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The Independent Culture

Middle-class problems: Baby names

By Robert Epstein

Robocop, Terminator, Rambo. Batman, Lady Di, Burger King. All excellent names, obviously. Hitler, Twitter, Facebook, maybe less so.

But no matter whether you want to brand your child after your favourite social network or your favourite robot killing machine, if you turn up to the town hall with any of these handles on your mind, you're in for some bad news. In the northern Mexican state of Sonora, at least – that's where they were banned earlier this month, to save the widdle wuns a lifetime of embarrassment (at their parents' idiocy).

Over here, there are no such qualms. The UK has some of the most liberal rules in the world on naming babies, and rightly so. Who are the authorities to say no if we want to call our girl Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii (famously the subject of a court case in New Zealand five years ago, when the nine-year-old plaintiff won a case to have her moniker changed).

So what's the right-thinking middle-classer to pick these days? Obviously you want your child to stand out; but not so much that it'll be bullied. At the mo, baby-boomer names are out (cos they did stoles all our moneys) and great-grandparent names such as Mabel and Max are in.

But forget about how it'll sound in the classroom; that's not where you'll be calling after it. How will it sound in the local park? Miranda – bit sitcom. Orchid – bit Zooey D. Oliver, Harry, Alfie – today's Tom, Dick and… well, yeah. Only one thing for it. Boden, where are you luv? BO-DEN!