We don’t judge a book by cover but name on its spine

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Your name is Chardonnay, you say? I’m so busy looking down my nose at you, I’m going boz-eyed. Try as hard as you like to impress me, petal, but you’ll never be a friend of vine. Sorry, mine.

Won’t even make my Christmas card list when, at best you’re named after a grape, at worst, a topless model turned murderess in ridiculous Footballers’ Wives.

That makes me the worst kind of stuck-up cow; a name snob. But that’s how it rolls with women, you know. We don’t so much judge books by covers, but the name on the spine. A poll has condemned us; some 61 per cent admit to judging other women entirely by their first name. Chardonnay is Number Three on the list of most-negatively judged names. At Number One? Tracey. Which is a tad confusing, as I always thought the extra e made it a boy’s name. There’s no mention of Tracy; presumably she’s off the class Richter scale (which end, you tell me and I’ll tell you whether you’re a name snob or not).

Number Two on the most hated list was a bigger surprise. I mean, what’s wrong with Kelly? The Aussie derivative is another matter, of course. Only one woman can ever get away with being called Kylie, just as there’s only one Madonna. Okay, two.

The question is, why are we so swift to condemn by moniker? Men care not if their muckers sound like an Irish boy band or a liftload of Maltby miners. They’ll be mates with any Mick, Andy, Shane or Dwayne.

The only time they get judgemental is when a chap’s name sounds too upper clarse. They won’t bond with a Quentin or a Lucian. Yet without qualm, women pal up with a Clarissa or a Lucinda, the type who sounds like she had ponies when she was little. Both sexes think that by association with the poshly-named, something – wanted or unwanted – will inevitably rub off.

Either way, we’ve been suckered. By the parents. Your label in life, on which you are judged by all other women, actually says zilch about your personality, your class or your level of sophistication, but volumes about the era you were born into – and your mam and dad/ mater and pater. A Chardonnay I wrinkle my nose at could well be a Farhi-clad Oxbridge Donna brought up in the Cotswolds by a ma-ma who loves irony, a nice Chablis and setting her daughter a stiff challenge in life. She sounds like a right Josephine to me.