I grew up with a pretty unusual name. My nickname, by which you all know me, is pretty unusual (or the spelling is, at least), which has worked out well with regards to my social media identity: I am @ellidh on Twitter, no numbers, no surnames, just @ellidh.
But my real name, the one on my birth certificate and passport, the one I was known by for 16 years, the one my Granny still calls me, that was pretty unusual too. According to statistics (statistics that I just looked up on the internet, and may or may not be utter fiction), the peak for the name was in 1920, when it was the 25th most popular name, by the time I was born it had fallen to 686th most popular, and last year had regained some ground, moving up to 135th place.
There were moments of my childhood where I wished for a more common name, but all in all, I’m okay with it. And one massive positive about having an unusual name seems to be the increased likelihood that someone will write a song with your name as the title.
Obviously there’s the offering of the Beatles; the inspiration for my parents choosing the name, and deeply depressing, Eleanor Rigby:
The slightly cheerier offering from Low Millions, Eleanor:
And my current favourite, and much, much happier Elenore from The Turtles:
Has anyone sung a song with your name in it before?
In summary: names and songs.