back to article US parents proclaim 811 'Messiahs'

A US psychologist has warned of the dire consequences of a "stunning rise" in "vanity" names for kids, revealing that no less than 811 "Messiahs" were proclaimed during 2012, joining 243 Princesses, 588 Princes and a whopping 1,423 Kings on the list of newborns. Jean Twenge used Social Security data to identify a growing trend …

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  1. DougS Silver badge

    Not to be racist

    But I'd love to see the breakdown of the parents' races who are giving their kids names like Messiah and Beautiful. African-Americans seem to be at the forefront of naming trends in the US. They started the whole business of swapping vowels around randomly to make normal names "unique" (like Kristina becoming Krystyna for example) That later became mainstream with whites, so I wonder if you looked at a decade long trend if you'd see Messiah or Beautiful be very rare among whites at first but become more common by 2020.

    1. jake Silver badge

      You are not being racist. (was: Re: Not to be racist)

      You are observing reality. Why people invent names is all very well and good ("Wendy" from Peter Pan springs to mind) ... but actually inventing a name for a kid based on some weird idea of "where we might have come from"? I don't get it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not to be racist

      Of course it would be of significance - 8/11 - the day before 9/11...

      1. Peter Simpson 1

        Re: Not to be racist

        Not in the US -- it's a MONTH before 9/11 :-)

    3. Slow Joe Crow

      Re: Not to be racist

      You're being a bit racist, oddball spelling are just as likely to come from Southern Whites and Utah is a hotbed of bizarre names in a desperate attempt to stand out from all the other blonde haired blue eyed people with the same last name.

      That said, African-Americans do have a regrettable tendency to use registered trademarks as first names.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Not to be racist

        Freakonomics, or a similar book, contains a table that plots weird children's names against the terminal educational age of parents. The lower the TEA, the more exotic the more exotic the name.

        My personal bête noir is people who give their children names that are already familiar forms of other names. If you want him to be known as Jack, baptise (or register) him as John. That way he gets a choice.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Not to be racist

          Or if you want your kid to get an interview on Wall St name him John Alexander Fortescue IV, not Tyrone Brown. The fact that this works isn't the fault of Tyrone's parents!

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Not to be racist

          " If you want him to be known as Jack, baptise (or register) him as John. That way he gets a choice."

          In my experience he gets a choice anyway, since very few of his friends will ever see his birth certificate.

          Even if you do, the law in the UK (and with Bill Plauger as an (vaguely IT-related) example, I assume the law in the US is similar) is that you can call yourself anything you like as long as the intent is not fraudulent. (Many married women use this freedom without even knowing they are doing it.)

          1. Captain DaFt

            Re: Not to be racist

            " If you want him to be known as Jack, baptise (or register) him as John. That way he gets a choice."

            But whatever you do, don't name him Ray J. Johnson Jr., Bad things could happen!

          2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: Not to be racist

            "(Many married women use this freedom without even knowing they are doing it.)"

            If you are talking about the tradition of taking the husband's surname it's actually harder to not take it in some states. When the missus and I got hitched we were asked no fewer than four times if she was going to take my name and each clerk offered to sell accept the fee for the legal paperwork for changing her name, even the JP. Oddly many of them had a disappointed look when we politely declined, you would think they got a commission on each piece of paper filed.

            I do recognize that women are currently more likely to switch back and forth because it can be such a hassle especially given dozens of longstanding accounts. Hell, I once nearly got into a row with a bank teller over check made out to the name I generally go by, my middle name Edward, and not my first name, Robert. In the end the bank manager had me fill out a form indicating Edward as an alias.

            1. LateNightLarry

              Re: Not to be racist

              I worked with a guy who went a different route... he took his wife's name. Created some headaches when I sent the name change paperwork in to the district personnel office. Human Resources had to have him write a statement and get it notarized showing both his "birth" name and his "adopted" name.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not to be racist

          "Freakonomics, or a similar book, contains a table that plots weird children's names against the terminal educational age of parents. The lower the TEA, the more exotic the more exotic the name."

          But as we know, correlation is not (necessarily) causation.

    4. Jim 59

      Alas, all is vanity...

      Don't many traditional names have pretty meanings anyway, Ruth, Verity, Rebecca = happiness, truth, beauty. Alan - handsome, Simon = "TheRock". Wish I was called Simon now.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Alas, all is vanity...

        Etymology would suggest that it's Peter that means "The Rock".

