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Have baby names gone too far in the wrong direction?

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It’s been well over week since Kim Kardashian and Kanye West welcomed their daughter into the world, and bestowed upon her the most ridiculous name of all time. For everyone else, it’s been a whole ten days anxiously staring at our iPhones, waiting for the E! notification to pop up saying, “It was all a hoax!” (That’s never going to happen guys, there’s a birth certificate and everything…)

As we all know, celebrities have a profound influence on the public, whether it be fashion and beauty or lifestyle choices. But the news of a celebrity baby name spreads like wildfire and people want a slice of whatever is going on in LA LA Land.

Over the past year here in London, I’ve encountered an Astrid and a Ralfie; I overheard a mother calling after ‘Cuba’ on a train and heard of a little girl named Ryan. I also know of quite a few people that wish to name their first born daughter, Khaleesi… (I mean, really?!) But it was the news of North West’s punny moniker that was the final straw. Have Kim and Kanye gone too far off the map this time?

In the US, the popularity of directional names such as Easton and Weston are already rising, and will no doubt gain exposure in the wake of the newly crowned Little Miss West. No such names appear in the UK Top 20 but that doesn’t mean we can now count them out. Thanks to the star power of Kimye, the world could soon be populated by a bunch of kids that could form friendship groups based on a compass.

They’re not the only high profile parents whose star power is bound to influence the public; according to babynamewizard.com, all four of the Beckham children feature prominently on 2011’s Top 1000 Names for England and Wales. For the same year, both Shiloh and Vivienne (Jolie-Pitt) made appearances along with their eldest brother, Maddox, whose name is surprisingly popular amongst UK parents. Even Kim’s older sister Kourtney managed to send an old occupational name spiralling into second place when she named her son Mason back in 2009.

It could have gone the other way; Kim and Kanye could have opted for the obvious ‘K’ route instead. Kourtney, and Kim’s younger sister, Khloe also feature on the list, along with the alternatively spelt boys names, Kallum and Kasper. It’s not quite a great escape though… thanks to Wayne and Colleen Rooney, who’ve embraced the trend across the pond, classrooms up and down the UK in 5 years time will now be full of children whose names begin with a ‘K’. (Wayne and Colleen are parents to sons, Kai and Klay.)

There’s no need to send for help just yet, the UK Top 10 is still populated by ‘normal’ names, such as James, Sophia, Isabelle and Jack. But not everyone is mad about Harry or Olivia… lurking at the bottom of the list are names such as Ocean, Meadow and Blossom, that were each given to around 45 baby girls in 2011. Could Hollywood’s spell finally be creeping up on the rest of the world? Thankfully, ridiculous names such as Apple, Pilot and Rocket are not getting a look in.

There’s individualism, and then there’s a lifetime of ridicule. Little ‘Nori’ will forever be subject to compass themed jokes. Bronx Mowgli is going to have to face endless Jungle Book quips. And Dweezil…? Well, let’s hope he has a good therapist. Most of these Hollywood children will, a) be homeschooled and b) will probably be friends with kids whose names are worse than theirs; but for that one child, whose English parents bought into the Hollywood baby name chaos..? It’s going to be a real bumpy ride in that playground for Ocean.

I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Baby Cambridge will soon be here to save the day. Here’s to a good old traditional English name to put an end to the madness.

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