One of the joys of pediatrics is the inventive names parents give their children. As a resident, we had a book, passed down from chief resident to chief resident, containing creative patient names. To enter a name in the book, you had to have a witness (a nurse or another resident) see the patient’s name on a chart, and declare that you were not making this up. We had all heard of Nosmo King (No Smoking) and the twins Lemonjello and Orangejello and were sure they were just legends. We only wanted real names in our book.

I was able to enter a few great names in the book during my residency in the early 1980s.

The trend has continued, and I still meet children with unique and memorable names.

Some countries require parents to submit names to a board for approval. Sweden has the Naming Law, enacted in 1982,...

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