If you're a flower, if Shakespeare is to be believed, then not much - for characters in a book, however, that might not be the case.


In the UK, at least, names are a potent signifier of social class and that's probably one of the reasons why 'traditional' names usually fill most of the places on the most-used baby names lists produced each year. Some names come and go in fashion, with there being two distinct waves of Kylie, for example, one born just after Neighbours started airing in the UK and another when the former-actress' pop career really took off.


Of course, unlike some European countries, there's pretty much no legal limit to what you can name your child in this country, provided you can persuade the registrar; you'd hope that while some parents just want something unique though clearly a bunch of them haven't thought about the fact that child is going to have to spell their name for everyone throughout the rest of their life. Likewise, the US-trend for surnames as first names and certain names like 'Randy' has never really caught on over here.


And then there's personal preference, which an author can never hope to deal with. For example, ask any teacher what names they would never consider for their own child and they'll probably be able to come up with a few where the child or children now attached to those names just can't be forgotten (for whatever reason, usually not good). Anyway, this particular stream-of-consciousness was brought to you by one of the books I'm currently reading where (I'd forgotten, since it's also the case in the first book in the trilogy as well, this is book 2...) the male romantic lead's name is Rupert.


Now I know this might not be the case for non-US readers, but for me the first associations 'Rupert' conjures are Rupert Bear, Rupert Murdoch and just a mental picture of a generic upper-middle class chinless wonder, like many of the current Tories in the House of Commons. Not, I'm certain, quite what the author was aiming for!


So, on to you, good folks who read this - any names that immediately have you nopeing off into the sunset, for whatever reason? Or is anything good (and if so, do you realise how lucky you are?)?