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A boy called Stiff, a girl called Tuba … and other Alberta baby names

Is it possible that anyone will grow up and thank their parents for calling them Stiff?

On the playground at school, do you really want to have to introduce yourself as Moo?

Of course, if your playmates are called Stylez, Tuff, Dreamz, J-Cub and Tuba, it's possible you may be just fine.

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These are just some of the more creative samples from released by the province today.

Now, most parents went the traditional route – with the old favourite Olivia booting last year's frontrunner Emma out of top spot for girls. (Sophia came in at No. 2.) On the boys' side, Liam and Ethan held steady at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively.

As the province's press release reported, a handful of Albertans may have fallen too hard for royalty when William and Kate visited Calgary – eight boys now bear the name Prince and six girls carry the name Princess. (Further evidence of the royal craze: Kaiser, Sultan, Reign and Lady.)

There were also military names for the boys: Remington, Stryker, Tank and Caliber. And plant-inspired handles for the girls: Cedar, Juniper, Tulip and Amaranth. (Extra points if you knew that the last one, according to Wikipedia, is either a "cosmopolitan genus of herbs" or a township in Ontario.)

Altogether, the province recorded, for better or worse, more than 5,500 unique boy names and nearly 7,000 unique girl names. (The parents who actually called their daughter Unique missed out unfortunately – there were of two of them.)

Clearly some families are falling into that questionable celebrity habit of naming their kids after items such as fruit. And one may predict a few name-change requests creating paperwork in the province in about 20 years. While a name isn't destiny, research has shown it does influence a first impression – and that even teachers may unconsciously predict students' success . (Katherine ranked highest for girls in the U.S. study. Samuel came across as smarty-pants among boys.) Another study suggested that girls with less feminine-sounding names were more likely to choose math or sciences than those with more traditional female names, though researchers didn't know why, speculating that perhaps parents treated those daughters differently.

Name regret isn't an unusual affliction among parents – of 3,000 parents in 2010 found that 1 in 5 wished they had picked a different name, especially when those names were unusual or oddly spelled.

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On the other hand, there may be an advantage to surviving childhood with the name Moo (other than the fact that your friends will always be able to find you on Facebook). You'll be Tuff.

What's the strangest name you've heard? Do you have any regrets about your name or the one you chose for your child?

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About the Author

Erin Anderssen writes about mental health, social policy and family issues. More

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