Choosing a name for one's offspring can be incredibly difficult. You don't want them to be the ninth Jaxon in class, but you also don't want them to be bullied mercilessly for the rest of their lives.
Even so, parents are increasingly pulling appellations out of their arses, in some cases to give their child a "unique" identity on social media.
Citing a survey of 1,772 mums and dads, Brit news agency SWNS claims 7 per cent have picked out a one-shot name for their sprog, while 65 per cent were said to be considering it.
72 per cent believe a unique name will help their child "stand out in life" and – astonishingly – 2 per cent even "made up" a name with the express purpose of their kid being easily found on social media.
Taking a name each parent likes and smashing it together is also gaining ground, with 10 per cent of couples trying this to prevent arguments. Nine per cent have also mixed the names of their relatives.
A third think one-off names will make their tot "feel special", though 16 per cent say using them can be perceived as "showing off". We're not sure "showing off" is the term. Tone-deaf berks, maybe.
The top "made-up" names for girls were said to be Maevery, Faelina, Idalia, Evabeth, Tessadora, Anaveah, Jessalie, Sylvalie, Sophiel and Elisobelle. For boys they were Jaspin, Charleston, Brigham, Ranger, Wrenlow, Eastley, Graylen, Albion, Tovin and Cedar.
As usual, the girls' names are pretty and fey. The boys' names are still crap, even with parents putting their "creative" hats on.
Game of Thrones, the TV hit based on the Song of Ice and Fire novels, continues to be a source of inspiration – though we'd hope the trend of naming girls "Khaleesi" has perished in dragon fire by now.
Thankfully, some sanity seems to have prevailed, as only 8 per cent saw no downsides to "unconventional" names, while two-thirds said they would worry about spellings and pronunciations if they deviated too far.
Honestly, who cares? All names are "made up" in one way or another and it's the parents who end up looking like twats, not the kids. The most disturbing thing is folk getting excited to sign their children's right to privacy away on social media before they are able to have a say.
The effects of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the like on young people's mental health has long been a concern so why not think of names that make it even harder for them to engage with such platforms?
We're thinking... password managers? "I will not tell you again, f#NmEs6ppQ8$." "What did I just say, y^ZkPBL33^#9?" "X86oumv9#If4, eat two more mouthfuls of greens, then you can have pudding." And so on.
Or go whole-hog Hollywood. "Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next, stop hitting your sister right now, mister." ®