Weird baby names are nothing new. Every generation has to contend with one or two trends that threaten to saddle every child with something unwanted and ridiculous for the rest of their life. Last year, someone called their son “Hashtag”. Another was christened “Ikea”. We might still be struggling to solve our growing environmental crisis, or navigate the complex socio-economic issues that threaten to destroy democracy, but we are apparently never short of stupid things to call our kids
Perhaps as an indication of the more health-conscious times in which we live, 2018 stupidest trend marks a return to the natural world. Babies are no longer being named after social media or convenient Swedish superstores. Instead, a new study has found that more parents than ever are dubbing their offspring after their favourite fruit and veg. And you thought plant-obsessed people couldn’t get any more irritating?
According to the BabyCentre, the self-proclaimed experts on all things parenting, “health-food names” have been among the hottest trends of 2018, seeing around a 30% rise in popularity. The BabyCentre believe that this tendency is down to “clean-eating and Paleo-diet” loving parents “choosing baby names that reflect their love of healthy foods.” This apparently helps to explain why, “for girls, Kale (up 35 percent), Kiwi (up 40 percent), Maple(up 32 percent), and Clementine (up 15 percent) are on the rise.”
This new movement apparently doesn’t stop in the vegetable patch or the orchard. The BabyCentre also revealed that, “Herbs and spices are (also) inspiring names for both girls and boys: Think Saffron (up 31 percent for girls), Rosemary (up 20 percent for girls), and Sage (up 15 percent for boys).” When you’re children sound like a trio you should use to stuff inside a chicken, it may be time to reevaluate your naming decision-making process.
Obviously, the prospect of 30% more “Kales” running around playgrounds up and down the country is pretty alarming. But it seems our appetite for silliness goes well beyond produce. The BabyCentre also report that “Zen” names, such as “Hope” and “Rainbow” have seen an enormous jump, while there has been an alarming rise in parents naming their brood after characters from Fortnite. In this context, maybe fruit and veg isn’t so bad after all.
It would be easy to jump to conclusions and blame the parents for this situation. But, if you dig a little deeper, it becomes clear that other forces are at work. Rather than acting as innocent bystanders, it turns out that the BabyCentre have actually been supplying lists of ridiculous baby names to their audience, making them just as responsible for this mess as anyone. Entries on the “inspired by foods and drinks” list include “Ale”, “Curry” and “Taffy”.
All this perhaps proves that there is more to the BabyCentre than meets the eye. What if, instead of suppliers of advice about pregnancy and parenting, they are in fact part of an elaborate plot to curse the entire world with names so silly that everyone is too embarrassed to introduce themselves, and we all eventually become extinct thanks to social isolation? Is this idea ridiculous? Yes. But it’s no more daft than a child named “Curry” - and that, apparently, is now a thing.