        1. JeevesMkII

          Re: Alas, all is vanity...

          I guess the confusion is because Peter was the disciple formerly known as Simon.

          Isn't god the ultimate narcissistic parent? Wants all his kids to worship him, and his avatar even went around giving them funny names.

          1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

            Re: Alas, all is vanity...

            Surely the ultimate narcissistic parent names the kid after themselves (as in Fred Bloggs Jr or Fred Bloggs III if it becomes a family trait)?

            That too seems to be more common over there than elsewhere (at least if royalty are excluded), although I don't recall much being made of it before.

            1. Irony Deficient

              the ultimate narcissistic parent

              Anonymous Custard, both Lawrence Eagleburger and George Foreman named all of their sons after themselves (respectively).

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: the ultimate narcissistic parent

                But at least George gave them different product lines

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

            3. Jonathan Richards 1

              Named after his dad

              Nope, that's been going on for centuries in England. Having researched my own family fairly thoroughly, I can attest that it's a great source of confusion. I have one branch where four successive generations of men carried the same name. The use of a roman numeral suffix is a peculiarly American thing, though, I believe.

      2. loneranger
        Meh

        Re: Alas, all is vanity...

        Don't want to burst your bubble about Simon, but the Greek is Petros, which means a pebble or a small rock. Unless you like being called a pebble?

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Pint

    "Despite Twenge's grim vision of future school playgrounds packed with Messiahs, Kings and Princesses"

    Let a Game of Thrones begin!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Twenge's grim vision of future school playgrounds packed with Messiahs

      Cue to teacher - "you're not messiah's - you're very naughty boys"

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brits will be disturbed...

    ...to learn that "Beckham" as a boy's Christian name is on the up-and-up Stateside,

    Why? What is it with all this Beckham bashing that I don't get? The pair of them are successful, good for them, I wish I were as successful. I couldn't give a flying monkeys what anyone wants to call their kid so this Brit is definitively undisturbed by the trend.

    1. NoOnions
      Stop

      Re: Britons will be disturbed...

      It's the use of his surname as a first name that is the problem. It's not bashing the Beckham family, it is just that Beckham as a first name is really naff, IMHO of course.

      1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Re: Britons will be disturbed...

        It is indeed, but at least it's not Peckham.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Britons will be disturbed...

          They're Americans, what do you expect from a nation that can't put a baseball cap on the right way round and use shotguns to loosen wheel nuts.

          1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

            Re: Britons will be disturbed...

            Ah, but simply by existing we seem to unhinge quite a few British nuts with no resort to firearms.

        2. tony2heads
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Britons will be disturbed...

          Or even Lewisham - as in Lewisham'Ilton

          Icon - a relative?

      2. Gray Ham

        Re: Britons will be disturbed...

        Why would Britons be disturbed by the use of a surname as a first name? Many British people sport such names - Bamber Gascoigne, for example.

        1. Gordon 11

          Re: Britons will be disturbed...

          Why would Britons be disturbed by the use of a surname as a first name? Many British people sport such names - Bamber Gascoigne, for example.

          And, indeed, me. Popularized after Khartoum.

          Mind you, given the "Beautiful" and "Greatness" - how many US citizens have now been named "Posh"? We need to know....

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Britons will be disturbed...

        "It's the use of his surname as a first name that is the problem."

        It's hardly an unusual or uncommon occurance in the UK. There are plenty of pretty common names that are used interchangably as either a forename or surname - for example James, David, Grant, Howard, Mitchell.

        Other forenames are often used as surnames with the appendage of the letter s - for example Peters, Matthews, Richards.

        Wasn't John the surname of Robin Hood's friend Little? ;)

      4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Britons will be disturbed...

        "the use of his surname as a first name"

        There's huge historical precedent for this. Cecil and Percy were surnames before they were first names, and using the surname of particular ancestors (there were rules for which ancestor to use for which child) as a middle name of your offspring was a common practice in parts of the UK until very recently (like, 20th century). Genealogists love this sort of thing.

  4. poopypants

    Down here, all the boys are called Bruce

    Makes it much easier to remember names.

    1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Fucking close to water

      Not to mention Bruce from the Biology department.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Fucking close to water

        Are all Bruce's down there vegetarians?

