Category: Names from the Arts & Pop Culture

By Clare Green

This week’s news celebrates names that step outside the ordinary, from the worlds of hip-hop, college sports, and Spanish grandmothers.

Kulture and counter-culture 

Maybe it’s the Cardi B effect. Last week the rapper and her husband Offset announced the birth of their daughter, Kulture Kiari. It’s a bold, possibly unique choice that reflects her father’s name and her parents’ values. Not surprisingly, the world had things to say about it.

This article is a welcome relief from the usual roll call of “crazy” celebrity baby names (which often turn out to be not actually that crazy). It’s a proud celebration of “extra juicy” names, not just because they made a change from the ones Boring Normals use, but because they challenge a dominant culture that has long belittled names that were out of the ordinary:

“As if language isn’t fluid! As if the tongue weren’t meant to always be learning! And what’s the result of it? Misplaced shaming and generations of missed opportunities.”

Now there’s encouragement to anyone thinking of naming outside the box.

Another defense of Cardi B’s baby name agrees that Kulture’s name shows her parents’ vibrancy and creativity. It’s not bestowed just for the sake of being a zany celebrity, but shows the pride they take in their, well, culture. And, as Cardi B said on her social media, “Anything else woulda been basic.”

Where do your naming tastes lie? Are you basic and proud, do you like names that blow your mind – or somewhere in between?

(And just for fun, since we’re talking about rappers: are you saying these rappers’ names correctly?)

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by Sophie Kihm

Names are very revealing. They carry demographic information—names often give clues as to one’s approximate age, race, nationality, and gender. However, our names say more about our parents than they do about us. A child’s name can tell you a lot about his or her parents’ values.

For example, Jason Aldean and Brittany Kerr named their oldest son Memphis Aldean Williams. Memphis indicates their deep ties to the South—both as the birthplace of country music and of Jason and Brittany. And Aldean, the middle name baby Memphis shares with his father, tell us the couple values family, heritage, and tradition.

Brittany is now pregnant with their second child, and I wonder if the same values will come across in this baby’s name, or if new ones will be revealed. Likewise, what will we learn about the stars who have never named children before? Will Pippa Middleton use a family name for her baby, or choose something unexpected? Will Kate Upton go the typical supermodel route and pick a daring, bold baby name, or stick closer to her Midwestern roots with a safer, subdued choice? I’ve made my predictions below, but only time will tell.

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By Clare Green

This week’s news includes a girl junior, a boy named after a comic-book villain, and international names from France, Denmark and beyond.

Nefarious Negan

Lots of parents use baby names from TV shows (oh hi, Khaleesi), but this dad from Michigan may be the first to name his son Negan – as in The Walking Dead.

In a show where many of the characters’ names are familiar and somewhat dated (Rick, Shane, Lori, Carol), Negan stands out. But not necessarily in a good way. He’s a pretty nasty character with a pretty nasty baseball bat.

The comic’s creator, Robert Kirkman, has said he picked the name Negan because it sounded negative. There’s no denying it also sounds namelike: it’s only one letter away from Megan and Regan, and you’ll find it at the end of Finnegan.

Dad wants to make it clear that little Negan is named after the character in the comic book, not the TV show it inspired. If you’re familiar with the comic, tell us: does that make the association any better?

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By Clare Green

This week’s news includes names inspired by birds, androids and an African city, plus some unexpected family names.

Bird names and baby expectations

How much should a child’s name reflect their parents?

Our names always encode some information about our background and the tastes of our parents (or whoever named us). But there’s a difference between giving your baby a name you think is strong enough to set them up for life, and imposing your interests on them.

That’s what bird expert Nicholas Lund found when it came to naming his child. There are plenty of fantastic bird names out there, from Top 1000 choices Wren and Raven to ones you may not even realise are birds, like Sora and Ani. (Plus “use with extreme caution” options like Bobolink and Kittiwake. Although at least they could go by Bobby and Kitty.)

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

It’s become a Nameberry tradition to commemorate Independence Day with a salute to notable historical figures and celebs who were born on the Fourth of July, This year, we’ll single out those with the most interesting prospective baby names. (By the way, George M. Cohan, the ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ who famously claimed he was ‘born on the fourth of July’, was actually born on the third. Similarly, PR people promoted the story that jazzman Louis Armstrong was born on Independence Day when his real birthdate was August 4th.)

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