What's in a name It could scupper your chance for love…
Single lady: Researchers say Mandy Appleyard hasn't found 'the one' because of her name
A quick flick through my local library’s copy of The Book Of Baby Names informs me that ‘Mandy’ is of Latin origin and means ‘she who must be loved’.
Surely some mistake My name is Mandy, I am perennially single and, according to German researchers, am destined to stay so until I slip my moorings.
Their study claims single women called Mandy are less likely to find love than people with more rarefied names. Apparently, psychologists say, Mandys are deemed to be trouble-makers, so people would rather avoid us. Ouch! That would hurt — if I believed a word of it.
I have read the results of some ridiculous surveys in my time, among them that Yorkshire women are the worst cooks in Britain and men called Colin make the best lovers. Or maybe I made those two up.
But this one takes the biscuit. Eternally single because of the name my parents chose Balderdash! I’m quite willing to believe I am single because I prefer to be, or because I have not yet met a man with whom I would want to spend the rest of my life.
Maybe I’m single because I enjoy the freedom of flying solo, or because I am not willing to compromise enough.
This new study from a Berlin university that claims Mandys are destined to be unloved inspired me to do some research of my own. One of my closest friends is also called Mandy and she’s single, too. So how does she feel about her name
She doesn’t like it, she tells me. It puts her in mind of blowsy bottle-blonde barmaids. In fact, she’d prefer to be known as Amanda, believing her full name is eminently more sophisticated. However, she realises, as she careers towards 50, that it’s probably a little late to re-brand herself.
Like my friend Mandy, I realise my name places me firmly in a certain place (the north of England), in a certain socio-economic group (common) and in a certain time (the Sixties).
I also realise Mandys don’t abound as role models. The only famous ones I can recall are a long-ago prostitute (Ms Rice-Davies) and an unctuous politician (Peter Mandelson, aka Mandy).
Mandys don’t become neuro-physicists or Nobel prize winners. We run laundrettes or take coach tours to the Costas.
As a child, I used to fantasise about being a Sasha or a Charlotte. I imagined I had been born into aristocracy, and lived in a fairytale castle with a pony in the paddock. But then life happened. I grew up, got to know myself, lost those girlhood pretensions and came to treasure my roots, my family — and my moniker.
So now I believe ‘Mandy’ fits me perfectly. It is not sophisticated and nor am I. It is not aspirational and nor am I. There’s a touch of the chav about it as there is about me.
Most importantly, I love the two people who chose my name.
My parents thought Mandy was a happy, uncomplicated name that fitted a blue-eyed baby girl born in 1960. And who am I to disagree