        1. wowfood

          Re: Fucking close to water

          Vegetarians and BBQs don't mix.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Down here, all the boys are called Bruce

      Don't forget rule # 1

      1. Colin Millar

        Re: Down here, all the boys are called Bruce

        You don't mean "condition #1" by any chance?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Down here, all the boys are called Bruce

        > Don't forget rule # 1

        Don't talk about Bruce club?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Down here, all the boys are called Bruce

          Rule 1, No poofters.

          Rule 2, No member of the faculty is to maltreat the "Abos" in any way whatsoever—if there's anyone watching.

          Rule 3, No poofters.

          Rule 4, I don't want to catch anyone not drinking in their room after lights out.

          Rule 5, No poofters.

          Rule 6, There is no... rule six.

          Rule 7, No poofters.

  5. Khaptain Silver badge

    Ironic possibility

    Imagine naming your kid beautiful and she turns out to be beautifully challenged.

    A boy named "Prince" with a familly name of Albert could be amusing.

    A asian boy named "King" with a familly name of Dong could also be amusing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ironic possibility

      I met someone called "Sunshine" a few months back. I have to say, it suited her perfectly!

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Ironic possibility

        I used to know a girl named "Patience". Yeah, that name didn't particularly fit... :)

        1. Swarthy Silver badge

          Re: Ironic possibility

          I think we should use this information and perform an in-depth study on nominative determinism. Are children named "Beautiful" more statistically likely to be attractive, or at least present themselves as such? Will "Massiahs" start new cults, or "Kings" spend more time on the throne when they are older?

          Now that there is a rising number of these names, maybe we can get a statistically valid study on.

          1. lglethal Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Ironic possibility

            I knew a woman once called Rain. Hilariously she ended up marrying a guy called Day, so her name became Rain Day. I never quite worked up the courage to ask if her middle name started with an E.

    2. Random Coolzip

      Re: Ironic possibility

      "A boy named "Prince" with a familly name of Albert could be amusing."

      Would his nickname be "Pierce", then?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ironic possibility

        There were a couple of kids in my school when I was a kid with very unfortunate names.

        We had one Tammy Paxman and a rather unusual name of Paul Styrene.

        No word of a lie.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Ironic possibility

          I once knew an E. Orr. Not nice when the register was called al school.

  6. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Joke

    Brian

    It's clear that 811 American families haven't seen "The Life Of Brian" otherwise they'd know that their offspring is not the messiah...

    1. ChrisM

      Re: Brian

      All together now....

      'He is however a very naughty boy'

  7. stu 4

    so... surely there must also be the opposite ?

    Some parents stupid enough to name kids Beautiful.... so others...

    'Ugly'

    'Loser'

    'Slapper'

    wouldn't be surprised to find some parents even doing it to 'challenge their child'..

    1. Thecowking

      Re: so... surely there must also be the opposite ?

      Like "A Boy named Sue"?

      Cash, ahead of the game as always.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: so... surely there must also be the opposite ?

      There's a Pratchett book somewhere where a couple has named all their daughters after virtues... Faith, Hope, Charity, etc. To fit the theme, the sons were named after sins... Greed and Wrath, for example.

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        That would be the Carter familly

        As is the way with things on the Disk World, Bestiality Carter (male) is kind to animals and Chastity Carter is a Lady of Negotiable Affection in Ank Morpork.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: That would be the Carter familly

          Discworld

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: so... surely there must also be the opposite ?

        I met I guy called Carol once, (he looked like a more intimidating version of a white Mike Tyson), I was a bit non plussed until someone told me he was named after (christmas) Carol, not the girls name.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: so... surely there must also be the opposite ?

          I thought Caroll Shelby passed away earlier.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: so... surely there must also be the opposite ?

      'Slapper'

      A few weeks ago in the Guardian there was an article by someone called Slapper (as a surname) and was a sub thread in the comments as to whether this was real or invented (forget what the article was about but the name "slapper" seemed reasonably apt for it). Anyway, a few days later the was another article by this person entitled "Why I'm proud to be a Slapper" where she explained it was a genuine name and how having this name had affected her .... and in general this seemed to be reasonably positive once she got over the "yes, my name really is Slapper" bit!

    4. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: so... surely there must also be the opposite ?

      I think it's the chapter in Freakonomics mentioned in a previous post that tells of a man who named his sons Loser and Winner. With grim inevitability, they turned out the opposite way round, IIRC.

      1. Spleen

        Re: so... surely there must also be the opposite ?

        Nominative antideterminism happens in cats too.

