Can Costner lead the revenge of France's much-mocked Kevins?

With the anger that a mustachioed Kevin Costner unleashed in his monumental directing debut, "Dances with Wolves,"  

the era of the Kevin—or Kev-een as the French pronounce it—had arrived.  

AFP examines how Kevin Costner's French namesakes went from hero to zero and back again as the 69-year-old actor gets ready for his highly anticipated return at the Cannes Film Festival:  

Two million French viewers tuned in to "Home Alone" in 1990 to witness the antics of a young boy named Kevin fighting to keep his family's home safe from intruders.  

A year later, "Dances with Wolves", which scooped seven Oscars, topped the French box office, pulling in a whopping seven million viewers. 

The effect on birth certificates was instantaneous; according to AFP data, just over 14,000 babies in France were given the name Kevin that year, making it the most popular boy's name.  

The wave continued with over 10,000 baby Kevins a year until 1995 when it dipped to some 8,000 and progressively dwindled thereafter. Mocked and shamed

In Germany, which also saw a wave of Kevins in the early 1990s, the negative stereotypes conferred on parents who give children exotic-sounding names from other cultures has a name: Kevinismus 

"Kevin is not a name but a diagnosis," said one teacher scathingly in a 2009 article by Die Zeit newspaper about little Kevins, Chantals and Angelinas being labelled problem children. 


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