Getty Images/Lucasfilm
Getty Images/Lucasfilm

We’ve reached one of my favorite times of the year: the annual announcement by the Social Security Administration of the most popular baby names from the previous year. Why is that such a big deal, you might ask? Because each year we get to shake our heads at the number of parents who jump on the pop culture hype train and name their children after movie and television characters. While this year’s list showed that old-fashioned names such as Liam, Mason, and Olivia are back in style, it also featured a predictable handful of names from popular 2015 franchises. Sorry, kids.

You can check out the thousand most popular male and female names of 2016 over at the Social Security Administration website, but the folks at iO9 were kind enough to do some of the digging for you and shared their results. Last year saw 238 parents name their sons ‘Kylo’ and 370 parents name their daughter ‘Khaleesi,’ not-so-surprising results when you factor in the popularity of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Game of Thrones. If this pattern holds, expect to see a lot more Jyns (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) and Harleys (Suicide Squad) come time for 2017’s results.

Listen, I don’t begrudge anyone their decision to give their children a creative name, but I feel like there should be some kind of waiting period for pop culture references. How about this: if you want to name your daughter after a movie or television character you admire  —  like, say, Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road  —  you must first get a tattoo of that character’s face somewhere on your body. After all, you’re making your child carry something the rest of your life based on a potentially fleeting interest; your favorite television show of 2016 will be on their birth certificate, social security card, and driver’s license for the rest of their life. If it can pass the tattoo test  —  if you still love the idea after carrying Emilia Clarke’s face on your bicep for the next year  —  then by all means, slap ‘Khaleesi’ on your newborn with pride. Just don’t be surprised if you start seeing searches for “How do I legally change my name?” popping up in their browser history when they’re in their teens.

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