On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

16th August 2013 at 01:00

This week: outlandish baby names

In the ever-changing world of fashionable baby names, nothing should come as a surprise. In the UK, once-popular titles such Kylie and Chantelle are now out of vogue, with traditional monikers such as Mabel and Beryl experiencing a comeback.

But this week a US couple found themselves in hot water after delving even deeper into the past - just over 2,000 years, in fact - to name their son Messiah. Their decision was overturned by a Tennessee magistrate who forcibly changed their offspring's name to the less memorable Martin.

Lu Ann Ballew told the parents: "The word Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ." Their choice of Christian name for their son could "put him at odds with a lot of people", the magistrate added with some understatement.

Judge Ballew has come under fire for her actions, with critics pointing out that no names are banned in the US. Indeed, 762 Messiahs were born across the country last year, making it the fourth-fastest growing name in the country.

At TESS Towers, we can't help but think they are missing the point. Quite apart from the psychological scars that the inevitable bullying would leave on the unfortunate child, imagine the poor teachers having to rebuke the Messiah for throwing crayons at his classmates.

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