We’re all guilty of it. You hear the name a friend, relative, or random stranger on the internet has given their baby and quietly (or loudly) have a little laugh to yourself. Because little I’munique or Heaven Lee are going to hate their parents for life.
But what if you’re the parent and you’ve given your child a name that now you regret?
A recent poll of parents suggests nagging doubts about kids’ names linger for a long time. Mumsnet, a popular British parenting site, polled 1,000 parents and found almost one in five (18%) regretted the name they picked for their child, with the main reason being that it turned out to be too common.
And let’s face it, no one wants to be common, Cooper.
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However, the Brits might just have the perfect solution this baby naming regret: you just give your child a whole bunch of names.
And if you – or they – don’t like their first name they just moved on down the list.
According to Anglophenia, there is a long list of posh Brits with a laundry list of names: there’s Hugh John Mungo Grant and Rosamund Mary Ellen Pike, as well as Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch and James Hugh Calum Laurie (Hugh Laurie).
This tradition is possibly linked to royal family who all have a plethora of names: Queen Elizabeth II is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; Prince Charles is Charles Philip Arthur George; Prince William is William Arthur Philip Louis.
Of course you can also go down the path of trying out a unique name like Apple, or Sunday Rose, or Apollo Bowie Flynn, but that could mean you’re a narcissist.
Jean Twenge, co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement and a professor at San Diego State University, attributes the shift away from common names to a rise in narcissism.
She looked at 325 million babies born in the US between 1800 and 2007 and found that in the 1800s 40% of boys were given one of the 10 most common names, compared with fewer than 10% today. For girls, getting a top-10 name dropped from 25% in 1945 to 8% today.
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“There’s been this cultural shift toward focusing on the individual, toward standing out and being unique as opposed to fitting in with the group and following the rules,” Twenge told LiveScience.
“I think it is an indication of our culture becoming more narcissistic.”
So there you have it - you can either be common, posh or a narcissist.