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Has Star Wars Wrecked Your Favorite Name?

March 29, 2016 Abby Sandel
star wars baby names

Lauren writes:

I’ve got a little naming dilemma. A favorite family name, and one that goes well with my daughter’s name, is used in the new Star Wars movie … for one of the bad guys.

The spelling is different (thankfully), but can I name my baby something pronounced Kylo given how evil the character is? We would use the nickname Ky/Kai.

We have other family names in our pocket as well – they are just more common, like Oliver, Henry, and Lincoln.

The Name Sage replies:

What a tough question!

My initial answer is that yes, you can absolutely use the name, if – and only if – you won’t be driven mad by questions about your choice.

And there will be questions. Not only was the latest installment in the Star Wars series a major blockbuster, it’s the beginning of a whole new storyline with multiple sequels in the works.

The good news? Bad guy or not, the character could boost Kylo as a baby name, and make it a more mainstream possibility. After all, Anakin entered the US Top 1000 in 2014. Eight boys were named Kylo that year, too – likely inspired by familiar names like Kyle, Milo, and Kai.

Still, I wonder if I’d like to be named Kylo, or Leia – or any name strongly associated with a fictional character – and only that fictional character. (Luke doesn’t count – there have been plenty of others Lukes besides Skywalker.) Even though you’re not naming your son after Kylo Ren, he may grow weary of explaining.

It’s also possible that the different spelling will prove to be a disadvantage as your son grows up. I’m picturing him as a college student, ordering a double shot of espresso during finals week.

Barista: May I have your name for the cup?

Kylo-not-spelled-that-way gives name.

Barista: Like Star Wars? Cool!

Kylo-not-spelled-that-way: Yeah. No. It’s pronounced like Kylo, but let me spell it for you …

Barista writes K-Y-L-O on the cup.

It strikes me that Kylo might be the best middle name ever, if you’re open to that option. As a middle name, Kylo is a little bit like Tiberius or Danger – a secret that is potentially embarrassing when you’re a teenager, but also kind of fun. That’s even truer because it’s a family name that just happens to share sounds with the Star Wars character.

Overall, I think it would be easier to be Oliver Kylo than Kylo Oliver. But this is one situation where I know our readers can be so helpful, so let’s have a poll!

About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.

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