Odd baby names
Mariam Manneh is a barmy 27-year-old journalist who likes to think she can still pass herself off as an 18-year-old schoolgirl. She likes writing and talking even more. Just keep her away from the kitchen unless you want food poisoning.
Giving your child a silly name should be a criminal offence argues Mariam, especially when the parents are famous.
Picture the scene. You have just given birth - one of the most precious if painful experiences a woman can go through. Then you pick up your reddened bundle of joy and decide to saddle its ugly mug with an even uglier name - like Pencil, Leaf or worse still Rubber Plant. So, new parent, how do you feel now that you have set up your child for a life of teasing misery in the playground? You could argue that it's character building since Romance or whoever will have developed a thicker skin to deal with all the jibes. But what if Romance's parents happen to be international celebrities and the whole world can join in on the joke that is their first name?
Just take Gywneth Paltrow for example. Two short weeks ago she gave birth to The Big Apple. No not New York City but a whopping 9lb 11 ounce baby. Gywneth decided to call her new daughter Apple Blythe Alison Martin. The situation would not be so bad if Gywnie was the only Hollywood starlet prone to giving their baby crass names. Shannyn Sossamon who starred alongside Josh Hartnett in Forty Days and Forty Nights took a break from Hollywood flop films only to make a baby that she named Audio Science. Shannyn, go to the top of the class for originality, with a full 10 out of 10 for cruelty too.
There has to be a way that we can protect children's rights to a decent name? The answer could be to fine parents, give them a night in the cells or outlaw bizarre names altogether. After all in France it is illegal to call a pig Napoleon, an odd name if ever there was one. So if we can extend this to animals why not to children?
"How do you feel now that you have set up your child for a life of teasing misery in the playground?"
First up in my kangaroo court for child name cruelty would be Sir Bob Geldoff and his four children (one adopted.) Fifi Trixibelle, Pixie, Peaches Honeyblossom and Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily would all have the option of changing their names to something that did not sound like the latest Kellogg's cereal. Then the parents of Zowie Bowie and Rolan Bolan would be brought to trial for silly rhyming name offences.
All these names are cruel, but there are smaller selections of names that are so far-fetched they don't induce tears of laughter, but simply addle the bran. Take African footballer Djemba Djemba. Were his parents that unimaginative that they could not think of a different first name? And there's the z-alliteration of French-Algerian goal scoring sensation Zinedine Zidane. The similarity of his first and last name seems just a little too close for comfort.
In fact if weird names were unlawful my own Dad would be up before the judge. He thought it was a great idea to name me after a popular soft drink - though he says it's a Gambian name too. Yes my middle name and many people's tipple of choice is Fanta. I'll have mine fizzy and over ice, thanks.
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