With the success of Olympians Simone Manuel and Simone Biles, thousands of American parents are frantically changing the names of their daughters to anything other than “Simone” to avoid burdening their children with unrealistic expectations.
Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an individual medal in swimming for the US and finished with two golds and two silvers, while gymnast Simone Biles anchored the US team gold and won the individual all-around by more than the combined margin of victory from 1980 to 2012. Seeing this domination, parents of Simones are filing name-change paperwork at an unprecedented pace, naming experts say.
“We’re seeing parents flee the name ‘Simone’, as well as related names such as Simmi, Moni, Mona, Sisi and Momo,” said one onomastics professor who studies naming trends. “This holds for parents of unborn children all the way up to teenagers, and in fact we’re seeing some adult Simones making the change themselves. No one wants to be compared to these two incomparable athletes.”
In related news, the name experts said there are about 4,000 people in the US with the surname “Ledecky” and they have all now changed it.