Should You Be Able to Name Your Baby Hashtag?

Here in the U.S., we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And also the right to name our kids anything we want. But I’m thinking the Founding Fathers weren’t imagining a brave new world where people didn’t name their kids Martha and George and Thomas, but picked names like Lemonjello, Loser, or the current crowning achievement in baby names—Hashtag.

Poor baby Hashtag Jameson (a girl) was born to parents who apparently adore Twitter—and gave her the unfortunate symbol name, one that’s bound to give her future therapist plenty to work with. She’s part of a trendlet toward social media-related names, along with an Egyptian boy named Facebook, and an Israeli girl named Like (as in Facebook’s popular “Like” button).

Several countries around the world have laws against giving your child a truly odd name that others might consider stupid or crazy. They helped prevent babies in Sweden from being named Superman or Ikea, a baby in China from getting @ as a name (which may be one of the few names that’s actually worse than Hashtag), and a kid in New Zealand from the unfortunate name “Sex Fruit.” Maybe it’s time to consider something like that here, to prevent names that might actually cause your child harm and bullying. Names like Destiny Frankenstein, Adolf Hitler, or Dom Perignon.

Of course, that would make my work a whole lot less interesting—and leave celebrities with very few naming options, as they’ll no longer be afforded the options of Moxie Crimefighter, Pilot Inspektor or Moon Unit.

What do you think of the name Hashtag? Do you think we should try to thwart parents’ attempts at name creativity, or simply go with the flow? Let me know in the comments.

Photo: Hashtag, by iQoncept / Shutterstock.com

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  1. by Molly

    On November 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I think it’s stupid. Im sorry but these kids have to grow up with these names. I recently started working at a school and there are plenty of odd names with the oddest being Mountain. Really? I love the little boy to death, he’s so sweet, but why did his parents name him Mountain?
    There are some others off the top of my head Mecca, Dulce, and Axel…

  2. by Rachel

    On November 27, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    On my L&D floor we have heard everything! Sparkle, Inferior Liar, Lil Smokey, Lehmetaya (pronounced let me tell ya) Imunique, Main Attraction( born in the waiting room), then the sibling set Your Highness and Her Majesty, and just last week we delivered Captain America.

  3. by Tiffany

    On November 27, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Yes there should be laws against naming your baby certain names. It should fall under child abuse by nameing your child something that will get him bullied in the furure. When you choose a name for your child you should think about how that name will affect him/her in different situations, at school, as an adult, college applications, in an important interview. What are the chances “Hashtag” has at becoming president with a name like that?

  4. by Brandy

    On November 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Dulce and Axel are traditional Spanish names.

  5. by Lisa

    On November 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Though the names presented in the article seem to be truly odd and likely embarrassing once the child gets older and I find them to be ridiculous, I however do NOT believe that there should be government regulation on what parents name their children. As stated in the article, some countries have “laws against giving your child a truly odd name that others might consider stupid or crazy,” who is to say that it is odd, etc. I have two boys, Saleem Babatunde Olatunji Olayode and Malik Olatayo Olayode. Sound strange, odd, ridiculous? Perhaps to us…Americans…but these are very traditional Muslim Nigerian names to honor my children’s heritage and culture! I’d be devastated if I were legally prevented from naming my child as such because of someone else’s opinion!

  6. by Amy

    On November 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I do think that some parents get a little crazy with the unique names. My grandmother one time told me about a nurse who was complaining that she had to convince a young girl not to name her baby Vagina (the girl didn’t know what that meant and just thought it sounded pretty!). However, who is to say what you can or cannot name you’re child. I named my little girl, born in April 2012, Eponine, after one of the main characters in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. People were trying to tell me not to, and if the government where dictating wither I could name my child that or not, I’d hate to be told no. It’s a tough call. Ultimately I think that it is up to the parents and the kids can later choose wither they like it or would like to change it.

  7. by Jenn

    On November 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    It’s hard to say the government should tell us what we can or can not name our children but there has to be something here. Unfourtnatly I feel that people who are willing to name their children any of the ridiculous things here shouldn’t even be allowed to have children. If they are not going to at least think about how this will affect them in the future who to say they are thinking about the best intentions for their children at all.

  8. by Kim

    On November 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I’m sorry, but naming your kids those names is NOT creative…it’s just copying something…copying has never been creative. Copying something is lazy. I would say no to the regulation…except if people are going to be dumb enough to name kids these things then I would say some local gov’t regulation is necessary. I say this because it affects someone else’s life-not just the parent. Parents should do what’s best for their kids and naming them these things is NOT in the child’s best interest.

  9. by Mary

    On November 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I’m ready for the hate….why is Madison so popular? it is given to daughters, yet the name means “son of Maud”

  10. by Jami

    On November 27, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Some of these names are ridiculous. Kids have a hard enough life, but giving them names like Captain America, Facebook, and Hashtag…really? Our son has a pretty unique name, Ronin. A lot of people have never heard of that name, but 99.99% of the people who hear it fall in love with it, then they ask us how we came up with it. Some unique names are ok, but some are just marking that child for an eternal hell of bullying.

  11. by Debra

    On November 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I certainly don’t think the government should get involved in the naming of children. People do lots of stupid things, it’s sad that this thing affects innocent children.

