Category: Unusual Baby Names

Unusual Baby Names: Aries to Zebedee

By Clare Bristow

As we wait with bated breath to find out what Kim and Kanye will call North and Saint’s new sister, here are some less high-profile name news stories. They include rarities spotted in birth announcements, what’s hot in Portugal and the Netherlands, and colorful names inspired by American states.

Below-the-radar names: Zailey and Lae

This week I’ve spotted a few one-of-a-kind names in birth stories. They may not be strictly unique, but it’s always nice to see parents using names that you won’t find on any popularity charts.

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Kim and Kanye’s Baby Name

Kim and Kanye baby name

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are parents to a new baby girl who has been given the unexpected place-name Chicago.

Chicago, of course, makes a lot of sense as a choice for Kanye, who grew up in the Windy City and talks about it often. Kanye’s hit Homecoming includes the line, “I’m talking about Chi-town.”

Chi, pronounced like chai as in tea, can make a cute, simple nickname that fits with the one-syllable names of the couple’s other two children, daughter North and son Saint.

The name of Chicago, the largest city in Illinois and the third most-populated city in the US, is thought to derive from a Native American word for “wild garlic”. Early writings spelled it variously as Shikaakwa, Checagou, and Chicagoua.

The Wests are not the first stars to choose a personally-meaningful place name for their child. Reese Witherspoon’s younger son is named Tennessee for her home state, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s youngest son is named Zuma after the Malibu beach, and Robert Downey, Jr. has a son named Indio, for the California desert town.

Other unusual place-names given to celebrity babies include Bronx, the name of Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz’s son, and Alabama, daughter of  Drea DeMatteo and Shooter Jennings.

With more parents committed to raising their children in cities, city names in general are on the rise. Among the most popular are London, Paris, Brooklyn, Savannah, and Adelaide.

In the days leading up to the announcement of little Chicago’s name, there are lots of jokes flying around about what the little sister of North and Saint might be named. East? Queen? Wild?

Our own suggestions for names that would fit into the couple’s established one-syllable unusual unisex word name theme included True and Three.

Chicago fits the pattern in all except the number of syllables, but like the other names Kim and Kanye have chosen, carries significant personal meaning.

RELATED STORIES

Cool, Unique Unisex Names

Names for City Babies

English Word Names

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Baby Name News: Grayson, Harlow and Zel

By Clare Winslow

This week’s news includes creative honor names, storms and stars, trends from New Zealand, and a baby aardvark.

News from the Midwest: honor names and Arabic names

Looking for a way to honor someone, without using their name? Here are some real-life examples from Minnesota parents who used one name to reference another.

Young Silas Edward Theodore Hopkins has initials that spell his dad’s name, Seth. Another boy, Brendyn, was named in memory of his grandmother Brenda.

One couple chose Lennie for their daughter. They started off looking for nicknames for Eleanor, then realized the nickname was what they really loved. (This reminds me of the parents who considered Hazel and Zelda for their daughter, before paring it down to short, sweet Zel.)

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Forbidden Baby Names

How crazy does a name need to be to get banned, spark a legal battle, or find itself relegated to the list of forbidden baby names? Not very, depending on where you live, though many names on this roster would be judged totally outrageous anywhere in the world.  Sometimes, a name is so extreme — or local baby name laws are — that the courts have to step in. Here are 15 real-life baby names that sparked actual legal battles in the last decade.

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Bold Boy Names: How about Thor?

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

Should they name their son Thor? He’s big on the heroic heritage pick, but she fears it might be too much name for a mere mortal.

Mary writes:

I’m writing with an odd conundrum. My husband is dead set on naming our son Thor.

My husband’s family is Norwegian and very proud of their heritage though they’ve been in the US for several generations. My father-in-law is named Thor. My husband is one of the few men in his family without a clearly Scandinavian name. He’s Kurt, with family members called Lars, Per, Nils, Ole, Bjorn, and even Torbjor.

But he doesn’t want just any Scandinavian name. He wants to name his son after his father.

I shut down the possibility the minute we started talking about marriage and kids. I adore my father-in-law, and he wears his name well. He even loves Thor movie memorabilia.

Therein lies my problem. I fell asleep during the Avengers movie. My favorite names are Henry, Thomas, Jack, August, or Jude. Maybe something from a novel. I don’t want to explain for the rest of my life that he wasn’t named after a superhero. I can’t stop thinking about the looks I’d get from other parents. (I know I shouldn’t care, but I do.) Plus, we plan on having more than one child. What would we possibly name a sibling for Thor?

And yet, since we found out we were having a boy, Thor is starting to grow on me! I love seeing how excited it makes my husband to talk about how much my father-in-law would love it. I know a little boy would probably love to be named Thor, and now a tiny part of my brain is considering it, which I never thought would happen. Am I going crazy? Can I name a child Thor? Should I?

My husband is very stubborn about using it as a middle name, and Henry Thor doesn’t have a great ring to it.

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