What’s in a name… or number?

17 07 2011

“What’s in a name?” to quote the Bard… or number, come to that!

Harper Seven Beckham (7lb 10oz)   the latest LA ‘star’ to burst on the scene has just appeared, in monochrome, on Twitter, with proud Dad, David, by @victoriabeckham     

Since Harper’s arrival was announced to the world by Becks’, on Facebook, the celebrity pages have been alive with speculation about his daughter’s given names, and now the LA Galaxy ‘soccer star’ has finally put us out of our misery – thank goodness for social networking!

Apparently her first name is totally unrelated to ‘Harper’s Bazaar’, the sophisticated women’s magazine in which Victoria’s fashion range has featured, but all to do with Harper Lee, author of ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’- apparently Posh’s favourite book.

Shame on all of those who suggested that such a literary classic was unlikely to feature on the bookshelves of ‘Beckingham Palace’!

We all thought we’d cracked the ‘Seven’ bit. Easy, Harper was born in the seventh hour, the seventh month and weighed in at seven pounds. Seven was also Becks’ shirt number for so long, during his glory days at Man U. and, if I might say, a much more sensible choice of name than ‘Twenty Three’, his squad number, as a ‘galatico’, at Real Madrid!

But no, that is only part of the story. Becks has enlightened us that ‘Seven’ was chosen because it symbolises spiritual perfection and is a lucky number around the world, after all there are Seven Wonders of the World and seven colours of the rainbow, don’t you know?

My old mum would have loved that. She was always a bit on the superstitious side and considered seven, and its multiples to be lucky. She must have had gypsy blood, or been born under a wanderin’ star because we moved house a lot, but invariably finished living at a lucky number:

I was born at 14 Wollaton St, before moving on to 21 Oakenhall Avenue and 7 Garden Road. There was also spell at 28 Wroxham Drive. Mind you the ‘sevens theory’ went out of the window with a  final move to 2 Grangemoor, the home Mum & Dad shared for the longest time of all.  

Thinking about it the sevens thing must have sub consciously rubbed off. Prior to our current house, which doesn’t have a number, Chris and I lived at 49 and 21!   

I’ve no doubt that baby ‘Becks’ number four, Harper Seven, will be loved to bits as she takes her place in a brand that already includes three boys, Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz!

I’m not quite sure what it is about show biz/sports celebrities, like Victoria  and David, who have been blessed with perfectly normal names, that pushes them towards increasingly bizarre choices for their own off-spring.

Brooklyn Beckham, named after the place in which he was conceived, started a trend of his own, of course. It has long been a standing family joke (which makes ‘the girls’ cringe with embarrassment – sorry!) that if we had been cutting edge parents, ahead of our time in respect of babies’ names, Nicci would have been ‘Amboise’, pronounced with a Gallic lilt (the product of a camping holiday amongst the chateaux and vineyards of the Loire Valley) while ‘Gem’, rather more prosaically, would have been ‘Shirley’ (West Mids) famous only for its ‘Shirley Temple’ Chinese restaurant & takeaway!         

The best of the rest: other celeb off-spring  who have been saddled with names for which they will be eternally indebted to their parents, are the progeny of:

  • Frank Zappa (1940 -1993) American singer- songwriter, record producer, film director and father to: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan & Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen


  • David Bowie (1947 – ) glam rock legend, alter ego of Ziggy Stardust & Aladdin Sane, actor,  record producer and father to Zowie Bowie who now prefers to operate under his other given game and actual family surname, as the rather less flamboyant, Duncan Jones.    


  •  Sir Bob Geldof (1951 – ) former Boomtown Rat and political activist, founder of ‘Band Aid’ and organiser of ‘Live Aid’ and ‘Live 8’ concerts to raise money for famine relief in Africa; former husband of  ‘the Tube’ and ‘Big Breakfast’ presenter  Paula Yates (1959 – 2000), father to: Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom, Little Pixie; and father by adoption to Tiger Lily Heavenly Hirani.
  •  Nicholas Cage (1964 – ) Academy Award winning actor, star of over 60 movies, producer, director and father to Kal-El, the name given to ‘Superman’ on the planet Krypton.


  • Helen  Blaxendale (1970 – ) British stage and screen actress, best known for roles in ‘Cold Feet’ and ‘Friends’, mother to Nelly Marmalade.


  • Gwyneth Paltrow (1972 -) American actress and Chris Martin (1977 – ) singer song-writer and lead vocalist of rock band Coldplay – parents to Apple and Moses.


  • Jamie Oliver  (1975 – ) aka ‘The Naked Chef’, celebrity chef, restaurateur, campaigner for healthy school meals, husband of Jules and father to: Poppy Honey, Daisy Boo, Petal Blossom Rainbow and Buddy Bear.    

 Good luck to them, one and all!


Twitter celebrated its 5th birthday this week so I thought it was about time I caught up with the disciplined world of micro blogging. Follow @TrickyTree    








One response

18 07 2011

Really enjoyed this piece Phil. I’m glad my parents didn’t use the Beckham naming system or I would have been Skegness or Agatha – Mum being a big fan of The Queen of Crime. Lynne’s brother, Ashley, was named after a character in Gone With the Wind. I suppose Rhett was a bridge too far for Hucknall. Enjoy the Tests.

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