    I’m a traditional baby namer, but I think there are things worse than Hashtag-other commenters mentioned some. It’s too bad parents don’t think of the long term consequences of naming children.

  12. by Vanessa

    On November 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I have always said people should have to have a license to have children because people a effing stupid. Like some previous post have stated-naming your child without any consideration of the effects it will have on this other life is incredibily irresponsible and selfish… what kind of *further* parenting can we expect from someone with those characteristics?? And Celebrities havent done much better, pulling names like Apple and Audio-Science… Having said that, I dont think there should be regulations on what to name your child however, i do think a common sense test should be required.

  13. by Samantha

    On November 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Believe me im all for unique names but i would never name my kid something that would bring on bullying.. or encourage it.. what may be bragging rights and cool to you now.. 6-20 years from now may have ruined their life. My cousin wants to name his son RADICAL and i just think its messed up.. To me a name is something that deserves respect.. i named my son after my best friend who died Trevor, Its a name that isnt widely used but its heard of.. it kills me to think somebody would name their daughter hashtag or loser or lemon jello.. like dont you think your child deserves better than that? I think people who name their kids retarded childish names arent fit to be parents because if they cant even name them maturely then how do u expect them to raise that child? It pisses me off when i hear stories like this. There is a pandemic of teen suicide because of bullying and people name their kids names that they will most likely be bullied over..i wish i could slap those b****es.

  14. by Cindy

    On November 27, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Suddenly the name Shithead (pronounced sha-thee-ad) doesn’t seem so bad! But seriously, if you ever want a list of what not to name your kid ask a Labor & Delivery Nurse, a Pediatric Nurse, or a Cop. We’ll tell you which names to avoid so your kid doesn’t end up w/ a lifetime of hospitalizations or in Juvie.

  15. by Theresa

    On November 28, 2012 at 3:52 am

    I think Hashtag is a really dumb name, but I don’t think the government should step in and start telling people what they can and cannot name their children. It’s their child. They have full naming rights.

  16. by Katie

    On November 28, 2012 at 11:25 am

    The problem with creating a law that restricts the naming of children is who gets to decide what names should be banned. One person mentioned that Axel is a terrible name. I think it’s fine. On the other hand, I think Sophia, which is one of the most popular girls names at the moment, is horrendous. You also have to take traditional and family names into account. Some of them can be incredibly odd.
    What have we come to, as a species, if our governments have to hold our hand through the naming process? If you feel that a friend or family member is considering a name that could cause the child harm, it’s YOUR responsibility to discuss it with them. The government would be way overstepping its bounds if it tried to intervene.

  17. by Penny

    On November 28, 2012 at 11:38 am

    My kindergartener has a class mate named Pirate… I think these people are seriously just going for the shock factor here.

  18. by Desiree

    On November 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I’m 6 1/2 months pregnant with my first child and could never imagine naming my child Hashtag. The name I chose for my child quite a few people don’t like, but my thoughts were “It’s my child and I will name my child whatever I like.” I still stand by this thought, but I think people naming their children outlandish names such as Hashtag is cruel. Name your child something that is unique if you must have it, but something that will not get them bullied on. Then you can use the weird outlandish name, like Hashtag, as their personal nickname you gave them. Consider it like a pet name if you must. I have a lot of weird nicknames, but am thankful for my parents giving me a ‘normal’ name. I understand some names are also traditional in other countries and some of those are fine, but seriously think about how it will affect your child in the future and how much your child might hate you for it as well. Childhood trauma is what I think of when people name their children things like this. Even though I think that some names are stupid and have been prone to say that people should get a license to be a parent I do NOT think the government has a right to tell us what to name our children.

  19. by Kyle

    On November 30, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Wouldn’t it actually be named octothorpe? The real problem with naming a kid after a sign or symbol is the fact that nobody actually knows the original names for what they mean….

  20. by Danielle

    On December 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I made a joke once that I’d name my kid & (ampersand) but only because my stepsister was telling me about a girl her sister had in a class she was subbing for.

    Le-a, pronounced LeDashA.

  21. by Leeanne

    On January 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    My grandma had a woman want to name her daughter placenta lokia, my mom had twins who’s parents wanted ima and ura Hogg, true stories I swear, the first they talked her out of but not the twins. Parents suck sometimes. My bf named our son cian, key in is the correct pronunciation. I honestly wanted Bruce Wayne, Odin, eamonn, crazy dumb crap, and I’m lad he said no. I blame the hormones. However y son will forever be cayenne or sheyanne, or Shane or Cain or can, seein, sheen, everything but his name. He’s gonna go by his initials cj, I’ve decided this

  22. [...] be going for some of the more unusual names of late–so we can forget about Prince Pilot or Princess Hashtag. They may be modern monarchs, but they still have a very healthy respect for tradition. So [...]

  23. [...] As we’ve talked about in the past, the U.S. doesn’t generally outlaw baby names, though other countries have limitations on what children can be named. Jaleesa is appealing the decision, and I’m thinking she may win—though this case is complicated by the fact that both parents aren’t agreeing on the baby’s name. You can catch a CNN report on the story here: [...]