Remember when people named their children? These days you may wonder if people are branding their children instead of naming them.
Maybe it’s the age of the Internet. With Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat handles are replacing names. URLs are marking a person’s w-w-w name. Who wants to be JohnSmith748@gmail.com when you can be ValencioReyesSmith@gmail.com. If you’re wondering where I got Valencio Reyes from, it’s from the other popular trend I told you about last year: naming kids after Instagram filters, such as Valencio, Reyes, Juno and Lux. But this year we’re going beyond filters, to perhaps losing our filter …
Did you hear about the Welsh woman who denied her baby-name choice by the Court of Appeal. She wanted to name her baby Cyanide, calling it a “lovely, pretty name, because it was the drug Hitler used to kill himself, and I consider that this was a good thing.”
Gone are the days of a simple child name. Today people are paying focus groups upwards of $29,000 to brand their offspring.
In British history election reports for the year 1379, one in three men in Sheffield was named John. Now the name has dropped out of Britain’s top-100. Mary, once the most popular of names, doesn’t even make the top-200. It’s beaten handily by Skylar, Luna and Zoya. And the almighty Thor beats Gordon.
Social anthropologist Kate Fox explains these new name trends in her book Watching the English. She says “evidence of our eccentricity and originality” ends up as “conformist, conservative rule-following.” But she notes in this attempt to make children stand out, parents are only helping them to blend in. When everyone’s a Phoenix or an Autumn or a Sky, John becomes the unique one.
Do you have a baby name suggestion? Maybe you can save someone $29,000.