When it comes to naming their children most parents take time and care to get the correct name. Sometimes it is a case of using a family name, or honouring a grandparent. Other times it is simply a name that they like.
But some parents choose names that make you wonder whether they should be allowed to have children in the first place.
Take the case of Deborah and Heath Marshall from Holland Township in New Jersey. They first came to the public attention in December 2008 when a local shop refused to make a birthday cake with their son’s name on it.
And the name? Adolph Hitler Campbell.
The couple are now in the news again, when they failed to overturn an order that had placed their three children in care. Yes, young Adolph now has two little sisters.
They are called JoyceLynn Aryan Nation and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie.
Won’t they have a great time when they go to school?
There are many other examples of the strange tastes of American parents. There’s Marijuana Pepsi Jackson, a teacher of Wisconsin. How about Chevrolet, ESPN or Google? They are all real children’s names, honestly.
And the number of Baracks is bound to be going up each year.
Two years ago in New Zealand a nine year old girl was made a ward of court so that she could change the name she hated – Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. She simply called herself K and refused to reveal her real name unless she absolutely had to.
New Zealand has strict rules about what names can be registered. They cannot start with a number, so the parents who wanted to call their son 4Real were out of luck. But the system did not manage to bar such delightful names as Violence, Bus Shelter and Midnight Chardonnay.
And there are of course the many odd celebrity names – although if your parents are millionaires you probably don’t have quite the same difficulties at school. So what about Fifi Trixabelle Geldof, Sage Moonblood Stallone and Moon Unit Zappa?
The trend has come to the UK too.
Names like Rooney, Bowie, Cobain and Porsche show pretty clear parental influences, as do Denim, Diesel and Armani. Again, these are all real, registered names. And I know for a fact that there is a Pocahontas in Glasgow.
So next time you hear a parent shouting at young Brittney or Madonna just remember that it could have been worse. Much worse.