The book that ruined a baby boy's name forever.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Thousands of parents chose to name their new baby boys Atticus after the strong character in the iconic novel To Kill A Mockingbird, ahead of the release of the long-awaited sequel/prequel Go Set A Watchman more than fifty years later.

So many parents chose the name that it topped Nameberry’s count of Most Popular Baby Name for the first half of 2015.

Then those parents actually read Go Set A Watchman, and felt a little sick.

The Atticus most parents named their babies after. Oh Atticus, what happened? From the 1962 movie To Kill A Mockingbird, as played by Gregory Peck. Post continues after the video.

The Atticus of To Kill A Mockingbird is not the Atticus of Go Set A Watchman. His character is revealed as more of a list of what you don’t want your child to be.

So what are these parents to do? Change their child’s name?

That’s exactly what one couple has done thanks to all the new controversy surrounding the name. Colorado couple David and Christen Epstein made the huge decision to rename their 14-month-old son because they weren’t enjoying the controversy surrounding his name.

The Epstein family. Image via Facebook.

"When the new book came out, we just felt like, this does not at all encompass the values that we want for our son to have and know," Christen told People. "And we felt like our son was young enough that we could change his name."

So they renamed him Lucas and then had all the confusing and awkward conversations with their three-year-old daughter Ayala and all their family and friends about the change.


Is that what we're meant to do now? Choose names for our children that encompass the values we want in them?

It begs the question - does a literary figure have the power to devalue a name? If so, all parents need to do a bit of research into their children's names just in case they have chosen one that is used in a work of fiction that could possibly taint the child, or magically cause them to take on the traits of the less-than-ideal character.

We talked to our lovely Tegan Gilchrist (who runs Research and Insights for Mamamia Women's Network) who named her 14-month-old son Atticus.

Tegan and 14-month-old Atticus, who will not be subjected to a name change. Image supplied.

She said she doesn't have any plans to change her son's name as a result of the book release.

"I think that no matter what name you pick there is a chance something's going to change perceptions around that name.

I think there are a few girls named Isis that are going to have a harder time on the playground than Atticus will. I had a girlfriend who was in her late teens when Shakira became famous - and that was her name. She was forever having to put up with small boob jokes, and that's not something her parents would have imagined when they picked the name."

Tegan says many people don't even link her son's name to the famous novels, often assuming he is named after Atticus Shane from The Vampire Diaries or Atticus Aldridge from Downton Abbey.

If Atticus ever forgets where his name come from, he can refer to this handy t-shirt. Image supplied.

Meantime the Epsteins plan to stick to their decision to rename their son, saying they are getting mixed reactions but feel their loved ones will come around eventually.

Mum Christen told People, "Some people are so understanding and are like, 'I totally get why you would do that and we totally support you.' Other people think it's kind of odd and weird and they're like, 'I don't think it's necessary that you're doing this,' or 'I don't know how to respond to what you're telling me.' "

Do you know of anyone who has changed their child's name? Why did they make this decision?

TAP on the image below to scroll through the top girls' and boys' baby names for 2015 so far.