Camilla, Mo and Tiggy, yes - Dipsy, Winky and Laa Laa, no. Women in the news in '97

Share
Related Topics
Yesterday I brought you the Top 10 boys' names of 1997, as featured in headlines and news stories, and today I bring you the top 10 girls' names tabulated from the same source.

The top boys' name being Dodi, you will be hardly surprised to learn that the outright winner in the girls' section was Diana. This was always popular in previous years but had its appeal diluted because the name came in various forms - sometimes as Princess Diana, sometimes Di, very often "poor Di". I was always struck, too, by learning that in France she was known as "Lady Di", pronounced "Lah Dee Dee". I hope this was true. But last year for some reason the name always appeared in the basic form, "Diana", and indeed it continued to appear so after her death.

Yes, after her death. It was always said that a magazine with the name Diana on the front would cause sales to jump, but I had not expected this to be posthumous as well. Yet I noticed that the big "story" on the front of the Yuletide edition of Hello! magazine was this: "Our first Christmas without Diana".

Never mind that none of us had ever spent Christmas with Diana, never mind that none of us had ever given her a moment's thought at Christmas, and that she had never gone on TV to give us a Christmas broadcast - here was a magazine that was prepared to bet that they could sell extra copies by bringing us news of someone no longer here. Brilliant. I wish I had thought of it.

Some girls' names which were very popular last year have gone right down the popularity ratings. Virginia, for instance, and Norma. There was a time when both of these were fluttering through the headlines almost daily, but now they have gone entirely, being replaced by a new set of political girls' names (see Mo and Harriet in the Top 10 list). Evita and Madonna both bobbed up and down in the lower twenties without making a comeback, though Winnie did well to climb back into the Top 10. Oddly enough, I think this is the first time we have had two girls' names in the Top 10 which belong to murderers, either alleged, as in Winnie's case, or actual, as with Myra. Three, if you count Louise.

The overall picture has been clouded by the arrival of the Spice Girls, a bunch of healthy-looking young persons whose personal talents were unclear, and the same might be said of the Teletubbies. No one individual stood out in either group, so their names must be judged as being equally popular, and I have treated their names as co-equal. What made it even more difficult was that the Spice Girls elected to have second names such as Sporting Spice and Rough Spice and Mince Spice, and heaven knows what else, so I have decided to ignore those altogether.

Here we go, then, with the Top 10 girls' names for 1997 as drawn from the headlines. Previous year's position given in brackets. A roll of drums, please. Thank you.

1. Diana......................... (1)

2. Louise........................ (-)

3. Camilla...................... (4)

4. Winnie....................... (-)

5. Harriet....................... (-)

6. Mo.............................. (-)

7. Tiggy.......................... (9)

8. Fergie......................... (3)

9. Myra.......................... (-)

10. Emma, Victoria, Mel B, Mel C, Geri, etc

The unusual presence in the list of the name Louise is almost entirely due to a famous murder trial in America, just as the name Rosemary had had such a high profile the year before for the same reason. It is interesting to note that everyone remembers the name of the (supposed) murderer but no one remembers the name of the victim. What was the name of the boy supposedly killed by Louise? Or the girl who was killed by OJ Simpson, or, according to another court, not killed by OJ Simpson? What, indeed? And that is why I advise everyone who intends to be involved in a murder to be the perpetrator rather than the victim.

Other girls' names which made a brave showing were Hilary, Chelsea, Paula, Bjork, Tamara, Anthea, Ulrika, Jennifer and Clarissa. Well done, whoever you are. Finally, I must record that I made a unilateral decision to exclude the Teletubbies' names from this poll, not because their names are so unusual (for the record, their names are Dipsy, Tinky Winky, Laa Laa and Po) but because I cannot make out which gender they are and therefore whether they are boys' or girls' names. My daughter informs me that one of them has a handbag and is referred to by the others as "him". If this is so, I feel justified in opening a third category called Sexless Names and they are welcome to win it any time they want.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Front end web developer - URGENT CONTRACT

£250 - £300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT** Our...

Year 3 Teacher

£21000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 Teachers - Chelm...

ABAP Developer

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ampersand Consulting LLP: SAP ABAP Developer - Rugb...

Head of Finance - Media

£80000 - £90000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Working for an International Mul...

Day In a Page

Read Next
An Ottawa police officer runs with his weapon drawn outside Parliament Hill in Ottawa  

Ottawa shooting: Canada’s innocence is not lost — unless we want it to be

 

Daily catch-up: Hislop the Younger, by-election polling and all about the olden days

John Rentoul
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?