I was named after a relative, and the worst taunt I ever received in elementary school was the not-very-insulting "Amanda Panda" designation. Today's children must face a different reality, one where names can come from blood-spattered TV shows like "Game of Thrones," video game characters and Instagram filters. Yes, Instagram filters.
BabyCenter just updated its hottest baby name trends report to reflect what parents have been up to in 2015, and noticed an uptick in the names Lux, Juno, Reyes, Ludwig, Amaro, Valencia and Willow. Maybe new parents are really excited about Beethoven and botany, but BabyCenter draws a connection to the Instagram filters with the same names. Even "Kelvin" is up 3 percent as a boys' name for 2015.
Parents would do well to investigate those Instagram names a little further before attaching them to their newborns. Amaro, Italian for "bitter," is probably the most suspect. It's also the name of an herbal liqueur. If you go with Willow, then congratulations. It's also the name of a kick-ass character from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
"Photo-sharing is a daily and emotional part of Millennials' lives, and those two ingredients can trigger love for a name," says Linda Murray, BabyCenter global editor in chief.
Despite an uptick in the popularity of Instagram-related names, the most popular baby names of 2015 overall aren't very nerdy. "Sophia" takes the top spot for girls and "Jackson" comes out on top for boys. BabyCenter gathers its data from parents registered on the site. That database includes names for 340,000 babies born in 2015.
Geekery has invaded the world of baby names before. BabyCenter noted the baby-naming trend of using "Mac" and "Siri" back in 2012. The site also reported the occasional appearance of the names "Google" and "Jedi," which are still better than naming your kid "Hashtag."
Let's not forget the epic adventure one couple lived through when they allowed the Internet to help name their baby. Sweet little Amelia Savannah Joy McLaughlin was born in 2014, but she missed out on being saddled with the incredibly awesome name "Cthulhu All-Spark McLaughlin." At least she didn't have to suffer from the worst possible Instagram filter name I can think of: "Normal 1977 X-Pro II McLaughlin."