelling for Conor is Conor. Connor is the surname spelling or the stupid American way of spelling it.

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Reg reader who is DBA for an exam board, please

-- hey can you run this on your DB and post the result

-- as AC maybe :-)

SELECT

AVERAGE(exam_result.results.grade), candidate.first_name, COUNT (candidate.cand_id)

FROM

result, candidate

WHERE

cand.cand_id = result.cand_id_fk

GROUP BY

candidate.first_name, COUNT (candidate.cand_id)

ORDER BY

AVERAGE(exam_result.results.grade) asc

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Bronze badge

Bollocks

For a good example of why bad news names are a trend that moves over time while people's opinions of it take time to catch up, read Freakonomics. I can't be arsed with explaining it just after lunch.

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Boffin

No mention of the worst?

What about the most feared name? Little Bobby Tables.

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Stop

@ dunncha

"When I was at school we feared the teachers"

in my case 2 in particular;

Senior Resident master & the Latin teacher - nothing to do with the cane like

<shudder>

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Grenade

Damn it

We named my firstborn Callum. But we're here in the States, and had no idea it was such a popular name in the UK. NOBODY over here had ever heard it, nor can they pronounce it half the time( KAY-lum? Call 'em? Caleb? Coltan? (I know some very slow-witted people))

He's 2 months from being 3 years old, very clever, and real little shit. He uses the prongs to pry the electrical socket cap off, so he can plug things in. He's been pushing a stool/chair around and using it to climb since he was barely walking. The little monkey's been using tools to accomplish his goals since before he could talk.

So maybe there is something more to it than the Pygmalion effect.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Ah, good

See also: kids named after products, labels or designers. I heard a mother yell "DOL-CHAYY!" at her toddler once in Woolies. I didn't hang around to see if any of her other kids were called Gabana, or Gucci.

I suppose once you get children showing up with 'Reebok Heskelthwaite' on their name tags you're obliged to call the police.

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Happy

@kissingthecarpet

Kevins can be damned dangerous as well

(and not just for what they usually do to their cars)

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IT Angle

In non-English zones this is far more prominent.

This type of filtering is much more clear if you cross the Channel: you can pick out the specific tv programme that was popular when names were chosen (esp. aussie sitcoms).

In the UK this is harder because some of the offenders are traditional (possibly revived) english names, or chosen from older US or aussie family members' names etc.

On the continent it is also getting harder now: 30y ago any (esp. female) name on -y was either straight UK/US import or a english-inspired bastardisation, with a few exceptions, and those were 99% children of parents with sitcom-devoted lives. Now this gets harder, with say uncles/aunts with such names, there's much more influences and less straight tv-derivations. Plus (lack of) talent shows/reality tv producing such a rapid turnover that the "peak" names are not those novelties but olde favourytes.

Exceptions were e.g. in harbour cities (Calais, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremen I can vouch for), John was already a normal name in the 50s while the rest of the country stuck with with (french) Jean or (dutch, german) Jan/Johan.

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FAIL

comprehensive education fails again

> Furthermore, over a third "claimed that the naughtiest children are often the brightest ..."

They have that backwards. It's the brightest kids who are often the naughtiest.

It's the bright kids who get bored in mixed-ability classes where everything is dumbed down so the poor little chavlings still "pass" their exams. The obvious result is that the bored kids who've already done all the exercises start causing mischief. "idle hands" and all that.

Bring back proper streamed classes, so the bright kids get stretched, and the thickos at least learn to read, write and count.

PS I never thew a chair in my life :)

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Pint

Fantastic

If you'd have asked the Chav parents to put a badge on their brat saying "Trouble making scum" they'd be up in arms, but low and behold they do it themselves and name them after US/UK trash. i also disapprove of using surnames as christian names, such as Harrison.

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Happy

Wonderful story here

/www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/07/2678945.htm

"The Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) in Adelaide says it is worrying that two girls lost in a stormwater drain raised the alert on a social networking site rather than ringing triple-0."

I bet they have chav names.

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other names...

Amongst my gay friends it was generally held that if the child was called "David" he was more likely to turn out to be gay...

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errm

Back in the day, in an RC parochial school, the names pretty much came from the calendar of saints, and the biggest pains were a Mark and a John; the most obnoxious girls Kathleen and Christine.

Moving forward from that Neolithic day, my son once threatened to leave home (at age about 12) if we moved next door to a sometime classmate named Elizabeth, extremely clever but not a little malicious. And an Alexander in his class was noted for tackling classmates in the halls (NFL tackling, not futbol tackling).

But face it, being named Brooklyn does beat "Bronx" or "Queens".

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FAIL

49% of teachers

Are unfit to teach. Can't say I'm too surprised to hear this.

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@AC 12.41pm

"I think people can guess why the AC now !"

You are Gordon Brown and ICMFP.

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Unhappy

This isn't about the kids...

..it's about the things their parents do to them. Starting a girl's life by calling her "Chardonnay" is the same as tattooing ' C H A V " across her forehead. Teachers have learned to associate chav names with kids from chav households - and who can blame them? Pity the kids that have to grow up with people dumb and tastless enough to call them such things.

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Paris Hilton

Lack of originality.

Being a secondary teacher, I don't attach any significance to pupils' names except perhaps trying to make the connection between the proliferation of certain names and the 'cultural' influence that led to them becoming so 'common'.

Right now, there are 'Justin's everywhere, although the ubiquity of 'Jordan' is a strange one (for boys as well as girls!)

Myself and my colleagues are eagerly anticipating the spate of 'Leon/Leona's and 'Alexandra's in about a decade's time. 'Jade' came and went, but we expect a resurgence in that one too....

Paris?!....

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WTF?

Sets of Twins

When I went to grade school there was a set of twins named "Cinnamon" and "Sugar".

For Shiggles my wife will sometimes check out the inner city hospital birthing announcements. Some of the names look like the losing rack in a scrabble game.

Some of my favorites, while fake, are here: http://www.snopes.com/racial/language/names.asp.

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