Baby names - are they 4real?
So you have a new baby. Will he or she be Apple, Lark, Audio Science, or even 4real? You can call your baby anything nowadays just so long as you don't plump for boring old John or Mary. The names once given to Irish babies with barely a moment's thought have fallen out of favour dramatically.
Until relatively recently, most first names came either from the Bible or from Greek, Roman or Germanic traditions; children were called after saints, or failing that other family members or historical heroes.
Now, some parents are as likely to name them after their favourite brand of underwear.
Mary does not feature in the top 25 names for girls in 2006 compiled by the Central Statistics Office. Irish parents are more inclined towards solid Jane Austen-type labels than religious figures. The top three girls' names in Ireland are Sarah, Emma and Katie, while Sophie and Emily are also in the top 25. Leah, Mia, and Lauren might once have been considered unusual, but now feature prominently.
Irish names are more popular for boys with Sean, Conor, Cian, Darragh and Oisin all in the top 25.
Anyone for Affinity, Afternoon, Barcelona, Seagull or Navigator? They all feature in a new Brilliant Book Of Baby Names by Pamela Satran and Linda Rozencrantz.
Controversially, they come up with a list of names that that "all your friends will think are cool'' (or possibly insufferably pretentious)
For girls: Asia, Bronwyn Delaney, Delilah, Lark, Paloma, Siena, Willa. For boys: Ash, Beckett, Cruz, Donovan, Elvis, Hudson, Jackson, Jude.
Celebrities are now almost expected to brand their infants with a ludicrous moniker. They would probably be shunned in glitzy circles if they didn't come up with something special like Sage Moonblood (the name given to Sylvester Stallone's infant) or Pilot Inspektor (the son of actor Jason Lee).
Glamour model Jordan and her husband, former pop star Peter Andre, recently named their baby daughter Princess Tiaamii.
Tiaamii -- pronounced tee-ah-me -- is taken from the names of Andre's mother Thea and Jordan's mother Amy.
Jordan explained helpfully: "Her name is Princess Tiaamii. Princess because she is our princess and Tiaamii was Pete's idea because it's taken from our mums' names. We love it because it's unique. I'm going to get a tattoo on the back of my neck with a crown and 'Princess' underneath."
Jordan is merely following a time-honoured tradition. Frank Zappa seemed to top everyone when he named his daughter Moon Unit.
She might curse her parents for giving her such a name, but she might consider herself blessed for not getting the name of her sister, Diva Muffin.
In the Western world's current consumer culture it is by no means unusual to name children after brands: Levi, Abercrombie, Disney, Lexus and even Ikea have all appeared in England. There are at least 300 Armanis in America, a handful of L'Oreals, and even two boys called ESPN (a sports channel).
In Ireland, wacky celebrity names and brands have not yet reached the top 100 in the baby chart, although the popularity of George Best's son Calum probably accounts for that name's position at number 44 in the chart.
Baby-naming rules vary from country to country. In a high profile case, authorities in New Zealand banned a couple from their baby 4real, so they then changed it to something more conventional... Superman
Germany disallows the the names Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden and in France parents must choose names from a national list.
Irish authorities are liberal in allowing the registration of baby names. But even they might baulk at the name chosen by a Chinese couple earlier this month: authorities banned them from naming their child after the email sign @.
Celebrity baby names
Apple: Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow
Audio Science: Shannyn Sossamon (Actress)
Aurelius Cy: Elle Macpherson and Arpad Busson
Blue Angel: U2’s The Edge and Aislinn O’Sullivan
Bluebell Madonna: Geri Halliwell
Brooklyn: David and Victoria Beckham (also parents to Romeo and Cruz)
Calico: Alice and Sheryl Cooper (also parents to Sonora Rose)
Camera: Arthur Ashe and Jeanne Moutoussamy
Destry: Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw
Diezel Ky: Toni Braxton and Keri Lewis (also parents to Denim Cole)
Fifi Trixibell: Bob Geldof and Paula Yates (also parents to Peaches and Pixie)
Fuchsia: Sting and Frances Tomelty
Gaia: Emma Thompson and Greg Wise
Gulliver: Gary Oldman and Donya Fiorentino
Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily: Paula Yates and Michael Hutchence
Hopper: Sean Penn and Robin Wright
Ireland: Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger
Jaz: Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi
Jazz Domino: Joe Strummer
Jermajesty: Jermaine Jackson and Alejandra Genevieve Oaziaza (previously married to Jermaine’s brother Randy)
Kal-El Coppola: Nicholas Cage (Kal-El is Superman’s original birth name)
Kyd: David Duchovny and Tea Leoni
Lark Song: Mia Farrow and Andre Previn
Lennon: Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit
Liberty: Ryan Giggs
London Emilio: Slash
Luna Coco Patricia: Frank Lampard and Elen Rive
Marquise: 50 Cent
Memphis Eve: Bono
Moon Unit: Frank Zappa, also father to Dweezil and Diva Muffin
Ocean: Forest Whitaker (also father to Sonnet and True)
Pilot Inspektor: Jason Lee and Beth Riesgraf
Poppy Honey: Jamie and Jules Oliver (also parents to Daisy Boo)
Sage Moonblood: Sylvester Stallone and Sasha Czack (also parents to Seargeoh)
Satchel: Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
Shiloh Nouvel: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Sosie: Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick
Suri: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
Tallulah: Bruce Willis and Demi Moore (also parents to Scout and Rumer)
Willow Camille Reign: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith
Zola Ivy: Eddie Murphy and Nicole Mitchell