Welcome to the world, baby Hashtag! (Photo: Mashable via Facebook)Crazy baby names are nothing new. There are entire websites devoted to bad baby names, deliberate misspellings masquerading as creativity, and celebrities who go way past "unique" and into "Wait. What?" territory, like actor Jason Lee, who named his daughter Pilot Inspektor.
But Hashtag? As in, well, #hashtag?
"Hashtag Jameson was born at 10 o'clock last nite," the proud parent announced on Facebook Saturday night. "She weys 8pounds and i luv her so much!!!!!!"
Spelling-challenged friends started leaving equally creative congratulations in the comments.
"Aww babes you finally had youre Tweetybird xxx," one wrote.
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Yahoo! Shine couldn't confirm that the photo is legit, but it's well within the realm of possibility -- if the musician Prince could use a symbol as his name, why not a non-celebrity?
Laws in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Malaysia, New Zealand, Germany, France, and China prevent parents from giving their kids outlandish names, but that didn't stop one Swedish couple from trying to name their son "Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116" in 1996. (They said it was pronounced "Albin.") In the U.S., we don't even have a baby-naming law on the books -- which means that Hashtag could ended up with something much worse.
Some people are wondering whether the announcement is just a poorly executed viral marketing campaign for a certain brand of whiskey (#Jameson?). Others came up with slightly crueler hashtags of their own: #Foolishparents, #YourParentsHateYou, #StupidestNameEver. Many, many commenters all over the internet wondered about the parents' mental stability.
"These are the things that convince me the world is ending in a month," lamented John Toronto at Buzzfeed. "Not the unstable sociopolitical nature of many nations of the world. Not the increasingly erratic weather patterns we've been seeing. Nope. Someone named their child Hashtag. We are all f****d and I think we might deserve it."
But people have always named their kids after things that are important to them, whether it's a beloved relative, "The Hunger Games," a hot celebrity, glittery vampires -- or social media.
In February 2011, a man in Egypt named his firstborn daughter Facebook -- a nod to the role that the website played at the start of the Arab Spring. In Israel, Lior Adler and his wife, Vardit, named their little girl Like when she was born in May 2011 (the couple also named one of their older daughters Pie because they enjoy cooking, they said). Now that little Hashtag has arrived, all we need is a tiny Tumblr, an adorable @, and sweet little YouTube and the social media baby name trend will be properly established.
We're sure that little Hashtag will find a way to avoid problems on the playground (she can always say her real name is Taggart, as in Romney, or get even more conventional and call herself Ash, short for Ashley). Still, she's likely to face a few issues down the road that her social-media loving parents probably hadn't thought about.
"I'm betting she'll go by 'Ash' but her classmates will know her real name," wagered Carlo Sta. Romana in the comments at Mashable. "Wonder what it'll be like in 20 years when she'll have to explain what a hashtag is?"