        Many years ago we named our new kittens 'Bubble' and 'Squeak'. After about a week it became apparent that we'd named the fat one Squeak and the noisy one Bubble, so we swapped them over.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: so... surely there must also be the opposite ?

          My cousins have a cat called Nancy, only they weren't too good at sexing kittens.

          He doesn't seem to mind too much.

  8. Diogenes
    Headmaster

    Oh yes we do !

    "I think some folks who are moderately high narcissists see their children as extension of themselves, and there’s a lot we don’t know about how narcissists are as parents."

    Ask any teacher.

    For some reason we don't get many problems with the apostles (Mark, Luke, John, Paul etc) Jaydens and Jamies and (variants) are usually little 'soles - any funny spelling is usually just as bad, and "Angels" usually aren't. Their parents also seem to think that we only teach, and spend all our time and attention on their child

  9. Terry 6 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Let's think of the kids

    Some parents just don't even seem to consider what it's going to be like carrying such a monika for the rest of their child's life. The conclusion to be drawn is that they don't see the kid as having any existance beyond their own.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Let's think of the kids

      Couldn't tell if it was a pun or not.

      Shouldn't that be "moniker" rather than "Monica".

      Only half a grammar nazi, just in case---------->>>>>>>>

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Let's think of the kids

        [Joke about blowing away a President elided]

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let's think of the kids

        Shouldn't that be "moniker" rather than "Monica".

        I spent summer with Monica

        and Monica spent summer with me

        (Roger McGough)

    2. monkeyfish

      Re: Let's think of the kids

      Generally the accepted norm should be: Sensible, normal first name. Mildly amusing second name. Try not to spell anything awful with the initials.

    3. Sim Citi

      Re: Let's think of the kids

      I know twins called Sam and Ella, the names are nice by them selves but don't work when you say them together

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: Let's think of the kids

        And of course in many cases going through life (or at least until you're old enough to deed-poll the thing away) with a name that suggests your parents were either dyslexic or just crap at spelling.

        1. Darryl

          Re: Let's think of the kids

          I'm reminded of the old joke about a woman's idiot brother being forced to name her twin offspring as she had lapsed into a coma after their birth. When she woke, she asked him what he'd chosen for the girl. "Denise" which wasn't bad, and for the boy?

          "Denephew, of course"

      2. Captain DaFt

        Re: Let's think of the kids

        "I know twins called Sam and Ella"

        I hear their Coffee shop is doing well.

    4. Pookietoo
      Childcatcher

      Re: don't even seem to consider what it's going to be like

      Narcissists lack empathy.

  10. wolfetone Silver badge

    Just wondering...

    How many children are being given the name "Fanny" now? It used to be very popular back in t'day.

    Also remember the name Rebecca translates to "Captivating, beautiful, desirable".

    Rebecca also means "to tie", so E.L. James missed a trick by not using that name for the female character in her series of books.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just wondering...

      How many children are being given the name "Fanny" now? It used to be very popular back in t'day.

      Still is in France, where the sexual/anatomical connection doesn't exist.

      1. Darryl

        Re: Just wondering...

        Well, to be fair, it's SUPPOSED to be a shortened version of Frances. Also, over here in US/Canada, Fanny is a cute term for 'bum' so nowhere near as embarrassing for little Fanny.

      2. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Just wondering...

        Still is in France, where the sexual/anatomical connection doesn't exist.

        You just reminded me that there was an athlete at London 2012 called "Fanny Baboo". She had something to do with France.

  11. Big_Boomer

    Messiah?

    I tried to name my son "A very naughty boy" but they wouldn't let me, so I thought sod it and named him "Lord Messiah Logos Jehovahson" but we shorten it to "Bob" (pronounced the Rowan Atkinson way). if you are naming your kids after where they came from perhaps appropriate names would be Ejaculate and Ova?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Messiah?

      It's spelled Raymond Luxury-Yacht, but it's pronounced 'Throat-Warbler Mangrove'

  12. Anomalous Cowshed

    This is a piffle

    Messiah, Princess, King - these seem to you extreme?

    It is nothing when compared with Brazil.

    There are people there called Ricardo Nixon, Adolfo Hitler, Lynneeker, Disney Landia, e-mail, James Bond...

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: This is a piffle

      Bebeto's* son, made famous by Bebeto's "cradle" celebration at the 1994 World Cup is called Mattheus**

      *Famous Brazilian ex-footballer

      **Famous German ex-footballer

    2. Tom 11

      Re: This is a piffle

      Also, I believe there is a North Korean running around called Spark Plug.....

