An Australian couple has divided the internet after giving their newborn baby girl an inventive last name that includes "part of both of us."
Courtney Cassar, 31, and Laura Sheldon, 29, of Sydney, took a new approach when choosing a surname for their daughter, Lyla Jill, who was born in October. Rather than give the baby one of their own last names, or even a hyphenated version, the couple instead chose to "mash-up" their surnames and come up with an entirely new identifier for the child.
The result? Lyla Jill "Casseldon" — a name that incorporates the beginning of "Cassar" and the ending of "Sheldon."
"I like the idea of our daughter having a part of both of us," Cassar explained to The Daily Telegraph. "With hyphens, I find a lot of kids end up choosing one name because it is easier. We played around with a few last names and found one that we like and sounds like a last name."
On one of the couple's Instagram posts announcing their daughter's name, friends and followers seemed to applaud the pair's inventive decision.
"Cannot. Like. This. Enough." one woman wrote.
"She is beautiful!! And LOVE the name," wrote another.
However, the new parents admitted the name has not been well received by all — including some loved ones, who questioned the legality of the move, and online commentators, some of whom claimed the move would make family trees "much harder in the future."
"Why? Bit ridiculous really," one person wrote.
"This is peak stupid," said another.
Whether you love the idea or not, the couple seems to be having fun with their daughter's newfound fame. On Sunday, Laura shared a photo of a newspaper featuring her family's story and captioned it, "Lyla Jill is now famous and has just told me to speak to her agent."
"Rude," she quipped.
Lyla's parents are just two of those who have taken part in a recently growing trend of newlyweds opting to simply create a new family name after marriage ("combiners," as they are sometimes branded.)
According to the New South Wales Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the number of Australian children with last names that belong to neither of their parents has increased from 3.4 percent to 9.4 percent since 1980, News.com.au reports.
Still, the most traditional surnaming practice remains the most popular in the country, with 85.5 percent of newborn children being given their father's last name.
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