There’s No Such Thing As An Original Baby Name. Sorry Harper, Apple, Brooklyn And Hero

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It’s not every day you find yourself in between two mothers with a son called Hero, but on a bus one recent afternoon I experienced exactly that. And, I have to say, none of us was surprised. After four years on the mommy circuit, frankly, nothing surprises me. I’ve met babies Demosthenes and Dionysus, Achilles and Adonys, Power, Xanthe, Zeno and Seven (yes, Victoria Beckham, I know a Seven, and a Five – and, for that matter, a Beckham).

Sure, they’re all pretty cute, these children blessed with parents so charmed by their one-of-a-kind offspring as to bestow on them a permanent reminder of their uniqueness. But wait: if I know a Demosthenes you’d better believe there are others around, somewhere, perhaps trying to wrestle a Transformer away from their best buddy Hero.

“Original” baby names make me laugh just a little, because they don’t stay original for long. The trends always manage to catch up with us, even if we feel we’re above them. Before I had my first daughter, I hadn’t seen the inside of a playground since the 70s. We named her Lola after my husband’s late grandmother – and, besides, we thought, it seemed a properly original name. Turned out we weren’t the only ones in Lola Land. During our first trip to the local playground I practically got whiplash from swinging my head around every time a parent called after their own Lola. Then, that fall, another appeared in her room at daycare. Our Lola was thereafter known as Number 2 – not exactly what we were after when we named her.

After a few months getting to know the local children, I started warning my friends when they discussed naming their unborn children Finlay, Joshua, Scarlett and Isabella. “Note taken,” they replied (nobody really wants your opinion on their baby’s name, do they?). Now their children are Number 2s and 3s – just like my Lola.

If only they’d done their field work. They could have a little Hero. Or Heroine. Now that’s a name you don’t hear in the playground. Yet.

(Photo: Hemera)