Babies and Brand Names – Only in America

The BBC has a strange piece about a trend in America — naming babies after popular brand names:

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.

Can you imagine going through life introducing youself as ESPN? Car models are especially popular, with 55 American boys named Chevy and 5 girls named Celica.

(If I have a child — and it’s not likely anytime soon — some of the names I’d consider might be Clorox, Bumble Bee, iPod, Haagen Daz, Lucent, Snickers, Pentium, BandAid, Durex, and Noxzema.)

The expert quoted in the article says the trend most likely reflects the parents’ material hopes:

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

The Discussion: 5 Comments

How ’bout FUBU? That clothing brand Blacks seem so fond of? What if they were told that it’s not For Us By Us, but rather For Us By Koreans… Who knows?

November 14, 2003 @ 12:40 pm | Comment

I don’t know, judging by the amount of FUBU I see on Chinese kids in Beijing….

November 14, 2003 @ 1:05 pm | Comment

How about that famous brand


November 14, 2003 @ 7:12 pm | Comment

I like it.

November 14, 2003 @ 7:57 pm | Comment

This trend isn’t restricted to the States; it is actually much more common for this sort of thing to happen in a number of Central American countries, especially the names of children after car makes and models.

(And no, I am not referring to girls named ‘Mercedes’, as this name, while not unusual in some Spanish speaking countries, has nothing to do with automobiles).

The trend noted in the BBC article (which is a tad overblown) is largely restricted to a few ethnic groups in the USA.

November 15, 2003 @ 6:42 am | Comment

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