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Wolf Files: Baby Name Games

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Over the past few years, Evans has found 17 boys named Ventura (as in Jesse), six boys named Timberland (as in the boot), and 27 called Blue (as in Little Boy).

Some of the female names were equally bizarre. There were 23 little girls named Sparkle, and 16 named Reality.

If more parents start naming their kids "Apple," it wouldn't be the most outlandish example of pop culture influencing mom and pop. Only two years ago, Jamie Oliver, better known as TV's "The Naked Chef," named his daughter "Poppy Honey." Poppy has now entered the 100 most popular names in Britain.

Now let's look at some baby-naming milestones: Modern Gladiators: Rome fell 15 centuries ago, and yet the Latin name "Maximus" has been making a big comeback, thanks to Russell Crowe's Oscar-winning turn in Gladiator. Last year alone, 699 little boys were named Maximus, making it more popular than contemporary names like Rodney.

We can expect a Maximus army to unleash hell upon their parents and baby sitters, or picking on younger kids named Troy and Achilles, in honor of Brad Pitt's new movie.

Warrior Princesses, Worrier Moms:

Girls can be superheroes, too. In 1996 and 1997, when Lucy Lawless was TV's reigning action star, 567 girls were named after Xena, making it the 200th most popular name for girls during those years.

Xena's six-year run ended in 2001. The name disappeared from birth certificates, just as it disappeared from the TV guide. Still, there are a bunch of second- and third-grade warrior princesses out there, with mothers who have some explaining to do.

"It definitely fits her personality," Jody Humphrey told the News Journal in Mansfield, Ohio, in January, speaking of her 7-year-old daughter.

"She is full of energy and spunk — just [like] her television namesake."

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