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: This is a piffle

        So with all the Kings, Princes and Princesses (not to mention the current events over there), does it indicate that they might be regretting the revolution and want to go back to being a monarchy?

    3. Laie Techie

      Re: Brazil

      Dezêncio Feverêncio de Oitenta-Cinco (Born on February 10, 1985)

      Um Dois Três de Oliveiro Quatro (1 2 3 de Oliveira, the Fourth)

      Noite da Paixão (Night of Passion)

      José Rolando Pra Cima Pra Baixo da Rua (Joseph Rolling up and down the street)

  13. Yag
    Facepalm

    And how many Upgrayedd?

    Idiocracy feels more and more like a documentary.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pfft

    I have many somewhat narcissistic tendencies. I still wouldn't name my child that, but for the exact reason I'd see the as an extension of my own lineage. If anything I'd probably spend hours working out the perfect name, one which rolls off the tongue, but also spells something with the initials.

    For instance if / when I have a daughter, her initials are ACE. (already settled on first name, it's non negotiable, second name there are many options)

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Pfft

      Clearly the second name will have to be "Manchester".

    2. James Micallef Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Pfft

      "For instance if / when I have a daughter, her initials are ACE"

      The A and C standing for Anonymous Coward no doubt?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I saw nothing new...

    Prince, Princess have been used for decades, especially those of African decent. I knew a princess at school about 30 years ago.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I saw nothing new...

      Yup, I knew a "Chief" and he had a brother called "Great".

      1. James Micallef Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: I saw nothing new...

        Was the family name "Bu"

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Wot?

    No "Judas"?

    1. YP

      Re: Wot?

      If you'd followed teh link you would have found 7 babies per million were called Judas

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Wot?

        Oh, OK then...

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Wot?

      What is wrong with the Church of Judas?

      Jesus and Judas were identical twins

      Judas took Jesus's place on the cross

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wot?

        There's also the interpretation of the bible that says if God sent his son to live as a human, then what's more human: going around performing miracles or betraying your friend and then feeling so guilty that you kill yourself?

  18. WhoaWhoa

    I'm pleased to announce the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Joke, and their son, King.

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      That would make their son King Joke.

      That's not a very nice name for King Joke.

      1. cyborg
        Joke

        You wait until he marries a Chinese woman and their offpsring is called Fu King Joke.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge
      Headmaster

      Amusing Chinese names

      @Khaptain and cyborg:

      As I understand it, Chinese names tend to put the family first, which would make your suggestions rather bass ackwards.

      1. cyborg
        Headmaster

        Re: Amusing Chinese names

        Except this is a culturally mixed family... and a silly joke.

    3. Gavin King

      You know, Mum and Dad always said I was lucky that I wasn't called "Wayne." Never really understood why, until I hit a certain age.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        I once knew a Wayne Kerr, whose parents either weren't so careful or were plain malicious...

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Some BBC Radio 4 shows end with the announcement, "....was produced bby Jo King"

  19. DoesAnyoneSpeakSense?

    I once knew a boy named Sue. Had a bit of an impact on his life.

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. WhoaWhoa

    "I'm pleased to announce the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Joke, and their son, King."

    ... closely followed by Mr. and Mrs. Ofabitch, and the little son.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Accompanied by their French friends the Terieurs, with their twin sons Alex and Alain...

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Who were closely follows by their Chinese friends Mr and Mrs Kin and their son Wan

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Gits then?

    - Snivelling Little Rat-Faced

    - Dreary Fat Boring Old

    - Dirty Lying Little Two-Faced

    - Ghastly Spotty Horrible Vicious Little

    - Ghastly Spotty Cross-Eyed

    The Nauseas will be there, and Doug and Janice Mucus, and the Rectums from Swanage.

  23. mike2R
    Happy

    "Why are you called One-man-bucket?"

    "...In my tribe we're traditionally named after the first thing my mother sees when she looks out of the tepee after the birth. It's short for one-man-pouring-a-bucket-of-water-over-two-dogs."

    "That's pretty unfortunate."

    "It's not too bad. It was my twin brother you had to feel sorry for. She looked out ten seconds before me to give him his name."

    "don't tell me, let me guess. Two-dogs-fighting?"

