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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 November, 2003, 18:41 GMT
US babies get global brand names
Maybe this baby was named Del Monte...
Americans are increasingly turning to the world of popular culture to name their children, a study has found.

Children have been named after big brands as diverse as beauty company L'Oreal, car firm Chevrolet and designer clothes company Armani.

There are even two little boys, one in Michigan and one in Texas, called ESPN after the sports channel.

Psychology professor Cleveland Evans discovered the trend after surveying US social security records for 2000.

Bizarre choices

Mr Evans, a professor at Bellevue University, Nebraska, has studied baby names in the US for 25 years.

It is no different from the 19th century when parents named their children Ruby or Opal... it reflects their aspirations
Professor Cleveland Evans
He has found that car models are a popular source of inspiration; 22 girls are registered as having the name Infiniti while 55 boys answer to Chevy and five girls to Celica.

Seven boys were found to have the name Del Monte - after the food company - and no less than 49 boys were called Canon, after the camera.

Designer firms and types of clothing were also well represented, with almost 300 girls recorded with the name Armani, six boys called Timberland and seven boys called Denim.

In some cases it seems something else was on some parents' minds - six boys were named after Courvoisier cognac.

Popular contrast

It is a stark contrast to the most popular names in the US as found in social security records - Jacob and Emily were top for 2002.

Mr Evans told BBC News Online one reason for the popularity of brands as names is a growing desire on the part of parents to mark their children out as different.

He also says that naming a child after a brand such as Armani or Chanel, associated with money or exclusivity, reflects the material hopes of such families.

"It is no different from the 19th century when parents named their children Ruby or Opal... it reflects their aspirations" he says.

Read a selection of your comments below.

Just more evidence of the stupidity of the drive for individuality. The poor kids named ESPN - one wonders the mentality of the parents and the psychological damage to the kids from years of teasing at school. Obviously a reflection on the parent's vanity and their lack of respect for their children. Thoughtless and dumb, dumb, dumb.
Paul B, USA

This 'trend' and its justification is simply ridiculous. No offence to the newborns. God help them!
Mark, Canada

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