Hello, My Name Is Khaleesi

Yes, the name is trending. But should it?

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'Hello, my name is Khaleesi.'

That will be how 53 baby girls born last year in England and Wales will introduce themselves when they acquire the power of speech. That's an increase from 50 in 2013.

In other words, the 'Game of Thrones' craze continues.

The addictive TV show has already sparked an uptick in the sale of medieval-related groceries (offal, ew!), boosted tourism to Ireland and Iceland (where some Westerosi landscapes are filmed), inspired a housing development called Winterfell in Massachusetts (Lannister Lane, anyone?), and seen an increase in popularity of direwolf-like Siberian Huskies (and the sad, subsequent rise in their abandonment) and now, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, more parents are naming their babies after characters from the show.

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The most popular name? Arya, with 244 little girls named after the feisty, sword-wielding tomboy. There were also nine pedantic parents who called their babies Daenerys (opposed to Khaleesi), six Sansas and four Briennes.

As for the boys, there were 18 Theons, 17 Tyrions, four Brans and four Sandors.

But what does this mean for the wee ones as they grow up? Will the Theons be the butt of cruel castration jokes all their days? In the book 'Freakonomics', the authors said that a baby's name has no bearing on their future economic life but Eric Oliver, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, told a Freakonomics.com podcast that baby names are 'incredibly powerful indicators of status, of aspiration, of taste and identity.' He added that 'as a mother becomes better-educated, she’s much more likely to give her boy or girl a popular name (like Elizabeth), and much less likely to give her an uncommon or unique name' (like Margaery).

However, other research has shown that certain names immediately make teachers nervous about misbehaviour, and others can effect your career progression.

And these great infographics show the prevalence of certain names for FTSE 100-directors and head girls, and for students at Oxford. Tip: none are called Cersei. Katherine is the most popular name for head girls.  

A lot of pressure for new parents, huh? To give a common name in the hope of bestowing future success and risk seeming dull among peers? Or choose an unusual name and risk burdening the child with something that forces them to stand out. One Elle staffer called her five-year-old son Griffin. Very cool, right? But all he wants is to change his name to Derek. We think he'll come around to it. On the other hand, some like the author Malcolm Gladwell say that people with uncommon names are more likely to succeed because they're automatically easier to remember.

Incidentally, the three most popular names for girls were Amelia, Olivia and Isla. Meanwhile, Oliver, Jack and Harry topped the boys' names. 

Words by Julia Neel

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