    "Two-dogs-fighting? Two-dogs-fighting? Wow, he would have given his right arm to be called Two-dogs-fighting."

  24. billse10

    Freakonomics

    the chapter in Freakonomics about names is good, including the story of the two Lane boys called Winner and Loser, respectively.

    Loser graduates, becomes NYPD sergeant etc. whereas "The most noteworthy achievement of Winner Lane .. is the the sheer length of his criminal record".

    But my favourite in there has to be the poor kid called Amcher. You've got to be especially "gifted" to name your child after the Albany Medical Center Hospital Emergency room.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: Freakonomics

      preceeded by an even older joke about the two children: Oranjello and Lemonjello

  25. Annihilator

    Top 5

    I suspect the name "George" is about to leap into the top 5....

  26. Daniel Bower

    Oh what I would have paid

    To see Prince William, outside of Kensington Palace say, with maybe just a hint of a twinkle in his eye, 'We've decided to call him Adolf'...

    1. Citizen Kaned

      Re: Oh what I would have paid

      do they take the name windsor? if so surely a missed opportunity to hold up the kid, wearing a tie, and call him 'full windsor'?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        Re: Oh what I would have paid

        Or 'Double'...

  27. Citizen Kaned

    i feel sorry for the poor kids.

    im 38 and grew up in rural lincolnshire. my first name is Liam and for so many years i was just called Leon or Ian as if people thought i had a speech impediment. it also didnt help i always have to spell my surname too as its very rare in the UK

    odd names are just the bain of a kid's life.

    hence my son is called Alexander. nice and simple and can be abbreviated in a number of ways.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Alexander. nice and simple and can be abbreviated in a number of ways.

      Indeed, Russians would call him Sasha, which seems to have been borrwed only as a girls name in the US.

      Americans do have a thing for phonetic pronunciation of names based on anglicized spellings, though. They all seem to think that the Irish name "Caitlin" is pronounced "Kate-lin", and are upset when an Irish person correctly uses "Kathleen". Who knows what 'merkins will do when they see Siobhan, Síle or Aisling in a book somewhere...

      1. Tom 260

        On American pronunciations, there's also Craig pronounced as Greg (ignoring the i for some reason), and Jaguar pronounced as Jag-wire (I have no idea how they manage that).

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          re: Jaguar pronounced as Jag-wire

          They think the word is originally South American - rather than from Castle Bromwich

        2. Irony Deficient

          Craig and jaguar

          Tom, I suspect that our pronunciation of “Craig” (/krɛg/) has been influenced by the “Mary/marry/merry merger”, where in many North American dialects, Mary and marry are pronounced as merry. Our pronunciation of “jaguar” (/ˈdʒægwɑːɹ/, with the second syllable having the vowel of far) is the first pronunciation listed for the word in the OED, and is closer to the original Tupi pronunciation than that of the three-syllable pronunciation which you’re accustomed to.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    here on the edge of sunny Norfolk...

    We have a family who have called their children relatively normal names, but instead of the standard y at the end, they use ee. For all of them. e.g. Frankee.

    Mind you, I'm waiting for someone to be called Cockwomble. Mr Cockwomble Saunders. Awesome name. Probably be an MP.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: here on the edge of sunny Norfolk...

      Mr Cockwomble Saunders.

      He'd probably pronounce it "Cumble", especially if he comes from Cholmondley.

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: here on the edge of sunny Norfolk...

        He'd probably pronounce it "Cumble", especially if he comes from Cholmondley.

        Which reminds one, obviously, of calling one's child "Raymond Luxury Yacht" (pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove, obviously).

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's another reason for unusual......

    We named our daughter a good old flowery traditional name that was quite high in the popularity charts because it's a nice name. We avoided the unusual because it seemed pretentious and naff.

    But when it came to our son, almost every name we could think of reminded me of some a-hole that I wouldn't want to be reminded of all the time. So we eventually found one that was still kind of traditional, but relatively rare. He seems to like it, and it's nothing to get bullied over. I can call his name without thinking of anyone else I'd rather not think of. So, in a way it's still to make him stand out I suppose - but not for what anyone else may think; it's just to keep us happy :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's another reason for unusual......

      " He seems to like it, and it's nothing to get bullied over."

      I have a terrible feeling you called him Dick and will soon be having one of those palm to forehead moments.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: There's another reason for unusual......

