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

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron faces the press as he arrives in Brussels for the EU leaders summit on Thursday reuters  

On the Tusk of a dilemma: Cameron's latest EU renegotiation foe

Andrew Grice
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959  

Stephen Ward’s trial was disgraceful. There can be no justification for it

Geoffrey Robertson QC
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture