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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 February, 2005, 12:04 GMT
Growing up with a girl's name
David and Victoria Beckham have called their new son Cruz, a name which is more commonly given to girls. Here Magazine reader Lindsay Butcher describes growing up in the era of Lynsey de Paul.

Photograph copyright The White Square
A boy called Lindsay
I wanted to be Curtis. I thought that was the name of the lead singer of Spear of Destiny (I know now he was actually Kirk), but it's what I wanted. I wanted to be Curtis Butcher.

Thank heavens it never happened.

I had known all my life that my parents had called me Lindsay because it's a family name - it's after the Scottish clan. But when I was in the playground, aged 11 and children are squealing their taunts - "Lynsey de Paul! Lynsey de Paul! Hee hee hee!" - that wasn't much consolation.

Lynsey de Paul was big at the time, doing her piano thing. School can be cruel at the best of times - if you're too tall or too short or have got a big nose, there's always someone ready to take the mickey. But in those days if you happened to share a name with the woman who gave the world Rock Bottom and thus took the UK to second place in the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest, you knew about it.

Lynsey de Paul
If you happened to share a name with the woman who gave the world Rock Bottom, you knew about it
One small mercy was that there were no girls at my school who had the name Lynsey - that could have turbocharged people's teasing. If I'd been Curtis, who knows I might have opened a whole new seam of jokes. But that didn't matter - I was just waiting for the time when I would be 16 and I could decide for myself what my name was going to be.

And yet the funny thing is that once you are 16, you have grown out of that lack of self-confidence. You begin to feel a bit more comfortable with yourself, you don't mind so much that you're different. I somehow lost the urge to throw off Lindsay.

And by the time I was 18 I was heading to art school, when I realised very suddenly that the rules had changed.

First day there, I found out that there was a much wider range of names, including a number of Fins (some male, some female) and also a guy called Aries. Lindsay didn't seem to stand out so much.

The Beckhams chose the name Cruz simply because they liked it
In fact, I started thinking: "Yeah. I'm Lindsay, I'm different, I'm an artist!"

I've got a son now - when we decided what to call him we agonised over it. You totally have to think about it - especially if you've suffered from a name yourself. You go through all the initials, all the different permutations, asking yourself if there is anything in there that someone could take the mickey about. In the end we called him Oscar which we think is pretty cool.

But what still gets me is people not being able to spell my name. Everyone I meet seems to come up with another spelling. I'm not Linsay, Lynsey, Lindsey, or even Linzi. I'm Lindsay. Got it?

User comments on this story will appear in a separate article in The Magazine, on Wednesday.

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