        Reminds me of a story I heard once about a Mr & Mrs Peacock who had a lovely baby boy whom they named Drew. It was only a little while later when they did a Google search for his name and it gave one of its "did you mean..." suggestions that they apparently facepalmed.

  30. smartypants

    Hats

    I don't really care what the children are called, but I would like them all to wear splendid hats when they grow up.

  31. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    Couple of points

    In a country the size of the USA, 811 counts as an epidemic if it's Ebola, but the Centers for Disease Control is not going to get wound up about kids named Messiah. In any case, Spanish-speaking parents name their sons Jesus every day without drawing attention, and the world is full of Emmanuels, Immanuels, and Manuels, none of whose parents seem to draw diagnoses.

    As for Prince, some of these children are surely named (like the musician formerly known as glyph) after Prince Hall, founder of an African-American Masonic order. The Prince Hall Masors were still thriving last I heard.

  32. Valeyard

    good idea

    That's like being so narcissistic you'd call your child after someone so revered you can't even draw him

    oh wait..

  33. Nya

    He's not the Messiah...

    he's a very naughty boy!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ava

    As in 'Ava banana'?

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Ava

      "As in 'Ava banana'?"

      OH, so close! You should have said "Ava Tequila' for the triple entendre!

  35. Tanuki
    Thumb Down

    Nobody would ever ask me to name their child - unless they fancy a daughter called something like "Chlamydia"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've met a Vhidi, pronounced V.D..

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        One of the midwifes in the hospital when my wife was giving birth to our second daughter apparently had to spend over an hour trying to dissuade another mother from naming her newborn "Anus". Presumably she (the mother) either didn't know what the word meant or she had a very low expectation of her new sprog.

  36. DropBear Silver badge
    Pint

    These young whipper-snappers...

    Outrageous! Whatever happened to nice, traditional names like Rama-lama-ding-dong...?!?

    1. Citizen Kaned

      Re: These young whipper-snappers...

      :)

      there just arent enough Engelbert Humperdincks around

      (and yes, im aware he changed his name but still makes me laugh)

  37. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Cuba

    I was once in Habana and there was one waitress at the hotel named Usnavy and another - Yakforty.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cuba

      I bet they got along like a maison-de-flambe.

  38. Daedalus Silver badge

    Yawn....

    There were about 3 million kids born in the US in 2012. So a few thousand have funny names...

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Yawn....

      Thanks for putting it in perspective, Daedalus Awesome Waxwing III

      1. Gartal

        Re: Yawn....

        You're welcome....

        Viscount Commander Snot W. Goatlips III

  39. lglethal Silver badge
    Trollface

    Really?

    "... and there’s a lot we don’t know about how narcissists are as parents."

    Great! Now you know who to include in your study group. Get cracking psychologists!

  40. KBeee
    Happy

    Some cruel parents about

    The Site Agent on the Lloyds building was called Quentin Cumber, and we had a guy at work called Ronnie Sole till he changed it (in his 50's!)

  41. Spleen

    I don't see anything wrong with Messiah, it sounds like a perfectly normal African name. Though it's not as good a name as Goodluck Jonathan (president of Nigeria) or Two-Boys Gumede (South African footballer, so named because he was a second son).

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Challenged Spelling

    The strangest part for me is when the parents didn't know or check the spelling first.

    So you get girls called "Channel".

    (Maybe pronounced Chanel if they're lucky).

  43. david 12 Bronze badge

    Princess

    There would be probably be at least 10 million girls called Princess, mostly in the Punjab. Hardly an uncommon name.

  44. Nym
    WTF?

    This author

    has been deleted by its post.

  45. Glad all over

    Thanks to everyone

    This thread has made me laugh out loud several times. This to the consternation of people sitting near me - thanks a lot!

    My only offering is that some years ago I read that the most popular girl baby name in Dagenham was 'Chelsea'. Does it follow that the most popular girl baby name in Chelsea is...

  46. Gartal
    Mushroom

    Cocaine babies

    "Narcissists tend to lack empathy, they tend not to be interested in helping others, they are aggressive when threatened and they take more for themselves and give less for others"

    Given that between twenty and thirty years ago we saw a rise in cocaine addicted babies who were incapable of bonding with their mothers giving rise to the above it is scarcely surprising.

    As ye reap so shall ye sow.

  47. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    A boy called Paris

    ...and I'd guess he's in his late 40's by now. Named after his place of conception, so not all that recent an idea.

    Is this a relative? -------------->

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